SoulBounce’s Class Of 1996: Mint Condition 'Definition Of A Band'


The 1990s saw the rise of R&B groups comprised mainly of singers. Although members may have played instruments, their voices were the selling point. Mint Condition was the rare group that was actually a band during that era. With vocals provided by lead singer/drummer Stokley Williams, the six-man band outta St. Paul, Minnesota represented for bands of old in the '90s with their contemporary spin on R&B that blended elements of funk, jazz and rock into a soulful stew.

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This groove gumbo was heard on Mint Condition's third studio album, 1996's Definition of a Band. The songs on Definition of a Band literally took the listener from warm up to full-body workout to cool down. It featured a little something for everyone with the common thread of soul and Stokley's signature vocals woven throughout and bassist Ricky Kinchen, guitarist Homer O'Dell, pianist Larry Waddell, keyboardist Keri Lewis and keyboardist/saxophonist Jeffrey Allen all showing out. The album's first single, the anti-infidelity anthem "What Kind Of Man Would I Be?," proved to be a gold mine and became gold certified by the RIAA after peaking at No. 2 on the Hot R&B Singles chart and No. 17 on the Hot 100. Second single "You Don't Have To Hurt No More" had Williams playing the role of sincere clean-up man who earnestly encourages a woman to cut the zero she's with to roll with this hero. "Let Me Be The One" served as the third and final single, but this album had at least three more and a possible. Standout album cuts included the throwback funk party "Funky Weekend," sexy slow jam "On & On" and rocked-out jam session "Sometimes" that featured Chris "Daddy" Dave on drums.

To this day, Mint Condition remains one of the only bands in R&B/soul, and they continue to fill a void. Now celebrating their 25th anniversary since the release of their debut album, Meant To Be Mint, the fellas continue to tour and impress sold out audiences with their musicianship. Even more impressive is that the group is nominated for their first GRAMMY Award for Best R&B Album for their Christmas album, 2015's Healing Season. The competition in that category is stiff, but this deserving group can now officially call themselves GRAMMY nominees after 25 years in the game.

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Mint Condition Definition Of A Band [Amazon][iTunes][Google Play]

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