Next year, Poco will officially turn 50, but that doesn’t mean co-founding guitarist/pedal steel player/vocalist Rusty Young, guitarist/vocalist Jack Sundrud, keyboardist/accordionist Michael Webb and drummer Rick Lonow aren’t starting to celebrate a little early. After all, it’s a major milestone for any act, especially one who rose from the ashes of Buffalo Springfield with Richie Furay and Jim Messina, then went on to breed future Eagles Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit (amongst other notables).
However, the sound of a mere acoustic guitar with the foursome’s unified voices during “Keep On Tryin’” perhaps gave the most tangible example of how Poco not only laid the groundwork for so many who embrace a similar harmony-laden hybrid, but managed to secure longevity for at least a half century in the process.
Young wasn’t shy about giving any of those guys shout-outs, but make no mistake, the updated Poco is also a serious, worthwhile force that continues to release music under the band’s banner (“All Fired Up”) and anchor the front man’s brand new solo project (“Waitin’ For The Sun”). Both of those collections were on fairly prominent display, but so were the oldies from all five decades (starting with the 1989 reunion track “Call It Love”) at the pretty packed and always classy City Winery.
Admittedly, it took the guys a few songs to land on solid ground, but after Young awkwardly changed his guitar’s battery pack, he was completely re-charged and ready to deliver. And that the longtime leader and the rest of Poco did for 90 minutes that often blurred the lines between country, rock, acoustic, easygoing pop and even added some unexpected but welcome Cajun spices to “Heart Of The Night.”
The fellow “Legend” cut (and all-out smash) “Crazy Love” popped up surprisingly early, but by no means was the remainder of the set a disappointment thanks to extended editions of “That’s What Rock And Roll Will Do,” “Hard Country” and many more that really allowed everyone to stretch out with their musical proficiency. However, the sound of a mere acoustic guitar with the foursome’s unified voices during “Keep On Tryin’” perhaps gave the most tangible example of how Poco not only laid the groundwork for so many who embrace a similar harmony-laden hybrid, but managed to secure longevity for at least a half century in the process.
For additional information on Poco, visit PocoNut.org.
Upcoming concert highlights at City Winery include Jeff Daniels with The Ben Daniels Band (Oct. 26); Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore (Oct. 27); Betches Of Comedy Brunch (Oct. 28); Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors with Lewis Watson (Oct. 28); Chicago Philharmonic Brunch: Music of Latin America (Oct. 29); Sons Of The Never Wrong with Jonas Friddle (Oct. 29); David Crosby & Friends (Oct. 30-31); Lizz Wright with Lyric (Nov. 1-2); Tim Reynolds & TR3 (Nov. 3); Jackie Greene & Anders Osborne with Cris Jacobs (Nov. 4 ) The Accidentals with Jake Allen (Nov. 5); Victor Wooten Trio (Nov. 5); Herb Alpert & Lani Hall (Nov. 6-7); Mariza (Nov. 8); Ryan Montbleau Band with The DuPont Brothers (Nov. 9); The Revelers (Nov. 12) and Black Violin (Nov. 12). For additional details, visit CityWinery.com/Chicago.