Lowdown in Minneapolis

We saw Boz Scaggs perform live with a jazz combo in Minneapolis at the Dakota Restaurant and Jazz Club earlier this year. Boz put on an awesome show in an intimate setting, covering some of the standards he has recorded in recent years as well as reinterpreting his hits of the 1970’s. We sat about five feet from Boz, who is still lanky and cool after all these years. (The video below from his 2004 “Greates Hits Live” DVD gives a pretty good idea of how he sounds nowadays.) We loved the show.
This past Thursday night Boz returned to town with a new touring unit to play the State Theater before a sold-out crowd of old fans. Before a larger audience, the emphasis was naturally on his old hits rather than his new recordings. Singing the old songs, Boz sounds better than ever. During the first of two encores he played a smoldering version of Fenton Robinson’s “Loan Me a Dime,” from his first solo recording forty years ago. The guitar solos inevitably brought the late Duane Allman’s essential contribution to the original recording to mind, but Boz’s vocal plumbed new depths. The man can sing.
On earlier stops of this tour, Boz has played with Michael McDonald. In Minneapolis, Boz easily sold the house out on his own. He spoke fondly of Minneapolis as a venue when he returned for his second encore, recalling his first time through town many years ago at the old Guthrie Theater as well as subsequent stops at First Avenue. I can’t find a list of upcoming tour dates online. If you get a chance to see him perform, though, don’t miss it.


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