Thursday, July 28, 2011

BACK IN TOWN - The Kingston Trio

YEAR: 1964

LABEL: Capitol

TRACK LISTING: Georgia Stockade, Ann, Ah Woe Ah Me, Walkin' This Road To My Town, World I Used To Know, Salty Dog, Let's Get Together, Isle In the Water, Farewell Captain, Tom Dooley, Them Poems: a) Lunch Toters b) Stamp Lickers c) Them Hors D'oeuvres, So Hi

BONUS TRACKS: C'mon Betty Home. The Collectors' Choice cd release combines the live BACK IN TOWN album with the SOMETHING SPECIAL album as well.

IMPRESSIONS: This is the first live album I've posted and in fact the first Kingston Trio album I heard therefore it holds a sweet spot in my heart. I have been listening to BACK IN TOWN since I was a wee little kid. Back in the 1950's, my mother had been a huge Kingston Trio fan (she's in good company because so was Bob Dylan) and collected every single one of their original LPs; she even saw them live in concert several times. As I grew up, I would listen to them all and become just as big a fan. Often dismissed because of their huge commercial success, The Kingston Trio were in fact hugely influential in the "folk boom" begun in the late 1950's which would culminate in the folk revival spearheaded by Bob Dylan in the 60s. Dylan counts himself a fan as does Lindsey Buckingham (who appeared on stage with the Trio during their 1980s "reunion concert") and, in fact, the matching striped shirts worn by the Beach Boys early in their career was a direct homage to the Kingston Trio (who always wore matching striped shirts as their "trademark"). The "classic" lineup of the Kingston Trio was the original group featuring Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds but this second incarnation featuring John Stewart has some good moments as well. Many of them can be heard on this album which captures a relaxed and energetic live performance by the trio who steer from beautiful ballads like "Ann" and "World I Used To Know" to wacky tracks such as the "dirty Calypso number" "Ah Woe Ah Me", the raucous "Salty Dog" and the hilarious "Them Poems" only to finish the concert with a rousing gospel number "So Hi". Listening to this album takes me right back to my bright yellow bedroom on Linwood Avenue in Maple Shade as I'd sit on the floor listening to my portable record player. Priceless memories.

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Ann, Ah Woe Ah Me, World I Used To Know, Salty Dog, Farewell Captain, Them Poems, So Hi

GUEST ARTISTS: Glen Campbell (guitar)

FACT SHEET: BACK IN TOWN is the Kingston Trio's 18th album (not including "greatest hits") and was the group's last album on the Capitol Record label. It is a live album recorded at San Francisco's "Hungry i" night club; a frequent venue for the trio. As with all the Capitol Kingston Trio albums, BACK IN TOWN was produced by Voyle Gilmour. Despite their lucrative partnership, Capitol Records and the Kingston Trio were unable to negotiate a new contract resulting in the Trio moving to Decca Records. This is not the original line-up of the Kingston Trio but the second incarnation of the group consisting of Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds and John Stewart replacing founding member Dave Guard.

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