North Shore 104.9 Podcasts

September 8, 2008 - Interviewed by Aurelia Nelson

Aurelia: I have one of my musicial heroes here, I'm just so delighted to be able to speak to Boz Scaggs. He's going to be at the North Shore Music Theatre tonight. There are still a few tickets left, not many so you really have to get to the North Shore Music Theatre Box Office. It's an incredible opportunity to see a guy who has been around for a long time, and who has covered every musical genre. Thanks so much talking to us today Boz.

Boz: I'm glad to be here Aurelia.

Aurelia: As a kid from Texas what influenced you musically way back when, when you were getting started ?

Boz: I came from that generation, that first generation of rock n roll. My first record was Elvis Presley's "You Aint Nothin But A Hound Dog" when I was 12 years old. Every day was something new, a new Chuck Berry or a new Fats Domino song... whatever. I came from a generation where all ears were glued to the radio. We listened to music, well, not much different to how things are today, hours a day we spent chasing down new records and new songs.

Aurelia: Your musical journey took you all over the world. A lot of people may not know, when the British invasion was going on over here you were heading over there. Did you find new musical influences in your travels in the 60's ?

Boz: I did yeah. I lived in Europe for about 3 years. I was mostly based in London and Paris, then later and for a longer time in Scandinavia, Copenhagen and Stockholm. At that time I was playing more folk, blues and rock and roll influenced rhythm and blues. I was working on my own and then I would work with different groups, even a little kind of jazzy ensemble. I was doing all sorts of things because that's what you do as a musician to not only survive but to explore.

Aurelia: You put together a really unique sound, your sound is so original.
Boz: Well thanks. We all start out by sort of emulating / copying styles that you hear around you, stuff off the radio. Then in time if you are around long enough and if you are writing your own material particularly you develop your own style of writing, singing and playing. There are a lot of influences in most of us who have been playing for a long time. Eventually you realise you have a unique style and you learn to use that style.

Aurelia: One thing I love about seeing you in concert, and I've seen you in concert several times, is you'll take some of your deeper songs, songs that a person might not, it might not be the first thing that they think of with you, and you pull them back and you change them up and they're great. I think last time I saw you you took that song "Miss Sun", which is just fabulous, and it sounded so fresh and it was just so exciting to hear it. I love the way you keep using that material and giving it new depth and breadth.

Boz: Most of that to me has to do with the musicians that I work with. The band is 9 pieces and they are some of the most accomplished and fine musicians available. I have a few guys from Chicago, New York, L.A., San Francisco. They are top players. Many of them are out of the jazz world. They are remarkable musicians, I like to show them off, I like them to solo. But as an ensemble they really give me a lot of flexibility and a lot of room to create. I'm really proud of the band and I think most people leave the concerts being very impressed with the quality of the musicianship.

Aurelia: Do you have a favourite song of yours. Do you have one that is just so close to you ?

Boz: You know the song "Lowdown" I have performed in more different ways and more different venues and more different styles than probably any song that I do. It's the most natural place for my voice. I never get tired of doing it. It has a simplicity and style that I never get tired of.

Aurelia: We are sure looking forward to hearing that tonight at the Music Theatre. It's going to be a fabulous night and we can't wait to see you. One more thing too, you've got a new record coming out in November and that's a follow-up to your jazz standards. Boy, you do a little bit of everything don't you.

Boz: Well, as a singer I keep growing and exploring. There sort of came a time in my life and my career that I made that connection. My voice is such that... and my style is such that... These standards gave me a connection with the jazz world. I'm not a jazz singer, but I was able to work with some musicians and explore this range of material. Its really challenging, really interesting and I think we've made some beautiful music. Thanks for mentioning it, it's called "Speak Low".

Aurelia: Thank you so much for your time.

Boz: I enjoyed talking to you, hope to see you out there.

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