Memphis

( 4 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On Memphis, Boz Scaggs pays tribute to the city's magnificent soul tradition, Al Green, and producer Willie Mitchell and his Royal Recordings studio, whose location and personnel were used to cut it in three days. Produced by drummer Steve Jordan, the core band includes the singer and Ray Parker, Jr. on guitars, and bassist Willie Weeks, augmented by the Royal Horns & Strings, a small backing chorus, sidemen, and guests. Green's influence is celebrated in the opener, Scaggs' "Gone Baby Gone." Its wafting B-3, Rhodes, fluid electric guitars, and a tight backbeat underscore his baritone croon to excellent effect. If there were doubts about the quality of his voice at this ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
On Memphis, Boz Scaggs pays tribute to the city's magnificent soul tradition, Al Green, and producer Willie Mitchell and his Royal Recordings studio, whose location and personnel were used to cut it in three days. Produced by drummer Steve Jordan, the core band includes the singer and Ray Parker, Jr. on guitars, and bassist Willie Weeks, augmented by the Royal Horns & Strings, a small backing chorus, sidemen, and guests. Green's influence is celebrated in the opener, Scaggs' "Gone Baby Gone." Its wafting B-3, Rhodes, fluid electric guitars, and a tight backbeat underscore his baritone croon to excellent effect. If there were doubts about the quality of his voice at this juncture, they're immediately dispelled when his sweet falsetto emerges. In his cover of Green's "So Good to Be Here," Scaggs references him but digs deeper into his own trick bag with more rounded, earthier highlights. Then Scaggs begins to move the recording off the ledge a bit. His take on Willy DeVille's "Mixed Up Shook Up Girl" reveals just how deep the late New York rocker's R&B roots really ran as a songwriter. He furthers that notion in covering Moon Martin's "Cadillac Walk," a tune that was a minor hit for DeVille. Scaggs lets raucous, electric roadhouse blues hold sway. These songs draw attention to an under-celebrated singer, songwriter, and performer. Scaggs has always loved the seam where roadhouse blues and R&B meet. The nasty readings of Jimmy Reed's "You Got Me Cryin'" and the Meters' "Dry Spell" attest to that. The latter features a scorching electric dobro solo by Keb' Mo'. Blues are reconstructed in the gorgeous version of "Corrina Corrina." While it is recorded somewhat nearer to its traditional folk origins, Spooner Oldham's Wurlitzer ghosts in from the margins and ushers it in from history to the present era. In Scaggs' smooth voice, the passage of time blurs; it stretches and ultimately ceases to matter. Motown gets the Royal Studios treatment in the glorious reading of Sylvia Robinson's "Love on a Two-Way Street," which features Funk Brother Jack Ashford on vibes. In a real twist, Steely Dan's "Pearl of the Quarter" proves a real set highlight, as early rock & roll, doo wop, Memphis soul, New Orleans R&B, and jazz all come flowing through the band's presentation and Lester Snell's string arrangement. They buoy Scaggs, whose trademark phrasing and emotional honesty offer immediacy and closeness. His own "Sunny Gone" closes it. His lower register is drenched in a meld of R&B, jazz, and his own classic pop balladry -- à la "Harbor Lights" -- carry his delivery which sends Memphis whispering off with a touch of melancholy elegance. This set is a stunner. Scaggs is in full possession of that iconic voice; he delivers songs with an endemic empathy and intimacy that make them sound like living, breathing stories.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/5/2013
  • Label: Savoy Jazz
  • UPC: 795041788924
  • Catalog Number: 17889
  • Sales rank: 6,129

