|volume 4 * issue 10 * August 2000|
NEW WAILERS ALBUM SET TO STRIKE -Get ready to put on your dancing shoes! In a matter of days, on August 8th, Heartbeat Records will release a brand new compilation of classic Wailers' songs that the group recorded for Coxson Dodd at his Studio One in the 1960s. The disc, entitled "Climb The Ladder," will feature 17 Wailers gems, several of which have never been released on CD before.
One of the most prized features on the upcoming album is the presence of "Lemon Tree," which previously was only available on an incredibly hard-to-find single. There are plenty more highlights on this album, including songs like "Sunday Morning" with lead vocals by Bunny Wailer, which is a beautiful doo-wop like ballad, and is also a song that not many Wailers' fans may have had the chance to hear before this release. Other songs that have rarely been given attention to, include "Ten Commandments Of Love," a moving cover of The Moonglow's classic, "Climb The Ladder" with Junior Braithwaite on lead vocals, and thankfully the original versions of several songs which had been previously only available as overdubs until this release that is.
The album is the fourth installment in Heartbeat's Wailers/Studio One crucial collections, amounting to nearly 100 total songs with the previous releases being "One Love At Studio One" from 1991, "Destiny: Rare Ska Sides From Studio One" and "Wailers And Friends," both from 1999. Needless to say, all four of these collections are absolutely essential for any Wailers' fan. And of course, Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer are all there, including the late Junior Braithwaite and the underrated and the oft-forgotten Vision Walker as well!
Here is the tracklisting and cover photo for "Climb The Ladder":
Accompanying the music on the album will also be extensive liner notes by Roger Steffens,
so that the stories behind the Wailers' music will be both accurate and
incredibly informative! For you vinyl fans out there, have no fear,
because "Climb The Ladder" is available now on vinyl! We will have a
detailed review of the album next month, but take our word for it, and
be sure to purchase this album! The Wailers at Studio One . . . music
does not get much better than this!
BUNNY WAILER WAILS ALONG -Bunny Wailer recently played concert dates in both Colorado and Florida in late June and early July, and if you missed either of these shows, we have some reviews/feelings from fans about the performances. First up is Bunny's concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado on June 30th, opening up for the String Cheese Incident. This review comes courtesy of Lanny Fields, who was a first time Bunny Wailer concert attendee. The photo at the left is of Bunny live in concert from this show, and comes from the www.FriendsOfCheese.com website, and was taken by Ron Haglind. Many thanks to them!
I'm not as familiar with Bunny Wailer as I am with String Cheese, but I can tell you that I really enjoyed his set. I've only seen one other reggae legend before (Joseph Hill and Culture) but I liked Bunny a lot better. Some of the songs that I recognized included "No Woman No Cry," "Legalize It," "Keep On Moving" and "There Is a Land Far Far Away." His set was about an hour long. He had a huge ensemble with him and he came out wearing a long flowing robe. He had dreads down to his calves. Later he changed into an Evil Knevel style jumpsuit. At one point he sat down and played an extremely large drum. Between songs he "preached" about the mountains, Babylon, Jah Rastafari, etc. I don't really remember exactly what he said, but I remember thinking it was very cool at the time! And the ganja was everywhere.
Finally, is a review of Bunny's show on July 2nd at Club Atlantis, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, courtesy of Bilichloe.
It was a very special reggae weekend in South Florida with a great performance on Sunday, July 2nd by Bunny Wailer and the Solomonic Reggaestra at Club Atlantis in Fort Lauderdale. Many thanks to Jud Schwartz for bringing this legend to a very intimate venue. The show started promptly at 9:30 (apparently the club was booked for a late night rave after the show) and the crowd density was decent, but not great considering who was playing. Bunny looked very fit and his voice was in fine form playing a retrospective of his hits including "Liberation," "Rise and Shine," "Rock n' Groove" plus a tribute to Bob Marley ("Crazy Baldheads," "No Woman No Cry") and Peter Tosh ("Legalize It"). I am fortunate to have seen Bunny twice before -- I thought this show was the best because of the pacing of the show and Bunny seemed more focused on maintaining the energy of the crowd.
you have it! Two brief yet valuable glimpses at Bunny's live talents
and we really appreciate both reviewers' input! Up next for Bunny is a
stop at the annual Reggae On The River festival in California on August
6th, as well as the release of his "Communication" album coming soon.
