Review by J Hunter
There was a slight pause before Sweet Honey in the Rock’s encore as the five-woman vocal group had to sort out the tangle of mic cords that crossed and re-crossed over each other on the Hunter Center’s stage. “Usually we’re wireless,” Sweet Honey leader Ysaye Barnwell told us, adding wryly, “For this very reason!”
It’s not like the group has complicated choreography that would create such a wild coaxial spaghetti monster. Apart from exchanging places and seats between numbers, Sweet Honey’s stage show is pretty static. Sure, Aisha Kahlil got up and moved to the spirit during a five-part vocalization that was half-African prayer chant and half-birdsong, and Carol Maillard and Louise Robinson “faced off” for a brilliant call-and-answer session during the encore “Operator.” But other than that, the group basically either stood or sat – alone or together – and sang their ever-living hearts out, just like various iterations of the group have been doing for nearly 40 years.