When Blues swings forward, twinkles and rocks carefully, Boz Scaggs is at work, as demonstrated by the first song Rock And Stick of his new album Out Of The Blues. At the age of 74, the vocalist, guitarist and bandleader cannot only be described as a veteran of blues, but also of R & B, rock and more recently of jazz. That sounds pretty great, and that's why, even if you consider the hard time that Boz Scaggs had to endure before it really ran smoothly for him. After having played more or less smaller gigs in the sixties as a member of various bands, including the Steve Miller Band, he decided to pursue a solo career. A little on blues and especially based on Rock “n” Roll and with a record deal in the bag, his recordings fared well with the critics, but proved to the general public as a flop. Frustrating six years, Boz Scaggs struggled with promising reviews and meager LP sales figures, until he made his breakthrough with his album Silk Degrees after changing label. Second place in the US albums hit parade and four million LPs sold provided a strong boost in terms of career. Boz Scaggs voluntarily ended the fine weather period in the early 1980s when he withdrew from the scene for seven years to establish his own nightclub in San Francisco. As surprisingly as he had gotten out of the scene, he returned several years later with the album Other Roads. Nomen Est Omen he then had matured from the former hard Rock ‘n’ Roller into a comparatively seasoned blues and jazz man, which he remains until today, without completely abandoning his roots in rock' n 'roll.
Strong backbone of the new album is the prominently cast band. This includes guitarists Doyle Bramhall II, Ray Parker Jr. and Charlie Sexton, bassist Willie Weeks, keyboarder Jim Cox, harmonica player Jack Walroth, saxophonist Eric Crystal and drummer Jim Keltner. Four of the songs on Out Of The Blues are by Jack Walroth. The remaining five songs are cleverly arranged covers of songs from the collection of Bobby 'Blue' Bland, Jimmy Reed, Magic Sam and Neil Young. From the latter comes the highlight of the album, the song "On The Beach" with exquisite guitar playing by Doyle Bramhall II and a quite relaxed sounding Boz Scaggs. In "The Feeling Is Gone", originally from Bobby 'Blue' Bland, shines next to a relaxed Boz Scaggs including Eric Crystal with a tenor sax solo leaving nothing to be desired in terms of sophistication. The ballade "I've Got To Forget You" is presented as a late-night bar performance with a call for dancing and fondling. "I've Just Got To Know" convinces in the same nostalgic heightened notch. As opposite poles serve the immediately gripping song "Radiator 110" and the no less rocking song "Little Miss Night and Day" with wonderful solos of keyboardist Jim Cox and guitarists Charlie Sexton and Doyle Bramhall II.
Rarely a blues album driven at least subliminally by rock brings so much joy to life as Out Of The Blues. Treat yourself to the pleasure of listening to the highres sound that comes with this download.
Boz Scaggs, vocals, guitar
Doyle Bramhall II, guitar
Ray Parker Jr, guitar
Charlie Sexton, guitar
Willie Weeks, bass
Jim Keltner, drums
Jim Cox, keyboards
Jack Walroth, harmonica, percussion