Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Old Show Report: Boz Scaggs At Great American 10-04-2007

Back in October, just before we went on hiatus, we managed to catch Boz Scaggs with his Blue Velvet Band at the Great American. The show was a warmup for their Hardly Strictly set, and was billed as a blues-centric set. For those not familiar, Scaggs is a San Francisco music mainstay: he started out with the Steve Miller Band in the 60's, went on to have a formidable solo career in the 70's, and is now the founder and owner of Slim's. Scaggs has always been something of a genre-hopper, ranging from straight up rock, to zydeco, to jazz, to blues. Given this, it was no surprise that Scaggs had put together a Country/Blues band for the Hardly Strictly.

While the band was something of a "heavy hitters" list, including Buddy Miller, Jon Cleary, Ricky Fatar, Dennis Crouch and Greg Leese, the show ultimately seemed to come up short. We here at H.A.D. have seen Boz out on a few of his non-rock tours, and this show simply didn't measure up. The set was a bit loose around the edges, and it never really climaxed to that "amazing" level we've come to know him for. Moreover, one of this big pluses of Boz's "other" shows is that they tend to include genre-specific reworkings of some of his hits. Granted, this isn't necessary, but it does serve to bring together his work in an enjoyable, unifying way.

Obviously this band is full of some fantastic musicians, and to say the set "came up short" is a relative one. The set was a fun mix of country and blues standards, and it was great to hear Boz singing some old Hank Williams tunes. Ultimately, it just seemed that the band was hastily organized, and that showed on stage. Given that this was a warmup for Hardly Stricty, we'd be curious to hear how that show sounded. In the meantime, we've gotta maintain the love for Boz: he's a musician's musician. Not afraid to genre hop, experiment, and get out there on a consistent basis. Moreover, as the owner of one of the city's few non-ClearChannel venues, he's doing a lot for the scene. Keep it up!


Anonymous said...

Wish you had the show to download!!!!

Does anyone out there have any new Scaggs shows???

Thanks - SteveR, Phila