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Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay's Furious Week In The Country

by Rich and Laura Lynch

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Richie Furay is enshrined in the Cleveland museum with his psychedelic and folk leaning act the Buffalo Springfield. But, it is the group he co-founded in 1968 that outlasted that band by many decades. Together the members of POCO helped create the hybrid genre of country rock music and Furay has returned to the tones and tempos he pioneered with them on his latest mostly covers album called In The Country and celebrated its release with a flurry of activity in Nashville in June of 2022.

Richie Furay takes the "circle" for the very first time in 2022.

Furay stepped into the famed circle at around 7:45 pm CST on June 17, 2022. The rocker who has rubbed shoulders with some of the industry biggest icons including Neil Young and Stephen Stills was determined to not let the moment overtake him although by all accounts he appeared much more nervous than his usual stage commanding self would allow. He opened with a cut from the new album before offering one each from his two formative years in the Springfield ("Kind Woman") and POCO ("Pickin' Up the Pieces").

Just how momentous was this occasion for rocker turned religious leader back home leading a church in Colorado for many years in between stints as a part-time rock star? Furay took to his Facebook page soon after to remark - "One of my dreams came true tonight. To step on the stage of the Gand Ole Opry was the highlight of my career."

But, his week wasn't done. It began with an appearance on the "Cody, Coffee and Country" radio show on the Grand Ole Opry's flagship station WSM 650 AM. Here, Furay traced his history and roots as he plugged his full band concert the following evening at the City Winery. He wrapped everything up with a relaxing in-store signing at Vinyl Tap in East Nashville where his Music City fans became the first of his followers to pick up his new album in the traditional 12 inch format.

Richie Furay - "In The Country".

But, wait! There's more. Furay's foray into Nashville will certainly not be his last and it could be perhaps a foreshadowing of bigger things to come. POCOnuts as fans of that group are called have long been vocal about their desire to see the group get the nod in Ohio. Now, it seems that it is more likely that the recognition will come via the Country Music Hall of Fame.

That prestigious organization has just announced Western Edge - a new and expansive showcase that will examine the close-knit communities of Los Angeles-based singers, songwriters and musicians who, from the 1960s through the 1980s, embraced country music, frequented local nightclubs, and created and shaped the musical fusion known as "country-rock" - ultimately making an indelible and lasting impact on popular music. The exhibit will survey the rise of the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, the Flying Burrito Brothers, POCO, Eagles, Emmylou Harris, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Linda Ronstadt and many others who found commercial success by merging rock & roll rhythms and attitude with country and bluegrass instrumentation and harmonies.

To kick off the festivities a "Western Edge: Los Angeles Country-Rock in Concert" event has been announced for Friday, Sept. 30, 2022 at 7 p.m. CT. An all-star lineup of musical luminaries associated with country-rock will perform, along with torchbearers who have been influenced by the sounds and artists from the Los Angeles music scene. Performers scheduled include Dave Alvin (the Blasters, the Knitters), Alison Brown (in tribute to California bluegrass), Rodney Dillard (the Dillards), Rosie Flores, Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco), Jeff Hanna (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Chris Hillman (the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers, Desert Rose Band), Bernie Leadon (Hearts & Flowers, Flying Burrito Brothers, the Eagles), John McEuen (Nitty Gritty Dirt Band), Wendy Moten (in tribute to Linda Ronstadt) and Herb Pedersen (Desert Rose Band and instrumentalist for Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons and many more). The house band will be led by Grammy-winning guitar virtuoso and multi-instrumentalist John Jorgenson and includes JayDee Maness (steel guitar), Steve Duncan (drums) and Mark Fain (bass) - with more artists to be added.

Can an induction to the C.M.H.O.F. for POCO be far behind?

Richie Furay will return to Nashville in September for a special country rock concert.

Related Links: For more information on RICHIE FURAY and the other organizations mentioned please visit the following links - Richie Furay | "In The Country" Review | Grand Ole Opry


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