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Sunday, September 24th, 2017
Lee Fields is a true soul survivor. Onstage, the sixtysomething singer is such a powerhouse he’ll be covered in a film of sweat within the first two or three songs. Not only did he earn the nickname “Little JB” back in the day, but he proved it again by providing vocals to Hollywood’s acclaimed 2014 James Brown biography Get On Up. Fields belongs to the class of older musicians whose profile has been elevated by the revival of interest in throwback R&B (the ailing Charles Bradley is another), which he has played a significant part in himself thanks to the handful of 21st-century albums he made for the Truth & Soul label, among them My World and Funky Man. He’s faithful to that same style on last year’s Special Night (Big Crown), an album full of funky organ, sassy horns and fat bass lines, and whose maker has described it as “a record about what people do in real life.” It’s pretty much an even split between songs designed for the bedroom or the dance floor, so draw your own conclusions about what that might be.