By Fred Kirby

Billboard Magazine

Poco, an inventive country-rock quartet, had a first-rate local debut at the Bitter End on Monday (12). The group, which includes Richie Furay and Jim Messina, both formerly of Buffalo Springfield, also did a set later in the evening at Steve Paul's Scene.

Opening with "Pickin' Up the Pieces," the title selection of their debut album on Epic, Poco demonstrated a flair for country-style vocalism, especially by Furay, who played 12-string guitar, and drummer George Grantham. Messina on bass guitar also joined in the vocal harmonies. Lead guitar was played by Rusty Young on steel guitar.

The group stayed in the country groove with "Hurry Up" and "Do You Feel It Too." In these numbers, vocal lead was alternated between Furay and Grantham, who also sang with Messina.

The tempo became more rock with "What a Day," form the album, and also had some fine instrumental work by Young. Still stronger in the rock idiom was "Calico Lady," also from the album as Furay switched to electric guitar.

High vocalizing was important in this and a following strong rock piece, but the quartet returned to its forte, country, in "Just In Case It Happens, Yes Indeed" as Furay returned to acoustic guitar. Young's guitar work really came to the fore on this and "Consequently So Long" which concluded the set.

Poco's solid vocals and instrumental's could carry the unit far, especially with country music becoming increasingly in.