What Lee Fields pulled off last night in front of a capacity crowd half his age was nothing short of amazing.
Standing all of 5’5, pimped out and proud in thrift-store shades and cream white pinstripes, Fields was the personification of a bygone era in Soul – one that’s enjoying a welcome resurgence these days, as an entire generation of fauxhemians rediscover what it was that had gone missing along the way.
I mean, Otis Redding, Howlin’ Wolf, James Brown, Wilson Pickett, Curtis Mayfield, Solomon Burke … you name it, they were all present and accounted for, one way or another, as Fields launched into one stone groove after another, storming through a set that leaned heavily toward material from his latest LP, Faithful Man. The show lasted well over two hours, including a pair standing encores, with more than enough spare energy in the room to dictate three more.
When the man crooned, the room went still. When he jumped back, the room braced itself in anticipation. When he dug deep into his gut, insisting, “I’m still haaaaaaaaaaaaaanging on,” you had absolutely no choice but to believe every word he was saying.
When it was all over, you could not help but think, if there was any justice still left in this world, Lee Fields would’ve been a household name two or three times over by now.
Then again, the fact that it he isn’t probably has a lot to do with why he can still belt out those immaculate motherfucking Blues the way he does.
(Editor’s Note: Lee Fields once recorded a song called “Sallie Mae, Get off of My Feet,” an accomplishment which may single-handedly qualify him as the greatest artist of all-time)