The Persuasions

A Cappella Dreams

Chesky Records JD251

Jim Hayes, bass; Jerry Lawson, lead and baritone; Joe Russell, second tenor; Ray Sanders, first tenor; and Jayotis Washington, baritone. Background vocals by Barbara Tucker, Dawn Tallman and Michelle Hutcherson

The Persuasions have been performing for four decades and paved the road for the musical expression of a cappella. On this CD comprising fifteen tunes, the group explores a diverse collection of what is described as some of their favorite songs. The liner notes include the lyrics to each tune so if you feel like singing along!

The opening cut is "I Have A Dream," the Soloman Burke composition inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King's speech. The treatment on "There's A Train" is exceptional with reverberating bass lines. "She's A Lady" has an upbeat pop-influenced rhythm. The Bill Withers tune, "Ain't No Sunshine," is soulfully delightful. "Dock Of The Bay" highlights the tremendous phrasing of lead singer Jerry Lawson in a toe-tapping version of this Otis Redding classic. "Steal Away" is given an interesting gospel treatment. "When She Was My Girl" is a finger-snapping doo-wop tribute to the Four Tops. On "Rainy Night In Georgia" rich tones float out in lush harmony. The CD concludes with "When The Saints Go Marching In" in a hand-clapping soul inspiring call to faith.

This is a warm, intimate offering that will delight your senses. The Persuasions prove they are the masters of the form with their twists and tempo changes in the arrangements. What a beautiful CD!

by Dorothy L. Hill

New Sounds - December 2003/January 2004 CD Reviews