Friday February 28, 2014
From The Nevada Union
Sweet Honey in the Rock — another stellar show at the Center
By: Lynn Wenzel
On Feb. 15, the Center for the Arts in Grass Valley helped trumpet venerable ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock’s anniversary celebration by bringing its tour, “Forty and Fierce,” to Nevada County.
The troupe made the Center for the Arts one of its few concert stops — and what a concert it was!
Opening the evening with the whispered words, “Nothin’ lights a fire like a dream deferred,” and a song with words by Langston Hughes and music by founder Bernice Johnson Reagon, the group pulled the hushed audience into their circle of lyrical sound and held it in suspended joy for the rest of the evening.
As always, their harmonies braided seamlessly, punctuated by a myriad of percussive sounds.
As they tenderly sang, “The dead are not under the earth/’Tis the ancestors’ breath in the voice of the earth,” the women imitated the planet’s constant murmur with clicks and sighs and soft ululations so compelling that the venue and the listening audience seemed to fade away to one gentle exhalation.
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