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Kingston Trio is coming to DL Sunday

The world-renowned Kingston Trio is bringing its trademark three-part harmony to the Historic Holmes Theatre in Detroit Lakes next Sunday, March 25, for a one-night-only show starting at 7 p.m.

Though its membership has gone through a few changes since its beginnings 50 years ago, the Trio has retained its reputation for interpreting "well-loved and time-honored music" with strong harmonies and skilled musical accompaniment.

"When we take the stage, we do so in relatively the same way that the original group did -- with a boundless energy and joy in singing the music," said George Grove, who plays banjo and sings. "The difference is we all grew up listening to the music of the folk era, and we heard the evolution of those musical skills.

"We are all extremely strong instrumentally," Grove said. In fact, he feels fellow Trio members Bill Zorn and Rick Dougherty are "two of the most talented musicians I have ever known. They are incredibly strong, vocally and instrumentally -- and we also have an incredibly gifted jazz bass player, Paul Gabrielson, who has been playing with the group almost 20 years."

Grove himself has been with the group since 1976. Though they each live in different cities -- Grove in Las Vegas, Zorn in Phoenix and Dougherty in San Francisco -- they spend about 30 weeks a year on the road together.

"There's really no rhythm to that (schedule)," Grove said. "We don't often go on a planned two or three week tour... we're usually doing extended weekends.

In fact, the group's current trek, which will take them from Colorado to Minnesota and points in between, will be the first continuous three-week tour they've done in many years.

"So we'll be away from our family more than we or they are accustomed," Grove added. "The person it's hardest on is Rick ... he has twins that just turned seven."

Much of what the group performs on stage -- and fans expect to hear -- is taken from its 50-year catalog of folk tunes.

"Over 90 percent of what we put on stage are songs people want to hear ... the main point is to satisfy the fans," Grove said.

But even with a recorded repertoire of more than 400 songs, the group will also be breaking new musical ground this spring, by heading into the studio to record a full-length CD of original material.

"The fans are asking for it (new material)," Grove said. And while he would love to have the Trio's current lineup be recognized for its songwriting talents and musicianship, Grove is also hoping that the new CD will bring a little recognition to the founding members of the group as well.

"I would love to see this group's rich history be honored," he added.

But for now, the group is focused on its current three-week tour schedule.

Grove said audiences in Detroit Lakes can expect a show that showcases as many of the Trio's "greatest hits" as they can fit into two hours on stage.

The original Kingston Trio was formed in 1957. Using only acoustic guitars and banjos, and singing simple yet memorable melodies, they revolutionized popular music, reawakening America to its own rich folk music heritage. The release of "Tom Dooley" in October 1958 began the "folk music revival" and set the stage for Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Peter, Paul & Mary and the entire protest movement of the 1960s.

The Kingston Trio was the No. 1 vocal group in the world, a musical and cultural phenomenon whose record sales and concert draws were matched only by The Beatles.

Today, Grove noted, the group is experiencing a bit of a resurgence, "selling out concert halls" and sparking renewed interest from promoters.

"The audiences are returning because the music is so good," he said. "It's a win-win for everyone."

Advance tickets for the Kingston Trio's March 25 performance are $25 for adults and $12.50 for students. They are available by calling the Historic Holmes Theatre Box Office at 218-844-SHOW (7469) or online at Tickets are $30 for adults and $15 for students the day of the show.

This show is underwritten by Price's Fine Jewelry and is also being supported by the Performing Arts Fund, a program of Arts Midwest funded by the National Endowment of the Arts with additional contributions from General Mills Foundation, Land O'Lakes Foundation and The Minnesota State Arts Board.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454