Greg Cahill, banjo player and leader of Special Consensus, has for 30 years led one of the most consistently good and highly respected bands in bluegrass. The group’s newest release showcases what they have always been good at: rendering a variety of styles – country, Celtic, western, swing – from a bluegrass point of view.
Cahill is the one constant in a ever-evolving lineup; Justin Carbone (guitar), Ron Spears (mandolin) and Tres Nugent (bass) joined Special Consensus early last year. Spears handles most of the lead vocals, with Carbone and Nugent supplying tight harmonies. Carbone sings his two originals, “Can t Go Back” and the title track, and his mellower pipes are a nice contrast to Spears s strident ones.
Cahill s tuneful instrumental “Old Town Ceili” features his own lean banjo work suplemented by guest fiddler Andy Leftwich. Spears vocals are shown to best effect on “Two Minus One”, a low country weeper; his songwriting shines on the gospel quartet “Lord Show Me The Righteous Pathway”.