• Knockin’ on Bob’s Door showcases The Persuasions’ highly individual a cappella takes on Dylan’s classic 60s and 70s songs all deeply ingrained into the collective memory of generations of music lovers. The Persuasions’ inimitable gospel-driven sound is intact, with Jimmy Hayes and Joe Russell from the original 1962 line-up on this recording.
mmy Hayes and Joe Russell from the original 1962 line-up on this recording.
• Founded in 1962 in Brooklyn, The Persuasions have been New York’s and America’s leading A Cappella vocal group for many decades. After their special guest role on the ZOHO’s recent “TRIBUTE TO J J CALE Vol 1 The Vocal Sessions”, Knockin’ on Bob’s Door features the band’s unique take on 14 of the classic 1960s songs by Bob Dylan.
• Following their unique tradition of recording successful tribute albums to major Rock icons since the year 2000 (The Grateful Dead, Frank Zappa, The Beatles, U2), The Persuasions, by repeated audience requests, had set their sights on Dylan’s most famous songs from the 1960s all of them deeply ingrained into the collective memory of generations of music lovers around the world.
• The Persuasions’ inimitable sound is intact, with two group members Jimmy Hayes (bass) and Joe Russell (second tenor) from their original 1962 line-up still with the band, and on this recording. Raymond Sanders (first tenor) has been member of the Persuasions since 1996. Bernard "BJ" Jones, a past member, has appeared on several Persuasions recordings. Latest arrival in 2003 was Dave Revels, taking over as lead tenor and as artistic director and arranger for the group.
• Frequent live appearances of The Persuasions, particularly in New York’s B B King’s Club on 42nd Street and Times Square.
CD Liner Notes :
The Persuasions are one of the unique sounds in American popular music in the second half of the 20th century and beyond. Their blended five-part harmonies are respectfully looking back to the tradition of the great gospel groups such as the Golden Gate Quartet, and the Blind Boys of Alabama. But they also have been hugely influential to the Motown group sound of the Temptations, Four Tops, Boys II Men and many others, all the way to newer R & B a cappella groups such as Take 6 and Rockapella.
Astonishingly, the group will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2012 which is nothing less than a miracle in today’s fast-changing, instantly downloadable world. The Persuasions’ inimitable sound is intact, and two group members Jimmy Hayes (bass) and Joe Russell (second tenor) from their original 1962 line-up are still with the band, and on this recording. Third member is Raymond Sanders (first tenor), member of the Persuasions since 1996. Bernard "BJ" Jones has been a past member of the group who has appeared on several Persuasions recordings. Latest arrival in 2003 was Dave Revels, taking over as lead tenor and as artistic director and arranger for the group. This recording also features guest vocals by Cliff Dawson on several tracks.
Of their back catalog of dozens of LP and CD releases over the last 40-plus years, many of them are now regrettably out of print. During their last several releases in the past ten years, the Persuasions have developed a distinctive style of “Tribute” recordings. Each of these projects translates the songs of one of the great, iconic Classic Rock songwriters or bands into the Persuasions’ own-gospel driven, characteristic a cappella style. Beginning with the hugely successful “Might as Well- Tribute to the Grateful Dead” in 2000, several other tributes followed to The Beatles, U 2, and astonishingly Frank Zappa!
Following several years of no new recording activity, the band’s return to the studio began auspiciously in 2009 when the Persuasions graciously agreed to contribute two songs to ZOHO’s multi-artist TRIBUTE TO J J CALE project. Intentionally slightly cast “against character”, the group managed to infuse an emotional depth and gospel-like intensity to songs by an artist who is primarily known for his bluesy, laconic, laid-back and rootsy style.
KNOCKIN’ ON BOB’S DOOR thus continues the band’s impressive series of Tribute recordings, as the Persuasions’ first full-length CD project for ZOHO. Given an entire universe of great songwriters to choose from, the songs of Bob Dylan were an immediate and obvious choice for both band and label. We decided to concentrate the repertoire selection to Dylan’s most famous songs from the 1960s all of them deeply ingrained into the collective memory of generations of music lovers around the world.
As on all of the Persuasions’ Tribute records, it is absolutely fascinating to hear how the musical worlds of (in this case) Bob Dylan and The Persuasions creatively collide- in most cases with the songs reduced to their bare harmonic and melodic essentials, of course without the electric guitars, harmonicas, keyboards and drums which one might have thought essential in any new versions of these classic songs.
The opening track Mr Tambourine Man a huge Billboard # 1 hit for The Byrds in 1965, then an album track on Dylan’s “Bringing It All Back Home” LP of the same year lets the Persuasions shine with their crisp, tight harmonies, reveling in the surrealistic imagery of the lyrics.