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Posted October 1, 2010
Captures the band’s lyricism and upbeat approach
Playing Time - 72:35 -- “Bareback at Big Sky” was recorded live in April, 2005 in Bozeman, Montana. Long gone are guys like Richie Furay, Jim Messina and George Grantham who first established Poco’s innovative country rock sound in Los Angeles back in the early-1970s. However, Rusty Young (steel, mandolin, dobro, vocals) was one of the original members. Paul Cotton (guitar, vocals) joined the band in the 70s. Rusty, Paul and their bandmates are keeping Poco’s warm, pleasant, crisp music alive that is characterized by solid arrangements and vocal harmony. Joining Young and Cotton are Jack Sundrud (bass, vocals) and George Lawrence (percussion). “Big Dave” David Goodwin plays harmonica on J.J. Cale’s bluesy “Cajun Moon,” always a crowd-pleaser. “Bareback at the Big Sky” captures the band’s lyricism and upbeat approach. The CD is full of wonderful moments and great songs, largely written by Cotton, Young and Sundrud. “Every Time I Hear that Train” presents an analogy about a signal in the night running through Paul’s heart. Largely unplugged, songs like “Under the Gun” and “Barbados” are given musical facelifts with more laid-back acoustic sensibilites. “Midnight Rain” has some tantalizing pedal steel work by Young. On a few other cuts, I found myself wishing that his mandolin and dobro were a little more prominent in the mix like Cotton’s guitar. Besides the cover from J.J. Cale, others are from Timothy Schmit/Robbin Thompson (“Find Out in Time”), and Neil Young (“On the Way Home”). “Find Out in Time” was arranged with Poco’s vocal trio. “On the Way Home” is a signature closing tune since the 1960s, as they did in Poco’s precursor band, Buffalo Springfield. Doing a live album was also wise to demonstrate that they still pull in large and dedicated audiences full of Poconuts. The venue was the Goodwin Ranch, a beautiful lodge at the base of the Bridger Mountains. At 72 minutes, this album is filled to the brim with Poco’s spellbinding and more acoustic country rock sound and even, by request of an audience member, their rabbit joke to close the project. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, OR.)Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.