"The resonating sound and honest lyrics do what all good music should. It crosses the lines that divide us, giving each member of the audience something in common with each other."  Jennifer Burleigh

"Brick Fields is the dynamic duo from Eureka Springs, AR.
They are husband and wife songwriting team Larry Brick and Rachel Fields. Brick Fields appear weekly at The New Delhi Cafe in downtown Eureka Springs, AR. They also do a bit of traveling sharing their music in different places locally and nationally. You might hear them on radio shows, at house concerts, dining clubs, restaurants, churches, party's, weddings, in auditoriums, festivals, colleges, schools, .........anywhere duty calls.
 


 
When Larry Met Rachel
by Tonya McCoy
 
It’s 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?"

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 Batesville,AR 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. She joined the band, “Big Folk” after touring 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.

“After 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.

As 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.

“It's 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.

But 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.

In 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 Music is an "unleashed cleansing for the soul."

Right 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.

And 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.

Article by Tonya MCCOY
Urban Magazine, Fort Smith AR

Rachel's Take on BFDuo

         Larry and I began making music together in 2007 when we met on the stage at The New Delhi Cafe in downtown Eureka Springs, AR. I can remember that evening so well, because it was truly Divine. The sky was every color of the rainbow because there was a storm going and one coming, the temperature was perfect, the breeze was blowing and everyone there that night was in a trance from the music they were a witness to, including those of us playing. I had never met Larry before that night. It was just myself and a drummer, and the drummer invited Larry to come up and play with us. 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. I found out later that he was on his way to Canada, but decided to stay after running into me that day. We immediatly began writing songs together, making plans to tour, playing music everyday, and a few months later said "I do". Soon after the small front porch cabin wedding we packed our guitars and headed out to California on the Central Coast where we spent three months playing music on street corners, in coffee houses, subway stations, wineries, resorts, and one of our favorite musical venues "Monteleone's Rock" in Paso Robles.

          After the honeymoon was over we moved back home to Eureka Springs and began finding new ways to make a living doing what we love to do. We had both spent a lot of time playing music at The New Delhi under different circumstances. The owners Bill and John had always told me that anytime the stage is open consider it mine. So, thats what we did. We started setting up in the afternoons any day of the week, putting a tip jar in front of the stage and playing for tips and food. When John saw we were drawing a consistent crowd we started getting paid for it. Bam! We created our own gig. There were times we'd start at noon and play til after midnight. We would often be joined by other musicians who happened along, including our friend Randy who was almost always there with us along with his keyboards. We have developed our style, songwriting, and music as a couple on that stage. People come from all over year after year to cheer us on and keep us going. We are so grateful to the loyal listeners who buy our CD's and support our musical habits. 75% of our financial living comes from tips and CD sales, so it is because of you that we can keep doing what we do. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. 

Available Now 2012 release "Shambhala"

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