The Kingston Trio

Once Again

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The Kingston Trio was the biggest folk group in the world between 1957 and 1963, and while detractors questioned the group's authenticity, there is no denying that the trio's reconfigured versions of folk gems like "Tom Dooley" (a huge commercial smash in 1958) helped pave the way for public acceptance of the so-called folk revival in the early '60s. By 1967, however, in the wake of rock & roll and the Beatles, the original version of the Kingston Trio called it quits. The group began to play shows again in various configurations in 1972, and a fourth generation of the trio consisting of Bob Shane, Roger Gambill, and George Grove recorded an ill-fated single for Mountain Creek Records in 1977, and then two years later, they recorded an album entitled Aspen Gold. Once Again is essentially that album with the Mountain Creek single ("Johnson Party of Four" b/w "Big Ship Glory") tacked on at the end of it, and while the addition of Stan Kaess on bass, Tom Green on drums, and Ben Schubert on electric fiddle and mandolin fleshes the trio's sound out a bit, it really isn't far different from any of their other releases. It is interesting to hear a hard-charging, drum-paced version of "Greenback Dollar," and both "Aspen Gold" and the group's version of Gordon Lightfoot's classic "Early Morning Rain" are pleasantly done, but Aspen Gold/Once Again is hardly essential unless you're a die-hard fan.

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