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Special Consensus

Special Consensus – 1998 (Pinecastle)

Reviewed by Jonathan Colcord

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CDs by Special Consensus

Every now and then a recording comes along that is the nicest surprise. With new addition Andrea Roberts, Special Consensus has really become something special. This girl has so much country in her voice.

Starting off with a bang with Ron Stewart's "Another Day With The Blues," this group lays out for you exactly what to expect for the duration. Crisp Stanley-style driving banjo with some truly wonderful vocal harmonies shine on this track and many others. Gregg Cahill is a superb banjo man, and Chris Walz is a great vocalist and guitarist. Colby Maddox and Roberts round out the lineup on mandolin and bass respectively, while Stuart Duncan guests on fiddle.

Other writers showcased by the band are folkie Greg Brown with the title track, Norman Blake with "Slow Train Through Georgia," and even a little-known Bill Monroe instrumental - never published and never recorded, performed in fine tribute entitled "Strawberry Point." Stylistically, the band ventures into swing, country, and most notably some fine gospel numbers with "Journey To My Savior's Side" sung beautifully by Roberts, and "New Jerusalem." This release is a must have for any fan true to bluegrass.