Get this crazy baby off my head!


Boz Scaggs

Boz Scaggs - Memphis - 2013 - 429 Records

On Memphis, Boz Scaggs pays tribute to the city's magnificent soul tradition, Al Green, and producer Willie Mitchell and his Royal Recordings studio, whose location and personnel were used to cut it in three days. Produced by drummer Steve Jordan, the core band includes the singer and Ray Parker, Jr. on guitars, and bassist Willie Weeks, augmented by the Royal Horns & Strings, a small backing chorus, sidemen, and guests. Green's influence is celebrated in the opener, Scaggs' "Gone Baby Gone." Its wafting B-3, Rhodes, fluid electric guitars, and a tight backbeat underscore his baritone croon to excellent effect. If there were doubts about the quality of his voice at this juncture, they're immediately dispelled when his sweet falsetto emerges. In his cover of Green's "So Good to Be Here," Scaggs references him but digs deeper into his own trick bag with more rounded, earthier highlights. Then Scaggs begins to move the recording off the ledge a bit. His take on Willy DeVille's "Mixed Up Shook Up Girl" reveals just how deep the late New York rocker's R&B roots really ran as a songwriter. He furthers that notion in covering Moon Martin's "Cadillac Walk," a tune that was a minor hit for DeVille. Scaggs lets raucous, electric roadhouse blues hold sway. These songs draw attention to an under-celebrated singer, songwriter, and performer. Scaggs has always loved the seam where roadhouse blues and R&B meet. The nasty readings of Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Cryin'" and the Meters' "Dry Spell" attest to that. The latter features a scorching electric dobro solo by Keb' Mo'. Blues are reconstructed in the gorgeous version of "Corrina Corrina." While it is recorded somewhat nearer to its traditional folk origins, Spooner Oldham's Wurlitzer ghosts in from the margins and ushers it in from history to the present era. In Scaggs' smooth voice, the passage of time blurs; it stretches and ultimately ceases to matter. Motown gets the Royal Studios treatment in the glorious reading of Sylvia Robinson's "Love on a Two-Way Street," which features Funk Brother Jack Ashford on vibes. In a real twist, Steely Dan's "Pearl of the Quarter" proves a real set highlight, as early rock & roll, doo wop, Memphis soul, New Orleans R&B, and jazz all come flowing through the band's presentation and Lester Snell's string arrangement. They buoy Scaggs, whose trademark phrasing and emotional honesty offer immediacy and closeness. His own "Sunny Gone" closes it. His lower register is drenched in a meld of R&B, jazz, and his own classic pop balladry -- à la "Harbor Lights" -- carry his delivery which sends Memphis whispering off with a touch of melancholy elegance. This set is a stunner. Scaggs is in full possession of that iconic voice; he delivers songs with an endemic empathy and intimacy that make them sound like living, breathing stories. © Thom Jurek ©2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/album/memphis-mw0002484784

Many people only associate Boz Scaggs with his famous mid '70's disco soul funk classic album, "Silk Degrees" and his hits "Lowdown", "Lido Shuffle", and "What Can I Say", but the man has been around since the mid sixties, and recorded many great albums which always seem to be overshadowed by "Silk Degrees". “Memphis” is a really great soul album with funk, R&B, jazz and New Orleans influences and is as good as anything Boz has ever recorded. Only two of the twelve tracks are Boz Scaggs originals, but his covers of tracks like Willy DeVille’s “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl”, Al Green’s “So Good To Be Here”, Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night In Georgia”, and Donald Fagen and Walter Becker’s “Pearl of the Quarter” are beautiful and inspirational. There is not a dud track on this album which is VHR by A.O.O.F.C. Listen to Boz’s wonderful “Fade Into Light” album [All tracks @ 320 Kbps: File size = 110 Mb]


1 Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl - Willy DeVille 3:44
2 Gone Baby Gone - Boz Scaggs 3:35
3 So Good To Be Here - Michael Allen / Al Green 3:15
4 Cadillac Walk - Moon Martin 4:27
5 Rainy Night In Georgia - Tony Joe White 4:34
6 Love On a Two Way Street - BB Keyes / Sylvia Robinson 3:36
7 Pearl of the Quarter - Walter Becker / Donald Fagen 3:28
8 Corrina, Corrina - Traditional 3:45
9 Can I Change My Mind - Barry Despenza / Carl Wolfolk 4:19
10 Dry Spell - Jack "Applejack" Walroth 3:24
11 You Got Me Cryin - Ewart Abner / Jimmy Reed 4:55
12 Sunny Gone - Boz Scaggs 4:32


