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Poco: The Forgotten Trail 1969-74

Finger pickin’ good: two-CD anthology of country legends.

Neither as commercially successful as the Eagles nor as hip as the Flying Burrito Brothers, these Californians’ contribution to the rhinestone-rock canon has long been overlooked.

This remastered compilation, originally released in 1990 and featuring the best of their first eight albums, goes some way to remedying that situation.

At their breeziest (Calico Lady, You Better Think Twice, And Settlin’ Down) their propulsive mix of twanging guitars and airtight harmonies are easily a match for guitarist Richie Furay and bassist Jim Messina’s former band, Buffalo Springfield.

At their most mellow (I Can See Everything, Here We Go Again, Faith In The Families) they’re as much a musical tonic as Crosby, Still and Nash. However, their constantly changing personnel – they were on their third line-up by 1971’s From The Inside – means that there’s a lack of focus in their output, even if the quality of the songwriting never dips, despite the exit of both Messina and Furay by the time of 1974’s Seven.

Compete with unreleased tracks and detailed sleevenotes (who knew they were originally called Pogo?) this is a great way to get introduced./o:p