The first time I saw Boz Scaggs perform live was at the Matrix club in San Francisco in the early ’60s. Scaggs and another unknown, the future "gangster of love," Steve Miller, were fronting a jazz/blues combo, and they brought the crowd to their feet after every number. It’s 50 years later, and Scaggs has me back on my feet and clapping for his new album.
Memphis was recorded at Royal Studio, the home of southern soul great Al Green's biggest hits. The Reverend Al's signature R&B southern soul sound, backed by seasoned studio musicians, Memphis horns, and strings has infected Scaggs's silky smooth vocals with a warm vintage ’70s musical vibe.
The opening cut, "Gone Baby Gone," is the most obvious example of Al Green's influence and is enhanced by Scaggs's signature mellow croon. My favorite cut, "Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl,” has got that old-school Scaggs song-style with a grabbing R&B backup to the lyric "She's a mixed up shook up girl, got me so strung out, I don't know what to do." "Cadillac Walk" is a reworked cover of an old Willy De Ville classic. "Dry Spell" is a tasty Delta blues number featuring Charlie Musselwhite on harmonica. And Scaggs could not sound better than he does covering the classics "A Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Love on a Two-Way Street." There is not a bad cut on this timeless, very recommendable record.
- Album: Memphis
- Artist: Boz Scaggs
- Label: 429 Records
- Songs: (1) Gone Baby Gone (2) So Good to Be Here (3) Mixed Up, Shook up Girl (4) Rainy Night in Georgia (5) Love on a Two-Way Street (6) Pearl of the Quarter (7) Cadillac Walk (8) Corrina, Corrina (9) Can I Change My Mind (10) Dry Spell (11) You Got Me Cryin’ (12) Sunny Gone