By Page Leggett
Posted: Tuesday, Jul. 02, 2013
If you were in school in the mid-1970s, you undoubtedly listened to Boz Scaggs (July 17 at Knight Theater, carolinatix.com, tickets start at $44.50). His multiplatinum Six Degrees produced three Top 40 singlesIts Over, Lowdown, and Lido Shuffle. And he gave Rita Coolidge (an ex-Mrs. Kris Kristofferson) one of her biggest hits with Were All Alone. The master of jazz, rock, blues, Americana and R&B hasnt had the radio play he enjoyed in the 70s, but he still makes great music. His latest release, MEMPHIS, pays tribute to the sounds of the River City with a mix of cover tunes and new songs, says Douglas Young, vice president of programming for the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. Young, who booked Scaggs for the Knight, promises long-time fans will get to hear old favorites in addition to songs from the new release.
Theres something in the water in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. The area along the banks of the Tennessee River is fertile ground for a certain, soulful sound. Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Otis Redding recorded hits there. Native son (well, hes from nearby Greenhill) Jason Isbell stops in at the Visulite on July 3 (visulite.com, $16).The eighth-generation Alabamian, formerly of the wildly popular Drive-By Truckers, released his latest CD, Southeastern on June 11. All his songs tell a story, but he says Elephanta song about a woman dying of cancer (When she was drunk, she made cancer jokes/Made up her own doctors notes/Surrounded by her family, I saw that she was dying alonemade him feel most empowered as a songwriter. I created those characters; I feel like theyre fully formed for the purposes of the story, he says. I cried for those folks when that one was finished."
Patrick Daviss latest, The Cuts Vol. 1, includes studio versions of songs he wrote (or co-wrote) for established artists like Jewel, Darius Rucker and Lady Antebellum.But songwriting wasnt the Camden, South Carolina natives first love. I started out as a performer, he says. But for me, there is nothing in the world quite like the feeling of finishing a really good song. And those songs reflect the South. The people, places and pictures of my youth show up quite often in my storytelling. These ghosts from my past are with me every day. Hes a fan of music from the late 1960s and early 1970s and his new CD pays homage to that era. Catch him when he returns July 19 to The Evening Muse (eveningmuse.com, $15-$18), which he calls one of my absolute favorite venues in the Southeast [a place] that allows the artist and the crowd to have an intimate conversation.