Grammy winner Paul Rodgers, also known as "the Voice," will be playing the Kelowna Community Theatre on March 15th. The event is 85% sold out so you'd better get your tickets now.
Rodgers has led three bands to international success, created a successful solo career, released 27 CDs and sold 125 million CDs. He's travelled the world for several decades now and shows no signs of stopping, or wanting to for that matter.
Rodgers and his distinctive voice first became known with his band Free and their 70s anthem song, "All Right Now." Later on he formed Bad Company and gave us greats like “Feel Like Making Love,” “Shooting Star,” and “Can’t Get Enough." Bad Company has earned six multi-platinum albums. And if that wasn't enough, Rodgers once joined with Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page to form the group The Firm.
He is a quintessential musician and still loves to create and perform his music. In mid-December 2011 he turned 62 and released "With Our Love," a composition co-written and performed by Perry Margouleff. Their friendship dates back a few decades when they met in the U.K. while Margouleff was performing with The Pretty Things.
Rodgers explains how the song came about. "Perry sends me tracks and asks me what I think of them, we do it for creative fun. We came up with this track and decided to put it out there and see what happened with it. It was recorded analog and didn't go into digital until the last stage. Analogue has a warmth to it. That's what I love about the old vinyl records, the warmth."
You can certainly feel that warmth as you listen to With Our Love. The feel is a mixture of old soul wisdom and 60s mystical rock.
While working together, Rodgers and Margouleff discovered they were both were supporters of horses. Rodgers, with his involvement with the Racehorse Sanctuary & Rocking Horse Children's Charity, and Margouleff with the Seraphim 12 Foundation. The two then decided to give 100% of the proceeds from the sale of "With Our Love" to their charities.
"It was my wife Cynthia who brought the horses to my attention," explains Rodgers. "We looked into their [Racehorse Sanctuary] finances and found out they were going to have to move. These horses were going to be sent to slaughter. We helped them relocate. It was miraculous because we found a place half a mile down the road so everyone could stay in situ and the move for the horses was less stressful."
Although Rodgers credits his wife Cynthia and her big heart for the charities they support it is obvious his heart is equally as big. "Horses are such a powerful part of human development and have been since the early ages," he says. "We humans owe them so much. Cynthia and I have visited both sanctuaries and can't imagine any of these healthy, vibrant beings being sent off to die."
The Okanagan's Critteraid (www.critteraid.org) will be at the Kelowna Community Theatre the night of the concert. They will be selling raffle tickets and Rodgers has told them he'll match whatever they sell. On top of that he's giving support to CrocTalk and the Okanagan Humane Society.
Most people who think of Paul Rodgers think U.K. In reality Rodgers has lived in Canada for quite some time now. He recently became a Canadian citizen. He fondly remembers the occasion. "It felt great to get my citizenship. I've been living here for 15 years now and very settled. It was amazing to see the cross-section of people made citizens that were from everywhere, every corner of the world, Jamaica, Ethiopia, England, New Zealand..."
His wife Cynthia adds, "Just before the swearing in ceremony they came up to him and said 'you're going to sing the national anthem.' It was a five minute warning but he did it." Thank goodness he knew the words!
Settled in Canada and looking after creatures big and small, Rodgers doesn't see his life changing much. "I've formed three bands and at this stage of my life I'd like to just bring it all together," he says. "I play all my music from various bands I have performed in and new material as well. Things are coming together for me. It seems that all of my career is starting to make sense to me now."
He admits he really doesn't listen to much of the music out there today. "I am pretty involved with what I am doing. We create new material and songs based upon what I've done in the past."
Of the music he does listen to he has definite opinions. "I love Adele, I like what she does. It's very pure. It comes from that musical spot that all songwriters search for. She seems to be very open. It doesn't matter what genre the music is, when it comes from that place in the heart, it seems very natural and pure. That's what I am always searching for."
When asked if he had any advice for other musicians he said, "Don't do it!" and then laughed. "Just do what you believe," he chuckled. "Do the things you love and stick to it. Don't let people put you off. Dig deep and find out what you really feel. I remember way back when there were so many choices for me to make. When I went down to London I should have gone home but I didn't and I stuck to it. It was definitely worth it." He continues. "Music has taken me all around the world and continues to do so. In the next few weeks we will be going into the U.S. and Europe and travelling across Canada."
Rodgers believes as long as music keeps telling a story, no matter if it's rock, pop, soul or otherwise, it will survive. "As long as people recognize themselves in song they will continue to love those songs. There are some acoustics and big ballads and things that people can connect to and sing," he says. "Song's like "Shooting Star," songs that have a story that reach out and touch people. The thing about music is it expresses for people what they can't express for themselves sometimes."
Rodgers has no problem expressing himself. When asked what he was most thankful for his answer was quick and decisive. "I am most thankful for Cynthia. When I met her I was going down the road and hitting it hard. She's given me a great sense of self worth and direction."
Paul Rodgers: a remarkable musician and singer with an incredible heart. You gotta love that.
Kelowna Community Theatre
March 15, 2012
Special Guests Kelowna recording artists the FLU
Tickets: $72.50 to $89.50, available at www.selectyourtickets.com or by calling 250-762-5050.
VIP Tickets available at Kreater Custom Motorcycles include an exclusive Concert “SWAG” pack including T-shirts, CDs, Lanyards, pre-concert refreshments in KCT green room.
Doors open at 6:30 p.m.
The FLU performs at 7:30 p.m.
Paul Rodgers performs at 8:30 p.m.
The song "With Our Love," can be ordered here: cdbaby.com/cd/paulrodgers