THE LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR - The Kingston Trio
TRACK LISTING: Bye Bye Thou Little Tiny Child, The White Snows of Winter, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, All Through the Night, Good Night My Baby, Go Where I Send Thee, Follow Now Oh Shepherds, Somerset Gloucestershire Wassail, Mary Mild, A Round About Christmas, Sing We Noel, The Last Month of the Year
IMPRESSIONS: Here is another of those priceless Christmas records from my childhood; very few mean more to me than this album. In first or second grade I took the record into school because I loved it so much and we were supposed to bring in our favourite Christmas records to play in class. While waiting outside for the bell to head into the building, the record slid out of the sleeve and whacked edge-on on the sidewalk; resulting in a chip out of the record's edge which took out the first few seconds of the first song on each side of the record. In 1992, Capitol Records finally re-issued the album on cd. I secretly bought it (this was in the summer) and popped it into the cd player. I then told my mother to come into the living room and listen to this new cd I got. When the first few notes of "Bye Bye Thou Little Tiny Child" began playing, she literally burst into tears of joy. THAT'S how much this album means to my mother and to myself.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Bye Bye Thou Little Tiny Child, The White Snows of Winter, We Wish You A Merry Christmas, All Through the Night, Go Where I Send Thee, Follow Now Oh Shepherds, Somerset Gloucestershire Wassail, A Round About Christmas, Sing We Noel, The Last Month of the Year
GUEST ARTISTS: David "Buck" Wheat (bass, guitar)
FACT SHEET: THE LAST MONTH OF THE YEAR is the Kingston Trio's eighth album. This is the original trio consisting of Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds. Besides doing vocals, Dave Guard plays banjo, guitar and bouzouki, Bob Shane plays guitar and banjo and Nick Reynolds plays tenor guitar and bongos. And like all the others, this album was produced by Voyle Gilmour. The album is generally considered the trio's most ambitious musically and, perhaps for that reason and the fact that it doesn't consist of the usual run of the mill Christmas songs, it was the first Trio album to fall below expected sales projections. In the words of Nick Reynolds: "It wasn't your standard Christmas album. That's why we called it 'The Last Month of the Year'. It was a pretty complicated little album, some very intricate stuff. Dave (Guard) brought in a lot of the arrangements with stuff like bouzouki instrumentation; Buckwheat (David Wheat, the Trio's bassist) played some wonderful gut-string guitar. We really worked hard on that one, laying down a lot of the instrumental tracks before we did the vocals, working on harmonies over and over. David (Guard) was responsible for a lot of that album, but we all brought things in... Musically, it came off very well; it just didn't sell." Allmusic critic David A. Milberg calls the album "An essential part of any Christmas album collection, these are true Christmas folk songs, from spirituals to Old English rounds."