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

Sprint and T-Mobile offer further price discounts

Sprint unveiled a plan on Thursday that gives subscribers access to unlimited data for $60 a month, the industry's cheapest unlimited data offering.

National

Hundreds pay it forward at Florida Starbucks in…

The spontaneous chain of kindness continued for about 11 hours, totaling 457 transactions by the time it ended.

National

Weather system east of Caribbean could turn into…

An area of low pressure located east of the Caribbean Sea has a 50 percent chance of becoming a tropical depression or storm in the next 48 hours, U.S. forecasters…

National

U.S. hospital to discharge doctor treated with experimental…

An American doctor who contracted Ebola treating victims of the deadly virus in Liberia has recovered and will be discharged on Thursday by the Atlanta hospital that treated him with…

Movies

Review: 'When the Game Stands Tall' is both…

The high school football saga "When the Game Stands Tall" fumbles around for a focus while Jim Caviezel offers the most low-key coach in history.

Movies

Girlfriend in a coma: Chloe Grace Moretz

Chloe Grace Moretz is the best cheerleader "If I Stay" could ask for. As the star of the film adaptation of the successful YA novel…

The Word

The Word: Summer lovin' for Zac Efron and…

Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance between…

The Word

The Word: The Zac Efron-Michelle Rodriguez summer fling…

  Ah, the summer romance. So intense, so fleeting. With Labor Day fast approaching, it should come as little surprise that the incredibly surprising romance…

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…