POCO / FIREFALL
Friday, February 12 at 8 p.m.
Poco was one of the first groups to pioneer Country-Rock music. The harmonies and instruments of country mixed with rock ’n’ roll rhythms, paved the way for supergroups like the Eagles and while hits for Poco were few, their influence runs deep in both country and pop music. Richie Furay and Jim Messina formed Poco after Buffalo Springfield broke up in 1968.
Rusty Young had come from Colorado to play pedal steel guitar on the last Buffalo Springfield album. Furay loved what Rusty played on his song, “Kind Woman,” and invited Young to join Poco. Rusty suggested bringing in two of his friends from Colorado to join the band. Drummer George Grantham and bass player Randy Meisner moved to California and signed on as Poco’s rhythm section.
Poco began performing in Hollywood at clubs like The Troubadour and gained the attention of several record companies. They signed with Epic in the fall of 1968 and released their debut album Pickin’ Up The Pieces, in 1969. Randy Meisner left the band after the first album. Jim Messina moved to bass to cover the spot Meisner left until Timothy B. Schmit joined the band.
Following their second album Poco, in 1970, the band recorded a live album called, Deliverin' (released in 1971). The singles, “You Better Think Twice” (1970), and “C’mon” (1971) made a brief appearance on the Pop singles chart. In the fall of 1970, Jim Messina left the group.
Poco earned their first Gold disc and the Legend album eventually passed the one million sales mark to be certified Platinum. The title track of Poco’s 1980 album Under The Gun, reached the 40’s on the Pop chart and Midnight Rain went Top 75.
In 2010, a new Poco era dawned led by Rusty Young, Jack Sundrud and George Lawrence with additional musicians. The band always maintained their musical superiority and the new incarnation will continue to be musically superior with a foot in the past, present and future. As Rusty Young says, “Hang on, this could be quite a ride.”
The genealogy and musical roots of Firefall run deep into the fertile soil of American rock and folk rock music. It began with Woodie Guthrie and later Bob Dylan, evolving into the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield. The genre established by these luminaries continued with Crosby, Stills and Nash, Manassas, the Band, Neil Young, the Eagles, Poco, Loggins and Messina, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Gram Parsons and Emmy Lou Harris, Dan Folgelberg, America and Firefall. Many of these participants mingled in the studio and on tour. Individually and collectively they created a sound that changed the world’s musical landscape. Firefall is one of the few surviving bands of this genre, remaining true to its founding vision and roots despite personnel changes over its thirty-year history. The band transcends and embraces many industry labels—rock, soft rock, country rock, easy listening, unplugged, Americana and contemporary country.
For co-founder Jock Bartley, Firefall has not only represented an opportunity to make quality music over the course of 30 years, but also represents a personal, heartfelt commitment to maintaining the tradition of a contemporary musical genre he and his peers helped create. Shared the past twenty years with band members Steven Weinmeister (vocals, guitar), Sandy Ficca (drums), Bil Hopkins (vocals, bass) and Chris Ball (sax, flute and keyboards), this commitment has successfully carried Firefall through three decades of distinctive music.
From 1976 through the early 1980s, the Boulder, Colorado-based rock band, Firefall, saturated the national radio waves and toured the world over, selling millions of records and earning two platinum and three gold albums for their efforts.
Firefall is a group of exceptional musicians and singers, with a repertoire of radio recognizable songs few bands can match. Their many hits —“You Are The Woman,” “Just Remember I Love You,” “Strange Way,” “Cinderella,” “Mexico,” “Livin Aint Livin,” “So Long,” “Goodbye, I Love You,” “Sweet and Sour” and others—are faithfully recreated with a freshness rare in live performances of such classics.
In thirty years of making exceptional music, Firefall has distinguished themselves as one of the top bands from the genre of music called Americana. They helped spearhead the birth and continuation of the country-rock/folk-rock sound of the Seventies. Firefall is as vital and valid as ever, standing out as one of the few remaining torchbearers for harmony-laden rock; a welcome blast from the past focused firmly on the future.
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