Lee Fields & The Expressions
Big Crown Vaults Vol. 1
Big Crown Records
“Genre: Soul/ Funk” this download states, and ain’t that the truth. Field’s soul roots go back to the classic era of the ‘60s, and it is apparent on this “from the vaults” collection of material cut for the 2017 album Special Night and 2019’s It Rains Love. For once, the claim that these are not inferior to the tracks originally issued does ring true. Just listen to Field’s voice on the opening cover of Little Carl Carlton’s “Two Timer”. For something a little more reflective, lend an ear to “Regenerate, an early ‘70s flavoured slow- to mid-tempo country soul outing. Then there is the funk of “Do You Know?” with its fuzz guitar and strong percussion behind Field’s impassioned voice, shouting for “Freedom and justice for all”.
“Time” leans a little towards the blues, with its slower tempo and prominent guitar work but Field’s vocals as well as organ take it to church. “Thinking About You” is a good old-fashioned soul dancer. “Don’t Give Up” is a standout on an outstanding soul album, with its lush arrangement, notable and unusual backing, and vocals showing just how good Fields can get.
Note too that the credit is to Lee Fields AND The Expressions, who get their own chance to shine on several instrumentals, including “Out To Get You”, a catchy number Fields somehow never got around to putting vocals on. It all makes for a lovely retro-soul set, or just all around good music, if you prefer.
SPILL ALBUM REVIEW: LEE FIELDS & THE EXPRESSIONS – BIG CROWN VAULTS VOL. 1