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Scaggs at MPAC

Robert Massimi.

Born in Canton Ohio, William Royce Scaggs became interested in music at an early age. He began learning guitar at the age of 12. At St. Marks School, he met Steve Miller of The Steve Miller Band.

This Texas school is where he received the nickname “Bosley,” later shortened to “Boz.” After his schooling, Boz moved to London where he got into the burgeoning rhythm and blues scene. In 1965, he toured Sweden and put out his first recording, which failed.

Returning to the United States, Scaggs promptly got into the booming psychedelic music center in San Francisco in 1967. He linked back up with Steve Miller recording two albums of Miller’s. Scaggs secured his own contract with Atlantic Records in 1968. He went on to write Silk Degrees in 1976, which was number two on Billboards charts. He went on to be a Grammy winner and wrote many other commercial songs but he went on later to focus on his R&B roots as well as jazzy blues

At MPAC in Morristown New Jersey, Boz Scaggs put on one of the best concerts that I have seen in quite a while. With a very talented, tight band, Scaggs opened up with Jojo. A crowed pleaser and a great choice to open up with, the crowd responded in kind. He went on to sing R&B songs like “Mixed Up,” “Shook Up Girl,” “Rock and Stick,” and “The Feeling is Gone.” Scaggs entertained the crowd with not only great music, but a fantastic light show. The blues, reds and purples were well orchestrated with each song as to create the mood that he was trying to put forth in his song and the message he was giving us. After giving us a great “Georgia,” he went on to do some of his new songs like “Harbor Lights” and “Radiator 110.” Scaggs concluded with three fantastic versions of “Look What You’ve Done to Me,” “Lowdown,” and “Lido Scuffle.” His encore songs of “What Can I Say” and “Loan Me a Dime” were just simply superb. I, would have not ended with Chuck Berry’s, “You Never Can Tell.” The whole evening was spectacular, from the band to the light show and on to the choreography, he was simply amazing. At 74-years-old, Boz Scaggs voice was as good now as ever. His constant interaction with the audience gave the impression of his gratitude over his great and long career as a versatile, talented musician.

Boz Scaggs, over decades, has been a multi-talented musician. Scaggs has excelled not only in rock, but pop and R&B, as well as jazz. Boz Scaggs went more main stream in Silk Degrees and other albums, but he is most respected in jazz as well as rhythm and blues. One would have to consider him right up there with the really great artists of that genre.

At 74-years-young, Boz Scaggs moved around the stage like he was in his twenties. He peeled through eight guitars to get his sound just right for the song he was about to play. His love for his music in particular and the music scene was evident tonight. Scaggs continues to be a major player still in the R&B/jazz scene.

MPAC ,which is in Morristown, New Jersey, has been putting on great performances for years. From ballet, to classical music and shows, MPAC is at the forefront of concerts as well. Tito, Bruce Hornsby as well as ELO and The Psychedelic Furs were recent guests at MPAC. For over 80 years this venue has excited audiences with great entertainment.  The Beach Boys will be there on December 1. MPAC have more great performers in 2019 with Alice Cooper, David Crosby and a Roy Orbison hologram concert next week.