In early 2022, Lee reunited with Daptone Records and producer Gabriel Roth to record Sentimental Fool, a deep, blues-tinged, wholly-conceived soul album. From his first line to his final plaintive lyric, the beauty, power, and raw humanity of Leeʼs voice is on full display here; the culmination of an astounding career that has seemed to defy gravity, rising to only greater and greater heights. Soul music pours out of Lee Fields, as free and unstinting as God's love.
It was ever since the 1960s, when he was a teenager in North Carolina sweating it out on juke joint stages, crumpled dollars hailing at his feet. It continues now that the living legend is in his late sixties, ushering in the most successful and fruitful period of his career.
Like any living legend worth their salt, Fields has suffered despair, obscurity, defeat. Although he now tours stages around the world, and although he helped fellow soul legends like Sharon Jones (who was once Fields' backup singer) and Charles Bradley (whom Fields took on his first tour) get their first break, he did not always have this position. There were years—they were known as 'the 1980s'—when Fields nearly gave up. His success these days, then has a bittersweet tinge: His dear friends Bradley and Jones have both passed, leaving Fields to outlive them and carry their legacy forth.