On a warm summer evening, singer Paul Rodgers gave a one-night-only performance at NYC’s Town Hall. Rodgers played classics from his latest album The Royal Sessions, including “Born Under a Bad Sign,” “Wonderful World,” and “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” The Royal Sessions pays homage to some of Rodgers’ favorite soul and R&B songs, and features a backing band that is much more than just that, comprised of some of the top Memphis musicians from the 60’s Stax Records scene. The soulful re-imagining of each song was done skillfully, featuring an impeccable horn section and electric bongos to really amp up the sound. The 1974 Bad Company hit, “Can’t Get Enough,” and a beautiful standout arrangement of Burt Bacharach and Hal David’s “Walk on By,” featured a soaring symphony of strings, the live band exciting the crowd.
In the sound of a classic soul revue, Rodgers had with him sisters Shontelle and Sharisse Norman doing backing vocals, Steve Potts on drums, Archie Turner on electric Wurlitzer piano, Leroy Hodges Jr. on electric bass, Reverend Charles Hodges Sr. on a Hammond B3 organ and Michael Toles on guitar, along with a live string section and an airtight horn section. Rodgers was completely comfortable on stage, singing flawlessly and engaging with the audience. Though the show was shorter than expected, limited mainly to new material, it saw Rodgers as a confident musician completely in his element, giving life to classic blues standards. He smiled while directing the band and gave the microphone stand a few of his memorable classic spins.
Check out more photos of Paul Rodgers and his Royal Sessions band playing Town Hall below.
– Kirk Yano