Recipe #8: Lee Fields [Mixtape & Interview]

Since 1969, North Carolinian artist Lee Fields has been at the forefront of Soul. Always moving the genre forward and into the future, Fields has been recognized as a modern day classic. He has toured with legendary artists such as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V. Wright, Darrel Banks, and of course, his own renowned band, The Expressions. You may remember Fields’ sold out performance at Signal Kitchen for Burlington’s Discover Jazz Festival in 2013 and the in-studio video we recorded for “Let’s Talk It Over” from the identically titled album.

Fields and The Expressions will be back in BTV at ArtsRiot for A Very Special New Year’s Eve performance. We caught up with the man himself to find out a little more about his musical tastes and some of his creative influences for the 8th edition of our Recipes series. After securing your tickets the the NYE show (obviously), enjoy a peak into the mind of a man with much experience and start celebrating NYE early with a first-rate soul/r&b playlist featuring tracks by Sam Cooke, Otis Redding, James Brown, and more.

Your career has spanned several decades and a variety of new sounds have inevitably emerged; how have your creative influences changed since the beginning of your career? My creative influences have changed and continue changing in a very subtle way. When we record, we record with the present in mind, and with consideration of all emerging trends. We make very small changes connecting an early soul sound to the now . That’s why the vintage music sound, sounds so fresh.

Do you ever feel a responsibility to carry the sounds you grew up with into the future? No, because Soul Music is for all times. Soul Music is of the Spirit and the Spirit is of God – it’s The Beginning and The End (The Alpha and The Omega).

Your mixtape is heavy on the classics—who are some contemporary artists that are currently influencing you? Miguel, Ed Sheeran, BJ The Chicago Kid, just to name a few.

If you had to choose one thing—a specific moment or a person, place, album, etc—that made the biggest impact on the way you  create, who or what would that be? The Beatles no doubt!

Check out the video for “Let’s Talk It Over” (recorded at Signal Kitchen):

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“A recipe is a story that ends with a good meal.” — Pat Conroy