Listening Station: Boz Scaggs Revisits the Blues

By Brent Thompson

No one can deliver a pop gem or a smooth dance groove like Boz Scaggs, but – just like Eric Clapton – he always returns to his love of the blues. Since releasing the blues-laden Come On Home in 1997, Scaggs has delved deeper into the genre that has always held has fascination. On the heels of the Steve Jordan-produced albums Memphis and A Fool to Care comes Boz’s latest, Out Of The Blues [Concord Records]. The nine-track collection mixes original material with songs by Jimmy Reed and longtime Scaggs cohort Jack Walroth. One unlikely cover that Scaggs makes his own is Neil Young’s “On The Beach.” Always holding the respect of other musicians, Scaggs surrounds himself with crack players including Doyle Bramhall II, Ray Parker, Jr., Charlie Sexton and Willie Weeks – among others – on the recording. If you’re only association with Boz is “Lowdown” and “Jojo,” then Out Of The Blues may not be your bag. But if you want to hear a seasoned artist playing timeless music, then this is the album for you.