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By Special Consensus, an evening of bluegrass
In my opinion, there is no better live music concert than good bluegrass. Tickets are surprising affordable as are the popcorn and homemade pie. At least that was how it was Thursday night in Valley Falls, Kansas.
The Special Consensus, a bluegrass band “with an attitude” based out of Chicago played there on a layover from Missouri to Colorado. The audience was receptive and warm. The fact that this band is incredibly talented is one reason. There is another.
All bluegrass music enthusiasts in the region are familiar with the talented Faris Family. According to their web site, they have now retired as a touring group. Rick Faris, who primarily played guitar in their band, now plays mandolin with the Special Consensus.
The impressive talent bios of Rick and the other members of the Special Consensus show solid background in all music. They play traditional bluegrass as well swing renditions of big band numbers. Bluegrass and swing? It is a beautiful combination. Also, on their web site, I highly recommend listening to their number, “Land Up in the Air” for a no instrument gospel song that highlights the tight harmony in all their songs during the evening. In addition many of their songs were original, written by the obviously young members of the group. Perhaps the reason for their self-described “attitude.” Maybe a more modern beat but with traditional undercurrent.
After the break, in a surprise move, four of the Faris family members came up to the stage and played two numbers. I think most of the audience were long time friends of the family and their performance brought cheers with a standing ovation.
The program kept its upbeat tempo right up to the end making us feel fortunate to have been a part their layover in the Faris family stomping grounds.