NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Boz Scaggs will be turning 70 next month, but you’d never know it judging by his demanding two-hour set, including three encores, at New Jersey’s legendary State Theatre in New Brunswick on May 6. The legendary singer/songwriter/guitarist brought his unique brand of blue-eyed soul to town on a cross-country tour promoting Memphis, his first studio album in five years.
The show featured the best of Boz tunes released over the course of an enduring career which has spanned a half-century thus far and counting. Believe it or not, this critic first caught him in concert 45 years ago at the Fillmore East when he was a sideman in the Steve Miller Band as the opening act for Neil Young.
On May 6, Boz’s group was the only one on the bill, and it performed inspired renditions of his much-beloved hits like “Lido Shuffle,” “What Can I Say,” “Harbor Lights” and “Lowdown” which won the Grammy for Best R&B Song of 1976. They also played an array of popular standards ranging from “Rainy Night In Georgia” to “Proud Mary” to “Corrina, Corrina” to Sly And The Family Stone’s “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mic Elf Agin).”
Since he was fresh from the New Orleans Jazz Festival, Boz decided to do “Sick And Tired” in tribute to Big Easy native son Fats Domino. And he played “Cadillac Walk” and “Mixed Up Shook Up Girl” from the new CD, too.
Boz’s velvety voice was backed by a very talented ensemble ostensibly well-schooled in creating the trademark lush ambience his fans came to hear. A truly soothing, mood-setting treat by a smooth crooner who like a fine wine just gets better with time.
For more information on Boz Scaggs and his latest album, Memphis, go to bozscaggs.com.