” Help My Brother, our tenth album, won the prestigious 2011 IBMA Album of the Year Award.
We were named the 2011 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, the first time a brother duet has won this award.
Ruby Jewel Jamboree
Proudly presenting: Gibson Brothers
Date: July 10th, 2013
Price: $25 in advance, $27 at the door
($2 discount MRBA members, Seniors and Vets)
The Gibson Brothers took home the 2012 Entertainer of the Year Award at the 23rd annual International Bluegrass Music Awards at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and also won the “Gospel Recorded Performance of the Year” award for “Singing As We Rise.”
Help My Brother, our tenth album, won the prestigious 2011 IBMA Album of the Year Award. We were named the 2011 IBMA Vocal Group of the Year, the first time a brother duet has won this award. Help My Brother held the #1 position on the Bluegrass Unlimited Album chart for 8 months. It definitely had staying power, with songs charting on the BU Top 30 more than a year after its release.
Music’s brought us a lot of interesting experiences and many friends. We truly appreciate every one of them. We’ve been very fortunate to be honored on the historic Ryman stage several times. And each time our thoughts are back home with the people who helped us get there.
Date: July 25th, 2013
Price: $16 in advance, $18 at the door
($2 discount MRBA members, Seniors and Vets)
Opening Act: Blue Angel
Founder and front man of The Night Drivers, Chris Jones is a quadruple threat as a singer, a songwriter, a guitarist—and, thanks to his role hosting SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, as the most widely heard broadcasting voice in bluegrass. His immediately recognizable voice, warm sense of humor and abundance of talent have combined to make him one of the music’s most distinctive personalities, and one of its strongest artists.
Following apprenticeships with bluegrass legend Dave Evans and Chicago’s durable Special Consensus, Chris moved to Nashville at the end of the 1980s as a member of the band Weary Hearts, where his colleagues included Ron Block (Alison Krauss & Union Station), Mike Bub (Del McCoury Band, 18 South) and acclaimed mandolin master, the late Butch Baldassari. Forming the Night Drivers in the mid 1990s, he’s led the band through a set of stellar recordings and tours while appearing and recording with some of the world’s most respected musicians including The Chieftains, Earl Scruggs, Vassar Clements and Tom T. Hall. And while the Night Drivers have made extensive use of his original songs, they’ve also been recorded by a range of other artists, including the Gibson Brothers, Lou Reid & Carolina and The Chapmans.
Chris’s range of talents took center stage at the IBMA’s Awards Show in 2007, where he earned both a Song Of The Year award as a co-writer of “Fork In The Road,” the title track of the year’s Album Of The Year by the Infamous Stringdusters, and the organization’s Broadcaster Of The Year trophy. The occasion that both music and industry awards have gone to a single person.
Since then, Chris has continued to draw attention for all aspects of his multi-faceted career, including a new (2012) nomination for Broadcaster of the Year and Recorded Event of the Year.
The Night Drivers
The longest-tenured Night Driver (by about 5 shows), Jon Weisberger holds down a dizzying array of positions in the world of bluegrass. In addition to his work with Chris, he has made appearances on bass with artists ranging from the legendary Jimmy Martin, Hazel Dickens and Roland White to Tony Trischka, Larry Cordle, Harley Allen, David Peterson and April Verch. As a songwriter, he has supplied material to many of today’s top artists, including Del McCoury, Doyle Lawson, Blue Highway, the Infamous Stringdusters, Mountain Heart, the Gibson Brothers, Terry Baucom, the Chapmans, Blue Moon Rising, and Dwight McCall, as well as Nedski-Mojo and the Night Drivers. He released his own solo project, If This Road Could Talk, in 2008.
Like Chris and Ned, Jon’s involved in bluegrass radio, producing and appearing on a weekly syndicated show, The Blue Side Of Town With Del McCoury. He also writes occasional articles for publication, continuing an extensive bluegrass journalism career that earned him the IBMA’s Print Media Person of the Year award in 2001 and the Charlie Lamb Award For Excellence In Country Music Journalism in 2005. In addition to his creative endeavors, Jon is an alumnus of Leadership Music, and, after two terms as a member of the IBMA’s Board of Directors, has served since 2010 as its Vice-Chair.
Co-writer with Chris of the Night Drivers’ popular “Final Farewell,” which spent more than 8 months on Bluegrass Today’s airplay chart, Jon is nominated for the IBMA’s newest award, Songwriter of the Year.
A 25-year professional who’s noted for his dazzling technique, originality and broad sense of humor, Ned Luberecki has served for nearly a decade in the Night Drivers. His resume includes stints with Paul Adkins & The Borderline Band; Gary Ferguson; Radio Flyer and the Rarely Herd, frequent winners of SPBGMA’s Entertaining Band Of The Year award. He’s also drawn growing attention as a popular banjo instructor at some of the most renowned instructional camps in the US, Canada and Europe, and as a broadcaster on SiriusXM’s Bluegrass Junction, where he hosts the regular newgrass show, “Derailed.”
