keep rolling after 50 years
"One of the musical thrills of my life was presenting the Persuasions in our concert series here at McMillan Library. Our central Wisconsin audience was enthralled from the first note. Their versatility, showmanship, and sheer talent are breathtaking. The Persuasions are great people as well as great musicians. You will never meet a nicer group of guys."
Ron McCabe, Director
McMillan Memorial Library
Wisconsin Rapids, Wisconsin
January 14, 2012|By Kevin McKeough, Special to the Chicago Tribune
Performing "Ol' Man River" early in their show at the Old Town School of Folk Music Friday night, members of the Persuasions mimed grueling work as Jimmy Hayes called out the song's decree, "tote that barge until you're dead."
The brief bit of play-acting both placed the Persuasions' a cappella singing in an African American tradition dating back to the era of slavery and exemplified the quintet's skill at entertaining with only their voices and their movements.
Hayes anchored the songs with his "bom-bom-bom" bass patterns while Cliff Dawson, B.J. Jones and Raymond Sanders cooed in sweet, billowing harmony behind lead singer Dave Revels. The five men merged their voices rapturously on the songs' choruses, particularly their superb, set-ending rendition of "People Get Ready."
Revels worked subtle, soulful variations on the melodies of "Like a Rolling Stone" and other songs as he sang in a light, supple tenor that bursts into fervent soul shouts and calls. Sanders similarly brought a preacher's cadences to his turns on lead vocal, including "Blowing in the Wind..."
...the Dead's "Ripple" arguably has never sounded lovelier than it did swathed in the group's harmonies...
...The Persuasions also provided plenty of old school showmanship, from their matching double breasted suits and red shirts to the way Revels threw his whole body into acting out "Rocky Raccoon" to their encore, as the group brought women onstage to sit next to them as they serenaded the ladies with a bouncy rendition of Joe Tex's "I Want to Do (Everything for You)."
PERSUASIONS WORSHOP AT OLD TOWN SCHOOL OF FOLK MUSIC
"Dave and the group shared an intimate presentation of the genius that
goes into their art. They made everyone feel important and we all left
the session inspired and elated"
Jimmy Tomasello - Guitar Program Director, Old Town School of Folk Music
“If you want to experience rich, effortless instinctive harmony doo-wop style, displayed with matter-of-fact humility and gentle humor, take a workshop from the Persuasions.” Barb Silverman
Being in the same room with the legendary Persuasions was a thrill. They generously shared their expertise, their methodology, and their irrepressible love for what they do. Very highly recommended for both professional singers as well as the rest of the world who, like the Persuasions, lift up their voices for the sheer delight of doing so.
The Center For The Arts in Natick
“The Persuasions were joyous, entertaining, and touched the hearts of our audience in ways that reminded us why we love presenting live music. I can’t remember a show where the audience sang as loud, laughed as hard and simply enjoyed themselves as deeply as the ninety minutes they spent with “Sweet Joe” Russell and the guys. Thanks again and be sure to put us on the list for next year.”
- David Lavalley, Executive Director
- The Center for Arts in Natick