Wailers spreading the ‘word’ | AspenTimes.com

Wailers spreading the ‘word’

Joel Stonington
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Though Bob Marley is no longer with them, the Wailers continue to carry the message to the people. A number of Marley’s original musicians, such as bassist Aston “Familyman” Barrett and guitarist Al Anderson, still tour – and play classic hits such as “No Woman, No Cry,” “War,” “Stir It Up” and “I Shot the Sheriff.”Tonight and Monday, they will play at the Belly Up.Gary “Nesta” Pine, the Wailers’ lead singer for the past eight years, got his musical start playing washboards and tin pans because his family couldn’t afford real instruments. In fact, his first instrument was the comb, “I just put a piece of paper over a comb and blow it,” said the Jamaica native.These days, Pine travels the world, Wailers singing lead and playing guitar for the band. “I know a few chords,” he said, “and a lot of vibrations.”The Belly Up’s small stage promises to be crowded when the Wailers come out; about a dozen people comprise the band.”We just make sure that we bring the message to the people – the word and the music,” said Pine. “We just relax and play music. We like everything, we like the whole world, we love everything.”Pine looks a bit like Marley, with high cheekbones and a narrow frame. And his voice is remarkably similar to Marley’s. To him, the music and the message are timeless, and he is happy to be bringing the ideas to audience after audience. And while contemporary reggae doesn’t hold the same level of social and political commentary as in Marley’s time, Pine believes the messages will get through eventually. It helps having someone like Barrett continue on with the band, Pine said. Familyman is co-founder and bass player for the Wailers and a dominant force in reggae as a whole. Joel Stonington’s e-mail address is jstonington@aspentimes.com

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