A lot of memories will return when The Wailers perform at the Barre Opera House on Friday, Oct. 7 at 8 p.m. as part of the Celebration Series. Many Americans and people from other countries first heard reggae music thanks to the original band, which Bob Marley founded.
Many of us bought clothing that was tie-dyed in vibrant colours, some of us braided our hair in the "rasta" style, and we smoked a lot of "spleefs" while listening to the music. But time moves on, and the majority of the clothes are worn-out rags. Many of us also don't have much hair to braid, even though marijuana smokes will be legal in Vermont on the day of the event.
But many pleasant memories will return with The Wailers. Few bands may truly be considered legends. One of the few, The Wailers, has firmly earned its position in significant musical history. Bob Marley, the most well-known and significant musician in reggae, created the group in the 1960s. Their music defined culture back then and it continues to do so today.
During Wailers shows, the group performs a unique set that includes songs from Marley's extensive back catalogue in addition to a few of their best classic hits. The band is fronted by Aston Barrett Jr., the grandson of The Wailers' original drummer, Carlton "Carly" Barrett, and the iconic bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett.
The Wailers' first studio album in 25 years, "One World," was released in late 2020. It was nominated for a 2021 Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album. According to Spill Magazine, "The Wailers are inseparable from Bob Marley, of course, but the band has always been about creative musicians, having an outlet for their own music-making as well as a means of support."
The Wailers' powerful song "One World, One Prayer," which focuses on inclusivity, togetherness, and love despite cultural differences, was released as the album's lead single in late 2020. "One World, One Prayer," produced and written by Emilio Estefan, combines Jamaican reggae music with urban Latin music. Along with Marley's daughter Cedella Marley and her son Skip Marley, the song also includes Farruko and Jamaican singer Shaggy.
Here's a little introduction of reggae in case you're not familiar with it: In the late 1960s, Jamaicans with African descent created the musical style known as reggae. Reggae bands use musical idioms from a wide range of genres, such as rhythm and blues, mento (a Jamaican folk form), ska, rocksteady, calypso, and American soul music. The genre has succeeded as a dance music genre thanks to its pulsating percussion, hypnotic bass lines, and steady, up-stroke rhythm guitar (dubbed the "skank beat").
Reggae, a distinctive genre of Jamaican music, has a long history in Jamaica and is intimately associated with the Rastafarian religion and social movement. Many reggae singers still follow Rastafarianism today. Reggae music shares similarities with other genres of popular music that emerged in the late 1960s, such as American folk rock, in that its singers frequently sing about Rastafari spiritual concepts or social justice. The socially aware lyrics of reggae have gone on to influence other musical genres, such as hip-hop.
Reggae got its moniker from Toots and the Maytals' 1968 song "Do the Reggay." The Beltones' "No More Heartaches," Desmond Dekker's "Israelites," Larry Marshall's "Nanny Goat," Lee "Scratch" Perry's "People Funny Boy," and other songs helped make reggae a prominent genre of Jamaican popular music that same year.
Bob Marley & The Wailers, arguably the most well-known reggae band, were founded in 1963 and were initially recognised for their ska and dance hall successes, influenced by modern bands like The Skatalites. However, as reggae gained popularity, singer-songwriter Marley, guitarist Peter Tosh, drummer Bunny Wailer, and bass guitarist Aston Barrett embraced the style and created a number of top-charting albums like "Burnin'" (1973) and "Exodus" (1977).
Aston Barrett and Junior Marvin served as the band's leaders when Bob Marley passed away in 1981. Barrett started The Wailers Band in 1989, releasing the album "I.D.," and continued to work with various musicians under the name of The Wailers.
Marvin joined Al Anderson, another ex-Wailer, in The Original Wailers in 2008; he left the group in 2011.
The Wailers Band began their global "Legend Tour" in 2014 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the publication of "Legend," the best-selling reggae album of all time, which was published in 1984.
Aston "Family Man" Barrett launched The Wailers Reunited in 2015 to bring together former members of The Wailers. South American performances featured former band members Barrett, Al Anderson, and Tyrone Downie. This lineup featured the Wailers, who were performing in India for the first time.
Barrett's group issued the album "One World," which was ascribed to The Wailers, on August 21, 2020.