The Wanderers Three

We Sing Folk Songs

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If you believe the text on the back cover of their only album, We Sing Folk Songs, the Wanderers Three were "one of the greatest performing folk groups of our time," "our time" being 1962. Dolton Records, a label dedicated almost exclusively to the Ventures, the Fleetwoods, and Vic Dana, made an unusual move in signing the Wanderers Three. In fact, We Sing Folk Songs was Dolton's only excursion into the field of folk music. These three college boys from Texas made solid but bland folk music comparable to that of countless other forgotten folk trios like the Bek Brothers and the Missing Otis Trio. Their music is well-played and their harmonies are tight, but the Wanderers Three lack a distinct personality or identifiable sound to set them apart from the masses. The best cuts are the playful ones: "The Everroad Bros." could have been a Kingston Trio album cut and "Skillet Good and Greasy" is the album's standout -- the one that makes you think for a moment that, with the right material, the Wanderers Three could have been as big as the Brothers Four. The melody of the traditional "The Riddle Song" is better known for having been recycled into "The Twelfth of Never," and "Toro" fulfills the trio's "ethnic music" obligations. You can tell these guys worked hard but, to fall back on a cliché, they were a day late and a dollar short.

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