Jim Messina has been writing and singing songs for over 50 years. One of the original singer/songwriters from the 60's groups Buffalo Springfield and Poco, Messina and his band, which included Craig Thomas on saxophone and woodwinds, Gary Oleyer on guitar and violin, Michael Brady on bass and Dave Beyer on drums, treated the sold-out audience at the Jeanne Rimsky Theater in Port Washington to a musical history of his career.
Starting with an acoustic set showcasing songs from Buffalo Springfield and later Poco, which created a new musical genre, Country Rock, Messina encouraged audience members to sing along with favorites like "You Better Think Twice" and "Thinking of You".
Messina didn't engage in stories between songs (a la Springsteen which I personally would've welcomed) but made the audience laugh with casual references to his longevity in the music business as in just turning 59 (Messina just turned 72). This joke he repeated once or twice more lowering his age each time.
After hearing a bit of raspiness in his voice for the first two songs, the huskiness disappeared and I found his voice surprisingly strong; most likely due in part to having written most, if not all of his songs in a lower register to suit his baritone/tenor vocal range.
After a short intermission for the audience to stretch and partake of refreshments, the band returned and Messina plugged in the first of several electric guitars. Starting off with the trilogy from the Loggins and Messina era, "Lovin' Me/To Make a Woman Feel Wanted/Peace of Mind", Messina and the band then jammed a 10+ minute version of "Be Free" with Messina on the mandolin and then into an extended version of "Angry Eyes".
Even before lit phones were raised (think Bic lighters for you boomers) to bring the band back for an encore, the band returned to play "You Need a Man" and the crowd pleasing "Your Mama Don't Dance" with the audience singing along.
After the show, Messina joined the merch table to sign memorabilia and to take photos with fans (without charge). An intimate end to a nearly 2 hour concert showcasing the legendary music of Jim Messina. Setlist: Watching the River Run (Loggins & Messina song) House at Pooh Corner (Loggins & Messina song) Danny's Song (Loggins & Messina song) Thinking of You (Loggins & Messina song) Whispering Waters Kind Woman (Buffalo Springfield song) Follow Your Dreams You Better Think Twice (Poco song) Listen to a Country Song / Holiday Hotel (Loggins & Messina song) -Intermission- Trilogy: Lovin' Me / To Make a Woman Feel Wanted / Peace of Mind (Loggins & Messina song) Be Free (Loggins & Messina song) Angry Eyes (Loggins & Messina song) Encore:
You Need a Man (Loggins & Messina song) Your Mama Don't Dance (Loggins & Messina song)
All Photos by Robert Kaplan: