"women in (e)motion : Mint Juleps" - 1993
1. Baby, Baby
2. Round Our Way
3. I Heard It Through The Grapevine
4. Jesus Gave Me Water
5. Stay Gone
6. I Want To Live Easy
7. Set Me Free
8. Donīt Let Your Heart
9. Higher And Higher
12. Who Knows
13. The Snake
14. Loves Me Like A Rock
15. Ainīt He Got Nerve
16. Hey Girl
A cappella groups have more fun! And the Mint Juleps from Londonís East End are the proof. Even after years of stage experience the six women havenít fallen into sober professionalism nor do they have their eyes set on making it. The collection singing experience seems to give them a high which is carried over to the audience and their charisma does the rest.
Debbie, Lizzie, Marcia, Sandra, Julie and Debbie L. arenít pretentious. The four sisters and their natural energy rather than trying out the poses of famous entertainers. It apparently makes no difference whether they burst into song at home or in public.
It all began at home, that is in the school chorus and church choir around the corner. The small vocal groupís first pub appearance separated the wheat from the chaff; and what remained was an all girl groub. 1984 was the official founding year of the Mint Juleps. They first made the rounds on the club and college circuit and finally came to the attention of the Stiff label. Their 1985 debut album presents the Mint Juleps at their best, in a live performance with cuts from Londonís Shaw Theatre.
Their career was on roll; opening for well-know acts from Billy Bragg to Kool And The Gang, first concert performances on the European mainland ( France, Belgium, The Netherlands, Switzerland ), studio jobs, television performances. But a damper was put on the fun when they became the pawn in the game of know-it-all producers in what looked like a promising new recording contract. Fortunately, the frustration and trouble did not rob them of their enthusiasm. They toured the USA in 1989 with the Fine Young Cannibals, who were thrilled with the Mint Juleps, and film director, Spike Lee ("Malcolm X","Do the Right Thing","Sheís Gotta Have it, etc.) signed the effervescent singers on the spot for an a cappella television show. On the show there was a memorable performance by the Mint Juleps with Ladysmith Black Mambazo from South Africa in a 16 voice(!) entrapturing performance of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" ( to be heard on the soundtrack album "Spike & Co: Do it a cappella" ). The following year, the Mint Juleps were a high light of the second "women in (e)motion" festival.
The womenís voices not only blend wonderfully, they each have a fantastic solo voice. Their repertoire harks back to their name. A Mint Julep is a fragrant, wonderfully refreshing mixed drink. The favored ingredients of the East London recipe are soul, gospel, reggae, pop, and doo wop, in unique arrangements of covers or their own songs. You canít stop humming the original compositions like "Donít Let Your Heart" and the Motown style "Stay Gone" or their versions of classics from Johnny Otis or the Isley Brothers. The recordings made at Bremenís Schauburg have been complemented with some more recent live pieces, indispensible repertoire classics from the Mint Julep shaker.
The Mint Juleps always challenge their audiences with, "You can dance to a cappella!" And thatís just as true when the live fun comes from the record.