al stewart

Sweet Honey in the Rock

Sweet Honey in the Rock


“[Sweet Honey’s] first studio work in nine years brims with the same hard-won wisdom and love for community that has characterized much of their musical output and personal philosophy. . . . Each of #LoveInEvolution’s eleven tracks glows with tremendous melodic strength and offer just enough musical accompaniment to realize each song's potential. . . . Timelessness is a vehicle that Sweet Honey in the Rock calls up to deliver their messages and the openhearted, deeply emotive style of southern gospel provides them an ideal way to amplify those messages. This is a stunningly contemporary album that manages to reference the past wholesale without ever losing its modern impulse. . . . Sweet Honey In The Rock perform a function akin to court poets from a bygone age. They are artists speaking to power, speaking to history, and illuminating its continued relevance to our lives through the medium of music. #LoveInEvolution might be their finest achievement.” – Cyrus Rhodes, 

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“ . . . This soul/gospel vocal group couldn't have picked a better time to release their first studio album in almost a decade. . . Songs of healing, more than appropriate for these times tipping the scales of the set list. . . an important cornerstone now that all the fashion statements between then and now have peeled away. Real music that has boatloads of heart powering it, you don't have to be a fan of message music to want to play this repeatedly. This is a towering statement that puts all the fame whore wannabes properly in their places. Well done throughout.” – Chris Spector, Midwest Record

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“Those queens of a cappella vocal sweetness, Sweet Honey in the Rock, return with yet another stellar performance of their riveting and stirring signature mix of jazz, blues, gospel, and African chants on their newest offering, #LoveInEvolution. This is an album consisting of an eclectic blend of the group’s original songs combined with covers of such late great icons as Marvin Gaye and Dr. Maya Angelou (setting one of Dr. Angelou’s poems to song is one worth playing over and over, as is much of this brilliant album). The group . . . combine their nightingale qualities and inspired spoken words . . . The result is simply magical.

There is an honorable and heart-warming theme with this project as there is a warm tribute to the victims of Sandy Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech, and the many tragedies not even discussed elsewhere. The integration of activism, social commentary, and a call to social and spiritual conscience is so very evident and compelling. These are not just performers; these are thinking, feeling, and calling voices that serve as warriors in the cause of right.

These wonderful ladies tell stories that will live in your consciousness for all time . . .  #LoveinEvolution only moves that soulful storytelling and marvelous commentary further into your soul. Grasp the message wholeheartedly and sing along with these earthly voices of light, hope, and love. Never stop delivering, ladies. Your collective voices are much more than music to the ears of millions; they represent promise.” – Ronald Jackson, The Smooth Jazz Ride website

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#LoveinEvolution focuses on stirring issues such as the senseless killings in our country, and holding onto beauty as tight as possible as tragedy impacts our world.” –

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Perhaps the greatest compliment you can pay Sweet Honey in the Rock is that their harmonies and interplay are so seamless they often sound like they are singing with one amazingly varied voice. However, their musical instincts have a sharpness extending far past the vocal realm. . . #LoveInEvolution will fulfill listeners on many levels. The musicality is unquestionable and the vocal chemistry imbues their lyrics with tremendous authority and feeling. The musical arrangements neatly dovetail with the talented quartet and enhance the melodies – but most importantly, these elements aid the group in delivering timely, important messages in a thought-provoking, heartfelt manner.” (5/5 stars) – Jason Hillenburg,

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“. . . The ensemble takes listeners on a journey that is part spiritual trek, part social commentary. At first blush, #LoveInEvolution is a rich eclectic mix of the group’s original songs along with breathtaking covers of popular classics. . . Hands- down the group has mastered the art of a cappella musicianship. They breathe new life into already compelling songs such as Marvin Gaye’s ‘Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology).’

‘Second Line Blues’ is melodious, yet haunting. . . The song starts off as a historical recap recalling past injustices, but  . . . takes a chilling turn as it reaches modern day names of those who will be forever etched in the annals of time…Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, Sandra Bland, the Charleston Massacre, Sandy, Hook, Columbine, Virginia Tech. The list continues on for an uneasy length of time, driving home the harsh reality of modern times.

Make no mistake, although the album is socially conscious, those forays are sandwiched between upbeat songs that uplift the soul, including the joyful, foot-tapping, ‘IDK, But I’m LOL!’ and the romantic ditty, ‘Same Ol’ Same Ol’ Love.’

 Sweet Honey in the Rock has delivered another masterpiece. . . The focus always remains tightly on the real stars of this musical universe: the voices, those rich, harmonious voices that make each song their own.” – Sarah Hearn,