On his new studio album, The Royal Sessions, rock legend Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company) pays tribute to the iconic soul music of Memphis, Tennessee. The LP, recorded at Willie Mitchell’s revered Royal Studios, finds Rodgers tackling classics from artists like Otis Redding, Albert King and Sam Cooke. Using a roster of veteran session players (including organist Reverend Charles Hodges, guitarist Michael Stoll and the Royal Horns), Rodgers aimed for an authentic live feel, even recording all the basic tracks live onto analog tape.
The Royal Sessions will be released on 429 Records on February 4th, 2014. In the meantime, check out an exclusive stream of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long,” which finds Rodgers interpreting a Redding gem. On the track, Rodgers stretches his voice to its breaking point, soulfully wailing over a sparse rhythm section waltz and bursts of brass.
“I had been playing in groups since I was 13 or 14, and suddenly Otis’ band became my ideal band,” Rodgers tells Rolling Stone. “They played from a deeper place. The one thing I loved about blues and soul was the way they taught the world how to express such deep feelings. I was brought up in a fairly emotionally repressed kind of society in Northeast England where one didn’t express emotions and was expected to keep a stiff upper lip. But I felt that the part of me that was born to be a singer needed to share these kinds of emotions, and through Otis, I found a much-yearned-for outlet for this.”
The Royal Sessions is available for pre-order at Amazon.