Colin Devlin (The Devlins) and Rusty Young, the late co-founder of the Grammy®-nominated country rock band Poco have teamed up for a stirring version of U2’s “Love is Blindness.” It is the first track to be released since Young’s sudden passing on April 14, 2021, and it features Devlin’s pensive vocals along with Young’s signature performance on pedal steel guitar.
A 2013 inductee to the Steel Guitar Hall of Fame, Young was an innovator on the steel guitar and admired by his peers. Upon his passing, everyone from Peter Frampton to Toby Keith, America, the Doobie Brothers along with former Poco band members paid tribute to Young.
Devlin recently said of the recording session, “It was an honor to play and record this song with Rusty. I’ve long admired his songwriting and his steel guitar playing. He really did invent the pedal steel sound in what came to be known as ‘country rock’. He had heard the version that The Devlins had done with Sharon Corr many years ago and liked it. After Young’s recent passing, Kirk Pasich, the founder of Blue Elan Records called me up and said ‘we should get this out.’ For me, the song, and his playing took on a whole new poignancy with his passing. It was a live take in the studio, from his very last recording session, and you feel like he’s in the room with you when you listen, his playing is so soulful.”
In addition to “Love is Blindness,” Young has played steel guitar on songs for artists such as America, Buffalo Springfield, Sara Evans, the Doobie Brothers, Rita Coolidge, Three Dog Night, Loggins and Messina among many others.
In 2017, Young released his first solo album in his 50-year career. “I’d intended to retire from the road,” Rusty admits. “I was certainly slowing down, wanting nothing more than to spend more time at home gardening and fishing. But a fan reached out saying that he had a new artist-friendly record label and asked if I would consider a solo project. I had been offered solo deals back in the ‘70s, but always felt Poco was more important. But I feel I’m now the best I’ve ever been as a singer and songwriter, and I have a better grasp of the music than ever before. And I realized that this was the perfect time to do something that could be a really rewarding part of my legacy.”
Colin Devlin first earned his reputation for atmospheric songs and nuanced vocals during the 1990s and early 2000s, when his band The Devlins received four stars from Rolling Stone and placed songs in more than a dozen films and TV shows, including “Crossing The River” featured in the soundtrack of the blockbuster smash “Batman Forever.” After the success of his first solo album, Devlin won “Best Irish Male” at the Meteor Music Awards in 2010 and co-wrote several tracks on Janiva Magness’ 2016 album Love Wins Again, which earned him a Grammy nomination. Devlin’s second solo album High Point followed in 2018, produced by longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand (Sarah McLachlan, Rufus Wainwright) and recorded in Los Angeles and Montreal. Devlin is currently working on a much anticipated new Devlins record which is due for release on Blue Élan later this year.