It IS Love

By Hilary Scott

COLUMBIA, Mo 03/08/15 (Review) -- Very few musical acts can claim to be THE iconic group of an entire genre. 

But The Wailers and reggae are nearly synonymous after the group's forty years of touring as the most successful reggae band in history.  

Coming to The Blue Note March 10, their current tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of the album Legend -- and Bob Marley's 70th birthday.

Legend -- #46 on Rolling Stone Magazine‘s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time -- is also the best selling reggae album of all time, with over 30 million copies sold worldwide.

Its re-release topped Billboard’s Top 5 in the Fall of 2014.

Though Marley died at age 36 in 1981, the sound of reggae roots rock defined by Bob Marley and The Wailers continues to have far-reaching influence and strong social import today.

The Wailers Perform "Is This Love"

The Wailers' current line-up includes:   Aston "Family Man" Barrett on bass; Aston Barrett, Jr. on organ; Anthony "Benbow" Creary handling drums;  lead guitar Audley "Chizzy" Chisholm; vocals by Cegeee Victory, Dwayne "Danglin" Anglin, and Joshua David (who also plays rhythm guitar with Melvin "Ras Mel" Glover).  Keyboardist Keith Sterling rounds out the group.

I had a chance to ask The Wailers about their legacy -- and their future.  Dwayne Anglin responded for the band.

Hilary Scott (HS):  Although much has changed in the world in the thirty years since Legend was first released, the social issues that reggae music -- and Bob Marley and The Wailers most notably -- have tackled are still relevant.  What message(s) do you feel resonate most with today's listeners?

Dwayne Anglin (DA):   It's always been about "Positive Vibrations".  Reggae music represents the struggling man: oppressed and denied the right to live as God intended.  Since its creation, not much has changed.  Therefore, those who best relate to the struggle will typically gravitate to reggae music;  specifically, Legend, which is the most successful reggae album of all time.

HS:  YOU are the legends now.  As an iconic reggae band that has performed with many other living legends over the years, can you describe a favorite performance memory or two?

DA:  Aston "Family Man" Barrett is the legend in today's Wailers.  His legacy is the selling point of our shows.  All others, including myself, are his "supporting cast", so to speak.  As for my favorite memory, the 35th anniversary of Bob Marley's performance at the Apollo on November 29, 2014.  I got to perform with my favorite singers Miss Lauryn Hill and Maxi Priest.

HS:  Are there a few special memories of Bob Marley you can share with readers?

DA:  From the stories Family Man has told me, Bob Marley was a relentless worker and a disciplined musician, who gave his all to his music and the movement of Jah people.

Ed. Note:  Jah is a Rastafari word for God heard in many reggae songs. Bob Marley sings "We'll share the same room, for Jah provide the bread" on "Is this Love"

Watch The Wailers at The Blue Note in Columbia performing "Is This Love".  After carrying a message of peace, love and equality to all corners of the world for more than 40 years, everyone should be ready to give back some of that love and energy.

Tuesday, March 10th at The Blue Note.  With the Austin Kolb Band.

Doors at 7:00. $20.  Click for tickets and additional info

-- Singer/songwriter Hilary Scott Gennaro (better known as Hilary Scott) is drawing raves for Freight Train Love, her latest album.  

"Scott has a sharp pen, a smoking voice and more soul than a white girl sounding like a white girl should have," writes Midwest Record editor/publisher Chris Spector.