Backstage with The Wailers
Sometimes you have a summer that is unbelievable. This summer, I made friends with The Wailers and caught up with them in Houston, Lafayette, New York, San Francisco and Virginia Beach. This legendary band is fittingly led by a living legend: Aston “Family Man” Barrett. Bass guitar player, Family Man played along side Bob Marley starting in the 1960’s, wrote and produced with Bob and guides the band to carry on the spirit of Bob Marley and The Wailers. The band also includes drummer “Drummie Zeb,” who has toured with the band for 14 years of his 30 year drumming career. He has played with artists from Parliament Funkadelic to Kenny Chesney to Bob Dylan. Drummie and Family Man recently wrote the lyrics for “Spread the Love,” which they performed with Kenny Chesney on his country-reggae Life on a Rock album. Keith Sterling, keyboard player, played with legend Peter Tosh in the 1970’s and forward. Family Man’s son Aston Barrett Jr, plays organ for the band and bass guitar at times–you can see Fams and Jr Fams switch instruments throughout the show, which is a testament to their love of music and family ties. The front line is composed of guitar player, “Chizzy”; lead singer, “Danglin” and backing vocals by “Cegee.” This group comes together to bring out some of the most healing music that has ever been written. Nearly every night they bring Bob Marley’s music back to life to sold out crowds of thousands of fans. And they are fantastic people.