Special Consensus Sampler – October 19, 2013

On Saturday, October 19, the Hudson Valley Bluegrass Association held its Fall concertevent featuring Special Consensus. The series is designed to bring world class bluegrass artists to the Hudson Valley region and this was truly a memorable event.

For those that are not familiar with the band, Special Consensus was formed back in 1975 by Greg Cahill, who has led the band for over 38 years. The current lineup features Rick Faris on mandolin and vocals, Dustin Benson on guitar and vocals, Dan Eubanks on bass and vocals in addition to Mr. Cahill on banjo and vocals.

What was immediate striking about this band was the wall of sound that they create as a quartet. Each member of the band is an outstanding instrumentalist. Their arrangements are tight and the interplay between the musicians highlights how in-sync they are with each other. This combined with truly beautiful harmonies made for a wonderful evening of music.

The band performed two outstanding sets to an appreciative audience made up of local pickers and bluegrass enthusiasts. Many of the tunes they performed were from their most recent recording Scratch Gravel Road. The band deftly negotiated their way through driving bluegrass tunes, country style blues, originals, ballads and even an instrumental from the great American songbook. One of the highlights of the evening was their a cappella version of “On My Way to the Kingdom Land,” a classic old time quartet. Their four part harmonies were so sweet that the audience asked for more of the same, which they thankfully obliged.

What made this evening all the more enjoyable was the camaraderie between the band members themselves. Exchanging stories and jokes while tuning up between songs, often at the expense of Mr. Cahill, clearly showed how much these guys enjoy being and playing together and really connected the audience with the band.

What makes these HVBA concerts great is the intimacy of the events. Association members provide refreshments during the intermission, and there is always the opportunity to meet the band members or catch up with area musicians and friends. If you weren’t fortunate enough to be there for Special Consensus, try to see them when they are in the area again. You’re in for a treat.

Editor’s Note:
As if Jack’s review weren’t enough for you, here are a few of the notes we received following the concert:

That was a terrific concert last night. I am glad to be a member of Hudson Valley Bluegrass and receiving notice of these fine events. thanks for making them happen.
Yours truly,
Greta Tristram


Eric and I both thought the concert was terrific Saturday – thank you so much for organizing it!

Linda & Eric Perfecto


Greg Cahill is a class act.
And.. has put together a wonderful band.
Was a very enjoyable show.
Nice people and very good players.
Thanks for putting together the show & thanks to Ed and the other sponsors, volunteers and angels.

Michael Sassano

Jacques DiCroce

Jacques DiCroce is a guitar player and multi-instrumentalist, residing in the Hudson Valley.

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