Out of the Blues
Boz Scaggs had some nice radio hits when I was in high school. I remember cruising around town and getting down to the “Lido Shuffle” when it came on the radio. The song was super slick (the backing band later became Toto) but it had blues in its DNA, which made it stand out from everything else on the top 40 at the time. Scaggs connection to the blues goes way back. He was in the early line up of the Steve Miller band and his first solo album featured a young Duane Allman.
Out of the Blues finds Scaggs re-imagining material by Magic Sam, Bobby “Blue” Bland, Jimmy Reed and a moving version of Neil Young’s “On the Beach”. The new compositions are tunes by Jack Walroth, a friend and singer who Scaggs has worked with for years. Those tunes were originally intended for a Walroth album that never materialized and finally came to light on this disc.
Boz assembled a crack studio team for Out of the Blues. Charlie Sexton, Doyle Bramhall II and Ray Parker,Jr handle most of the guitar work with Willie Weeks and Jim Keltner as the rhythm section. The band gives us a fine set of uptown blues, the sort of tunes you would hear up at the Cotton Club as opposed to a juke joint. It’s smooth as fine whiskey without the hangover.