Lee Fields & The Expressions - Don't Give Up

Song of the Day
Hosted by Kevin Cole
Today's Song of the Day, as chosen by Kevin Cole, host of The Afternoon Show on KEXP, is "Don't Give Up" by Lee Fields & The Expressions, a 2019 single on Big Crown Records.
photo by alan lawrence (view set)
written by Janice Headley

When the day breaks and there's too much pain stayin'
And the winds of uncertainties have rounded your faith
Ask the time for you to reach out and grab a lovin' hand
And put your trust in a power that's greater than man

Plainfield, NJ-based artist Lee Fields just celebrated his 70th birthday last week, and he's spent 50 of those years performing old-school soul, funk, and R&B. His first single was released in 1969, and he went on to work with artists like B.B. King, Clarence Carter, Kool & The Gang, and more. After a decade-long hiatus where he focused on his family, he returned to his first love, music, just in time for the Brooklyn soul renaissance of the late '90s/early 2000s. (He was signed to Desco Records, which later split into Daptone Records and Soul Fire Records. His labelmate, the late Sharon Jones, even sings back-up on one of his first singles with Desco.)

Last year, he released his seventh full-length (and fifth with his power-house backing band The Expressions) titled It Rains Love. Today's featured track was recorded during those sessions, but was unreleased until late 2019, when it was shared as a digital single. While the passionate ballad most likely reflects a love gone wrong, it bears a message of hope and solidarity that's perfect for these times.

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