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Al Lindsey

 

Smooth yet smoky-voiced Al Lindsey has been making plenty noise as of late in Southern Soul circles with a satisfyin' new disc and a dynamic live show. Recently he was named as winner of Blues Critic's 2005 "Best New Male Artist" award, as voted by Blues Critic readers/visitors. Lindsey was born in Virginia; raised in Michigan but his Soul extends from the Motor City (Detroit) to the Deep South. His career began while enlisted in the military where he opened for comedian Jimmy Walker, better know as "J.J." of Good Times. Following his tour of duty he headed back to Detroit and befriended Obie Benson and the Four Tops. He formed a group with Roquel Payton, son of the late Lawrence Payton. (Roquel has now replaced the late Obie Benson). In 1989 Al recorded a 12 inch with guitarist David Myles, titled "Always on My Mind". The record didn't hit so Al continued to perform and thrill hometown audiences. He's performed with Latimore, Willie Clayton, the late Little Milton, Rue Davis, J. Blackfoot and Maurice Davis to name a few. He didn't get a chance to record again until 1996 when he released two more songs ("Our Day Will Come" & "Come Share My Love") that got some local airplay but, like many soul greats, he's had to continue honing his craft and paying his dues on the road until he caught a break. In 2004, he went back into the studio and released his first CD entitled “Just Chillin”. His remake of the heartfelt ballad “So In Love”, by the great Willie Hutch is a favorite of his fans and is requested frequently. He recently joined ranks with Producer Simeo Overall, formerly of Cameo for the hit CD “Caught”. Blues Critic took the opportunity to interview one of the best new artists in soul music today! He's a confident but humble man who is very gracious and extremely talented. The business needs folks like him.

 

BC = Blues Critic

AL = Al Lindsey

 

BC = Your excellent new CD "Caught" has been picking up steam as of late. What's it like starting off on the independent route?

AL = True ambivalence. Exciting, yet scary. I'm lurking in unfamiliar territory, but I'm bracing myself for the ride. As I gather momentum, my level of confidence is rising. It's a great feeling.

BC = "Candlelight", a 'salute to Marvin' really captures that "Sexual Healing" vibe. Is Marvin one of your favorites? What other singers influenced you?

AL= I hope you aren't looking for a short response here. Yes, Marvin is truly one of my major influences. Marvin Gaye was a genius in the studio. His melodies. His phrasing. His unique harmonies. Met him when I was a teen while living in Detroit. My friend Rudolph and I went over to his home on Outer Drive Street. I thought my friend was kidding when he asked me to ride over to Marvin's house with him. Marvin was into athletics as you very well know. My buddy Rudolph often jogged with Marvin. Anyway, we were let in because Anna Gordy thought we were all friends. I kid you not. I'll never forget that white grand piano in his living room. Marvin was lying on the couch with a silk robe and silk PJs on and smoking a joint. We scared the hell out of him! I mean, we startled him. Rudolph jarred his memory (the jogging bit). Afterwards, we sat down and talked. Marvin shook my hand and told me to be righteous. Little did we know the above described scenario was put on the cover of his album "Here My Dear" following his divorce from Anna Gordy...I also admire Sam Cooke. He was ahead of his time. The brother was smooth, articulate, well read. He could bend notes and phrase unlike no other. David Ruffin is another of my influences. I love the range and intensity of his lead vocals. He was also one hell of a performer. I saw him many times as a teenager. I also like the style of Willie Clayton, Jay Blackfoot. I can't forget Luther, Teddy Pendergrass. Yes, I have been influenced by many

BC = There was a time you were tight with Obie Benson and the Four Tops. How'd you get to know them?

AL = I met Obie Benson when I was an orderly working at the old Grace Hospital in Detroit. I had just got out of the army. Obie was an inpatient. I carted him from his private room to the x-ray department. En route we talked about music. He invited me over to the Tops practice studio over on Puritan Street. It was there I worked on my craft. I wrote songs and laid down some scratch vocals with the Tops. I then formed a group with Roquel Payton, son of the late Lawrence Payton, and Fred Bridges, Jr. son of the Tops road man. Roquel recently replaced Obie. A lot of talent came through that studio..

BC = How close is Saginaw (Michigan) to Detroit? In other words how did Saginaw get so much soul?

AL= Saginaw (Michigan) is approx 100 miles from Detroit. I must admit I got my soul from Motown. I was raised there. Saginaw though is home for me now. Saginaw is a small city but there's plenty of soul from here. Tyrone Davis and Stevie Wonder were born here. The talented guitarist Larry McCray is from here as well. So is Sherrie Williams. Need I say more!?

BC = When did you begin performing and what has been your experience thus far in the music business?.

AL = My musical experience began in the church. I was singing lead for the church choir at the age of 14. I was gigging in the nightclubs at the age of 17. I was emulating David Ruffin and Johnny Taylor. My experience in music has been more like a roller coaster ride. Many peaks and valleys. Broken dreams, etc. Hopefully I'm finally on my way.

BC = You're also a college graduate, yes? Some have nicknamed you "Al the Singin' Doc"??

AL = Yes, I am a college graduate. I take great pride in that. I got my undergrad from the University of Detroit and my grad from the University of Nebraska. Kurt Roby, disc jockey from radio station WOWE out of Flint, Michigan labeled me "the singin' doc".

BC = How did you come to the attention of producer Simeo Overall, who produced "Caught"?

AL= I met Simeo through a local guitarist. Truly a blessing in disguise.

BC = Didn't you first release a 12 inch called "Always On My Mind" and another CD called "Just Chillin'" before this? Will you be making that material available for fans?

AL= I recorded "Always on My Mind", a song I co-wrote with James Fordham, while hanging out at the Tops studio. I got rave reviews, but the song went nowhere because the company had little capital to push it. "Just Chillin" was my first independent attempt. I got play locally, but that was the extent of it. I do plan on making the material available for fans. No time table set though. My energy is on "Caught".

BC = What's an Al Lindsey show like?

AL = Engaging, soulful, energetic, vibrant.. You know, old school with a new flavor! That's an Al Lindsey show! Very little theatrics. Just raw soul and plenty of love. Just give me a good mike with a decent sound system.

BC = You got an enormous amount of votes in the Blues Critic Southern Soul Awards, enough to be awarded "Best New Male Artist". What are your goals in 2006?

AL = My goal for 2006 is to exceed my accomplishments for 2005. I won't settle for less (with the Lord's blessing).

BC = In addition to "Candlelight", other songs that are receiving airplay are "Caught (In The Wind)" & "We're Gonna Party Tonite". Did you know which song or songs would jump out first?

AL = I must admit I didn't know which tune would jump out. I put hard work in on all the recordings. My producer Simeo and I did not want fillers for this piece. Some would argue that the focus should be on one song, but I feel DJs know their listening audience. Either way, it's a shot in the dark. It can be difficult to predict what listeners will like.

BC = What does the audience call for at your shows?

AL = My audience calls for more!!

BC = What do you attribute your success to so far?

AL = I attribute my success thus far to persistence, determination, timing, good songs, good producing, and more importantly faith in God. I also want to thank you for all you've done to help my career. Sometimes it takes someone to step out and extend a hand to who needs a little exposure and recognition. You know being new or unknown doesn't necessarily mean untalented. It may simply be a lack of opportunity or exposure. I really appreciate what you've done for me and other artists to take it to the next level. Peace!

AL LINDSEY DISCOGRAPHY HERE


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(C) 2018. All written material found on this website is the property of Blues Critic and may only be used with permission and full accreditation (either "Blues Critic" or "Dylann DeAnna of Blues Critic") and link to this website.