Iconic Singer Songwriter & Producer Lights Up the Stage with Musicianship
Jeff Walker, Entertainment Writer
While he spent a combined three years in Buffalo Springfield and Poco in the late 1960’s, the bulk of Jim Messina’s success came during his six-year run as one half of the soft rock duo Loggins & Messina. Alongside longtime friend Kenny Loggins the twosome achieved a handful of Top 40 hits during the early and mid 1970’s before Loggins departed for an even bigger solo career.
Sunday night in front of several hundred fans Messina offered up an intimate concert, primarily recalling on his work with Loggins, making the occasional pit stop for a Buffalo Springfield number and one off Poco’s 1989 ‘Legacy’ album. With many in the audience singing along to familiar numbers, Messina’s show was a trip down memory lane for the mostly baby boomer crowd and specifically hard-core followers of Messina’s vast body of work.
Offering up lighthearted tidbits and intimate back stories along the way, Messina easily engaged the crowd. His personal recollections of flying the members of Buffalo Springfield from LA to New York to avoid southern California distractions was particularly amusing. The punch line was undeniably, ‘where the hell is Neil Young?‘.
Messina is first and foremost a musician, one who cares about technical instrumentation and the overall sound quality. Staying true to form Messina’s four-piece backup band are among the best in the industry. With Jim playing acoustic and electric guitar as well as the mandolin, he and his band mates provided extended versions of each and every song. His percussionist Steve Nieves easily stole the spotlight when he was featured front and center wailing away on the sax.
Just shy of 75 Messina is comfortable on stage and comfortable how his part in rock n’ roll has played out. Most of his 15-song set touched on Loggins & Messina numbers offering up four clearly familiar tracks including ‘House at Pooh Corner’, ‘Danny’s Song’, ‘Angry Eyes’, and the show closer ‘Your Mama Don’t Dance’. Messina’s appreciation for various music forms runs from folk and country rock to soft rock, jazz, and Celtic genres.
Messina’s career spans over 55 years, and several of his songs are timeless Top 40 gems. However, it is musicianship and dedication to the craft that endears him to faithful followers. With his voice and affable personality still intact, a Jim Messina concert is a delightful way to spend any intimate evening.
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