The masses think that if an artist is outta sight – outta mind, they must be dead or their career is. True fans know – artists such as Scaggs do not care about hits.
William Royce “Boz” Scaggs – is known for vocals with The Steve Miller Band. he is also known for Lido Shuffle and Lowdown, both of which were from his critically acclaimed album Silk Degrees (released 1976). The 1970s were very kind to Scaggs and that decade is what brought many people to Theatre Maisonneuve during the Montreal Jazz Festival.
What Scaggs and his formidable band did bring was intense and tight. aside from the aforementioned ‘hits’ – Scaggs et al were a highly professional unit led by the voice of an angel. At seventy-four years young, Scaggs can sing better than most people half his age.
Jojo (1980) led things off and in no time – the punters were standing at attention as the reality of a musical night hit like a ton of piano keys. Drowning in the Sea of Love, It’s Over and Gone Baby Gone set the table for a tune that established the groove that most bands strive for live. The Feeling Is Gone – a Bobby Bland cover saw Scaggs and his mates hit that ‘small club’ feeling. The sold out crowd picked up on it immediately and as they say; the rest of the night was ‘gravy’.
Scaggs knows music as his tutelage with The Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section dictates as well as having the future members of Toto play on his album Silk Degrees. Those acquired skills and knowledge shine through live as Scaggs not only holds court on vocals – his guitar playing with just the right space; a pleasure to witness. Scaggs’ knowledge also dictates to let his band play their parts with freedom and respect.
Cadillac Walk – the Moon Martin cover, led the crowd into familiar territory as Lido Shuffle and Lowdown played out hard and with appreciation by all. The show ended with the ‘we know you will be back applause and that is when the music took over from the hits.
What Can I Say, Somebody Loan Me a Dime ( Fenton Robinson) and Chuck Berry’s You Never Can Tell gave the BAND and Boz the room (and joy) to say thanks to both the fans and the history of where they came from. The latter giving proof that Rock n Roll once ruled the world and that swing was a big part of it.