The Kingston Trio

Live at the Crazy Horse/Up & In

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This double-disc package combines a mid-'90s Kingston Trio live set (the trio at this point consisted of original members Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds along with longtime member George Grove) recorded at the Crazy Horse Steakhouse & Saloon in Santa Anna, CA, with a 1988 solo album, Up & In, by Kingston Trio founding member Dave Guard, who left the group in 1961. The live album presents a fairly standard Kingston Trio performance, although it wisely avoids featuring too many of the group's familiar hits (which have appeared in numerous anthologies and live sets over the years) in favor of fresher material like the trio's moving and elegiac cover of ABBA's "The Way Old Friends Do." Up & In, on the other hand, is an ambitiously eclectic folk-rock outing full of delightful Jimmy Buffett-like island rhythms and at times, as on the opener, "They Love the Night," a decided pop sheen. Placed together like this, the two albums may make some historical sense, but musically they're working slightly different parts of the street. The Crazy Horse set, while pleasant, is hardly essential, while Guard's album, also available as a single disc from Silverwolf Records, is arguably the high-water mark for him, at least as a solo artist.

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