Sunday, May 08, 2011

Stay Awhile - Kingston Trio

Album Title : Stay Awhile
Artist : The Kingston Trio
Genre : Classic Folk
Year : 1965
Overall Rating : 9*/10

    I've been a Kingston Trio fan for decades.  In the late 50's and early 60's, they were one of the hottest  groups around, and their hits Tom Dooley and M.T.A. were chart-toppers.

    Alas, Folk Music moved into social issues in the mid-60's, and the Kingston Trio were slow to recognize this.  By 1965, their peppy, cerebral music was out of fashion.  People were listening to Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, and K3 had been dropped by the longtime distributor, Capitol Records.

Why Should I Care?
    By 1965, The Kingston Trio was with Decca Records, and Dave Guard had left the group, replaced by an up-and-coming John Stewart.   He infused new energy into their songs, and had finally convinced them to do some cutting-edge social tunes.  Stay Awhile has two Tom Paxton songs; another by Mason Williams, and even one penned by Rod McKuen.  John Stewart's Stories Of Old (Track 09) is as powerful a statement against social injustice as you can find.

    But it was too late.  The Kingston Trio had lost their relevance, and no one was buying their records to discover their evolution.  Which is too bad, cuz this is really a fantastic album.

Track Listing (my favorites in pink) :
(01) Hanna Lee
(02) Three Song
(03) Gonna Go Down The River
(04) Rusting In The Rain
(05) Dooley
(06) If I Had A Ship
(07) Yes I Can Feel It
(08) Bottle Of Wine
(09) Stories Of Old
(10) Where I'm Bound
(11) If You See Me Go
(12) Stay Awhile

   I picked this LP up for $2, and it's in very good shape.  No skips, and not many big scratches.  Easy to convert to MP3.  There really aren't any weak tracks on it; I could've 'pinked' all 12.  I've been enjoying it for the past couple weeks, and I'm nowhere close to being tired of it.  Highly recommended9*/10 Stars.

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