Personnel: The Chad Mitchell Trio; Vic Messer (guitar); Eric Darling (5-string banjo).
The Chad Mitchell Trio would subsequently do better work than what's represented on this album, but Trio Arrives was the first full-length (well, 28 minutes) release by the group, cut immediately after the trio's Carnegie Hall appearance with Harry Belafonte. Milt Okun and Henry Krasnow produced this recording, supposedly cut at a New York club but showing no special room ambience and definitely no audience, and also displaying some studio contrivance. The singing is pretty enough, as are many of the songs ("Paddy West"), and the performances are very earnest, but what is lacking is the humor that sparked and highlighted their subsequent efforts, live and in the studio. Some of the songs, such as "Up on the Mountain," receive spirited performances, and the trio sings soft ballads, such as "I Do Adore Her," about as sweetly as any male folk ensemble of the period. The dozen songs, most of which seem to have a Gaelic aura about them, only take up 28 minutes, and they're done in a binaural stereo process, so there are instruments and voices that only show up on one speaker or the other. The trio's sound is augmented with the presence of Weavers/Rooftop Singers alumnus Erik Darling on five-string banjo and Vic Messer on guitar. Note: This is also sort of strange reissue, in that it is a Rhino-owned property that the latter company has licensed to Collectors' Choice, which is evidently better at marketing folk performances. ~ Bruce Eder