Reunite After 10 Years, Tour 5 States in 5 Days
By M. Peggy Quattro – July 28, 2016
Wailers’ captain Aston “Familyman” Barrett and guitar legend Al Anderson teamed up in July to tour five cities, in five states, in five days. Following nearly 10 years of performing separately, the two Wailers’ came together for a memorable tour in the Northeast. The talent-filled band included musicians Aston Barrett Jr. on drums, lead singer Josh David Barrett, guitarist and singer Chet Samuel, bassist Omar Lopez, and Dane “Tazz” Cole on keyboards and vocals.
The Wailers Reunited tour kicked off July 20 inside the popular House of Independents, Asbury Park, NJ. Local bands Scoundrel and Random Test warmed up the crowd, setting an Irie vibe for the Wailers performance. As bassist Familyman walked on stage, a roar of appreciation and delight from fans of all ages and colors filled the packed house. Surprising even the veteran Wailer, this was a reoccurring theme at every show to follow.
After beginning with “I Shot the Sheriff” and “Stir It Up,” singer Josh Barrett welcomed the crowd with a warm Rasta greeting. The crowd was all in as he danced and spun his long locks, addressing the massive between songs, and spreading the message of One Love. “Three Little Birds,” “Wake Up and Live,” and “Hypocrites” followed, each song burning with Al’s scorching guitar leads and Familyman’s booming bass. Aston Jr., a fan and student of his Uncle Carlton “Carly” Barrett, brought the original one-drop drumming style that characterizes The Wailers sound. Singer Chet Samuel offered Reggae classics from Dennis Brown and Jacob Miller, as well as adding some Dancehall niceness.
The set rocked on with “Running Away,” “Crazy Baldhead,” “Buffalo Soldier,” “Rastaman Vibration,” “Heathen,” “Could You Be Loved,” and perennial fan favorites “Jammin’” and “Get Up Stand Up.” Familyman brought out bassist Omar Lopez who aptly finished the show with “Redemption Song” and “Exodus.”
The Wailers tour received an enthusiastic welcome at Washington, DC’s Howard Theater the next evening, before rolling into NYC for a highly anticipated show at B.B. King’s Times Square Bar & Grill on July 22. The response was enthusiastic as the band was tight and Al and Familyman were in sync. Josh was singing and dancing with fervor, greeting the room filled with his hometown smiling, skanking fans, spreading Rasta One Love vibes. Adding to the authenticity of this Wailers Reunited performance was the addition of original Wailers engineer Dennis Thompson for a one-time appearance mixing the sound.
The journey continued onto Rams Head Live in Baltimore, MD on Sat., July 23, and concluded at a near sold out show at the historical National Theater in Richmond, VA on Sun. the 24th. The Wailers tour reminded the world why they remain one of the greatest, and most covered, bands on the planet. Aston Barrett Jr. sums it up by defining the Wailers as “an international sound that has no category.” Watch for The Wailers band, led by founder father Aston “Familyman” Barrett, coming to a venue near you soon!