I have the most wonderful friend to introduce you to. She comes with a universe of musical experience. If you are a cool bean in the Memphis music scene then you have no doubt encountered the flavorful movement of Mama Honey’s thunderous and dulcet sounds. Tamar Love is a force of creativity and love, I mean, the name is a bit of a prophecy.
“What I would love for people to know most about me is not just my love for music, but the fact that I want to serve people through music because music is healing and when people connect with you and connect with your work that is a healing experience. Being a vessel to share light and love, as cheesy as that sounds, means the world to me. That would be the most important aspect of what I want to share with the world.”
Tamar is joined in Mama Honey by bassist Fields Falcon, and drummer David McMinch. Together they created the band in 2018 and put out their first official EP in 2019.
Tamar has had a long-time fascination and passionate relationship with music. After being connected with the cello on a childhood field trip she studied it throughout college.
“I was in the 3rd or 4th grade and we went to see the Jackson symphony so it was like a whole symphony of people. I saw that instrument and it just spoke to me. The size of the instrument, it’s like a person, like holding a person in your lap. It has the full range of the human voice. When I think of the cello I think of this bright orange light, this inviting warmth. It’s got to be the most beautiful instrument in the world and I’m so lucky to have had this in my life.”
When asked if she dreams in cello, Tamar responds: “I think I do everything in cello. To be honest, the way I play the guitar is the way I play the cello. The way I sing is the way I play the cello. It has affected everything that I have done. When I speak to students, I tell them everything I have learned in life I have learned through music. Sitting down with my instrument and figuring shit out. I don’t know who I would be without that. Cello gave me the ability to see the world in a completely different way. I grew up in Jackson, MS. There was not a lot of diversity there. Being exposed to classical music blew the doors open to the world. Talking about it reminds me that sometimes you forget because you are inside of it, but looking back gives me a whole appreciation for my journey.”
On the subject of Mama Honey, Tamar reflects on the beginnings:
“We hit the ground running. We were not in the garage for very long. I wrote some songs and we started getting out there as quickly as we could. To me, I need to perform the songs I’m working on, I can’t just sit on things. We were ready to get started with whatever we had at the time.”
I asked if Love had always been this giving as an artist, always sharing and performing?
“I’ve always been an artist. I remember when I was younger you would have a boom box that you would set to record and a second boom box, and then you’d make a second track and put it together. Back in the old days when you had to piece it together with your 80s equipment. I kept a lot of it to myself though. I wasn’t shy about it, it just didn’t occur to me to share it. I wrote poetry and shared it with family members and classmates. I would sometimes give people CDs I created.”
“Writing music didn’t start until I was 20 or 21 but I wasn’t performing them out anywhere. I was new to writing songs and I hadn’t figured out what my sound was like. But I eventually figured out what my voice was and how I’m comfortable sharing. Having people in a band with me is how I feel most comfortable.”
These next few months represent a jump from the hard winter of the pandemic into a Tennessee summertime charged with opportunity.
Mama Honey is looking to complement that journey with the bands’ first full- length album, “Out of Darkness.”
When asked about the immediate summer Tamar said this…
“Now Mama Honey is recording a beautiful album that we are in the process of finishing up over the next few weeks. We have done the recording—Matt Qualls is mixing for us—and we just got our first song back from him and we are in love and excited. There are other things to do like artwork and all that. We are hoping to have a spring/ early summer release date for this album “Out Of Darkness” to commemorate that the three of us have come through so much over the past couple of years and how we are each moving forward in our lives. These songs, which we have been playing live for a minute, we wanted to breathe new life into and record them.”
From navigating divorce, a member relocating, and a journey of sobriety, the three stars of Mama Honey seek to share vulnerability through their music.
And what about performing?
“We are recording this album but we are also starting to work on new songs to perform live. We are excited to have this new life in our band. We want
to do a tour outside of our beautiful Memphis! We want to bring everyone else a little bit of Memphis and let people know what’s up!”
“Out of Darkness” the debut album will be available from Mama Honey this summer on all streaming platforms and eventually on vinyl!
You can listen to Mama Honey’s music now at mamahoneymemphis.com.