Aquarium Drunkard and SunsetSF present
JAZZFEST: Lee Fields & The Expressions
615 Toulouse Street
New Orleans, LA, 70130
Lee Fields & The Expressions
Lee Fields is a bona-fide, 100%, unadulterated, pure, gut-bucket soul singer. While the crate-digging funk and soul community bestowed "legendary" status upon him due to his undeniably solid series of rare 7" singles (and one LP) recorded and released on his own independent labels in the 70s, he's never been one to sit in a dusty corner. New York label/production team Truth & Soul, are ready to bring him to light with a brand new album of beat-heavy, deep soul ballads that will show soul-revivalists the world over what real soul is.
After his rediscovery in the mid 90s, his faithful have featured him on a slew on singles, a full-length on Desco Records entitled “Let’s Get It On’, a full-length on Soul Fire entitled “Problems”, and on Sharon Jones’s critically acclaimed album, “Naturally”. Most recently, he has featured on a number of tracks by French house producer, Martin Solveig. Suprisingly, many of of those songs have become top ten hits for Solveig and have turned Lee Fields into a bonafide celebrity in France and other parts of Europe. Yet, outside of a rabid cult following, his story remained untold in America.
When Truth & Soul rose from Soul Fire’s ashes in 2004, the first mission of label owners/producers Jeff Silverman and Leon Michels, was to record a sweet soul record that would be modeled after the near perfect formula that bands like The Moments, The Delfonics, and The Stylistics had created. But with a decidedly modern bent. The two producer/songwriters were perfect for the job, having dedicated their talents to the likes of Adele, Iggy Pop, Amy Winehouse alongside Just Blaze, Ghostface Killah and Jay Z
Turning their attention to Lee Fields, the duo wanted an album full of music that was both tough as nails and sweet as honey. They wanted ballads laced with lush strings and smooth vocal harmonies layered over a hard-hitting rhythm section. Michels and Silverman enlisted the service of a the group of New York studio musicians that have provided the back drop for records by The Dap Kings, Amy Winehouse, Bronx River Parkway, El Michels Affair and TV on The Radio. Those musicians include Leon Michels, Homer Steinweiss, Quincy Bright, Nick Movshon, Thomas Brenneck, Toby Pazner, Aaron Johnson, Dave Guy, Michael Leonhart, and members of legendary doo-wop group, The Del-Larks.
Four years later and Lee Fields & The Expressions have successfully created a unique and personal sound that can hold court with the bands they set out to emulate. However, what they’ve created in the process goes beyond just a carbon copy of a sweet soul music from the 60’s and early 70’s. The formula has remained the same but the style has been adapted for the ears of youngsters whose experiences with soul began with Amy, not Al, Otis and Marvin. Thirty years of retrospection has colored this cross-generational melding of the minds. It sounds odd on paper, but the results are classic: hip hop-reared record collectors come full circle to produce an album of beatuful soul music with one of the progenitors who made it all possible.
MoPo (aka Robbie Kowal) is one of America's most versatile, experienced and flat-out joyous party rockers. His decade long mission is to 'put the party back into the party', and to connect the casual music fan with the hard core dance music mavens; proving that music is more than just beats. San Francisco’s bootleg indie remix partypusher, is known for a rare ability to play exactly the right music for the moment and an expertise with a wide variety of genres that he seamlessly melds into a coherent blend. Since breaking out as a rare groove Dj in the 90's he has spent the 21st Century using eclectic club styles, break beat, trip hop and tech funk as a backdrop for his genre-bending experiments. From a near religious love of funk and hip hop, to a lifetime study of rock and roll to a massive aptitude for latin, reggae and other outernational formats, MoPo incorporates bits and pieces of music culture into electronic edits that slam the dancefloor. As a backdrop, he creates, edits or chooses only the biggest baddest breaks, hooks and drops to create a sound that truly slams. To the dancer, MoPo is a breath of fresh air, often transforming a room into collective song or crowd chant that connect the audience to the DJ.
These abilities have seen him preceding, following or tagging with a who’s who of breakbeat heroes like Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Icey, Cut Chemist, Grandmaster Flash, James Lavelle, Bassnectar, DJ Vadim, Tipper, Kraak & Smaak, Aquasky, Fort Knox 5, Z-trip. He’s also been among the first DJs to play many a rock festival including an unprecedented 6-year run at Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival and the first DJ sets ever at Gathering of the Vibes, High Sierra, Berkfest, Caribbean Holidaze, Mid Atlantic Music Experience, and Rothbury festival. He even played at Govt Mule’s legendary “Deepest End” show, called one of the Top 10 shows of the Decade by Jambase. A live turntablist for the indie techno circus The Mutaytor, MoPo has sat in with Parliament-Funkadelic, Galactic, Rebirth Brass Band and BLVD. He has opened for live music legends like James Brown, Maceo Parker, Widespread Panic, String Cheese Incident, Femi Kuti, Sheryl Crow, Spearhead, Jurassic 5, Isaac Hayes, Blackalicious, and Pendulum.
SunsetSF and Aquarium Drunkard present a two show super soul throwdown at One Eyed Jacks in celebration of James Brown's birthday. The early show will feature NYC soul superstar LEE FIELDS & the EXPRESSIONS. The late show will feature Texas soul sueprstar BLACK JOE LEWIS & THE HONEYBEARS. SunsetSF's own MOTION POTION will be on hand throughout the night to drop a collection of the finest James Brown-related music all night long...