Paul Cotton - lead guitar, vocals; Rusty Young - pedal steel, banjo, vocals; Timothy B. Schmit - bass, acoustic guitar, vocals; George Grantham - drums, vocals
When the Buffalo Springfield fell apart so Neil Young and Stephen Stills could eventually re-group as Crosby Stills Nash & Young, the two other major musical entities from that groundbreaking 1960s band to resurface were guitarist Richie Furay and bassist Jim Messina. Both were writers and singers, but loomed in the giant shadow of Stills and Young while in Buffalo Springfield.
Furay and Messina had been nurturing a growing interest in country music and formed a new group called Poco. They then asked a friend, Rusty Young, to join. Young was an accomplished pedal steel guitarist who had planned a career as a country musician, when Furay recruited him for a band that would effectively blend modern country music with upbeat acoustic driven rock 'n' roll. Signed to Epic Records, under the watchful eye of CBS Music, Furay and Messina assembled a strong band of mostly California players, all of whom were interested in the merging of folk-rock and country. Also in the initial lineup was drummer George Grantham and bassist Randy Meisner.
When this concert was recorded for an early King Biscuit Flower Hour show, Poco were supporting their fifth studio album, their commercial breakthrough, Crazy Eyes. For the album, they had brought in guests Chris Hillman (ex-Byrds, Flying Burrito Bros. and current member of Stephen Stills & Manassas) on mandolin; as well as two other Manassas members, Paul Harris on piano and Joe Lala on percussion.
Shortly after the release of the album, and at the time of this concert, Young and Grantham were the only remaining original members of the band. They had earlier brought in Paul Cotton on guitar and vocals and Timothy B. Schmit on bass and vocals. Messina had left to start a duo called Loggins & Messina (which would become a superstar act in its own right) and Meisner left to join Glen Frey and Don Henley (fresh out of Linda Ronstadt's band) to form a group called The Eagles. In September of 1973, less than two months prior to this recording, Furay left Poco to form the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band with Chris Hillman and JD Souther. As such, this show captures the band shortly after they had first started touring as a four-piece.
Schmit eventually left in 1977 to ironically replace Meisner once again, this time in The Eagles. But Poco would carry on (and continues to this day) with Paul Cotton and Rusty Young at the helm.
Decades from now, rock historians will come to view Poco as one of the very first country rock bands that eventually developed what is now known as the Southern California sound that allowed for acts like The Eagles, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, and others to emerge.
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