Eric Zarycki and the persuasion’s On the Night, released Nov. 2, is a 12-track debut based on a four-year journey from the North to the South, and everything that happened along the way. Namely, it’s Zarycki’s journey from Detroit to Nashville, and the Persuasion is the conglomerate of local bands Hammertorch (Zarycki on vocals, guitar and organ, Jason Yeary on keys and backing vocals, Jared Forrester on bass and backing vocals and Steve Daly on pedal steel, baritone and guitar) and All We Seabees (Justin Fox on drums and Katie Gifford with backing vocals), as well as Jason Robinson, also from Detroit, on guitar.
Eric Zarycki and the Persuasion formed in 2009, but have spent a long time with On the Night, recording the album from March to August of this year at Bomb Shelter Studios in Nashville and producing the album themselves with Forrester mixing and mastering. Songwriter Zarycki moved south in 2008, however, so On the Night is really a product of the past four years. And as a journeyman’s Americana album, it’s pretty solid.
Including two bonus demos of “Concrete Jungle” and “Take Good Care of Yourself,” On the Night is 14 tracks of easygoing Americana anthems in the style of The Band, Wilco-esque sing-alongs and folky lullabies not unlike Hank Williams. Gifford’s vocals add a sweet touch here and there, especially on “The Other Side,” distinct, country rock riffs are served up Cardinals style, and pedal steel and organ chime in when you want them to. Hints of the band’s travels shine through like on the mellow but rollicking “Riverside Drive” (“Oh man, it’s time for you to learn something new”) or “Something’s Bound to Happen” (“Something calls me quietly/morning, noon and night.” All concrete stuff, but I recommend the sleepier tracks and steel-heavy, old-time numbers “Take Good Care of Yourself,” “Good Is What It Is” and “Mariner’s Dream.” It sounds like the Persuasion is well adjusted to the South.
Eric Zarycki and the Persuasion will celebrate their album release with a show Dec. 8 at Mad Donna’s at 1313 Woodland Street, Nashville.