Lee Fields: Faithful Man
Like his Daptone Records stablemate Sharon Jones, Lee Fields is a soul-funk legend 50 years in the making. Often compared to James Brown, his sweat-soaked, impassioned live performances and remarkable career trajectory, are gorgeously documented in this feature-length film about hard-won fame gained late in life. Through the ‘70s, Lee Fields made a living touring the Black artist Chitlin’ Circuit alongside some of the greatest names in blues and soul history. He also landed a gig with Kool and the Gang before their rise to fame and recorded a number of collectable singles alongside a well-regarded debut album called 'Let's Talk It Over'. But, as the seventies came to a close, disco began its reign and Lee's soul career plummeted. For decades, he thought his music dreams were dead. But then, with one phone call, everything changed... Renowned Brooklyn soul-revivalists Gabriel Roth and Phillip Lehman (Desco/Daptone/Truth & Soul Records) tracked down Fields, reinvigorated his career and helped him win over a legion of young, new fans. His tunes now inspire hip hop producers like A$ap Rocky and get sampled by the likes of Travis Scott. Personal interviews and archival materials are interspersed with strikingly-filmed, never-before seen performances of new and classic tunes as Lee Fields: Faithful Man leads audiences through the man's memories; from the moment soul music began, to his present-day success. It shows how 50 years of changing technology have conspired to create one beautiful but fleeting moment in music history. As Lee will tell you, it’s all about timing. So what lies ahead for the energetic 72 year-old? More music for sure! “I look at people who can quit and I admire them for being that strong” admits Fields. "I’m not strong enough to quit - I can’t!"
Why You Should See This Film
This is for anyone who witnessed (or didn’t) Lee Fields and his band The Expressions tearing up Sydney's Oxford Art Factory stage in the year before Covid struck. You’ll either be transported back to that Wednesday night on Oxford Street via the many live performances masterfully captured for this film, or if you missed the gig, at least feel like you’ve been to a Lee Fields show. In the last decade, a wave of classic artists, including Lee’s dear friends, Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, have passed away. As more and more of the originators leave us, Lee stands as one of the greatest soul singers still alive and making music today. The responsibility of carrying this music forward into the next generation rests on his shoulders. Yet regardless of the continuing accolades, an ongoing globetrotting tour schedule and a new album called ’Sentimental Fool’ released at the end of last year, Lee Fields is also a faithful family man. With two often-stomping, Cuban-heeled feet planted firmly in reality, it’s the personal up-close moments on screen with Fields telling stories of both pain and fortune, as well as the beautifully reenacted flashbacks to his youth, that make this film a gem. Along with insights from friends, musical colleagues like record producer Gabriel Roth, and his wife Christine, you’ll encounter Fields under both the spotlight and porchlight. Following screenings at DOC NYC and Doc ’n Roll Film Festivals, Sydneysiders now get the opportunity to spend quality time in the company of Lee Fields for this film’s Australian Premiere.
STROBE presented by Groovescooter
Groovescooter returns this May with STROBE, another curated program of stellar music films, all exclusive to Golden Age for Sydney music and film lovers.
Please note: Gift Passes & Film Club Membership discounts can't be used for this special event session.
- Year: 2022
- Rating: Unclassified
- Director: Jessamyn Ansary, Joyce Mishaan
- Cast: Mark Ronson, Lee Fields, Gabriel Roth, Robert Kool Bell (Kool & The Gang)
- Duration: 83 minutes
- Language: English