@story TONYA MCCOY
@images BRICK FIELDS MUSIC
nighttime at New Delhi Café in Eureka Springs, and a storm has just rumbled
past. Rachel Fields fills the room with her bluesy voice. Her eyes are closed,
her face skyward, as she sings "Storms of wonder, rains that fall/Thunder heard never seen yet
called./Must it all be so purposeless?" Her voice
is Joss Stone and Janice Joplin.
She opens her eyes and a stranger walks
through the door carrying a guitar. Rachel notices his smile. Her drummer knows
this guitar player and invites him on stage to play. It’s kismet. The marriage
of Larry Brick’s blues-folk acoustic licks combined with Rachel’s soulful tones
is meant to be.
“When he started strumming and picking
the songs came alive. After that evening Larry gave me his number and said I
should call him the next time I needed a guitar player. I lost the number. It was a few months before I ran into him
again, got his number again, and lost it AGAIN! Time went by and finally one
day we crossed paths at the post office. This time I grabbed a-hold of him and
didn't let go.”
And it’s a good thing. Larry was on his
way to Canada. He’d taken a trip there a couple of years before on a creative
hiatus, spending time with friends, writing and composing music. But after
talking to Rachel, he decided to stay home.
“We immediately began writing songs
together, making plans to tour, playing music every day. Sometimes Larry will
be playing something on the guitar, and I’ll put some words to that. Or
sometimes I’ll get to going on my guitar and write a song that needs some
adjustment and he’ll come in and add the really nice chorus to it. And I’ll
play and we’ll put a bridge on it, or chorus. We pretty much write all the
songs together I’d say.”
Larry had learned to play music by ear
from front porch picking in the Delta of Arkansas, where he grew up. He went to
college at the U of A for business, but dropped out in 1975, deciding to follow
his love for music instead. He’s performed on and off in bands and by himself
since then, playing in the Florida Keys, Nashville, and also with a gospel
group in the ‘mega-churches’ of California.
Rachel played the flute in her high
school band in Pine Bluff, which she still incorporates into some of her music
today. She left her small town for the Big Apple and took voice lessons and
studied music and theater at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New
York. Her band, “Big Folk” even toured with the Jerry Garcia Band (a tribute
group) in 1998.
But the performance life for the newly
formed duo in 2007, wasn’t easy. At first they were playing whenever the stage
was free at the New Delhi Café. Sometimes they’d play from noon ‘til midnight
for tips and food. Soon the owner saw they were drawing a steady crowd, and
that’s how they landed their first gig. Before long the two were playing shows
all over Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Missouri.
we started spending time together I noticed that he made me laugh. He was and
is very peaceful, wonderful to be around and I found myself wanting to be with
him all of the time and missing him when he was away.”
One night after a show, Larry leaned over
and kissed Rachel. Somewhere between singing soul and writing love songs, the
two had fallen for each other.
“He just took my breath away. I was
surprised. I didn’t see it coming.” In a few months they said “I do,” in a front
porch cabin wedding in Eureka.
soon as their wedding was over they packed up their guitars and headed to
California. There they spent three months playing street corners, subway
stations, coffee houses, wineries and resorts, before returning to Arkansas.
like Rachel and I just fit together. Like we've been together our whole lives.
We are compatible… I first noticed that we played music together really well;
this does not happen to just anyone. The music part has always been easy for
us,” says Larry.
it has NOT been easy for listeners to classify their music. It’s been called blues,
gospel, jazz, folk and roots. The guitar provides both the blues and folk
chords. Then there’s Rachel’s soulful, roots vocals. Add a saxophone player for
a touch of jazz. Some gospel references in the lyrics. Stir in the fact they’ve
played everywhere from bars to churches, and you end up with a lot of confused
music critics. Confused but happy.
fact, this genre-transcending duo has been praised for their projects which
include a blues band, a gospel group, their duo, and a quartet. The common
force behind them all: Rachel and Larry. The Brick Fields Blues Band won first
place in the Ozark Blues Society Challenge in 2010, Brick Fields Folk music
placed in the Ozark Folk Songwriters contest in 2011, and the Nashville Blues
Society says Brick Fields has "unleashed cleansing for the soul."
now Brick Fields is a regional winner in the King of the Roots competition.
They are vying for a chance to play at the ‘Roots N Blues N BBQ’ festival this
month in Columbia, Missouri, which will headline soul legend Al Green.
they’ve just moved to Fayetteville, where they continue to work from one
project to another, song by song. They love their life. They are a marriage of sound,
working on a sound marriage.
Curious about Brick
Fields’ unique sound? Visit www.brickfieldsmusic.com and listen to continuous streaming music from
their various projects. Plus there you’ll find all the show times and dates.
And if you’re interested in booking Brick Fields call Teresa Herrell at