MERIDEN — Pioneering country rock band Poco will headline this year’s Daffodil Festival, rounding out a musical lineup that features some of the most sought-after acts from around Connecticut.
“We are delighted to bring this exceptional talent to the Meriden community,” festival music coordinator Tim Barnard said Thursday.
Poco formed in Los Angeles after the breakup of Buffalo Springfield in the late 1960s around two former members of that legendary band, Richie Furay and Jim Messina. Co-founder and steel guitarist Rusty Young is still playing with the band 50 years later.
Poco has had a number of members throughout the years and, according to the band’s website, has recorded more than 20 studio and live albums.
“We don’t feel like a 50-year-old band,” Young said Thursday. “Poco has never slowed down or stopped making new music. Everyone loves the challenge of being in Poco, and we’re all working hard at moving the band towards new audiences.”
Barnard said he decided to go with “something a little more country” for the headlining act this year. The goal was also to bring in a band with name recognition. Barnard said the hope is that people will be drawn to the festival because of the music.
Festival Committee Chairman Mark Zebora said guests can again visit three stages throughout the park to listen to live music.
Around 15 to 20 bands are booked each year, ranging in genres such as soul, mariachi, rock and reggae.
”I spend most of the year looking at bands from Connecticut that are new, that are writing music,” he said. “I go and visit (performances) to see the acts.”
Barnard said he tries to book a combination of cover bands and those that perform original music. He has already started the process of securing a headliner for next year’s festival.
“I’ve been in contact with some folks,” he said. “I spend between April and August and securing (bands). By November I’m essentially done. After the holiday I start with logistics of setting up schedules for the bands.”
The festival is always headlined by a high profile band or artist, Barnard said. When the headliner is from out of state, like Poco, the festival committee is sometimes tasked with providing equipment and additional instruments.
This year’s bandshell lineup also includes Jake Kulak and the Lowdown with Braiden Sunshine; Jeff Przech & Co.; Bad Dog; and Shaded Soul. For a complete listing of musical acts go to daffodilfest.com/entertainment/live-music/
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