Out of the Blues
William Royce 'Boz' Scaggs is an American singer who has been crafting blues, jazz and R&B songs for five decades, including his hit singles 'What Can I Say' and 'Lowdown'. Scaggs began his career as the guitarist for The Steve Miller Band in the 60s, before releasing his chart topping and Grammy award winning solo singles in the 1970s. This paved the road to success for Scaggs, as he continued to create meaningful and passionate songs.
‘Out of the Blues’ is the third album of a trilogy, beginning with ‘Memphis’ (2013) and then ‘A Fool to Care’ (2015), declaring a return to his Blues roots that sparked his career. Scaggs' first two albums reflected his devotion towards his favoured blues sound however, this passion seemed to have simmered down during the 70s, where he transitioned to smooth disco and pop songs. He decided to take an extended break between 1980 to 1988. This album shows his audience that he has left his pink pop jacket behind him, and has ignited his blues sound once more.
This 9 track blues album is commercial and accessible with a live feel. There is a little over dubbing which creates a raw sound with intensity. Out of the Blues truly defines who Boz Scaggs is, exposing the sheer joy that overcomes him when writing and performing the blues. Almost half the album was written by his friend Jack Walroth, who drew influence from Bobby 'Blue' Bland and Jimmy Reeves, two of Scaggs' idols who helped to shape his style and sound into what we hear today. Scaggs only wrote two tracks from the album, the rest are pre-existing songs carefully selected upon the meaning they exert. This includes my favourite track from the album, 'On the Beach'. This is a sombre rendition of Neil Young’s song, revealing the pain and struggle of living a life in the limelight. 'The world is turning, I hope it don't turn away' is a thought-provoking lyric repeated throughout the song. These expressive lyrics in combination with electric guitar flourishes creates a rhythmic and Smokey atmosphere.
Through the entirety of the album, it is obvious that Boz Scaggs has enjoyed every moment while recording, and I can whole heartedly say that ‘Out of the Blues’ has been very entertaining to listen to.
Written by Millie Pick