|volume 4 * issue 4 * February 2000|
THE 'REAL' ALL-STAR BOB MARLEY TRIBUTE -On January 20th, we finally had the privilege of seeing The Wailers Band live in concert. The reggae packed evening at the Fox Theatre in Boulder, Colorado featured Lion of Judah out of the Northwestern United States, opening the night. Lion of Judah was led by bassist/vocalist Cannon and gave a nice roots sound. They were followed by the rodeo-reggae sounds of the Reggae Cowboys out of Toronto, Canada. The Reggae Cowboys combine western themes surrounded by a reggae core and on songs like "Cowboy Riddim," "We ah Come Down," "Searchin' for the Outlaw," and "Rock Steady Rodeo," they prove that their unique sound is not a fad but rather they are a very talented group of musicians.
After nearly two hours, The Wailers Band took the stage and featured Aston "Familyman" Barrett on bass, Earl "Wya" Lindo on organ, Ian Burrell on keyboard, Al Anderson on guitar, Gary "Nesta" Pine on lead vocals, Vin Gordon on trombone, Glen DaCosta on tenor saxophone and Marcia Griffiths on harmony vocals. The caliber of talent on this stage, which included six members who originally performed with Bob Marley & The Wailers, made this the real "Bob Marley All-Star Tribute." We came into the show a little apprehensive about hearing an entire show of Bob Marley covers, by a band who has nothing but tremendous talents. However, by the end of the show we were absolutely amazed and our opinions changed!
As The Wailers Band slowly walked onto the stage to begin the show, they immediately went into two incredible Familyman penned instrumentals "Cobra Style" and "Well Pleased." If you have never heard these songs on the recent Heartbeat Records' Familyman productions disc, "Cobra Style: Productions from The Wailers' Musical Director," do yourself a favor and go out and do so! Simply outstanding musicianship from the entire band! Marcia Griffiths then appeared from the side along with two young female harmony vocalists, and performed beautiful renditions of "I Shall Sing," "Dreamland," "I Wanna Be Closer," and "Fire Burning." Marcia then moved from the lead mic over to the two harmony singers and out came Gary "Nesta" Pine to showcase his vocal abilities.
They began with a medley of "Bend Down Low" and "Kaya" and continued with songs like "Lively Up Yourself," "Rat Race," "Pimpers Paradise," "Stir It Up," and "Heathen," among others. The tightly-knit band blessed the crowd with solos from Al Anderson, Vin Gordon and Glen DaCosta throughout the night. Rather than simply doing verbatim covers of every song, Nesta Pine added in his own vocals on "Be Wise" which followed "Heathen."
crowd was packed to the limit with at least 500 people in attendance.
The Wailers Band concluded with a lengthy encore consisting of "Buffalo
Soldier," "No Woman No Cry," and "Exodus/Punky Reggae Party." Seeing on
stage the reggae legends like the stoic Earl Lindo and his magical
fingers on the electronic organ to Al Anderson's brilliant guitar
stylings, Vin Gordon's upbeat bone playing complete with a ska-like
monkey dance, Glen DaCosta's smooth and silky tenor sax, and Familyman
Barrett's unbeatable bass virtuosity, combined with the many other
talented singers and players, made this show one not soon forgotten.
Check out the "2000 tour" section for upcoming Wailers Band
dates, hopefully in your area, and you will be able to not only hear
some classic music but see the people who originally helped to make
this music. The Wailers Band can easily be defined as living legends
who do not get the credit they so justly deserve. Big respect to The
Wailers Band for continuing one arm of the larger Wailers' legacy.
MUSIC FROM THE MILLENNIUM -Just in time for the new millennium, comes a new 12-song CD from The Millennium band entitled "Enter At Your Own Risk" on New Millennium Records. The Millennium is a project of Rich Demaio, based out of California who was once a radio disc jockey and also an actor in film and television. The band's rationale for doing this album was to "write some songs about the millennium and the future," as Rich Demaio puts it. What is really amazing about the album is the quality of musicians who perform, and also the fact that it was recorded at the legendary Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston, Jamaica.
The album combines elements of reggae, ska, calypso, rockabilly, jazz, blues, and rock 'n' roll, so there is at least something here for nearly every type of musical taste. If that's not enough, how about a run-down of some of the musicians on the album; Winston "Bo Pee" Bowen on guitar who has worked with nearly every reggae act around, including Bunny Wailer; then there is Dean Fraser on saxophone who is also one of the hardest working men in reggae; Michael Fletcher on bass; Rolando "Phanso" Wilson on drums who is a member of Dean Fraser's 809 Band, and Rich Demaio on vocals, piano, percussion and melodica, as well as writing the songs and co-producing the album, among many other talented players. Last but not least is the great Lester Chambers on harmonica and background vocals. Lester is best known as one of the members of the soul rock band The Chambers Brothers, who you might know as recording "Time Has Come Today."
