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Monday, June 6, 2016

The Kingston Trio Celebration


I watched the PBS fundraising concert by the Kingston Trio and friends. I was looking forward to it because back in the 1960's I was a big K3 fan. I was also excited because the promo showed Bob Shane, a founding K3 member, singing Scotch and Soda, one of my all-time favorite songs.

Well, to say I was disappointed would be an understatement. I haven't seen the New Kingston Trio since Bob Shane Retired a few years ago. Since then, there are no original members still with the group. There is also no outstanding singer and maybe only one outstanding musician. When they are singing harmony together, it is OK. Unfortunately, none of the new members can replicate the voices of Nick Reynolds or Bob Shane on the solo or lead parts.

The Kingston Trio is not the only group that has deteriorated. The Limelighters were on the bill and if anything were worse than the new K3. I don't think any of the Limelighters are the originals either.

I also had forgotten that folk groups need to explain the origin and meaning of a song before they sing it. 

Barry McGuire, originally from The New Christie Minstrels, sang his song Greenback Dollar. He didn't appreciably upgrade the performances. 

Trini Lopez joined the K3 for a song. No improvement there either.

Bob Shane was joined by Al Jardine and Timothy B. Smith for a rendition of Scarlett Ribbons. Shane's voice was rather weak and the other two didn't contribute much. Bob stuck around to join the new K3 on a rendition of Tom Dooley. Just OK and Shane was better than the new guys. He showed some power and volume.




Then came the highlight. The Great Bob Shane walked onto the stage carrying his portable oxygen tank, with tubes and cannula in place. He stepped up to the microphone and nailed Scotch and Soda. None of the weakness in his voice from the previous songs. 

After that, Bob and his oxygen tank left the stage rather unceremoniously.

The last tribute was a rendition of M.T.A. by the new K3 and Nick Reynold's son, Josh. Again, the new generation didn't measure up to the originals. Josh is no match on vocals with his father. He did sport a similar four string tenor guitar like his father played. 

To end it all, the guests, except for Bob Shane, joined the new K3 onstage to close out the evening. Not very inspiring.

I still like the Kingston Trio (the old K3). If you do too, skip this concert and listen to an original CD, vinyl or YouTube video. 

We still have our memories and they are good ones.

wjh

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