Lee Fields & The Expressions @ Third Annual Truck Stop Concert Series 12/7/17
American soul and funk artists Lee Fields & The Expressions closed out the Red Truck Beer Company annual Truck Stop Concert Series in Vancouver Saturday night (Aug 12). Having been in the business for over forty years, Fields knows a little bit about giving the crowd a good time…while having a pretty darn good time himself.
His band—extremely tight, albeit stoic—opened up the evening with an instrumental introduction. Packed with an organ, tenor sax, bass, trumpet, guitar and drums, The Expressions were finely tuned but low key in energy, no doubt so that Fields could really shine, providing all the energy the crowd was demanding. Fields danced onto the stage wearing a snake print suit jacket, gold chain, black pants and a black silk vest. He certainly looked the part, and as the audience found out throughout the course of the set…he sounded the part as well. Often called “Little JB”—for his resemblance both in voice and appearance to James Brown—Fields is more of a relaxed take on the legendary musician. But again, he had plenty of energy to deliver the funk soul genre. First running through “I’m Coming Home”, it was apparent that the bulk of Fields’ work is contemporary. His original work has appeared more frequently in recent years as he’s been hard at work putting out albums. After asking the audience, “Can you feel the love?!”, the singer moved into “Work to Do” and “Talk to Somebody”.
The East Vancouver Brewery Creek neighborhood was alive with concertgoers, many of whom were just looking to dance to some fun music and drink some good beer. Both Red Truck and Fields offered this up to an extremely varied crowd spanning age and style. “Every time I go to a casino I come out broke,” mused Fields, setting up “Just Can’t Win”. His songs are simple in construction—very reminiscent of the 70s—but packed with strong hooks and fine doses of attitude. “Faithful Man” had some James Brown-esque screaming, which was a high point in the evening.
“You know it’s kinda hot,” said Fields, taking the stage again after an encore call having ditched the snake print jacket and donning bare arms and that black silk vest. Not bad for a guy in his mid sixties. Leaving the crowd with “Honey Dove”, Fields threw all remaining energy into a tight funk-infused closing track. Repeating over and over again, “I love you!” while stretching his arms out to the receptive concertgoers, Fields was certainly feeling the vibe. And everyone felt the love.