When the power trio format rose to prominence in the 1960's with the Jimi Hendrix Experience and Cream, the standard was set for making loud, blues-based rock with guitar, bass, and drums. It didn't take long, however, for things to change, with experiments with instrumentation and sound capabilities making it possible for 3 people to cover the entire spectra of genres and instrumentation.
In this this third and final installment of 'Barrage a Trois' playlists, we've explored the Vault to find some of the best trios, trying to mix the more obvious choices in with some bands you may not have heard of. After exploring hard rock and blues- and psychedelic-rock in the first two playlists, this grab bag of tracks represents various manifestations of what bands have created with only three people, tracing different lines of experimentation over the past 50 years.
The first 4 tracks represent keyboard-driven trios. ELP utilized the variety of sounds made possible by advances in synthesizer technology; Traffic played as a trio for a brief spell, with Winwood handling organ and guitar duties and Chris Wood picking up different instruments within and between songs; Elton John makes a case for the piano as the driving force behind a power trio; and Au Revoir Simone take things to their logical conclusion as the three female members use keyboards, drum machines, synthesizers and sequencers to create their mesmerizing sound.
Low and The Dodos are two indie bands who focus on creating soundscapes as opposed to flooring people with volume. Low uses the traditional guitar/bass/drums line-up to do so while The Dodos, originally a psychedelic folk trio consisting of a guitarist and a drummer, added a multi-instrumentalist to add some extra percussive elements. John Darnielle, aka The Mountain Goats, is a lo-fi singer/songwriter performing here with a bassist and drummer to fill out the sound without detracting from the import of his lyrics.
The final 4 tracks present some examples of genre-bending by power trios. The Police wer