Boz Scaggs - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Vocals, Background Vocals
Ray Parker Jr. - Electric & Acoustic Guitars
Rick Vito, Eddie Willis - Guitar
Willie Weeks - Electric & Upright Bass
David Hungate - Bass
Keb' Mo' - Slide Dobro
Jim Cox - Fender Rhodes, Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano
Charles Hodges - Organ, Wurlitzer Piano
Spooner Oldham - Organ, Piano, Wurlitzer Piano
Lester Snell - Wurlitzer Piano, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Jack Ashford - Vibraphone
Charlie Musselwhite - Harmonica
Steve Jordan - Drums, Horn Arrangements, Percussion, String Arrangements, Background Vocals
Shannon Forrest - Drums
Lannie McMillan - Tenor Sax
Jim Horn - Baritone Sax
Ben Cauley - Trumpet
Jack Hale - Trombone
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell - Horn, Percussion, Strings
Royal Horns - Horns
Barrie Cooper, Jessie Munson, Wen-Yih You - Violin
Beth Luscome, Jennifer Puckett - Viola
Jonathan Kirkscey, Mark Wallace - Cello
Royal Strings - Strings
Willie Mitchell - String Arrangements
Claytoven Richardson - Background Vocals
Monet Owens - Background Vocals, Spoken Word


After first finding acclaim as a member of the Steve Miller Band, singer/songwriter Boz Scaggs went on to enjoy considerable solo success in the 1970s. Born William Royce Scaggs in Ohio on June 8, 1944, he was raised in Oklahoma and Texas, and while attending prep school in Dallas met guitarist Steve Miller. Scaggs joined Miller's group the Marksmen as a vocalist in 1959, and the pair later attended the University of Wisconsin together, where they played in blues bands like the Ardells and the Fabulous Knight Trains. Scaggs returned to Dallas alone in 1963, fronting an R&B unit dubbed the Wigs; after relocating to England, the group promptly disbanded, and two of its members -- John Andrews and Bob Arthur -- soon formed Mother Earth. Scaggs remained in Europe, singing on street corners. He also recorded a failed solo LP in Sweden, 1965's Boz, before returning to the U.S. two years later. Upon settling in San Francisco, he reunited with Miller, joining the fledgling Steve Miller Band; after recording two acclaimed albums with the group, Children of the Future and Sailor, Scaggs exited in 1968 to mount a solo career. With the aid of Rolling Stone magazine publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs next secured a contract with Atlantic. Sporting a cameo from Duane Allman, 1968's soulful Boz Scaggs failed to find an audience despite winning critical favor, and the track "Loan Me a Dime" later became the subject of a court battle when bluesman Fenton Robinson sued (successfully) for composer credit. After signing to Columbia, Scaggs teamed with producer Glyn Johns to record 1971's Moments, a skillful blend of rock and R&B which, like its predecessor, failed to make much of an impression on the charts. Scaggs remained a critics' darling over the course of LPs like 1972's My Time and 1974's Slow Dancer, but he did not achieve a commercial breakthrough until 1976's Silk Degrees, which reached number two on the album charts while spawning the Top Three single "Lowdown," as well as the smash "Lido Shuffle." Released in 1977, Down Two Then Left was also a success, and 1980's Middle Man reached the Top Ten on the strength of the singles "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jo Jo." However, Scaggs spent much of the '80s in retirement, owning and operating the San Francisco nightclub Slim's and limiting his performances primarily to the club's annual black-tie New Year's Eve concerts. Finally, he resurfaced in 1988 with the album Other Roads, followed three years later by a tour with Donald Fagen's Rock and Soul Revue. The solo effort Some Change appeared in 1994, with Come on Home and My Time: The Anthology (1969-1997) both released in 1997. The newly energized Scaggs spent the next few years consistently releasing new material, including Here's the Low Down, Fade Into Light, Dig, and a collection of standards called But Beautiful. An expanded reissue of Silk Degrees and Runnin' Blue (a recording of a 1974 performance) appeared in 2007, and Speak Low saw him reinterpreting a number of jazz standards in 2008. Scaggs toured as a member of the Dukes of September in 2012; the group's other principals included Michael McDonald and Donald Fagen. Scaggs emerged from his recorded silence in March of 2013 with the Steve Jordan-produced Memphis, a collection of original and cover tunes. Recorded at Willie Mitchell's Royal Studio in the city, the album was meant to reflect the heritage of the Southern soul tradition in the 21st century. © Jason Ankeny © 2013 Rovi Corp | All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/artist/boz-scaggs-mn0000096964


A.O.O.F.C said...


Password is aoofc

ratso said...

Hey Mr Fingal. Long time eh? Thanks for posting this. Very curious to hear his version of Pearl of the Quarter. Hope it's not too straight a copy. My best to you.

A.O.O.F.C said...

Hey,ratso, my man. How's tricks with you? Let me know what you think. Thanks, & TTU later...Paul