Poco, a groundbreaking American Country Rock outfit, were formed following the breakup of Buffalo Springfield in 1968. The original members were Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Rusty Young, George Grantham and Randy Meisner. The band saw many members leave over the years forming new bands. Randy (later a founding member of the Eagles) left just before their first album Pickin’ Up The Pieces was released in 1969. He was replaced by Timothy B Schmit.
Later Jim Messina left in 1970 and with Kenny Loggins had success as Loggins & Messina. Messina was replaced by Paul Cotton . Richie Furay was next to leave, and with John David Souther and Chris Hillman formed what was billed as a supergroup, the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band in 1974. They had two albums.
Indian Summer is the tenth studio album by Poco and to this day remains one of my all time favourites.
The album was released in May 1977 on ABC Records (ABCL 5220) and was produced by the band and Mark Henry Harman.
Band members: Paul Cotton, George Grantham, Timothy B Schmit and Rusty Young.
Each member sing lead and background vocals, which gave them great variety.
Paul played (Lead acoustic and electric guitars), George (drums and percussion), Timothy (bass guitar & harmonica) and Rusty (acoustic and electric guitar, lead steel guitar, banjo and mandolin)
Track listing :
Side One : INDIAN SUMMER, TWENTY YEARS, ME AND YOU, DOWNFALL, WIN OR LOSE
Side Two : LIVING IN THE BAND, STAY (Night Until Noon), FIND OUT IN TIME, THE DANCE : When The Dance Is Over, Go On And Dance, Never Gonna Stop/When The Dance Is Over (reprise)
Album title track : Indian Summer written by Paul – You can feel the heat of laid back summer days. Paul’s lead vocal sets the tone. Great lead guitar from Paul and steel from Rusty.
Twenty Years written by Paul – One of my all time favourite Poco tracks. Reflections on life, ‘All I had to do was play’ lead vocal Paul. Duelling lead guitars from Paul and Rusty. A track driven along by the drumming of George and bass of Timothy.
Me and You written by Timothy – lead vocal Timothy, harmony George and Paul. Easy country feel with featured solos from Rusty on steel and Paul guitar.
Downfall written by Rusty – lead vocal Rusty. the track motors along with guitars, drums and bass. Fine harmony vocals from George and Timothy. Rocky interplay again between Rusty and Paul.
Win or Lose written by Paul – lead vocal Paul. ‘you’re the only one left to choose, what you want to win or lose’. A track with a bit of a funky feel, drums kick it on and building up, as it progresses harmony vocals join in.
Side Two : Living In The Band written by Paul – A song about the formation of Poco where they were from and seeing them live. Two from Colorado (George and Rusty), Texas (Jim Messina), Nebraska (Randy Meisner) and Ohio (Richie Furay). Paul and Timothy joined the band later. Drums, percussion and bass to the fore with solos from Paul and Rusty and George and Timothy adding harmony vocals.
Stay (Night Until Noon) written by Timothy and Noreen Schmit – lead vocal Timothy. harmony Paul and George. This track has a bright Country Rock feel with a nice middle eight, driven along by George on drums with Paul on lead guitar and Rusty on steel and banjo.
Find Out In Time written by Timothy and Robbin Thompson – lead vocal Timothy. You can see why Timothy was to join the Eagles as his vocals adds so much to their overall sound, following in the footsteps of original Poco bass player Randy Meisner. This track has an acoustic, laid back open feel. Timothy on harmonica. Lovely harmony vocals join in from George and Paul. Rusty on steel, banjo and mandolin with Paul adding jazz lead guitar.
The Dance: When the Dance is Over, Go On and Dance, Never Gonna Stop, When the Dance is Over (Reprise) .
Written by Rusty. Lead and background vocals George, Paul and Timothy. This is an adventurous track, with three songs strung together. An acoustic intro then rocking out. Sections linked by rocking guitars, with bass guitar moving it along nicely and harmony vocals throughout. Orchestra joins in as the track builds up to a rocky outro Reprise.
Tune in and enjoy Indian Summer and discover one the finest Country Rock bands whose pioneering music was to influence many who followed in their tracks.
Dedicated to the memory of Rusty Young who passed away on 14 April 2021. Heartfelt thanks to Rusty for special times, music to treasure.
by Dave Burke