Running Horse


Drifter's Church Records, 2003

REVIEW BY: Duke Egbert


I know, I know. I can see the panic in your eyes already, O Ye DV Faithful. Another seventies staple band dusting off their instruments and putting out a CD of guaranteed VH-1 appeal and dubious quality. (Although it's not as if VH-1 actually plays music videos anymore -- but I digress. That's a rant for another time.) Last time we dealt with this, I roasted Jefferson Starship over a slow flame -- and I don't know about y'all, but this whole Fleetwood Mac Night Of The Living Dead Zombie Comeback thing is starting to get on my nerves.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

So, I suppose there's no reason to have any high hopes for Running Horse, the first album from country-rockers Poco in thirteen years. Sure, Poco was always pretty cool; while some bands in the country-rock genre sold out for success, they put out a pretty fair group of albums between the late sixties and early eighties without compromising themselves. Their first comeback, Legacy, produced one of the catchier singles of 1989, "Call It Love." But how much could we expect?

Surprise, surprise, folks; this is why we actually listen to the CDs. Running Horse is pretty damn good.

First off, this band is tight. Original Poco members Rusty Young and George Grantham are joined by almost-original member Paul Cotton, whose harder-edged sound is a key component to this new millennium Poco. The fourth member, Jack Sundrud, is a long-time Nashville session musician who has worked with the band in the past. Add in some co-writing credits from Craig Fuller of Pure Prairie League and newgrass great John Cowan (a past favorite of mine whose Always Take Me Back CD appeared on last year's Top Ten), and what we have here is some nonpareil musicianship. The production of Mike Clute, whose past credits include Diamond Rio and Blackhawk, provides a shining focus for Poco's trademark harmonies and Rusty Young's breathtaking guitar, mandolin, and dobro work.

Tracks worth noting include Cotton's driving "Every Time I Hear That Train"; the joyous love song "Forever," a contribution from newest member Sundrud; the rollicking good-time "Never Get Enough"; and the quirky "Shake It," wherein Poco talks about rap music. Unexpected, but kinda cool.

Far from being another tired nostalgia retread, Running Horse proves that Poco hasn't lost a step. Fans of country-rock music should really check it out.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2003 Duke Egbert and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Drifter's Church Records, and is used for informational purposes only.