Dates & TimeFri, Mar 30 | 8pm
Fans who have followed Boz Scaggs’ remarkable career dating back to the late '60s with the Steve Miller Band, his solo triumphs with such classic albums as “Silk Degrees” (1976) and “Middle Man” (1980), and the splendid assurance of late-period high points like “Some Change” (1994) and “Dig” (2001), will instantly recognize Scaggs’ characteristically deft touch as a singer. Don’t miss Boz Scaggs live at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino on Friday, March 30.
“I’m at a point where I’m having a lot of fun with music, more than ever,” Scaggs says about his spellbinding new album, ‘A Fool to Care.’ “It’s like I’m just going wherever I want to go with it.”
He brings a sly drawl to a funky workout like Li’l Millet and the Creoles’ “Rich Woman,” a conversational intimacy to Bobby Charles’s “Small Town Talk” and an elegant delicacy to the Impressions’ “I’m So Proud.” He easily negotiates the Latin flavoring of “Last Tango on 16th Street” and “I Want to See You,” both written by San Francisco bluesman (and longtime Scaggs compatriot) Jack Walroth. His soul is effortless and deeply felt, never making a show of itself, but unmistakably evident in every lyric he delivers.
Recording the album over four days at Blackbird Studio in Nashville made possible the participation of such notable guests as guitarist Reggie Young, who lights up a sinuous cover of Al Green’s “Full of Fire” and steel guitarist Paul Franklin who lifts a gorgeous reading of Richard Hawley’s “There’s A Storm A Comin’” into the stratosphere. Horns, strings and soulful background vocalists allow the album to render.
Two guests in particular make definitive contributions to “A Fool to Care.” Bonnie Raitt duets sassily with Scaggs on vocals and adds her characteristically sizzling slide guitar to “Hell to Pay,” a knowing indictment of corruption on both the personal and political level that Scaggs wrote himself. Lucinda Williams closes out the album with Scaggs on “Whispering Pines.” The two perform the song as a kind of prayer for deliverance, each of their voices yearning for a redemption that alternately seems barely within reach or drifting just out of reach.
What ultimately communicates about “A Fool to Care” is how fully Scaggs inhabits these songs. They seem less like interpretations than realizations, proof that when you truly make someone else’s song your own, you paradoxically restore something essential to it. Scaggs believes that this album and “Memphis,” its immediate predecessor, might turn out to be the first two parts of a trilogy, a three-album collaboration with producer Steve Jordan and the band of extraordinarily empathetic musicians they love to work with. “A Fool to Care” is here right now, and to overlook its many great pleasures by thinking about more that might come in the future would be foolish and uncaring indeed.
Tickets go on sale Jan. 26.