"Live at Newport" is a live album by the American folk music group The Kingston Trio. It contains a performance by the trio at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival in Newport, Rhode Island. At the time of the performance, the group consisted of Dave Guard, Bob Shane and Nick Reynolds.
The Kingston Trio had just become superstars when they performed this 12-song set at the Newport Folk Festival. Including well-known features of their repertoire such as "M.T.A.," "Scotch and Soda," and "All My Sorrows," it's a good-sounding and well-executed performance.
It's been half a century since The Kingston Trio set the pop world afire with "Tom Dooley" and "(Charlie on the) MTA," and, in the process, turned "folk" music mainstream. College kids with energy, talent, and lively humor to burn, the Trio avoided the protest songs and controversy which led to the blacklisting of The Weavers during the McCarthy era. Featured at the Newport Jazz Festival in 1958, they became star attractions the following year when the Newport Folk Festival was inaugurated.
This album, recorded at that 1959 Festival but not released until 1994, highlights the youth, high spirits, and just plain good fun of a Kingston Trio concert, long before rock concerts became the norm. Only thirty-seven minutes long, this album contains mostly songs that were already big hits (and had already been recorded), but for those newbies wanting a short sample of their music and performing style, or long-time fans wanting a historic live recording, this does the job nicely.
"Saro Jane," "Hard Ain't It Hard," "When the Saints Go Marching In," and "Three Jolly Coachmen" have the insistent rhythms of guitar and banjo, the unrelenting energy, and the easy harmonies that typify Kingston Trio albums. "All My Sorrows," "South Coast," and "Scotch and Soda" add some quieter, minor-keyed variety to the selection. Their wild, irreverent humor, as close as the Trio gets to a protest, is seen in "Merry Minuet," in which the "rioting in Africa" and "starving in Spain," become a comment on politics and the environment, which may someday be solved by the "mushroom-shaped cloud."
Filled with the high-pitched screams and cheers of their young audience, to which the group plays with asides and seemingly off-the-cuff remarks, this album is classic Kingston Trio - loads of fun and loads of now-familiar songs.
The Kingston Trio - Live At Newport
(256 kbps, front cover included)