Sunday, July 18, 1999

Quiet As Kept makes noise as Coors Festival opener

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        For Cincinnati R&B trio Quiet As Kept, opening last year's Coors Light Festival at Cinergy Field was a once-in-a-lifetime gig.

        Make that twice-in-a-lifetime.

        Friday, Quiet As Kept opens the 1999 stadium soul fest. But though the personnel is the same — Kevin Robertson, 26, Darrell Gibson, 28, and Todd E. Jackson, 28 — a very different group will take the stage, Mr. Robertson says.

        “We've got a better vision of what we're trying to be, what we're trying to do. There's a stronger desire to reach our goal.”

        Related to basketball great Oscar Robertson on his father's side and the Isley Brothers on his mother's, Mr. Robertson inherited plenty of confidence. Not to mention a bunch of people to go to for advice.

        But he was nervous out on that huge stage.

        “We all had some natural stage fright in the beginning,” he says. “We were counting on our instincts to pop in. And after a little while, we were really comfortable up there.”

        The members of Quiet As Kept are longtime patrons of the stadium event.

        “I think I've gone maybe 10 times,” he says. “Darrell and Todd have gone more.”

        Since that show, the three men focused on their business as much as their music, compiling demo recordings and negotiating with several labels.

        “We've been talking with my uncle, Ronald Isley, and some of the Midnight Star camp, you know, networking, trying to find the right situation to commit to.”

        Each man has his own publishing company, and their 2 Vain Entertainment company has been expanding.

        “We plan on doing a local showcase in the next three months just for us and another local group we're working with called Shades of Brown. We're also working with a couple of really good rappers.”

        In addition to the festival, Quiet As Kept will perform at 11 p.m. Saturday at the Ujima Cinci-bration. It's a prime slot, just as downtown fills with post-fest party-goers.

        As Quiet As Kept looks to the future, Mr. Robertson recalls Uncle Ronald's advice.

        “He basically tells me to try and be patient. Ronald knows it's not an easy thing to do, but he says we have the skill and the ability and we should be patient and just continue trying to create original songs.

        “We know we can do this. we just have to be ready to back it up when we get that opportunity.”

        IF YOU GO

        • What: The 1999 Coors Light Festival

        • When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 5:30 p.m. next Sunday

        • Where: Cinergy Field

        • Tickets: $50, $35, $25 at Ticketmaster outlets or call 562-4949

        • The schedule:

        Friday: Quiet As Kept, Deborah Cox, the Gap Band, Faith Evans, Dru Hill, R. Kelly

        Saturday: Tim Cunningham, Lakeside, the O'Jays with Gerald LeVert, Chaka Khan, the Temptations, Frankie Beverly & Maze

        Next Sunday: Jonathan Butler, Oleta Adams, Will Downing, Gerald Albright, Grover Washington Jr.


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