From His Rise and Fall in the 1970s to His Comeback in the 21st Century with a New Generation of Fans, Soul/Funk Legend Lee Fields is Chronicled in the Award-Winning Documentary, Lee Fields: Faithful Man

Article Contributed by Brian Geldin PR | Published on Sunday, January 28, 2024

Lee Fields is a funk and soul legend 50 years in the making. Winner of the Audience Award for Best Documentary at Charlotte Film Festival 2022 and an Official Selection of sold-out premiere at DOC NYC 2022, Lee Fields: Faithful Man, the feature documentary directed by Jessamyn Ansary and Joyce Mishaan, chronicles Fields’ journey to find his place in soul music history, from vinyl to virtual — and back again. Gravitas Ventures, an Anthem Sports & Entertainment Company,  is releasing the film on all major Transactional Video on Demand (TVOD) platforms (Apple, Amazon, Google Play, Vimeo, Microsoft and YouTube) on Feb. 27 during Black History Month. Lee Fields: Faithful Man is now ready for pre-ordering on Apple by clicking here.

His voice has been compared to James Brown, but Lee Fields is no knock-off. He’s the real thing. Listening to the soul sounds coming through his transistor radio in the fifties and sixties, Fields was hooked. Through the seventies, he made his living as a singer touring alongside some of the greatest names in blues and soul history, including a stint with Kool and the Gang before their rise to fame. But, as the seventies came to a close, disco began its reign and Lee's soul career plummeted. For decades, he thought his music dreams were dead. But with one phone call, everything changed.

Interspersed with striking, never-before seen performances of new and classic Lee Fields songs, Lee Fields: Faithful Man takes us through Lee's memories from the moment soul music began, to his hard-won present-day success, and shows how 50 years of changing technology have conspired to create one beautiful but fleeting moment in music history. As Fields will tell you, it’s all about timing.

Fields hails from a performance tradition of an all but lost musical era. Impassioned, immediate, with classic moves - his music brings the past into the present with authenticity rather than imitation. While he’s been working towards this current moment his entire career, Lee has gone through a lifetime of ups and downs. He’s experienced

brushes with fame and failure, only to come back again stronger, more true to his own sound and style, more ready.

Now, his classic sound has found a new audience in the millennial generation, and they can't get enough. Lee has watched his star rise among fans that have come of age as music, and every facet of our lives, have been taken by a digital storm. Since 2009 he’s released six hit records with his band, The Expressions, and in 2022, he reunited with Daptone Records to release "Sentimental Fool." He's played to packed houses around the world, and at music festivals like Bonnaroo, South by Southwest, and Coachella. But what lies ahead? In the last decade, a wave of classic artists, including Lee’s dear friends, Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones, have passed away. As more and more of the originators and celebrators of the genre leave us, Lee stands as the greatest soul singer still alive and making music today – and the responsibility of carrying this music forward into the next generation rests on his shoulders.

The magic of his voice, the deep living history embedded in his music, the raw power of his live performances – these things are happening now – and they won’t last forever. Filmmaking duo Jessamyn Ansary and Joyce Mishaan have been working with Fields on this documentary over the course of a decade, capturing this critical moment in his life, and in music history.

Ansary said she was first introduced to Lee’s music in 2013, when she stumbled across a music video for “Faithful Man.” “I was immediately struck by the power of his voice, and, after looking into him further, was convinced that his story needed to be told,” she said.” Ansary then approached Joyce Mishaan about partnering on the project as co-directors. “At first I was reluctant to commit to such a massive undertaking, but Jessamyn persuaded me to spend a day filming with Lee. One day was all it took. I experienced what we later came to call, ‘the power of Lee’ – that dynamic draw that nearly everyone gets when first in his company. It’s the feeling of being in the presence of a legend,” said Mishaan.

“On the surface, we couldn’t be more different from Lee – by way of age, background, or life experience – but in working with him we came to recognize a synergy that is also echoed in his fan-base. Most of his fans are closer to our age than to his, and Lee’s relationship to his new, young generation of fans — and his journey to bring this music forward into the 21st century — became a key thread in the film. So began an 10-year odyssey to understand ‘the power of Lee’,” said Ansary and Mishaan.