Lead singer: David 'Stokley' Williams
Guitarist: Homer O'Dell
Guitarist/bassist Rick Kinchen
Keyboardist: Lawrence Waddell
Keyboardist/saxophonist Jeff Allen
Former Member: keyboardist/guitarist Keri Lewis
The band formed in Minnesota in the 1980s. It's members are from the cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul.
Vocalist Stokley Williams says he began playing West African musical instruments at the age of four, while guitarist Homer O'Dell grew up listening to his father play blues bass and singing with him in a family group. Keyboardist Larry Waddell played in a recording arts band at school and mastered keyboards by listening to jazz greats. Exposed to his father's extensive jazz collection, Allen played keyboards and sax in local bands throughout his high school years. Multi-instrumentalist Kinchen says his first and strongest influence was his family, all of whom played instruments.
Success as a Group:
After forming and playing on the local music scene, the band was featured at the 1986 Minnesota Black Musician Awards program and built a strong core following for themselves in a five-state area (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Dakota, and Nebraska) as a result of their dazzling, highly energetic live shows. Mint Condition came to the attention of Minneapolis soul producers Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as a result of a showcase performance in 1989.
Hiatus & Comeback:
After a six-year hiatus, the band released its sixth LP, Livin' the Luxury Brown
, on their own CagedBird Records in 2005 and a live DVD, Live From the 9:30 Club
, in 2006. Another album, E-Life
, followed in early 2008. In 2011, the band commemorated the 20th anniversary of their debut album with their seventh studio release, which was appropriately titled 7...
2012: Music @ the Speed of Life
2005: Livin' the Luxury Brown
1999: Life's Aquarium
1996: Definition of a Band
1993: From the Mint Factory
1991: Meant to Be Mint
"We probably each of us individually have times where we're sittin' there like 'What's goin' on? Why aren't we bigger or more of a household name,' but overall, I think there's a reason for that, I think we still have some upside here. Now if it was all done and you asked me, I may have a different answer. But we still have a ton of upside, I think. We're not done yet, and I think we've just begun to hit that peak. I think eventually we will become that household name." -- Mint Condition member Jeffrey Allen during a February 2011 interview with about.com R&B/Soul critic Mark Edward Nero, on whether he feels like his band is under-appreciated.