The Wailers Bring Vintage Reggae to Colonial Theater

The Wailers

The Wailers

(PITTSFIELD, Mass.) – The legendary reggae group The Wailersled by founding bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett – bring their patented Jamaican riddims to the Colonial Theater on Sunday, February 14, at 8pm. Best known for their groundbreaking work with the late Bob Marley, the Wailers 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. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, the Wailers have played to an estimated 24 million people across the globe.

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 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.





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