The Persuasions A Cappella Dreams
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- Released: October 28, 2003
- Originally Released: 2003
- Label: Chesky Records
Song previews provided courtesy of iTunes
The Persuasions: Jim Hayes, Jerry Lawson, Joe Russell, Ray Sanders, Jaytois Washington (vocals).
Had the Persuasions not gone the a cappella route in the '60s and '70s, it's quite possible that they would have become as huge as the Temptations, the Dells, the Four Tops, the Dramatics, or the Impressions. But unfortunately, most listeners are so used to hearing instruments that they have difficulty getting into a cappella performances -- even when the vocalists are as talented and expressive as the Persuasions. Nonetheless, the group has maintained a small (albeit devoted) cult following over the years, and those who are open to hearing a cappella singing will find a lot to admire about this 2003 release. In the past, the Persuasions have applied their earthy, gospel-drenched soul style to everything from the Grateful Dead to Frank Sinatra; this time, they turn their attention to familiar songs that range from Percy Mayfield's "Please Send Me Someone to Love" to three songs associated with Elvis Presley ("Good Luck Charm," "Don't," and "In the Ghetto"). A few gospel standards are offered (including "When the Saints Go Marching In" and Thomas Dorsey's "Peace in the Valley"), but most of the material is secular -- and that includes soul classics like Brook Benton's "Rainy Night in Georgia," Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," and Otis Redding's "Dock of the Bay." In a perfect world, A Cappella Dreams would enjoy extensive airplay on urban contemporary stations alongside R. Kelly and Mary J. Blige, but the chances of that happening are slim and none -- if the Persuasions had a hard time getting on R&B stations in the '70s, they certainly aren't going to accomplish that in the 21st century. But A Cappella Dreams will have no problem appealing to their small group of hardcore fans, who will find this CD to be a rewarding, heartfelt addition to their catalog. ~ Alex Henderson
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