In terms of classic-rock anthologies, Columbia/Legacy's "The Essential" series would be difficult to improve upon. The single-or-double CD sets provide a solid overview of an artist's career with a historical essay and - most importantly - often collect a musician's work with more than one label into a single package, sometimes for the first time ever.
A recent entry into the series is The Essential Boz Scaggs, a 32-track 2-CD look at the native Texan's nearly five decade career on album from 1969's Boz Scaggs to 2013's Memphis recorded for three different labels.
Included are all the hits from his '70s/Silk Degrees commercial peak ("What Can I Say," "Lowdown," "Lido Shuffle," "JoJo," "Look What You've Done to Me"), soul covers like "As the Years Go Passing By," deeper cuts like the brass band-fueled "Runnin' Blue," the danceable "Simone," and more atmospheric pieces like "Sierra" and "I Just Go."
Scaggs recently spoke to Rocks Off (via sent MP4 files from Japan while on tour, no less!) about the compilation, his future plans, and which Texas artist he wishes more people knew about.
Rocks Off: Did you have any input in the track selection, and was there something you wanted to put on there you didn't have room for? Boz Scaggs: I did have input. You know, I don't listen to my past recordings too much, so it was an interesting thing to do. There were some other songs that I had wanted to include, but there was limited time and space for the project.
How do you hope it will help expose a wider selection of your music to those who might only be familiar with just Silk Degrees or the hits? I think it's inherent in most artistic works that people are looking for a wider audience and something like this facilitates that. And it shows more of what we do. So yes, I'd like to see that happen.
You have always discussed your many Texas musical influences. Who is the one Texas musician that you feel does not get their due in terms of popularity and influence? The Texas musician I find who is most overlooked is Doug Sahm. There are a lot of people who know about him, and there seems like a resurgence of interest in him now,
But it doesn't really capture the whole range of what he does and his influence on a lot of other Texas artists like myself. More power to Doug Sahm! I'd like the world to know more about him, and I'll try and do my part.
What are your musical plans for the future? I'll just continue doing what I do. I have interest in different areas of exploration right now. I'm always thinking about another standards project to add to the first two that I've done.
But probably more in line with a continuation of the work I started with [producer and drummer] Steve Jordan on the Memphis project. I have been writing some more original material and hope to have that out sometime in the not too distant future. A new album is high on the order of things to do at the moment.
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