The Kingston Trio

Make Way

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The Kingston Trio's ninth album, and the next to last original LP featuring Dave Guard in the lineup, Make Way is a beautiful if relatively low-key selection of a dozen songs, mostly traditional tunes adapted by the group. "Utawena" is a great vocal showcase for Nick Reynolds (and also features Mongo Santamaria and Willie "Bobo" Colon on percussion), who also adapted the subdued, hauntingly lovely "The River Is Wide." "Speckled Roan" is a particularly effective Dave Guard-featured track authored by Jane Bowers, on which the soon to be departed Guard not only turns in one of his most beautifully expressive vocals but delivers a gorgeous guitar duet with David "Buck" Wheat. "Blow the Candle Out" was Bob Shane's major featured number, a quietly elegant performance with a gorgeous melody and some of the most restrained playing in the history of the original trio. The ensemble singing on "Come All Ye Fair and Tender Ladies" is among their best collective vocal performances, made all the more beautiful by Wheat's elegant guitar accompaniment. The liveliest songs were confined to the wrong places on the album, on the second side and away from the leadoff position, including their version of Antonio Fernandez's "En el Agua (Maria Christina)," the drinking song "Jug of Punch," and "Bonnie Hielan' Laddie," with "Blue Eyed Gal" closing out the album, which reached number two on the charts despite its having no single A-side on it.

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