Boz Scaggs - A Fool to Care (2015) High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 24bit/96kHz
Artist: Boz Scaggs
Title: A Fool to Care
Genre: Blues, R&B, Modern Blues, American Trad Rock, Retro-Soul
Label: © 429 Records | The Savoy Label Group
Release Date: 2015
Quality: High-Fidelity FLAC Stereo 96kHz/24bit
Recorded: Blackbird Studio, Nashville
Another spellbinding album in a prolific career, this new collection of songs boasts Boz Scaggs' pioneering blend of rock, soul, jazz and R&B taken to new heights A Fool To Care is the follow-up to the critically acclaimed 2013 album Memphis, which Rolling Stone described as "sublime" and hit the #1 spot on the Billboard Blues Chart and the Top 20 on the Billboard 200.
A Fool To Care showcases the patchwork of influences and innovations that make up a Boz Scaggs album and sees the artist letting loose and having some fun. You can hear that sense of fun, as well as his ability and willingness to wander in any musical direction throughout these twelve tracks. The inspirational heart of the album lies in the sounds of Texas, Louisiana and Oklahoma that played such a vital role in shaping Scaggs' musical sensibility, but they venture forth boldly from there.
Scaggs brings a sly drawl to a funky workout like Li'l Millet and the Creoles' "Rich Woman" and an elegant delicacy to the Impressions' "I'm So Proud." He easily negotiates the Latin flavoring of "Last Tango on 16th Street" and "I Want to See You," both written by San Francisco bluesman (and longtime Scaggs compatriot) Jack Walroth. Horns, strings, soulful background vocalists and guests like guitarist Reggie Young and steel guitarist Paul Franklin lift the album into the stratosphere.
Produced by Steve Jordan (Stevie Nicks, Bob Dylan, John Mayer) and recorded over four days at Blackbird Studio in Nashville, A Fool To Care features two very special guests – Bonnie Raitt contributes slide guitar and sassy vocals on the original song "Hell To Pay" and Lucinda Williams trades vocal lines with Scaggs as a kind of prayer for deliverance on The Band's "Whispering Pines." The core band joining Boz on A Fool To Care is Willie Weeks (bass), Ray Parker Jr. (guitars), Jim Cox (keyboard) and Steve Jordan (drums).
Raised in Texas with an abiding respect for a wide spectrum of American roots music, William Royce "Boz" Scaggs began a long and storied career in 1965 with the release of his first solo recording Boz. After cutting his teeth playing with Steve Miller and honing his rock and R&B chops with the likes of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section and Duane Allman, Scaggs achieved multi-platinum success with Silk Degrees in 1976. He has continued on a lauded and multi-genre musical journey to the present day. With a trademark voice, a rich catalogue and many accolades, Scaggs continues to establish himself as one of music's most creative and original artists.
Boz Scaggs follows 2013's killer Memphis with a second Tennessee album. A Fool to Care was recorded over four days with producer/drummer Steve Jordan and a core band of guitarist Ray Parker, Jr. and bassist Willie Weeks at Nashville's Blackbird Studio. These 12 songs are primarily covers that reflect various sources, the most prevalent among them being R&B and soul. The band is augmented occasionally with strings, horns, and Music City luminaries including guitarists Reggie Young and Al Anderson and pedal steel boss Paul Franklin. Simply put, there is no filler here -- virtually every song is a highlight. The opener is a swaggering, horn-drenched presentation of Dorothy LaBostrie and McKinley Millet's "Rich Woman." Scaggs' reading is inspired by Li'l Millet & His Creoles' 1955 version more than Canned Heat's or Robert Plant and Alison Krauss'. The title track was cut as a country swing tune by author Ted Daffan in 1940. Scaggs reads it through the New Orleans R&B of Fats Domino. And speaking of NOLA, Bobby Charles and Rick Danko's "Small Town Talk" is executed flawlessly with slippery breaks by Jordan and a simmering B-3 by Jim Cox. "Hell to Pay" is an original, a badass blues driven by Weeks' funky upright bass. Sung in duet with Bonnie Raitt (who also plays mean slide here), Scaggs takes an all too rare guitar solo. "Last Tango on 16th Street" melds Carlos Gardel, West Coast jazz, and Brechtian drama. Scaggs' delivery is full of restrained empathy, not pity. His version of Richard Hawley's otherworldly waltz "There's a Storm a Comin'" features Franklin's pedal steel crying amid accordion, bass, bump organ, and B-3. It is an elegant outlier here. Scaggs offers Curtis Mayfield's "I'm So Proud" with an expressive falsetto that would make the composer proud. Huey P. Smith's 1958 classic "High Blood Pressure" is rendered raw, ragged, and raucous. That shimmering falsetto returns to Memphis in a grooving version of Al Green's "Full of Fire" before slipping toward smooth Philly soul with a gorgeous take on the Spinners' 1974 classic "Love Don't Love Nobody." But Scaggs saves the very best for last. He teams with Lucinda Williams for Richard Manuel's (the Band) "Whispering Pines." Franklin's steel returns in a breezy, warm, atmospheric arrangement that relies on the depth in Jordan's floor tom-toms. The contrast between Williams' bluesy, grainy contralto and Scaggs' soul-basted croon underscores the wrenching heartbreak in the lyric. Ultimately, A Fool to Care is not only a companion to Memphis, but also to 1997's Come on Home and his earliest (pre-Silk Degrees) sides. Scaggs' voice is unmarked by time. Whether singing new or old songs, he presents them in the moment as living, breathing entities. He remains a song interpreter who has few -- if any -- peers. --Thom Jurek
1 Rich Woman 02:58
2 I'm A Fool To Care 02:05
3 Hell To Pay (feat. Bonnie Raitt) 06:15
4 Small Town Talk 03:41
5 Last Tango On 16th Street 06:25
6 There's A Storm A Comin' 04:13
7 I'm So Proud 03:37
8 I Want To See You 05:41
9 High Blood Pressure 03:35
10 Full Of Fire 04:17
11 Love Don't Love Nobody 05:09
12 Whispering Pines (feat. Lucinda Williams) 04:21
Boz Scaggs, guitar, vocals
Willie Weeks, bass
Ray Parker Jr., guitars
Jim Cox, keyboard
Steve Jordan, drums
& special guests:
Bonnie Raitt, slide guitar, vocals (#3)
Lucinda Williams, trades vocal (#12)
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