Former Simply Red star Mick Hucknall's first solo album will be a collection of soul classics from the likes of Otis Redding and Ray Charles.

The Holding Back The Years singer, who recently fronted the reformed Faces for a handful of shows, will release American Soul in October (13), preceded by new single That's How Strong My Love Is - a cover of Redding's 1965 hit.

He tells, he has always been a big fan of the tune: "The song never seemed to go away and I was reminded of it over the years by covers of it from the likes of Candi Staton and the (Rolling) Stones. I guess its power and universal appeal lies in the simplicity of its message.

"What I like about our version is the modern production... and the driving rhythm which makes it great to sing and to perform live."

And talking about his song selection for the album, Hucknall adds, "I wanted to record versions of some of my favourite songs that I'd been brought up on and had been listening to since the age of five or six. I realised that just about all those songs were by African Americans and I wanted to explore the incredible story of that genre which had influenced my life and career so profoundly."