Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett revisits classic Bob Marley & the Wailers album

Marley and Fams are pictured here live in 1975.

If you think the essence of Bob Marley and the Wailers includes waving a Red Stripe in the air and singing “every little thing is gonna be alright,” along with whatever cover band is playing at your neighborhood bar, you may be surprised by what you hear when you go see the Wailers on their current tour.

Led by founding member Aston “Family Man” Barrett, the Wailers are playing the 1979 album, “Survival,” in its entirety. This is the first time the band has dedicated a tour to one album since Marley’s death in 1981. The 10-song collection starts with the desperate, “So Much Trouble in the World” and only goes into darker, more militant territory that isn’t apparent on the “Legend” compilation that most casual fans begin their Wailers experience with.

So why this album? Why now?

“The crisis that’s happening around the globe right now, it’s reminding us of the ’70s, so we decided to do these songs,” says Family Man.

The 66-year-old Rastaman speaks like his signature way of playing bass. His voice is deep and he takes pauses that end right after you wonder if you’ll hear from him again. Sometimes there are bits that are tricky to decipher through his thick Jamaican patois.

He says that the times leading up to recording the album were dark days.

“Because the studio vibrations were so heavy, I keep away from the studio for about a week or two and then I say, ‘Now I’ve got to break this ice. I’ve got to go in and see what’s happening,’” he says.

Shortly before recording the album, Marley had survived an assassination attempt (which he deals with on the “Survival” song “Ambush in the Night”) and he had fired the band’s longtime manager.

“He was taking cash and not even accounting for it and we get rid of him,” says Family Man.

Family Man says that there was another person that the band wanted to bring in to produce their seventh studio album for a major label, something they had not done since early in their career as a band.

“The only producer that we said we’d love to work with was Quincy Jones,” says Family Man. “But we said if we can’t get Quincy Jones to produce it, we produce it ourselves.”

The band ended up producing it themselves.

What’s in a name

Family Man originally got his nickname because he was like another leader of the band. Marley was known as the Captain, and Barrett held down the low-end. But he grew into his nickname over the years in a different way.

“I was blessed with 23 daughters and 18 sons, 23 grand and two great grands,” he reports.


Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.


Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.


OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…


Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."


Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."


'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…


Deron Williams leads Nets over Raptors in Game…

The Nets traveled to a raucous Air Canada Centre but came out with an important Game 1 victory over the Raptors.


Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.


Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.


Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…


VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.


#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.


Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.


Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.