Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Wailers return to Limerick

THROUGH death, legal battles, 250 million album sales and the acrimony that brings, the surviving member of Bob Marley’s original Wailers group is still touring, continuing to further the legacy of the reggae innovators.
This Thursday night The Wailers return to Limerick following a superb gig earlier in the year, plus a towering performance on the main stage at Electric Picnic in September.
Centred around Aston “Family Man” Barrett - reckoned to be one of the world’s finest bass players - this is the seminal Wailers line-up, not to be confused with other imitations.
Barrett and his deceased brother Carly, along with Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh made up The Wailers, and Barrett is continuing to perpetuate that mantle 40 years later.
Family Man and lead singer Elan Atias form the main axis of the current Wailers line-up, Atias sounding uncannily like Marley when the band visited Dolan’s in February and performed the seminal ‘Exodus’ album in full, Time magazine’s album of the 20th Century.
Atias was recruited in 1997 by former Wailers’ guitarist Al Anderson, who, together with Junior Marvin, also perform as the Wailers, but are described as a “rogue” band by Atias.
“There’s this rogue band that’s been going around saying they’re ‘The Original Wailers’ and they’re basically a cover band (with) guitarists that used to be in the band.
They’re going around saying they’re us, which is pretty funny,” Atias said in a recent interview. While Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh left the band in 1973, Family Man was ever present with Marley up to his death, to the point that he sued Marley's estate a couple of years ago, citing a right to royalties he was promised but never got.
He was unsuccessful in that bid, but together with new heir Atias, is preparing to release a new album under the Wailers title, featuring previously unused recordings by his drummer brother, Carly, discovered after his death.
“Family had a bunch of tapes of drum tracks made by his brother, Carly, before he died, “ said Atias.
“We started all these new tracks from them and then Family would lay down the bass and everybody would do their stuff.
“The whole idea is to bring the tracks to contemporary artists and other big artists from different genres to add their own vibes and write new lyrics to sing on top of this classic, Wailers-sounding material.”
The Wailers play in Dolan's Warehouse this Thursday night, doors 9pm. Support on the night comes from the local Roots Factory crew - get down early, bbq will kick the night off..

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