Boz Scaggs, “Last Tango on 16th Street” from A Fool to Care (2015): One Track Mind

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With the lead single off his forthcoming 18th studio album, A Fool to Care, Boz Scaggs has left the bluesy Deep South environs of his more recent work for the West Coast. This transportive, old-world charm, so reflective of San Francisco’s atmospherics, surrounds “Last Tango on 16th Street” like a twilight fog.

At the same time, songwriter Jack Walroth — a low-key Bay Area legend, his nickname is Applejack — isn’t content to simply reiterate the look and feel of that city’s ageless Mission District. Applejack’s perceptive descriptions of its every-day inhabitants, brought into a whole new clarity via Boz Scaggs’ wistfully urbane vocal, fill in the rest of this enveloping narrative.

“Last Tango on 16th Street” is, in fact, one of two Walroth songs on the 12-track A Fool to Care, which finds Boz Scaggs collaborating elsewhere on “Hell to Pay” with Bonnie Raitt and on the Band’s darkly involving “Whispering Pines” with Lucinda Williams — the latter of which promises to be an emotional journey, indeed.

Boz Scaggs’ main band was rounded out by drummer Steve Jordan (he adds an involving complexity to “Last Tango on 16th Street”), guitarist Ray Parker Jr., keyboardist Jim Cox and bassist Willie Weeks. A Fool to Care, which follows 2013’s well-received Memphis, is due March 31, 2015 via 429 Records. Applejack Walroth also wrote two songs for 2001’s Dig, which saw Boz Scaggs reunite with Silk Degrees-era collaborator David Paich.

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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