Tom Hampton – Out To Pasture
This being Tom Hampton’s first studio release in a decade the former Poco guitarist decided to put this poignant collection together respective of the passing of Rusty Young (2021) followed by Paul Cotton a few weeks later.
Some tunes are vintage Poco & two are Hampton originals. All vocals & instruments were recorded live & in real-time by Mr. Hampton.
The lead-off “Wildwood,” is a simple acoustic track using lines from other Poco songs. “One Tear At a Time,” is a Poco tune written by Rusty Young from 2002’s “Running Horse,” that’s still quite accessible.
Hampton didn’t have an opportunity to help write & record an entire CD with his Poco partners – but judging from this work he would’ve made a viable contribution. He was the last member invited to join the veteran band after the dissolution following Rusty Young’s passing. Tom was & will probably continue to be a valuable sideman. He played with the Marshall Tucker Band, Pure Prairie League, Craig Bickhardt & the late Robert Hazard.
With this set, Hampton miraculously manages to capture the Poco spirit impressively. Yes, there’s no “Crazy Eyes,” in this collection but that was a Richie Furay production. There are songs Tom covers respectively from Poco’s numerous albums “Running Horse,” “Legacy,” Blue and Gray,” & “Head Over Heels,” eras.
Some tunes have been enlivened through a more up-tempo bluegrass interpretation, the addition of pedal steel guitar where it wasn’t featured before.
This effort pieces together a retrospect of some great Poco titles & the final one was started in the early 2000s with Rusty Young but never finished. The 10-cut, 50-minute Out To Pasture (Released Nov 1–Independent/Trespass) is a farewell & a tribute.
But it happens now more often. Procol Harum lost 3 members (Gary Brooker, B.J. Wilson & Dave Ball), The Who 2, The Rolling Stones 2, The Beatles 3 if you count George Martin, the Beach Boys 2, the Dave Clark 5 have lost 3 & the original Ramones — completely gone.
The Tennessee-born Hampton was a perfect musician for Poco (a permanent member since 2020), a band that’s existed since 1968 & ending in 2021. Hampton just fit better as a musician & vocalist than had he gone with Grateful Dead, the Eagles, or Seatrain.
Poco went through some changes in the ensuing years & despite some low spots, their material was always credible. With the addition of Hampton, they may have become as challenging (except for “Crazy Eyes”) as The Band, Little Feat, or the more traditionally oriented Goose Creek Symphony & the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band.
Highlights – “Wildwood,” “One Tear At A Time,” “Please Wait For Me,” “Blue and Gray,” “Crazy Love,” & “Running Horse.”
Color image courtesy of Tom’s website. CD @ http://www.tomhampton.com/otp.html