By Jim Clark, publisher, Lee County Courier, Tupelo, MS
When Paul Rodgers came to Tupelo back in the mid-90s I had the opportunity to talk to him before the show. He got to laughing about how much harder it was to tour now as opposed to back in the day.
The CD, Paul Rodgers & Friends: Live at Montrenx, which recently released, is from that time frame.
Paul, now 62 years of age, told me he really had to watch what he ate, stay in the best shape possible and watch sudden moves on the stage. The Middlesbrough, England singer may not move as fluidly as he once did but countless people, including myself, find it hard to find anyone with a better voice.
He's fronted some of the greatest bands in rock including Free, Bad Company, The Firm and Queen. It doesn't mater if he's doing blues, R&B or straight ahead rock -- that voice is unmistakeable.
On Live at Montrenx he covers some of his most famous tunes including "Wishing Well," "Fire and Water," "Feel Like Making Love" and "All Right Now." He also does fan favorites like "Mr. Big" and "Muddy Water Blues."
He has been cited as a significant influence on a number of notable rock singers, including David Coverdale, John Waite, Steve Overland, Lou Gramm, Jimi Jamison, Eric Martin, Steve Walsh, Joe Lynn Turner and Jimmy Barnes.
On this CD he's backed by some of the best, Queen's Brian May, Toto's Steve Lukather and Journey's Neal Schon.
Some may not know that Paul recently became a Canadian.
"It may not be my native land but Canada is surely now my home. While I'll always be an Englishman, Canada has given me so much for which I am grateful. My wife, your former Miss Canada Cynthia Kereluk, a new and extended family and the chance to be truly free in a country that with its quiet strength combines the best of so many worlds. I'm proud to be a Canuck," Paul said.