Bareback at Big Sky

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The "bareback" in the title partially alludes to the acoustic/predominantly unplugged nature of this live album. It's also recorded in front of a frequently sedate audience of Poco family and friends. The atmosphere is not surprisingly homey and loose, with terrific harmonies from Paul Cotton and Rusty Young, the only two Poco originals left. It's a rather odd combination of almost hits, generally from the Legend era, along with some new material and a few from the band's previous indie release, Running Horse. New member bassist Jack Sundrud contributes two selections, but neither is as good as much of the band's earlier work for Epic, none of which is included here. ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Hal Horowitz
The "bareback" in the title partially alludes to the acoustic/predominantly unplugged nature of this live album. It's also recorded in front of a frequently sedate audience of Poco family and friends. The atmosphere is not surprisingly homey and loose, with terrific harmonies from Paul Cotton and Rusty Young, the only two Poco originals left. It's a rather odd combination of almost hits, generally from the Legend era, along with some new material and a few from the band's previous indie release, Running Horse. New member bassist Jack Sundrud contributes two selections, but neither is as good as much of the band's earlier work for Epic, none of which is included here. Timothy B. Schmit's lovely and relatively obscure "Find out in Time" gets revived as does Cotton's "Too Many Nights Too Long," originally from the Rose of Cimarron album. New tracks such as Cotton's "Bareback" and Young's "Nothing Less Than Love" and "Save a Corner of Your Heart for Me" are middling love songs that work well enough in this acoustic atmosphere. Rusty Young's distinctive pedal steel, a sound that used to define the band, is frustratingly only dusted off for "Midnight Rain." The band's Buffalo Springfield roots are revisited for a stirring cover of Neil Young's "On the Way Home," a bittersweet set-closer that brings out the best in Poco's legendary vocal harmonies. Still, one wishes for a few more frisky nuggets, or even some hits, to spice up the ballad-heavy show. It's all pleasant, comfy, and predictable with too few moments, such as an unexpectedly rowdy cover of J.J. Cale's "Cajun Moon," where sparks fly. But the sound is crisp, the band sounds inspired, and for old fans there are enough glimpses of Poco's characteristic country/folk-rock to make this a worthwhile purchase.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/23/2012
  • Label: Cd Baby
  • UPC: 822976000125
  • Catalog Number: 5637434631
  • Sales rank: 126,164

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Poco Primary Artist
Paul Cotton Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals
George Lawrence Percussion
Rusty Young Acoustic Guitar, Dobro, Mandolin, Steel Guitar, Vocals, Slide Guitar, Lap Steel Guitar
Jack Sundrud Bass Guitar, Vocals
David Goodwin Harmonica
Technical Credits
J.J. Cale Composer
Paul Cotton Composer
Neil Young Composer
Robbin Thompson Composer
Timothy B. Schmit Composer
Miles Wilkinson Mastering
Rusty Young Composer, Producer, Audio Production
Jack Sundrud Composer
Aaron Swihart Engineer
Wayne Tester Composer
Chuck Goodwin Monitor Engineer
David Goodwin Producer
Chris Kro Cover Art
Dave Goodwin Audio Production
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  • Anonymous

    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.)

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