A Fool to Care may not have a concept as linear as some of Boz Scaggs' other recent albums (2013's Southern-fried Memphis, the jazz standards on 2003's But Beautiful and 2008's Speak Low), but it sure does tell a story. These 12 songs map out a concise history of American soul, with a heavy dose of New Orleans strut — including the title track (a hit for Fats Domino) and Huey "Piano" Smith's "High Blood Pressure" — and a dollop of Chicago sweetness (the Impressions' gorgeous "I'm So Proud"). Backed throughout by a stellar group of studio aces — guitarist Ray Parker Jr., bassist Willie Weeks and drummer Steve Jordan, who also produced the album — Scaggs' well-worn, textured voice deftly navigates this range of styles.
Boz Scaggs opens his new album with a cover of “Rich Woman”, written by Dorothy LaBostrie and McKinley Millet and first recorded by Li’l Millet and the Creoles in 1955. “I got a woman with plenty of money / She got the money and I got the honey,” Scaggs sings in his warm tenor that gets a touch of funk in its delivery here. These sex-coded lines are a bit rascally for a musician whose career began with a solo album in 1965 and who is now 70 years of age—hard to believe! But Boz is making music that’s ageless.
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.
It seems the less time that goes into producing a Boz Scaggs album lately, the better they are. His last, 2013’s wonderful Memphis, found him recording a predominately covers set in the titular southern musical landmark that wrapped his smooth soul vocals around the city’s greasy R&B. For this follow-up, he relocates to Nashville’s Bluebird Studio and lays down tracks in four days.
Although it’s likely that Boz Scaggs will always be best remembered as the smooth crooner on ‘70s classics like “Dinah Flow,” “Lowdown” and “Lido Shuffle,” his recent outings have proven there’s much more to his pedigree than the ability to pen hit songs. He established his blues credentials in the late ‘60s as a sideman with the Steve Miller Band, a role he played well before he became a steady presence on both the AM and FM radio dials. Not surprisingly then, A Fool To Care, his follow-up to 2013’s much lauded Memphis, finds Scaggs continuing to transition towards senior star status.