Putting a fitting and funky exclamation point on the surge of female empowerment that led to historic electoral breakthroughs for women in the most recent election, singer/songwriter/social activist Rickie Byars has released her 9th CD, My Oh My It’s Time to Fly.
For Byars, My Oh My It’s Time To Fly is not simply the title track of her new CD, it’s bold announcement that she’s ready to venture forth from the ground of the safe and familiar and soar into the unknown. Byars has recently made big changes in her life, including leaving her post of 31 years as Music and Arts Director at Agape International Spiritual Center. As she acknowledges in the song, there’s fear involved with taking flight into uncharted territory, but there’s also exhilaration. Byars has confidence in the strength of her vision and talent to keep her aloft as she spirals up to the next and better version of her life.
The new music, which Byars co-produced with her daughter, artist/producer/songwriter Georgia Anne Muldrow, is infused with a variety of compelling musical styles and influences that reflect Byars’ fearless willingness to explore and express the many different facets of who she is, of where her life journey has already taken her and where its path is pointing now. There’s the silky smooth early-60s R&B feel of Honor; the wailing guitar and hold-on-to-the-last-syllable Traveling Wilburys’-tinged Carry On; the dramatic Grace Jones-inflected disco turn on Star Up Above II and the irresistible South African vibe of Freedom, Freedom (which incidentally provides the perfect anthem to the surging movements for progressive social change that are currently sweeping the nation). She speaks to the necessity of changing one’s perceptions in the funk-laced Teleprompter, and to opening up to new possibilities on the infectious Spiral Up. My Oh My It’s Time To Fly flows beautifully through the soulful authenticity of Byars’ voice and the consistently uplifting message in her lyrics.
While “Time to Fly” describes a deeply personal journey, it also happens to capture and convey what a large segment of Americans are hoping and praying for these days–that the darkness, confusion, sadness and pain of the last couple of years are really only the labor pains for the birth of a new America that will be fairer, freer, more equitable and just, happier and healthier for all. But as Byars affirms through her lyrics as well as her social activism, these hopes and prayers will only be answered when enough of us roll up our sleeves and find our own ways to participate in bringing these changes about. In this nation and all around the world, it’s time to fly.
To listen to the album, please click on this link: http://smarturl.it/rickiebyars
About Rickie Byars:
Rickie Byars is one of the most acclaimed and beloved singer-songwriters there is in the genre of inspirational/New Thought music. Through her three decade career as both a solo artist and as founder/director of the world-renowned Agape International Choir, Byars’ deeply soulful and heart-felt songs of spiritual renewal, uplift and empowerment have struck a powerful chord with audiences around the globe. She has released nine albums over her illustrious career.
Byars dedicates much of her time to social activist causes, including Voices 4 Freedom, an abolitionist organization that works to free the 70-million modern-day slaves around the world, and Kuumba in Motion, a non-profit educational initiative that empowers children to discover their inherent gifts and talents through exposure to nature, the arts and creative sciences so that they can contribute to humanity and the planet as a whole. She is also the Founder of HUBCITY LIVE/ ETHIOPIA- MINCHU Project, a technological futuristic city planned for Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. Known by many Ethiopians as “The Real Wakanda,” the Afro-futuristic project will usher in next-generation technologies, conscious commerce, innovation, culture and opportunity to an emerging Afrika.