MUSIC LESSON: PETER TOSH LIVE AT THE ONE LOVE PEACE CONCERT -It is rare that a music release is so perfectly put together that the listener's senses are satisfied aurally, visually, rhythmically, and the listener is also informed, all at the same time. However, this is just the case with the brand new Peter Tosh disc "Live At The One Love Peace Concert" on JAD Records, which demonstrates all of these qualities and more! With this one release, originally recorded on April 22nd, 1978, it becomes like an historical document, preserving one of Peter Tosh's most brilliant concerts of his career, for all time.
The disc, released on July 25th, needs to be in your collection, if you are a true reggae fan. There are so many bright spots that it is tough to know where to begin. Visually, the first thing welcoming the listener is the stunning artwork by Mark Caparosa that could easily be framed and put into a museum. One example is the artwork on the inside cover of the booklet, presenting the original One Love Peace Concert poster behind the two faces of the opposing heads of Jamaican government at the time, Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, both ironically staring at Haile Selassie. There is other tremendous artwork throughout the 16-page booklet, all complimenting the package and music contained on the disc.
The extensive liner notes are also a tremendous addition to the disc. Written by Roger Steffens, the notes give a great depth of background and insight into the Peace Concert itself, Peter's feelings of the concert and Jamaica's leaders, and also quotes from other key players involved, including Jim Lewis who directed Heartland Reggae (a film documenting much of the Peace Concert), and Robbie Shakespeare, Tosh's bassist at the time. These insights are unlike anything before. The reader will gain an immense amount of information through Steffens' writings, aiding in the realization that this concert, and Peter Tosh's performance in particular, were anything but an ordinary event. Accompanying the liner notes are the translations of Peter's lengthy and fiery commentaries throughout his performance. What is truly great about these transcriptions is that both the original Jamaican patois, as spoken by Peter on the night, and also the "standard" English translations are both given, providing the listener the ability to follow exactly what Peter was saying, which is so vital to understanding Peter Tosh.
The music on the disc is equally as important as the other items presented here. Peter Tosh's complete performance is captured on the disc, lasting for well over 60 minutes, with great remastered sound quality. All of the songs on the disc, including "Stepping Razor," "Equal Rights," and "Get Up Stand Up" are presented with immense emotion on Peter's part, where at times it sounds as if he is actually singing his heart out, hoping that listeners will hear his message and understand the truth about the world, and especially about Jamaica. The lineup for Peter's performance provides a who's who in the reggae world, with names like Sly Dunbar on drums, Robbie Shakespeare on bass, Al Anderson on guitar, Robbie Lynn on keyboards, Keith Sterling on keyboards, and Mikey Chung on guitar. The musicianship here offers the solidest of backings, and helps to cement Peter's message for all time.
Accompanying the songs are of course the legendary livatribes spoken by Peter, denouncing the Jamaican government, giving truthful history lessons, discussing class struggles, and of course referring to the decriminalization of marijuana, among many other topics. His messages are just as important now, as they were so many years ago, and it is through these sermons that will both enlighten and teach. It is also clear from listening to these commentaries that at times Peter is actually taunting the heads of government, especially Michael Manley and Edward Seaga, who in fact were both in attendance. His entire performance and the many caustic ideas he brought forward, would eventually lead to Peter Tosh being severely beaten a few months later. As Roger Steffens so eloquently writes in the liner notes to the disc, "Tosh's brazen bluster that brave night in Kingston's National Stadium will never be forgotten. Tosh didn't just talk the talk, he suffered the consequences thereof."
What you get on this disc, comes around very rarely. A lesson in history, politics (politricks), the ways of the world, all from the mouth and heart of Peter Tosh. From the artwork, the liner notes, the music, and the speeches, this disc offers so much that after one reading and one listen, you will gain a degree in Peter Tosh 101. His philosophies, his actions, and his messages, direct to you the student! Thankfully a release like Peter Tosh "Live At The One Love Peace Concert" does come around every once and a while, and is waiting for you to uncover and enlighten yourself with. Simply stated, you will have to pick this album up for yourself to experience all of its many brilliant shining spots!
final note, according to Roger Steffens, the album's project producer
and booklet writer, who told us of a printing error in the liner notes,
where "there is a transposition of names and affiliations that should
have been corrected before the booklet went to press, to wit: Bucky
Marshall was PNP enforcer and Claudie Massop worked for the JLP." The
error will be corrected in the second printing of the booklet.
