Long before Boz Scaggs issued his well-known 1969 “debut” album Boz Scaggs for the Atco label (fun fact: Rolling Stone founder Jann Wenner produced the record at Muscle Shoals, and Duane Allman played a prominent role on guitar as well), he’d already debuted professionally with Boz. At the time – 1965 -- he and his band had been busking in Europe, and one afternoon while in Sweden he popped into a studio to lay down some acoustic solo tracks, just Scaggs on vocals, guitar and harmonica on a brace of well-worn folk and blues covers (including Dylan’s “Girl From The North Country”). As best as I can determine the album subsequently appeared on either Polydor or a Polydor subsidiary in 1966. It’s a low-key, good-timey affair, probably for Scaggs completists only, but Thumbs Up! has made a fine vinyl-to-digital transfer and it’s well-worth picking up since the original LP is probably impossible to find.
Following this Scaggs would journey to San Francisco and become a member of the fledgling Steve Miller Band en route to his “proper” solo career. The bonus tracks are all listenable, if somewhat lo-fi/muffled, demos of material that would appear on the ’69 album. The CDR sleeve says they are from 1970 but that’s obviously not the case. As Boz Scaggs is one of the great underrated blues/soul/rock albums from that era (worth it for the Allman appearances, in fact), these demos hold at least a small measure of built-in appeal to any Scaggs fan.
Artwork is nominal: 1-panel insert plus tray panel, but the cover photo of a shaggy-haired Scaggs in full Neil Young/Dylan effect (harmonica rack, etc.) is priceless. -- OSWALD