Boz Scaggs Has the Lowdown

boz scaggs 70sWho would think that someone with the name Boz Scaggs could end up having such a mellow, sleepy-eyed sound? Born William Royce Scaggs, a school mate gave him the nickname Bosley which morphed into Boz.

Use the pause/stop buttons below if you wish to stop the Lowdown clip.

Often dismissed as too much of a pop sound, I think his talent for the blues, and more recently jazz interpretations should prove to everyone that Boz is moboz scaggs 80sre than just a rock and roll man. Sure, the time in the Steve Miller Band makes you think he was part of the psychedelic scene, but he had been in London singing R&B before joining back up with old prep school and college friend Miller. And he had been playing guitar and listening to the blues since he was 13 or so.

The Silk Degrees album would be the big break-out for Boz, and along with it came the successful singles Lowdown and Lido Shuffle, the ladder being both a curse and a blessing. It had such a pop-driven twist to it that it could seem corny. For a new twist on that old hit, check out the YouTube video below for a live performance.

Splitting his time between San Francisco and Muscle Shoals back in the mid 70s helped Boz create a unique sound, some would call it an urbanized hybrid of Southern blues and city soul. Whatever you called it, it grew his base of fans who are faithful to this day. boz scaggs

There were more big hits in the 80s -- Jojo, Breakdown Dead Ahead, and Look What You’ve Done to Me -- but then Boz went on first of many sabbticals. It was not until 1988 that he had another top 40 hit with Heart of Mine. Another long hiatus followed before Boz came out with Some Change and Come On Home in the mid 90s. Dig was another great effort but it came out on September 11, 2001, so you can imagine where that one went.

In his semi-retirement, Boz not only became part owner of Slims, a roots n’ rock club in San Francisco, he also bought a place out in Napa Valley. The Scaggs label wine could be on your table soon, and maybe it will taste great, but I’ll stick with the music. The jazz treatment on the But Beautiful CD and the unplugged sound on Fade to Light demonstrate that Boz still has the touch. In Japan, he is as popular as he ever was here in this country, maybe more. Do the Japanese know something we don’t? I think they’re on the right track, and so is Boz!

Hit the play button below to check out a live performance.



Jay Harrison is a graphic designer and writer whose work can be seen at DesignConcept. He's written a mystery novel, which therefore makes him a pre-published author.

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