A RHYTHM DOCTOR INJECTION -We are really impressed with a recently released album from a classic California rocksteady and reggae group called the Rhythm Doctors. The album, "Reggae Injection" offers the listener a chance to experience not only classic Jamaican sounds, but also fresh reggae and dub, by an incredibly talented group of musicians. This is the Rhythm Doctor's debut album and was released earlier this year on TKO Records (TKO Round 34) and if you are a fan of classic Jamaican music then you will definitely enjoy this album.
There are little to no vocals, with the exception of some spoken interludes, but the instrumentation of the group is in top form. The sounds of a Hammond organ take over lead duties and are reminiscent of early Lee Perry's Upsetters and Jackie Mittoo material. Listening through the album again and again, it is a little hard to comprehend that this material is not from the 1960s, but in fact made by a modern group. This is not to say that their music is merely a copy of old sounds, but in fact, offers a fresh and original blending of old and new.
The album features 12 grooving tracks:
The album starts off with a short spoken introduction and shoots right into a heavy rocksteady song, pushed along by the organ, played by Mark Quan. The accompaniment of the guitar on "Mark's Mood" compliments Quan's organ perfectly, and at times it sounds as if there is actually numerous organ players, when in fact there is only one. There are probably quite a few descriptive words that are fitting for this album, but one that keeps reoccurring is "flowing," because the album and the band keep right on moving and the rhythm is constantly moving. Throughout the album, there are several references to the infamous murder trial that took place a few years ago in California with an ex-football player/actor, who shall remain nameless, in songs like "Johnny Cochran" and "Judge Ito."
The lead guitarist for the Rhythm Doctors, Jesse Wagner, is the featured member on the appropriately named "Jesse's Song," one of the album's many highlights. The band is in top form on this song, as they are throughout the entire album. The loungy feel on a song like "Evening Mood (On Bond St.)" contains a reworking of an early Ernest Ranglin song, demonstrating the band's ability to cover the legends and still sound just as great and original. Another one of our favorite songs on the album would have to be "66-40" with its catchy rhythm that could easily stand up against nearly any Jamaican instrumental classic. This song and many others on the album will have you humming to the melodic rhythms.
The Rhythm Doctors also have a prescription for all of your dub needs as well. Songs like "Temple Of The Dragon" with its deep percussive elements and "Mad Dog In The Fog" will cure any of your dub needs. There is a hidden dub track on the album as well with a hint of Lee Perry influence and proves that the Rhythm Doctors are just as lethal in doing dub as they are doing rocksteady or reggae. After hearing the album, it is no wonder why Prince Buster, one of the father's of ska, would choose the Rhythm Doctors to back him at his first U.S. show in over 30 years at the annual Sierra Nevada World Music Festival, which took place in June of 2000.
Rhythm Doctors' "Reggae Injection" is just that, an authentic dose of
Jamaican rhythms, put forth by an incredibly talented band. This disc
is absolutely essential if you call yourself a fan of Jamaican music,
and will have you dancing and grooving. For more information about the
Rhythm Doctors, you can visit either their official website, or the TKO Records
website. If you are interested in purchasing the disc and cannot find
it at your local store, online sites offer it for sale. There is also a
vinyl version of the album as well.
Do yourself a favor and take the Rhythm Doctors' medicine.
JUNIOR MARVIN LIVE IN WASHINGTON -If you were not able to attend the free concert, headlined by Junior Marvin, on June 30th in Washington, D.C., do not worry, because luckily reggaeman Toby Gohn did attend and graciously sent a review of the show. What follows are his comments and feelings about the show, many thanks to him for passing it on.
I just finished a long, tough day in the office rat race. I needed some relaxation. Free music? No problem. I headed to DC's Carter Barron Amphitheater for their "Reggae Night" on the beautiful evening of Friday, June 30, for a show featuring DKGB, Jah Works and Bob Marley's old rock-induced spar, Junior Marvin.
