Sweet Honey In The Rock
By Reihana Mohideen
The music was sweet, dark, rich. I hadn't heard Sweet Honey live before, and I wasn't a great fan. But when I heard them live at the Convention Centre in Sydney, I came out dazed. I had never before heard such rich sounds and harmonies.
Their repertoire was broad, with songs ranging from "Denko", a traditional Bambara song from Mali, through to the gospels, blues and even rap music. The rap song, "Women Must Be, Made a Priority" had the audience on their feet.
Aisha Kahlil sobbed out the blues, (with periodic encouragement from the others to "get it out"), and Bernice Johnson Reagan had the audience gasping as she sang gospels in what seemed to be the deepest voice one had ever heard. Spread before you was the richness and depth of the Afro-American contribution to music.
Other themes ranged from women's rights to poverty in the US, to a special tribute to those struggling against AIDS.
As a woman, one was also struck by the strength and even the courage of these women performers. Sweet Honey is a performance not to be missed.