Music News

The Wailers

As the backing band for Bob Marley during the years that the great man wrote the music that catapulted him to international fame, the Wailers may not have been direct contributors to the reggae giant's vision of a better world, but they certainly created the sound that made that vision so appealing and accessible. After Marley's death, in 1981, the band ultimately came to be led by bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett, who still leads the Wailers today. Barrett, a pioneer of reggae bass playing, was also a member of Lee "Scratch" Perry's house band, the Upsetters. Rather than depend solely on the material they wrote during their time playing with Marley, the Wailers have put out numerous albums over the past thirty years and continue to tour and remind people that reggae is not just a commodity.

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Tom Murphy is a writer, visual artist and musician from Aurora, Colorado. He was a prolific music writer for Westword and a documenter of the Denver music scene.