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The 2nd annual Make Music Philly took place this past Saturday. Under mostly sunny, blue skies, and gorgeous first day of Summer weather, the City of Philadelphia was the stage for several hundred music performances. The day started off at Love Park with a percussion play along with the Philly Drum Project and ended with a harmonica play along led bu John Colgen-Davis of the Dukes of Destiny followed by a concert featuring Ted Leo and Lee Fields & The Expressions.
There’s no doubt that the big event this Saturday is Make Music Philly. Free concerts all over the city all day — what else could you ask for? Join XPN and kick off the day 10 a.m. at Love Park with A Play Along Percussion Party with Philly Drum Project. Audience members are encouraged to bring their own percussion instrument to join PDP in the party. There are a ton of shows around the city that you can catch from dawn till dusk, but make sure to see XPN Presents Ted Leo, Lee Fields & the Expressions & Play Along Harmonica Event w/ John Colgan-Davis at 6:30 p.m. at Penn’s Landing. Bring along a harmonica to join in on Colgan-Davis’ set. For a full list of events and showtimes today, check out the Make Music Philly website here.
Also playing tonight:
Jolie Holland at Milkboy Philadelphia ($12-$15, 21+, 8:30 p.m.)
Robert Francis at Boot & Saddle ($10, 21+, 8 p.m.)
Real Estate and San Fermin at Verizon Hall ($30, all ages, 8 p.m.)
This just in: Ted Leo has been added to the Make Music Philly day closing concert on Saturday, June 21st at Penn’s Landing with Lee Fields & The Expressions. The second annual Make Music Philly day will make its mark on the City of Broetherly Love on the first day of Summer all over the city with free musical events. Leo was last seen here in Philly recently when he and Aimee Mann, The Both, headlined Union Transfer, and did a Free At Noon. The show is all ages and free. Go here to view the schedule of events for the day. Below, listen to a new song by Lee Fields & The Expressions and a classic from Ted Leo.
Just before the weekend, Brooklyn-based funk/soul/R&B ensemble Lee Fields & The Expressions released a video for “Just Can’t Win” from the forthcoming Emma Jean. Fields will begin his European tour June 4th but will be back in the states to play a free show at Make Music Philly on June 21st. Find info for the show here and make check out the video below.
R&B musician Lee Fields & The Expressions release their new album, Emma Jean, on June 3rd on Truth & Soul Records. The North Carolina born soul musician recorded a portion of his new record at Dan Auerbach’s studio in Nashville. Auerbach wrote “Paralyzed” for the new album, and along with a handful of originals, Fields also brings new soulful light to JJ Cale’s “Magnolia.”
Kianna Fitzgerald of NPR Music writes:
Now 63 years old, Fields has been pumping out soul, funk and Southern blues since he was a teenager. With more than 15 albums and 45 years of experience under his belt, it only makes sense that Fields’ appeal hinges on a sound he first began tooling as an ardent young fan of the late, great James Brown. Add that comparison with the vocalist’s complete title — Lee Fields & The Expressions, his backing band — and it’s even easier to tie Fields to the popular Black acts of the mid-to-late 20th century, from The Stylistics to The Isley Brothers to Harold Melvin & The Blue Notes.
On Emma Jean, that hearkened spirit is unmistakable. The record — which is named after Fields’ mother, who passed in 1993 — sees the singer and his band resume the reserved, yet grandiose sound they’ve meticulously developed over the years. With his most recent releases — namely, 2009’s widely popular My World and 2012’s equally well-received Faithful Man — Fields cemented his presence as a leader in the pack of retro soul. With daring accompaniment, penetrating lyrics and a combined sound that bleeds triumph and lovesickness all at once, Fields and co. stand solidly apart.
Listen to the album here. Listen to Fields’ cover of “Magnolia” below.
Lee Fields & the Expressions are playing a free show on Saturday, June 21st on Make Music Philly Day at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing
On June 21st, Make Music Philly presents a full day of free genre-spanning musical performances all throughout the city to ring in summer solstice. The festivities will commence at Love Park where the date will be declared Make Music Philly Day followed by Philly Drum Project‘s “percussion party” where all local drummers can bring their equipment and join the group jam session.
The day will end with a performance by R&B singer Lee Fields & The Expressions at the Great Plaza at Penn’s Landing. Fields releases a new album, Emma Jean on June 3rd. Additionally, harmonica players will have a chance to shine as they are invited to join others who play the instrument for a harmonica jam session. Other events represent music across genres in different parts of town including performances from over 150 artists in neighborhoods and venues all around the city of Philadelphia.
Stay up-to-date on all the events happening near you by visiting Make Music Philly’s website beginning May 15th where you can search by neighborhood, genre, and time of day. Below, listen to Fields’ cover of JJ Cale’s “Magnolia” from Fields’ forthcoming record.
Union Transfer welcomes North Carolina soul singer Lee Fields to its stage tonight. Over his impressive 43-year career, Fields has released multiple albums and inspired generations of R&B singers. His most recent effort Faithful Man was released last year via Truth and Soul Records. Fields recorded the album with the label’s house band The Expressions who also accompany his live sets. Get tickets to the show here and watch his video for “You’re The Kind Of Girl” below.
Fiona Apple and singer/songwriter Blake Mills bring their collaborative Anything We Want tour to Merriam theater tonight. Apple’s sultry vocals and damaged goods attitude should combine well with the innovative guitar stylings of Mills. The pair will unite on songs as well as perform their own individual music. Get tickets and more information on the show here.
With an album release a mere two weeks away, The National Rifle headline Johnny Brenda’s tonight. Almost Endless will be the Philly band’s first full-length, following up four EPs that span a seven year career. With glam rock vocals, spacey synths and a pulsing bass line, The Nationals Rifle’s new recordings move the quartet away from the punk vibes of their previous releases and into the world of Bowie and M83 dipped in dream pop. Tickets and information for tonight’s 21+ show with The New Connection and Crills Wilson can be found here. Below, stream “Glass Line” from Almost Endless.