Barenaked Ladies have been making music and touring together for almost thirty years. After 15 studio albums and thousands of live shows, Ed Robertson, Jim Creeggan, Tyler Stewart, and myself, Kevin Hearn still love what we do and continue to grow together creatively.
The Persuasions, whom many consider to be the Kings of A cappella music, were founded in 1962 and are still going strong, with original members Jimmy Hayes and Jayotis Washington, plus Dave Revels, Samuel White, Raymond Sanders and Cliff Dawson.
I have always loved the powerful sound of voices singing together and in 2001, I was given Frankly A cappella: The Persuasions Sing The Songs of Frank Zappa. I loved it, and sought out more of their work. From 2007 to 2013, I had the honor of working with Lou Reed, who had taken The Persuasions on tour with him several times over the years. It was in December 2013, at Lou’s memorial service where both myself and The Persuasions met for the first time.
In June 2016, we invited The Persuasions to join us for two songs at our Summerstage show in New York City’s Central Park. We chose to sing Four Seconds and Sound Of Your Voice since there are so many harmonies that we knew The Persuasions would sink their teeth into. It was a magical day full of backstage sing-alongs and trading of stories, followed by a wonderful collaboration in the show that night.
The Central Park show was such fun that we all wanted to do more, so I asked producer Gavin Brown about the possibility of the two groups recording together at Noble Street Studios in Toronto. Coincidentally, Gavin was working on a new online subscription video series that could showcase our collaboration. It worked out perfectly and now we have this great live recording plus a beautifully shot video of this rare and wonderful occasion from SESSIONS X.All of us in BNL and The Persuasions knew this was a rare and special occasion, and we seized the day. I hope you can hear and feel this from the joyful sound on the record. It was truly harmonious.