Boz Scaggs, the Grammy Award-winning, multiplatinum-selling singer/songwriter/guitarist, released his latest album Memphis in 2013, after a five-year hiatus. The record is a self-proclaimed retrospective compilation of songs that Scaggs says best matches his style and voice.
All those tracks and much more were on full display at NYCB Theatre at Westbury Sunday night, Aug. 3.
The evening’s set list was a mix of something old, something new, something borrowed—and mostly blues.
Born William Royce Scaggs, Boz (shortened from Bosley, a nickname given from a school-age friend), recently celebrated his 70th birthday, and not showing his age one bit, reached a pinnacle in his performance with his whiskey-smooth voice galvanizing his fans into a swaying mass.
Gold standards like “Georgia” and “Lowdown” were backed up by a stellar six-piece band, and Scaggs, confident in his own near-perfect performance, shared the spotlight with Grammy Award-winning singer Ms. Monet (Conesha Monet Owens), who brought the house down with her rendition of Sly & the Family Stone’s Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) and Sam & Dave’s “I Thank You.”
“Corrina, Corrina,” a 12-bar country blues song that was written more than 85 years ago was “Bozzed” into a perfect rendition and begs the eternal question that Bob Dylan and so many others have asked throughout the decades: “Corrina, Corrina, where have you been so long?”
Scaggs ended the concert with the funky, sultry “Lowdown,” and when the band left the stage, many fans left their seats to get a jump on exiting the parking lot.
After a loud and long standing ovation, Scaggs and his band took the stage once again and launched into “Lido Shuffle.” Almost like a fire drill in reverse, fans raced back to their seats so they wouldn’t miss a minute of this classic.
Scaggs managed to save his bluesy best for the encore, with a powerful 15-minute production of “Loan Me A Dime,” a concert staple, reminiscent of his days back in ’69 laying down the track for his second, self-titled album, with the late, great Duane “Skydog” Allman.
Scaggs and his entourage had the entire venue moving to his own brand of music with a hypnotic beat, like “Smokestack Lightning.”
For more information on future shows at NYCB Theatre at Westbury, check out their page in The Island Ear.