Lee Fields & The Expressions’ Special Night
Lee Fields & The Expressions’ Special Night – Album Out Now, Irving Plaza Show this Saturday 1/7/17
Lee Fields released his first single in 1969. The North Carolina native followed his voice to New York City as a young man and settled in New Jersey to raise a family. He considered himself a blues singer and looked up to artists like OV Wright. As the years went by he told me he turned into a soul singer; the fundamental difference being an effort to make the songs pleasing to God. All the time he was waiting for a band that was in step with his phrasing and his style. As Fields tells it, he waited forty years for The Expressions. A string of dynamite albums has followed since they found each other beginning with Problems in 2002 with the latest being Special Night.
The Expressions are a fluid outfit who were the house band at Truth and Soul Records and are now the house band at Big Crown Records. Both labels were co-founded by Leon Michels who plays sax and keys as well as bass and guitar and is an exquisite horn arranger and producer. Long time allies and co-conspirators of Michels are the formidable rhythm section of Nick Movshon on bass and Homer Steinweiss on drums who anchor The Expressions. The three are all members of The Arcs with Dan Auerbach and have together or individually, put their stamp on recordings by Sharon Jones, Amy Winehouse, and Charles Bradley.
Another guy who will be familiar to you if you’ve spent time with Daptone Records’ liner notes is Thomas Brenneck (also a member of Budos Band) on guitar. Brenneck, along with Michels, Movshon, and Steinweiss who are all members of the El Michels Affair and Menahan Street Band, pooled resources and opened Diamond Mine Studios in Long Island City where Special Night was recorded. These guys have been around the block a few times and have asserted more and more control over the process of creating recorded music. Fields has nothing but the highest of praise for his collaborators when it comes to their musicality and their prowess in the recording studio and it’s clear they enjoy a high level of trust.
This Saturday night at Irving Plaza, catch Lee Fields and The Exprssions with two of his labelmates on Big Crown records supporting: Lady Wray and Paul and the Tall Trees.