Music Links

Sweet Honey in the Rock

It is hard to know what to say first about this group. They have such a history and so many stunning albums as well as two very special DVDs, Raise Your Voice and Singing for Freedom to their credit (see the website store for details). Thanks again to this inspiring group for graciously allowing us to use their wonderful recording of Breathes in Rise Up.

Carolyn McDade

The name for this course came from a song that Carolyn originally wrote asking us to “Rise Up and Call Her Name,” referring to our female ancestors, the female divine and the female spirit within each of us. Several of the other songs in Rise Up where a result of Carolyn’s musical collaborations as well. Carolyn’s dedication to multicultural and justice-seeking work has afforded a model for many of us, including me, to keep on keepin’ on.
Her website is a fascinating collection of the creative work of this pioneering feminist writer/songwriter/singer (in several media including songs, inspirational pieces, photos and environmental projects). She is known to so many Unitarian Universalists for her many important contributions to UU favorite songs, the best known being Spirit of Life. See Carolyn’s story  which reveals her own spirit and is great reading. Also, see the major article about Carolyn that appeared in the UU World.

Mary Grigolia

Mary Grigolia is a Unitarian Universalist minister who has created several CDs of music and meditation. She wrote one of the Rise Up and Call Her Name chants and sang two of them on the CD. She also contributed the powerful song “The Dark” to Rise Up. Many of her any songs have become popular additions to worship, retreats, workshops and other gatherings. Check out her CDs and Songbooks.

Lisa Thiel

Singer and songwriter Lisa Thiel contributed several songs to Rise Up and has many more to offer now. Here is where you can check them out.

Nancy Vedder-Shults

The music consultant for Rise Up, Nancy also produced her own CD entitled Chants for the Queen of Heaven which contains some of the same songs that Nancy wrote for Rise Up & Call Her Name and which are on the Rise Up CD as well as several others. Her CD is available at Nancy is also a writer and her website is well worth checking.

Jennifer Berezan

CDs Returning and She Carries Me, and Praises for the World CD and DVD

Jennifer is a multifaceted singer, producer and teacher. Her website features her CDs and a fascinating DVD made live at Praises for the World her most ambitious public ritual. The performances are stunning.

Her other sacred music CDs are Returning and She Carries Me which are mesmerizing to listen to. She is also a wonderful producer including many talented musicians, singers and poets in her productions and on her CDs.
Jennifer also leads music circles, trips to sacred sites including Malta, and teaches at music as a healing art at the graduate level. I have gone to Malta with Jennifer, participated in her singing circles many times and attended all of her large public rituals. I find her work among the most woman-honoring and sensitive to nature and female divine, approaching both from a global perspective.

Linda Tillery

Linda Tillery is a veteran vocalist, percussionist, producer and cultural historian whose career has spanned 34 years. Since the 1960’s, Tillery has been regarded as one of the San Francisco Bay Area’s most versatile singers. In the 90’s Linda took command of an even broader repertoire, tapping into the diverse resources of African American roots music, exploring the historic beginnings of Black music through Work Songs, Spirituals, Play Songs, Field Hollers, Moans and Ring Shouts.

I was privileged to attend a 13 week course taught by Linda where she introduced us to African American history through these amazing musical traditions and the historical circumstances they grew out of. She also had us singing and stomping. Her albums are fine examples of this range of music.

These songs are “survival music.” As Tillery explains, “this music, particularly the spirituals, has kept Black people alive through slavery, night rider’s raids, and segregation. This is the music that has been used as a support for just about every political movement in this country. People take spirituals, reword them and march together in the name of freedom and justice.”

In addition to songs and chants, delivered through such stylistic forms as call-and-response, multi-layered harmonies, and repetitive verse, the CHC repertoire includes intoned sermons, folk tales, polyrhythmic percussion, and dance.

Say Yo Business: Live is a rousing rendition of a range of music you will never forget. Listen to Samples!

Kat Danser
Kat’s album Somethin Familiar is a diverse collection of interesting blues and spiritual influenced songs by a wonderful Canadian songwriter and guitar player with strong backup musicians and women vocalists (Linda Tillery among them). One song entitled Rise Up! especially resonates with the themes of Rise Up & Call Her Name.

Her website linked to her store also has other buttons at the top that introduce Kat. Her myspace has music samples as well as photos.

This is a young, powerful blues singer who reveals her multicultural approach in her voice, which is low, buttery and powerful.

Shawna Carol

Shawna’s chant to the Goddess is one of the best known and a great meditation. Her album Goddess Chant has several other powerful songs on it as well.

Rise Up (track 7) contains a rousing message “Our purpose here is to Rise Up Singing!”

Praise Her (track 8), inspired by Ysaye Maria Barnwell of Sweet Honey in the Rock, is a fascinating combination of the traditional African American Praise singing style with lyrics that honor women and the Goddess. It is a great sing along for those interested in putting an Earth-based, Woman-honoring theme into this powerful musical style.

Her book The Way of Song: A Guide to Freeing the Voice and Sounding the Spirit is a self-study course in finding your own voice that can also magically open your heart.*Version*=1&*entries*=0

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