10 December 2006

Special Consensus: 7th tour in Ireland, 10-28 Jan.

Ron Spears (mandolin), Greg Cahill (banjo), David Thomas (bass), Justin Carbone (guitar)

The Special Consensus, Chicago's #1 bluegrass band for the last thirty years, will make their seventh tour in Ireland in January 2007, fitting in several shows in Britain as well. The new member this time is David Thomas on bass. The Special C. will bring over their new CD, Trail of aching hearts, on the Pinecastle label, which will be available in the US in mid April. Special C will make several radio appearances over here, including the Alan Simpson show on BBC Northern Ireland (3.00 p.m. on 10 Jan.), the Frank Mitchell show on U105 FM (11.00 a.m. on 11 Jan.), and others TBA.

Pinecastle says: 'A long tradition of bandleader Greg Cahill's to include an Irish tune on each new Special Consensus album, along with his Irish heritage, makes the band's annual pilgrimages to Ireland and England seem like a perfect fit.' One of the cuts on it is a Niall Toner song, 'Josie's reel'. Niall reports: 'Greg sent me an advance copy of the new CD. Their version of "Josie's reel" surpasses my greatest expectations, and I'm especially proud of what they have done with my song.'

The band's roll of achievement over three decades is too big to fit here; even the version on their website is highly compressed. One fact you won't find there is that this is their first tour in Ireland with a chairman of the IBMA on banjo; Greg Cahill, who has been an artists' representative on the IBMA board for several years, and more recently vice-chair, was elected to the chair by his fellow board members a few weeks ago.

The tour includes appearances as special guests at the Sixmilebridge Winter Weekend (see separate post) and at the Colfer's Americana and Bluegrass event, which the band helped to launch in their 2005 tour. The Special C. will also be touring in July in Germany, Switzerland, and France.

Please note: the tour schedule on the Bluegrass Ireland Blog calendar is taken from the Old Flattop website of Nigel Martyn, the tour organiser. The schedule on the Special C. website shows a few differences - it is an earlier version, which the band are postponing updating till closer to the start of the tour, in case of further changes.


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