Friday, December 05, 2014

Memories #25

Lee Fields and the Expressions - Emma Jean

Back when I was just a wee lad, I was raised in a household with very little music. I wasn't required to understand or learn about music or how to play it. I was given a minimal introduction into the world of sound and harmonies. My mother didn't bring much of her tastes into our environment, aside for the occasional Christian pop album or mainstream easy listening. My father on the other hand, had a love for rootsy, bluesy style rock and folk music, which was quite popular during the seventies. Eventually he discovered jazz, as all of those who start out listening to rock learn to realize is connected to the roots of the music they love. I hated most of it, beyond appreciating a nice tune from Fleetwood Mac or Lynard Skynard but I did come to admire one of his favorites. J.J. Cale was one of the great guitarists and song writers of the 20th century. He took blues and softened it just right but didn't fall all the way into the sentimental type of folk music that drives some of us crazy. Cale was a master and so many great guitarists of the seventies and eighties emulated him or covered his music. Now we come to Lee Fields, who does a beautiful cover of Cale's song, Magnolia, on this album and captures it in a unique way that pulls every ounce of emotion from the tale. I've mentioned Fields before and, much like Cale, he presents a sound that takes so many elements of the past that we know, then gives us his magical blend that can't be found anywhere else. This is music that is easy to love because it is expressed with so much love. It also takes me back and reminds me of a time when I first began to love music on a visceral level, a time when I didn't know the real power of it, except when the twist of a melody skipped a beat in my heart making me perceive it all with such difference.

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