Legendary southern blues rock musician Scott Boyer talks about the past and present of his long career

"My hopes and fears are that music will continue to be something that people to work for and not something that just happens when you think of it. I believe that striving to accomplish good music creates better people."

Scott Boyer: Reach For The Sky

Scott Boyer currently resides in the Muscle Shoals area, relocating there in 1988 after journeying through the Alabama Gulf coast, Macon, GA, much of Florida, and further back to Chenango Bridge, NY, where he was born. While attending college in Tallahassee, he and two former high school classmates from Jacksonville, David Brown and Butch Trucks, formed a band called The Bitter Ind.

Back in Jacksonville when was member of The 31st of February, circa 1968, Butch Trucks began playing jam sessions in the park that led to forming The Allman Brothers Band. Around the same time, Scott met Tommy Talton, with whom he formed Cowboy, enjoying national recognition for several years. With Duane Allman’s help, Cowboy signed with Capricorn Records, where the band recorded four albums.

Cowboy toured with The Allman Brothers, Poco, Wet Willie, Pure Prairie League, and The Amazing Rhythm Aces. Also during this time, Scott worked on Gregg Allman’s “Laid Back”, and did two national tours with Gregg in support of the much-revered release. Cowboy relocated to Fairhope, AL in 1976, and afterwards Scott played with Locust Fork, before forming The Convertibles, with Topper Price and Bryan (BW) Wheeler.

In 1988, Scott reconnected with Johnny Sandlin to form The Decoys (NC Thurman, David Hood, Kelvin Holly, and Mike Dillon), who still play together to this day. Scott recorded his solo, “All My Friends” in 1991, with backup from the Decoys, and the Decoys recorded “Shot from the Saddle” in 2001. Scott’s other studio work includes projects with Gregg Allman, Percy Sledge, Billy Jo Shaver, Bonnie Bramlett, Kitty Wells, and Johnny Rivers. He has written songs recorded by Gregg, Eric Clapton, Bonnie Bramlett, Chuck Leavell, Little Milton, Neal McCoy, and Donnie Fritts.

Interview by Michael Limnios

How do you describe Scott Boyer sound and progress, what characterize your music philosophy?

I started out playing classical music, graduated two fold music in the 60s, then to rock 'n roll in the 70s with the band cowboy, and from there I moved to Alabama and Became more interested in the blues and Inc. a good bit of blues into my own music and that's pretty much where I am today. As for my musical philosophy I think I would say you can never suck. If you do that's the one gig that everybody will talk about no many how many nights you play a perfect set.

Which is the most interesting period in your life? Which was the best and worst moment of your career?

I think the most interesting. Musically in my life was the mid 60s during the time Bob Dylan came out here Paul and Mary then the Birds, the Loving Spoonful of the folk rock thing. The worst moment of my career probably was when Duane Allman was trying to play a guitar solo on my song all my friends and got mad at himself because he couldn't get the timing right. I was so sorry I had ever even written the song that I wanted to die as for the best time I guess it was when I was on the road with Greg Allman, or when I got the news that Eric Clapton had recorded my song please be with me. I was living at Idlewild South and didn't know even where my next pack of cigarettes was coming from.

Why did you think that the Southern Rock and Capricorn continues to generate such a devoted following?

I don't really know why fans are so devoted to southern rock, but it has been my experience that the band I was in called cowboy still has a devoted following almost as large as it was when we were together in the 70s. It could be they just have good taste.

What’s the best jam you ever played in? Are there any memories which you’d like to share with us?

I have always considered myself a singer-songwriter, so I haven't been involved in a whole bunch of jams, but anything I ever did with Duane Allman would surely qualify as one of them. My old friend Tommy Talton has exploded on slide guitar in several jams that I played rhythm guitar on and I am currently involved in a band called the decoys which is the best musical organization that I have ever been a large part of.

What are some of the most memorable gigs you've had? Which memory makes you smile?

I played twice with the band Cowboy at Fillmore East and had a bunch of memorable gigs on the road with the Greg in the 70s. Since then I have played jobs with the decoys in which the band was sort of the rhythm section for several artists, namely Russell Smith from the Amazing Rhythm Aces, Donnie Fritts from Muscle Shoals and the Kris Kristofferson band; and Jimmy Hall from Wet Willie. We went to Japan with Donnie a few years ago which was an incredibly memorable experience. I suppose that makes me smile the most of any of them.

"I don't really know why fans are so devoted to southern rock, but it has been my experience that the band I was in called cowboy still has a devoted following almost as large as it was when we were together in the 70s. It could be they just have good taste."

Which meetings have been the most important experiences for you? What is the best advice ever given you?

Meetings haven't been the high point of my career; I suppose the ones that have mattered most our discussions of my contractual obligations musically speaking. I can't recall any advice ever given to me that was extremely valuable; I have learned most of my lessons the hard way.

What do you miss most nowadays from the past? What are your hopes and fears for the future of music?

What do I miss - my health. My hopes and fears are that music will continue to be something that people to work for and not something that just happens when you think of it. I believe that striving to accomplish good music creates better people.

What are the lines that connect the legacy of Blues with Acid Rock and continue to Folk and Southern Rock?

I don't know, but I know I've got them.

How has the music changed over the years? Do you believe in the existence of real blues rock nowadays?

I believe the biggest change has been in the recording industry's capability of recording the music. When I started in the early 60s we had a two track recording machine which has slowly evolved into digital recording with an almost infinite number of tracks on it. Also the effects such as reverb and compression have taken huge steps forward. The cost of putting together an effective recording studio has come down as well. I'm not sure about the existence of real blues rock, I suppose if blues is real and rock is real there is real blues rock.

"Meetings haven't been the high point of my career; I suppose the ones that have mattered most our discussions of my contractual obligations musically speaking. I can't recall any advice ever given to me that was extremely valuable; I have learned most of my lessons the hard way."

Do you remember anything funny from the 31st of February, Cowboy, and Allman Brothers?

I will tell you something funny I just learned. In 1963 there was an episode of the Alfred Hitchcock show that had an episode called the 31st of February. It was myself and Butch Trucks and David Brown and our producer Brad Shapiro who were trying to come up with a name for the band, and Brad mentioned the 31st of February. I'm not sure if he knew about the Alfred Hitchcock episode or not, but I would surely like to ask him because I have no idea where that name came from.

What has made you laugh lately and what touched (emotionally) you from the music circuits?

I have a wonderful guitar player friend, named Kelvin Holly. He and I have laughed several times over things I can't tell you about, except to say that some of them are songs that have been archived by Muscle Shoals engineers. What is text me lately has been the music of an artist named Paul Thorn and an event I attended with Tommy Talton called the 30 A music festival. We received a standing ovation for my song please be with me and were requested to perform two encores. It was a very nice experience.

If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

I'm reasonably satisfied with the musical world today; the one thing I might change is I would have a lot more money.

"As for my musical philosophy I think I would say you can never suck. If you do that's the one gig that everybody will talk about no many how many nights you play a perfect set."

Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go for a whole day..?

I would love to have been a fly on the wall for any of the Beatles sessions, Bob Dylan sessions or Rolling Stones sessions. As you may or may not know I have had health problems for the last year, so any day before that started would be okay with me.

Views: 1522

Comments are closed for this blog post

social media

Members

© 2019   Created by Michael Limnios Blues Network.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service