E&J Brandy is America’s most awarded brandy. Celebrating their 40the anniversary, they’ve embarked on a “Generations of Soul” campaign featuring the musical talents of Raphael Saadiq, BJ the Chicago Kid and Lee Fields. We were able to attend their private concert at Mack Sennett Studios on 4/2/15 and Lee Fields gave a stellar and intimate performance. Continue reading
Listed chronologically, the most recent show first.
Filter Magazine’s Culture Collide 2013 | Echo Park | 11/10/13 – 11/11/13 (Wooster, Tiny Ruins, Maya Vik, Iza, Medicine, Jacco Gardner, Gemini Club and Great White Buffalo)
The Beach Ball Festival: Soul Revue | Santa Monica Pier | September 21, 2013 (Myron & E, Lee Fields and the Expressions, Maceo Parker, Allen Stone and Aloe Blacc)
Lobster Festival | Port of Los Angeles | September 14, 2013 (The Section Quartet, Nightmare & The Cat, Deap Vally, Dead Sara)
FYF FEST | L.A. State Historic Park | August 24 and 25, 2013 (Mikal Cronin, Charles Bradley, The Breeders, Devendra Banhart, The Locust, Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, The Orwells, Pional, How To Dress Well, No Age, !!! (ChkChkChk), Shlohmo, MGMT, Solange, and Holy Ghost!)
Ink-N-Iron Festival | Queen Mary | June 8, 2013 (Girl in a Coma, Hopeless Jack & the Handsome Devil, Kaleigh Baker, The Fleshtones, Dead Kennedys and Iggy and the Stooges)
Make Music Pasadena 2013 | June 1, 2013 (The Record Company, The Peach Kings, YACHT, Robert DeLong, Youngblood Hawke, Haunted Summer and The Likes of Us)
Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Friday (Of Monsters and Men, Passion Pit, Palma Violets, Modest Mouse, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Jurassic 5, Stone Roses and How To Destroy Angels)
Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Saturday (Ben Howard, Pucifer, Violent Femmes, Grizzly Bear, Postal Service, Franz Ferdinand and Phoenix)
Coachella 2013 | April 12-14 | Sunday (Alex Clare, Rodriguez, Vampire Weekend, Nick Cave, Wu-Tang Clan and Red Hot Chili Peppers)
Lee Fields has been doing his thing for over 40 years, but I only got really familiar with his music this year. A work associate was selling some LPs in his collection, and while I was looking through his rack, he pulled out Lee Fields LP “Problems”. He assured me that it was an excellent listen, and I trusted him. I’m so glad I did.
When I played “Problems” on my record player, I was immediately immersed in some deep, soulful funk that I was embarrassed to realize I was unfamiliar with. “Problems” was released in 2002, and I realized that I was over 10 years late to the party … but as they say, “better late than never”.
I found out later that he was scheduled to perform at the Troubadour in support of his most recent album “Faithful Man”, but was saddened to discover that the show had sold out. I didn’t see any tickets for sale on second hand ticket brokers websites, so I can only assume that those who were lucky enough to snag tickets, were keeping them for themselves. My extreme loss. Thankfully, for my sake, he was scheduled to perform at the Beach Ball Festival.
Critics compare Lee Fields to artists like Wilson Pickett and James Brown, but those critics should really just focus on what Lee Fields brings to the current music scene. Perhaps, if Lee’s latest albums were released back in the hey day of soul music (i.e. the 60’s), he may have been talked about in the same breath with the soul stars of that time. But, they weren’t. Rather, the albums are part of the current music scene, and they are diamonds in the rough. Current artists, and popular music, don’t make albums like Lee Fields. There are only a handful of artists today (Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley, to name a few) that provide modern day music fans with the kind of throwback soul that existed back in soul’s hey day. That kind of music is unique in today’s musical landscape, and should be judged on their own merits. Just my thoughts …
Lee Fields brought his brand of retro-soul to the stage, and knocked the audience out. Dressed in his bright red, yellow and blue, plaid blazer, he brought an infectious energy to the stage that the crowd couldn’t help but feel. Interacting with the crowd, strutting and dancing back and forth across the stage, swooning and belting the lyrics to his music, his performance was the embodiment of soul music, and he had me smiling dimple to dimple throughout the whole set.
After his performance, I head back to the back stage area with the hopes of meeting Mr. Fields. Some people may think that I take my music too seriously, but I felt compelled to bring along my copy of the “Problems” LP in case I was lucky enough to meet him to get it signed. The soul stars must have been lined up, because as soon as I made my way back, Mr. Fields was snapping some pictures with a photographer for the event. I got him to sign my LP and snap a picture, told him how much I enjoyed the show and wished him the best for the rest of the tour.
Mr Fields, terrific set. The pleasure was all mine.
I LOVE soul music. I listen to all genres, but if I had to guess, I’d venture to guess that probably a third of my music collection (iTunes indicates that I have 19,452 songs that last 54.4 days) consists of soul tracks and about half of my vinyl collection consists of soul LPs. From Aretha Franklin to Amy Winehouse, Marvin Gaye to D’Angelo, I have a thing for soul music. Period.
When I heard that KCRW, in association with the Echo/Echoplex, was having a Soul/Reggae Festival, I was excited. As soon as I saw the line-up, I bought tickets. The Bay Area soul duo, Myron and E; The prolific and enduring Lee Fields; one of the architects of Funk, Maceo Parker; the hippie with soul, Allen Stone; and the former rapper turned soul-man, Aloe Blacc: I knew and respected all of these artists and there was no way I was going to miss out on this full day of soul music. I bought an “early bird” VIP ticket which only cost me $45, and my Saturday, September 21st was set. Below is a list of the artists whose performances I had the pleasure of catching. Click through on their names to read my thoughts, see pictures and watch performance snippets. If there is a “(pending)” notice next to the name, follow my blog, twitter (@methodman13) or Instagram (@methodman13) for updates. Hey…. these entries just don’t write themselves! LOL.