Lee Fields' tough and tender voice is backed up by the lyrical bass lines, chimey rhythm guitar and fabulous horn parts of the Expressions. Their music encompasses a wide range of funk, blues and soul and is definitely grooving. One might be tempted to call Lee Fields and the Expressions a modern review of the soul era, except that Field's recordings date back to 1969, making him the real deal. He's been steeped in the funk and soul for over four decades.
Fields was actually dubbed "little J.B." during the 1970's due to his stylistic similarity to James Brown. Oliver Wang of NPR said this of Fields: "In a curious case of musical evolution, the older Fields becomes, the closer he gets to perfecting the sound of soul that he grew up with as a young man."
Lee Fields and the Expressions are most certainly evolving the soul music of the '60s and '70s, capturing the sound of the era in the current day well enough to throw off any music lover. And while the sound is vintage, Fields maintains a fresh feel. Lee Fields and the Expressions without a doubt deliver soul and funk that hold it down and let it loose.
This session was kicked off by Lady -- the duo of Nicole Wray and Terri Walker, who also serve as Fields' backing vocalists. Lady and Lee Fields share not only a backing band, the Expressions, but also a record label, Truth and Soul Records.
All photos by Caroline Philippone.