The ‘Lowdown’ on Boz Scaggs At The Hollywood Bowl

Author: Bill Dudley

Boz Scaggs hit ‘The Hollywood Bowl’ Wednesday night with some of his own classic hits and music from his recent John Mayer produced CD, ‘Memphis.’

Recorded in a mere 3 weeks at legendary Royal Studios in Memphis, this release contains some of the same Southern Soul  flavor that vintage producer Willie Mitchell first captured with Al Green back in the 1970’s.

When I visited Memphis a few years back, Willie was still there (at Royal) telling great musical stories of the rich history of that great city.  Boz always wanted to record an album there, and he nailed it brilliantly, adding his special touch to Brook Benton’s “Rainy Night In Georgia”, Big Joe Turner’s “Corinna Corinna” and the most outstanding track from Memphis, “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl,” written by Willy Deville. Also on the new release Boz tapped The Moments’ “Love On A Two Way Street”, and the Tyrone Davis classic “Can I Change my Mind.” I wish he would have performed those two songs, and a few more from his own catalogue.

Boz has had a stellar career that dates back to the late 1960’s spanning many genres of music, including Rock, Blues, Pop, Jazz and R & B. He first came to prominence as a founding member of the original Steve Miller Blues Band.

His first solo album featured the late Duane Allman, with probably the best blue-eyed Soul/blues recording ever “Loan Me A Dime.”  Boz has gone back to performing this 12 minute masterpiece recently, but not at The Hollywood Bowl. Boz barely got an hour to sample his deep catalog, as this was a 3 act show.

The WAVE listeners I saw in attendance loved the opening act, Brazilian singer  Eliane Elias, followed by the ageless Jazz Piano maestro Dave Grusin and guitar great Lee Ritenoir. They were all flawless. It was an excellent show on a cool LA night, but I wanted to hear more Boz.

I realize when you have had a 45 year career, it’s hard to fit everything in. But when your voice is still strong, and you have so much to choose from, please do more classics. “Lido” and “Lowdown” wrapped the show well, but I still wanted to hear “Look What You’ve Done To Me,” “What Can I Say,”  “It’s Over’ and ‘Loan Me A Dime.”

I guess that means the show was a big success, as I still crave more.

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