It’s appropriate that Boz Scaggs’ new album is Out of the Blues, since the blues is what first sparked his five-decade musical career. Born William Royce Scaggs, he grew up in Oklahoma and Texas, where he spent his teenage years immersed in the blues, R&B, and early rock ‘n’ roll. After several years as a journeyman musician, he spent time traveling in Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, eventually settling in Stockholm, where he recorded the album Boz.
Returning to the U.S. in 1967, Scaggs joined the Steve Miller Band in San Francisco, performing on that group’s albums Children of the Future and Sailor, before launching his solo career with 1968’s seminal Boz Scaggs LP. He continued to mine a personalized mix of rock, blues, and R&B influences, along with a signature style of ballads on such influential ’70s albums as Moments, Boz Scaggs & Band, My Time, Slow Dancer, and Silk Degrees. The latter release became a massive commercial breakthrough, reaching #2 and remaining on Billboard’s album charts for 115 weeks. It spawned three Top 40 hit singles: “It’s Over,” “Lido Shuffle,” and the Grammy®-winning “Lowdown.” Silk Degrees was followed by the albums Down Two Then Left and Middle Man, and such hit singles as “Breakdown Dead Ahead,” “Jo Jo,” and “Look What You’ve Done to Me.”
Despite his ’70s successes, Scaggs spent much of the 1980s out of the music-biz spotlight, traveling, opening a family business, fathering young children, and founding the San Francisco nightclub Slim’s. He returned to the studio after an eight-year hiatus and released Other Roads, Some Change, Dig, the Grammy-nominated Come on Home, the unplugged Fade Into Light, and the in-concert retrospective Greatest Hits Live. A pair of albums of jazz standards, But Beautiful and Speak Low, demonstrated Scaggs’ stylistic mastery, as did the Southern-flavored Memphis and the rhythm & bluesy A Fool to Care.
“Music has been a constant companion and I’m feeling more free with it than ever.” – Boz Scaggs