Reviews & Spotlights
Richie Furay: In The Country
Music legend Richie Furay is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with his short-lived 60's band the Buffalo Springfield. But, it is the other group he co-founded in 1968 - the country rock hybrid POCO - that really set his compass toward the type of creative output that would dominate his career for the next 50 years. A lot of that influence and inspiration can be found throughout his latest uplifting and joyfoul offering - the 12-track In The Country that features a stirring mix of new songs and classic covers that are dominated by Furay's forceful and powerful presence that has been honed over more than a half century of work in the field.
Now, POCO in their day had a bit of a problem. Often cited in the modern era as "influential" the critics back then found them to be "too country for rock and too rock for country" and as such that ultimate commercial breakthrough eluded them until their recently departed members Rusty Young and Paul Cotton powered them to the top of the charts on the strength of their unlikely hit album Legend in 1978.
Back to the present day POCO fans waiting for a Cleveland induction can take some solace in the fact that the group will receive a significant nod of recognition in the Country Music Hall of Fame in Nashville later this year when they unveil an extensive exhibit devoted to the musicians who elevated country rock into a genre all its own. So, the POCOnuts - as their most ardent adherents are known - can book a trip and pack their bags and head to Music City to bask in some glory for the group that's been a long time coming. By doing so they will be following in the footsteps of Furay who came to Mid-Tenn to record what is arguably the most satisfyingly complete album in his long discography.
To get the job done Furay employed a who's who of Nashville's finest including longtime "G-Man" Chris Leuzinger who dominates this project by appearing on every track. Dan Dugmore - who worked as a member of Linda Ronstadt's band for fourteen years with additional impressive credits to his name - also adds country authenticity to the project with his pedal steel punctuations. Other notable cameos from Vince Gill, John Berry, Jason Scheff and Timothy B. Schmit provide real star power to In The Country.
The covers of Garth Brooks' "The River", Marc Cohn's "Walking In Memphis" and John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" are notable because Furay finds a way to make these staples his own. But it is his takes on the opener "Somebody Like You" (Keith Urban) and "She Don't Know She's Beautiful" (Sammy Kershaw) that will really have the true POCO fans going nuts because they replicate most closely the sound and energy that band became known for long ago in another time - and another country.
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Review by Rockin' Rich Lynch |