Veteran singer-songwriter Boz Scaggs recorded 2013’s Memphis at the late Willie Mitchell’s Memphis studio — a place where Mitchell once put to tape heavyweights like Al Green, among others. Memphis is almost entirely covers showing Scaggs’ deep and enduring appreciation for the broad spectrum of American music, whether it’s blues, gospel, soul or rock ’n’ roll. Covers featured on the record include the traditional “Corrina, Corrina” (popularized by Bob Dylan), Brook Benton’s “Rainy Day in Georgia” and Mink DeVille’s “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl.”
Whether it’s a cover or a Scaggs original, everything on Memphis is infused with the rich musical history of a studio, a city and a man. Speaking on his website, Scaggs describes what appeals to him about “Mixed Up, Shook Up Girl”: “It’s a very mysterious song in a way; it conjures up beautiful, dark images.” Scaggs adds, “Of course it features foremost [Mink DeVille frontman] Willy Deville’s fantastic voice — one of the greatest voices, in my opinion, in all rock; the delivery, the soul behind it is unique to Willy. He has this cutting steel.”
Fans of Boz Scaggs might say the same of their own hero’s style and voice, as well as the signature twist Scaggs adds to the eclectic Memphis tracklist.
The Shedd presents Boz Scaggs 7:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 8, at the Hult; $40-$69.