The Kingston Trio

The Extreme Kingston Trio

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Intended to mark the Kingston Trio's 44th year as a going concern, this 16-song collection features several latter-day versions of the group, working in both a live and a studio context. It's especially weird, though not unpleasant, to hear "Reverend Mr. Black" done with electric bass, and a similar approach to "M.T.A."; the latter, along with several other classic songs, appears more than once for comparison's sake. The notes are a little confusing in terms of who is playing on what, but of the latter-day versions of the group, the lineups with both Nick Reynolds and Bob Haworth are represented, with George Grove -- the longest serving active member following the retirement of co-founder Bob Shane -- serving as producer. It's all enjoyable, and although the details of the differences in playing between the different lineups represented will mostly interest only the most hardcore fans, there's no denying that the music itself is still a lot of fun, and often also quite beautiful. And the sound throughout is excellent, even if the purpose of the CD is a little obscure for all but the most devoted listeners.

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