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Boz Scaggs at the Egg (review)

Short Description of Boz Scaggs at the Egg (review)

Boz Scaggs

The Egg

State Street, Albany

theegg.org

By Stacey Morris

 

ALBANY, N.Y. – Boz Scaggs made himself a household name by caressing lyrics into unforgettable melodies. The languid R&B vibe of “Lowdown” and softly crooned love songs like “Look What You’ve Done to Me,” are what put him on the map.  And though the platinum-selling guitarist and vocalist promised to play “songs you heard on the radio or on 8-tracks,” he didn’t sing enough of them on Tuesday at his performance at The Egg at the Empire State Plaza.

 

There’s no question Scaggs is still a consummate showman and his voice, after nearly 50 years in the business, still captivates. But it wasn’t until the 8th song and nearly an hour into is performance that the icon finally launched into a hit with lushly extended version of “Lowdown.”  Prior to that, Scaggs chose to delve rather deeply into his bluesy “Memphis” album, as well as “Sierra” from 1994’s “Some Change.” It seemed he was intent for the first 7 songs, to show us a persona other than the chart topper.

But considering that the multi-platinum “Silk Degrees” from 1976 made him the superstar we came to see, he could have seen fit to deliver a few more hits to his audience.  He’s great as a bluesman, but we know him for “It’s Over,” “Breakdown Dead Ahead,” JoJo,” “Look What You’ve Done to Me,” and “Harbor Lights,” none of which were sung on Tuesday.

 

A too-long solo performance by his back up singer further distanced us from the man we’d schlepped through a torrential rain storm to hear.  She’s unquestionably a talented vocalist, but sorry, Boz, we didn’t show up for her. Scagg’s five-piece band was pretty remarkable and many of them did double and triple-duty on varying instruments. Guitarist Michael Miller’s solo riffs nearly stole the show.

Scaggs’ music that night seemed to delight the sold-out audience, and he sung enough favorites such as “Hey Miss Sun,” “Georgia,” “What Can I Say” and the iconic “Lido Shuffle,” to make it an overall enjoyable 90 minutes.

Scaggs still hits the high notes well, as he did in Lowdown, and clearly is still on his game vocally. During “Miss Sun” he stood still as a statue, commanding melodic drawls with no effort.  Scaggs’ voice can be both mournful and soothing, and then suddenly falsetto, as he reflects, almost lullabye-style, on love, loss, and troubled scoundrels. 

After the obligatory small string of hits were sung, Scaggs switched back to his preferred gear of the evening. “We’re going to leave you with the blues tonight,” he said, alluding to “Loan Me A Dime” and “Sick and Tired.” And to those who’d come expecting to hear more of Scaggs’ signature songs…he did.

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Address: The Egg, Albany

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