With more than five decades of wear and tear and grit coating his voice, soul veteran Lee Fields has a greater story than most young chancers — or many of the oldies for that matter.
The North Carolina native channels the classic soul sound of iconic labels such as Stax and Chess, with his band The Expressions playing their horns and keys as if the last 40 years of music never happened. Recent albums like It Rains Love, Special Night and Emma Jean sound like they should be pulled out of dog-eared, faded sleeves and thrown on a vintage turntable.
Although, for all the vintage OG soul points he’s racked up over the decades, he did dabble a bit in synths in the 90s after years of soul being sidelined after the 80s, and he even recorded a string of disco-funk house bangers with French DJ and producer Martin Solveig.
His label Big Crown is another enterprise that is pretending to be blissfully unaware of the digital revolution, with its emphasis on releasing soul 7-inches, and not licencing albums to those new-fangled streaming sites.
So if you want to hear what Lee Fields is up to now, you have to go catch him live — or at least dig up a vinyl in your local record shop.
- Lee Fields and the Expressions play the Button Factory in Dublin tomorrow (Saturday)