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Sweet Honey in the Rock — #LoveInEvolution

Jan. 25, 2016

Those queens of a cappella vocal sweetness, Sweet Honey in the Rock, return with yet another stellar performance of their riveting and stirring signature mix of jazz, blues, gospel, and African chants on their newest offering #LoveInEvolution.Sweet Honey

This is an album consisting of an eclectic blend of the group’s original songs combined with covers of such late great icons as Marvin Gaye and Dr. Maya Angelou (setting one of Dr. Angelou’s poems to song is one worth playing over and over, as is much of this brilliant album). Founding members of the group – Louise Robinson and Carol Maillard combine their nightingale qualities and inspired spoken words with Nitanju Bolade Casel, Aisha Kahlil, and American Sign Language Interpreter Shirley Childress who has been performing live with the group since 1981. The result is simply magical.

There is an honorable and heart-warming theme with this project as there is a warm tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the many tragedies not even discussed elsewhere. The integration of activism, social commentary, and a call to social and spiritual conscience is so very evident and compelling. These are not just performers; these are thinking, feeling, and calling voices that serve as warriors in the cause of right. So very commendable and refreshing.

Of particular note to me are such tracks are the gospel/blues “I Don’t Want No Trouble at the River,” “A Prayer for the World” (a very innovative and moving rendition of Psalm 23 “The Lord is My Shepherd.” If this doesn’t move you, I think you just may need prayer!), the oh-so-melodically and harmonically rich “This Place Inside Where I Can Rest,” the fantastic and creative cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology),” and the deep-hitting and far-reaching “Second Line Blues,” among so many of the other tracks on this generous 14-track offering.

These wonderful ladies tell stories that will live in your consciousness for all time, and they are so noted for being able to do just that. #LoveinEvolution only moves that soulful storytelling and marvelous commentary further into your soul. Grasp the message wholeheartedly and sing along with these earthly voices of light, hope, and love. Never stop delivering, ladies. Your collective voices are much more than music to the ears of millions; they represent promise. – Ronald Jackson