Boz Scaggs / Boz Scaggs & Band

Boz Scaggs & Band

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After the burnished, mellow Moments, Boz Scaggs put some grit back into his music with this third album, Boz Scaggs & Band. Not that he got down and dirty -- his blue-eyed soul and funk is still sleek and stylish, music for uptown parties, not downtown juke joints. But Scaggs gave his band equal billing on the title here because they carry equal weight on Boz Scaggs & Band. It's a true band album, showcasing the group's tight interplay as much as it does Scaggs' vocals. Sometimes, the band almost dominates the proceedings too much, as they do on "Runnin' Blue," where they're as splashy as a Vegas big band. Such excesses are balanced by the nimble "Up to You," this album's irresistible foray into country -- something that was a regular Boz feature at this point -- and the brief, breezy "Here to Stay," which helps keep things light and casual. But the best thing about Boz & Band is hearing that band play, particularly on "Flames of Love" and "Why Why," where they get down low, playing funky rock and soul that holds its own with Little Feat's Meters-inspired grooves.

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