Paul Rodgers has been keeping bad company for the past 40 years, but it hasn't done him any harm. In fact, it helped make him a rock star.
Founded in 1973 by Rodgers and guitarist Mick Ralphs, the English supergroup Bad Company is out touring this summer in celebration of its 40th anniversary.
"I don't really tour extensively now," Rodgers said by phone from his home in Canada's Okanagan Valley in British Columbia. "I probably do 20 or 30 shows a year."
The tour includes the band's first appearance at the Fall Music Festival at the B.R. Cohn Winery in Glen Ellen, which is marking its 27th year this weekend.
Rodgers and Bad Company will perform Saturday, along with Pablo Cruise and others. The festival continues Sunday with Heart and the Gin Blossoms.
The Doobie Brothers, long managed by the winery's owner, Bruce Cohn, will play both days.
Rodgers won fame in 1968 after recording the hit "All Right Now" with his earlier group, Free.
When Bad Company formed five years later, it earned its designation as a supergroup with a membership that included players from the star bands Free, Mott the Hoople and King Crimson.
Bad Company racked up an impressive string of lasting hits, including "Feel Like Making Love," "Can't Get Enough," "Shooting Star," "Run with the Pack" and the self-titled single "Bad Company."
Rodgers left the group in 1982, but the band reunited for a U.S. tour in 2001.
"When we do tour, it generates a terrific excitement, which is great," Rodgers said.
While he draws tunes from his entire career during his solo tours, Rodgers is exclusively singing Bad Company classics on the band's current California tour, which started June 15 in Rancho Mirage and ends Sept. 29 at the Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona.
(Rodgers is at home in California, keeping a second home in Palm Springs.)
Fans can expect to hear their favorite songs in rapid succession, Rodgers said.
"I like the shows to move quickly, and cover a lot of ground — boom, boom, boom — so there's not a lot of hanging around between songs," Rodgers said.
<i>You can reach Staff Writer Dan Taylor at 521-5243 or email@example.com. See his ARTS blog at http://arts.blogs.pressdemocrat.com.</i>