“Right Here, in the Heart of the Night.” 

The storied Country Rock band Poco, along with Rock n’ Roll fellow travelers Firefall and Pure Prairie League, will be performing at the 11th annual Concert Under the Stars, a fundraiser on behalf of the Greenhouse Project in Carson City. The concert will be at the Eagle Valley Golf Course in Carson City, Wednesday, July 10th, 2019. 

Rusty Young on the cover of Guitar Player Magazine in 1972

In 2014, after 45 years on the road performing an average of more than 100 dates per year and otherwise living in the studio recording and producing 22 albums, Poco’s founder, the multi-instrumentalist and pedal steel guitar virtuoso Rusty Young announced he was stepping away from hardcore touring. That decision didn’t last for long.  At age 73, he is still at it, fronting one of our most influential rock bands of the past 50 years. And next week Rusty Young will lead Poco into Carson City bringing some Crazy Love to northern Nevada.    

Poco formed in 1968 and has released 22 albums of rocking instrumentals and impeccable harmonies. Over the past 50 years, pop-rock luminaries such as Richie Furey, Jim Messina, Paul Cotton, Timothy B. Schmit, and Randy Meisner were Poco bandmates and songwriters. Poco has left an indelible mark on popular American music.

Will Houk, a music correspondent for Nevada Capital News and host of Roots, Rednecks and Radicals on KNVC 95.1 fm, Carson City Community Radio recently caught up with Rusty and filed this report.

Will asked Rusty, “You guys have been a band for a good long time. Can you tell us about your current lineup and a little about your sound?”  

“Yeah, the current lineup is on bass guitar, Jack Sundred, who’s been with us since 1985. And then on drums, we have Rick Lonow, who joined us about three years ago … he was in a band called The Flying Burrito Brothers before Poco. And he’s (Rick is) actually one of the writers on our last big hit, a song called Call it Love … So he’s kind of been part of the family ever since the ’80s. And our newest guy is Lex Browning. He’s from Tucson out in your neck of the woods. He plays guitar and mandolin and fiddle and then sings. It’s a little four-piece band, and we’re having a great time.”

“How much touring do you guys do on average,” Will asked.

“Well, it depends on the time of the year. Some parts of the year in the summertime, we do a lot of festivals and fairs. We will play a lot in July, August, September, and October. And then other parts of the year we do things on cruises, and we do casinos. So it’s always changing. It’s a lot of work, a lot of work.”

“You’re playing a fundraiser here in Carson City for the 11th annual Greenhouse Project concert series, Concert Under the Stars, on Wednesday, July 10. What can we expect from you guys live,?” Will asked.

“… we play everything from Picking up the Pieces, which was the title song to our very first album, to All Fired Up, which is the title tune to the most recent Poco CD.  We cover all the songs. If you’re a fan of the big songs that people know, a lot of people come to hear The Heart of the Night and Crazy Love and Rose of Cimmaron and Call It Love. I believe it’s a 60-minute set. So we’ll hit everything we can in those 60 minutes.”

Rusty Young and the influential recording artists who have played with him in the seminal band Poco were instrumental in creating the groundbreaking musical genre called Country Rock.

“Well, Poco really started Country Rock back in the late 60s at the Troubadour in Los Angeles. We started playing the music they called Country Rock at the time. And that’s what we’ve been true to all these years. I play steel guitar, and I play oboe and mandolin and banjo. And Lex, our guitar player, plays guitar, fiddle, mandolin, so we’ve got all these country instruments that we use as the color for our music. You know, they set the tone for the songs that we’re doing.”

Will then asked, “Do you have any projects coming up in the future, any new albums you guys are working on?”

“A three-record deal for Solo Records, I’m working on a book and trying to get that out, get it finished and get it published. And then we’ll be doing probably another record for the record label that I’m on, I have just released a solo record on that label called Waiting for the Sun that I’m really really proud of. I’ve been mostly promoting that these days. So I’ll probably go back to the studio may be the end of this year and work on some more new music.”

“Are you going to do any touring and support your new album?”

“Oh, yeah, yeah, it’s mostly in line with Poco shows. You know, I just add the songs from the solo record to the Poco hits.”

Concert Details.

Poco, Firefall, Pure Prairie League
11th Annual Concert Under the Stars
Fundraiser for the Greenhouse Project
Wednesday, July 10, 2019
Doors open at 5:30 pm
Eagle Valley Golf Course
3999 Centennial Park Dr. Carson City NV
Ticket information

Rusty wrapped up Will’s interview with: “You know Crazy Love now has over three and a half million downloads on Spotify… and with our friends, Pure Prairie League, and Firefall, and it’ll be a great day of music … lots of hits … Fireball had a ton of hits … It’ll just be a fun, fun evening.”