“I recorded this album as the world shut down around us in March 2020. This is a very personal album, and it represents a coming back to myself as a solo artist. It feels like a chant ... a statement of power, Mindi Abair Forever!” - Mindi Abair
HOLLYWOOD, Calif. (PRWEB) February 08, 2022
Mindi said of her journey toward this album, “I’ve lived so much life since my last solo album Wild Heart. That album gave me my first GRAMMY nomination, and it was a coming together of forces that changed my life. I had this amazing solo career in Smooth Jazz, but I’d find myself moonlighting playing with Aerosmith, Duran Duran, Keb’ Mo’ and appearing on American Idol. I was loving rootsy blues, soul and rock music so much… it’s the music I grew up with, but I wasn’t bringing it to my own career. I asked my friends to help me, and for Wild Heart I wrote and recorded with Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, Max Weinberg and Waddy Wachtel. This led me to create my first 'band' joining forces with The Boneshakers to create Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers, and we toured and made 4 amazing albums together, rocking the blues and rock world. During that time I was constantly writing music that was more personal and more melodic. It didn’t fit the band… it was more introspective, and so I put these songs on a shelf and waited for the right time. Now is the right time. I’ve come back to me… a more introspective place… to make new music that represents all that I’ve learned along my musical journey. I hope you feel the emotion I felt recording it.”
One listen through this album and you feel that this is an album that Mindi has wanted to make for some time. The polished production of her first albums that made her famous isn’t present. In its place is an organic and unpretentious collection of songs. Don’t think that what you loved about Mindi is gone, though. Her soaring iconic saxophone rings true with every note. The songs are catchy and memorable. Her voice is endearing and intimate at times and powerfully commanding at others. And the authenticity of her artistry and intent are life affirming.
The album opens with “Fine Wine and Vinyl,” a song that lyrically mirrors Mindi’s real life in the wine and jazz business for the last few years. The song opens lazily with slide guitar in a country rock feel with Mindi singing conversationally, “We’re never ever going out of style, like fine wine and vinyl.” The album continues with the title track “Forever,” a languid easy-going instrumental that makes you feel like you’re in the room with the band as it’s being played. And just when you sink into the soulful groove, the chorus kicks in with her signature swagger. “Call Me By Your Name” is the tongue-in-cheek story of Mindi’s romance and marriage co-written with famed songwriter and Hooters frontman Eric Bazilian.
“Never would I have thought I would tell the story of something so personal, but Eric and I had so much fun putting my love story to music, and I love, love, love how it came out,” said Mindi.
Eric’s signature mandola playing leads the way through this story, and Mindi’s horn section with fellow Smooth Jazz icon Rick Braun kicks in the party as her vocals shine amid this lively track. The album continues with “Alive,” an anthem reveling in life and the pursuit of living it fully. It’s an instrumental, but the chorus lyrics “I’m Alive” are ‘sung’ via Mindi’s soaring and emotive alto saxophone. It’s an emotional high point for the album, and “Say It With Love” comes in with a warm hug after it.
Mindi said, “I wrote this song before the pandemic, but over the last 2 years it has come into a deeper focus. Living through a pandemic can unite us or divide us. It’s done both at different times. I wrote this song to express my feeling that it’s all about how we respect each other and speak to one another. We need to start with love.”
Raul Malo joins Mindi for this duet, his iconic voice ringing with power and truth. And the background vocals might have a familiar ring to them. The Rainbows are credited, but who’s in The Rainbows is the magic: Steve Perry, Abe Laboriel Jr., Melanie Taylor and Mindi Abair.
According to Mindi, “Steve Perry came by the studio just to hang out. He had some great vocal ideas and god knows when Steve Perry has a vocal idea, you try it. He drips with soul, and his voice is still the greatest ever in rock ‘n’ roll. After a few inspired ideas, I asked him to come in the booth and sing the parts with me. He did, and he was pure magic. I brought in my friend Melanie Taylor, and Abe Laboriel, Jr. moved over a few feet from the drum set to the vocal mic. We felt the love and formed our own background vocal group on the spot and called ourselves 'The Rainbows.'” The Rainbows appear on 5 songs on the album.
