RnB / Vocal Jazz / Jazz Related Rock / Blues • United States
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One of the great blue-eyed soul singers, he started gritty but had more success when he turned toward smooth soft rock in the back half of the '70s.

Boz Scaggs is a Grammy-winning, chart-topping blues, jazz, and R&B singer/songwriter and performer. He served as guitarist and occasional lead singer with the Steve Miller Band in the 1960s, and in the '70s gained fame with several solo Top 20 hit singles in the United States, including the hits "Lido Shuffle" and "Lowdown" from the critically acclaimed multi-platinum proto-disco breakthrough album Silk Degrees (1976), which peaked at number two in the Top 200. Scaggs' earthy tenor ranges wide across virtually any material he chooses to sing. His laid back delivery belies his intense focus and passion. His recordings run the gamut from earthy blues and R&B dates to pop standards to jazz and rock, cut with some of the finest musicians in
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BOZ SCAGGS albums / top albums

BOZ SCAGGS Boz album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1966
BOZ SCAGGS Boz Scaggs album cover 2.00 | 1 ratings
Boz Scaggs
RnB 1969
BOZ SCAGGS Moments album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1971
BOZ SCAGGS Boz Scaggs & Band album cover 2.00 | 2 ratings
Boz Scaggs & Band
RnB 1971
BOZ SCAGGS My Time album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Time
RnB 1972
BOZ SCAGGS Slow Dancer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Slow Dancer
RnB 1974
BOZ SCAGGS Silk Degrees album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
Silk Degrees
RnB 1976
BOZ SCAGGS Down Two Then Left album cover 1.50 | 2 ratings
Down Two Then Left
RnB 1977
BOZ SCAGGS Middle Man album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Middle Man
RnB 1980
BOZ SCAGGS Other Roads album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Other Roads
Jazz Related Rock 1988
BOZ SCAGGS Some Change album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Some Change
RnB 1994
BOZ SCAGGS Fade Into Light album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Fade Into Light
RnB 1996
BOZ SCAGGS Come on Home album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Come on Home
RnB 1997
BOZ SCAGGS Dig album cover 4.00 | 2 ratings
RnB 2001
BOZ SCAGGS Sail On White Moon album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Sail On White Moon
RnB 2002
BOZ SCAGGS But Beautiful album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
But Beautiful
RnB 2003
BOZ SCAGGS Speak Low album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Speak Low
Vocal Jazz 2008
BOZ SCAGGS Memphis album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 2013
BOZ SCAGGS A Fool to Care album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
A Fool to Care
RnB 2015
BOZ SCAGGS Out of the Blues album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Out of the Blues
Blues 2018

BOZ SCAGGS EPs & splits

BOZ SCAGGS live albums

BOZ SCAGGS Greatest Hits Live album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Greatest Hits Live
RnB 2004
BOZ SCAGGS Runnin' Blue album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Runnin' Blue
RnB 2007

BOZ SCAGGS demos, promos, fans club and other releases (no bootlegs)

BOZ SCAGGS re-issues & compilations

BOZ SCAGGS Hits! album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
RnB 1980
BOZ SCAGGS My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology (1969-1997) album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology (1969-1997)
RnB 1997
BOZ SCAGGS Double Pack: Down Two Then Left / Slow Dancer album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Double Pack: Down Two Then Left / Slow Dancer
RnB 2001
BOZ SCAGGS Here's the Lowdown album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Here's the Lowdown
RnB 2003
BOZ SCAGGS The Essential album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
The Essential
RnB 2013

BOZ SCAGGS singles (0)

BOZ SCAGGS movies (DVD, Blu-Ray or VHS)



Album · 2001 · RnB
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Number seven was the number of albums that Boz Scaggs recorded when his biggest and most famous album "Silk Degrees" was released in 1976 and another seven studio albums and twenty five years later Boz releases "Dig". Not only do we seem to have a numbers coincidence but one other more important matter is that Boz Scaggs is back with David Paich who is more well known in Toto but another little point is that David Paich was also was one of the main contributers to "Silk Degrees" and here on "Dig" provides keyboards, synths as well being involved with the song writing in six of the albums compositions. There is another main man contributing being none other than Danny Kortchmar on guitar who also is contributing with some of the song writing for the album as well. Danny goes a long way back in the music business and he has performed, as many of the other musicians have used in the albums construction, with a list of the top names in music going around but suffice to say that Danny Kortchmar's contribution to the one of the biggest selling albums of all time being Carole King's, "Tapestry" should be enough. These three gentleman are the album's back bone with Boz and David on all of the compositions except for Danny Kortchmar who particapates in only eight. Recorded in three sessions with some other musicians being used but more so in a guest spot manner with Steve Lukather on guitar who has been on three other Boz Scaggs albums as well being another Toto member popping up quite a bit as Roy Hargrove does on the odd track providing trumpet with some of the others being Nathan East on bass, Ray Parker Jr, yes "Ghostbusters" provides guitar, Greg Phillanganes, Michael Rodriguez more keyboards and Steve Jordan with a bass contribution but all appear mostly on just the one or two tunes. The backing vocals are done by Monet and she does a wonderful job but who is she?