Since joining the Night Drivers, Ned has continued to make a name for himself as a guest on a variety of recordings and appearances, including tours with Larry Cordle & Lonesome Standard Time and as the “other” banjo player with Tony Trischka’s Double Banjo Bluegrass Spectacular. In 2007, he released a popular solo project, Nedski, which included duets with friends like the Infamous Stringdusters’ Chris Pandolfi and Punch Brothers’ Noam Pikelny, along with comic favorites like “Cabin Of Death.” In 2010, he teamed up with the Sam Bush Band’s Stephen Mougin as Nedski & Mojo, releasing an acclaimed project (Nothing More) and making occasional appearances on shows like the syndicated Music City Roots.
Mark Stoffel joined the Night Drivers nearly four years ago, but his ties with Chris date back to the 1990s, when they met in Mark’s native Germany. Now a resident of southern Illinois, where he teaches media at Southern Illinois University, Mark was a founding member of Shady Mix, a popular roots music group that toured around the world and recorded several well-received projects over its career. A recording engineer as familiar with his studio as he is with his mandolin, Mark has recorded and produced a long string of albums by local, regional and even international groups. He has released a popular solo album, One-O-Five, as well as an album of holiday music, A Midwinter’s Eve, with guitarist Nathan Clark George.
Date: August 21, 2013
Price: $15 in advance
($2 discount MRBA members, Seniors and Vets)
“Yes, Special Consensus may be Chicago’s very own veteran bluegrass band, but talent like this is the property of the world.”
— David Royko; Chicago Tribune
2013 Grammy nomination for their 2012 album “Scratch Gravel Road”
Greg Cahill, Chicago born and bred, has been playing bluegrass banjo since the early 1970s. Greg co-founded The Special Consensus in Chicago in 1975 and has continued to tour nationally and internationally with the band since the late 1970s. In 1984, he created the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program to introduce students of all ages to bluegrass music. He has appeared on all 15 of The Special Consensus recordings, on numerous recordings by other artists and on many national television and radio commercial jingles. Greg has also released three recordings: “Lone Star” (1980, with guests Jethro Burns and Byron Berline); “Blue Skies” (1992, with Chicago mandolinist Don Stiernberg); and “Night Skies” (1998, with Don Stiernberg and guests Sam Bush, Glen Duncan and Tom Boyd). He has also recorded and toured European countries with the ChowDogs (Slavek Hanzlik, Dallas Wayne and Ollie O’Shea). In addition to conducting workshops at festivals, teaching at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago and teaching banjo at music camps nationally and internationally, Greg has released four banjo instructional DVDs. He served on the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA) Board of Directors from 1998-2010 (Board Chair/President 2006-2010) and was awarded the prestigious IBMA Distinguished Achievement Award in 2011. Greg was also appointed to the Board of Directors of the Nashville-based Foundation for Bluegrass Music in 2007 and was elected President of the organization in 2011.
The first band album was released in 1979 when the band began touring on a national basis. In 1984, The Special Consensus initiated the Traditional American Music (TAM) Program in schools across the country and began appearing on cable television and National Public Radio shows. The band has since appeared on The Nashville Network “Fire On The Mountain” show, toured for three seasons as 4/5 of the cast in the musical Cotton Patch Gospel (music and lyrics by Harry Chapin), and released fourteen additional recordings. The Northern Indiana Bluegrass Association sponsored a video production of the TAM Program and copies were sent to schools around the world by the Nashville-based International Bluegrass Music Association (IBMA). In 2000, Pinecastle Records released the first band performance video, filmed for Iowa Public Television’s “Old Time Country Music” show, and The Special Consensus 25th Anniversary recording to mark this milestone year for the band. The band has been featured in cover stories of the renowned bluegrass publication Bluegrass Unlimited in 1998, 2005 and 2010 and several of the band recordings have received Highlight Reviews and appeared on the National Bluegrass Survey chart in that publication. In November 2003, The Special Consensus received a standing ovation after the first band performance on the Grand Ole Opry at Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium. International tours have brought The Special Consensus to the United Kingdom, Canada, Europe, Ireland and South America. In 1993, the band performed the first of many concerts with a symphony orchestra, complete with orchestral arrangements of songs from the band repertoire. The fifteenth band recording “35″ was released in 2010 by Compass Records in celebration of the 35th anniversary of the formation of the band as a professional touring and recording entity. Their 2012 album “Scratch Gravel Road” was nominated for a Grammy.
The Special Consensus is included on the touring rosters of the Illinois Arts Council (Artstour) and continues to participate in the Arts Midwest Performing Arts Touring Program.