The Wailers: Reggae Legends at The Canyon
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Reggae music has never stopped evolving, but for millions of people around the world it’s still defined by the songs of Bob Marley and The Wailers. Together with Marley, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends like Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, the Wailers have completed innumerable other tours, playing to an estimated 24 million people across the globe.
The band’s nucleus formed in 1969, when Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh recruited the Barrett brothers – bassist Aston “Family Man” and drummer Carleton – from Lee Perry’s Upsetters to play on hits such as “Lively Up Yourself,” “Trenchtown Rock,” “Duppy Conqueror,” and many more. Wailer and Tosh left in 1971, and at that point the in-demand Barrett brothers – whose rhythms also underpinned innumerable ‘70s reggae hits by other acts – assumed the title of Wailers and backed Marley on the group’s international breakthrough album, Natty Dread (1974). Under Family Man’s musical leadership, the band then partnered with Bob Marley to produce the succession of hit singles and albums that made him a global icon, the winner of several Lifetime Achievement awards, and Jamaica’s best-loved musical superstar.
These days, the Wailers boast Koolant Brown, another one of Jamaica’s hottest singers, as their new front man. As enthusiastic audiences have already discovered, Brown brings his own personal expression to Marley’s songs, revitalizing them for young and old alike. Yet there’s a great deal more to the Wailers than reliving the past. Brown sings lead vocals on the band’s two latest tracks – one a future lovers’ rock classic called “Shining Star,” and the other a heartfelt appeal, titled “A Step for Mankind” and made on behalf of the World Food Programme. With these and other outstanding new tracks, the Wailers have succeeded in turning a fresh page, and led by their charismatic new singer, they’re ready to make history once more.