Put on My Traveling Shoes; Gospel-blues duo takes it to the source, will be kicking off tour soon in Israel
Hallelujah. God talking to me. Put on my traveling shoes.
Rachel Fields adds the words of this old gospel song at the end of the Jericho song, about people and places in the Old Testament. Written by her uncle, it describes Joshua crossing the Jordan, Daniel in the lion's den, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego walking in the fiery furnace.
Next month, Fields and spouse Larry Brick, a singer/guitar player and the other half of Brick Fields, will be singing the Jericho song in the Holy Land, where they are kicking off their Got Soul? 2014 Tour. The couple has a place to stay in Jerusalem, and are booked to play festivals throughout the country as part of the Soul Shine Blues Fest, which covers their expenses.
What they haven't got: the plane tickets to get there.
As of last week, she and Brick had enough money to buy one ticket, Fields said, and are trying to raise money for the second. But she trusts that they'll get there.
"We're going on faith," Fields said.
The tour was the idea of blues harpist Ben Sass, who has been playing with Brick Fields for about a year. They met him when they were playing a show in Fayetteville and he was in the audience.
"He was listening and having a good time," Fields said. "He had his harmonicas with him, so we said, 'Come on up here.' It's hard to find a good harmonica player. He just fit right in."
Sass, who has an import business, was born and raised Jerusalem, so the musicians have a place to stay as well as a personal tour guide when they arrive in Israel. Fields, who was born in Pine Bluff, said she is looking forward to seeing the Jordan River and other biblical sites she's heard about all her life, especially the places where Jesus walked.
"I believe it's going to be life changing," she said, "and it will change the music, too."
People can help by going to gofundme.com/BrickFields and donating money towards the price of the tickets. The musicians are also raising money by playing a series of concerts and at local venues. Last week, Jesse Dean and Left of Center opened a fundraising concert for Brick Fields at First United Methodist Church, where they sing at the Sunday night family service. The next day, Brick Fields sang in Basin Park with blues harmonica master R. J. Mischo and played at the Rockin' Pig Saloon that night. On Saturday, Brick Fields and their band, The Chosen Ones, played in the Auditorium as part of the Eureka Springs Blues Festival.
People can also support the tour by ordering their latest CD, "Go Ahead and Sang the Blues," on brickfieldsmusic.com.
"There's not much blues in Israel, but they appreciate it," Fields said.
With Sass, they plan to leave for Israel on July 7, and will be there for two weeks. They're booked to play three festivals, Fields said, as well as intimate concerts, and also hope to record some live shows, with the goal of getting a few tracks down for their new album of Gospel blues. She believes the trip will be life-changing, and will also change the music.
"Being a Christian, I believe we all started over there," Fields said. "It's home for everybody."
After returning from Israel, the Got Soul tour continues in California and Oregon, a road trip the couple are taking with daughters Riley, Sally and Cecilia. Their first home-coming show is at the White Water Tavern in Little Rock on August 30, followed by The Spa City Blues Fest in Hot Springs on August 31. In October, Brick Fields are booked on The Legendary Blues Cruise to Mexico. Both Arkansas born, Brick and Fields were the winners of the 2010 and the 2013 Ozark Blues Challenge, and are known for their original blend of Arkansas blues, Gospel and Soul.
Last week, the musicians packed up everything and moved the family back to Eureka after living in Fayetteville for two years. Eureka feels like home, Fields said, the place she wants to come back to when she's ready to take off her traveling shoes.