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First Play Live: Barenaked Ladies and the Persuasions
By
Reuben Maan

Published

April 25, 2017

Genre

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The collaboration between Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions is unexpectedly infectious, filled with the pure love of music. The project originated when Kevin Hearn met the Persuasions backstage at a Lou Reed's memorial concert. Being an a cappella group, The Persuasions love of singing is totally contagious and hearing them practice their six person harmonies, it's impossible not to be drawn in. These guys literally live to sing - and after entrancing Kevin Hearn, he was compelled to introduce the harmonic masters to the rest of the Ladies, and the project was born.

Barenaked Ladies have a new studio album planned for the fall, so this side project was not the priority. But after the Ladies and the Persuasions joined each other onstage for a couple of concerts, they planned a two-day studio session — which turned out to be one of the most fun things the Ladies have ever done.

Priorities be damned: the 10 musicians married their voices on 15 songs and released an album on April 14, called Ladies and Gentlemen: Barenaked Ladies and The Persuasions.

The good times continued backstage at the CBC Music studios, where the Persuasions worked out a six-part harmonic version of "Happy Birthday" for Barenaked Ladies keyboardist Kevin Hearn's father. The harmonizing never stopped — and probably still hasn't, wherever the guys are at the moment.

You can find the studio version of the new album here, and watch four videos from our First Play Live session below.  

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First Play Live: Passenger, Young as the Morning, Old as the Sea

Ron MacLean on Anne Murray, July Talk and, of course, hockey

First Play Live: The New Pornographers, Whiteout Conditions