Dramtreeo opened the “Tom Dooley Tribute” show so I had a pretty close view of all of the proceedings from sound-check thru the wrap party. We had performed at several WFMA events and had a decent following in the DC area mostly because Dick Cerri played our records on his show. BTW, Dick interviewed Dave Guard on his show and the interview is here, though I haven’t listened to it in years.
Bob Shane and the Kingston Trio were definitely invited to appear at the Tom Dooley Tribute. When I discussed it with Dick, he said simply that the Trio was working and couldn’t be at the show. Dick Cerri was very clear that it was a business decision on Bob’s part and not the result of any animosity.
As Max pointed out, and is clear from the audio, NDJ didn’t have a great blend. Part of the problem was that the show’s producers didn’t budget enough time for the sound-check. Dramtreeo didn’t have a sound check at all. Our sound man hurriedly helped the sound person during our performance. I am sure that part of the problem with the “Trio That Never Was” was the sound crew’s unfamiliarity with the performers. Further, neither Dave nor John brought a banjo to the show. Instead they used electric-acoustic guitars. Due to the hurried sound-check, the guitars were an issue too.
NDJ also had a problem with lack of familiarity with each other; or more specifically, they hadn’t sung much together. That affects blend because ensemble vocalists need to articulate words and hit the downbeats together. That can only be fixed by practice and performance. They certainly weren’t drunk.
I never saw any of the performers, including Nick, Dave, or John take a drink before or during the show. I didn’t see any beer back stage either. Since we were the first act, I had plenty of time to sit around in the green room and chat with other performers, including NDJ, before we all hit the stage for the finale. Everyone there was a professional – why get drunk before a performance of this importance? (Somewhere around here I have a copy of the Washington Post concert review.) The drinking was afterward at the wrap party.
I thought NDJ were extremely well received, not because they sounded great – but because it was nice to hear their voices live. For that reason, most attendees thought it was a special night. I know I did.
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