Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Pickin Up the Pieces
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Listen to Samples
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Not rock, not country - therefore not popular!
Philip Bradshaw | toronto canada | 04/22/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Neil Young and Stephen Stills decided to call it quits and leave Buffalo Springfield those of us who had followed the band throughout its abbreviated career were naturally very disappointed. However, all was not lost. From the ashes of the Springfield arose not only the megabands CSN and CSN&Y but also Poco, one of the first and most accomplished practioners of what would become known as Country-Rock. As one reads articles and reviews about the band and its extensive musical output the words most often used are under-appreciated, underrated and over-looked. These adjectives are appropriate. For the most part, particularly in the early years, the band's records were well-regarded by the musical press but ignored by the record-buying public. When they did finally break through in 1978 it was as a purveyor of what I would describe as radio friendly and somewhat generic rock music rather than as a producer of distinctive country rock. Along with many of the group's diehard fans I was both disappointed in the direction that the band was taking and happy that it finally was receiving airplay and had a couple of medium-sized hits. But I am now getting ahead of myself. That was 1978 - we now need to go back approximately a decade.
From Buffalo Springfield came the talented duo of Jim Messina and Richie Furay. The other original members were excellent steel guitarist Rusty Young, singer-drummer George Grantham and bass player-singer Randy Meisner. Meisner was gone in an instant leaving the remaining members as a quartet for the band's freshman record. Some forty years on I recall that during the spring of 1969 I eagerly awaited the release of the band's initial release. When I finally got the LP home I wasn't disappointed. Pickin' up the Pieces was unlike anything we had heard before. It really did introduce the music loving public to a new genre - Country-Rock. Now I do appreciate that others (The Byrds spring to mind) had ventured into similar territory. However to my ears Poco was the first band to effectively meld equal parts rock and country.
The album consists of twelve simple, bright, happy and snappy short songs. The title song is a lovely and lively ode to country music. There isn't a weak track on the record. All four band members contribute to the vocal duties. There is some pretty harmonizing between Richie Furay and George Grantham. Furay, whose occasional vocals when with Springfield were always welcome, is the star solo singer (i.e. First Love). Rusty Young's steel guitar is a standout feature of the LP. I always enjoy listening to Poco. The band's early records are instantly and effortlessly likeable. However, I can appreciate why they failed to capture a sizable audience. For most Rock fans Pieces, for instance, is just too country. On the other hand, the country establishment and many fans of the genre have never been known to be receptive to music that is anything except "pure" country (Shania Twain is a perfect example - it took years for her to be accepted). Poco and the band's first half dozen or so LPs just fell through the cracks - not rock, not country, not popular!