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Poco played the Infinity Music Hall to a sold out crowd of dedicated fans. The band is celebrating their 50th anniversary and is still giving it their all.
Poco in 2018 consists of Rusty Young – pedal steel guitar, banjo, Dobro, guitar, mandolin, lap steel guitar, electric guitar, acoustic guitar, vocals; Jack Sundrud – bass, acoustic guitar, vocals ; Michael Webb – keyboard, accordion and mandolin; and Rick Lonow on drums, percussion.
Rusty Young, Richie Furay, Jim Messina, Randy Meisner and George Grantham were the founding members of the band Poco in 1968. Although most of the original members are no longer playing the four present this night were very much into making an enjoyable night for everyone. They are still holding up the traditions of one of the most well loved bands of the late 20th century.
Rusty started out the evening with a big smile and made the comment that the guys in the band were “All Fired Up” before launching into the well known song. The audience clapped along and got right into the spirit of the night.
They then played “Good Feelin’ To Know” which was followed by “Rose of Cimarron” It seemed like Rusty may have had a slight cold and coughed a couple of times during the songs. But, that didn’t detract from his recognizable voice and the band’s top notch playing.
Jim Messina, one of the founding members and the opening act to Poco, did a walk on to play a couple of songs. You could tell by the banter between Messina and Young that they still after all these years are friends and enjoy the chance to perform together. The audience got a kick out of it too.
Rusty Young quipped between songs about Poco’s history. He shared with the audience a couple of stories. He and Messina joked about a some of the early years and what they went through together.
Being the only 50 year member of the band Young did make one solo album “Waitin’ for the Sun” but that was recently. The bulk of his half century in the band was only recording with Poco.
The audience sang along to one of the best known favorites “Crazy Love.” Everyone knew the words with no prompting. It was nice to hear an entire hall of voices singing with the band.
Michael Webb got in a guitar solo as he sang lead on “That’s What Rock and Roll Will Do” from the All Fired Up album. A tune that’s about the rock and roll life on the road. It was a little more hard edged than the normal Poco songs and showed a different side to the band.
Jack Sundrud took the lead on the heartbreaking tune “Hard Country.” He did a wonderful job with the song that describes the loss of farms on a grand scale and the emotions of those left behind.
It’s still fantastic to see Poco out there and performing a setlist that most people are pleased to hear. There are certain songs that most bands know the public associate with their name, their anthems so to speak. Rusty and the band are keen to make sure that even though they can’t do all the hits and songs the audience calls out for they give a great mix. Each band member is allowed to shine and take the lead on different songs.
It was a wonderful evening of great toe tapping music that brings you back to a simpler time. One of my favorite bands of all time, I’m glad they’re still hanging together after all this time and making such enjoyable music.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
All Fired Up
Good Feelin to Know
Rose of Cimarron
Pickin Up the Pieces
Call It Love
Heart of the Night
Keep on Tryin’
Rock and Roll
The Slambovian Circus of Dreams
Oct. 29, 2017
Infinity Music Hall and Bistro, Hartford, CT
Halloween started early when the Slambovian Circus of Dreams came to Hartford. The special performance Halloween Ball featured the band and audience in costume. Puck introduced the band with a poem. The band’s costumes were were a bit like an act out of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” though a slightly twisted version. Joziah wore a trademark top hat, although this night it was more festively adorned with leaves and horns and the leader of the Faeries. The rest of the band costumed as faeries, elves and wizards.
The hall was set up with ample room on the main floor for dancing and the band encouraged the crowd to come close to the stage and dance so the band members could see the assortment of costumes for the judging of the contest that would happen during intermission. Many in the audience were longtime fans and some travel many miles to take in the Slambovians when they perform, especially the costume ball.
The band performed “Look Around,” a never recorded song off the British Album that they have written but yet to record.
They followed this with a cover of the Church song “Under the Milky Way Tonight.” They then did a song as a tribute to the late Tom Petty “It’s Good To Be King.”
The first set ended with a sing along on “I Know Where the Bees Have Gone” with Tink leading the audience in singing the chorus. A hive of bees in costume were the perfect accompaniment to the sing along. A couple of crystal bowls were used in the song by a local Connecticut performers dressed as a faerie and wizard.
Formed in Sleepy Hollow, New York about two decades ago, The Slambovian Circus of Dreams is a rock/folk band with an international following. The band’s performance is a colorful, quirky and delightful mix of music, dancing and conjuring up of the “Season of the Witch.” They enjoy the audience participation and Longo and Lloyd interact throughout the night with patrons.
The second set began with “Bravely, Bravely Dumb”, another sing along. Followed by “The Ridge.” The audience was dancing and enjoying themselves when the band continued into “Very Unusual Head.” This was a carnival type catchy tune.
Being Halloween the appropriate “Season of the Witch” was next. The set ended with “The Bipolar Express.” As the song played a troupe of psychedelic umbrella Jellyfish wove themselves in the crowd with a winding conga line as the band played. Skeletons, scarecrows, vikings, gypsies, and a varied assortment of costumed revelers joined in the dancing.
It was a colorful, unique and fun experience seeing the Slambovian Circus of Dreams especially for the Halloween celebration. Between their original songs and the covers of others they put out a excellent fun lighthearted show. The costumed band and audience was a bonus.
Joziah Longo (guitar, harmonica), Tink Lloyd (accordion, cello, flute), Kolson Pickard (guitar, trumpet), Sharkey McEwen (guitar, mandolin), Paul Silverman (keyboards), Felipe Torres (drums, percussion), and bassist, Bob Torsello.
Review by Donna Erichsen
Photos by George Bekris
The Grand Slambovians
Pushin Up Daisies
Under the Milky Way Tonight (Church cover)
It’s Good to be King (Tom Petty Cover)
I Know Where the Bees Have Gone
Intermission and costume judging
Bravely, Bravely Dumb
Very Unusual Head
Season of the Witch (Donovan cover)
The Trans-Slambovian BiPolar Express
Golden Slumbers (Beatles cover)