Artists / Lee Fields

Fields

Lee Fields is the real deal, a deep funk legend. He initially made his name among die-hard funk fans with a series of hard-hitting singles recorded for various small labels during the '70s. Everything about Lee — his look, his vocals, the grooves on his records — was so indebted to James Brown that he earned the nickname "Little J.B.". Lee never hit it big, but his rough-and-tumble singles went on to become popular collectors' items.

After a lengthy hiatus, he returned in the '90s as a soul-blues belter playing to female-heavy audiences on the Southern circuit. Thanks to sample-obsessed hip-hoppers and British rare-groove aficionados, interest in obscure vintage funk reached a peak in the late '90s, and Lee was fortunate enough to have remained active when new recordings in the style became a viable proposition. Energized by his return to raw, heavy, James Brown-style funk, Lee emerged as the leading light of the so-called deep funk movement with a series of recordings that often equaled, and sometimes outdid, his early work.

Grizedale Arts Director Adam Sutherland is nothing if not a rare-groove aficionado, and so the opportunity to work with Lee when the 'Romantic Detachment' tour hit PS1, and later Chapter Arts, was like, a no-brainer.