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Boz Scaggs: Memphis

Album Review

Smooth operator: atmospheric R&B from the guitar legend.

A troubadour in the true sense of the word – rather than chase the success of 1976’s Silk Degrees, Scaggs spent most of the 80s travelling – the follow-up to 2008’s Speak Low finds him in typically laconic mood.

Recorded at Willie Mitchell’s legendary Memphis studio with an all-star band – including Ray ‘Ghostbusters’ Parker Jr – this genre-jumping collection of sunshine soul (Gone Baby Gone), bluesy riffing (Dry Spell), and jazzy covers (Rainy Night In Georgia) could smack of indulgence. However, Scaggs never sounds anything less than vibed-up, his honey-soaked tones complemented by lush arrangements on standouts Love On A Two Way Street and Sunny Gone

Unlikely to win any new fans, then, but this richly textured mix of soft-focus funk, soul, jazz and R&B will delight those in thrall to an artist who’s not so much laid back as horizontal.

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