Pickin' Up the Pieces

Pickin' Up the Pieces

Poco’s 1969 debut finds a supergroup of ex–Buffalo Springfield members and others delivering an album that’s every bit as good as anything the Springfield did. For starters, the soul-deep organ and horns on “Nobody’s Fool” create a sparkly example of trailblazing country rock that’s never been equaled. “Calico Lady” matches folk with country swing and psych-pop, and it’s a beautiful time capsule of a band experimenting with mostly unexplored genres. The laid-back “Make Me Smile” paved roads for the cowboy boots The Eagles would wear three years later, and the title song pits city-boy innocence with hill-country picking and lyrics that sing of a new life in a new band. Country rock never sounded as risky as it does on the guitar-jabbery “Short Changed,” nor as lissome and layered as it does on “Do You Feel It Too,” which sounds like a collective of hippie-generation kids who spent their brief college days listening to Bob Wills and drinking beer. The whole album was a genuine stab at making a country-rock classic; they succeeded.

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