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The Latest "Lowdown" On Boz Scaggs

Of the Oakland Press

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Boz Scaggs says that he and his band are “geared up to a little higher degree” for his annual summer tour — partly because it’s longer than usual (thanks to a new booking agency) and partly thanks to a new member of the group, Detroitborn keyboardist Greg Phillinganes.

“He’s something of a Ferrari of a musician who I’ve wanted to work with for many years,” Scaggs, 64, says of Phillinganes, who’s worked with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson and Eric Clapton, among many others, and is currently a member of the band Toto.

“He’s a great player and arranger,” Scaggs adds. “It lets us do a little broader range of material than I’ve done in some time.”

Scaggs — a onetime member of the Steve Miller Band who’s best known for ’70s and early ’80s hits such as “Lowdown,” “Lido Shuffle” and “We’re Not Alone” — is also excited about a new album he hopes to have out in September.

“Speak Low,” his first set since 2003’s “But Beautiful,” is his second standards set, although he describes this outing as “a sort of progressive, experimental effort” with “unusual instrumentation” such a string trio and a harp. But he promises that most of his concert repertoire will be familiar to fans.

“Mostly it’s the hits, things people have heard on the radio,” Scaggs says. “There’s some blues, some Rhythm & Blues, some just fun summer stuff. It’s kind of a mixed bag, but I think people will find it...entertaining.”

Boz Scaggs performs at 7:30 p.m. Thursday (June 26) at the Freedom Hill Amphitheatre, 14900 Metropolitan Parkway at Schoenherr Road, Sterling Heights. Tickets are $51 and $38 pavilion, $13 lawn. Call (586) 268-5100 or visit www.freedomhill.net.


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