Boz Scaggs - guitar, lead vocals; Rita Coolidge - vocals, percussion; Doug Simril - guitar, piano, vocals; Joachim Jymm Young - keyboards; David Brown - bass; Mel Martin - saxophones, flute; Pat O'Hara - trombone; Tom Poole - trumpet, flugelhorn; George Rains - drums; Guest: Elvin Bishop - guitar, vocals; Guest: Taj Mahal - harmonica, vocals
Following a memorable stint with the Steve Miller Band but prior to his major commercial success as a solo artist in the mid 1970s, Boz Scaggs and his band perform here on the first of a five-night run commemorating the closing of the Fillmore West. Incorporating his trademark blue-eyed soul into a rock and blues band that could always deliver, Boz sang his heart out in a group more than capable of turning up the funk, delivering some of the most engaging music produced in the post 1960s Bay Area scene.
This set captures Scaggs at his best, performing songs from his memorable early solo albums and much of the best material from Moments when it was fresh and new. The band engages the audience right away with a rousing "I Feel So Good" followed by a fantastic version of their popular single, "We Were Always Sweethearts," that showcases Scaggs' compelling voice and the band's formidable chops.
The tonal flavor of Scaggs' material ranges in genre from R&B and soul to country ballads, but always makes for an enjoyable listen. "Baby's Calling Me Home" was the only track featured on the Fillmore: The Last Days film release, and in context we get to hear it unedited and eventually transition into the classic rocker "Stepping Stone," resurrected from his days with the Steve Miller Band. The set highlight, however, is unquestionably the expansive, near 18-minute take on "Loan Me a Dime," one of the most majestic studio performances ever recorded in the late 1960s.
The remainder of the set is mainly a relaxed, easygoing affair, and following the closer, "Sweet Release," Elvin Bishop and Taj Mahal join the group onstage for a loose jam session.
There is an undeniable groove to all the material Scaggs and his band played this night; a high standard had been set for the rest of the Fillmore West's closing week festivities.