NEW YORK, NY—Eagles bassist Timothy B. Schmit took the crowd on a trip through country rock from the ‘60s to the now in an intimate performance at the Bitter End on Bleeker Street in Greenwich Village. One of the last remnants to an era where folk rock ruled that has slowly been swallowed by the crass commercialization of convenience stores and banks, the Bitter End has housed everyone from the legendary (Neil Young, Dylan. Joni Mitchell) to local upstarts keeping the folk scene alive and well in the city.
With creds going back to the ‘60s, Schmit’s got a direct line to the Southern California/Topanga Canyon set that fired up a generation of laid back singer/songwriter’s that many rock historians trace back to the Byrds and the Buffalo Springfield .
As a member of Poco, founded by Springfield alumnus Richie Furay, Schmit played on the band’s second album replacing Randy Meisner who left to join the Eagles. In an ironic twist of fate he again replaced Meisner, this time in 1980 for the Eagles’ Long Run album. After the Eagles disbanded in 1980 he landed gigs as a sideman on albums by America and Steely Dan amongst others and was a touring bassist for Jimmy Buffet’s Coral Reefers.
At the Bitter End Schmit’s 15-song set took on his new solo album, Expando, as well as a few chestnuts from the Poco/Eagles songbook. Looking like an avatar to California cool in his long hair, vest and Beatle boots Schmit travis fingerpicked his way through most of the set on various Martin guitars that showcased his folksy roots as he let the simple arrangements breathe and his incredibly toned vocals shine through the mix.
The backup band played into a delicate web of countrified rock as the rhythm section’s punchy beats played second fiddle to the vocals. The set was an even mix of rockers, ballads with hints of gospel and Beach Boys-esque harmonies thrown in that added depth to the bands straight-ahead punch.
Opening with “The Shadow” from the 2001 solo album, Feed The Fire, Schmit played guitar for most of the set up ‘till the Eagles “I Can’t Tell You Why “ that he played bass on. “White Boy From Sacramento” was a funky number supplemented by a trio of backup singers that added some soulful grit to Schmitt’s high pitched falsetto. Poco’s “Keep On Tryin’” from 1975’s Head Over Heels was next.
He introduced “What Am I Gonna Do” that appeared on the rarities comp From The Inside as a song by Richie Furay who “later lived out the scenario of the song.” “I Don’t Want Hear Anymore” and “Love Will Keep Us Alive” were the closers. On “Love” Schmitt delivered it a capella with stark accompaniment by his guitarist ending it all on a high note.