By Garaud MacTaggart
Buffalo News Contributing Reviewer
When you’re a recording artist with a number of chart-topping hits and your career stretches over a couple decades, it isn’t a big surprise that the fan base, those who’ve followed you through all those years, wants to hear those hits.
Boz Scaggs has travelled that road and has learned how to deal with those demands while attempting to tantalize his audience with new songs and arrangements.
Based upon the crowd that showed up Monday at the UB Center for the Arts to see his concert and their enthusiastic reception of Scaggs’ program, he’s fairly successful at it.
Before opening the show with “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl” from Scaggs’ latest album, he told the folks that the band was going to “move it around the musical world tonight” and then did just that.
He dug into his repertoire for little known tunes deserving of wider recognition (“Some Change”), songs with a New Orleans slant (Allen Toussaint’s classic “Hercules” and Fats Domino’s “I’m Sick and Tired Of Fooling Around With You”), a nice acoustic guitar driven cover of Tony Joe White’s “Rainy Night In Georgia,” and a batch of hits from his career.
The hit list started with Scaggs mentioning that the band was about to “move into more familiar territory now” and then diving right into “Georgia” and eventually touching on “Miss Sun,” “Look What You’ve Done To Me,” “Lido Shuffle” (which included an impromptu chorus from the audience who sang along with Boz) and, in the encore, “What Can I Say?” (introduced as something “for all the disco daddies out there”) and tying everything up with a purely astounding extended version of Fenton Robinson’s classic blues tune “Loan Me A Dime” that showcased strong solos by Scaggs, B-3 player Michael Logan, and guitarist Michael Miller.
Anyone attending the concert also got a good show from backup singer Monet Williams, who shined in a duet with Scaggs on “Miss Sun” and then got the audience to clap and sing along on a medley of Sly Stone’s “Thank You (Falettin’ Me Be Mice Elf )” and the old Sam and Dave classic “Thankyou”.
In summary: the band was fine, the tunes were good, the audience was happy and the joint was jumpin’.