January 1998

Boz Scaggs - Come On Home
Virgin Records America, Inc.
7243 8 42984 2 5
Released: 1997

by Jay Piriz

Musical Performance ****
Recording Quality ***
Overall Enjoyment ****

[Reviewed on CD]Man, this is one singer/musician/songwriter who has been around the block. Boz Scaggs has been making mostly pop music since, well.... The liner notes describe the compilation of music on this CD as "like trying to draw a line between where the blues and gospel end and where R&B begins; where R&B ends and becomes soul, funk, rock & roll, Stax, Motown, the Philly style, and on and on." This music on this effort is unlike any music you have ever heard from The Boz Man. I never realized Scaggs could be so soulful. "Early In The Morning," by the great Sonny Boy Williamson, is a blues standard; Scaggs delivers his rendition of this tune with pain and sorrow, just the way a great blues song should be.

There are great, classic blues and R&B songs on this CD: "Your Good Thing (Is About To End)" by Isaac Hayes and David Porter, "T-Bone Shuffle" by T-Bone Walker, "Found Love" by Jimmy Reed and the oldie but goodie "Love Letters" by Young/Heyman. The delivery of "T-Bone Shuffle" is a hot mixture of slick guitar work, horns, and a funky driving bass line...just gotta move! The very cool and quick piano work on "Sick And Tired" (Kenner/Bartholomew), is not to be outdone by the mighty horns in the background and the solo sax...from 3:05 on, this tune just cooks and cooks.

The Boz Man intersperses his own homespun tunes among the classics he borrows. "After Hours" is his own thing, a smooth blues tune with a cat on the Hammond B-3 named Dave Matthews. Could it be? Scaggs closes out this CD with "Goodnight Louise," a sweet love song about the "First, not the last, the queen of my past." The tune is spiced up with nice piano and accordion accompaniment.

I really enjoyed listening to this CD. It goes deep into a musical genre that I had not before heard him enter. To sing and play the blues, you gotta feel the blues, and not everyone can feel the blues. The Boz Man sings, plays and feels the blues on this one. The recording is not bad, but not nearly close to audiophile quality. Every now and then, performers click on a project. This is one of those projects where the total listening experience far outweighs any individual piece of the work. After such a long absence from the mainstream, it's nice that The Boz Man is home.