Only thing was, when my friend Ericka and I arrived at the gate, we were turned away. You don't really think about having to get tickets for a free show, but the place had "sold out," all the tickets already being accounted for. So we headed back to the car, trying to figure what our next move would be. But some things are meant to be. As we settled into the car seats and were about to back out of our space, a car pulled into the parking spot directly in front of us, and we made quick eye contact with both people in it. The guy in the passenger seat waved at us, stepped out and asked if we needed tickets. "Well, yeah, we do." "I have two extras, if you want them," he said. It's the little things that make life so sweet.
We entered the place, bought them each a beer and settled in for some reggae sounds. Because of the lateness of our entrance, we missed just about the entire set for DKGB. I've caught them on numerous occasions, and was a little upset at not being able to check them. Next up, however, was Baltimore's own Jah Works. These guys always have a well put together show. A cross section of tunes, from Dobby Dobson and Gregory Isaacs covers to faster R&B tinged cuts. And lead singer Scott is always a trip with his girl taunting and herb praises. And, of course, I got to hear my Jah Works tune, "One Loving Night," so all was good.
Junior Marvin then took the stage as the sun dropped behind the trees and filled the place with a nyabinghi and roots reggae fusion. After heading The Wailers for over 15 years following Bob's untimely death, his new group is called Roots Rock. It consisted on this night of Georges Kouao, Darryl Burke and the Strykers Posse's own Ichelle Cole on keys, Jah Lion Williams on guitar (who did a fine job of keeping up with Junior on screeching solos), reggae vet Val Douglas on bass, and the program said the drummer was to be Anastas Hackett, but I recognized him as Keith Brown, a very able bredren I first met during my college days. And, as a most pleasant surprise, Junior also brought along 4 hand drummers to round out the sound. One of whom was Brother Jack, who played with the Wailers in Bob's day, being featured on the Survival and Confrontation albums.
Numerous Wailers tunes were performed, with Junior prancing around the stage with a refreshing exuberance I fully expected to see. Junior also did a nice job, in my opinion, of dubbing out most songs, calling for "Drum and Bass!" on just about every track. "Rastaman Chant," "Jammin," "Heathen" are just a few of the old favorites put forward, with a very low key rendition of "No Woman No Cry" supplying the climax to the evening, urging the crowd to sing along with the lyrics we all know and love.
Getting to see Junior Marvin in most situations is a great pleasure. But when placed in a great venue on a beautiful evening with superb opening bands, all of which cost me no more than two happily purchased beers for two smiling strangers, little can beat it.
WE NEED YOUR HELP! -We were recently posed a question regarding the authorship of a particular song, but after some research we were unable to find a solution. Eli Farias (firstname.lastname@example.org) sent us an e-mail about a 45 record he has in his collection on the Carl's Records label out of Brooklyn, New York from the 1980s. The two songs have hand written titles and the name "Bob Morley" in ink, and the songs are written as "Roll River Jordan" and "More Action." The Itals had a song in the '80s called "Roll River Jordan," but this label credits "Bob Morley,"
Eli sent us a sound clip of "More Action," which has some similarities to Bob Marley, in terms of vocal stylings, but to us, it is not Bob Marley, yet some believe that the song is in fact Bob Marley. However, we have uploaded the clip to The Wailers News site, so that you can listen to it, and hopefully tell us and Eli who the artist is. You can listen to the song >>HERE<< and is in mp3 format. A picture of the "More Action" side of the single is at the left, as further information.
As far as the lyrics go, some of them include, "They're trying to use political strategy / Oh no they can't stop us no way, we've got all the energy / They cry love, but they ain't got no love within, no / Their hearts is so dirty, so they live in sin." This song has a very deep message and is a truly great song, making it be a shame not to find it's rightful author!
you are asking what will you receive if you answer this riddle, well,
we can only offer our thanks, but if you do solve the question, we will
post your name and the answer next month. If you have an answer to this
pressing question please e-mail either Eli Farias or The Wailers News. Let the answer be found, and thanks to anyone who can help!
STEPHEN MARLEY MEETS BUNNY WAILER -It seems seems strange that Bunny Wailer and the Marley children have not collaborated before, but in fact it was only just recently that a session between these two sides took place. According to the Jamaica Gleaner who recently ran an article on Stephen Marley as a producer, Bunny Wailer had a track produced by Stephen Marley. The article does not mention the song's title or any possibly release, but does give some feelings that Stephen said of Bunny, "We and Bunny Wailer nice man. We love him so much."
