York College newspaper reviews Poco Concert 10-72

Discuss the band.

York College newspaper reviews Poco Concert 10-72

Postby flaco » Thu Nov 01, 2018 11:01 pm

Found this in my college paper 10-12-1972..............Poco
by Jack Katzanek
Last Sunday, the first day of
October, I had the pleasure of
seeing "Poco" perform at Queens
College's Colden Auditorium. As a
result, I am in a very happy frame
of mind right now, and chances
are I will remain in one for at least
the remainder of October.
The electricity and bliss of a
concert is hard to put into
words. There is such a joy being
emitted by the performers on the
stage, and this feeling is tran-
smitted to the audience who leaves
the show elevated, ecstatic, and
just plain happy. The members of
the group play their special style of
countrified rock music in a tightly
knit band that never fails to lift the
spirits better than any tonic ever
The show was kicked off with a
set from an up-and-coming group
from the Mount Vernon area
called "Gun Hill Road", who
record under the Kama Sutra
label. They are a three-man-band
consisting of acoustic guitar, bass,
and piano, and they harmonize
quite well. They did original
numbers such as "42nd Street"
and "Back When My Hair Was
Short," as well as a bit of nostalgia
with oldies, "At the Hop" and
"Jailhouse Rock."
But although "Gun Hill Road"
provided an entertaining 40
minutes, it was evident who the
audience came to see. The an-
ticipation grew during the in-
termission and the cheers began to
mount as soon as the hall was
darkened. They built as the
darkened figures could be seen
making their way from the wings,
and when the lights came up, there
was "Poco" front and center with
The group was never better as
they went through their act. Richie
Ruray, the cheerful bespectacled
guitarist who shares the lead with
Paul Cotton, paving the way with
sprightly guitar work, together
with Timmy Schmidt's bass-lines,
providing a solid backbone, the
three of them alternate singing the
lead and backing each other up
with their funky vocal harmony
that has become "Poco's"
trademark, along with its cosmic
country feel. George Gratham
plays drums and also helps out
with the vocals on occasion. Rusty
Young, sitting behind his pedal
steel as expressionless as though
he was typing a letter, gets a
multitude of unbelievable sounds
out of his unique instrument.
They charge through their set
that included "Ol' Forgiver,"
"Bad Weather," "Railroad Days,"
"Grand Junction," "You Better
Think Twice," "Hello To You,"
"Honky Tonk Downstairs,"
"Pickin Up the Pieces," "A Good
Feelin' To Know," and "Restrain
The last two are from a
new album due in November. They
finished with a dynamic 15 minute
version of "C'mon," and left but
soon returned as the wildly ap-
preciative crowd demanded an
encore. Their encore number was a
surprising one, as the group took a
rare dip into the past with "Go
and Say Coodbye" from Furay's
"Buffalo pringfield" days.
All in all, it was an outstanding
90 minutes of music and all the
me amongst them, went away
happy and blissful and exhilirated,
and also convinced that they had
just seen one of the ts>-~ groups
User avatar
Posts: 137
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 4:32 pm
Location: Fresh Meadows N.Y. Palm Desert C.A. South Windsor C.T.

Re: York College newspaper reviews Poco Concert 10-72

Postby StevenT » Fri Nov 02, 2018 8:18 am

Someday I would love to see a clip of the review, I believe from the same year, titled, "Poco? Yes! Yes? No!".

Posts: 118
Joined: Sun Apr 04, 2010 1:07 am

Re: York College newspaper reviews Poco Concert 10-72

Postby pocojim » Fri Nov 02, 2018 9:45 am

Here's another vintage review from my school newspaper (Holy Cross, Worcester Ma). Concert was April 16 1974 at Clark University, another college in Worcester:

With All The Many Changes, Poco is Still Poco

Those four guys who stood on stage at Clark University last Tuesday presented quite an enigma to me. The posters and ticket stubs confirm that they call themselves Poco, but somehow it didn't seem exactly right. I've been a Poco fan since the group's inception back in 1968, and have followed them through all their trials, tribulations, and excellent music. But where is Randy Meisner? Jim Messina? and more importantly, where is Richie Furay? I guess I have to realize that those four guys on stage are Poco. Not the Poco I've known and loved, but a new Poco, with new ideas and new music. And they'll play their asses off to prove it to you.

To answer at least one of my own rhetorical questions, Richie Furay, the founder, lead singer and major composer of Poco is long gone. He is off in the Rockies making beautiful music with John David Souther, Chris Hillman, and Al Perkins. Richie's departure hurt Poco more than when either Messina or Meisner left. In fact, it was Furay who kept the band going after all the personnel changes: he kept their spirit up when their former partners' commercial success eclipsed their own. Richie left Poco leaderless, and forced the band to find themselves a new direction and goal. Well, after four months of searching, Poco is on a new path, and have set out to prove themselves all over again.

Which brings us right back to Clark, which was the first stop on an eight week tour which will concentrate on New England, the traditional Poco country. If this new band is to make a name for itself, this is where it has to be.

Furay missed

Poco kicked off the evening with "Blue Water", a clean-shaven Paul Cotton singing and strumming an acoustic guitar. Rusty Young alternated between steel guitar and dobro, as they segued into Rusty's own instrumental composition, "Fool's Gold". The shorthaired Young added a banjo to his repertoire, trading bluegrass leads with Cotton. Unfortunately, Paul's acoustic guitar was far from loud enough, rendering his lead parts almost inaudible. Poco battled a poor sound system all night, with a persistent hum and a constant imbalance between instruments. This is nothing new really; they had the same problem the other times I saw them.

Paul's "Bad Weather" was next, and here for the first time Furay was noticeably absent. Richie had always played the twelve-string lead on this mellow number, but now they just skipped right over that part. Too bad, it always sounded so good. I'm sure Poco realizes the problem of duplicating the band's old sound, which is why they wisely chose to perform much material from Poco 7, their new album due out next week.

Cotton's "Driving Wheel" was the first of these songs, with Paul, bassist Timmy Schmit, and drummer George Grantham trading lead vocals. It was strange to hear George sing: he hasn't had any lead parts since "Pickin' Up the Pieces" on the first Poco album. But it sounded just fine, and Rusty picked up an instrumental slack by switching between steel and rhythm guitars.

Next on tap were two Timmy Schmit songs, "Just Call My Name" and "Skatin'." The former tune, like many of Timmy's recent compositions, is written in a minor key, pervading the hall with a "down" atmosphere. "Skatin'," on the other hand, is a lively, bouncy tune in the old Poco style. Rusty really got some strange noises out of his steel guitar on this number.

Oldies but goodies

Timmy introduced the next set as some "Oldies but goodies", and the band proceeded right into Paul Cotton's "Ride the Country" from the Good Feeling to Know album. Paul's voice was off at first, but he soon found his note, and in the long run the tune came off better than the rather lifeless studio version.

Poco decided to take a chance with the next "oldie": they did a Richie Furay song, "I Guess You Made It", once the band's traditional opener. But risky as the move was, it came off well. Timmy sang Richie's lead part without much difficulty, since the pair have almost identical voices anyway. Cotton duplicated Messina's lead guitar adequately, and the band's excitement had the crowd up and cheering for the first time all evening. They stayed up, too, for Timmy's "Restrain , a very high energy song with an extremely powerful vocal job by Mr. Schmit.

The high level was maintained for "A Right Along", a Cotton tune from Crazy Eyes. The sound system interfered again, however, and Rusty's "bear" (a strange instrument in itself) was far too loud, spoiling what was otherwise a fine double-lead break by Cotton and Young.

Another acoustic set followed, consisting of two new, Cotton songs. Once Paul puts his electric guitar-down, Rusty takes over and handles all the lead parts. Here he played dobro, electric dobro, and a steel guitar that sounded like a church organ. My only complaint here is with that glum minor key tone which is becoming an all too dominant part of the Poco live show. A little bit more of that old happy Poco sound would be greatly appreciated in these quarters.

Timmy's "Here We Go Again" was given an electric treatment here, necessitated by the fact that Furay wasn't there to play the acoustic guitar part. Richie's absence was felt even more so when Poco performed his own "A Good Feelin' to Know", probably the song most associated with both Poco and Richie. Cotton tried to compensate by playing both the driving chords and the soaring lead, but his compromise between the two resulted only in an extremely empty sound. The band should realize that this is one song they simply cannot perform without Richie, and it should be laid to rest as perhaps the finest song Poco ever recorded.

We are Poco

The encore was the traditional closer "C'mon", albeit with a slightly different arrangement. This too is a Furay song, but Richie is not as sorely missed here, since the tune comes from the era when he wore his guitar more for decoration than anything else. Timmy once again handled the singing, as the song generated a lengthy, high energy jam. Rusty got a bit out of hand, however, playing the steel guitar with the side of his chair. This resulted in little more than ear-grating noise, marring what had been an exceptional evening's performance by Mr. Young.

When the show was over, Timmy, Paul, Rusty, and George all came out and bowed arm in arm, just as Poco has always done. It still seemed strange to see only four of them, but what seemed even stranger is that they didn't seem to care. It was almost as if they were saying "Forget Richie! We are Poco!"

Well guys, on the basis of that evening's performance, you've just about convinced me.

JJ. McCaffery
User avatar
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Newbury Park, CA

Return to Poco Discussion

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 25 guests