Given that he's been doing this since 1969, you'd expect Lee Fields to have a pretty solid grasp on his classic brand of James Brown-indebted soul-funk. And as decades of releases, including two most recent albums with the Expressions, My World and Faithful Man, both demonstrate, he does. But the latter album also has Fields doing a cover of the Rolling Stones' “Moonlight Mile,” which turns out to be a powerful and unexpected tour-de-force. Fields usually pushes his voice into a coarse, hi-pressure upper register – he sings mostly songs about being upset, after all – but in the high pitches here he somehow stays smooth, conveying even more solitude and vulnerability than usual. We daresay he gives Mick a run for his money. Forty-four years into a career making enjoyable but often predictable music (they didn't call Fields “Little J.B.” for nothing), it's nice to know that the man can still surprise.
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