Poco, The Turning Point

Poco

 

The Turning Point, October 17, 2004:

 

       We plan an extended family musical outing to see one of our all-time favorite bands, Poco. They are appearing at The Turning Point in Piermont, New York. We all reserve our seats early, as the show quickly sells out and a second show is added. We have arranged five reservations for: Dan, Kathy, Jeff, Rich and Laura. We will have dinner and then go to the 7:00 P.M. show. Dan is personal friends with the band and will interview them before the afternoon set. Dan is a Poco nut!

       Kathy and I get to The Turning Point at approximately 5:00 P.M. after very heavy traffic on the way over. We immediately meet Dan, whose interview went well and he is one happy camper. We go inside for a leisurely dinner before the show. We are so excited about tonight’s gig. We all enjoy tonight’s special, Fillet Mignon. Chris serves us graciously and promptly. The food is exemplary. Since we arrive first and Dan was already here for his interview, we reserve five seats directly in front, at the center table. Chris makes sure our reservations are all set and we are tremendously thankful.

    

Poco

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       At 7:00 P.M. we go downstairs to our seats. We are treated to the band’s warm-up before the show. We get a few minutes to take pictures before the music starts. Wow, how special is this moment. I take a cherished photo of Rusty Young and Dan Lynch with Dan’s Poco poster that appeared on the Today Show, yesterday in Manhattan.

    

Rusty Young and Dan Lynch

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       We had met three brothers upstairs at dinner: Thomas, David and John Martin. They sit right next to us and bring lots of energy and good feeling to tonight’s special musical event. By 7:21 P.M. the crowd builds almost to capacity and the mood is electric. Rich and Laura finally join us, just before the show starts, hooray!

    

Jack Sundrud, Paul Cotton, Rusty Young

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Poco takes the stage at The Turning Point, after a nine-year absence. Poco tonight is: Rusty Young, Jack Sundrud and Paul Cotton. Poco will appear tonight without their long time drummer, George Grantham. George became seriously ill at a recent gig in Springfield, Massachusetts and has not yet returned to the band. The opening number is, “Save A Corner Of Your Heart.” There is a soothingly sweet and warmly pleasant intro and captivating three-part vocal harmony that immediately grips you as perfectly blended and extremely sincere. Rusty Young sings this first distinctive lead vocal. The tempo is a straight 4/4 time that is steady and strong. Nice acoustic guitar triads complement and accentuate the melody.

       Soon there is an outstanding version of, “Crazy Love.” This is one of my favorite songs from Poco. The harmonies are sublime and seamlessly blend so perfectly. Rusty is on lead vocals with that signature Poco sound. The harmonies shadow his musical phrasing in a silhouette, mirrored vibrato. The bass, rhythm guitar and interesting finger style melodic development complement the singing enormously.

    

Paul Cotton and Rusty Young

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       The next musical entry is, “Ride The Country,” in the key of E. This song showcases Rusty Young on pedal steel guitar, playing a sensuous and soothing rhythm accompaniment. The pedal steel is clear and bell-like. Rusty sings the first verse. Paul Cotton sings the second verse adding a powerful vibrato quality to his vocal effort. There is an intrinsically organic instrumental blend of pedal steel, acoustic guitar and bass. The interesting lyrical storyline is sincere and powerful. The pedal steel is heavenly. The vocals become three part harmonies as Jack Sundrud joins in full and sweet.

    

Rusty Young

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       “Call It Love” is next with an enchanting intro triad chord melody complementing the main musical theme. The trio demonstrates superior dynamic control with a delicate yet powerful three part vocal harmony. The next tune is, “Child’s Claim To Fame,” from Buffalo Springfield. This arrangement is strong, yet balanced and discreet. “Kind Woman” follows which is slow, deliberate and deeply moving. This impassioned and emphatic delivery is truly sincere and heartfelt. Rusty sings the first verse and then Jack sings the second. The eventual three-part harmony is deliciously satisfying.

