Boz Scaggs + Duane Allman, “Loan Me A Dime: (1969): One Track Mind

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Sometimes it’s hard to believe that the blue-eyed soul singer responsible for such sophisticated dance classics like “Lido Shuffle” and “Jojo” during the age of disco came from some pretty organic beginnings.

Boz Scaggs left the Steve Miller Blues Band in 1968 and set out to become a star in his own right. His self-titled first effort toward that goal may not have set the charts on fire in 1969, but it wasn’t because he didn’t have star power behind it. The sessions were produced by Rolling Stone Magazine founder Jann Wenner and backed by Muscle Shoals’ finest. It was a fine mix of natural soul, rock and blues.

But the standout track is the long one: that tweleve minute blues lament “Loan Me A Dime”. Forget that Scaggs delivers only an uncharacteristic so-so vocal performance on it. Forget that he covered this Fenton Robinson song and tried unsuccessfully to pass it off as his own. None of that matters. Not when this track is essentially a showcase for the electric guitar skills of one Duane Allman.

Only one word I’m going to use to describe Duane’s contribution to this selection: dayum.

[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: Boz Scaggs joined us for an SER Sitdown to talk about his layered 2013 release ‘Memphis,’ the Dukes of September, and singing versus guitar playing.]

The producer must have been similarly blown away, too. His rag’s rankings of all time greatest guitarists from a couple of years ago put only Hendrix ahead of Allman. Quibble with this list as you may (and oh, do I ever) but the 22 year old then-unkown Southern boy made quite an impression to some important people. And within the two remaining years of his life Duane Allman made quite an impression on everyone else. The meteoric rise begins here.


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