Recorded at Royal Studios in Memphis, Tennessee, The Royal Sessions sees classic rocker Paul Rodgers -- first known as the lead singer of Free, best-known as the frontman of Bad Company and later a Freddie Mercury substitute in Queen -- paying tribute to his beloved '60s Southern soul. Rodgers set up camp in Memphis and surrounded himself with many veteran Memphis soul musicians, cutting a collection of deep soul covers -- primarily tunes released or recorded at Stax, sometimes songs that were made at Muscle Shoals -- that remain faithful to the spirit and arrangements of the originals. This familiar sound pushes the spotlight onto Rodgers' vocals and he's in good form, never pushing the songs too hard but retaining his signature raspy swagger.
The Free/Bad Company/Queen singer salutes his soul and blues influences via a visit to Memphis’ Royal Studios, home of the Hi imprint. Many of the musicians who played on the original tracks feature here, and the result is as seamlessly professional as Rodgers fans have come to expect. Yet comparison with Boz Scaggs’ recent Memphis album is instructive.