Wednesday February 12, 2014 / 8:00pmSweet Honey in the Rock: Forty and Fierce
How was your experience?
I had not seen "Sweet Honey" perform for over a decade. I was so excited at the thought of seeing them at the Zellerbach in Berkeley. I fondly remember their early music - filled the fire of women's strength- women's voices filling up an auditorium with their voices. I listen to those early recordings, still, for inspiration, pride and pure musicality. None of that spirit was present at this performance. "Sweet Honey" were accompanied by two men (a departure from the original a'cappella formation) who were not in tune with the singers, so dissonance filled the hall instead of harmony. The women who sung barely managed to harmonize, and it seems to me that no rehearsal was even attempted - they were that far apart. Instead of songs of hope, revolution and freedom, we were treated to songs that had little relation to being culturally uplifting. It was more of a very bad jazz concert than a performance from this venerable group of women. Their "40th Anniversary "concert was a travesty. A very slight tribute was made to the first incarnations of "Sweet Honey", and virtually none of the music that put this group on the world's map were even eluded to, much less attempted to replicate. Perhaps this was just as well. This current incarnation of "Sweet Honey" has no relation to the woman centered, civil rights centered, spiritually centered, harmonizing miracle that was "Sweet Honey in the Rock". This current group of people are filling seats under the reputation of a group that no longer exists. For those who wish to hear the authentic "Sweet Honey in the Rock", buy their old Redwood Records recordings. Do not have sweet memories tainted by the current group that call themselves "Sweet Honey in the Rock". They will surely disappoint.