The 12 tracks on Genius of Folk are taken from a series of concerts the Bob Shane/Nick Reynolds/John Stewart version of the Kingston Trio did during a three-week engagement at the Sahara Tahoe Hotel in Lake Tahoe in 1966 and the tapes were originally intended to be on the market during the group's farewell tour the following year. The material from the Tahoe shows didn't appear, however, until 1969, when Tetragrammaton issued a portion of it as the LP Once Upon a Time, and variously sequenced versions of that album have been released over the years under a variety of titles, including Greatest Hits, American Troubadours, Tom Dooley, On Stage, and 20 Greatest Hits. Genius of Folk features 12 of the 20 Tahoe songs, and is probably most notable for the Trio's versions of a pair of Bob Dylan compositions, a rather straightforward reading of "Mama You've Been on My Mind" (here titled "Baby You've Been on My Mind") and a tuneful and impressive arrangement of "Tomorrow Is a Long Time" that brings out hidden corners in the song's melodic structure. The wake of the Beatles had all but finished off the folk revival, and with Pepper and psychedelic rock just around the corner, the Kingston Trio called it quits. Shane re-formed the group in 1972, and various incarnations have toured and recorded at intervals ever since. The CD sleeve for Genius of Folk lists the song sequence incorrectly, reversing "Baby You've Been on My Mind" and "Goodnight Irene."
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett