Posts Tagged ‘Rusty Young’

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Despite being miles ahead of their time and writing one of the greatest rock songs ever (“For What It’s Worth”), Buffalo Springfield fell into the margins of rock history after making three albums between 1966 and 1968 and splitting up. That’s probably because a few of the members namely Stephen Stills, Neil Young and Jim Messina would go on to even bigger things. Another core member, Richie Furay, took Messina (plus recruits Rusty Young, George Grantham and future Eagle Randy Meisner) and started Poco as a vehicle for the blend of rock and country that he’d brought to Buffalo Springfield. Poco’s debut 1969 album, Pickin’ Up the Pieces, along with the first Flying Burrito Brothers album, are now considered two of the most influential albums of the country-rock movement. On Poco’s self-titled sophomore album, another future Eagle, Timothy B. Schmit, replaced Meisner on bass. Both records were well-regarded, but neither got much radio play.

Messina departed in 1971 but, interestingly, secured the services of his replacement, guitarist and songwriter Paul Cotton, and actually oversaw a transition of power during a three-night run at Fillmore West on Oct. 30th, 31st and November. 1st, 1970, when Poco opened for Procol Harum. On the first two nights, Messina played while Cotton studied. On the final night, Cotton took over, with Messina observing. It wasn’t the band’s first personnel shake-up, and it would be far from the last, but Rusty Young kept Poco kept chugging along into the 21st century.

Initially naming themselves after Walt Kelly’s iconic comic strip character Pogo, the band made its live debut three months after the release of the Byrds’ seminal Sweetheart of the Rodeo and three months before the Burritos’ debut, The Gilded Palace of Sin.“If any one event can be said to have ignited L.A.’s country-rock scene it would have to be the debut show by Pogo at the Troubadour in November 1968,” writes Barney Hoskyns in Hotel California, his definitive history of Southern California’s folk-rock scene in the ’60s and ’70s. Playing in full view of Linda Ronstadt, Rick Nelson and other luminaries that would share country influences, they played “a tight, ebullient set as good as any performance the Buffalo Springfield had given,”

During sessions for that band’s final album, Buffalo Springfield co-founder Richie Furay and Jim Messina, the Springfield short timer who produced the set, recruited steel guitarist Rusty Young to play on Furay’s “Kind Woman,” the album’s most country-influenced piece. With the band’s demise, the trio formed the core of the new band, adding bassist Randy Meisner and drummer George Grantham and gaining not only a rhythm section but two more singers, thus laying the foundation for the choral muscle that would become an earmark.

Poco (as they would rename themselves following legal threats from Kelly) gelled quickly. With Furay on rhythm guitar, Messina’s wiry Telecaster leads answered Young’s virtuosic pedal steel and Dobro. If the Byrds and Burritos gave country-rock substance, Poco helped fine-tune its style with a tight live sound that moved the fulcrum of the genre away from Nashville and straight into Bakersfield—country and western, emphasizing California’s leaner accent.

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Behind the scenes, they were less cheerful: Tension over Furay’s dominance as songwriter and Messina’s guiding hand as producer fractured the nascent group before it could complete the album, with Meisner rebelling when he was excluded from final mixing sessions. Meisner quit prior to its release, his bass parts and backing vocals retained and lead vocals erased and replaced by new leads by George Grantham. Poco’s formation occurred at an inflection point in country’s influence on rock. Apart from the Byrds and the Burrito Brothers, former Byrds lead singer Gene Clark, Bob Dylan, the Beau Brummels and the Everly Brothers all tapped into country elements between ’67 and ’68, with the pace of country-rock releases quickening in 1969 with the Burritos’ debut, the Byrds’ Dr. Byrds & Mr. Hyde and Dylan’s Nashville Skyline preceding Poco’s first studio album in May. Manager David Geffen landed them a contract with Epic Records, freeing Furay from his ties to Atlantic Records in a swap enabling Graham Nash to depart his obligations to the label, via the Hollies, and join David Crosby and Stephen Stills on Atlantic.

Furay and Messina wasted little time in replacing Meisner with Timothy B. Schmit, whose fleet, melodic bass guitar and high tenor vocals brought a seamless fit onstage and on their self-titled second studio album a year later. It was this line-up that was recorded at back-to-back concerts at the Boston Music Hall and New York’s Felt Forum on September 22nd and 23rd, respectively

The quintet’s early records met with modest sales, but onstage they were a force from inception, as captured by their third album and first live recording, “Deliverin’”, released on January 13th, 1971.

Deliverin’ opens at a gallop with “I Guess You Made It,” showcasing Young’s shapeshifting pedal steel, here routed through a Leslie speaker cabinet to emulate a Hammond B-3 organ. Like the Burritos’ steel player “Sneaky Pete” Kleinow, Young shrewdly mixes classic steel technique with rock effects. Both the brisk tempo and the band’s vocal zeal are signatures that recur throughout the set, with Poco noteworthy for spontaneous shouts closer to the days of the British Invasion than typical for the era.

Reflecting both Furay’s prolific song writing output and the band’s confidence in breaking in material on the road, the album includes three more previously unreleased songs, while devoting the other four tracks to more familiar works, starting with a leisurely performance of “Kind Woman,” the Springfield track that first brought Furay, Messina and Young together. A warm ballad in waltz time, the song offers a breather between the uptempo songs and medleys that dominate their set.

The album’s first medley welds a new Schmit song, “Hard Luck,” with Furay’s “A Child’s Claim to Fame,” introduced on Buffalo Springfield Again, and his title track for the Poco debut full-length. A testament to Young’s technical command, his Dobro work here gives no ground to James Burton’s studio take on the Springfield perennial. With tracks from their second studio album still percolating on FM playlists, the band refreshes one of Poco’s best-received songs, Messina’s “You Better Think Twice” (here listed as “You’d Better Think Twice”) by shifting from the razor-edged electric lead figures Messina played in the studio to an acoustic setting their spoken intro flags as “down home,” with Young moving to Dobro rather than steel.

For the album’s closing track, the band revisits three of the debut album’s songs in a medley framing Rusty Young’s lively pedal steel instrumental, “Grand Junction,” with two more Furay originals, “Just in Case it Happens, Yes Indeed” and “Consequently, So Long.”

Across its brisk 39 minutes, Deliverin’ maintains a lighter touch than harder blues-leaning rockers of that era, consistently pushing vocal harmonies higher thanks to Schmit’s and Furay’s ease at slipping into falsetto head tones. Coupled with the band’s instrumental dexterity, that style was what galvanized that first audience at the Troubadour and would continue to be a hallmark of the band and an influence on peers and successors such as Pure Prairie League, Firefall and the Eagles.

That Deliverin’ conveyed their potency as a live band was borne out by sales handily outstripping their two studio albums, reaching #26 on the album chart and yielding a minor hit in “C’mon” that validated their confidence in emphasizing new material rather than familiar album tracks. But internal squabbles would again interrupt Poco’s forward momentum, this time between Furay and Messina, who chafed at Furay’s control, leaving the band less than a month after those live shows to partner with a more compliant Kenny Loggins and bequeathing his perch in Poco to Illinois Speed Press alumnus Paul Cotton.

Young’s steady commitment to the band would provide the constant that enabled Poco to become one of the longest-running country-rock outfits, based in Colorado where the native Californian was raised. Furay would remain with the band for three more albums, quitting in 1973 to join J.D. Souther and Chris Hillman in the ill-fated Southern Hillman Furay Band, while Schmit would leave four years later to join the Eagles, replacing Meisner for a second time.

Poco’s most successful album came a year later, with 1978’s Legacy reaping the hit profile for which Furay and Messina had hungered. Its breakout hit was “Crazy Love,” written and sung by Young, the last man standing from the original band. Young’s persistence would enable Poco to survive subsequent label and line-up changes, securing the band’s induction into the Colorado Music Hall of Fame in 2015, two years after Young’s formal retirement.

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Hope Sandoval and The Warm Inventions – Son Of A Lady

Hope Sandoval And The Warm Inventions are Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval and My Bloody Valentine’s Colm Ó Cíosóig. This limited 10″ vinyl features new tracks alongside recordings from their 2016 critically acclaimed LP ‘Until The Hunter’ sessions.

The release includes an acoustic version of their album favourite ‘Let Me Get There’ featuring Kurt Vile as well as three new tracks Sleep, Son Of A Lady and Antiquity – the latter track being exclusive to the vinyl format.

Until The Hunter‘ also featured guest performances from longtime friends and collaborators Dirt Blue Gene, Mariee Sioux, Kurt Vile and the ‘Artist General’ Michael Masley.

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Siv Jakobsen  –  The Nordic Mellow

Having impressed with single Like I Used To earlier in the year, Norwegian songwriter Siv Jakobsen is now making waves with her debut album. Produced by Matt Ingram (Laura Marling, The Staves) at Urchin Studios in London, The Nordic Mellow is a brooding and intense work, loaded with the intimacy of her delicate voice, acoustic guitar, strings and unfiltered lyrics, that calls to mind the earlier works of Ane Brun and Laura Marling. It follows her seven-track EP from 2015, The Lingering.

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Julia Jacklin  –  Eastwick / Cold Caller

Limited 7″ on Light Blue Vinyl. Julia Jacklin releases a new 7″ released via Transgressive Records. The first single Eastwick is a captivating, slow building track, inspired by a night in front of the TV watching Dancing With The Stars. It’s a bittersweet and mourning pop nugget.

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Slotface – Try Not To Freak Out

Following 2 critically acclaimed digital-only EP’s, Slotface return with their debut album Try Not To Freak Out recorded with producer Dan Austin (Pixies, Doves, Queens Of The Stone Age). Try Not To Freak Out is nothing short of a massive rock record – one that weds the pop nous of Robyn and Blondie to the exuberant, freewheeling attack of bands like Joyce Manor and Little Big League.

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Flowers  –  Say 123

Limited Edition Red Vinyl 7” (300 copies). London trio Flowers return with a new single via Fortuna Pop!, the last to be released on the label, singer Rachel Kenedy’s ethereal vocals and Sam Ayres textured guitar are, as always, backed by the powerful, metronomic beat of drummer Jordan Hockley. Rachel told us a little bit about the genesis of the recordings: “Sean from Fortuna Pop! is sadly moving on to greener pastures in Japan and ending the label, but he asked us to do one last single for him, as we owed one for his Jukebox 45s Singles Club. We don’t know where we’ll end up next after Fortuna Pop!, so rather than looking forwards for this single we decided to be nostalgic and do something that, for us at least, is classic. For the three of us in the band, “Flowers” has always meant our live performances and our home demos, of which Sam and I have produced hundreds and hundreds (we write them every day), and most of which will probably never be heard by anyone except us, our dog and our long-suffering neighbours. Say 123 is one of these home recordings. The best bit is at the end. The b-side, Rhodes, was recorded at Big Jelly Studios, where we’d gone to record an EP. We realised after recording the songs we’d brought with us that we’d made a mistake, as the songs weren’t quite right or ready yet. But while we were there, we fell in love with the sound of the Fender Rhodes in the corner of the studio. With about half an hour left before the van arrived to take us back to London, Sam quickly played me some chords on guitar and hummed a melody for a verse. I got out a pencil and paper and somehow by the time all our gear was loaded into the van we’d written and recorded this song (we did it live and used one take).”

 

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Susanne Sundfor  – Music For People In Trouble

Acclaimed Norwegian singer-songwriter and producer Susanne Sundfor releases her highly anticipated new album Music For People In Trouble, through Bella Union. Sundfor’s most poignant and personal album to date, Music For People In Trouble marks her out as one of the most compelling artists in the world. The album was inspired by a journey Susanne made in a bid to re-connect, travelling across continents to contrary environments and politically contrasting worlds from North Korea to the Amazon jungle.

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Courtney Marie Andrews  –  Sea Town / Near You

Courtney Marie Andrews brings you the first new recordings since her highly successful album Honest Life. With an album already tipped for a place in everyone’s end of year lists under her belt, Courtney Marie Andrews wastes no time in following it up with two brand new songs. Songs written on the road about being on the road – “I’ve probably driven north up I-5 towards Seattle five hundred times by now. I wanted to write a song that documented that feeling I get when I’m driving back up north after many months spent on the road. So much of my life has been spent driving that portion of highway, and I wanted to sonically capture the feeling I get when I’m headed north for that sweet Sea Town.” These two songs are exclusive to this release.

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Ariel Pink –  Dedicated To Bobby Jameson

Los Angeles’s prodigal songwriting son Ariel Pink shares his eleventh studio album, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson”. The album’s title makes a direct and heartfelt reference to a real-life L.A. musician, long presumed dead, who resurfaced online in 2007 after 35 reclusive years to pen his autobiography and tragic life story in a series of blogs and YouTube tirades. Standout tracks from Dedicated to Bobby Jameson include Feels Like Heaven, a lovelorn insta-classic paying tribute to the promise of romance, Another Weekend, which encapsulates the lingering euphoria of a regrettable weekend over the edge, “Dedicated to Bobby Jameson,” a rah-rah psych romp paying homage to L.A.’s punk history, and Time to Live, an ironic anti-suicide anthem that promotes survival as a form of resistance before devolving into a grungy, Video Killed the Radio Star-style breakdown that supposes life and death as being more or less the same fate and embraces the immortal anarchy of a rock song as an alternative to the prison of reality. Alternately contained and sprawling, Dedicated to Bobby Jameson is a shimmering pop odyssey that represents more astonishing peaks and menacing valleys in the career of a man who, through sheer originality and nerve, has become an American rock and roll institution. The album marks his first full-length release with the Brooklyn-based label Mexican Summer.

The Doors   –  The Singles

Singles compiles all 20 of the singles from The Doors’ official discography. This not only includes every A and B-side from their core studio albums, but several albums recorded and released after the passing of frontman Jim Morrison, including Other Voices (1971) and Full Circle (1972) plus An American Prayer (the divisive 1978 album which put Morrison’s poetry recordings to music) and the 1983 live set Alive, She Cried. All tracks are sourced from the original analog single masters and remastered by the band’s engineer Bruce Botnick. That means all the original, unique and rare single mixes and edits will appear in this set, many for the first time on CD. The pot is sweetened even further with the presence of mono radio versions of “Hello, I Love You,” “Touch Me,” “Wishful Sinful” and “Tell All the People,” entirely unreleased since their appearance on promotional singles.  Two deluxe editions will also be available. One adds to the 2CD set a Blu-ray Audio disc of 1973’s quadraphonic The Best of The Doors. A vinyl version, limited to 10,000 copies and available through the band’s official web store, features all 20 45RPM singles in replicas of their original sleeves (with an enclosed poster featuring all those sleeves as well).

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Deer Tick  –  Vol 1

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Deer Tick  –  Vol 2

Deer Tick proves with their two new simultaneously released albums titled, Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2 that their punk-roots rock have only gotten better with age since their last LP. The twin albums complement one another but also stand independently. Vol. 1 is classic Deer Tick: folk-rooted acoustic guitars and soft piano cushion out-front vocals. Vol. 2 commits wholly to the band’s longtime garage-rock flirtations for a triumphant foray into punk. McCauley sees the two records as a natural progression as he’s always had one foot in each door. It’s been four years since Deer Tick’s last release, Negativity. In the meantime, Deer Tick – an all-consuming band known for constant touring and steady artist output – took a backseat. The band – made up of McCauley, guitarist Ian O’Neil, drummer Dennis Ryan, and bassist Christopher Ryan pursued solo and worked on others’ projects. Personal lives also underwent massive changes, especially for McCauley, who married Vanessa Carlton and became a dad. When the band came back together for their beloved after-party shows at the Newport Folk Festival, the reunion reminded them what they missed about creating with one another so they started making plans to go in the studio.

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Steve Miller Band  – Ultimate Hits

Steve Miller Band’s Ultimate Hits, available as standard (1CD/2LP) or deluxe (2CD/4LP) packages, features the many AOR-oriented hits that made Miller’s first compilation, Greatest Hits ’74-’78, one of the highest-selling albums in America, including “The Joker,” “Rock’n Me,” “Fly Like An Eagle” and “Jungle Love,” plus later hits like “Abracadabra” and “I Want to Make the World Turn Around.”  Rarities abound on both sets: the standard version includes unreleased live versions of “Living In The USA” and “Space Cowboy” plus a solo rendition of “Seasons” from Steve Miller Band’s 1969 album Brave New World. The deluxe edition features 40 tracks total, including all those rarities plus unreleased live versions of “Gangster of Love” and “Kow Kow Calculator,” a demo of “Take the Money and Run” and unheard studio versions of “Baby’s Callin’ Me Home” and “In the Midnight Hour,” for a total of eight bonus tracks in all

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Shawn Colvin – A Few Small Repairs – 20th Anniversary

Columbia / Legacy Recordings celebrate the 20th anniversary of Shawn Colvin’s masterpiece, A Few Small Repairs, with the release of a newly expanded edition of the album. A Few Small Repairs includes the Grammy Award-winning Sunny Came Home plus chart-toppers You and The Mona Lisa and Nothin’ On Me (the theme song for the NBC sitcom Suddenly Susan). A Few Small Repairs reunited her with producer / cowriter John Leventhal (who’d helmed Steady On) and proved a watershed in the artist’s career and musical evolution. While her previous albums were founded mainly upon first-person confessionals, A Few Small Repairs saw Colvin foray into third-person storytelling with a powerful impact. Drawing from the downs and ups of her own life experiences, Shawn Colvin crafted an album of emotional complexity, nuance and revelation, combining images of traditional femininity and domesticity–wedding gowns, kitchens, white picket fences–with images of tools as metaphors for reparation. The album paints a searingly honest portrait of the scope of human relationships, from the acrimonious Get Out of This House to the wistful The Facts About Jimmy, a duet with Lyle Lovett, to the quiet resignation of Wichita Skyline to Sunny’s ultimate act of revenge in Sunny Came Home. With brutal honesty, Colvin examines the harrowing potential for emotional damage to the redemptive power of subsequent emotional redemption. This 20th anniversary edition is a newly remastered and expanded edition, featuring the 12 track original album (remastered) plus 7 rare and unreleased bonus songs. Enhanced artwork, includes newly written liner notes by Shawn Colvin and producer John Leventhal, plus recently discovered archival photographs.

Rusty Young  – Waitin’ for the Sun

Poco’s Rusty Young has a new solo album featuring ten original compositions inspired by artists and friends such as Neil Young, Stephen Stills, and America’s Gerry Beckley.  Waitin’ for the Sun was recorded at Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tennessee.

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Linda Ronstadt – Simple Dreams 40th Anniversary Edition

40 years ago, Linda Ronstadt released one of the most successful albums of her ground breaking career in 1977 with Simple Dreams. The new expanded version features remastered audio plus a trio of live songs taken from a 1980 concert performance. Simple Dreams spawned two massive hits thanks to Ronstadt’s cover of Buddy Holly’s It’s So Easy and Roy Orbison’s Blue Bayou earning Ronstadt Grammy nominations for both Record of the Year and also Best Pop Vocal Performance Female. The album also won the Grammy for Best Recording Package. Along with major hits, Simple Dreams also featured several tracks that would emerge as fan favourites, like the singer’s take on Warren Zevon’s Poor Poor Pitiful Me and the Rolling Stones’ Tumbling Dice. Country superstar Dolly Parton joined Ronstadt on the traditional ballad I Never Will Marry. Almost a decade later, Ronstadt, Parton, and Emmylou Harris would release their first Trio album. In addition to newly remastered sound, the Expanded Edition of Simple Dreams also includes bonus live recordings of It’s So Easy, Poor Poor Pitiful Me, and Blue Bayou. All three are taken from a concert recording that originally aired on HBO in 1980 and are available here for the first time as standalone audio tracks.