Raise Your Voice

Raise Your Voice

by Sweet Honey in the Rock



The soundtrack to a PBS American Masters documentary filmed by Stanley Nelson, Raise Your Voice is based around two shows Sweet Honey in the Rock performed on their 30th anniversary tour in 2003, one at the Warner Theatre in Washington, D.C., on November 5, and the other a month later at the Wilshire-Ebell Theatre in Los Angeles on December 7. As it turned out, this was the last tour that founding member Bernice Johnson Reagon (she formed the group in 1973) made with Sweet Honey. The two shows have been seamlessly fitted together, with song introductions left intact, giving the album the feel of a single evening's performance. As always, Sweet Honey's vocals are awe-inspiring, and the group members make full use of their knowledge of hall acoustics and voice spacing, giving selections like the Mbuti "Chant" an echoing, omnipresent feel, as if the vocals were raining down from everywhere at once. The similar "Fulani Chant" sounds like nothing so much as an exotic group of birds calling and crying in the trees, and is an amazing testament to the versatility of the human voice. "Ballad of Harry T. Moore," an adaptation of a 1952 Langston Hughes poem about the death of a Florida freedom fighter, is another standout, as is the timeless rendition of the gospel spiritual "Old Ship of Zion." Bernice's daughter Toshi Reagon, a former member of Sweet Honey, adds some rock spunk on "Ballad of the Broken Word" with her band Big Lovely, and the song slides easily into "Give the People Their Right to Vote!" Things get a little message-heavy at times here, but then that really is the whole point to Sweet Honey in the Rock, who have always had a mission to inform, educate, and involve their audiences through music. Loyal fans will not be disappointed with this fine soundtrack.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/12/2005
Label: Earthbeat
UPC: 0081227642228
catalogNumber: 76422

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sweet Honey in the Rock   Primary Artist
Bernice Johnson Reagon   Vocals
Nitanju Bolade Casel   Vocals
Fred Cash   Bass
Judith Casselberry   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Aisha Kahlil   Vocals,Sounds
Carol Maillard   Vocals
Toshi Reagon   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Jennifer Leigh   Electric Guitar

Technical Credits

Jane Sapp   Composer
Langston Hughes   Composer
Bernice Johnson Reagon   Arranger,Composer,Liner Notes,Adaptation
Nitanju Bolade Casel   Arranger,Composer
Aisha Kahlil   Composer
Carol Maillard   Composer,Producer,Liner Notes,Art Direction
Toshi Reagon   Arranger,Composer
Art Steele   Engineer
Doug Haverty   Art Direction
Traditional   Composer
Lucie E. Campbell   Composer
Roland L. Freeman   Cover Photo

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Raise Your Voice 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
xoxo99c More than 1 year ago
The voices of sweet honey in the rock are so extrodinary and the messages they sing about are powerful. The harmony is sooooo tight you almost cant believe they are singing acapella.