Billboard (September 11, 1971)

Talent In Action:

The Persuasions/Leo Kottke
Bitter End, New York

      The Persuasions, an a cappella soul group on Capitol Records, came home after a six- month stint on the West Coast.  And the group couldn't have had a warmer welcome then [sic] what they received here.

      The Persuasions are a dynamic group who rely on their voices and performing skills to add glitter to their act.  The usual amplified razzle-dazzle is missing from this act, but no one seems to notice.  Giving a little of the old and a little of the new, they opened with a wide-open version of "Swanee" and worked non-stop through oldies like "Sincerely," "Mister Earl" and "I Only Have Eyes For You."

      Topping off their act, The Persuasions added their own style of "Pieces," "Cloud 9" and a show-stopping version of "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother" and "You've Got a Friend." Some may question the group's potential on records where even super electronic sounds begin to sound bland.  But given the right exposure, The Persuasions should have no trouble.

      Also on the bill was Capitol's Leo Kottke with a contrastingly low-key performance. Displaying the versatility of his music, Kottke worked his way through such varied numbers as "Tennessee Toad," "8 Miles High" and a Bach cantata.

      He creates a "homey" atmosphere with his tuning stories of Oklahoma and Vanilla Gulch which sets the mood for his performances of "Like a Stone Out of Water" and "June Bug."  And although Kottke appeared to be slightly nervous, his amazing, fast finger- picking style carried him past any worries about his performance.   -- Darrell Leo

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