Paul Cotton 2

My blog on former Poco songwriter and guitarist Paul Cotton is one of my most popular writings. Paul has a lot of fans.


After leaving Poco in 2010, Paul enjoyed life in Key West and fronted his own band. In recent years, Paul has been living in Oregon, mostly out of the public eye, but occasionally playing a concert or two with old friends, and back in Key West.

As one of the mainstays in Poco, Paul built a loyal following of fans. Down to earth, Paul never had the rock star ego, and fans warmed to his easygoing nature and approachability.

I’ve seen Poco a couple of times in recent years, and while I enjoy the group, it is not the same without Paul. The best years of the band were the Paul Cotton years.


After Richie Furay left in 1973, Paul stepped up to be the main songwriter and the voice of the band, although Rusty Young would emerge as a fine writer and Timothy Schmidt was a good contributor. Paul got the band through an important period, culminating with the big selling album Legend, which as that point was just a Cotton-Young project. Even though the hits dried up after that, the band remained a steady concert favorite into the new millennium.

Business disagreements sadly broke up the Paul Cotton-Rusty Young partnership. Maybe it was time after more than 30 years.

I think about my favorite Paul Cotton songs, and there are a lot of them.

“Bad Weather”

“Magnolia” (J.J. Cale cover)

“Faith in the Families”

“Let Me Turn Back to You”

“Down in the Quarter”

“Indian Summer”

“Living in the Band”

“Heart of the Night”



“Under the Gun”

“Friends in the Distance”

“Midnight Rain”

“Down on the River Again”

“There Goes My Heart”

“How Will You Feel Tonight”

“Brenda X”

“Every Time I Hear the Train”

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