Poco - Pickin' Up The Pieces (1969)

Poco is an American country-rock band originally formed in 1968.

Richie Furay was one of the three singer-songwriters (along with Stephen Stills and Neil Young) in Californian folk-rock group Buffalo Springfield. Compared to the other two he didn't contribute much in the terms of songwriting, but the few songs he did contribute were strongly suggestive of a country-rock style. When Buffalo Springfield broke up, Furay decided to form a new group with guitarist/bassist/engineer Jim Messina (who had been a member of the Springfield in their last days) and pedal steel guitarist Rusty Young (who had played steel on Furay's "Kind Woman") to explore this country-rock sound further. The founding lineup of Poco was Richie Furay (lead vocals/rhythm guitar), Jim Messina (lead guitar/vocals), Rusty Young (pedal steel/dobro/banjo/guitar/mandolin), Randy Meisner (bass/vocals) and George Grantham (drums/vocals). Poco emerged as one of the earliest country-rock bands (alongside The Flying Burrito Brothers and the late-era Byrds) - though many artists and groups were experimenting with country-styled material, they were one of the first rock bands to completely emerse themselves in it.
Their debut LP, Pickin' Up The Pieces, established their signature sound - up-beat country-styled music highlighted by sweet vocal harmonies and instrumental virtuosity courtesy of Rusty Young's pedal steel. Furay was the lead singer and principle songwriter on this first album, and it was produced by Messina. The title track has become one of their signature songs, and though the album wasn't much of a commercial success it proved highly influential in the emerging country-rock genre.
Randy Meisner didn't stick around long - he left the band before the album was released, and went to play more country-rock with Rick Nelson's Stone Canyon Band, and later with The Eagles. He was replaced by Timothy B. Schmidt (who would bizarrely also replace him in The Eagles years later).

|> Poco (1970)
More from Poco



Anonymous said...

Great blog. A request ... do you have Ian & Sylvia Play One More? Bill

Steve Kramer said...

An extremely underrated and under-appreciated part of the late '60s music scene. Not completely timeless but still very listenable nearly 50 years later!

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KDNYfm said...

Richie Furay is one my favorite singers, songwriters, interpreters...even in his very Christian records...I've Got aReason is asuperb album. Thanx for sharing this Poco album...a great album from a great band.

Anonymous said...

I saw Poco in 1974 at the Paramount Theatre in Seattle. They were top of a triple bill and had to follow a blistering set by Robin Trower. Though Richie Furay was long gone by this time, they were really great and did not disappoint. There's a very good audience recording of their set at dimeadozen.org. It sounds good and confirms my memory of their excellent performance.