Live at the
Silverwolf Records SWCD-1001
LP Reissue: N/A
Recording Sessions: N/A at this time
Last revised:March 30, 2006
BY: GEORGE GROVE
Grove to the Kingston Trio Crossroads board on
5/22/2002, 11:52 am
some thoughts on the Making of "The Kingston Trio: Live at the Crazy Horse."
Chris wrote the following: "I think 'Like Old Friends Do' was a studio recording, wasn't it? I've also heard that George Grove overdubbed a second banjo line on 'Rolling River'."
All of the songs on "Crazy Horse" were actually recorded on stage, live, including "Old Friends." The only thing added in studio production was, as stated, the second banjo part on "Rolling River" and some vocal overdubs in the songs' choruses. There was hardly anything I could do about the drums, either en loco or in the studio. At the Crazy Horse I had plastic baffles built to put around the drum set in order to prevent as much microphone bleed as possible, yet not interfering with the audience's sight lines to the performance. However, the baffles simply weren't enough, and I took the faders to zero in the studio and still had too much drum bleed into the vocal mics.
In the song "Mariah," I did NOTHING. There was no enhancement of any voice or instrument, and when a song sounds good, why mess around with it in post-production?
Thanks to production technique I was able to salvage some material that otherwise would have been lost. For instance, because I was running a DAT safety in addition to the 2" analog tape, when the latter ran out and the engineer was changing reels, the former captured the dialog between Bob Shane and me, purely that stream-of-consciousness stuff that just happens, about the cost of a roll. Afterwards, in the studio, I had to blend in ambient sound from the room mics in order to make this DAT recording sound like the rest of the tape, but that is the sort of nuts & bolts stuff that should be expected of a proper recording. Today's audiences are far more sophisticated than audiences of forty years ago (with respect to what they know both about the music and the techniques of recording).
The energy of the repartee between Bob and me (in the above specific example) and Nick was the kind of energy and fun of a live performance that made those albums more memorable for me than the studio albums. "Crazy Horse" is a favorite of mine, up there with "Hungry i" and "Back In Town" and "College Concert" because there was a symbiotic relationship between the audience and the performers that created something greater than what would have been.
Posted by George Grove to the Kingston Trio Crossroads board on 5/23/2002, 10:45 pm
Mark wrote the following, about which I clarify: "I've always heard it the other way around... To me "Rolling River" sounds like a studio recording entirely and "The Way Old Friends Do" sounds like a live recording with studio overdubs (I mean, there's like 12 vocals on that, right?). The extra banjo on "Rolling River" might be Ben."
All of "Live at the Crazy Horse" was recorded on stage at the Crazy Horse in Santa Ana, CA in one night (two shows). When I went to the studio for post-production, I recorded the 2d banjo part in tandem with the first. As terrific a banjo player as Ben is, his style is bluegrass and my style (both in the creation of the part and in the playing of it) is diatonic. Also, all of the vocal overdubbing done was by Shane and me, and we only doubled once (sounds oxymoronic, but accurate!). However, the mere fact that we sound like "12 vocals" must be construed as a compliment, so I thank you.
With six new songs, Live At The Crazy Horse is one of only a handful of post Generation Two Trio albums that offer a good selection of previously unrecorded material. Others that come to mind are: The New Kingston Trio's The World Needs a Melody (some of which is available on The Lost Masters: 1969-1972) and Generation Four's (Shane, Gambill, Grove) Looking For the Sunshine
I sincerely hope that this is not the last of the new material we see from the Kingston Trio.