Paul Rodgers Announces New Album
Earlier this summer, we told you that Bad Company vocalist (and, briefly, former Queen frontman) Paul Rodgers was working on two new albums. In early 2014, fans will get their first chance to hear what Rodgers has been up to.
429 Records has announced the Feb. 4 release of ‘The Royal Sessions,’ which finds Rodgers paying tribute to the sounds of Memphis with a set of classic covers recorded in one of the city’s best-loved studios, surrounded by some of the greatest musicians in the history of Memphis soul. The new recordings — which feature contributions from a band that includes organist Reverend Charles Hodges, guitarist Michael Tolls, bassist LeRoy Hodges Jr., keyboardist “Hubby” Archie Turner and drummers Steve Potts and James Robertson Sr. — rely heavily on live performances captured in the spirit of the original songs.
“I really felt I had to get deeper inside myself than I ever had in my life,” said Rodgers in a press release. “The end result is that recording these songs left me recharged as a singer and also as a songwriter. My favorite part was the love we could feel in the room throughout all the sessions. We all spoke the same language.”
The album’s title is a homage to Royal Studios, the site where producer and owner Willie Mitchell helped shepherd a string of classic LPs for a wide array of artists during the ’60s, ’70s and beyond. Although Mitchell passed away in 2010, the studio is still operating under the direction of his son; for Rodgers and producer Perry Margouleff, the opportunity to set up shop in the building — and record with such a talented band — was an opportunity too sweet to resist.
“I wanted to make the most of this incredible opportunity, so I recorded Paul and the band live in the studio,” explained Margouleff. “We captured the pure energy of their performance. Recording in an all-analog format, the sonic quality is unparalleled and the listener can experience the music on a deeper level.”
Rodgers plans a series of showcase performances to support ‘The Royal Sessions,’ and has pledged to donate all proceeds from the album sales to local Memphis music-education programs.