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.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

This Week in Health: Lesbians, men most likely…

Lesbians, men most likely to achieve orgasm Location: U.S. Study subjects: 2,850 people Results: Whether you find it shocking or not, a new study reports that…

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.