"PayDay" is the commencent of the cool which is what the albums vibe is straight from the start with a great beat and Boz's laid back vocals with Ray Parker Jr and Danny Kortchmar providing some guitar great licks throughout with Roy Hargrove applying more of that cool with his trumpet. "Sarah" that follows is a ballad and delivered superbly with Monet's backing vocals, beautifully assisting Boz Scaggs in the lead with a lovely bridge used within the song making it quite catchy as the previous "PayDay"is. The quality though just keeps coming with the slow funk underlay of "Miss Riddle" or "I Just Go" that follows with Boz's lyrics concerning why he left her but he sure leaves us with one great slow beautiful guitar solo, ala' Mark Knoppler style. Many say that the next is a rap by Boz, but "Get On The Natch" is more so a narration for me as many old sixties tunes were with spoken word delivery but still right on the melody and Monet once again really lays down great backing vocals and with the addition of Steve Lukather's crunchy guitar, it has brought good results to this lively number played over one great back beat. Another great ballad being "Desire" is next with the more uptempo "Call That Love" following containing more of that funk underlay. "King Of El Paso" has more of a Country/Rock feel to the song with great guitars from Boz and Danny Kortchmar and provides the variety right at the perfect spot within the album's track listing as the next "You're Not" also contains just a straight Rock approach and the last two songs to finish off the album "Vanishing" and "Thanks To You" is more of that Boz Scaggs cool applied in a liberal dose.

Wonderful album and not a copy of "Silk Degrees" but one that stands on it's own but that David Paich influence mixed with Boz does harken back due more to the quality than any similarity. Danny Kortchmar provides a great counter balance having a more Folk/Rock approach with his input and writing. Great production which was done by David and Danny bringing two slightly different influences to the albums construction but also a little variety keeping things nice and interesting throughout. Came out in 1991and disappeared fairly quick which is a shame for the album's quality.

BOZ SCAGGS Silk Degrees

Album · 1976 · RnB
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Boz Scaggs is the musical equivalent of the hero of the children’s tale, “The Little Engine that Could.” Over a ten year period he cut 6 albums for 3 different labels but still couldn’t seem to get over the hump and into the mainstream. That tells you that either (A) he was amazingly immune to the effects of repeated disappointments or (B) he was incredibly talented at convincing the record company suits that if they’d just keep the faith a little longer they’d surely hit the jackpot with his next LP or (C) a combination of both. In ‘72 he ditched his own band and started using studio cats and, while his sound did become more polished and refined, neither the “My Time” nor “Slow Dancer” LPs exactly tore up the charts. But sometimes persistence does pay off. In March of 1976 he released “Silk Degrees” and he at last drilled into the mother lode. He’d always had an inimitable singing style that made him very attractive to the masses but his Achilles heel was the mediocrity found in his songwriting, something that showed drastic improvement on this disc. After a decade of frustration he finally found himself in the right place at the right time with the right material and the result was an album that outsold all of his previous records put together.

As a struggling musician in that era I can tell you that every producer worth his salt in those days would point to albums like “Silk Degrees” and emphasize that they were an exemplary example of how to vastly improve your chances of manufacturing a hit record. It all started with the drums, they would say, and when it came to laying down a strong foundation Jeff Porcaro was one of the experts. His indelible footprints are all over this project from top to bottom and it’s hard to imagine the songs, fine as they are, having the impact they do without his contributions. I just wanted to point that out from the get go so that those of you who’ve never listened to “Silk Degrees” would pay special attention to Jeff. If you have aspirations to be a respected studio session drummer, this is how it’s done.

