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6 Degrees Entertainment

Title - 'The Royal Sessions' (429 Records)
Artist - Paul Rodgers

Paul Rodgers, longtime singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist with Bad Company, has partnered with 429 Records and released The Royal Sessions, a lovingly crafted collection of classic R&B and soul songs re-imagined by the iconic rock singer recorded at Memphis Royal Studios; historic home of Willie Mitchell and Hi Records, with many of the musicians who played on the original tracks.

The uber funky 'I Thank You' is up first, and a great way to introduce us to both the kind of song we're abut to listen to; along with the cultured vocal tones of the one, the only, Paul Rodgers. The Sam & Dave song is reworked in fine style, the horn section spot on perfect for the backing beats. Next up is Albert King's 'Down Don't Bother Me,' and has actually also been covered by Cyndi Lauper (and is, strangely, very good in its own right!)

That is backed by the Ann Peebles standard cover from 1973 of 'I Can't Stand The Rain,' with the slow, Blessed version of 'I've Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now),' written by Otis Redding and Jerry Butler, along next. Roosevelt Jamison's 'That's How Strong My Love Is' is backed by an 100% reworked, reimagined, and rather sultry un-Dionne Warwick-like 'Walk On By'!

Next up is 'Any Ole Way,' the Steve Cropper and Otis Redding penned dream of a song, and that's backed by the blues funk of 'It's Growing,' a truly soulful rendition of Albert King's legendary, 'Born Under A Bad Sign,' and then, finally (unless you have the Deluxe Version of this CD; which houses three extra tracks!), another Otis Redding classic, 'I've Got Dreams To Remember.' Oh, but haven't we all, now. Haven't we all.

Reviewed by: Russell A. Trunk