Bluegrass Legends – The Special Consensus

“Music like this is why people come to love bluegrass.”  
Folk & Music Exchange

Bring your Family – Bring your Friends – as Allegheny RiverStone Center for the Arts is privileged to present multi-IBMA award winning and two-time Grammy nominees, BLUEGRASS LEGENDS – THE SPECIAL CONSENSUS on Sunday, April 7 at 4 PM in the beautiful Allegheny-Clarion River Valley where bluegrass is up close and personal in the intimacy of Foxburg’s Lincoln Hall.

“One of the longest-running and best-respected outfits in bluegrass history” Chicago Reader

From virtuoso and blazing instrumentals – to stirring vocals and sweet harmony – they have it ALL!

Hailed by the Chicago Reader as “One of the longest-running and best-respected outfits in bluegrass history”, Special Consensus was awarded the 2023 IBMA Collaborative Recording of the Year and vocalist/guitarist Greg Blake received the 2023 IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year award!

Don’t miss this opportunity to see these consummate bluegrass artists in our valley as they are on tour in our region – going to be AMAZING and UPLIFTING! 

ARCA is grateful for the generous gift of long-time ARCA member and bluegrass fan, Dr. John Williams, sponsoring the appearance of The Special Consensus, in memory of his late wife, Frances.

Tickets are Adults $30, Members $25, Students $5, Children Under 6 FREE.

TO RESERVE:  Call 724-659-3153 to pay cash or check at the door.  Buy online here. Be sure to reserve as this concert will sell out.

Members bringing friends also get the member price. Become a member online by clicking on the BECOME A MEMBER tab on the home page for a year of discounts and special benefits

They are four talented vocalists and instrumentalists who follow their creative desires without straying too far from their bluegrass roots.

The band is led by Greg Cahill, banjo player and recipient of the prestigious Distinguished Achievement Award from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) and inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Bluegrass Music in America Hall of Greats.

With the foundation of Greg’s unique banjo playing style and the gorgeous voice of the 2023 IBMA Male Vocalist of the Year Greg Blake (guitar), Dan Eubanks (bass) and Michael Prewitt (mandolin), these musicians effortlessly support each other and consistently maintain their bluegrass center whether they’re playing a jazz-tinged instrumental or a song from any of their award-winning recordings.

Here are all four amazing vocalists in a FABULOUS a cappella Gospel close-harmony vocal arrangement of Travelin’ Shoes – AWESOME!

International tours have brought the band to Australia, Canada, Europe, South America, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The band has also appeared on National Public Radio, The Nashville Network, the Grand Ole Opry at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, and in concert with symphony orchestras nationwide.

In their four decades of performing and twenty-one recordings, The Special Consensus has achieved a contemporary sound that has made their music a modern classic.

Over the years, Special Consensus has received seven awards from the IBMA – including their prizes in 2023 – and two Grammy nominations (Scratch Gravel Road in 2012 and Rivers and Roads in 2018). The title song “Chicago Barn Dance” received the 2020 IBMA Song of the Year award. 

Folk & Music Exchange describes why the band continues to build such a loyal and enthusiastic following,

  • “Special Consensus approaches this hallowed American musical art form with boundless energy and an aesthetic reverence that tickles the ribs, tugs at the heart, and puts a restless two-step into boots and bare feet.  Special Consensus is a superb bluegrass outfit in a classic vein…the vocals are spotless, the playing as shiny as a newly minted penny, and music like this is the reason people come to love bluegrass. 

The 21st recording of Special Consensus – Great Blue North (Compass Records, 2023), is a tip of the hat to their Canadian friends and fans made throughout nearly four decades of touring throughout the country. All songs included on the recording were written by Canadian writers and numerous Canadian musician friends of the band made guest appearances. The Gordon Lightfoot song “Alberta Bound” received the2023 IBMA Collaborative Recording of the Year award.

Special Consensus’ sound is grounded in a deep appreciation and understanding of bluegrass music, incorporating both the drive and harmonies of the traditional sound with the more contemporary sounds and repertoire of today.

Dedicated to preserving their craft as well as keeping it fresh, in 1984 Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program to introduce bluegrass music to students in schools across the country and in several foreign lands.

The Allegheny Drifters’ Bob and Karen Artis – who played for a dozen years each summer for ARCA’s enthusiastic bluegrass audience – have an even longer relationship with Special Consensus and the extraordinary Greg Cahill:

  • “Greg Cahill and Special Consensus have truly been ‘special’ in our bluegrass world since 1975. A huge number of musicians are alumni of Special C, notables such as Josh Williams, Don Stiernberg, Chris Jones, Ashby Frank, Robbie Fulks, Nick Dumas, Rick Faris, the late Ron Spears and many, many others. Greg & the band have been on the road continually, touring the country and internationally for a remarkable 49 years! In 1984, in addition to his musical legacy, Greg started the Traditional American Music Program (TAMS) to educate youngsters about our beloved genre. And all through this time, Greg continues to inspire as a superb banjo picker, mentor and true bluegrass gentleman. We’re proud and honored to share his friendship.”  Karen and Bob Artis

Experience Early Spring in Foxburg

Plan to make it a day of it in beautiful Foxburg on the Allegheny – or spend an overnight and have a refreshing Spring weekend in Foxburg!

Before the concert, arrive early for a late lunch at The Allegheny Grille  – or have dinner after the 4 PM concert in Lincoln Hall in the beautiful sunset. 

Be sure to make a reservation for the main dining room with tables overlooking the stunning Allegheny River in early Spring.

Or for more casual fare enjoy supper – salads, sandwiches or their special April pizza – at Foxburg Pizza.

Everyone loves chocolate – for dessert after lunch or a treat before the concert stop by at Divani Chocolatier and Barrista to pick up a box of hand-made organic chocolates or their famous chocolate caramels.

And while there, enjoy a gourmet chocolate or a specialty coffee to fortify your spirits before the concert.

Be sure to save time to enjoy a wine tasting in the newly renovated Foxburg Wine Cellars or enjoy a bottle of wine on the beautiful, enclosed patio on a warm early April afternoon  – or bring some wine home to celebrate Spring – like their deliciously robust River Queen.

And for those graduations and birthdays coming up, shop for special gifts in the gift shop area of the Foxburg Wine Cellars.

Make it an Early Spring Get-away in Foxburg – and enjoy an overnight on Saturday or Sunday night in the newly renovated and elegantly rustic Foxburg Inn where every room has a view of the river.

Reserve early and get the room with the fireplace!