The album moves to a beautiful acoustic space with the song “April,” written by Mindi and Matthew Hager, her long-time co-writer of early hits like “Lucy’s,” “Flirt,” and “Bloom.” Mindi’s pure alto saxophone tone masterfully weaves a tale of life and overcoming adversity to find redemption. Tim Pierce is featured on mandolin throughout, the instrument he made famous on the Goo Goo Dolls’ song “Iris.” Literally radiating from the speakers, the power of a horn section brings us deftly into blues rock territory with “What About Love?” featuring Abair preaching with gritty vocals, a blistering guitar solo by Kenny Wayne Shepherd, and Abair on sax trading raucous licks with Kenny Wayne over the ending. “Where There’s A Woman There’s A Way” is a powerful ballad that moves from sheer vulnerability to a knowing confidence and ends in a proud, joyous anthem. It is the stand-out track on the album.
Says Abair, “I’ve always looked for a way to pay homage to the women who inspired me and made me who I am. Jim Peterik (Eye Of The Tiger, Vehicle) and I wrote 'Where There’s A Woman There’s A Way.' The first time I played it in public, I teared up as I sang it. It’s such a meaningful song to me.”
Moving from woman power to retro horn section power, “Nothing Ever Hurt Like You” is a fun, Motown-inspired cover of a James Morrison hit. Abair moves soulfully through the melody and effortlessly through inspired solos. The album ends thoughtfully with a haunting ode to Mindi’s move to the Bay Area a few years prior. Her rich expressive saxophone hails from a beautifully lonely place, as Abe Laboriel Jr.’s drums echo through what feels like the dark streets of San Francisco.
This album is a true reflection of Abair’s artistry, and it could well be her strongest. It is a collection of introspective songs covering a range of topics from the power of a strong woman to feeling alive and opening up to love. The authenticity is palpable throughout, as her soaring saxophone melodies and thoughtful words lead from the heart. Mindi Abair is back with the elements that made her famous, with an album that will render her timeless.
1. Fine Wine and Vinyl
3. Call Me By Your Name
5. Say It With Love Featuring Raul Malo
7. What About Love? Featuring Kenny Wayne Shepherd
8. Where There’s A Woman There’s A Way
9. Nothing Ever Hurt Like You
10. Midnight in San Francisco
MINDI ABAIR BIO:
During her remarkable 22-year recording career, saxophonist/vocalist Mindi Abair has garnered 2 GRAMMY nominations, recorded with some of the biggest names in music, and built a substantial following among jazz and blues audiences with her soaring melodies and powerhouse style. In 2014, Mindi received her first GRAMMY nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category for Summer Horns with Dave Koz, Richard Elliot and Gerald Albright, followed by a 2015 GRAMMY nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring the late Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.
You might know her as the featured saxophonist on American Idol, sitting in with Paul Shaffer on The Late Show with David Letterman and The Roots on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, or from moonlighting on tour with Aerosmith and Duran Duran. Since her debut album in 2000, she has consistently topped the Billboard Contemporary Jazz and Blues charts. In 2018, Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers won 8 Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year, and an Independent Music Award for Best Blues Song “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa. They won the 2019 LA Critics Award for Best Holiday Album for All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues. And in 2019, 2020 and 2021 she was nominated by the Blues Music Awards as the Best Instrumentalist: Horn.
As creator, designer and owner, Mindi successfully launched http://www.wineandjazz.com in 2019 as a lifestyle concept that brings together the worlds of wine and music through members-only exclusive wines paired with personally curated music playlists, label art and branded wine and music worldwide adventures and festivals.
Mindi wrote the book “How To Play Madison Square Garden – A Guide To Stage Performance” and served 10 years as an LA Chapter Governor, President and National Trustee for The Recording Academy.
Mindi has toured and/or recorded with: Aerosmith, Joe Bonamassa, Smokey Robinson, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Gregg Allman, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Fantastic Negrito, Waddy Wachtel, Bobby Rush, Keb’ Mo’, Teena Marie, Lee Ritenour, Adam Sandler, Duran Duran, Bill Champlin, Richard Elliott, Jimmy Webb, Max Weinberg, Dave Koz, Peter White, Gerald Albright, Mandy Moore, Lalah Hathaway and the Backstreet Boys.
WEB AND SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS:
MINDI'S WEBSITE: http://www.mindiabair.com
FACEBOOK 111K Followers: http://www.facebook.com/mindiabair
INSTAGRAM 37K Followers: http://www.instagram.com/mindiabair
TWITTER 19K Followers: http://www.twitter.com/mindiabair
YOUTUBE 13K Followers: http://www.youtube.com/officialmindiabair
Mindi’s Website: http://www.mindiabair.com/shop