Tag: Lee Fields and the Expressions My World

New Video: Righteously Protest with Old School Soul Legend Lee Fields in the New Visuals for “Make The World”

Now, if you’ve been frequenting this site over the past few years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts featuring Lee Fields and The Expressions — and you might recall that Fields can trace the origins of his almost 50 year music career back to his earliest recorded efforts, released in 1969. And although he’s toured with several renowned funk and soul acts, including Kool and the Gang, O.V. Wright, Hip Huggers, and others, Fields has toiled in a bit of obscurity to most; however, he has been long known to obsessive and completetist record collectors, deep soul fans and those seeking ridiculously obscure yet funky grooves.

Interestingly, over the past 10-15 years or so, the classic soul sound has seen a remarkable resurgence with the likes of Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, the late, great Chuck Brown and others receiving the fame and attention that had up until recently proven to be elusive. And of course, along with that, there have been an increasing number of contemporary acts all over the world that have been employing that classic and beloved sound. In fact, with the release of 2009’s My World, 2012’s Faithful Man and 2014’s Emma Jean Fields joined by his latest backing band The Expressions won both the attention of the blogosphere and new fans, while 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 album with The Expressions, Special Night was released last November through Big Crown Records, and the album’s first single “Make The World,” is a stomping, early 70s James Brown-indebted bit of 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 explains 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.”

Directed by Kate Cunningham, the recently released video for “Make The World” begins with Fields and a small group of backing musicians, as well as a couple of subway performers performing the song at the Bedford Avenue L train stop while waiting for the train. We then see Fields and his band of musicians marching through the 14th Street and 6th Avenue and 14th Street and 7th Avenue stations with a directed and forceful purpose — they’re heading uptown to the Trump International Hotel and Tower at Columbus Circle, to join the President’s Day demonstrations, where they remind the protestors of why they’re there in the first place — to come together and change the world while making eerie parallels to the protests and demonstrations of the 1960s.

New Video: The Cinematic Visuals for Lee Fields and The Expressions “Special Night”

If you’ve been frequenting this site over the past couple of years, you’ve likely come across a handful of posts featuring soul singer Lee Fields. Fields has had a nearly 50 year music career, which he can trace back to his first recorded efforts released back in 1969 — and as a result, he has toured with a number of nationally and internationally known acts including Kool and the Gang, O.V. Wright, Hip Huggers, and others. However, despite sharing bills with a number of renowned acts, Fields has largely toiled in a level of obscurity to most audiences with the exceptions of crate diggers seeking deep, funky grooves from the late 60s to mid 70s or so and obsessively completist soul music fans and record collectors. Fortunately for the likes of Fields, Sonny Knight, the late and utterly fantastic Sharon Jones, Charles Bradley, the late, great Chuck Brown and others the soul music revival has allowed them to achieve a measure of attention and fame that had long eluded them — or in the case of both Chuck Brown and Sonny Knight, an opportunity to receive attention outside of their particular hometown. And along with that there have been an increasing number of contemporary acts and labels both nationally and internationally releasing new, original material that pushes what soul music should sound like and concern itself with thematically in very different directions.

Along with this latest backing band, The Expressions, which features some of New York’s finest soul musicians — members of the band have been members or have split time with the world famous Dap Kings, Charles Bradley’s backing bands The Extraordinaires and The Menahan Street Band and others — Fields captured the attention of the blogosphere and new fans with 2009’s My World, 2012’s Faithful Man and 2014’s Emma Jean through Truth and Soul Records. And with those three albums Fields and company increasingly pushed their overall sound and lyrical concerns in different directions — Emma Jean featured a gorgeous soulful cover of Leon Russell’s “Out In The Woods,” which managed to draw parallels to Fields’ own experience of arriving in New York as a 17 year-old with only $20 in his pocket and big dreams. Interestingly Fields’ fourth album with The Expressions Special Night mostly focuses on the intricacies of romantic and personal relationships with one exception — album single “Make The World.” a stomping, early 70s James Brown-indebted bit of funk soul, about the need for people to unite and get things right. The album’s latest single, album title track “Special Night” is a slow-burning and tender, psych soul and Quiet Storm-leaning love song in which the song’s narrator expresses being grateful and lucky to stumble upon a wonderful lover, and how he was going to show his lover how grateful he was. Lucky and rare are those who find that kind of love. May we all know that kind of love at some point in our lives.

Directed by Nick Walker, the recently released video for “Special Night” possesses a relatively simple concept — as we follow Lee Fields, using a free-floating dolly shot in a sunny, Southern California grapevine, and of a gorgeous backdrop with a hot air balloon in the background. It’s a subtly trippy yet cinematic video.

Live Footage: Lee Fields and The Expressions Perform The Funky and Stomping “Make The World” on “CBS News This Morning”

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.)

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 GangO.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  Sharon JonesCharles 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 and forthcoming effort with his backing band The Expressions Special Night is slated for a November 4, 2016 release 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 explains 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 his Expression are currently touring Europe and will return to the States through the Fall and Winter to support Special Night and it includes an album release date show at The Ray Ban and Boiler Room Weekender with the equally funky Kamasi Washington in Lake Harmony, PA and it includes a January 7 date with Lady Wray and Paul and the Tall Trees at Irving Plaza. Check out the Stateside tour dates below.

Tour Dates:
Nov 04 – Lake Harmony, PA – The Ray Ban + Boiler Room Weekender *
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) #