Beginning his music career with his first recorded efforts being released in 1969, Lee Fields has had an incredibly prolific career in which he has toured with a number of renowned acts one the years including Kool and the Gang, O.V. Wright, Hip Huggers, and others — but sadly in a bit of obscurity to those outside of crate diggers seeking ridiculously deep grooves and soul music fans; however, as I’ve written throughout the course of this site’s history, over the course of the past 10-15 years or so, the classic soul sound has seen a remarkable resurgence with sadly forgotten talents seeing the fame and attention that had long been elusive –in particular think of the late and spectacular Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, the late, great Chuck Brown and others, as well as a number of contemporary acts writing and recording new material employing that classic and beloved sound.
With the release of 2009’s My World, 2012’s Faithful Man and 2014’s Emma Jean through Truth and Soul Records, Fields and his backing band The Expressions won the attention of the blogosphere and new fans — all while increasingly pushing their sound and lyrics in new directions; in fact, Emma Jean featured a gorgeous and soulful cover of Leon Russell’s “Out In The Woods,” which also managed to evoke Fields’ own experience of arriving in the NYC area as a 17 year old with only $20 in his pocket and a desire to make a name for himself at all costs.
Fields’ fourth effort with his backing band The Expressions Special Night was released earlier this month through through Big Crown Records and the album’s latest single “Make The World” is a stomping, danceable as hell, early 70s James Brown-indebted bit of soulful funk with a powerful and positive message that says we need to start getting our acts together, and uniting towards one purpose — getting things right or else we’ll be marching blindly towards our self-destruction. As Fields explained in press notes “The world was designed to last indefinitely. And we’re the only living species on Earth who can alter that process. I’m hoping that song has a chain reaction, helps somebody put into action whatever contribution they can to change what the world is going through.” I think we all need to take heed of what these old-timers are saying and make every effort to change our world for the better. Fields and The Expressions were recently on CBS News This Morning last Saturday to perform a couple of songs off the album, which included this live footage of “Make The World,” which should give you a taste of what their live set is like — and trust me, you’ll be shaking your ass. (Just as a warning, click on link, it’ll feed you to a separate page in which the video will appear as a full-screen embed. I haven’t figured a good way to fix that yet — but you know, first world problems, I guess.)
Fields and his Expression are currently on a Stateside tour to support the new effort and it includes a January 7 date with Lady Wray and Paul and the Tall Trees at Irving Plaza. Check out the tour dates below.
Nov 30 – San Diego, CA – Belly Up Tavern (TIX)
Dec 01 – Los Angeles, CA – El Rey (TIX)
Dec 02 – Pomona, CA – Glass House (TIX)
Dec 03 – San Francisco, CA – Mezzanine (TIX)
Dec 05 – Portland, OR – Aladdin (TIX)
Dec 06 – Seattle, WA – Neumos (TIX)
Dec 07 – Vancouver, BC – Biltmore (TIX)
Jan 07 – New York, NY – Irving Plaza (TIX) #