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The Tarriers
The Tarriers
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What the Press Says...

The Tarriers haven't gone down in folk music history like the Kingston Trio or the Brothers Four probably because they were never as popular. Perhaps the group's lineup never remained stable long enough, or perhaps the trio's racial mix was too radical for the times. Whatever the reason, it in no way diminishes the Tarriers' musical accomplishments. The style and substance of Tell the World About This (1959), the group's second album, is similar to the above-mentioned groups, but is in no way derivative. The original Tarriers, in fact, formed and released their first album in 1957, making the group's sound one of the prototypes for popular revival trios and quartets. And while the Tarriers relied on the same group of folk songs and simple accompaniment as their fellow groups, they also dug a little deeper into the fabric of the material than the typical pop-folk purveyors of the time. There are nice versions of "Bald Headed Woman" and "Take This Hammer," and the trio turns the country-flavored "Dark as a Dungeon" into a fine folk song. The only time the Tarriers sound overly mannered or contrived is when they tackle slow, sincere songs like "Seven Daffodils," a song that would've fit perfectly -- without editing -- on A Mighty Wind soundtrack. This aside, fans will be super glad that Tell the World About This is back in print.

- Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide Expert Review

In 1955, Erik Darling, who went on to found the Rooftop Singers of "Walk Right In" fame, actor Alan Arkin, who played Yossarian in Catch-22, and Bob Carey formed the Tarriers, the first successful folk trio. They signed with tiny Glory Records, and hit No. 4 on the charts with "Banana Boat Song" in 1957. Despite their success, Arkin left to pursue his acting career and personal problems led to Carey's departure. Replacement Tarriers included Eric Weissberg ("Dueling Banjos") and blues singer Clarence Cooper, but the original trio only made this one album, out of print till this reissue. The Tarriers should been contenders: The Kingston Trio hit No. 1 with their arrangement of "Tom Dooley" a year later and their repertoire included a dozen tunes covered by every folkie for the next decade. Their lively sound and Darling's crisp arrangements kicked off the first roots music revival and still sound good today.

- J. Poet, Pulse! March 2002

The Tarriers released their self-titled debut in 1957, one year before the folk revival exploded. Ironically, there's even a recording of "Tom Dooley" on The Tarriers, the song that made the Kingston Trio folk superstars. The group did have a hit with "The Banana Boat Song" (the first to do so) but Harry Belafonte's version, "Day-O," became even bigger. The stars simply failed to line up for Eric Darling, Bob Carey, and Alan Arkin. This will strike many as odd when the group's arrangements, choice of material, and presentation of songs like "Drill, Ye Tarriers, Drill" and "Shadrack" are vigorous and lively. Indeed, the group's approach and bright interpretations aren't dissimilar to those the Kingston Trio would use the following year. While the unlucky Tarriers have been buried in obscurity, this reissue by Folk Era will give folk fans and music writers quite a bit to chew on. Even better, The Tarriers is fun to listen to. The young players pick up their banjos and guitars and offer fresh interpretations of "Trouble in Mind" and "Everybody Loves Saturday Night" that hold up well after 40 years. Dave Samuelson's liner notes provide a definitive guide to the ups and downs of the Tarriers' turbulent career. With the addition of two studio cuts and a number of live tracks, The Tarriers is folk revival classic.

- Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr., All Music Guide Expert Review

The Tarriers were a group that fell through a crack in musical time: after the Weavers, before the Kingston Trio. A threesome of collegiate-looking guys singing traditional and composed folk songs, sea chanteys, and railroad tunes, they somehow never quite found the niche to take them to wide-spread fame, although they did have a number of radio hits. "The Banana Boat Song," included here in both live and studio versions, was the song by the folk trio to make the Billboard pop charts. Erik Darling, catalyst for the group, would go on to replace Pete Seeger with the Weavers, and Alan Arkin would find fame as an actor. Bob Carey, the third original member, faded from the business in later years. This recording contains all the tracks from their first, self-produced studio album, two additional studio tracks, adn seven live cuts from a tour in France. The group's energy is evident on selections that range from "East Virginia" to "Rock Island Line" to the tune from which they took their name, "Drill Ye Tarriers Drill."

- KD, Dirty Linen, June/July, 2002

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