The eclectic blend of music on "Enter At Your Own Risk" ensures that there is something here to suit everyone's tastes. "There Goes The Neighborhood" is a fitting opening to the CD, suggesting that we all have to take care of the human race no matter what, or who, may come in the future. This song features a floating sax line by Dean Fraser and unique scat vocals by Lester Chambers. The blending of Rich Demaio's voice with the sax and harmony vocals make this reggae-esque tune an impressively catchy one. "Fear" blends a little rockabilly with a touch of ska together with Lester Chambers' harmonica and tells that people should, "Get back into living / Think of all the giving you can do." This positive message is just a sampling of the upful music on this energetic and conscious disc. "Mr. CIA" tells of a mysterious CIA agent beckoning images from classic spy movies and once again features the bouncing sax of Dean Fraser. "Me Now Wa" is reggae at its very core with the presence of the melodica adding to the song's mellowness. If we had to choose just one song from this album as our absolute favorite, this would be the one, as its message and music are right on.
"Tumble Down" is a toe-tapper from the start from the laid back rhythm to the creeping vocals exposing the faults of televangelists who take money and only give false hope in return. The Millennium are experts at combining the appropriate music to the crucial message at hand, which is something that is desperately needed in much of today's music. This is only a scratch on the surface for The Millennium's terrific album and we're sure that if you enjoy top-notch musicianship combined with integral lyrics, then "Enter At Your Own Risk" is something you have to purchase for yourself. To do so, visit their website at www.newmillenniumcd.com or call toll-free 1-800-791-4100. On the site, you can also get more information about the band, lyrics to the songs, sound clips and much more!
Here's the complete tracklisting for The Millennium's "Enter At Your Own Risk":
1. There Goes The Neighborhood 2. Fear 3. Mr. CIA 4. AWOL On The Holodeck 5. Fate Loves The Fearless 6. Me No Wa 7. Slip Away 8. Tumble Down 9. Old 45's 10. Meltdown 11. The Enemy 12. Speed Of Light
In the near future, also look for Rich Demaio's other band, Steppin' Irie, who will release their first CD on Warning Track Records soon.
'KHWESI'S "ONE BRIGHT DAY" -The Wailers' influence on other bands should come as no surprise, so if a roots reggae band based out of Indiana cites Bob Marley and Peter Tosh as some of its inspirations, this isn't anything out of the ordinary. However, the band 'Khwesi is anything but ordinary! The 14-song debut CD from 'Khwesi, entitled "One Bright Day" shows that reggae is strong in nearly every state in the union as well as around the world. 'Khwesi features Chris Mzumara doing nearly everything but playing the saxophone and also includes a few special guest musicians at times. The entire CD is strong in both its lyrics and rhythms which are pure roots reggae with hints of dub interspersed throughout.
If Jamaican reggae is underrated then American based reggae is even more so, but with bands like 'Khwesi and others, this should not be the case. The title track and opening song "One Bright Day" looks to the future for a better existence. The guitar solo within is reminiscent of Junior Marvin, who is also one of 'Khwesi's influences. This song is both catchy and also puts forth a message of hope. The saxophone played by the talented Rick Deja compliments the song greatly. The conscious message songs like "Unity," "Children Want," and "False Prophets" all tell of what our world is lacking in -- unity, freedom and truth. The lyricism throughout the entire album is further enhanced by 'Khwesi's outstanding musicianship. "Great M" is a fresh roots instrumental that further showcases the album's talents.
"Rise Up" and "Thank You Jah" give even more proof that not only is American based reggae a force to be reckoned with, but groups like 'Khwesi put their heart and soul into their music and this devotion shines brightly through in the work. These two songs suggest a hint of Peter Tosh's influence and broadcast the message of Rastafari. For an album to standout amongst the rest, it should move the listener both physically and intellectually. 'Khwesi's "One Bright Day" does just this and offers great riddims, positive messages and all-around crucial songs and we could not recommend it enough to any true roots reggae fan.
Here's the tracklisting for 'Khwesi's "One Bright Day":
1. One Bright Day 2. Unity 3. Children Want 4. False Prophets 5. In Dis Garden 6. Great M 7. African Children 8. Rise Up 9. Give Thanx 10. African Lion 11. Time Has Come 12. Thank You Jah 13. Na Give Up 14. Crisis
order your very own copy of this disc, give a visit to 'Khwesi's
website. 'Khwesi has tour dates planned for the upcoming year and will
be playing as the Deep Roots Band, so keep watching their site for all
the latest news about the band including lyrics, and more information.
CELEBRATION TIME -February 6th would have marked Bob Marley's 55th earthday, but while not physically here, his music and inspiration lives on stronger each and everyday. As with every year around this time, there are numerous celebrations and tributes in honor of Bob Marley occurring around the United States and the world as well. We've tried to list as many celebrations as we could find in the "2000 tour" section and most likely there is something close to you.
