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Paul Rodgers to Release Album of Memphis Soul and R&B Covers in February

Image courtesy of 429 Records (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of 429 Records (via ABC News Radio)

Paul Rodgers will return with a new solo album early next year that finds the renowned Free and Bad Company frontman wrapping his powerful voice around a variety of classic soul and R&B tunes.  The Royal Sessions , which is due out on February 4, was recorded at Memphis' Royal Studios, where famed producer Willie Mitchell crafted hits for Al Green and other soul legends.

The 10-track collection includes Rodgers' interpretations of memorable songs popularized by the likes of Otis Redding , Sam & Dave , Ann Peebles , Albert King and The Temptations .  Among the tunes are Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long," "That's How Strong My Love Is," "Any Ole Way" and "Dreams to Remember," as well as a soulful rendition of Dionne Warwick 's Burt Bacharach / Hal David -penned smash "Walk On By."

"I really felt I had to get deeper inside myself than I ever had in my life," Rodgers says of the project.  "The end result is that recording these songs left me recharged as a singer and also as a songwriter."

The Royal Sessions was recorded with analog audio equipment, and features a backing band made up of veteran session musicians who played on the many of the original hits produced at the studio.  Among them are keyboardists Reverend Charles Hodges and "Hubby" Archie Turner , guitarist Michael Tolls , bassist LeRoy Hodges Jr. , and drummers Steve Potts and James Robertson Sr. , as well as The Royal Horns and The Royal Singers .

"My favorite part was the love we could feel in the room throughout all the sessions," notes Rodgers.  "We all spoke the same language."

All proceeds brought in from sales of The Royal Sessions will be donated to music-education programs in Memphis.   Rodgers will announce plans for some special concerts to showcase the album soon.  You can check out audio clips of all of The Royal Sessions ' songs at 429Records.com .

Incidentally, Boz Scaggs ' 2013 studio album Memphis also was recorded at Royal Studios.

Here is the full track list of The Royal Sessions :

"I Thank You"
"Down Don't Bother Me"
"I Can't Stand the Rain"
"I've Been Loving You Too Long"
"That's How Strong My Love Is"
"Walk On By"
"Any Ole Way"
"It's Growing"
"Born Under a Bad Sign"
"Dreams to Remember"

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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