(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The legendary reggae group The Wailers – led by founding bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett – bring their patented Jamaican riddims to the Colonial Theatre on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, at 7:30pm. Best known for their groundbreaking work with the late Bob Marley, the Wailers – who have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear – will perform songs from Bob Marley’s greatest hits album, “Legend,” released 30 years ago, 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 over 30 million copies sold worldwide. It includes such Marley standards as “No Woman, No Cry,” “Is This Love,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” and “Redemption Songs.”
The nucleus of the Wailers 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 such era-defining reggae classics as “Lively Up Yourself,” “Trenchtown Rock,” “Get Up, Stand Up,” “Simmer Down,” and many others. Inspired by Rastafari, this is the lineup that pioneered roots-rock reggae and signed to Chris Blackwell’s Island Records in 1971.
Bunny Wailer and Peter Tosh left two years later; it was at this point that the in-demand Barrett brothers – whose rhythms also underpinned innumerable 1970s reggae hits by other acts – assumed the title of the Wailers, and backed Marley on the international breakthrough album, “Natty Dread.” Under Family Man’s musical leadership, they then partnered with 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. Together with Marley, the Wailers sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide.
Drummer Carlton “Carlie” Barrett died in 1987, leaving his brother as heir to the Wailers’ mantle. Subsequent lineups have revolved around Family Man, who is widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest reggae bass players. Modest and unassuming, he was present on all of those unforgettable performances by Bob Marley & the Wailers from the 1970s. Family Man continues to be the main axis of the current Wailers – a group that’s one of the last, great reggae institutions.
Tickets to The Wailers are on sale now for $30-$50. Contact the Colonial Ticket Office at 111 South Street, Pittsfield by calling 413-997-4444. Tickets can also be bought online at www.berkshiretheatregroup.org. The Ticket Office is open Monday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturdays 10am-2pm or on any performance day from 10am until curtain.