Rod Stewart realizes a dream on latest album

Friday, November 6, 2009
FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2009 file photo, singer Rod Stewart performs at the Clive Davis pre-Grammy party in Beverly Hills, Calif. (AP Photo/Dan Steinberg, file)

LOS ANGELES -- Rod Stewart grew up idolizing soul singers like Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson and Otis Redding. On his new album, "Soulbook," he gets a chance to pay tribute to his childhood idols in song -- and even gets a chance to sing with one of them on the CD.

Smokey Robinson is one of the guest stars on "Soulbook," which features Stewart singing some of soul music's most revered tunes. It follows in Stewart's trend of recording classic covers (he had a resurgence with his "Great American Songbook" album series).

The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Famer said he was elated to sing "Tracks of My Tears," which Robinson recorded with the Miracles on Motown, with the legendary singer and composer.

"I grew up listening to Smokey Robinson. To have that guy come into the studio and sing on 'Tracks Of My Tears' [was great]," he said.

The CD also features appearances by Stevie Wonder, Mary J. Blige and Jennifer Hudson. "Soulbook" was released in October.

Now that Stewart has taken on soul music, he's willing to take other genres, even the blues.

"I would love to sing all that stuff. I really would. It could go on and on and on," he said. "The one thing I won't be doing is I won't be writing any songs. It has gone past me now, the writing phase. It was always a struggle."

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