The Tarriers released their self-titled debut in 1957, one year before the folk revival exploded. Ironically, there's even a recording of "Tom Dooley" on The Tarriers, the song that made the Kingston Trio folk superstars. The group did have a hit with "The Banana Boat Song" -- the first to do so -- but Harry Belafonte's version, "Day-O," became even bigger. The stars simply failed to line up for Eric Darling, Bob Carey, and Alan Arkin. This will strike many as odd when the group's arrangements, choice of material, and presentation of songs like "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" and "Shadrack" are vigorous and lively. Indeed, the group's approach and bright interpretations aren't dissimilar to those the Kingston Trio would use the following year. While the unlucky Tarriers have been buried in obscurity, this reissue by Folk Era will give folk fans and music writers quite a bit to chew on. Even better, The Tarriers is fun to listen to. The young players pick up their banjos and guitars and offer fresh interpretations of "Trouble in Mind" and "Everybody Loves Saturday Night" that hold up well after 40 years. Dave Samuelson's liner notes provide a definitive guide to the ups and downs of the Tarriers' turbulent career. With the addition of two studio cuts and a number of live tracks, The Tarriers is folk revival classic.
AllMusic Review by Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.