Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Lee Fields live! This saturday

Lee Fields and the Expressions, live. Via Brooklynvegan

Lee Fields and the Expressions are set to play their first-ever show in NZ on this coming Saturday 11th January, at the Powerstation in Auckland. It promises to be a dynamite night of super soul! See here for more info. Opening act is Tyra Hammond (ex Opensouls). DJ support comes from Stinky Jim.

Lee Fields made his recording debut back in 1969, and since then, his career has had its ups and downs. A quiet spell in the 80s saw him get into real estate. "It taught me a lot, because I couldn't afford to get people in to work on the houses, so I had to do it myself, and figure it out." Fields became a pretty good handyman, fixing up houses. 

"The rough times make you appreciate the good times. When you have a period where things don't go your way, and you remain steadfast and strong and determined, when the up times come along again, every moment is appreciated - particularly opportunities like coming to New Zealand!"

In the late 90s he hooked up with a group of young musical cats in Brooklyn who were avowed funk fans (like Gabe Roth), and recorded two albums, for Desco Records and Soulfire Records.

Many of the musicians involved with those labels went on to form the backbone of both Daptone Records, and Truth And Soul Records, the latter of which is Fields' current label. He recorded and released the album My World with them in 2009, and followed that up with Faithful Man in 2012. He joins a raft of great soul singers like Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, who are getting discovered by a new audience.

"When I speak of soul music, a lot of people use the term in regard to the genre or the style, but when I use the term, I think of the spirit. So when I sing, I try to get as close as I can to the inner self, the place where you go within yourself where words cease, there's no words to describe that zone."

And how does Mr Fields keep on keepin' on, at the ripe old age of 63?

"Everything's allowed, but moderation is good for you," he laughs. "I don't smoke, and I try to be moderate with things like alcohol. I don't knock people who do smoke, or drink, or whatever, I ain't got no problem with it. But in my case, I decided to do things more or less in moderation some years ago, and I think that it's one of the contributing factors. I've still got a lot of energy on stage, and I want it to stay that way."

[Interview quotes: Lydia Jenkin, NZ Herald Timeout Dec 21, 2013.]

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