Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Review: Boz Scaggs

Mountain Winery, Saratoga, CA

I have never been here, despite growing up in this area. My high school bus route dropped some kids off near Carneil and Wardell just down Highway 9. Fabulous venue. Four Year Bender did a short opening set, and they were very pleasant and competent. They are a local band, so maybe some of you have heard them.

About a half hour later, the band (minus Boz) came out, and some woman behind us said "Which one is Boz?" They started with "Lowdown" which was very tasty. The sound level and balance was superb. Boz was so relaxed, everything had a kind of timeless calm to it. The band was real good, not my favorite band, but I've seen Boz so many times over the years, starting as a member of the Steve Miller Blues Band at Fillmore West, it's hard to compare. He's almost as big a chameleon as David Bowie, but more sincere about it. Other songs were "Jo Jo," "Harbor Lights" (real spacy), a couple of songs from 'Dig' which I didn't know, but they went over well. He even gave one of his backup singers, Monet, a solo turn on "Street Life." The crowd loved her. Martha remarked it felt like being at our high school reunion, as far as the age of people at the show. I was so pleased when he started in to "Slow Dancer" but some of the clueless women behind us kept chattering. I guess if it's pre-"Lowdown" they don't get it. He did at least three encores, starting with the oldest song of the night, "Runnin' Blues," which was basically a showcase vehicle for the band to stretch out on. We left during the third encore, "Danger, Breakdown Straight Ahead," since we were warned we might get trapped in the parking lot. If he did "Loan Me a Dime" after that, I won't forgive myself!

I say you owe it to yourself sometime to catch a show there. Perhaps the most intimate and beautiful place I've seen.


patrick said...

Pre-Lowdown is my favorite too. The "Moments" album was just re-released as an import. It's pricey but I loved the instrumental "Can I Make It Last".

Geoff Gould said...

When I dropped out of UCSB in the Spring of 1971, I had the car all packed, and the very last item I put in the car was "Moments." The very last song I played before driving up the coast was indeed "Can I Make It Last (Or Will It Just Be Over)." I'm not sure where the cover shot was taken, but going up the coast, near Gaviota, is what it always reminds me of.