Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sweet Honey In The Rock concert review

Last night I went to see Sweet Honey in the Rock at Koerner Hall in downtown Toronto. Sweet Honey in the Rock is a female vocal group somewhat similar to The Persuasions. The big difference between the two is that The Persuasions are clearly steeped in doo wop and Sweet Honey in the Rock came out of the Washington, DC live theater scene. There are currently four members including original members Louise Robinson and Carol Mailard and sisters Nitanju Bolade Casel and Aisha Kahlil. Sign language interpreter Shirley Childress has toured with them since 1981. And currently bassist Romeir Antonio Mendez is touring with them. They said they met him while they were working on a project for Alvin Ailey. They don't really need him. Sweet Honey in the Rock currently record for the folk label Appleseed and they are out promoting their new CD #LoveInEvolution. So not surprisingly, most of the songs performed are from that album including the traditional songs Somebody Prayed For Me and I Don't Want No Trouble At The River, the gospel medley Operator/Jesus Is on The Mainline/I Don't Know What You Come to Do and the original songs The Living Waters, Oh, Sankofa and the tongue in cheek IDK, But I'm LOL!. All of these songs are on the new album and CDs are available in the lobby. One of the best songs on the show was their version of Feeling Good, a song made famous by Nina Simone but written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse for the musical The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd. As one would expect from a group that has been together for over 40 years, the harmonies are perfect. I'd like to see them make more musical instrument sounds so they sound like a jazz group. I have known about Sweet Honey in the Rock since the 70s so I was not surprised by anything in the show. They sounded great.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like you had some fun there Frank. Good for you. It seems you liked what you heard at that concert.