Recorded during Poco's 1974 tour, this 2000 One Way Records CD reissue is a straight transfer of the LP and is the first reappearance of this album in more than 20 years.
Poco's last "Live" Epic ride
R. D. Fonnesbeck | St. George, UT USA | 03/19/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Poco's "Live" was released in March, 1976 to complete a contractual commitment the group had to Epic Records after the group had signed with MCA/ABC. Poco, the quintessential high harmonizing, good timin' quintet who first mined the fields of pure country-rock, was down to a 4-piece band for this live compilation(original co-founder Richie Furay had left the group a year or so earlier)which contains selections from November, 1974 gigs in Milwaukee, St. Louis and at Yale University. While the group had settled into a comfortable groove as a quartet, the record doesn't quite capture the raucous excitement of a bonafide Poco concert---but not for lack of quality material. The songs of "Live", will get you up and buzzing, although none of the Poco tunesmiths included (Timothy B. Schmit, Rusty Young and Paul Cotton) had hit the full stride as songwriters that future years would hold for all three. Cotton's "Ride the Country", "Bad Weather" and "Blue Water", coupled with Schmit's "Restrain" are typically excellent. The instrumental skill of pedal steel guitarist extraordinaire Young is well demonstrated on "Fool's Gold" and "Rocky Mountain Breakdown" while his "High and Dry" gives the record some rocker zip. Schmit also does a superb cover of Furay's "Good Feelin' to Know" to close out the LP, tying together the newer Poco songs with one of the best Poco tunes ever. An added benefit is being able to hear drummer George Grantham singing several impressive high harmony parts, which were much more subdued when the band was a quintet. Nonetheless, Poco "Live" is a group in transition, and at the time the band was upset that Epic chose to release a concert set to complete its obligation, feeling that they had left a myriad of other studio tracks in the can from which Epic could have compiled a quality Poco recording. This was one of the last Poco recordings to be released on CD, (11/00) and contains only 9 tracks (3 of which are in a medley). Still, it is essential to anyone who prefers the upbeat, tight harmony country rock that was Poco's trademark."
Unique Live Country-Rock/Happy Music
Lorry | Australia | 03/03/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Poco really rock out on this 1975 album with the Fab Four (Paul, Rusty, Tim and George). On the first track, a medley, Rusty Young shows his incredible instrumental versatility switching with extreme ease from pedal steel to banjo and back again, whilst singing complicated four-part harmonies! Truly a great musician - I would challenge anyone to find a better pedal steel player - the only one on his level is Buddy Cage from NRPS.
Also, has any man ever sung higher than drummer George Grantham?! Check out his ridiculously high, yet wonderful top harmonies in all the track, especially 'Rocky Mountain Breakdown' and 'A Good Feelin' To Know'. My band-mate was stunned to learn that Tim B. Schmidt who sang the top harmonies when he went to the Eagles was only the second-highest harmony singer in Poco.
Paul Cotton's songs are great, with a really nice slower version of his classic C/R ballad, 'Bad Weather' and the intense 'Ride The Country'. 'Angel' is also incredible complimented by a haunting pedal steel whine from Rusty.
Unfortunately Tim B. Schmidt's song on this album is not his best (I believe his best is 'Starin At The Sky' or 'You and Me'), however 'Restrain' is decent and nowhere near the depths of some of his worst songs on the albums (like 'Just Call My Name' and 'Skatin').
His cover of Richie Furay's classic 'Good Feelin' To Know' is a real pleasure and showcases his great pop voice, as well as Furay's own talent at songwriting.
'High and Dry' is a fun C/Rocker, however I feel Rust Young wrote his best songs in the late 70s.
All in all a great live country-rock album from one of the least-known bands of the genre. Poco had a really unique sound and it is a shame that no-one (except me) under 55 knows this of this band. Poco is an antidote to all the depressed/depressing sh*t that seems to dominate the radio or, even worse the so-called 'rock-revival', merely bands rehashing ACDC riffs
Ride The Country, indeed!"
Passion and purity
C. Kuschel-Toerber | Frankfurt, Hessen | 11/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"POCO started creating that very special West Coast mix of country, folk and rock that later bands like The Eagles got rich on. This album, the last one to be released under the Epic/Sony contract, includes selected tracks of a 1975 show, presumably taped in St. Louis (the sleeve notes are pretty basic, to put it mildly) highlights the four-man band (minus Richie Furay) in a good-time rockin' mood. The sound quality is a notch above the the earlier "Deliverin'" live release (1972), and Paul Cotton's five-minute "Angel" (not on any POCO studio album) is worth the price of this album alone.
Four stars only because Sony stuck with transferring the original vinyl album to CD, i.e. no bonus tracks and no additional information which should be expected of a re-release 25 years after the original LP version."
Short And Sweet
bdeclue | st louis mo | 01/20/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"One of the first concerts I went to was Poco in Saint Louis where some of this cd was recorded. I went to a lot of concerts back then.....I just don't remember much about them!! This show was one that stuck in my mind. I had never seen so many people sitting quietly, mesmerized by the music of a truly under-rated band, only to erupt in standing ovations after nearly every song. This cd is much too short, but every track will have you giving a standing "o" of your own with each listen."
Ride the Countryside!
Scott Erickson | Clinton,, Ohio United States | 09/06/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having been a long time Poconut, I was extremely excited to pick up this disk as soon as it was released to replace to well worn lp I've had since 1975. I love this stuff! With or Without Richie Furay, this band really cooks (and it still does folks!). I fell in love with Poco when on a whim I bought their first live album, Deliverin' back in 1972. Every album these guys have released has been a jewel in the country-rock crown. This version of Poco plays a flawless yet varied arrangement of some of their most interesting songs. I just wish Epic or One Way Records would have had the foresight to include additional material from the concerts that these selections were chosen from. Hey Sony, how about some other treasures from the vault? Say a concert or two? Other unrelease gems, etc. Pleeeaaase!"