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William Royce Scaggs a.k.a Boz Scaggs - is an American singer, lyricist and guitarist was born on 8 June 1944, Canton, Ohio.
Scaggs grew up in Texas immersed in rhythm and blues, soul music, early rock 'n' roll and raw Delta and Chicago blues-the music he heard coming over the radio airwaves across Texas and from as far away as Nashville. After learning guitar at 12, he met Steve Miller at St. Mark's School of Texas in Dallas and soon became the singer of his band, The Marksmen. They later attended the University of Wisconsin together, playing in blues bands like The Ardells and The Fabulous Knight Trains.
Leaving school, Scaggs momentarily left Texas to join the escalating rhythm and blues scene in London. After singing for The Wigs and Mother Earth, he recorded his solo debut album - Boz in 1965, which did not tend to get commercial success. He voyaged to Sweden and spent a brief time with the band The Other Side with fellow American Jack Downing and Brit Mac MacLeod.
Moving back, Scaggs headed for the flourishing psychedelic music center of San Francisco in 1967. Collaborating with Steve Miller again, he appeared on the Steve Miller Band's first two albums Children of the Future and Sailor, which won over critical reviews. After being spotted by Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner, Scaggs secured a solo contract with Atlantic Records in 1968.
In 1971 Scaggs moved to Columbia Records, where he made a string of records (Moments, Boz Scaggs & Band, My Time) that increasingly explored his love for rhythm and blues music. 1974's Slow Dancer was his most explicit bow to soul music, and it was followed two years later by the commercial and artistic breakthrough Silk Degrees. Scaggs made a few more albums (including the hit Middle Man in 1980) before taking a hiatus from the road and the pressures of stardom.
Despite acclamations, his first Atlantic album, featuring the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and slide guitarist Duane Allman, was met with tepid sales, as were follow-up albums on Columbia Records. In 1976, he teamed up with session musicians who later formed Toto and recorded his smash album Silk Degrees. The album charted #2 on the U.S. charts and #1 across the world, generating three hit singles: Lowdown, Lido Shuffle, and What Can I Say, as well as the MOR standard We're All Alone, later a hit for Rita Coolidge and covered by Frankie Valli. The 1977 album Down Two Then Left, lacked the consistency of Silk Degrees.
The 1980 album Middle Man generated top 20 hits, Breakdown Dead Ahead and Jojo, and he enjoyed 2 more hits over 1980 and 1981. But Scaggs' prolonged recess from the music industry declined his career. Heart of Mine in 1988, from Other Roads, was Scaggs' final top 40 hit but was a major AC success.
Scaggs has continued to record and tour periodically throughout the 80s and 90s. Though not much associated with music industry anymore, he now owns the Slim's - San Francisco nightclub.
Scaggs recorded Other Roads in the mid-1980s, in the early 1990s, he signed with Virgin and made four albums, including the Grammy-nominated blues collection Come On Home and the critically acclaimed 2001 release Dig. He acquired good acclaims with Dig although the CD, which was released on September 11, 2001, was lost in the post-9/11 scuffle. In May 2003, Scaggs released But Beautiful, a collection of jazz standards, gaining #1 on the jazz charts.
Fade Into Light involves Boz Scaggs innovatory style, with groundbreaking new material and revisiting old classics with refinement, grace and panache. But Beautiful - Standards Vol. 1 collection, the album is finally being released in the United States by Virgin Records, with stereo and featuring additional recording plus extra DVD features.
The selection includes unplugged versions of Lowdown, We're All Alone and Harbor Lights, three classics from the multi-platinum Silk Degrees album from 1976; a spare and haunting rendition of Simone, from 1980's Middle Man; Lost It, Time, Sierra and I'll Be the One, from 1988's acclaimed Other Roads; the new originals Some Things Happen, Fade Into Light and Just Go (which also appeared on the 1999 collection My Time: A Boz Scaggs Anthology); and a cover of Love TKO, the Teddy Pendergrass hit that Boz says he's wanted to record ever since he first heard it. Newly recorded for this release, Love TKO features Ray Parker, Jr. on electric guitar and backing vocals. In addition, Lowdown includes a new saxophone part added in 2005 by Tom Scott.
The CD side of Fade Into Light contains the audio album, while the DVD side of the disc offers the entire album in Enhanced Stereo. The DVD also includes live performances of Lowdown, Harbor Lights and We're All Alone, in 5.1 Surround Sound and High Definition Video. .
On his own Gray Cat label, Scaggs has released Greatest Hits Live, a two-disc live collection that spans his entire career. He also made But Beautiful, in which he tackled the Great American Songbook accompanied by a jazz quartet. Critics thought that Scaggs faced the challenges. Jazz Times stated impeccably good taste and vocal otherworldliness that's at once starting and arresting, while Rolling Stone remarked, Boz Scaggs is hardly the first rock star to turn toward the classic American songbook, but few have ever done it with the soulful ease he does on But Beautiful. Boz himself was principally contented about the album's response in jazz circles, both in the US and Europe.
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