Are All Fired Up in Tarrytown
A SoundPress.net Feature Article by Rich and Laura Lynch
Three pioneers of country rock shared the stage at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, New York on March 1, 2013. The concert billed as the "Legends of Country Rock" featured POCO, Pure Prairie League and Firefall. All three bands have contributed to what is now known as country rock. Each group has had their share of line-up changes, hits and some career disappointments as musical landscapes have changed over the years. Yet, they all remain true to their roots and traditions.
The spotlight has been shining on POCO's Rusty Young for 45 years now.
Some of POCO's most popular songs include "Call It Love," "Heart of the Night," "Rose of Cimarron" and "Good Feelin' to Know". But - as their fans who are called "POCOnuts" know - they have plenty more noteworthy tunes in their repertoire. POCO is carrying on with their trademark sound with a fresh new album. All Fired Up - the band's first studio release in eleven years - has POCO's signature style with some new instruments and voices added to the mix. The sometimes incendiary disc released in early March 2013 is already earning high praise from fans and critics alike.
POCO took the stage with founder Rusty Young at center armed with an electric guitar. They went straight into a lively version of "Call It Love" complete with harmonies and an animated keyboard solo from their newest member - the charismatic performer and multi-instrumentalist - Michael Webb.
"All right, thank you Tarrytown, good to be here with our friends," greeted Rusty as they moved into a vibrant "Rose of Cimarron". Young mentioned that they were really excited about their new album which was a good lead into the title track "All Fired Up." The tune was feisty, fun and was well received by the crowded house in Tarrytown.
POCO's newest member Michael Webb and its second longest tenured player Jack Sundrud.
Bassist Jack Sundrud handled lead vocals on another new song called "Drink It In." The tune showcased the band's trademark harmonies and Webb added accordion accents to the mix. Before playing "Heart of the Night" Young mentioned that it was one of his favorite Paul Cotton songs. The piece was well played with different nuances that paid homage to its Cajun orgins. It still had that country tone despite the lack of pedal steel. With lead guitarist Cotton gone, Rusty has stepped into the role, which means less time for his signature slide work.
Young mentioned another departed member Timothy B Schmit. Timothy - who went to the Eagles had penned the classic "Keep On Tryin' " for POCO and the fans happily sang along to this favorite. Still jesting about the Eagles Rusty said that Michael is "going to sing you a song that he got away with mentioning the Eagles in". As many POCOnuts know, there is always a bit of ire in regards to that other band as they lured not one but two bassists away from POCO.
"That's What Rock and Roll Will Do" was an up-tempo tribute to the spirit of rock and roll music. Drummer George Lawrence was solid all night and kept the heartbeat of the tune pumping in time. "Regret" also from All Fired Up countered the rocker with its more reflective tones. Going from their latest record to their first POCO performed the peppy "Pickin' Up The Pieces" and an acoustic "Crazy Love".
The addition of Webb brings the keyboards to the forefront.
"Time to rock and roll," declared Rusty as he mentioned that he has been in POCO for 45 years. "Rockin' Horse Blues" was a fierce rocker about the fortitude of the band. Although " Hard County " is also on the new record it is a song that has been in the group's setlist for a number of years. It started off with Jack on acoustic guitar singing about the hard times of living and working on a farm. As the piece progressed the others joined in adding more instrumentation and fullness to the song that featured some unique onstage maneuvering to bring it all together.
"Thanks so much for coming out," said Rusty as he also gave a shout out to the crew and the other bands on the bill that night. They closed with a lively "Good Feelin' To Know" and left the fans with a good feeling about the band's present state. POCO remains a pioneer of county rock but they continue to be a vital force as their new music reveals. Look for this running horse to stride far into the future as they are still a band that gets their fans All Fired Up with their energized and engaging live show.
Rusty Young and Michael Webb shared many musical moments in Tarrytown.
The Tarrytown Music Hall is in the heart of the downtown. It is a brick structure in the Queen Anne architectural style and is the oldest theater in Westchester County. Many great artists have and continue to grace its stage. The venue has a friendly vibe and a wide range of comedians and musicians are booked for 2013 including Sandra Bernhard, Demetri Martin, Al Jarreau, Cowboy Junkies, They Might Be Giants, Rickie Lee Jones and Al DiMeola.
POCO Band Members:
Rusty Young - singer, songwriter, guitarist - and fearless leader of the band!
(Originally Published on March 04, 2013)