High school Rock bands come and go. Rarely does a one manage to stay together - post-high school - and make it. Just as rare is having those high school relationships pay-off down the road.
Born in Canton, OH, Boz Scaggs' family made the trek west finally settling in Plano, TX, just north of Dallas. Though born with the name William Royce Scaggs, a classmate nicknamed him "Bosley." In no time that was shortened to "Boz." Scaggs joined a couple of another classmate's bands. Eventually, Scaggs and Steve Miller continued their musical partnership when they went to the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Looking for opportunities, Scaggs went to London where he got a recording contract and made his solo debut album "Boz." Unfortunately, the album was not a commercial success. Two years later, '67, Boz was in San Francisco. There he reconnected with Miller and played on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums, "Children Of The Future" and "Sailor."
That experience led to a solo contract with Atlantic Records. His first effort, "Boz Scaggs," failed to resonate. Subsequent efforts didn't fare any better.
In '76, Scaggs worked with session musicians who later formed Toto (David Paich, Jeff Porcaro and David Hungate). Despite the rather dubious connection, this proved to be the perfect backing for Scaggs. Containing the R&B flavored "Lowdown," and "What Can I Say," plus the ballad "We're All Alone" and the classic bass/synth driven "Lido Shuffle," "Silk Degrees" peaked at #2 on the album chart.
Expectations were high for the '77 follow-up "Down Two Then Left." But aside from the popish " Hollywood " there wasn't much. Three years later, "Middle Man" spawned the marginal hits "Breakdown Dead Ahead" and "Jojo."
The ballad "Look What You've Done To Me" landed on the "Urban Cowboy" soundtrack and "Miss Sun," which was a single from his "Greatest Hits," were Scaggs' last shots for awhile. He became a restaurateur, opening the Blue Light Cafe in San Francisco. "Fortune and fame aren't what they appear to be," Scaggs told Rolling Stone in an interview. "The demands that are created by a career on that level were more than I wanted to continue at that time. I wanted to step outside it." Most expected Scaggs to take a year - maybe two - off. Turned out closer to seven.
'88's "Other Roads" contained yet another Top 40 hit ballad (his last) "Heart Of Mine." Around this time Scaggs launched Slim's, a nightclub also in San Francisco. Semi-retired from the music biz, Scaggs toured and recorded infrequently.
"Some Change" arrived in '94 and "Come On Home," three years later. Scaggs' next effort, "Dig," had the misfortune of being release on 9/11/01 and got lost melee that followed. Changing direction, Scaggs issued "But Beautiful," a collection of standards that topped the Jazz chart. "Speak Low," an "experimental effort" dropped in '08.
Scaggs then toured with kindred spirits Donald Fagen (Steely Dan) and Michael McDonald (Doobie Brothers) billed as the Dukes of September Rhythm Revue.
He went the covers route again in '13, only this time it was with R&B classics, for "Memphis" which cracked Billboard's Top 20.
Recorded in Nashville, "A Fool To Care" dropped in March of '15. The American roots (Blues, R&B, with a dab of Country and Jazz) oriented album was completed in four days. "Full Of Fire" circled the '70s Scaggs sound. Bonnie Raitt played guitar and sang a duet with Scaggs on Blues shuffle "Hell To Pay."
1969 Boz Scaggs
1971 Boz Scaggs & Band
1972 My Time
1974 Slow Dancer
1976 Silk Degrees
1977 Down Two Then Left
1980 Middle Man
1988 Other Roads
1994 Some Change
1996 Fade Into Light
1997 Come On Home
1997 My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology
2001 The Lost Concert
2003 But Beautiful
2004 Greatest Hits Live
2008 Speak Low
2015 A Fool To Care
The album to get, for obvious reasons, is "Silk Degrees." Classic songs with solid backing - not to mention Scaggs' unique blue-eyed soul vocals - make this his premier album. "Hits" just adds more ballads though "Breakdown Dead Ahead" is one of the few times, along with "Lido Shuffle," where Boz really cranks it up.