New album music to this Eagles’ fan’s ears
Timothy B. Schmit, former member of Poco and the Eagles, has released his first new recording since 2009’s wonderful “Expando.” The title is “Leap of Faith,” and it is exactly what this old Poco and Eagles fan needed.
I have been a fan of Schmit since I first heard him on Poco’s 1972 release “A Good Feeling To Know”. “I Can See Everything” is one of my favorite Poco songs written by Schmit. Other favorites include “Here We Go Again,” “Bitter Blue,” “Whatever Happened to Your Smile,” “Keep On Tryin’,” “Just Like Me,” “Starin at the Sky,” “Find Out In Time” and “Me and You.”
Schmit replaced Randy Meisner in Poco in 1971 when Meisner left for the Eagles. In 1977 Schmit replaced Meisner in the Eagles. Schmit’s contribution to the Eagles was as the bass player, vocalist and co-writer, a contribution that’s most clear with “I Can’t Tell You Why” and “I Don’t Want to Hear Anymore.” Never a prolific songwriter, Schmit subscribes to the “quality over quantity” theory, which is most evident with only five solo recordings since “Playin’ It Cool” in 1984. “Expando” is, in my opinion, without a doubt, Schmit’s finest solo work.
“Leap of Faith” is a natural successor to “Expando” in a couple of ways. It is a laid-back, soulful, country-rock recording full of great songs performed by outstanding musicians. Thankfully it also lacks the polished, over-produced, top 40-oriented theme of his first three efforts. Running at over 69 minutes, featuring 12 great tracks, “Leap of Faith” starts with “My Hat,” a song that reminds me of early Poco where Schmit sings about things we all struggle with every day.
“So I buckle up tight and try to stay on this roller coaster ride. I go up, I go down, and try to keep from spinning around.”
Schmit’s voice is as good as ever. “Slow Down” has a reggae feel complete with a steel drum and is as aptly titled with a message for everyone.
Combining the best of Poco and the Eagles is “All Those Faces” — a beautiful love song that features Schmit’s daughter, Jeddrah, providing all the harmonies to these lyrics:
“Kick your boots off. Take a leap of faith. Let’s be on our way. Don’t forget to wave. I’m in training. Living out my life. It is quite a ride. I’d like you by my side. Please stay!”
“I Refuse” is a defiant little rock and roll gem in the style of Tom Petty. “What I Should Do” is a rhythm and blues number with Schmit lamenting his own procrastination over some great guitar and piano licks. “Goodbye, My Love” is a love song for the loved ones left behind when Schmit is out on the road. “It’s Alright” is a beautiful song about the security you feel with the person you love.
“Outside the rain is pouring down. I know it’s alright. Cause your breath is my only sound. I know it’s alright.”
“Red Dirt Road” might be the best track on the disc. It is classic Poco in form, a song about the freedom we felt before we had to be responsible adults. It reminds me of going to my grandparents’ ranch as a child. “The Island” is about getting away from it all in a big way. “Pearl On the String” is about all of the little ironies of everyday life. “This Waltz” closes this great recording. It’s appropriate in the sense that it is a summation of this recording about life, which is a true “Leap of Faith.”