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Saturday, June 9, 2012

Loan Me A Dime - Boz Scaggs


William Royce "Boz" Scaggs (born June 8, 1944) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. He gained fame in the 1960s as a guitarist and occasional lead singer with the Steve Miller Band and in the 1970s with several solo Top 20 hit singles in the United States, along with the #2 album, Silk Degrees. Scaggs continues to write, record music and tour.
Scaggs was born in Canton, Ohio, the son of a traveling salesman. The family moved to McAlester, Oklahoma, then to Plano, at that time a Texas farm town just north of Dallas. He attended a Dallas private school, St. Mark's, where a schoolmate gave him the nickname "Bosley"; this was later shortened to "Boz".

After learning guitar at the age of 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark's. In 1959, he became the vocalist for Miller's band, The Marksmen. The pair later attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison together, playing in blues bands like The Ardells and The Fabulous Knight Trains.

Leaving school, Scaggs briefly joined the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene in London. After singing in bands such as The Wigs and Mother Earth, he traveled to Sweden as a solo performer, and in 1965 recorded his solo debut album, Boz, which was not a commercial success. Scaggs also had a brief stint with the band The Other Side with Mac MacLeod and fellow American Jack Downing.

Returning to the U.S., Scaggs promptly headed for the booming psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967. Linking up with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, Children of the Future and Sailor. After being spotted by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968, releasing his second album, "Boz Scaggs" in 1969.
Despite good reviews, his sole Atlantic album, Boz Scaggs, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and session guitarist Duane Allman, performing Fenton Robinson's "Loan Me A Dime," achieved only moderate sales, as did follow-up albums on Columbia Records.

The Atlantic album (SD-8239) eventually went out of print and in 1977, it was completely remixed and reissued on Atlantic (SD-19166). This remix brought out Duane Allman's guitar in a more up-front way, which changed the original mix, drowning backing voices and keyboards (not to mention a weird volume drop at the final 30 second of "Finding Her"). This remix is the version that's currently available on CD.

In 1976, he linked up with session musicians who would later form Toto and recorded his smash album Silk Degrees. The album reached #2 on the US Billboard 200, and #1 in a number of countries across the world, spawning three hit singles: "Lowdown", "Lido Shuffle", and "What Can I Say", as well as the MOR standard "We're All Alone," later recorded by Rita Coolidge and Frankie Valli. "Lowdown" sold over one million copies in the US. A sellout world tour followed, but his follow-up album, the 1977 Down Two Then Left, did not fare as well commercially as Silk Degrees.
The 1980 album Middle Man spawned two top 20 hits, "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jojo," and Scaggs enjoyed two more hits in 1980-81 ("Look What You've Done to Me" from the Urban Cowboy soundtrack, and "Miss Sun" from a greatest hits set, both US #14 hits). But Scaggs' lengthy hiatus from the music industry (his next LP, Other Roads, would not appear until 1988) slowed down his chart career dramatically. "Heart of Mine" in 1988, from Other Roads, is Scaggs' latest Top 40 hit.

Scaggs continued to record and tour sporadically throughout the 1980s and 1990s, and for a time was semi-retired from the music industry. He opened the San Francisco nightclub, Slim's, in 1988, and remains a co-owner as of 2008.

After Other Roads, Scaggs took another hiatus and then came back with Some Change in 1994. He released Come On Home, an album of blues, and My Time, an anthology in the late 1990s. He garnered good reviews with Dig although the CD, which was released on September 11, 2001, was lost in the post-9/11 melée. In May 2003, Scaggs released But Beautiful, a collection of jazz standards that debuted at #1 on the jazz chart. In 2008 he released "Speak Low" which the artist described in the liner notes as "a sort of progressive, experimental effort ... along the lines of some of the ideas that Gil Evans explored."

He tours each summer, has a loyal cadre of fans, remains popular in Japan, and released a DVD and a live CD in 2004. Other releases followed. In 2008, Scaggs undertook an expanded tour across the US.

In the summer of 2010, Scaggs began a tour with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald. They are performing together as one band billed as The Dukes of September Rhythm Revue. The show includes classic rock, soul/R&B songs by various artists and personal repertoire songs from all three headliners.
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