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Rekindling Classic Kingston Trio Harmony

After running a ranch in Oregon, then a restaurant in Coronado, Nick Reynolds has returned to his folk music roots with the Kingston Trio.

Two decades after leaving the group, Reynolds came back to it last month, and will appear when the Kingston Trio performs a free concert Friday at the Santa Monica College Amphitheater.

“It’s a second chance for me,” said Reynolds, 55. “I was waiting for a phone call from somebody, and luckily, it came from Bob.”

Bob is Bob Shane, the only one who has stayed throughout the group’s 31-year career. Already, in just a few rehearsals, Shane says, the change has changed everything.

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“Without Nick, we just weren’t having the oomph we had in the old days,” Shane said. “The sound and the harmony is like the original group. It’s like we’re back to 30 years ago.”

That’s when the original threesome from Menlo College performed in coffee shops around San Francisco. In 1959, when there was no folk category, the Kingston Trio received a Grammy for best Country Music Group.

They disbanded in 1967 and reunited five years later. For several years, they were known as the New Kingston Trio, only to return to the original name in 1976. In three decades, they’ve had 10 different members.

These days, they tour for at least 35 weeks each year.

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“We’ve always loved the road,” Shane said. “I don’t think we could leave it again.”

Maria McKee, lead singer of Lone Justice, will perform Friday at McCabe’s in Santa Monica.

Joining McKee will be Lone Justice’s keyboard player, Bruce Brody. Although there have been many rumors of the band’s breakup, a spokesman associated with the group refused to make a public statement.

McKee is expected to sing Lone Justice material and some new solo songs. She is scheduled for work in the studio later this month in preparation for an album.

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The show begins at 8 p.m. and costs $12.50. Two shows also are scheduled for Sunday.

Also appearing Friday will be the original act of Maureen Mahon. Mahon, 26, will sing at Hollywood’s Lhasaland. Her cabaret act includes songs from George Gershwin and Jimi Hendrix--not the most likely combination.

“I like a lot of different styles,” Mahon said. “There isn’t one style I like any more than any others. So I do everything.”

Also appearing at Lhasaland are: Philip Littell and the Society Boys; Cee Farrow in Shadow Swing, and Tommi. Mahon’s show begins at 10:30 p.m. The $10 charge covers the entire evening.

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