The music of Oklahoma native Tim Miner was introduced to me by SoulTracks favorite Jon Gibson, and there are certainly similarities between the two artists. Both are blue-eyed soul singers who have been tough to categorize, straddling the line between Soul and Gospel music and bringing a contemporary sound and socially-conscious lyrics to the latter.
Miner spent much of his childhood singing in churches with his widowed mother and his sisters, and was somewhat of a musical prodigy, signing a recording contract with Sparrow Records at age 16. He released two minor albums on Sparrow (charting briefly with the second, I Know You Think You Know) before joining Gibson on the Frontline label in the late 80s. His 1988 disc, A True Story, an autobiographical disc, became his biggest.
By 1990 Miner had begun spending the majority of his time as a writer and producer for other artists, including BeBe and CeCe Winans, Al Green, Wayne Watson and Journey's Steve Perry. However, with the help of Stevie Wonder, Miner was signed by Motown, and in 1992 released Tim Miner, in large part a secular remake of A True Story. While the album was a very enjoyable soul disc, and included help from artists such as Brian McKnight and Michael Sembello, 1992 wasn't a great time to be on Motown and the disc sank quickly. Miner spent the rest of the decade continuing his support of other singers, working with virtual "who's who" of modern artists including McKnight, Boyz II Men, Deborah Cox, Kirk Franklin, the Temptations, Paula Abdul and Dionne Warwick.
In 2001, Miner released Son of a Preacher Man and also contributed to Denzel Washington's John Q soundtrack. He returned in October, 2004 with his album Not White Enuff on his own DreamNation Records.
By Chris Rizik