On her debut crossover album "Minna, A Good Thing", that features Reggae, R&B and a little funk/soul just to keep things interesting, Minna undeniably impresses with her captivating cover track of Sugarcane. Following up with A Good Thing, it's easy to realize why this album is called just that. With her surprise hard-hitting funk/soul song titled Friction, Minna gets your adrenaline pumpin', and just as easily, in the next track she slips you into a soft Reggae with The Very Thought of You. By the fifth track, you're already sold on this Jamaican powerhouse when Minna further grabs your attention by belting out She Don*t Live Here Anymore. You will find the words 'well, well, well' repeating in your head for the rest of the day. Song of You puts you in a smooth listening groove just to turn around and surprise you with an entertaining reggae twist. Minna's tribal version of John Crow gives you a taste of things yet to come, and there's no better way to wrap up an album than with the much recognizable and soulful ballad Summertime. This is an artist that will be going places... Good Places. And we welcome you to join the ride.
Minnalee Lammie (Minna), born in Kingston, Jamaica, began her singing career at age 7. Minna was always known as *the girl with the voice* in her local choir. With her mother's encouragement and through her support, Minna had the good fortune to receive formal voice training. This brought her talents to a whole new level.
In 2002 she joined the group Fourth Street Sisters (aka Fourth Street Sista) managed by John Alexander and Alla Lloyd and began doing backup for various artists. Later, she joined Reggae artist Jimmy Cliff on his Black Magic Tour throughout Europe, Japan & the US. After touring with Jimmy Cliff, Ms. Lammie took a hiatis from singing.
In 2009, unbeknownst to her, a “scratch” version of "Mr. Tambourine Man", on which Minna is the lead vocal, was released by Madacy Entertainment on an album titled "Blowin' in the Wind, A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan". On Amazon.com, John, a fan from Indiana wrote, "the one that will floor you is the near-acappella reinterpretation of Mr. Tambourine Man. A kind of masterpiece, delivered by some women calling themselves The Fourth Street Sisters. Only complaint--not enough information on the artists and band." Well, to John and the rest of the world, we say, here is your chance to know the artist. Minna will no longer be an unknown with her debut album release "Minna, A Good Thing".
A little bit about the band on this album...
"Minna, A Good Thing" was produced by Bob Warren of KBW Music. Warren put together a band of outstanding musicians for this album: Tony Markellis on Bass, Danny Whelchel on Drums and Percussion, Ray Paczkowski on Organ, Clavichord and Piano, Bob Warren on Guitar, Bill Holloman on Horns and Flute, and in Jamaica, Denver Smith added additional percussions while Courick Clarke added piano to the track Sugarcane. This strong lineup, along with Minna's powerful and distinctively unforgettable voice, results in an album that is nothing less than a good thing. In fact, you might want to call it a GREAT THING!
Meet the Band...
Tony Markellis is a bassist, songwriter and record producer with a career that spans nearly forty years. He plays mirage of genres including blues, folk, jazz, rock, reggae and country music. Markellis has worked side by side with Trey Anastasio, Paul Butterfield, The Mamas & the Papas, Johnny Shines, David Bromberg, David Amram, Paul Siebel, Rosalie Sorrels, Eric Von Schmidt, Ellen McIlwaine, Mary McCaslin, Railbird and Jo Henley. Markellis was an initial member of the first solo band of Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio, forming the rhythm section with drummer Russ Lawton. Including his work with Anastasio, Markellis has appeared on over one hundred albums. Currently, along with touring with the Trey Anastasio Band, Markellis works with Kilimanjaro, the jazz fusion group he founded, acoustic blues power trios No Outlet and Street Corner Holler, vocal trio The Burns Sisters and singer/songwriters Michael Jerling and Bob Warren.
Danny Whelchel is an accomplished drummer that has performed with a variety of musicians including Charles Neville, John Mengon, Teri Roiger, Tessa Souter, Evita Cobo, Ray Alexander, Adrian Cohen, Soul Session, Carl Landa, Amy Abdou, Jeff Gonzales, Nicole Peyrafitte, Bob Warren, Michael Jerling, Jocamo, Pangaea, Out Of Control, and the Refrigerators.
Ray Paczkowski is a keyboardist extraordinaire and a part of the Jazz trio Vorcza. Although he*s worked with such bands as Viperhouse, The Octet, The Dectet, Dave Matthews & Friends, and Volt Parade, he*s best known for playing in various bands with Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio.
Bob Warren is a producer and singer-songwriter of many styles of music. His songs have been recorded by blues guitarist and singer Joan Crane, pop singer Mallory O'Donnell, and most recently reggae/R&B singer Minna. He has received funding from The New York State Council on the Arts to write music for dance/dramatic presentations, and has written many songs for radio spots.
Bill Holloman is an accomplished American jazz and blues tenor saxophonist and trumpet player. Holloman*s work with bands include Nile Rodgers (Chic), Larry Gatlin and the Gatlin Brothers, and Danny Gatton. Holloman has performed numerous times at the Montreal Jazz Festival and has recorded or performed with artists such as Bruce Springsteen, Paul Simon, Slash, Elton John, Steven Tyler, Simon Le Bon, Patti Labelle, Diana Ross and Les Paul. In addition, he*s recorded with some top shows on HBO, CBS and ESPN. He shares an Emmy Award for the HBO Sports documentary "Legendary Nights".
Denver Smith is one of the most in demand percussionists in the Jamaican scene. Smith is a musician that incorporates reggae, jazz, pop, R&B, and various other musical styles into a unique synthesis. He has worked with artists of all genres including performances on shows and albums with Dwight Richards, Kathy Brown, Etana, Tarrus Riley, Prodigal Son, Carlene Davis, Dean Fraser, and Shaggy and Friends. Denver Smith has toured internationally with artists such as Luciano and Jimmy Cliff, and performed on albums for Grammy winners Stephen and Damian "Junior Gong" Marley.
Courick Clarke is one of Jamaica's highly sought-after keyboardist and producers. Joining the band Katalys Crew, whose albums are distributed through Katsjam Records, greatly boosted Clarke's popularity among the gospel, rock, and reggae set. Katalys Crew see themselves as an Agent for Change, a motto which supports the mission of Katsjam Records, to positively transform the minds of many through the unique language of reggae music. Clarke has performed on a number of albums including "Reggae for Christ", "Is It Rolling Bob? A Reggae Tribute to Bob Dylan", "Doin' Fine", "Go Tell It on the Mountain", "Gospel Brigade", and "Total Praise". He's also toured with award winning Taurus Riley who was the 2011 recipient of the EME Awards (Excellence in Music and Entertainment) for Vocalist of the Year Male and Cultural Artiste of the Year.