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Daily Helping for May 29th, 2021 – Sweet Honey in the Rock – Ella’s Song

A promotional photo of the members of Sweet Honey in the Rock. They are all wearing black and are looking directly into the camera. Some of them look to be mid-song.

Today’s helping is yet another recommendation (please keep them coming!), but the person who sent it in specifically noted that the quality of the performances of this group is impossible to translate on screen. She also added that Sweet Honey in the Rock was one of the best concerts she’d ever seen. Not only do I 100% believe her on that, but I absolutely cannot wait to attend one of their concerts myself. Just based on this video alone, it’s clear to me that they are incredible live.

Sweet Honey in the Rock was founded in 1973 by Bernice Johnson Reagon. The group’s line up has changed over the years as members have come and gone, but it has typically been composed of six women plus a sign language interpreter. Amazing. The members are all African American, and their songs and lyrics reflect their experiences as Black women. “Ella’s Song”, written by Johnson Reagon, is no exception. The words are raw and powerful, and sadly, every bit as relevant today as when the song was first written.

I would also be remise if I didn’t say something about their harmonies. I don’t know much about multi-part harmonies and vocals, but I do know that the ones in this video are absolutely beautiful. I also can’t imagine that they’re easy to sing, but Sweet Honey in the Rock makes them appear effortless. Just pure and beautiful notes. I can’t wait to listen to an entire concert of them.

Suggestions for artists I should check out? Please contact me with your ideas. I hope you enjoyed your daily helping of art!