It’s a rare and beautiful thing to see real soul, R&B performed by a man of the times in Toronto, 2014, a man sometimes referred to as Little JB, for his likeness to James Brown. I certainly felt like I had been transported back in time, to when the music had so much soul and emotion, you clutched at your chest when they sang songs like Fields’, Don’t Leave Me This Way, a heart-wrenching ballad meant for a more romantic era. Or how when he screams that James Brown-esque shriek, singing Money is King, sliding his feet in his alligator shoes sitting below the metallic three-piece suit and you move your feet involuntarily to the rhythm, as if possessed by a ghost from the golden age of rhythm and blues. For as young as Fields’ backing band The Expressions are, they could also be possessed by old ghosts from the past.
Lee Fields and The Expressions ripped through their set of ballads, movers and shakers, mostly from the new album Emma Jean. Always the exaggerating showman, Fields was introduced to the stage by band leader, and guitarist. He cried, and with his pocket square, wiped tears from his eyes after singing the heartbreakers, and the sweat from his brow after the dance numbers.
It was truly magic to feel that I had experienced, in real life, an era of music I wasn’t around for. Kudos Lee Fields.
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Review by Lauren Morocco |