Sound Advice: Poco with Craig & Patrick Fuller (Nov. 26)

Groundbreaking Country Rock and Americana group Poco plays the Sharonville Convention Center.

click to enlarge Poco - Photo: Anna Webb
Photo: Anna Webb
Many artists can lay claim to breaking ground in the late ’60s and early ’70s for what would quickly be christened Country Rock and eventually be identified as Americana. Gram Parsons’ stints with the International Submarine Band, The Byrds and The Flying Burrito Brothers loom the largest, followed by former Monkee Mike Nesmith, The Eagles and Poco, perhaps one of the era’s longest tenured and most densely populated outfits.

Poco was formed in 1968 by ex-Buffalo Springfield guitarist/vocalist Richie Furay with producer/guitarist Jim Messina and pedal-steeler/vocalist Rusty Young; Furay worked with Messina and Young on his song “Kind Woman” for Buffalo Springfield’s final album and they envisioned Poco as a representation of that Country-tinged Rock sound. The original lineup also included bassist Randy Meisner and drummer George Grantham.

Although the band’s early albums weren’t big sellers (1971’s Deliverin’ did hit the top 40 of Billboard’s 200 chart), they were hugely influential on the nascent Country Rock movement. Meisner co-founded The Eagles (which later included former Poco bassist Timothy B. Schmit), Messina left for his duo with Kenny Loggins and Furay departed in 1973 to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band before going solo. 

Poco had always been a revolving-door band, changing lineups three times in its first four albums and ultimately notching over 20 members in its 48-year run. The only constant has been founding member Young, who’s played every show and on every recording in Poco’s history.

There have been high points along the way. The band’s first gold record, 1978’s Legend (originally conceived as a side project album by Young and guitarist Paul Cotton) spawned two hit singles, “Crazy Love” and “Heart of the Night,” and the 1989 reunion album Legacy, featuring the original 1968 lineup, became the band’s second Gold album with two hits of its own, “Call It Love” and “Nothing to Hide.” Last year, Poco was inducted into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame.

In 2013, after 45 years of touring, 19 studio albums, nine live sets and close to 20 best-of retrospectives, Young announced his retirement and the relative end of Poco. But even in retirement mode, Young continues to book occasional shows, either as an acoustic duo with keyboardist Michael Webb or with the full band, as the Cincinnati date will be. The return of Rusty Young and Poco is indeed a good feelin’ to know. 

Click here for tickets/more info on the concert and pre-show dinner.

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