Thursday, February 7, 2013

Poco-Forgotten Trail

Forgotten Trail
Poco became more successful in the late seventies, but this collection covers their equally interesting formative years. During that period, their success was modest, so a double-CD seems somewhat generous, but it's all good stuff - and I love the cover picture too.Poco were one of the earliest country rock bands. Most such bands placed the emphasis on the rock rather than the country, but Poco included a steel guitarist in their band to emphasise the country. This may explain why they struggled - rock fans have long regarded the steel guitar as a symbol of what is (to them) everything that is wrong with country music, while country fans (at the time) wouldn't touch country rock. Throughout the period covered by this collection, the steel guitar remained a feature of Poco's music, but it never dominates, always being used effectively and well in just the right places.
The albums represented here are Picking up the pieces (5 tracks), Poco (4 tracks), Delivering (3 tracks), From the inside (3 tracks), A good feeling to know (3 tracks), Crazy eyes (4 tracks), Poco Seven (2 tracks) and Cantamos (3 tracks). The other 11 tracks were recorded during the same period, but did not appear on any album. Some were released as singles, while others were not released at all, or are remixes.
Poco's influence is obvious but hard to measure. Two of their members later joined the Eagles, the most successful country rock band of them all, while other country rock bands of the seventies all owed something to Poco. Today, there are many bands who mix rock and country in various ways, but they also owe something to Poco, either directly or indirectly via other bands.
This mammoth collection, with mammoth liner notes, provides a fascinating insight into the early evolution of country rock. Unlike the mammoth, the music is alive and flourishing.

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