Boz draws back the curtain with the boisterous, lively “What Can I Say?” Here he took all the best elements of the disco craze and light jazz, and then wisely blended them together with a pinch of funky R&B tossed in to create a sound that fit the times perfectly. Its smooth, catchy mien also does a good job of setting the classy tone for the rest of the album. “Georgia” rides upon a straight-as-an-arrow rock beat that drives this tune forward through a well-designed progression that carries you on an exciting journey. The Stones-ish approach he cops for Allen Toussaint’s “Jump Street” could’ve been an imitative disaster yet it succeeds in fitting in just right at this juncture by keeping the listener on his/her toes. David Paich’s honky-tonk piano and Les Dudek’s slide guitar work elevate the track and the clever false ending adds a welcome levity to the proceedings. A bouncy shuffle cruises underneath “What Do You Want the Girl To Do,” a Motown-like R&B number possessing a great feel. Scaggs’ thoughtful attention given to the backing choral arrangement pays big dividends as the large voices give it a bright sheen. A sleepy Rhodes piano intro paints the backdrop for “Harbor Lights,” a jazzy ballad where Boz’ crooning ability is right at home. The song suffers a bit from predictability until the final segment when the band suddenly breaks into a spicy samba.

Next up is the classic “Lowdown.” Talk about a perfect storm of atmospheric conditions and trendy influences, this tune had “hit” written all over it from its inception. The brilliantly-placed bridge chords boosted by sharp, brassy horns compliment the scat-like verses sublimely and the end result is a track hard to resist. And few did as it streaked up into the Top 5 on the singles chart. This one put Scaggs on the map. He follows that impressive offering with “It’s Over” but it’s a letdown because in this instance Boz leans too far over the boundary of good taste and ventures into the ghost town known as Discoville. As pop as Pepsi, this one comes off as contrived. A reggae vibe sets “Love Me Tomorrow” apart from the others. Its intelligent arrangement and clever employment of punchy but tactful percussion grants this song the edge that it needs. On “Lido Shuffle” Jeff Porcaro’s energetic drums and the tune’s intriguing structure hold your interest consistently and the upbeat, joyful aura that surrounds it is highly infectious. He concludes things with “We’re All Alone,” one of those lush pop ballads that knows what its job is and does it with maximum efficiency. Boz’ emoting voice is up to the task as the track steadily builds to a passionate crescendo before drifting off into the ether.

As is the case with so many albums that gained widespread appeal, many of the cuts on “Silk Degrees” have been overplayed for so long that they’ve lost their individual identities and have been consigned into the ongoing, featureless soundtrack of everyday life. I invite you to do as I did in preparing to pen this review and listen to it with new, unbiased ears. The musicianship is immaculate, the songwriting is mature and rarely condescending and it flows easily like a spring-fed river. This was Boz Scaggs’ moment of triumph, his acme and he never came close to duplicating it. He mixed west coast R&B sensibilities with a slick jazz mentality to present to the record-buying public a delicious brand of sophisticated funk as well as any ever have on this disc and he is to be commended for it. Sometimes, if you’re bull-headed enough to never cry “uncle,” you get it right.

BOZ SCAGGS Down Two Then Left

Album · 1977 · RnB
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What the towering, idolized giants of the music biz have in common with folks like Boz Scaggs is that they, too, endured the long struggle required to conquer the odds and achieve success. What separates them from folks like Boz Scaggs is that once they got to the apex of their game they were able to find a way to match their accomplishment repeatedly in order to stay on top of the mountain. That’s just as hard to do as the “paying one’s dues” part is and only a handful of artists or bands are able to maintain the high standards that the populace will now forever expect them to meet going forward on a regular basis. Boz isn’t one of the few belonging to that very exclusive club yet he shouldn’t feel badly about that because not many in the music industry are. It took him 11 years and six albums before he hit pay dirt with “Silk Degrees” in 1976 and it was a certified monster-seller that made him famous and in-demand. That record climbed to #2 on the charts and spawned two hit singles that are still played around the world today. Scaggs had finally made it big and rightly so. He had earned it through dogged determination and hard work.

A year later he faced the daunting task of delivering a follow up LP and “Down Two Then Left” was the result. Many of the same musicians played on the sessions, they recorded in the same studio and the same producer, Joe Wissert, was at the helm so the suits at Columbia were probably looking forward to lightning striking all over again. Everything was in place for a dynasty-building repeat but everyone involved found out in a hurry just how difficult that feat is. Everyone finding themselves in Boz’ situation has two options as to what they will do next. Give the public more of what they were so crazy about on the last project or boldly go in a new direction and hope they’ll follow you there. Scaggs chose the former (the safe and not necessarily the wrong path to take) but, unfortunately, the songwriting just didn’t measure up and the album failed to crack the top ten. I’m sure there are a dozen reasons to cite; fatigue from constantly being on tour, pressure to keep the money machine fed, lack of uninterrupted serious contemplation time to compose new tunes, etc., but the bottom line is that the magic that made “Silk Degrees” special was missing from “Down Two Then Left” and Boz’ time in the spotlight was up. The struggle back up the steep hill had started all over again.

