: Here's one by a friend from Southern
: California who just sent it to me.A solid
: Kingston Trio (Folk Reunion with John
: Sebastian) Cerritos, California. November
: 11, 2017.
: Kingston Trio General Comments: Based on
: the Crossroads website comments, I had
: pretty low expectations. I have to admit
: that the performance was better than I
: expected. The vocal and musical performance
: was not up to the George-Bill-Rick
: standards, of course. It would be perhaps
: unfair to expect that. However, the overall
: quality was good and they looked and sounded
: like professionals.
: The group’s focus was on entertaining the
: crowd, while the most recent GBR performance
: I attended (March 2015) was straight
: performing with some commentary between the
: songs. Lots of interaction at this concert
: between the members, and some clowning by
: Josh. It went over well with the crowd. Lots
: of sing-alongs, etc. Everyone seemed
: pleased and happy leaving the theater.
: The Cerritos Center was not full, but the
: crowd was active and enthusiastic. I
: enjoyed myself as well. The 2015 GBR
: concert was better musically, but the crowd
: seem to have a much better time at this
: concert. John Sebastian did a very good job
: as the opening act and really warmed up the
: crowd. The 2015 GBR concert was a matinee
: with no warm-up act. While there were lots
: of seniors in both concerts, they were much
: more lively here.
: Specific positives and negatives about this
: concert are noted below. Comments about the
: playlist are below.
: 1) Professional level vocals. Tim in
: particular has a fine voice.
: 2) Lots of interaction among the trio.
: 3) Lots of stories and gags (more about
: that later). You can tell that they have
: put a lot of time effort and rehearsals into
: 4) Very high energy performance. They
: worked very hard during the performance and
: it showed.
: 5) They did appear to be enjoying
: 6) Fairly long playlist of 20 songs,
: including the mandatory songs Flowers, Tom
: Dooley, and MTA. Lots of music.
: 7) Paul Gabrielson was there. He was
: selling CDs in the lobby and he saw my KT
: orange tee-shirt. He asked if I was in
: Arizona. I said no, that he did not know
: me, but thanked him anyway. Good to see he
: is still involved.
: 8) They gave Paul two lines to sing in
: “The Merry Minuet”. Paul is no singer, but
: it went over well. Fun thing for them to
: 9) In “The Merry Minuet”, there was a
: little joke about the changing world
: situation and “we know something about
: changing personnel”. I don’t remember the
: exact line, but it worked. Few got the joke
: of course.
: 10) Outstanding job on several songs. They
: have added “Roddy McCorley”, and that was
: their best performance of the night.
: 11) Mike did a good job on “Scotch and
: Soda”. He blew a vocal note big time near
: the end, but it happens to everyone from
: time to time.
: 12) Josh let everyone know that he was
: Nick’s son, and played up the family
: connections. But he handled it well and did
: not overplay it. They included “Hobo’s
: Lullaby”, one of Nick’s favorites and a
: lullaby for his family. It is not one of my
: favorites, but I appreciated the sentiment
: and they did a good job with it.
: 13) Fun evening.
: 1) The “one mike” gimmick did not work
: well at all. Most of the time, Tim was on
: the left (for the audience facing the
: stage), Mike in center and Josh on the
: right. Tim is very tall and looks at least
: a foot taller than Josh. Vocals were
: occasionally inaudible, particularly on Tim,
: who has the best voice. Everybody crowding
: around the mike looks like three guys in a
: too small elevator. Tim was usually too far
: away from the mike,
: 2) Instruments were often too loud,
: drowning out the vocals. Very hard
: strumming, too hard I think, especially on
: the first two songs. Maybe the amp was too
: high. The engineer might have adjusted it,
: since it seemed to get better as the concert
: went on. Either that, or I got used to it.
: 3) Related to that, at times it seems
: like the trio was just shouting at the mikes
: and not really singing. The first song is
: “Hard Travelin”, which is a terrific song.
: They were just banging on the instruments
: and shouting at the mike. I thought, oh oh,
: this is going to be a bad evening. I
: listened to the original song on the way
: home and the difference was astronomical.
: Also, on some of the recorded live versions
: of “Greenback Dollar”, the original trio
: shouted the line beginning “Well I don’t
: give a damn about a Greenback dollar”.
: These guys did the same, and they should
: have done it without the shouting. Did not
: work well this time.
: 4) The other really substandard vocal
: was on John Stewart’s “California
: Bloodlines”. It was either mediocre or just
: poor. Listen to John’s version instead.
: 5) The jokes and banter was a little
: forced and somewhat juvenile at times. I
: have a sense of humor, but some of it seemed
: a little too scripted. It wasn’t horrible,
: but it was not Dave Guard level humor to be
: 6) One strange thing was the interaction
: between the trio. Josh and Mike were really
: chummy, but Tim seemed to be a bit of an
: outsider and a little ignored. I kind of
: felt bad for Tim. Maybe I am wrong, but it
: looked like two best friends in grade
: school, with a third kid hanging around
: trying to be part of the group.
: 7) All the sing-alongs were fun, but I
: thought there was a little too much of that.
: It helped pep up the crowd, but I came to
: hear the Kingston Trio, not the guy in the
: next seat.
: 8) At one point, Josh mentioned that Bob
: Shane is alive and well and living in
: Phoenix. He also said that Bob “bequeathed
: the Kingston Trio name to us”. From what I
: heard, that is not quite accurate. John
: Stewart’s name was mentioned only in
: passing, and given the playlist I would have
: expected al little more.
: 9) No mention of Dave Guard,
: George-Bill-Rick, or of most of the others.
: Since they were playing off the legacy
: angle, I think some acknowledgement of the
: others would be in order. Given what has
: happened, I was not expecting anything and
: not surprised.
: 10) A minor point perhaps. The name of the
: city in which the concert was performed is
: Cerritos. On four or five occasions, Tim
: referred to it as either “Los Cerritos” or
: “El Cerrito”. People laughed and no one was
: upset. So did I, especially since he kept
: doing it. Not an issue, just a clean-up
: Playlist selections
: The playlist is below. Everyone has their
: own preferences, of course. My opinion and
: everyone else’s are equally valid. 20 songs
: is a good number (my last KT concert had 15
: songs even without an opening act). For my
: part, I was thrilled with the addition of
: Roddy McCorley and Reuben James. This was
: Veteran’s Day weekend in the United States,
: and Reuben James may have been added because
: of that. They did a fair, but not great
: version of Reuben James, so it may have been
: under rehearsed. I don’t care for the Merry
: Minuet or the Ballad of Shapes of Things,
: but again that is just me.
: I do question some of the selections though.
: Four of the twenty were not Kingston Trio
: songs. Three were from John Stewart’s later
: solo career (You Can’t Look Back, Anna on a
: Memory and California Bloodlines). I would
: have selected some different John Stewart
: songs if they wanted to go down that route.
: I love John’s solo material but it is not KT
: material. The first encore, “Last Night I
: Had the Strangest Dream” is just a general
: peace/protest song that does not really fit
: with the KT. If they wanted more material,
: there are literally a hundred other KT songs
: they could have (or should have) included.
: It is just my view, but the group called
: “Kingston Trio” should do Kingston Trio
: songs. Outside material is OK for
: sing-alongs with other groups, but I think
: they strayed out of bounds. But all in all
: the evening was better than I expected.
: Kingston Trio Song Listing.
: Hard Travelin’
: Greenback Dollar
: You Can’t Look Back (John Stewart song)
: Ah Woe, Ah Me
: Tijuana Jail
: Hobo’s Lullaby
: Where Have All the Flowers Gone?
: Anna on a Memory (John Stewart)
: Reuben James
: California Bloodlines (John Stewart)
: Merry Minuet
: Scotch and Soda (Mike Marvin solo)
: Ballad of the Shapes of Things
: Tom Dooley
: Roddy McCorley
: I’m Going Home (California)
: Last Night I Had the Strangest Dream
: This Land Is Your Land
: --Previous Message--
: I would like to get an unbiased opinion of a
: concert by the Josh Trio if someone attends,
: hopefully they are getting better.
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