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Colemine Records

Classic R&B Enters the Here and Now

Article by Bill Furbee

Photography by Whitney Pelfrey of Native Iris Photography

Originally published in Loveland Lifestyle

With more than 25,000 records in stock, downtown Loveland’s Plaid Room Records queues up a head-spinning inventory of great music by both classic and contemporary artists.

Many don’t realize, however, that a lot of that music is also being produced directly upstairs by Colemine Records—an independent record label celebrating the sound of classic soul and funk artists.

“It’s classic soul music at its core, but it’s contemporary-traditional soul music. We don’t want to make music that sounds old for the sake of sounding old … we want to take the things people love about Otis Redding and James Brown and push them into a new context, new songs,” says Plaid Room and Colemine owner Terry Cole.

It’s already making waves around the globe.

“We’ve sold over 100,000 45s (singles) worldwide,” Terry continues, sharing that they’ve also enjoyed roughly 25 million streams in the digital world.

Figures like that can be a hard thing for someone to grasp, including sometimes Terry himself.

“We released almost a hundred 45s in 2019. It’s pretty crazy … the fact that the label might gross a significant amount this year is pretty crazy.”

And thanks to location and setup, those who visit the brick-and-mortar storefront at 122 W. Loveland Ave. are frequently treated to some of Colemine’s debut spins.

“We can record upstairs, and then play it downstairs in minutes … get a real-time view of what people think,” he says.

Colemine Records began in 2007 while Terry attended Miami University—he created the imprint as a means of adding legitimacy to a small run of his own CDs. It wasn’t long until a Japanese record company contacted him to inquire about licensing the music—and the realization that Colemine Records could be a bona fide job came shortly after.

Then, plans came together for a complementary record store, operated and managed with his brother, Bob. Loveland was the perfect fit.

“The community has been overwhelmingly supportive from day one,” Terry shares. “I think at first there was definitely some head-scratching, just not understanding how this would be sustainable. But after year two or three, that all went away.”

He points to the popularity of national Record Store Day events in swaying the thoughts of many neighbors.

“Thousands of people were coming into Loveland … thousands who had never been to Loveland.”

Their first location opened in February 2015, and they soon needed more space.

“Business was very good,” Terry recalls. “And the shop was growing at a very rapid rate—as far as what we stocked and what we wanted to carry in the store ... the label was growing at an even more rapid rate.”

It quickly became obvious that a bigger location for both concepts would soon be needed.

“But we didn’t want to leave Loveland,” he clarifies. “We really appreciated how much the community had embraced our store and the artists on the label. We didn't even want to move down the street.

“We also have to thank CeeCee Collins from the Chamber; she went to bat for us.”

Terry credits CeeCee for sharing in their early vision.

“I should add that we have the greatest neighbor in Loveland Sweets … being next to a place that sells ice cream, coffee and candy is pretty wild!”

But it’s always been about a love of music.

“I was a high school biology teacher for the first eight years of Colemine’s existence, and it’s always been a labor of love. It genuinely feels like we’re trying to carry the R&B, King Records torch—that’s what I grew up on. Cincinnati has this amazingly rich history of R&B. It’s always been a goal of mine that when people think of Ohio Soul or Cincinnati Soul, they think of this sound as well.”

“Cincinnati has this amazingly rich history of R&B. It’s always been a goal of mine that when people think of Ohio Soul or Cincinnati Soul, they think of this sound as well.”