"Forty-eight hours till the Wailers will be there in Fort Lauderdale! Tell the people to get ready to sing all the hits... 'One Love,' 'No Woman, No Cry.' Jah Rastafari!" You heard the man. That's Aston "Family Man" Barrett announcing that the Wailers will be playing Revolution in Fort Lauderdale. Tonight.
County Grind had the chance to chat with the reggae legend for a few minutes after the band finished its Jacksonville soundcheck. Barrett speaks with a thick Jamaican accent, and his voice is as deep as the grooves that pump from his bass guitar, so most of the words he uttered were not understood. However, his spirit was heard loud and clear, and he's excited to come play for us! Yes!
Barrett has been around for a while and has soaked up some of the most legendary of the "rastaman vibrations." He was once the bass player for Lee "Scratch" Perry's studio band the Upsetters, the Wailers Band, and later Bob Marley and the Wailers. He now helps carry the torch in the current incarnation of the Wailers (not to be confused with the Original Wailers). Though none of the founding members are in the group -- Marley and Tosh are deceased, and Bunny Wailer tours on his own -- Barret insists that the Wailers are going strong. "Bob is gone, Peter is gone, Bunny is gone, but we're still going strong." He is enthusiastic about bringing Wailers music to the people -- "[Bob Marley and I] were partners. This is my life" -- so fans should be enthusiastic about getting down with the old man and his peeps.
Although fans can expect to hear mostly classics at the show, they can check out a new track from the Wailers called "A Step for Mankind" here. It was the first new song from the group in 16 years and was written to benefit the World Food Programme's efforts to help fight world hunger.
The Wailers, with Duane Stephenson. 8 p.m. Wednesday, September 29, at Revolution Live, 200 W. Broward Blvd., Fort Lauderdale. Tickets cost $28.10. Click here.