A casual listen to the Boz Scaggs discography reveals that he is both a musical seeker and a man of sizable talent as a singer, songwriter and guitarist. His explorations in blues, R&B, rock and jazz have produced lasting work and a career that has brought with it acclaim, a loyal following and an enduring respect among musicians.
With Memphis (429 Records), his first studio album in five years, Scaggs looks back musically and biographically— his father and grandparents are from Memphis, as is his wife.
“I had been thinking about a record that involved going back into my past and finding songs that match my style and my voice,” Scaggs says. With producer Steve Jordan and a crack band, he puts a distinctive touch on classics like “Rainy Night in Georgia,” “Corinna Corinna,” and “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl,” as well as on a couple of originals. Thirteen tracks were recorded in three days at the city’s landmark Royal Studios, where the late Willie Mitchell produced so many of Al Green’s and Anne Peebles’ legendary albums.
In addition to touring extensively with his own band, Scaggs continues to work with Donald Fagen and Michael McDonald as The Dukes of September, most recently a playing a 47-city tour to rave reviews, performing their own material along with R&B and soul classics. Within that collaboration, throughout his career and especially evident in Memphis, Scaggs’ unique voice and trademark sound make plain his abiding respect for a wide spectrum of American roots music. www.429records.com/sites/429records/429details/d_bozscaggs.asp
Rayland Baxter’s debut album Feathers & Fishhooks was released in August 2012 on ATO Records. His songs are a calming force for anyone looking for change, for love, or wanting to walk in a different direction — because it was his own quest for all those things that motivated the music.
“I had nothing to write about until I was 25. I had to live through a lot,” he says, “and I when I sing, I don’t hold back. I’ll cry on stage if it came to it. It’s an emotional release for me, and there’s no makeup on it. It puts me at ease, and that’s what I hope it will do for those who listen.” Down the mountains and the valleys, like the breeze. www.raylandbaxter.com
For more information on the concert, call 270-904-1880 or visit www.theskypac.com/event/boz-scaggs-special-guest-rayland-baxter.