News ŠThe Wailers News
volume 3 * issue 5 * march 1999

this month's features: 
wailing news * new releases * wailers net 
tour dates * the wailers reporter * back issues

 Last month we reported about two new albums due out this month on Heartbeat Records, with songs produced by Aston "Familyman" Barrett. Well, both discs are now out in stores and the details have been cleared up regarding what's on them.

 The first disc is entitled "Cobra Syle: Lost Productions from the Wailers' Musical Director" and features 16 songs, two of these being bonus tracks. The second disc is entitled "Familyman in Dub" and includes 14 dub tracks, several of which are the versions found to the songs on "Cobra Style." Here's the complete tracklisting for both discs:

Cobra Style
"Cobra Style" - Familyman and the Rebel Arms "Back Weh" - Brimstone "We're Gonna Make It" - Jimmy Riley "Eastern Memphis" - Familyman and the Rebel Arms "Guided Missile" - Familyman and the Rebel Arms "Babylon" - Brimstone "Elegant Shape" - Ashantiwah "Distant Drums" - The Wailers Band "Children of the Ghetto (Disco Mix)" - Senya "My Girl" - New Wave and the Rebel Arms "Well Pleased" - Familyman and the Rebel Arms "Woman in Love" - Maria Anderson and the Wailers Band "Work" - Familyman and the Rebel Arms "Natural Woman (Disco Mix)" - Senya BONUS TRACKS "Cobra Style" (Disco Mix) "Well Pleased" (Disco Mix)
Familyman In Dub
"Cobra Style Dub" "Steppers Rock" "Familyman Skank" "Rebel Am I" "E.T. Special" "Pleasing Dub" "Dubbing Naturally " "Dub Combination" "Pickney Dub" "A Distant Dub" "Tribute To Y Mas Gan" "Elegant Dub" "Iron Rock" "Dub Maker" ===========================

 First off, the "Cobra Style" disc contains several different combinations of bands, all centering around Familyman on bass. The songs "Back Weh", "Babylon" and "My Girl" all feature Brinsley Forde on lead vocals, who later went on to form Aswad. As the revealing and in-depth liner notes detail, Familyman utilized one of the first-ever drum machines, called "The Rhythm King", which is heard on tracks like "Guided Missle" and "Work."

 This disc collects many previously rare singles as well, such as "Distant Drums", which was recorded around 1974 and features Bob, Bunny and Peter on nyabinghi drums. As the liner notes state, this song also is one of the earliest songs that bassist Robbie Shakespeare (of Sly & Robbie fame) ever recorded on. To round out the disc, are two bonus tracks, both extended mixes of "Cobra Style" and "Well Pleased." The liner notes are written by Roger Steffens and Leroy Jodie Pierson, and also features some rare photos of Familyman, including one in which he's playing the melodica with his famous army helmet on.

 The "Familyman In Dub" companion album to "Cobra Style", has many notable niceties to it as well. There are five previously unreleased dub songs, "Iron Rock", "Familyman Skank", "Dub Combination", "Tribute to Y Mas Gan", "Steppers Rock" and finally "E.T. Special", which Familyman produced for Jamaican radio DJ Errol Thompson. The rest of the songs that make up this CD are dubs to those found on the "Cobra Style" disc.

 Each of the songs on both discs demonstrate the varied influences that Familyman incorporated in his playing style. For instance, songs like "Work", "Steppers Rock", and "E.T. Special" suggest a tinge of Lee Perry's production style and sound, although quite unique at the same time.

 The sound quality is excellent, the design is great, and the music is fantastic. The only drawback we could find for both discs, is that Heartbeat didn't combine them into one 2-CD set, rather than two separate cds. Here's our Familyman ratings system for each of the discs:

Ratings ŠThe Wailers News

 Finally these musical treasures are now out in the open for everyone to hear and experience the genius that is Aston "Familyman" Barrett. These definitely are two discs to own as they feature a side of Familyman that is rarely heard - his fabulous production skills. But don't simply take our word for it! If you're still not sure whether you should pick these discs up, you can hear sound clips from both albums at the Jammin' Reggae Archives. If you can't find either of the discs, you can purchase them both online at CDnow for under $13 each, just click either album cover above that you would like to purchase.

 Thanks to Joshua Blood at Heartbeat Records for sending us info about the discs, before we actually went out and bought them for ourselves!

