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  • Might As Well: Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead
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Might As Well: Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead Import

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Amazon's The Persuasions Store


Image of album by The Persuasions


Image of The Persuasions


Last January, we got an email from a singer/songwriter from Canada, Elena Yeung. She said she had a song she would really love to have us record with her. Initially, she wanted us to sing background on it, wasn't really sure what direction to take it as to whether to record it with a band. After listening to the idea we felt the song's melody and lyrics conveyed a powerful message that ... Read more in Amazon's The Persuasions Store

Visit Amazon's The Persuasions Store
for 25 albums, photos, discussions, and more.

Product details

1. Here Comes Sunshine
2. Might As Well
3. Lazy River Road
4. Loose Lucy
5. Ripple
6. Brokedown Palace
7. Liberty
8. Sugaree
9. Ship Of Fools
10. He's Gone
11. It Must Have Been The Roses
12. One More Saturday Night
13. Bertha
14. I Bid You Goodnight
15. Black Muddy River

Product Description


The Persuasions are the last of the old-school doo-wop groups (they started kind of late), and the most adventurous--their last album was a set of Frank Zappa covers. Even so, this disc of close-harmony Grateful Dead tunes sounds like a stretch, but it's really an outgrowth of their lovely "Black Muddy River" from last year's Stolen Roses compilation, reprised here. The mood is festive if reverent; lots of vocal and instrumental guests show up, including the younger a cappella quartet Mary Schmary and Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick. Robert Hunter's lyrics sometimes shift between musical idioms a little awkwardly, but the group delivers them with palpable sincerity and love, and digs for the R&B roots of the Dead's roses. And when the Persuasions glom onto the right song, they run with it: "Lazy River Road" a late-model song on which bassman Jimmy Hayes does his "human sub-woofer" routine, is a treat, and so is their foray into bluegrass (with Jerry Garcia's old collaborator Peter Rowan), "Sugaree". --Douglas Wolk

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 22 reviews
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Might As Well? Heck, you Need to! 12 Oct. 2000
By Margo Esquandolas - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Absolutely moves your soul, this CD. The Persuasions' unbelievable singing talent really showcases the song-writing talent of the Grateful Dead -- not only serious lyrical prowess, but musical structure and the rest of the music writing package. The classic saying was "The Grateful Dead aren't the best at what they do, they're the only ones to do what they do!" The Persuasions, however, do the one thing the Grateful Dead never did do all that well -- they can really sing! For deadheads, the Dead sang "well enough" and the rest was nothing short of pure magic. But the Persuasions' reinterpretation of this wide range of Grateful Dead classics is nothing short of a different kind of magic -- downright spiritual in feeling, with a full spectrum of "sounds" from do-wop to sort of a 50s thing to a swing-low sound to a tad rockin' feel. Mary Schmary's vocals add a nice balance to the guys in the Persuasions.
Title cut of Might As Well really bops and weaves. Lazy River Road lulls while it tugs at your heartstrings. Probably the least-mellow Ripple I've ever heard. Liberty is a song that I finally "gave a chance" with this album, and it has a lot to say really, plus sounds fun. He's Gone was even actually fun, which is quite a thing to do to that song. Roses is simply beautiful. There's even a little friendly ribbing of Bobby on One More Sat. Nite. Bid You Goodnight is a tad fast, but uplifting that way. Black Muddy River is just a classic closer. This is a must have for every Deadhead's collection, and a great thing to share with those who "never got it."
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
What next? 20 Oct. 2000
By Bingo Lingo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Recently sang the praises of The Persuasions' "Frankly A Cappella" tribute to Zappa, which I just discovered. (A fall-down funny, foot-stomping masterpiece!) Turned around and found these a cappella guys had made a sharp 180 and done the Grateful Dead. (God, what would Frank say?) It seems the group kicked back and just sang with their hearts on this one. The songs are mostly soft and pretty. The bass guy, Jimmy, sings "Ship of Fools" with the Grateful Dead keyboard player on piano, and it's a show-stopper. The notes say that Jerry Garcia wished someone would come along and sing the band's songs better. I think he got his wish. The harmonies are soulful and Jerry Lawson is at the top of his game. I think people who don't particularly like the Dead will be surprised---I mean,"Black Muddy River" and "Lazy River Road" really put a tear in the old eye. And "It Must Have Been The Roses" must be as sweet a tune as anyone has sung in many a year. These are some heavy lyrics and gorgeous melodies. What are they gonna sing next? Jimi?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 7 Jun. 2001
By Brooks Williams - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit that I thought the whole concept was a little strange and perhaps a bit hokey, but after I slipped this disc in for the first time I understood completely. There have been a whole slew of Grateful Dead tribute albums in the last few years -- each unique and of varying degrees of quality. The David Gan's produced album, "Stolen Roses" had a rather ecclectic group of artists trying their hand at Grateful Dead tunes -- and while most of these attempts fall short (some of them are downright poor), the Persuasions's "Black Muddy River" is amazing. Apparently, it was this song that ( rightfully) got the Persuasions their own album of Grateful Dead tunes.
David Gans and Robert Hunter helped create a list of over 30 songs they thought the Persuasions should record. Of these 30, 15 were released. The songs span the entire career of the Grateful Dead. From "Lazy River Road" to "Here Comes Sunshine", the Persuasions give excellent performances and really capture the soul of the Grateful Dead. "Ship of Fools" features the groups bass, Jimmy Hayes, singing solo, accompanied by former Dead keyboardist, Vince Welnick. "Brokedown Palace" features Peter Rowan (Old And In The Way) trading verses with Jerry Lawson and "One More Saturday Night" features the amazing mouth-drumming of Andrew Chaikin.
This treatment of Dead songs brings the tunes away from the jams, away from Garcia's wavery voice and away from most of the instrumentation that we all know and leave only the bare song. The naked genius of the Garcia/Hunter tunes almost overpowering and the Persuasions attack them with blinding soul. It's respectful look at the amazing work of the Grateful Dead.
In my opinion, it's the best of the Grateful Dead Tribute albums (although Dedicated is a close second) and it maintains a sense of continuity since the Persuasions do the whole album instead of a whole mess of artists.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
A "Must Have" For Dead Fans 10 Oct. 2000
By Kevin Heller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The Persuasions, a group of soulful black singers, take some of the songs of the Grateful Dead and perform them with no musical instruments. The concept is interesting; the final product is fantastic! The album is, to quote from the Grateful Dead Hour, "a truly spiritual experience." It's tough to pick a favorite; from "It Must Have Been the Roses" to "Black Muddy River", The Persuasions do the Dead proud. If you liked the Dead's occasional "And We Bid You Goodnight" sans instruments, you will LOVE this CD.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Behold! Great American Folk Songs! 29 Oct. 2000
By Jack LeDouche - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Never believed that the Grateful Dead were singing anything substantial? Just a lot of trippy "Truckin'" type stuff? Listen to this CD and be amazed. Be very amazed. Here are, as with "Brokedown Palace," "Black Muddy River," "Ripple," songs as big and humbling as the Great Plains, as melodically riveting as Stephen Foster's tunes, as soulful as Mahalia Jackson. No kidding! Don't like a cappella music? Think it's a lot of cute harmonizing? Listen to this CD and be amazed. Be very amazed. After thirty seconds of listening to "Might as Well," or "He's Gone" or the beatific "Lazy River Road," you forget there's no band. The Persuasions, who have always been something special, have done something very special here.
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