To call this news exciting is an understatement! Stephen Marley has been busy producing music for other artists including his brothers, Julian and Damian, on both of their forthcoming albums. The article mentions the name of Julian Marley's album as "Systems" which is due out later this summer, and Damian's still untitled album due out later this year.
You can read the entire article, entitled "Stephen Marley - The Producer" at the Jamaica Gleaner website. It is definitely worth a visit and will catch you up on the latest happenings with some of the younger Marley crew.
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NEW RELEASES -On the recently released companion album to MTV's "The Real World" television show, entitled "The Real World - New Orleans," none other than Peter Tosh's "Glass House" song is among the featured tunes. The songs were chosen by the show's seven cast members and "Glass House" seems to be an appropriate choice for a show where the daily happenings of the cast member's lives are watched and scrutinized. The disc is out now on Hollywood Records and also includes music by the Ohio Players, The ReBirth Brass Band, and many others. You can find out more information about "The Real World - New Orleans" by visiting MTV's website devoted to the show.
You can read our examination of the film by following the "Catch A Fire DVD" link in the menu options at the left. The documentary is directed by Jeremy Marre, and includes interviews and performances by Bunny Wailer, Aston "Familyman" Barrett, among many others, and needless to say should be an item in your collection! It should be available at most online music stores, or better video stores near you.
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WAILERS SHORTS -Thanks to Wailersologist Matthew Smith, for informing us that on the cable music network VH1, a multi-part special entitled the "100 Greatest Rock & Roll Moments On TV," features a segment of Bob Marley & The Wailers' 1975 performance from The Manhattan Transfer Show. The performance was ranked at number 46 on the list and also included an interview with Rita Marley. The Beatles' performance on "The Ed Sullivan Show" from 1964 came in at number one. You can check for airtimes on the www.vh1.com website.
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JUST A PASSING GLANCE -This section of the news page entitled "Just A Passing Glance" is a place to document the frequent appearances of Wailers related themes in the outside world, whether it be short mentions here and there on a TV show, or songs in movies or commercials. If you have any items along these lines and would like to share them with other Wailers fans, please pass them along and we will post them along with credit to you in this section!
First up, as we were watching the horror/comedy movie Lake Placid from 1999, and as the movie drew to a close and the credits began to roll, Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Is This Love" was played. The film, directed by Steve Miner, tells the story of the hunt for a man-eating alligator, and if you watch the movie you will realize that the song fits into the love-themed storyline nicely.
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WailersNet -You can view three short video segments of Andrew Tosh on the Centro Recording's website, featuring Tosh scat-rehearsing in the studio. The FREE clips are each roughly 10 seconds in length and are in the QuickTime format. They offer a rare glimpse of Tosh live in the studio, and are well worth the download. You can also find videos for other reggae and non-reggae artists, including Eek-A-Mouse and Big Mountain on the Centro Recording site as well. Click >>HERE<< to visit the Andrew Tosh link on the site! Below are some snapshots from the videos!
The site also includes never-before-seen photographs of Bob Marley & The Wailers'
performance in Kaiserlautern, Germany in 1980. You can also order
prints of these photos on the site for $30 a piece. There is much more
to see so be sure to visit www.melodymakers.de!
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WAILERS SURVEY -The results are in for July's Wailers Survey, asking Would you buy and wear officially licensed Bob Marley brand footwear? In total, 343 responses were given and the results reveal that 46% of those people who voted, 161 people in all, said they would buy and wear Bob Marley brand footwear. 135 respondents or 39% of the total, said they would not wear the shoes, while 13%, or a total of 47 people, were not sure exactly where they stood on the question.
Here are the complete results for July's poll:
This month's question deals with the mp3 music format controversy and especially the Napster service. Also, given the fact that Bob Marley's sales are up, possibly due to this very service, we thought it would be interesting to ask, "Do you think services like Napster hurt the artists?" If you have comments about this question, please leave them when you answer the question. We will have these results next month as well as an all new question! All responses are anonymous and thanks for taking the time!
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GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE -Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed over 50 e-mailings, packed full with reggae news, new reggae web pages, tour dates, and much more! But it's never too late to join, so fill in your name and e-mail address below to become one of an irie list of people! It's 100% free, and we won't give/sell/trade your name to anyone else!
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