       The next composition, “Never Loved…Never Hurt Like This,” is absolutely divine. This tune is on the new CD, Running Horse. Rusty is featured on mandolin. Jack Sundrud wrote and sings this tremendous new song. This song grips you with emotion and holds you so very tightly. Rusty takes an excellent mandolin lead break and the vocal is just gorgeous from Jack. “Rose Of Cimarron” is next with a bass lead intro. Paul Cotton sings the lead and Rusty takes the middle verse. Paul executes a tremendous melodic lead guitar, hitting all the choice ‘fat’ notes and the vocal harmonies are impeccable.

    

Jack Sundrud and Paul Cotton

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       Poco goes into its signature tune, “Good Feeling To Know,” in the key of E. The audience all joins in the singing. Rusty sings verse one as Paul takes the second. Paul wails an excellent lead guitar. This is a memorable version as we all join in this strong, powerful and impassioned rendition. “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” is next and is an upbeat and happy. The audience is fully involved and the spirited mood is lifting us all. “Grand Junction” is next. Rusty is outstanding on Dobro. His slide technique is masterful and creatively complements the bass and finger style acoustic instrumentation. Paul Cotton sings lead vocal on “Cajun Moon,” a J.J. Cale composition. The vocal delivery is passionate and sensuous. The presentation is strong, powerful and genuine. Jack Sundrud sings “Shake It,” another new composition from the current CD. This song has an excellent storyline with a captivating melody and clever musical imagery. Jack is on the acoustic guitar and has to stop to roll up his sleeves. The two part vocal harmony is mesmerizing as Rusty performs a gorgeous mandolin solo that embellishes the melody with grace, charm and poise. This is a catchy, snappy tune.

    

Rusty Young

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       “Indian Summer” is next and is sung for Naomi, a huge long-time Poco fan. Rusty conveys a Pat Metheny-like tone on his pedal steel with a major 7 sound. This has a gorgeous melody line featuring Paul on lead vocals with Jack closely reflecting harmonies in the musical mirror. Rusty adds glistening touches of pedal steel flourishes and harmonic afterthoughts. The music moves through a nice minor change with Paul on outstanding lead guitar. Poco’s signature three part vocal configuration is utterly delightful. “What Do People Know,” from the Legacy album is next. This song is spirited and uplifting. The three part harmonies are high in the vocal range but delicate and controlled. The next song, “It Must Be Love,” is a Jack Sundrud and Craig Bickhardt composition that reached number one on the country charts. The answer/response vocal harmony works extremely well against the lead vocal. This composition showcases great storytelling that is truly genuine and romantic.

    

Naomi

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       “Spellbound” is slow, delicate and passionate. Rusty is featured on a high harmony that is perfectly delivered and shows no signs of strain whatsoever. “Legend” is performed for the youngest fan tonight who is fourteen. This is a hard rock tune played acoustically. The trio successfully executes a best effort, on a large-scale production number. “Heart Of The Night” is next with Paul very powerful on lead vocal. This is another signature song from Poco. The three-part harmony is immaculate and precise, like smooth layers of cream over a delicious musical dessert. The pedal steel glistens on the melodic accompaniment. The delivery is impassioned and heartfelt. The encore number is, “On The Way Home,” from Buffalo Springfield. This tune is lively and spirited. The audience just can’t get enough. Paul is featured, with melodic triads leads, on his acoustic guitar.

    

Paul Cotton

    

Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

       This is a memorable musical experience from Poco tonight. The incredible instrumentation and exceptional vocal delivery is what makes Poco a phenomenal musical experience all through the years and proves even that much stronger today. Rusty, Paul and Jack totally wowed the audience tonight. Everyone cheers and yells from the spontaneous excitement generated by Poco’s unrelenting musical magic!

    

Jack Sundrud and Rusty Young sign Dan's Poster

    

Photos: ©A.J. Alfaro


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A.J. Alfaro

and.the.beat.goes.on@worldnet.att.net