Poco – All Fired Up (Drifter’s Church)
Venerable country rock band Poco has been recording for over 40 years, and together with bands like The Buffalo Springfield, Jackson Browne, The Flying Burrito Brothers and the Eagles are responsible for an entire musical genre. Originally formed in 1969 out of the ashes of the Springfield (original members Richie Furay and Jim Messina came from that group). While Poco never became quite as big as some of those groups, they were highly influential and had several big hits over the years, including “Crazy Love,” “Heart of the Night” and “Call It Love.”
All Fired Up is the band’s first new album in over a decade.
The problem with long-running bands is turnover and the fact that it is usually down to one or two original members by the time they reappear. On All Fired Up, only singer/guitarist Rusty Young is still a regular member of the group, though original drummer George Grantham guests on the title track. Of course, Poco was a band that has weathered personnel changes often and consistently. Original members left very early on: Jim Messina left for Loggins and Messina in 1970, Richie Furay joined the supergroup Souther-Furay-Hillman Band in the mid-70s, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit both ended up joining the Eagles during the 70s.
Many of the original band members had reunited in 1989 for the band’s last real hit album, Legacy. The original guys stuck together for a few years, but eventually splintered back into their own projects. Since then Furay, Meisner and Messina have often joined the group in concert performances, but have not been recording with the band.
Still, Young’s voice and songwriting is still immediately memorable and recognizable. And while All Fired Up does not necessarily eclipse early Poco albums like Legend, Crazy Eyes or Pickin’ Up the Pieces, it is a surprisingly sturdy addition to their catalogue.