Boz Scaggs Santa Maria Times Interview

Santa Maria Times - The Interview - Boz Scaggs

[July 27 2006 - By Emily Welly/Features Writer]

Boz Scaggs, whose musical career started with a stint with high school classmate Steve Miller, will play the Chumash Casino Resort Aug. 10 (2006) as part of his annual limited-engagement summer tour.

The tour starts in Saratoga, Calif., Saturday night and goes through Aug. 18.

"I always look forward to it" Scaggs said in a July 18 interview with the Santa Maria Times. "I miss it when I'm not doing it."

Scaggs travels with eight musicians. "Its quite a collection," he said. "I'm really proud of the band."

The band is more or less the same core of players each summer, said Scaggs, adding his appreciation that each member tries to save space in their schedule for his summer tour.

This summer's three-week-long tour will be spent in the United States only, with stops in California, Nevada, Arizona, New York and Massachusetts.

"This is a lot of fun for me," he said.

In November, Scaggs and his band will head to Japan, where he's been playing for a long time, including during his hiatus from the American music scene in the 1980s. Throughout his career, he's kept a strong fan base in Japan.

Scaggs said he sees some differences in what his Japanese audience demands. The fans there latched onto Scaggs' album of jazz standards, "But Beautiful", released in 2003, for example, and he spends much of his time there playing a string of Blue Note jazz clubs. In that setting, he said he can put on a more improvisational show thats less "stagey" than the gigs he does in the U.S.

His American audiences, meanwhile, demand what they know. "I do the hits," he said, of his U.S. shows. That means the Chumash audience can expect to hear favorites like "Low Down", "Slow Dancer", "Harbor Lights", and "We're All Alone".

"My guess is people may not have seen me before and they want to hear what they've heard", he said. Still, he said he'll mix in some jazz, rhythm and blues and newer songs to keep things interesting.

Scaggs has an album in the works and hopes to start recording it this fall. It began as another collection of jazz standards, but has expanded. "I don't know what its going to be, really," he said.

Even when he's not on the road or recording, Scaggs stays busy. "There's always something going on", he said. "Always something that we need to attend to".

Among those things are the several rereleases of hit albums that he's created, including a re-release of "Silk Degrees" the album that launched him into commercial success; which will celebrate its 30-year anniversary this year.

Scaggs is also part-owner of two San Francisco night clubs. The first, Slims, opened in 1988, as a warehouse that could host bands now and then, said Scaggs. That turned into a big business, and the partners took ownership of another night club, "The Great American Music Hall", which has a history dating to 1907. Although Scaggs offers some input to the clubs, he said he has nothing to do with daily operations. "It keeps me tuned to contemporary music more than I might otherwise be," he said of his involvement with the clubs.

According to Scaggs, both clubs are doing very well, attracting up to 700 people per show, which he credits to his belief that people are coming out to see music more than ever. "More than ever before on this level," he said.

Scaggs said he also enjoys traveling and spending time at his organic vineyard outside San Francisco, which he said has become his passion. He's currently working with a Napa Valley winemaker to bottle his grapes, and he plans to begin selling wine this year.

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