The disc opens with “Still Falling For You,” a track with a funky, danceable vibe on the verses akin to the one that made “Lowdown” a smash in ‘76 and a chorus firmly ensconced in the trendy disco arena but the song is entirely too weak to grab your attention and hold it. “Hard Times” owns an Al Green-ish groove that is inviting but Scaggs sounds like he’s straining the very top of his vocal range throughout the tune and it’s unnerving, to say the least. “A Clue” is better. It has a comfy R&B feel that sits right in the pocket and it’s a bit reminiscent of Earth, Wind & Fire at times. Steve Lukather’s guitar ride is classy and tasteful. “Whatcha Gonna Tell Your Man” leans a tad too far into disco territory for comfort but the number’s arrangement is well-designed and the overall energy of the track is commendable. “We’re Waiting” is the jazziest entry on the album and it sports decent dynamics that keep things interesting during its 6:21 running time. Chuck Findley’s flugelhorn solo is crisp and bright and I like how Boz allows the musicians to break out of the formula mold in the second half to stretch out somewhat. Especially Jeff Porcaro on his drum kit.

“Hollywood” is a disco-drenched pop ditty that doesn’t work on any level. Scaggs sounds like he’s trying to compete with either Barry Gibb or the chipmunks (or both) and the whole shebang has a brittle edge that makes listening to it a chore. “Then She Walked Away” is next. A pleasant, easy-going Caucasian R&B rhythm flows underneath the chord progression yet the song is terribly anemic in the imagination department and it passes by without making an impression of any kind. Scaggs takes a much more aggressive approach on “Gimme The Goods” as the combination of a hard-hitting horn section and heavy rock guitar licks from Lukather invigorate the nerve endings but, in a classic case of poor engineering, Boz’ voice is extremely tinny and thin, gutting all the momentum the session musicians mustered up for the song. On “1993” Michael Omartian’s piano intro is excellent prior to a “Lido”-like shuffle taking over. Once again the tune is deficient of anything resembling originality and it never goes anywhere exciting. The closer, “Tomorrow Never Came,” is an airy ballad with flanged guitars and lush synthesizer strings presented sans drums. While it’s a nice change of pace there’s no soul inside the heart of the tune. The song is one that begs for some honest emotion to shine through but it never comes, leaving the listener with unmet expectations.

I don’t know whether to blame the studio engineers or the mastering technicians but this record is so mid-rangey that it defies any reasonable excuse. Someone should have noticed that the high end is consistently shrill and the low frequencies are more often than not unaccounted for. Simply put, the record sounds awful. Perhaps those flaws were limited to the vinyl copies but I’m not about to invest in a CD to find out. With “Down Two Then Left” Boz joined thousands of others who got to taste the sweet nectar of success once upon a time, only to discover that duplicating that stroke of fortune was next to impossible. The album reached #11 on the charts but it didn’t stay there for long. It was obvious to all that what had made “Silk Degrees” so popular and infectious was now gone and it was time for us (and Scaggs) to move on.

BOZ SCAGGS Boz Scaggs & Band

Album · 1971 · RnB
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In the early 70s Boz Scaggs was one of those recording artists that most people had heard of but if you queried them on exactly what kind of music he made you’d stump them every time. Versatility can be a valuable commodity but until you’ve secured a niche you can really make your mark in it can also be a distraction. Scaggs dipped his toes in so many different genres that he wasn’t able to claim any of them for his own. His most distinguishing possession has always been the unique tone in his voice and that blessing is probably what kept him employed throughout his formative years as he slowly honed his songwriting skills and learned the tricks of the studio trade. You have to listen pretty hard to detect a jazz influence in his work on his first three or four albums because at that stage he was still relying heavily on his blues, R&B, C&W and folk leanings. It’s miniscule but it’s there.

