Making a Scene Presents an Interview with Mindi Abair!
One of the most recognized and sought-after saxophonists/vocalists, two-time GRAMMY nominee Mindi Abair has been electrifying audiences with her dynamic live performances and utter command of the saxophone since her debut album in 2000. No one since Junior Walker has brought saxophone and vocals in one package to the forefront of modern music, with a raucous tone and dynamic stage presence. She has garnered ten #1 radio hits, six Top 5 solo records and two #1 spots on the Billboard album charts. In 2014, Mindi received her first GRAMMY® nomination in the Best Pop Instrumental Album category, followed by a 2015 GRAMMY® nomination for Best Contemporary Instrumental Album for her solo LP Wild Heart featuring Gregg Allman, Joe Perry, Trombone Shorty, Booker T. Jones, Keb’ Mo’, and Max Weinberg.
The daughter and granddaughter of working musicians, Abair continues to captivate fans while evolving her sound. In 2014, after two seasons as the featured saxophonist on the hit series American Idol, Abair released Wild Heart. This LP showcased a compilation of grittier rock and soul tracks featuring some of the biggest names in music. To help translate this sound to her live shows, Mindi enlisted longtime friend and The Boneshakers founder Randy Jacobs (Bonnie Raitt, Was Not Was, Willie Nelson) to inject his brand of Detroit Blues Rock. The collaboration was undeniable, and it lead to an almost immediate decision to join forces creatively. Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers features band leader Mindi Abair (Saxophone, Vocals), Randy Jacobs (Guitar, Vocals), Rodney Lee (Keys), Ben White (Bass, Vocals), and Third Richardson (Drums, Vocals).
Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers LIVE in Seattle was released September 2015 to significant critical acclaim, and a 2 ½ year non-stop tour schedule across the US.
In April 2017, the band took a short break to record their first studio record. The EastWest Sessions was recorded over five days at legendary Hollywood recording studio EastWest Studios with renowned Blues Rock producer Kevin Shirley (Led Zepplin, Joe Bonamassa, The Black Crowes, Aerosmith). The album, released September 15, 2017, is a powerful, bluesy, momentous, and deeply emotional journey. It debuted #3 on the Billboard Blues Album Chart and hit #1 on the RMR Blues Rock Album chart in January 2018. “Pretty Good For A Girl” featuring Joe Bonamassa won the 2018 Independent Music Award for Best Blues Song Fan Award. The band also won 8 Independent Blues Awards including Artist of the Year. The album features a track with iconic blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, and 2017 GRAMMY® winner in the Best Contemporary Blues Album category, Fantastic Negrito.
In 2018 Mindi Abair and The Boneshakers returned with a powerhouse Blues Rock Holiday Album, All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues. Four original songs feature the hard driving, down and dirty “All I Got For Christmas Is The Blues”. And 5 holiday classics including “Merry Christmas Baby” and “The Christmas Song” are reimagined with a gritty, raucous spirit. The album debuted #7 on the Billboard Blues Album chart, reached #1 on the RMR Holiday Album and Song Charts and received an LA Music Critics Nomination for Best Holiday Album.
Mindi authored the book “How To Play Madison Square Garden – A Guide to Stage Performance” and serves as a National Trustee for The Recording Academy.
The artists she’s toured with and/or recorded with are a testament to her talent: Aerosmith, Gregg Allman, Smokey Robinson, Keb’ Mo’, Joe Perry, Bobby Rush, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Lalah Hathaway, Duran Duran, Adam Sandler, Lee Ritenour, The Backstreet Boys, Booker T. Jones, Jimmy Webb, Mandy Moore, Max Weinberg, Bill Champlin, David Pack, Mocean Worker, The Ides of March, Teena Marie, Bobby Lyle, and Jonathan Butler.