Lee Fields & The Expressions

March 30 • 20th Century Theater

In this age of disposable music and equally ephemeral careers, longevity of any kind should be celebrated. And Lee Fields should be the grand marshal of that parade.

A Soul shouter with the passion and intensity of James Brown, Fields made his debut in 1969, served as a utility Kool & the Gang member in the early ’70s and churned out a string of great singles, culminating in his 1979 debut full-length masterpiece, Let’s Talk It Over, most of which Fields self-released and self-promoted.

Unfortunately, Fields’ brilliant blast of old-school ’60s R&B/Funk was deemed out of step with the prevailing Disco winds (although the cover shot of Fields in a suit that looks like it was fashioned from the upholstery of a whorehouse couch indicates otherwise) and it sank without so much as a ripple in its wake.

Fields never really stopped doing his raucous and raw Soul act but he was well under the radar, except to Rap/Hip Hop spinners who sampled Fields’ massive grooves to great effect. Eventually Truth & Soul Records rediscovered Fields, signed him and released his first new album in a couple of decades, 2009’s My World, marking a triumphant entry in the recent Soul revival. The label also reissued his long out-of-print Problems in 2010. Fields’ current tour supports another pair of ace releases, the recently reissued-and-expanded version of Fields’ fabulous Let’s Talk It Over and his first album of all new material in four years, the Soul-and-sweat-drenched Faithful Man.

Want to travel back to the halcyon days of ’60s Soul/Funk/R&B? We don’t need no stinking time machine; we’ve got Lee Fields.

LEE FIELDS & THE EXPRESSIONS play Saturday, March 30 with Lady at 20th Century Theater in Oakley. Buy tickets, check out performance times and get venue details here.

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