After his much-ballyhooed American debut on Atlantic in ‘69 turned out to be a major disappointment to those who’d invested in it Boz was summarily dismissed by the label. Columbia evidently felt that this as-yet housebroken dog could still hunt so they signed him up immediately. Their thinking was that Scaggs just needed an experienced producer to mold him into a star so the highly-regarded Glyn Johns was assigned the job. Two albums were released under his tutelage in 1971. The first was the non-descript “Moments” that barely caused a ripple in the charts and the second was the platter I’ll talk about here, “Boz Scaggs & Band.” In many ways the two are quite similar in approach, due in no small part to the fact that the musicians he surrounded himself with are basically the same on both. The songs were written or co-written by Boz but they all sound like tunes you’ve heard before. That indicates to me that he was trying to imitate his heroes instead of boldly following his personal muse and creating something original. Perhaps mimicking was the only option he had at the time.

He opens with “Monkey Time,” a slice of straightforward, Memphis-styled soul that isn’t particularly remarkable other than it does a decent job of highlighting Scaggs’ inimitable vocal acumen. The apex of the record follows, the jazzy “Runnin’ Blues.” It’s an energetic, shuffling big band presentation where the brassy, fat horn section really shines and the tight track is peppered with punchy accents and kicks supplied by drummer George Rains and ex-Santana bassist David Brown. Boz had a weakness for southern-fried Country & Western fare and “Up to You” is one of his indulgences in the bland fruit of that boring field. Thankful for tiny favors, I appreciate that he substituted the obligatory whining pedal steel guitar with a more palatable Hammond organ. “Love Anyway” is a bluesy ballad with some nice piano and organ embellishments courtesy of Jymm Joachim Young. Patrick O’Hara’s trombone solo is an unexpected treat. On “Flames of Love” Scaggs borrows Chepito Areas and Mike Carrabello from Santana to put hot timbale and conga flare-ups inside this hard-rocking, Latin-tinted R&B tune. Young’s Hammond B3 ride blazes and the percussion break kicks serious tail, making this far and away the most exciting cut on the album.

Too bad Boz couldn’t sustain that momentum. “Here to Stay” is a smooth-as-silk, flowing AOR number that hints at what he would eventually discover to be his calling card. To say it’s mild and mellow is an understatement but it’s not half bad, either. I’ve suffered through much worse in my day and it’s definitely better than the next song, “Nothing Will Take Your Place.” It’s a weak ballad wherein Scaggs’ vocal sounds like he’s down a well filled with liquid reverb but I gotta give kudos to the band for doing a yeoman’s job with what they had to work with. Mel Martin’s flute flutterings in particular are commendable. “Why Why” is more Caucasian R&B but unfortunately this track lacks a solid groove to ride on. The song is in desperate need of dynamics because without them it has no personality to project. It just lays there like an expressionless rag doll. “You’re So Good” is the closer, an odd little ditty that crosses the border back and forth between being a sweet ballad and a lazy 50s rock & roll deal. The tune’s glaring deficiency is the same one that plagues most of the album in general (the exception being “Runnin’ Blues”) and that’s Glyn’s decision to keep the bright horns muted and far down in the mix. Their potential ability to contribute a striking contrast of highs and lows was the only chance these average quality songs had to rise above their innate mediocrity but, for some unknown reason, the usually competent Johns flattened them out, relegating them to non-factor status.

“Boz Scaggs and Band” exemplifies the meaning of the age-old adage, “big hat, no cattle.” There’s no doubt that everyone involved in the recording of this album was undeniably talented and capable of plying their craft with expertise but you can’t apply lipstick to a mule’s mug and expect to pass it off as a thoroughbred. The material simply wasn’t up to snuff on this disc. Boz had yet to master the difficult art of composition so I’m convinced that if he’d tossed in a few covers the record would’ve benefited greatly and not been so uneven. The positive news is that history reveals Scaggs would eventually discover his personal pot of gold a few years down the line with “Silk Degrees” but at this juncture of his career he repeatedly came off as a man without direction.


Album · 1969 · RnB
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Boz Scaggs was anything but an overnight sensation when his perfectly-timed album “Silk Degrees” went through the roof and made him a star in 1976. He’d spent eleven long years before that breakthrough struggling as a B-list recording artist with various labels before hitting the jackpot. Born William Royce Scaggs in ’44 in Ohio, his family ended up in north Texas where he hooked up with guitarist Steve Miller and also picked up the odd nickname that stuck. He and Steve went to college in Wisconsin where they played in bars and for frat parties a while, then Boz took off to Europe in ’65 and cut his first solo LP in Sweden. His Dylan-ish folky blues approach fell flat and he returned to the U.S.A. two years later, penniless. Heading out to the wild, bustling San Francisco scene, he joined his former pal Miller’s psychedelic band and made two albums with that outfit before Rolling Stone Magazine editor Jann Wenner talked Atlantic Records into signing him and financing his American debut. In 1969 “Boz Scaggs” hit the shelves.

