LEE FIELDS & THE EXPRESSIONSEMMA JEAN Truth & Soul Records
For Fans of: Issac Hayes, James Brown, Solomon Burke, and Charles Bradley
This summer Lee Fields & The Expressions are back on the scene with a new record full of sweet soul music! Entitled Emma Jean in honor of Lee’s late mother, this record finds the band incorporating more elements of Folk and Gospel into their sound more then they have in the past. In fact, the album’s first single is a soulful version of the J.J. Cale tune “Magnolia”. Sounding a little like Solomon Burke, Lee croons his way through this Folk classic with help from pedal-steel guitar master Russ Pahl. While the song is stylistically a little different then songs Lee and his band have done in the past, they still sound great. That being said, Emma Jean has something for everyone. Fans of classic hard-soul will enjoy songs like “In the Woods” and “Stone Angel” while fans of the teary-eyed ballads will have a new favorite song in “Don’t Leave Me This Way”. The album’s standout track however is the piano-driven “Eye to Eye”. In this song the band sways back and forth while Lee pleads with his lover to take him back. Singing like his life depends on it, Lee is clearly still at the top of his game. For a guy who’s been releasing music since 1969, this album might be his crowning achievement.
On October 10, 2010 we lost the greatest soul singer of all time, Mr. Solomon Burke. Sadly, Mr. Burke never got as much press as other soul legends like James Brown or Marvin Gaye even though he was just as much of a pioneer in soul music as they were. Solomon Burke was a true talent who could command the attention of any audience. I was lucky enough to get to see Mr. Burke in Oakland in November of 2009 and even though he was only allowed to play for a little over an hour, it was one of the best performances I have seen in my life! Solomon was loved by musicians in every genre of music and I hope that in the coming years his music and impact on popular music get they recognition they deserve. Today is a sad day for me. However, I am comforted by the fact that even though Mr. Burke is gone his message of love and kindness will live on through the recordings he has left with us. Thank you Mr Burke for sharing your talent and music with us.