Of special interest are celebrations taking place in Florida, which will host two major Bob Marley tributes. The first is the "7th Annual Bob Marley One Love Caribbean Music Festival" and will take place on February 12th at Bicentennial Park in Downtown Miami, featuring the likes of the Marley family (including Cedella Marley Booker and Richie Marley Booker), Lauryn Hill and many others. For more information check out the official Bob Marley Movement of Jah People website.
The second Florida tribute will be held at the Bob Marley Restaurant at the Universal Studios Citywalk in Orlando, Florida on February 26th & 27th. Artists scheduled to appear include Ky-mani Marley, Inner Circle, Third World, Wayne Wonder, Richie Marley Booker, Mad Cobra and others over the two-day celebration. For more information on this event travel over to the Citywalk webpage.
There are also the large celebrations in California and Washington, D.C., so if you can try to attend and if not you can always pay tribute by simply playing a few songs.
Many accolades are still pouring in regarding Bob Marley and the dawn of the new millennium. Besides "Exodus" being named as Time magazine's album of the century, the cable music channel VH1, has named Bob Marley & The Wailers' "No Woman No Cry" as one of its "100 Greatest Songs of Rock & Roll." The song came in at number 97 and the songs were chosen by musicians and music executives.
BURNIN' LOVE IN 2000 -We were just informed of some exciting news regarding Junior Marvin. Thanks to Joey Shaling, guitarist and vocalist in Junior Marvin's "Roots, Rock, Blues and Dance" band, who let us know that Junior Marvin will be making a special guest appearance live on stage with Steel Pulse on February 6th at Nation in Washington, D.C. For those of you who will be able to attend this, it should not be missed. If you do happen to see the show, e-mail us and let us know how it went and we will pass it along to the rest of the readers!
We've also updated the Official Junior Marvin
site and tour dates should be coming soon for the "Burnin' Love Tour
2000" as well. Pay the site a visit to stay on top of all the latest
regarding Junior Marvin.
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HIT ME WITH MUSIC - NEW RELEASES -A brand new CD from The Wailers Band is now available in limited distribution. The disc is actually a live concert, entitled "The Wailers Live In Jamaica" and was recorded on December 31st, 1999 at Couples Negril in Negril, Jamaica. This is a legitimate release produced by Aston "Familyman" Barrett, and not a bootleg. We saw these at the Wailers Band live show we attended, and a few days later in local music stores, so as the band's tour progresses the discs should be more readily available. The disc comes inside of a hemp wallet with the tracklist attached on the back. Here's the tracklist and front side of the wallet:
1. Cobra Style 2. Well Pleased 3. I Shall Sing 4. Dreamland 5. I Want To Be Closer/Fire Burning 6. Bend Down Low/Kaya 7. Lively Up Yourself 8. Heathen/Be Wise 9. War/No More Trouble 10. Buffalo Soldier 11. No Woman No Cry
The line-up contains the same players who you can see touring now, including Marcia Griffiths, Gary "Nesta" Pine, Familyman, Wya, Vin Gordon, Glen DaCosta, and Al Anderson, among others. We have not been able to track down any online sites that offer this special disc, but we will keep our eyes open!
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Wailers Shorts -Ziggy Marley & The Melody Makers will be on February 4th's edition of the PBS network's "Sessions at West 54th" television show. The band initially recorded the show on September 9th, 1999 and the airing will also feature Ben Harper. The program is one hour long and you can find exact date, time and channel for your area on the "Sessions at West 54th" website.
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WailersNet -A brand new Andrew Tosh song is exclusively available for download at www.reggaeblitz.com. The song is entitled "Payday" and is just one of the many exclusive tunes from other reggae artists that you can download in mp3 format absolutely free! The founder of the company, Kevin Nakao, stated in a press release that "Our goal is to give prominent artists, in a variety of genres, a forum to create the music that they want without the commercial constraints of a traditional record contract and in the context of the culture and community of music fans that will appreciate their art." The Andrew Tosh song is fresh and one of the best of his career, so do yourself a favor and go download the song.
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WAILERS SURVEY -The people have spoken (well, at least some of them) and the results from January's Wailers Survey are in. The results to the question "What were YOUR feelings on the TNT 'One Love Bob Marley All-Star Tribute'?" reveal that 47% of those people who voted had mixed feelings regarding the tribute concert and that it was only an average one at best. Here are the rest of the results:
This month's question asks "What are your feelings regarding artists releasing their music via the internet through mp3 (ie. Andrew Tosh's "Payday")?" If you have a Java capable browser you can respond to the question. We will have these results next month as well as an all new question! All responses are anonymous!
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GOT THE NEWS FROM A WHISPERING TREE -Have you joined The Wailers Reporter yet? If not, you've already missed 38 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!