Guru  For a follow-up to a story that we did nearly two years ago (May 1997), regarding Stephen Marley's solo album, we've pieced together more concrete information regarding the release. The album, entitled "Black Survivors", is a tribute to Bob Marley, being produced by Stephen, and will feature various songs sung by Bob Marley but with newly added duets with some of today's most popular artists.

 Some of the duet songs with Bob on the disc include artists like Guru (from Gang Starr) doing "Johnny Was", Lenny Kravitz on "Roots, Rock, Reggae", Lauryn Hill on "Turn Your Lights Down Low", and The Lost Boys doing "Guiltiness". Other artists will include members of Aerosmith, MC Lyte, Erykah Badu and Outkast.

 The album is slated for release sometime this summer, and due out on Island Records. Many of these artists found on "Black Survivors", also performed at the recent February 13th Bob Marley Caribbean Festival, held in Miami, Florida. This release definitely has the opportunity to be something enjoyable, but we'll have to wait and see to be certain.

Bob Marley Theme Park If you can't make your way to Jamaica to see, among many other things, Bob Marley's house, don't worry because you can now see a replica of it, in of all places, Orlando, Florida. The "Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom" is a new feature to Universal Studio's CityWalk, which recreates themes from various areas of popular culture. Other features to the Bob Marley attraction at the theme park include a mock recording studio, countless photos and other memorabilia and a restaurant, serving, what else but Jamaican cuisine.

 At the restaurant you can enjoy such cutely named foods as a "Trenchtown Rock" (fish chowder) or an "Is This Love" (a coconut cake). After enjoying your food you can listen to live reggae music each and every night in the restaurant.

 To open up the attraction on February 6th, Rita Marley performed alongside Inner Circle, doing a rendition of "One Love." You can find more information about the attraction, including the full menu and upcoming events, at the "Bob Marley - A Tribute to Freedom" official site.

ŠThe Wailers News As you probably have noticed, we've completely redesigned the look of The Wailers News site. We felt it was time for a change, so here it is. We've added some new sections, which aren't up and running at this time, but will eventually be ready, including a "histories" section which will have biographies of (hopefully) all of the members of The Wailers, past and present. Also, there will soon be a "collection guide" section which will direct Wailers fans as to what items to own in order to expand their collections.

 There is also a new search engine (at the bottom of the links window at the left) as well, where you can search the entire Wailers News site for any topic you may be interested in. There is much more planned on the horizon, so watch for these in the future, and please let us know what you think of the new design!

 We've also going to have to close down our "Hallelujah Time" internet radio show. We can't afford the license fees involved with broadcasting over the internet. We only wanted to showcase music that doesn't get the air time it deserves and music that we felt others should go out and purchase as well. We did 11 total episodes of music that we love and we hope you did too! Maybe sometime down the road, we'll have a new radio show, but to all those who supported it by listening to it - many thanks!

Distant Drums - Issue #10 There is finally a new issue of Distant Drums available. After more than a year, issue number 10 is out and features Bob Marley on the cover (see picture at right). Some of the issue's highlights include Roger Steffens' run down of more unreleased Bob Marley & The Wailers tracks, including some rumoured "Natty Dread" outtakes, such as "I Love Music" and "Trinidad, We Don't Like Your Carnival." Also amongst the unreleased songs that Roger writes about, are several Lee Perry tracks, "Foundation", "Pied Piper", "Rough Rough Road" and "Jah Light Shining", all from the late 1970s.

 The issue also includes Peter Tosh's cousin, Pauline Morris, reviewing and giving background information to Tosh's "Honorary Citizen" boxset. The next issue of Distant Drums is due out in June of this year, but look for issue number 10 in better book stores and newstands near you now. If you can't find a copy near you, give Robert Nelson (aka Natty Rebel) an e-mail, and he'll tell you how to order it!

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WailersNet - 
  • Leo Vidigal who publishes the excellent Brazilian "Massive Reggae Magazine", has informed us that they have a new website for the magazine. There are English and Portuguese sections, and included in the English portion is a fascinating look at Bob Marley, Junior Marvin and Jacob Miller's historic 1980 visit to Brazil. It's an excellent story, and a little known one at that. There is more coming to the site, so be sure to check it out!

  • The "Reggae Rhythms" website, done by Dreadmon, now has many live in-concert photos from such artists as Bunny Wailer, Third World and Ziggy Marley. Also on the site, you can find out more information about his radio show and much more. While you're there, learn how to join the Yahoo! Rasta Club Chat, which Dreadmon co-founded, so you can reason with other people from around the world who share in the same interests as you do.

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    Bob Marley Festival - 1999 Redemption Tour (Click here to see the official webpage!)

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