While he would eventually make his name as a contemporary crooner of jazzy R&B fare his early efforts revealed him to be a singer/songwriter impatiently searching for his niche. Obviously he had a hankering for soul music because he and Jann coerced the head honchos at Atlantic into bankrolling a trip to Alabama so he could record the album at the famed Muscle Shoals Sound Recorders using their solid roster of respected studio musicians. I’m sure everyone involved in the project expected those experienced cats to do their magic and turn Boz’ material into gold but, alas, that didn’t happen. There’s no question that they were excellent at what they did on a regular basis but Gods who could change 7-Up into Chardonnay they weren’t. The album was by no means a cow patty, garnering a modicum of critical acclaim, but the public just wasn’t buying into him or his music. The bottom line was this: without a hit single there was nothing for the average Joe or Flo to latch onto. So the label eventually chalked it up as a bust and sent Mr. Scaggs packing. In retrospect the record is dated but not a total washout. I promise to be as fair as I can in assessing its merits and shortcomings.

It starts out with a dose of white boy R&B in the form of “I’m Easy.” The track is steady, driven confidently by Roger Hawkins on drums and David Hood on bass, but the tune is average at best and it fails to make a lasting impression. However, it does showcase Boz’ soulful voice and the horn section is big and fat like it should be. One of Scaggs’ more memorable compositions is next, the haunting “I’ll Be Long Gone,” and even the unbalanced mix of instruments can’t get in the way of its greatness. Barry Beckett’s Hammond organ and electric piano stream prominently below Boz’ earnest singing and the jazzy feel that swings in behind Joe Arnold’s tenor sax solo creates a nice diversion. “Another Day (Another Letter)” follows and it’s not much more than standard Southern-styled R&B. The renowned Muscle Shoals crew could lay this kind of a lazy groove down in their sleep. A touch of country two-step inhabits “Now You’re Gone” and, for that reason alone, it’s a personal turn off. Can’t help it. “Finding Her” is a waltzing ballad that sports a light jazz hue. Unfortunately, its lack of dynamics makes it a bit of a snooze-fest, though. Nothing exciting happens.

Boz didn’t pen “Look What I Got” but it’s not necessarily an improvement over his own amateurish stuff. It’s a loose case of bluesy R&B surrounded by a rustic aura that fits Duane Allman’s slinky Dobro work to a tee but it makes Scaggs’ vocal sound like a fish out of his pond. He’s no backwoods hillbilly no matter how hard he tries to be one. His folksy country & western take on Jimmie Rodgers’ antique “Waiting For a Train,” complete with a spasm of yodeling, is nostalgic yet it only serves to further muddy the waters of what he’s trying to be and what demographic he’s aiming to please. “Loan Me a Dime” is next and it comes with a shady history. Boz was listed as the writer but the song’s composer, bluesman Fenton Robinson, took understandable offense at this indiscretion and promptly sued (a situation that did little to endear Scaggs to his benefactors). The tune is definitely a blues ditty but it has the advantage of being performed with a jazz attitude supplied for the most part by Beckett’s acoustic piano and trusty B3. Boz’ expressive voice is more at home in the smoky atmosphere, the traditional horn arrangement is a real throw back to the early 60s and Mr. Allman graces it with several decent guitar rides (although I vastly prefer Barry’s growling Hammond organisms). I can appreciate as well that the intensity builds steadily to where they’re all kickin’ it pretty hard at the end of this nearly 13-minute track. “Sweet Release” is the closer and it’s an uneven blend of gospel, R&B and blues that magnifies this album’s overriding problem. Its lack of a focus point shows that Scaggs was still learning the ropes when it came to songwriting. Plus, the busy arrangement is all over the place so it’s blatantly obvious he could’ve used a producer more capable than a know-it-all magazine publisher. His next employer, Columbia Records, would do a better job of bringing him along.

Here’s the deal. If you find Boz Scaggs’ smooth vocalizations to be irresistible, are a fan of his offerings aka “Lowdown” and want more of that ilk then you must be forewarned ere to exploring his roots that such an undertaking will most likely be a hit and miss adventure for you. Boz had to fight and scratch his way along every inch of his path to fame and fortune as he, by trial and error, taught himself to absorb the frustrating experiences he went through and allow them to make him better instead of bitter. “Boz Scaggs” contains glimpses of his potential but it also portrays him as being the authentic diamond in the rough he was in the beginning.

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