Americana to wow the Parisians.

Americana to wow the Parisians.
Americana to wow the Parisians.

Poco – Studio session in Paris – 1972 – RFI

A taste of homegrown Americana tonight. Poco, part of the cornerstone and first wave of the West Coast Country-Rock genre of the late 1960s/early 1970s. One of those bands coming together as the result of the demise of another legendary band. Founders Richie Furay, Jim Messina and Rusty Young all came from the ashes of Buffalo Springfield, forming Poco in 1969 and adding members (and losing members) along the way.

Poco formed in 1968 after the demise of Buffalo Springfield. Guitarists Richie Furay and Jim Messina, former members of Buffalo Springfield, were joined by multi-instrumentalist Rusty Young, bassist Randy Meisner, and drummer George Grantham. Meisner quit the band during the recording process for the first album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, though his bass and backing vocal parts were kept in the final mix. He was replaced by Timothy B. Schmit in 1969, and Messina left in 1970 to be replaced by Paul Cotton. The line-up would change numerous times over the next several decades, with Rusty Young being the only constant member. A reunion of the founding members occurred in the late 1980s-early 1990s, and the band has continued in some form through the present day, though they retired from active touring in 2013, with Young citing health concerns as the primary cause of his retirement. He died from a heart attack in April 2021.

Tonight’s session is actually an in-studio concert from 1972 in Paris. It features the band during the middle period; just after Jim Messina left to form Loggins and Messina and just before Richie Furay left to form The Souther, Hillman, Furay band. It’s a little short, coming in at just a shade under 18 minutes, but it’s considered to be one of the high periods of the band and further evidence the West Coast influence was being enjoyed all over the place, even in Europe.

The sound is quite good, but mixed a little ragged in spots – doing it on-the-fly is always a challenging experience. But sometimes, for art you must suffer.

Or words to that effect.

Enjoy and play loud anyway.

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