There aren’t too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969, back when R&B was first beginning to give the drummer some. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist—or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
With a catalogue that ranges from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig, Lee Fields has done it all. Today, with The Expressions—Truth & Soul’s house band, Lee Fields continues to evolve, enmeshed into the group’s sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. Their latest full-length, Faithful Man, released in March 2012 on Truth & Soul, was called “one smoking mother of an old-sound soul record” by Pitchfork and Vice magazine called Lee the “coolest motherfucker to sing words into a microphone.”
Since the release of Faithful Man, Lee Fields & The Expressions have been touring the world and racking up accolades from critics and fans alike. Lee Fields was featured on Last Call With Carson Daly and has toured the world over, gaining new fans and satisfying old ones. Highlights include opening slots for The Black Keys, Pretty Lights, and Wilco. Performing in front on 7000 people at Rosklide, 10,000 people at Red Rocks, and sold out shows in New York, San Francisco, Los Angles, Paris, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Montreal, Austin, Houston, New Orleans and many more.
“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, ” so said music writer, scholar, and DJ Oliver Wang about Fields in a piece for NPR in July 2009. The latest LP from Lee Fields and The Expressions is the next step towards this perfection. A step that may find Fields, The Expressions, and Truth & Soul as a label, finally being bestowed the contemporary soul music crown.