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January 22, 2004

San Antonio Express

It's a cacophonous world. From pop music to talk radio to the screamers on TV shows, we're living in noisy times. But cutting through the racket, as they've done for three decades, come the women of Sweet Honey in the Rock.

"The human voice is the original personal instrument," said Carol Maillard from her New York City home. "Singing and making sounds with the voice have been with us since long before physical instruments were developed. The human voice can relay healing and inspiration to every person. And even if one has no physical voice, there's an inner voice."

This is the farewell tour for Reagon, who is retiring from the group. "She's not retiring from the world," Maillard said with a laugh. "She'll be able to do many projects and rest. She'll write books and songs and continue to make a difference."

For years, Sweet Honey in the Rock worked for 10 months and took two months off. This year the group is taking a four-month hiatus. Despite being a founding member, the Philadelphia-born Maillard doesn't describe herself as a singer. "I always say that first, I'm an actress," she said. "But my acting was not able to continue." Still, Maillard did land a small part last year in an episode of "Law & Order: SVU." "I hope to be able to do a little more of that during the hiatus," Maillard said. But the actress/singer did offer some voice tips. "Learn how to breathe properly," she said. "Don't try to sound like anybody else. Find your own voice. Discover what's unique about what you do and work it. And there are so many people out there who are making good money and are poor singers. Don't imitate them." More

Posted by acapnews at January 22, 2004 9:27 AM

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