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The Special Consensus concert in Helmstedt, Germany

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Oct 19, 2018 - 5:37 AM
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phb

Germany

1374 posts since 11/8/2010

I saw the Special Consensus in concert yesterday in Helmstedt, Germany. Helmstedtis a small city in the middle of Germany and really only known inside Germany because there was a border crossing between Western and Eastern Germany which you had to pass if you wanted to travel from West Germany to West Berlin or vice versa. The concert took place in a temporary church (really just a better tent) outside the St. Christophorus church which was damaged by a fire one or two years ago. It was a benefit concert free of charge with a plea for donations for the renovation of the church. The Special C had agreed to play for little or no charge as they were travelling from one gig to the next passing through Helmstedt. I understand they stayed over night at the home of some parishioners before continuing their tour to Denmark today. In any case it was very generous from them to support the church!

Well, what can I say? It was such a great show, they all are really superb musicians! Very entertaining and funny and they seemed to have a lot of fun on stage enjoying themselves and their colleagues' playing. I attended as one in a group of people that knew each other from the yearly "Banjoree" camp that took place in early October. We all travelled for the concert from different regions of Germany and met before the show to chat. The pastor was quite impressed that people from all over Germany came to his church and even acknowledged our presence to the parish. After the show we also got to chat with the band members who were all very approachable and nice. We bought CDs and stuff and one of us had one of his own custom built banjos played and signed by Greg Cahill. A banjo that also had been played by Dr. Ralph on a similar occasion. This morning I started listening to their new album "Rivers and Roads" and I also can recommend that highly.

One of the coolest bits was when the guitarist broke a string, continued his lead singing while changing the string and finished in time for his break in the very same song. I know the pros have to be quick at changing strings but I had never seen anything like this before!

Well, if you are in Europe and anywhere close to one of their concerts, go see them! IIRC they will tour Britain and Ireland next year.

Oct 19, 2018 - 7:56:46 AM
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13634 posts since 12/2/2005
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Special Consensus always puts on a great show. Greg Cahill is an inspiring guy - he's not just a great player, he's also a wonderful teacher. The band has an interesting business model - Greg has a knack for finding supremely talented unknown players. He teaches them how to work in the business and after a few years they go on to gigs with bigger bands. Some of the genre's top talent got their start with him.

Oct 19, 2018 - 8:06:29 AM

1107 posts since 2/12/2009

Yeah, I saw them twice in about a 3-4 year interval and, Greg was the only constant member, all very good and, very young players.

Oct 19, 2018 - 8:54:39 AM
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3872 posts since 6/15/2005

Special C is indeed a terrific band, and Greg is a tremendous, under-recognized player. I've seen Rick Faris (the guitar player) change a broken string like that once before, the audience loved it.

Oct 20, 2018 - 9:32 AM

2195 posts since 12/27/2009

Did you know it was Greg's birthday that night?

Oct 20, 2018 - 9:36:33 AM

Mooooo

USA

4762 posts since 8/20/2016

I hope you gave him a birthday gift, aber kein gift.

Oct 20, 2018 - 8:26:38 PM

3672 posts since 5/1/2003

I've known Rick Faris since he was 12 yrs old. One od the first gigs for the Faris family was playing at my church 20 yrs ago. Fine folks.

Oct 22, 2018 - 5:41:06 AM

phb

Germany

1374 posts since 11/8/2010

quote:
Originally posted by Gymbal31

Did you know it was Greg's birthday that night?


That seems to be a running gag they do on stage. Only that in Helmstedt the next day was supposed to be his birthday... smiley

Oct 22, 2018 - 12:33:13 PM
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3872 posts since 6/15/2005

The birthday stuff is a running gag that the rest of the band as well as others have kept going for quite some time now. At the IBMA Awards Show last month, when Special C won album of the year and instrumental recorded event of the year, the presenters for one of them, Kenny and Amanda Smith, announced that it was a really special night because it was also Greg's birthday, and there was even a cake backstage. I was unaware of the gag until the next evening when he told me about it. It's gotten to the point where he no longer tries to deny it because if he does, then someone always says, "Oh, look how modest he is, he doesn't want any attention."

Oct 22, 2018 - 1:22:33 PM

3872 posts since 6/15/2005

Greg told me that Josh Williams started the gag when he was with Special C years ago.

Oct 22, 2018 - 1:40:35 PM

2195 posts since 12/27/2009

The bad part about the IBMA birthday gag was, September 27th, the night they “celebrated” Greg’s birthday, was Sierra Hull’s real birthday.

Oct 27, 2018 - 7:18:16 AM

phb

Germany

1374 posts since 11/8/2010

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