Runnin' Blue

Runnin' Blue

4.0 1
by Boz Scaggs
     
 

Runnin' Blue was recorded live on March 10, 1974, at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, just across the Bay from Boz Scaggs' adopted hometown of San Francisco. At the time the band was on tour supporting his most commercially successful album to date, Slow Dancer, over two years before he broke the charts wide open with Silk Degrees. There are 18See more details below

Overview

Runnin' Blue was recorded live on March 10, 1974, at the Paramount Theater in Oakland, just across the Bay from Boz Scaggs' adopted hometown of San Francisco. At the time the band was on tour supporting his most commercially successful album to date, Slow Dancer, over two years before he broke the charts wide open with Silk Degrees. There are 18 cuts here, and eight of them come from Slow Dancer. The rest reach all the way back to his 1969 self-titled album for Atlantic; his Columbia debut, Moments, and Boz Scaggs & Band (both issued in 1971); and My Time from 1972. In other words, this is Scaggs playing through his catalog. His backing group is made up of a stellar cast of characters including guitarists Les Dudek (remember the hit "Shannon"?) and Chris Michie, jazz bassist Gene Santini, drummer Richard Schlosser, and Joachim Young on keyboards. But that's just the core. Scaggs is well-known for employing larger ensembles on his tours and this one is no exception: Julia Tillman, Carolyn Willis, and Merna Matthews are his backing chorus, and an orchestral horn and string section is also on-stage, conducted by Fred Mergy. This set was released by Europe's Music Avenue label, and licensed via an organization in London. There is no Sony imprint here, but that doesn't make it a bootleg either. It feels as if this is a radio broadcast, but it may simply be a board tape dressed up a bit for CD. The sound isn't pristine, but it's far from dodgy. Everything can be heard clearly, if there is just a shade too much bass. The performance more than accounts for it: it's inspired, near flawless, and utterly soulful; it literally crackles with energy. Scaggs was always a great bandleader who knew what he wanted both in the studio and on the road. What's beautiful here is that the crowd on hand knows the material, recognizing almost every song, and Scaggs thanks them sincerely: Johnny Bristol's "Pain of Love," "Dinah Flo," "I'll Be Long Gone," "You Make It So Hard (To Say No)," Ronnie Dyson's hit "Just Don't Want to Be Lonely," an amazing "Monkey Time," "Take It for Granted," "There Is Someone Else," etc. Scaggs penned all but two cuts here, and he's got the band well rehearsed and full of fire. The gorgeous R&B otherworldiness comes through in his voice, and his sense of groove and time is impeccable. In other words, if you dig Scaggs -- especially the earlier material -- you need this. Again, the sound quality is not really a detriment and it is more than compensated for in the price -- this baby is cheap and there is no reason to not to recommend it heartily. If anything, it goes a step further in establishing the pure weight and depth of Scaggs' contribution to modern blue-eyed soul and R&B.

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Product Details

Release Date:
07/10/2007
Label:
Music Avenue Records
UPC:
5413992501731
catalogNumber:
250173

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