The Wailers will be in Nevada City Wednesday for one of only two Northern California performances, in a concert presented by Miners Foundry Cultural Center. Together with Bob Marley, the Wailers have more than 250 million albums and have played to an estimated 24 million people across the globe. On the 30th anniversary of its release in 1984, The Wailers will perform the iconic album “Legend” in its entirety.
Named by Time Magazine as the “Best Album of the 20th Century” and #46 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, “Legend” is also the best-selling reggae album of all time, with more than 30 million copies sold worldwide.
Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts such as Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear.
They have collaborated with contemporary artists such as Kenny Chesney, Eve, Jason Mraz and Colbie Caillat. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, they have release nine albums including five live albums.
Their nucleus formed in 1969, when Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh recruited the Barrett brothers - bassist Aston “Family Man” and drummer Carly - from Lee Perry’s Upsetters to play on hits such as “Lively Up Yourself”, “Trenchtown Rock”, “Duppy Conqueror”, and many more.
Inspired by Rastafari and their ambitions of reaching an international audience, this is the line-up that pioneered roots rock reggae, and signed to Island Records in 1971. Bunny and Peter left two years later. It was at this point that the in-demand Barrett brothers - whose rhythms also underpinned innumerable ‘70s reggae hits by other acts - assumed the title of Wailers, and backed Marley on the group’s international breakthrough album, Natty Dread. Under Family Man’s musical leadership, they then partnered Bob Marley on the succession of hit singles and albums that made him a global icon, winner of several Lifetime Achievement awards, and Jamaica’s best-loved musical superstar. Drummer Carlton “Carlie” Barrett died in 1987, leaving his brother as the main beneficiary of the Wailers’ mantle.
The current lineup includes the veteran keyboardist Keith Sterling, a veteran of ‘70s studio greats, the Soul Syndicate, as well as Peter Tosh’s Word Sound and Power band. He is so respected by his colleagues in The Wailers that they call him “Coach.” Fams’ young son, Aston Jr., a multi-talented musician, plays organ and is the heir apparent, helping bring the music forward to a new generation. Filling the role of lead singer is a highly disciplined young Jamaican star on the rise, Dwayne Anglin, known as Danglin. “Drummie Zeb” excels on percussion. He is a founding member of Chicago’s Awareness Art Ensemble, and has toured with Kenny Chesney. Lead and rhythm guitar and backing vocals are handled expertly by Audley “Chizzy” Chisholm. Backing vocals are also supplied by the Trinidadian Cegee Victory.
Tickets for the 9 p.m. Wednesday show are $25 in advance, $30 at the door and are available online at www.minersfoundry.org, by phone or in person at the Miners Foundry, and in person at BriarPatch Co-Op.