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Boz Scaggs Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals
Charlie Musselwhite Harmonica
Rick Vito Guitar
Jack Ashford Vibes
Ben Cauley Trumpet
Jim Cox Organ, Piano, fender rhodes
Shannon Forrest Drums
Jack Hale Trombone
Charles Hodges Organ
Jim Horn Baritone Saxophone
David Hungate Bass
Spooner Oldham Organ, Piano
Ray Parker Jr. Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Claytoven Richardson Background Vocals
Willie Weeks Electric Bass, Upright Bass
Eddie Willis Guitar
Keb' Mo' Slide Dobro
Wen-Yih You Violin
Steve Jordan Percussion, Drums, Background Vocals
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell Percussion, Strings, Horn
Jennifer Puckett Viola
Jonathan Kirkscey Cello
Monet Owens Background Vocals, Spoken Word
Lannie McMillan Tenor Saxophone
Barrie Cooper Violin
Jessie Munson Violin
Mark Wallace Cello
Beth Luscome Viola
Technical Credits
Jimmy Reed Composer
Donald Fagen Composer
Al Green Composer
Boz Scaggs Composer
Willy DeVille Composer
Michael Allen Composer
Willie Mitchell String Arrangements
Tony Joe White Composer
Walter Becker Composer
Niko Bolas Engineer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Moon Martin Composer
Sylvia Robinson Composer
Lester Snell Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
Ewart Abner Composer
David Alan Kogut Art Direction
Steve Fallone Mastering
Carl Wolfolk Composer
Barry Despenza Composer
Steve Jordan Producer, Horn Arrangements, String Arrangements
J. Michael Rodriguez overdub engineer, Vocal Engineer
Traditional Composer
Matt McGinley Photo Assistance
Jack "Applejack" Walroth Composer
Lawrence "Boo" Mitchell Engineer
Chris Tabarez Engineer, overdub engineer, Vocal Engineer
BB Keys Composer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 4 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2013

    Boz is back!  And it's a welcome return.  This album is soulful,

    Boz is back!  And it's a welcome return.  This album is soulful, earnest, and sounds great in my car.  The bonus disc is perfect for fans who appreciate stripped-down arrangements!  Buy this now.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 22, 2013

    Boz is Back!? Has he ever left? There are few cd's (albums) of m

    Boz is Back!? Has he ever left? There are few cd's (albums) of material where you listen to the whole collection and say WOW! This is right up there. I picked this up a a whim because a) he is a great musician, singer, composer and b) the song set (yeah many covers but wait until you hear this). I was blown away. This is a stunning set of songs first to last (and the B&N bonus disc set is a must have as well). As other's have said here put it in the car stereo and just float on down the highway. I bought a copy for some friends of mine and they are fighting over who get its for their car. But again it's the music and these songs. His rendition of "Rainy Night in Georgia" may make you think who recorded this before ,,, a perfect music moment! "Mixed Up Shook Up Girl" grooves and evokes a Van Morrison feel. You might say "not another version of Corrina, Corrina" but this version might reset the benchmark. Every song on Memphis sounds fresh and heart felt, ala signature Boz Scaggs. I remember Boz from '76's Silk Degrees and earlier releases and never really ventured much beyond that. What I and probably many have been missing over he years. I am now venturing out his other releases I have missed over the years. Memphis does not disappoint, a must have for any music lover of any genre.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2013

    Boz has the smoothest voice on this CD. Do not hesitate to buy

    Boz has the smoothest voice on this CD. Do not hesitate to buy it! I saw Boz in Bethlehem, PA performing some of these songs and some old favorites. He is the best! I have the CD in the car, on my phone and I listen to it to just feel his voice, very soothing.Give it a go!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 31, 2013

    Boz Scaggs is the Sinatra of Rock & Roll !! This Man is THE

    Boz Scaggs is the Sinatra of Rock & Roll !! This Man is THE REAL THING !!!! Smooth as Silk and Mellow as can be....... I recommend this CD to everyone who likes singers with originality a a style of their own He not some old guy trying to imitate the older Black singers like Bobby Bland or Ray Charles.Recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis with my late Friend Willie Mitchell........ Boz is here to stay!!! Alan Walden,2003 Inductee, Georgia Music Hall Of Fame

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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews