Lee Fields is arguably the greatest soul singer alive today. In an age when the shelf life of an artist largely depends on posturing and trends, he has proven to be an unassailable force of nature. His prolific, decade-spanning career continues to reign supreme on the modern soul scene.
In early 2022, Lee reunited with Daptone Records and producer Gabriel Roth to record Sentimental Fool, a deep, blues-tinged, wholly-conceived soul album. From his first line to his final plaintive lyric, the beauty, power, and raw humanity of Leeʼs voice is on full display here; the culmination of an astounding career that has seemed to defy gravity, rising to only greater and greater heights.
Soul music pours out of Lee Fields, as free and unstinting as God's love.
It was ever since the 1960's, when he was a teenager in North Carolina sweating it out on juke joint stages, crumpled dollars hailing at his feet. It continues now that the living legend is in his late sixties, ushering in the most successful and fruitful period of his career.
Like any living legend worth their salt, Fields has suffered despair, obscurity, defeat. Although he now tours stages around the world, and although he helped fellow soul legends like Sharon Jones (who was once Fields' backup singer) and Charles Bradley (whom Fields took on his first tour) get their first break, he did not always have this position. There were years—they were known as "the 1980's"—when Fields nearly gave up. His success these days, then has a bittersweet tinge: His dear friends Bradley and Jones have both passed, leaving Fields to outlive them and carry their legacy forth.
With all these years, and all this life, comes a sort of divine wisdom, and Fields has it in spades. "I am a sinner, just like everybody else," he says gravely. He is no "holier—than—thou guy," he adds. He just believes in people's ability to love and be loved, and he understands that music is the divine bridge to these places.
2. I Should Have Let You Be
3. Sentimental Fool
4. Two Jobs
5. Just Give Me Your Time
6. Save Your Tears For Someone New
7. The Door
8. What Did I Do?
9. Without A Heart
10. Ordinary Lives
11. Your Face Before My Eyes
12. Extraordinary Man