Lee Fields: Faithful Man Image

Lee Fields: Faithful Man

By Michael Talbot-Haynes | April 2, 2024

NOW ON VOD! Tragedy is thwarted in the most righteous way in the feel-great rock doc, Lee Fields: Faithful Man, directed by Jessamyn Ansary and Joyce Mishaan. Lee Fields was a soul artist who started riding the R&B charts through the 70s with some cold-blooded singles.

Fields worked with several groups as a singer, including Kool and The Gang in their early days. Right before recording his first album, disco took over the industry, wiping soul right off the map. Fields kept trying to make it work, but everything dried up in the early 80s, and he had to leave music behind to feed his kids. So, for the next 15 years or so, Lee Fields was just another average Joe living in New Jersey.

“…follows the chance of a second act that Fields was given and the gratitude he has for it.”

In the second half of the 90s, producer Gabriel Roth (a.k.a. musician Bosco Mann) at Daptone Records was bringing the whole soul sound back. Part of what inspired him so much was his prized Lee Fields 45s from back in the day, so he was overjoyed to find out Fields was still alive. Daptone Records hires Fields to do vocals for one song, then another, and another. With the rise of Soul-influenced artists like Amy Winehouse, Fields suddenly finds himself in demand again after such a long time and gets right to work. The documentary follows the chance of a second act that Fields was given and the gratitude he has for it. It also shows him singing his heart out, not losing a drop of the talent he has carried like the cross around his neck for a lifetime.

To paraphrase the final line in Megaforce: sometimes the good guys win, even in the 21st century. This is the rare rock doc with a happy ending, which feels like a breath of fresh smoke. Usually, when the raw deal of a career is dealt, any achievement afterward is just a thin transparency of the past glory. Here we have someone who deserved more than he got who then finally gets it. Lee Fields: Faithful Man almost feels as sunny as a sports movie like Tin Cup or The Rookie, with the retired great coming back for one more crack at it. You just feel a grin creeping up your jowls that clicks in place throughout the runtime.

Lee Fields: Faithful Man (2022)

Directed and Written: Jessamyn Ansary, Joyce Mishaan

Starring: Lee Fields, Gabriel Roth, etc.

Movie score: 8.5/10

Lee Fields: Faithful Man Image

"…the audience gets swept by a warm tidal wave of long coming triumph."

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