Mindi Abair at Blues Alley, Washington, DC

A rainy and humid summer night in Georgetown did not dampen the spirits of 125 people who came out to Blues Alley for Mindi Abair’s CD release party. Her latest release, Wild Heart, has a new sound, has been very well received, and produced a number one song with the first single, “Haute Sauce!” With a new CD also came a new touring band, but this band goes hand in hand with number one status.  Rodney Lee on keys, Randy Jacobs on guitar, Third Richardson on drums, and Nate Kearney, Jr. on bass bring this new music to life with a sound that just can’t be beat.

The set started with several tracks from Wild Heart, including the title track, “Haute Sauce,” and “Train.”  While we all watched Mindi grow through the smooth/contemporary jazz scene, it was very exciting to see her move into a different direction with the new music.  It’s been coming for a while now since she appeared on American Idol and toured with Aerosmith.  How can that not rub off on you?  The blues and rock sound is a style that fits well with Mindi and her band.

Mindi then played “Be Beautiful,” a song she did for a breast cancer awareness campaign. It has become a regular tune on her set list and is a message that she truly believes in.  A beautiful rendition of “Summertime” followed, which was appropriate for the steamy weather we metro-DC folks are accustomed to.

The vocal, “I’ll Be Your Home,” a duet with Keb Mo’, from the new CD, was a terrific vocal with Randy Jacobs. (Maybe you should team up more often!) This was followed by “Amazing Game” and “I Can’t Lose” before treating the crowd to some of the Mindi “classics” – “Flirt” and Lucy’s.”

Be sure to catch this tour as Mindi and her band make their way around the country this summer. The new music will awaken your soul and thrill your Wild Heart!

By Bonnie Schendell