(NEW YORK) -- After nine long years, Huey Lewis & The News return this week with a new album, Soulsville. It's not a collection of original songs, though -- it's a tribute to the music of Stax, the legendary R&B record label that gave us such artists as Otis Redding, Sam & Dave, Booker T. & The MG's, Isaac Hayes and Wilson Pickett.
Why return after so many years with this kind of record? Huey tells ABC News Radio, "You need a concept these days."
In fact, the band's manager suggested that they they do the tribute album, and while Huey had initial reservations because of the iconic status of the original Stax performances, he eventually realized it was a great idea.
He explains, "I was very apprehensive about the whole project, 'cause some of these performances should not be repeated...but as we began to play it, it all felt so natural for us, and came out so well, and really suited our band."
For Soulsville, Huey Lewis & The News made a conscious effort not to record the biggest Stax hits, like "In the Midnight Hour" and "Dock of the Bay." Instead, Huey says they "chose to go a little deeper into the catalog and hopefully find songs that people maybe hadn't heard." Overall, he says, it was the most fun he and the News have ever had making a record.
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