This is a delightful album in the Kingston Trio
's discography, with one critically important caveat -- it isn't really a Kingston Trio
record at all. Rather, it's a forerunner of karaoke, as we know it today, folk-style arrangements (by guitar virtuoso Frank Hamilton
) of some of the Kingston Trio
's better-known songs of the period, produced and released by their very own record label, looking a lot like their own work (complete with images of the 1963-vintage trio on the cover). This was near the end of their tenure on Capitol Records, and the company was obviously trying to exploit their musical appeal in any way possible. The arrangements are pleasing and true to the group's own work, and, in fact, these instrumentals make good listening in their own right, even if they're not as engrossing as, say, the Beach Boys
album or similar instrumental releases. What's more, the selection, although encompassing its share of hits ("Tom Dooley," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," etc.), also includes pieces such as "Pullin' Away" (aka "Waggoner's Lad") and "The Sinking of the Reuben James," which might not have been expected in a narrow cross section of their work such as this.