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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

The living library of folk

Jul 28, 2023 03:02PM ● By Jan Weeks

Time to unearth the bellbottoms and love beads and head for the Avalon Theatre to travel back to the era when The Kingston Trio, The Limeliters, Judy Collins and Bob Dylan ruled the airwaves and record racks.  

The Folk Legacy Trio will be performing as the first act of the 2023-2024 Community Concerts of the Grand Valley concert series. The group has been hailed as “the living library” of music of the great folk era, delivering songs from the 1950s to the 1970s first performed by groups such as The Weavers, Peter Paul & Mary and Joan Baez, and others who popularized pieces written centuries before, as well as original songs.

George Grove, Rick Dougherty and Jerry Siggins blend stories, history and humor into a show that takes you back to a simpler time. Grove picked banjo in the background at the Grand Ole Opry before transitioning into a 41-year career as banjoist extraordinaire with The Kingston Trio. Dougherty has written dozens of songs, arranged music for vocal groups and even directed opera. He replaced Glenn Yarbrough in The Limeliters, staying with them for 14 years, and then moved to The Kingston Trio for 12 years. Siggins was lead singer for the legendary doo-wop group, The Diamonds. 

“When Rick and I left The Kingston Trio in 2017, our plan was to expand our repertoire from just those songs of The Kingston Trio to all of the wonderful music of the folk era,” said Grove.

The two needed another voice and spent six months auditioning a few people who could blend into the sound they wanted. Then Siggins showed up. 

“When we heard his voice, soft and soothing when necessary and powerful on demand, it perfectly melded Rick’s Irish tenor to my baritone,” said Grove.

In the process of choosing and arranging their repertoire, the three discovered a deep personal friendship, which is evident as they bring the beloved songs of the Great American Folksong Book to the stage. 

Of course, each man has his favorite song that tells a story, has a memorable melody and encourages the audience to sing along. Yet if pressed to choose a favorite of all three, Grove said it might be “Circle” by Harry Chapin because the lyrics describe how people evolve as they live, and it also describes the Folk Legacy Trio’s member journey through their musical careers.

In earlier times, the three shared the stage with a panoply of folk legends, including Tom Paxton, Judy Collins, Barry McGuire, The New Christy Minstrels, The Brothers Four, The Chad Mitchell Trio, The Mamas & The Papas, The Association, John Sebastian and Pete Seeger. They traveled, shared meals and wrote songs with those musical icons, and bring those memories to life on stage. 

Now in their mid-70s, Grove said, “We happily admit our ages since we are old enough to have shared the stage with almost all of the artists whose talents and songs we embrace, yet we remain strong enough to endure the rigors of touring and performing.”

The Grand Junction concert is the first of 23 for the group, most of which will be on successive days and hundreds of miles apart. The demands of travel may be what sends the trio into retirement: driving four to eight hours, then doing a sound check followed by a concert takes a lot of work to make the performances seem effortless, yet the Folk Legacy Trio manages to do just that.

Both Grove and Dougherty play piano, though not in the show, and Grove has an  undergraduate degree in piano and trumpet. 

“There’s hardly any demand for folk trumpet!” said Grove.

Join in the nostalgia at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, September 20, in the Avalon Theatre, 645 Main St. in Grand Junction. Season tickets come with reserved seating. The theater has elevator service, handicapped seating, a drop-off area in front of the theaters, plus downtown dining. Doors open one hour before the show.


See them all!  6 concerts  only $80*

Folk Legacy Trio

Wednesday, September 20, 2023
7:30 pm

Phat Cat Swingers

Tuesday, October 3, 2023
7:30 pm

Sounds of Silence Tribute

Tuesday, October 31, 2023
7:30 pm

The Suits

Thursday, March 14, 2024
7:30 pm

Abbacadabra

Thursday, April 4, 2024
7:30 pm

7000 Miles of Broadway

Thursday, May 9, 2024
7:30 p.m.

Reserved seating for Community Concerts of the Grand Valley’s 79th season can be purchased at the Avalon Theatre Box Office from 12-6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Tickets can also be purchased online at Ticketmaster.com, or by calling the Avalon Box Office at 970-263-5757.

*Box office fees apply.

If performances aren’t sold out, individual tickets can be purchased for $35* three weeks before the concert at Ticketmaster.com. Please note that due to security concerns, the Avalon has a “clear bag” policy. See AvalonTheatreGJ.com/house-rules for more information.


Win tickets from the BEACON!

Send in your answer by Friday, August 18 to be entered into a drawing for two tickets to see The Folk Legacy Trio perform live at the Avalon Theatre in Grand Junction.
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