The Asheville Music Hall has what looks like a winner tonight: Sydney Barnes with the Secret B-Sides, opening for soul man Lee Fields, a man with a throwback sound and a backup band called The Expressions:
With a catalogue that ranges from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig, Lee Fields has done it all. Today, Lee Fields continues to evolve with Truth & Soulʼs house band The Expressions who add their sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. Released in June 2009 on Truth & Soul, My World was their first full-length together and was called “one smoking mother of an old-sound soul record” and a “throwback done right” by Pitchfork.
While drawing comparisons to artists like The Moments, The Delfonics, The Stylistics, and—of course—James Brown, Faithful Man has been able to create a space of itʼs own due to the groupʼs desire to interpret and further the formulas of good soul music rather then parrot and imitate them. Chalk that up to Truth & Soul producers and co-owners Jeff Silverman and Leon Michels, as well as the high level of musicianship of everyone involved. These are the same individuals that wrote, produced, and played on Aloe Blaccʼs global smash hit LP Good Things (Stones Throw Records) and have provided the back drop for records by El Michels Affair, Adele, Liam Bailey, Ghostface Killah and Jay-Z to name a few.
“In a curious case of musical evolution, the older Fields becomes, the closer he gets to perfecting the sound of soul that he grew up with as a young man, ” noted music writer, scholar and DJ Oliver Wang regarding Fields in a piece for NPR in July 2009. Faithful Man is the next step towards realizing that perfection.
Asheville Music Hall