Lee Fields, “Magnolia”

J. Edward Keyes

By J. Edward Keyes

on 03.04.14 in Listen to This

Lee Fields is typically known for his roaring, soaring R&B rips, bolstered by the blazing-hot backing of his band The Expressions. So his cover of JJ Cale’s “Magnolia,” the first single from the forthcoming Emma Jean is a bit of a surprise. The music is muted — pedal steel weeps softly in the background, bass dawdles and strays, and the brass feels like one long, contented sigh. But the understated backdrop only serves to showcase what a phenomenal singer Fields is, instilling each syllable with deep, genuine emotion.