The magic of Bob Marley’s music |

The magic of Bob Marley’s music

Cassie Pence
Special to the Daily Bob Marley's backing band, The Wailers, tours to 8150 today and Saturday.

VAIL – Even 25 years after Bob Marley’s death, his music is relevant, spreading faith and positivity to people around the world. Charlie Winski of Boulder said he would trade in every concert he’s ever seen to experience just one Bob Marley concert.”There is something so peaceful and spiritual about Bob – his voice, his lyrics and his music,” said Winski while in Vail Village last weekend. “I think that if I had the chance to see him live in concert, it would be such a spiritual experience, like no other concert I’ve ever seen before.”That’s a bold statement – especially for music-lover Winski, one of the founder’s of DiscLogic, a music download company – but his remark speaks of the undeniable magic surrounding Bob Marley and the Wailers. The group sang about love and redemption, but many of their songs touched on life in the Jamaican ghetto, freedom for Africans, corrupt government and Rastafarian proverbs, among other subjects about which many Marley fans have no first-hand knowledge. It doesn’t stop the music from transcending world boundaries, class and ethnicity.

“Bob Marley produced messages of positivity, love and hope, blended with danceable rhythms and lyrical hooks,” said Greg Fundis of 56 Hope Road, a Chicago-based band touring to the Sandbar Feb. 7. 56 Hope Road takes its name from the address in Jamaica where Marley once rehearsed, jammed and recorded at Tuff Gong Records. “Marley’s political and religious influence brought people to the music, as well. Beyond Marley’s music simply being great, there is great depth in his words, actions and experience that have had noted influence on generations of people across the globe.” John Vogen of Eagle-Vail said Marley’s lyrics are universal. Even if he hasn’t encountered the same struggles as Marley and the Wailers, he can take the group’s words and relate them to his own life.”It’s feel-good music, no matter who you are and what you’ve experienced in life,” Vogen said.Heba Hamouda, visiting Vail from Chicago last weekend, said the majority of fans listen to Marley because pop culture frames him as an idol. It’s the easy reggae sound and Marley’s notoriety, more so than his lyrics, she said, that attracts the masses.”Marley’s music is inspirational, but I think a lot of people listen to him because he’s a cool guy or they like to get high to his music,” Hamouda said. “They don’t think about what he’s singing about.”

Wailers popularitystill growingWhether it’s the grooves or the message, 8150 talent booker Crawford Byers said that out of all the high-profile acts that tour through the mountains, the Wailers is in the top three that sell out the quickest. Byers attributes its popularity to the fact that Marley is at the top of the reggae genre, a style of music that’s peaceful and easy listening.”It’s timeless music,” Byers said. “It bonds people worldwide. People in the Netherlands, Germany, Thailand know Bob Marley as much as anyone in America. The Wailers were in South America on Sunday and Breckenridge on Tuesday.”Part of the joy of seeing the Wailers live is knowing that the 2006 lineup includes some of the original members. Currently touring, Aston Barrett, aka “Familyman,” songwriter, music arranger and bass guitar player, is the roots of The Wailers – having first collaborated with Marley in 1969 as part of his group The Upsetters. Barrett took the reins with his brother Carlton Barrett, the Wailers’ drummer, and Marley to produce “Natty Dread.” Familyman himself wrote “Them Belly Full (But We Hungry)” and “Talkin’ Blues” on the timeless album. Familyman is on tour joined by long-time members Earl “Wya” Lindo, the organ player who came to The Wailers in 1972, and Al Anderson, who took The Wailers’ lead guitarist spot in 1974.

For those reggae fans who also feel they would trade in other concert experiences for a piece of Marley in the flesh, today and Saturday at 8150 may be the closest opportunity. And these shows sell out fast, so buy tickets early at and Entertainment Editor Cassie Pence can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 14640, or, Colorado

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