"I am not a jazz singer. I wouldn't place myself on that footing. I wouldn't even enter that arena" - Boz Scaggs
The winsome Now You’re Gone taps into the contemporary trend for gentle, melodious country rock while the vaguely McCartney-esque Finding Her is a quirky, staccato slow one. It utilises some classical-sounding keyboards and a waltz beat together with some jazzy syncopated percussion to great effect. Look What I Got is a slide guitar-backed piece of bluesy slow soul enhanced by some robust brass. Waiting For A Train was a very Americana-influenced number with a nice bluesy feel, save a few Jimmie Rodgers (it was va cover of one of his songs) yodel-style vocals. Loan Me A Dime, for some reason, is deafeningly loud in comparison to the album’s other tracks, with a huge pounding drum sound and a deep as hell bass. There is also considerable tape hiss that makes you think your speakers are packing up. It features Duane Allman on some unsurprisingly fabulous blues guitar and is twelve and a half minutes long in true end of the sixties indulgent (but ultimately forgivable) fashion. The final track, Sweet Release, is a wonderful piece of Van Morrison-esque white soul. It almost could be the man himself.
Lowdown was also a minor hit single and remains a soul funk favourite that will make it on to playlists on dedicated soul shows and no soul aficionado will object. There is a bit of Latin Hustle disco flute twittering around on here too. It’s Over could almost be Tavares or The Detroit Spinners when you hear its brass and strings intro. Once again, it is a wonderful piece of lively summery poppy soul. In many ways, stuff like this is just as much the sound of 1976-77 as any early punk or disco. Love Me Tomorrow is a slightly funky soully number and then we get one of my all time favourite mid-late seventies singles in the infectious, horn-driven glory of Lido Shuffle. I am sure the song borrows slightly from Bruce Springsteen’s Kitty’s Back in one of its horn riffs though, the instrumental break near the end. The album ends with the sumptuous ballad We’re All Alone, a beautiful song that became better known through Rita Coolidge’s version, which was a big chart hit. It is a staple of “romantic rock ballads” compilations. All these years later, Scaggs is still recording but despite some excellent albums he never really bettered this, commercially.
Released on 27th September 2005 (US)
For some reason, this superbly soulful, soothing album was released twice, nine years apart. Either way, it is a masterpiece of smoochy, romantic soul/AOR. Scaggs is rarely mentioned as a master of the genre, but he truly is. This appealing album is proof.
Scaggs uses many musicians on the album and the quality shines through on both their playing and the sound quality.