Timothy B. Schmit admits he has to do some "homework" in order to perform with Poco for the first time in 32 years next week.
The singer and bassist, who was part of the pioneering country-rock outfit from 1970-77 - stepping in for Randy Meisner, who joined the Eagles, then subsequently replacing Meisner in the Eagles - is joining fellow Poco alumni Richie Furay and Jim Messina for the group's April 26 performance at the Stagecoach festival in Indio, Calif. Co-founder Rusty Young and longtime guitarist Paul Cotton are still active members of Poco.
"[Poco] was a huge part of my career in music," Schmit tells Billboard.com. "It was a huge stepping stone. I was very young and very excited and happy to be in it, ad it took me all over the world, really. I heard myself on the radio here and there, and it was really great. So, you know, I treasure the time and experience I had during that time in my life and in my career."
Schmit, who was on tour with the Eagles when he was approached about the Stagecoach show, acknowledges that he hesitated a bit when Furay asked him to be part of Poco again.
"I'm of the mind to look forward, not back," notes Schmit, who's donating his Stagecoach fee to original Poco drummer George Grantham, who suffered a stroke on stage with Poco in 2005 and is no longer able to play. "I really mulled it over quite a bit, and I decided this would be the [right] time, so I agreed to do it. And I'm glad I did."
Young tells Billboard.com that besides Poco's biggest hit, "Crazy Love," the Stagecoach set will include songs such as "Kind Woman," "Good Feeling to Know" and "You Better Thing Twice," as well as "Your Mama Don't Dance," Messina's post-Poco hit with Kenny Loggins.
Schmit, Furay, Messina and the rest of Poco will warm up for Stagecoach with an April 22 show in Santa Inez, Calif. Young tells Billboard.com that Messina has hired a video crew to document the reunion, though it's unclear if the footage will be released.
"I think it's going to be great fun," Young says. "I think it's a for-old-time's-sake show. It's a perfect occasion and venue. We all shared common dreams...The music was important to us. The friendship was important to us, and it's still the same way today. That's what makes it all work. We still care about each other, and we care about the music...The music stands up after 40 years, and that's something to be proud of."
The Poco reunion isn't likely to stretch into a long-term concern, however. Schmit has more tour dates coming up with the Eagles and will release a solo album later this year. Young is working on both a memoir and a solo album; he and Furay will also be opening for some upcoming Loggins & Messina concerts.
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