Shanachie Entertainment is pleased to announce the signing of R&B super-group Mint Condition. The chart-topping and globe-trotting R&B mainstay, who was discovered by music moguls Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, will release their first recording for Shanachie Entertainment in April 2011, just in time to celebrate their 20th Anniversary. In this age of one-hit wonders, cookie -cutter acts and autotune and synthesizer gimmickry, Mint Condition has proven to be one of the most loved and revered R&B bands to emerge in the past couple of decades. It is no wonder that this all-star unit can count Prince and Stevie Wonder as fans. Having recorded half a dozen successful studio albums, over a dozen hit singles and collaborated with everyone from Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys and Jill Scott to Charlie Wilson (Gap Band) and Maurice White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Mint Condition is as real as it gets. Their high level of musicianship and showmanship along with their trademark fusion of R&B and soul with funk, jazz and rock, have resulted in such timeless anthems as “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” “What Kind of Man Would I Be,” and “U Send Me Swingin.” 2011 is off to a banner year for Mint Condition as they celebrate their 20th Anniversary. The guys have been busy doing spot dates on Prince’s “Welcome to America Tour,” sitting in as the house band for TV One‘s new show “Way Black When” which debuts in February 2011 and performing internationally on their own busy touring circuit. They are also enjoying the buzz of their new single “Caught My Eye” which recently hit radio and the first week out was #1 most added.
For devout R&B fans who came up in the era where real musicians, playing real live instruments was the norm, the past couple of decades has presented a void. Fleeting solo acts, over-hyped one- hit wonders and a litany of computerized tracks and vocals have replaced solid bands and true musicianship. For fans of iconic units like Earth, Wind & Fire, The Ohio Players, War, Parliament Funkadelic, Atlantic Starr, The Spinners, Kool & the Gang and The Isley Brothers, Mint Condition has been the bridge between the old school and new school. Mint Condition has virtually stood alone as the lone band who has built upon this tradition and at the same time brought to it a fresh twist. This winning combination has allowed Mint Condition to carve out a unique place in the R&B landscape.
“We are extremely excited about our deal with Mint Condition,” states Shanachie Entertainment General Manager, Randall Grass. “Mint Condition is the only group to emerge during the past couple of decades who truly carries on the great tradition of self-contained R† & B bands. It is a great fit because the group brings together a consistent track record of high-quality music-making with plenty of radio hits but yet has proven to be viable over the years as a touring act. Mint Condition will be a top priority for Shanachie and they will get the personal attention and focus they deserve.”
The all-star Minnesota-based band made their debut in 1991 with the album Meant to Be Mint, which featured the hit single “Breakin’ My Heart (Pretty Brown Eyes),” which stayed on the charts for 34 weeks, #3 on the R&B charts. It also hit #6 on the Pop charts. “Forever In Your Eyes” was also a smash (#7 on the R&B charts). Two years later the success continued with their platinum album, From The Mint Factory in 1993 which featured “U Send Me Swingin’,” “Someone To Love” and “So Fine.” Definition of a Band, came in 1996 showcasing the hits “What Kind Of Man Would I Be” (#2 on the R&B charts), and “You Don’t Have To Hurt No More” (#10 on the R&B charts).They also issued the greatest hits compilation The Collection: 1991-1998. After Perspective Records/A&M folded, the group signed with Elektra Records in 1999, releasing their fourth full-length album, Life’s Aquarium which featured the single “If You Love Me,” (#5 on the R&B charts).
After a six-year hiatus, the group returned in 2005 with Living The Luxury Brown. The album hit #1 on Billboard’s Independent Album Charts. Live From The 9:30 Club, a performance of a concert at the 9:30 club in Washington DC, was issued in 2006. They followed it in mid 2008 with the critically acclaimed†e-Life. Mint Condition’s current line up features original members lead singer Stokley Williams, bassist Ricky Kinchen, guitarist Homer O’Dell, pianist Larry Waddell and keyboardist/saxophonist Jeffrey Allen. Original member keyboardist Keri Lewis is still connected with the band and sometimes makes appearances.