Poco “Deliverin'”

Poco’s first two studio albums and Deliverin’, this live set from 1971, represent some of the best country-rock laid down to wax.  These tracks were taken from two recorded live shows: Boston’s Music Hall and New York City’s Felt Forum.  If you’re into this kind of music, Deliverin’ represents a kind of peak or pinnacle for the genre.  If only for the powerful playing, tight performances and Rusty Young’s brilliant, often underrated steel guitar work.  It’s easily one of the best live discs of its time; a better played and more enjoyable listening experience than say the Rolling Stones’ Get Yer Ya Ya’s Out.  Furay and Messina are in great spirits too, often lifting the mood and interplay between the musicians.  That’s what makes Deliverin’ so essential; the positive attitudes and vibrant mood of the musicians.  This music soothes the soul and lifts spirits; it’s good listening when you’re having a bad day or going through the motions.  But there’s also depth here too, these tunes will stick in your head for days.

Deliverin’ is high energy, hard hitting country music that mixes new group originals with tracks from Poco’s first two albums and a few Richie Furay penned Buffalo Springfield era gems.  “Kind Woman”, a great, great song, is given a 5 minute rendition while “A Child’s Claim To Fame” is the center of a brilliant medley which also includes “Pickin’ Up The Pieces” and the awesome “Hard Luck.”  They rock the hell out of album opener “I Guess You Made It” and nearly burst into flames on an acoustic version of “You’d Better Think Twice,” which was one of their all-time classics (a small radio hit too).  Deliverin’ ends with another great medley that is mostly comprised of songs from Poco’s superb debut.

Not a wasted moment here.  This is Jim Messina’s swan song with the group as he would leave shortly after, forming the Loggins & Messina duo with Kenny Loggins of course.  Deliverin’ shows us why Poco was one of the great American bands.

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“Medley: Hard Luck/A Child’s Claim To Fame/Pickin’ Up The Pieces”

:D CD Reissue | 2008 | Sbme | at amazon ]
:) Original Vinyl | 1971 | Epic | search ebay ]
8-) Spotify link | listen ]

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  • Lynchie from Aberdeen

    One of the greatest ever live albums. Makes you tap your feet and you can’t stop grinning like a loon…

  • Len Liechti

    Wonderful band who stayed faithful to the country-rock cause long after the Eagles lapsed into a hard-riffin’ stadium-rock outfit. Critics tend to put down all the post-Richie stuff, but you only need to listen to “Rose Of Cimarron” to realise they’re talking out of their own backsides. Only the reunion album fell a bit flat, as these usually do.

  • Len Liechti

    Pedantically speakin’, the title is DeLIVEerin’. Geddit?

  • Johnny Pierre

    Great post (also enjoyed the Shuggie Otis thing)…I saw Poco on the tour they did to promote this album. It was a high energy show, Furay was in excellent voice & Rusty played his steel guitar with one of the legs from his metal chair — the crowd was pumped. Thanks for the memories.

  • W. Stacy Vereen

    Agreed. One of the best live albums ever. I still think they were the pinnacle of the genre.

  • Stephen Reid

    This is a live album of incredible sound quality for its time,but that was the thing about Poco – always great live performances. I saw them a few years after this (’74) and was blown away by how good they sounded – I mean apart from their musical performance – their sound was superior to anyone I’d seen (the Eagles, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Elton John etc.)

  • Len Liechti

    Just spent a day hanging wallpaper in the kitchen, a tedious task radically improved by listening to Poco’s first five albums back to back courtesy of the ridiculously cheap 5-CD box set Original Classic Albums on Epic, ie. the whole Richie Furay oeuvre. Simply the best country rock act of the lot, and I’ve heard pretty well most of ’em. Particularly enjoyed Crazy Eyes, which I’ve never heard before, especially the powerful, sombre title suite, and the long funky jam that closes the eponymous second album – such energy in the sterile environment of the studio. Richie and Rusty rule!

  • Dave H

    The only drawback to this great live album is wasn’t mixed well. Richie’s vocals are a little washed out (george’s harmonies seem to rise above at times), and his electric guitar is barely audible. Otherwise, this thing is a blast. It’s a throwback to a time when rock’n’roll was innocent and fun. I think I see a square dance out there…

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