Paul Rodgers - Electric Legend Rocks On...
By Martin Popoff
Rare is the rock career that packs in so much high level activity as that of vocal legend Paul Rodgers. Through his pioneering hard rock years with Free and Bad Company, to collaborations with Jimmy Page as The Firm, work with The Law guess what? There's an entire shelved album!), and a growing pile of interesting solo outings, Rodgers has stayed the blues rock course, once more, hitting the tiles for another tour, this time in support of his hot, bluesy, Bad Company-combative new album called Electric.
As is often the case, Rodgers capably assembled the tracks for Electric to the point where the band could see clearly the man's vision for each piece. Well-versed on piano, guitar, bass, and a little less so on drums ("Oh I'm good (laughs), he says modestly. Yeah, I can keep rhythm."), Rodgers lets us in on the peripheral background of influence, and how that seeps into the song process.
"I think my style basically encompasses a lot of influences, from blues and soul right the way through to the Beatles and gospel. I even listen to John Williams playing flamenco guitar, and classical music, some of that seeps its way in. I find that I like the normal four-piece set up, drums, bass, guitar, vocals, but I also liked to stretch away from that at times and augment with the piano. And I find that when I write on piano it has a much more dramatic and classic approach. It's very grand. You know, I guess that's why they call it a grand piano (laughs). Like the song 'Conquistadora'. Because I find that with the piano particularly, the right hand is playing the chordal structure, the left hand is playing bass and then you syncopate between the two and you have a rhythm going on. You've got all that going on and then you have the harmonic stuff. It's a wonderful instrument. And then of course I like to contrast the rock thing with acoustic songs. There's a song on there called 'Over You', where I used a 12 string guitar, and I put that through a Leslie from a Hammond organ, which gives it that ethereal sound. And that's just vocal, 12 string and flute. So it's a complete contrast to the other stuff that's going on. With each album, I don't think that I consciously try to contrast or emulate the album before it. It's always THIS album, and that's the pure focus."
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