Rusty Young of Poco to Release Debut Solo Album

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Singer-songwriter-multi-instrumentalist Rusty Young, front man of the West Coast country-rock band Poco, will release his debut solo album for Blue Élan Records, Waitin’ for the Sun, on Sept. 15. The album comes after a five-decade career that began in 1967 when Young was invited to play steel guitar on what would become the final album by Buffalo Springfield. Soon after—along with Richie Furay, George Grantham and Jim Messina—he formed Poco, which would also include Paul Cotton, Randy Meisner and Timothy B. Schmit. Young was the writer and vocalist behind hits including “Rose of Cimarron” and the top 20 hit “Crazy Love.”

Pre-order Waitin’ For The Sun

“I learned how to write songs not only from the guys in Poco, but the people I hung out with too,” explains Young in a press release. “Friends like Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Gerry Beckley from the band America all made a big impression on me. My grandparents, who were professional musicians in the ’20s and ’30s, have always been a huge inspiration. As the sole writer on this record, I got to visit all kinds of different places that relate to my musical heritage and experiences. Most of all, I wanted to take people on a journey that was fun to listen to from the first note to the last.”

ca. 1973 — The country rock band Poco: (l to r) Timothy Schmit, Richie Furay, George Grantham, Rusty Young, and Paul Cotton. — Image by © Henry Diltz/CORBIS

Produced by Young and longtime Poco bassist/vocalist Jack Sundrud—with assistance from Bill Halverson (Crosby, Stills & Nash, Eric Clapton, Emmylou Harris)—and mixed/mastered by Joe Hardy (ZZ Top, Steve Earle, the Replacements), the album’s 10 songs first came together in the hours just before dawn. Says Young in the release, “I live in a cabin that overlooks the Mark Twain National Forest in southern Missouri, and got in the habit of waking early to watch the sun come up. Just sitting there with my guitar, loving where I live and thinking about how far I’ve come and how lucky I’ve been. After a while, the songs just poured out of me.”

Rusty Young (Photo by Henry Diltz, used with permission)

The album was recorded at Cash Cabin in Hendersonville, Tenn., the former home recording studio of Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash. “June’s old piano is all over the record,” Young says, “and I got to play Johnny’s ’57 Les Paul.” He also played steel and acoustic guitars, Dobro, mandolin and banjo, with the current configuration of Poco—Sundrud, keyboardist Michael Webb and former Flying Burrito Brothers drummer Rick Lonow—filling in the rest. “They are, quite simply, the best musicians I know,” Rusty says. “You can’t separate me from the sound of Poco, but I wanted to take the Poco sound—the songwriting, the vocals and the playing—to the next level. The goal of this album was to go one step beyond.”

Young plans to tour in support of this new disc and is planning a series of special concerts to celebrate Poco’s 50th anniversary.

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Track List
Waitin’ For The Sun
My Friend
Honey Bee
Sara’s Song
Heaven Tonight
Hey There
Innocent Moon
Down Home
Gonna Let The Rain

Listen to the first song released from Waitin’ for the Sun, “My Friend”

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