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The Word and Lee Fields & The Expressions play at Twilight Concert Series Tonight!
August 13, 2015 @ 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm$10
Individual online tickets can be purchased at 24Tix.com up until one week prior to each concert to allow for mail fulfillment.
Individual tickets can be purchased in person at all Graywhale Entertainment locations, in person at 24Tix.com offices (314 West Broadway, #250 SLC, UT 84111), and at the gates on the evening of each performance.
All individual ADVANCE tickets are $5.
All individual DAY OF SHOW tickets are $10 CASH ONLY at the venue.
About The Word
The genesis of THE WORD began in 1998, when the Avant-jazz and funk group Medeski, Martin & Wood took the burgeoning North Mississippi Allstars on their first tour. Riding down the road, the groups listened to the first two Arhoolie Records compilations of sacred steel guitar, a musical style then just seeping into the broader public awareness. Sacred steel is ecstatic pedal steel guitar used in sanctified churches; it’s the same instrument familiar to country & western music, but played with the authority and scale of a church organ. Keyboardist John Medeski and Luther Dickinson cooked up the idea of recording an instrumental gospel album with the Allstars (Luther Dickinson—guitars; Cody Dickinson—drums; Chris Chew—bass) in Medeski’s Brooklyn studio. When they learned that a young sacred steel star named Robert Randolph lived in New Jersey, they invited him to their area gig. This was THE WORD’S big bang.
THE WORD plays the hymnal of the electric improvisational church. They don’t struggle with arrangements, and they leave room for each other to stretch out. They toured together after their 2001 debut, and have reunited occasionally, including Bonnaroo in 2005 and 2012 and the Jam Cruise in 2010. One big difference between the first album and the new album, Soul Food (out May 5th on Vanguard) is how much more knowledge each has accumulated. “For the first Word record, I was new to playing outside the church,” says Robert. “I know a lot more now.” John says, “We have more experiences, more music. We’re all just better players.”
Fourteen years may have passed between albums for THE WORD, but that’s no suggestion of broken bonds. Nor of broken strings. A love of music, of extended improvisational collaboration, of closing the eyes and channeling the feel—these are the ties that bind THE WORD.
About Lee Fields & The Expressions
There aren’t too many artists making soul music today who had a release in 1969, back when R&B was first beginning to give the drummer some. Lee Fields, however, is one such artist—or maybe he’s better labeled a phenomenon. Since the late sixties, the North Carolina native has amassed a prolific catalog of albums and has toured and played with such legends as Kool and the Gang, Sammy Gordon and the Hip-Huggers, O.V Wright, Darrell Banks, and Little Royal. With a career spanning 43 years, releases on twelve different record labels, and having toured the world over with his raucous-yet-tender voice, it’s mind-blowing that the music he’s making today with Brooklyn’s own Truth & Soul Records is the best of his career.
With a catalogue that ranges from James Brown-style funk to lo-fi blues to contemporary Southern soul to collaborations with French house DJ/producer Martin Solveig, Lee Fields has done it all. Today, with The Expressions—Truth & Soul’s house band, Lee Fields continues to evolve, enmeshed into the group’s sweeping, string-laden, cinematic soul sound. Their latest full-length, Emma Jean, released in June 2014 on Truth & Soul, takes soul music in a familiar but updated direction with the matchless pairing of Fields’ warm-and-raw growl and The Expressions’ switched-on and sharp musicianship.
“In a curious case of musical evolution, the older Fields becomes, the closer he gets to perfecting the sound of soul that he grew up with as a young man, ” so said music writer, scholar, and DJ Oliver Wang about Fields in a piece for NPR in July 2009. The latest LP from Lee Fields and The Expressions is the next step towards this perfection. A step that may find Fields, The Expressions, and Truth & Soul as a label, finally being bestowed the contemporary soul music crown.