September 29 @ 8:00 pm
THE MUSIC FROM:
LOGGINS & MESSINA, POCO AND BUFFALO SPRINGFIELD
Few musical artists résumés list membership in a band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame; fewer still can lay claim to being a founding member of the seminal band credited with creating Country Rock; and only one artist can include all the above in addition to being one half of the most successful duos of the 1970s.
A supremely talented guitarist, Jim Messina began working with the legendary band Buffalo Springfield in 1966 as a recording engineer on their second album Buffalo Springfield Again. In 1967, at the request of the group and Atlantic Records founder and president Ahmet Ertegun, Messina was asked to produce the band’s third and final album. Shortly thereafter, he replaced Bruce Palmer, the bass player, touring and recording with the band up until completion and release of their album Last Time Around.
In 1968, when Buffalo Springfield disbanded, Messina signed a contract with Epic Records as a producer and a recording artist. Along with fellow Buffalo Springfield member Richie Furay, he formed Poco. The band’s aptly titled 1969 debut Pickin’ Up The Pieces is the only debut album ever to receive a perfect rating from Rolling Stone magazine; the landmark album laid the blueprint for the then new musical genre uniting country with rock music.
On the band’s, self-titled second album, Poco (also released in 1969), Messina both produced and penned the band’s first hit single “You Better Think Twice” which has endured as one of the group’s signature songs. After producing three albums for the band, Messina departed and signed on as an independent producer with Columbia Records.
In 1970, Messina opened up his living room to record a number of compositions for a promising young songwriter named Kenny Loggins. With the songs Loggins presented leaning more toward folk, Messina suggested to Columbia Records president Clive Davis that he consider letting Messina “sit in” in much the same way that jazz artists had done in the past, and that Loggins incorporate more upbeat material into his album.
Says Loggins: “Right from the beginning, Jimmy was the producer, I was the artist. I’d never made a record. I’d never put a band together. I’d never found a manager or an agent. So, Jimmy was the leader…” Leading the way as producer, arranger, vocalist, and guitarist, and contributing the signature songs, the album Kenny Loggins with Jim Messina Sittin’ In was released one year later in November of 1971 and an accidental duo was born. In the next few years, a series of albums would follow in rapid order:1972’s Loggins & Messina, 1973’s Full Sail, 1974’s double-live On Stage, the same year’s Mother Lode, 1975’s cover song set So Fine and 1976’s Native Sons. The Best of Friends greatest hits collection followed later that year and in 1977 another live album fittingly called Finale. When the dust had settled, Loggins & Messina had sold sixteen million albums, become one of rock’s biggest live draws, and cemented their legacy as one of the most successful recording duos ever.
Following the split with Loggins, Messina recorded four critically acclaimed solo albums.
Messina reunited with Poco for the 1989 album Legacy, and established the Songwriters’ Performance Workshop.
In 2004, Messina joined Loggins at a benefit at Santa Barbara’s Arlington Theater and the nearly three decade gap was bridged in an instant; says Loggins: “As soon as we hit the harmonies, I was struck by the fact that I hadn’t heard that sound in a long time,” he says. “It hit me like the Everly Brothers hit me the first time they got back together.
That spark fueled a series of festive shows in 2005 with the duo playing their seminal songs that, says Messina “spoke to a generation, not just to a radio station.”
Most recently, Messina has released two live albums. In 2010 he released both a DVD and CD entitled Jim Messina “LIVE” at The Clark Center for the Performing Arts. It contains the video and audio performances of his musical body of works, those he performed with The Buffalo Springfield, Poco and Loggins and Messina.