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!
Miami – May 8, 2016 — The weather was perfect, the music was sweet as hundreds of fans flowed through Wynwood Yard for this special Mother’s Day show. The House of Marley, an eco-friendly brand of personal electronics, brought together two Reggae superstars – the genre defying Ky-mani Marley and the hottest new Reggae revivalist, Chronixx.
Wynwood Yard is a slice of Jamaica in the middle of the bustling Miami metropolis. Fab food, merch booths, & bars offering Red Stripe and Guinness surrounded the gravelly yard, while the stage was planted firmly on the NW 29 St. side. I would only request next time that the stage be a foot or two higher so the crowd in the back could actually see the show. Front stage was tightly packed with fans of all ages, shades, and cultures eager to sing and dance along with the eagerly awaited performers.
Ky-mani brought his hottah Konfrontation band, featuring two female singers who were simply entertaining to watch. Ky-mani kicked off with his father’s “Who the Cap Fit” and “Concrete Jungle,” which got the crowd fired up. He talked to the crowd and wished all the mother’s dem a happy mother’s day, which delivered a roar from all the women there. He turned out a super-energetic performance while delivering songs off his latest album, Maestro. Fans sang along with “Keepers of the Light” and “Love Over All” while Ky-mani danced and twirled around the very small stage.
Following “Iron Lion Zion,” Ky-mani was joined by the Marley Next Generation — that would be Jo Mersa, Skip Marley, Yohan Marley, and more — for an extended version of “One Love,” where each grandson had an opportunity to show off their growing stage prowess. The crowd loved it!
A slight set change gave some the chance to circulate, eat some authentic Jamaican cuisine, buy some Ites-green-& gold merch from the Kulcha Shok booth, while others – those stage front – were not leaving, they were waiting for the man of the hour, Chronixx.
Stepping on stage with his talented Zincfence band, Chronixx greeted fans with closed eyes and a raised hand to give praises to the Most High HIM Haile Selassie I. The roots have branches and Chronixx is at the top of the tree. Steve Coore, son of Third World’s Cat Coore, proved that the “fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree” with his exemplary guitar playing. Just think of every song you’ve heard on the radio, and Chronixx performed it, from “Ghetto People” to “Here Comes Trouble.” His style is a mix of roots-Marley style, dancehall, and a bit of R&B.
A real treat came in the middle of his set when he brought out Kabaka Pyramid for a surprise performance. Although not quite as energetic as the seasoned Ky-mani, Chronixx connects with his audience at times with closed eyes or an almost trance-like gaze. And then he smiles, and the crowd is in the palm of his hand.
It was a roots rockin’ night in the Yard. Generations of fans came together for the same reason – to have a good time listening and dancing to the best in Reggae music today. Epic show, fi real, and we have to give thanks to House of Marley and host Kulcha Shok for bringing this Get Together to our own backyard.
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Give thanks for your continuing support! One Love!