This a capella choral group has been delighting listeners with its unique, uplifting brand of gospel-soul for the past 30 years.
This a capella choral group has been delighting listeners with its unique, uplifting brand of gospel-soul for the past 30 years. The Women Gather shows that time has treated the quintet exceedingly well. Produced by Toshi Reagon (daughter of group member Bernice Johnson Reagon), this set is rife with richly layered material that provides timely odes—including the Sept. 11-inspired "Let Us Rise in Love" and "Prayer at the Crossroads," which details the effects of drug addiction on youth. The act contrasts headline-smart topics with heartfelt tunes like "Fly" and "Come Unto Me," which derive their depth from a resounding sense of history and ancestry. Although the current R&B radio landscape is narrowcast with hip-hop remixes and tweety faux-divas (thus instantaneously disallowing airplay for Sweet Honey), it is hard not to wonder what would happen if today's kids were exposed to such inspirational, soulful, and wholly accessible fare as this. Is there a hero at the format willing to take a chance and make a few positive waves?—LF