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Lee Fields & the Expressions

Faithful Man (Truth & Soul)

Reviewed by Thomas Fawcett, Fri., Oct. 12, 2012

ACL Music Fest Saturday Reviews

Lee Fields & the Expressions

Faithful Man (Truth & Soul)

Lee Fields comes blessed with many things, but timing isn't one of them. The North Carolina native first cut a cover of James Brown's "Bewildered" as a teenager in 1969, but his debut long-player of JB-styled hard funk and soul ballads didn't see release until a decade later when the world had moved on. Late in the Nineties, Fields became the first hardscrabble singer-survivor paired with the Brooklynites who later formed the Dap-Kings. Despite years touring on the Southern soul circuit and a solid run of albums on the Desco, Soul Fire, and Truth & Soul labels, Fields never gained the notoriety of Sharon Jones or Charles Bradley. That could change with Faithful Man, a set of slow burning ballads in lush string-laden arrangements. A concept LP beginning with the gravel-throated singer struggling to be a "Faithful Man" and closing on a vow to "Walk On Thru That Door," it climaxes with the hard truth of breakup ballad "It's All Over (But the Crying)." (5:30pm, Zilker stage)

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