South Shore Music Circus
June 13, 2008
Sick and Tired
Street Life - (performed by Monet)
Look What You've Done To Me
Loan Me A Dime
Breakdown Dead Ahead
Friday night Boz Scaggs came to the Midstate Fair in Paso Robles for Jazz Night. I was fortunate enough to be offered 2 tickets from a friend who happened to have a table. This is the first time I have had the opportunity to sit so close to the stage, so of course we decided to go. Add to that how much I enjoy Boz Scaggs and his band, and you know I was a happy camper.
The first time my husband and I saw Boz was 32 years ago on New Years Eve at the art deco Paramount Theatre Downtown Oakland, Ca. Construction on the Paramount began in late 1930. The Paramount Theatre was one of only three theatres built by the Publix chain on the West Coast. It was not only the last Publix house but was also the last very large moving picture theatre built on the West Coast and is now the largest of the type still existing there. Financial pressure of the times forced Publix to sell the theatre prior to its completion, and although it opened as the Oakland Paramount on December 16, 1931, it was one of the Fox West Coast theatres.
Since it was New Years Eve, everyone was dressed to the 9s, and many arrived in limos. We were about 6 months into a whirlwind romance, madly in love, and so Boz Scaggs, along with his great dance music, always brings back wonderful memories.
The first half of the concert at the Paramount, Boz came out in what looked like black silk slacks and a white silk shirt. I thought the music was great, and the Paramount Theatre was a beauty in itself. Formerly, it had been a very large movie theatre but then had been converted into a venue for live performances. After a brief intermission, Boz came back on stage in a full tuxedo, and shortly into the next song, the stage curtain behind him opened to the accompaniment of a full orchestra behind him. We were awed and in heaven I will forever remember that night
The concert on Friday came at an appropriate time. This Thursday, August 7th, we are celebrating our 30th anniversary. The concert wasnt at a fancy theatre, it wasnt New Years Eve and there was no orchestra, but it was still Boz Scaggs and his band at their best. Boz was perfect, as usual, and his 2 backup singers are fabulous; particularly Monet.
My favorite duet with Boz and Monet is Miss Sun. They play well off of each other, and Monets voice is incredible. That woman has one healthy set of lungs. She also took the stage for one song by herself while Boz took a short break. Im surprised she doesnt headline concerts on her own, but Im happy shes still with Boz. She is a wonderful surprise for folks who havent seen Boz before in concert.
Anyway, the event was fabulous and fun, as I expected it to be. We all brought food, there were bottles of wine for sale, lots of the tables were decorated for the event, and I know everyone had a great time. The crowd was up singing and dancing about 15 minutes into the concert, and toward the end, I dont think anyone was seated. The only disappointment was that the concert didnt last longer (always a complaint of a paying customer - we want more!). Boz did come back for an encore of 2 songs, ending with Loan me a Dime. It was a great outdoor summer evening!
- Sherry Lee Cox
Greenwich Village NYC
Nov. 15, 2008
My wife Mary Ann, daughter Alyssa and I saw Boz last night at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village. Both the 8:00 and 10:30 shows were sold out. This was the first time we had been to the Village, and it was an experience. NYC truly is the city that never sleeps.
I've spent the last few weeks listening to Speak Low, and I can honestly say that the studio recording doesn't come anywhere close to the live performance. Boz was spectacular, Monet was in great form, and the band was phenomenal. In a nutshell, it was much, much better than I expected.
Here's the handbill from the Blue Note:
This was the sixth time I've seen Boz in concert (third time this year), and he gets better and better with each performance. I look forward to his next tour, and to a bottle of his wine!
My best to everyone,
Friday, November 21, 2008
Singers who have climbed the rock charts rarely make the transition to a jazz-tinted, vintage-pop repertoire as smoothly -- or as subtly -- as Boz Scaggs did at Blues Alley on Wednesday night. It was strictly a soft-sell performance, soulful and relaxed, free of self-consciously hip flourishes and trendy concessions.
Certainly Scaggs was equipped to do justice to "Speak Low," his recent and most rewarding collection of pop songs. The veteran R&B-bred vocalist arrived onstage with an exceptional band that featured multi-instrumentalists Paul McCandless (of Oregon fame) and Bob Sheppard, as well as keyboardist-arranger Gil Goldstein. With its unusually colorful array of woodwinds and resourceful rhythm section, the ensemble conjured moods that embraced everything from chamber jazz atmospherics and Brazilian beats to classic swing and soul grooves.
Scaggs didn't disappoint listeners who wanted to hear "Lowdown" and other favorites. Yet the arrangements were newly tailored and fit neatly alongside several songs drawn from "Speak Low," including interpretations of "I'll Remember April" and "Invitation" that quietly capitalized on the singer's jazz sensibilities and the distinctive, floating quality of his baritone. Other songs, especially "Save Your Love for Me" and "This Time the Dream's on Me" (an engaging duet with vocalist Ms. Monet), weren't much of a stretch for Scaggs, but he handled challenging harmonic schemes and some treacherously slow tempos without a hitch. His R&B guitar vocabulary also came into play now and then, to the delight of the packed house, with sliding sixths and vibrato-capped fills creating a bluesy allure.
-- Mike Joyce