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The Wailers perform in Beaver Creek Sunday

Charlie Owencowen@vaildaily.comBeaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily/Janette Beckman
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BEAVER CREEK, Colorado Youd be hard-pressed to find someone on the streets who has never heard a Bob Marley song. At the very least, they would likely recognize his name or a picture of the dreadlocked icon. Whereas other reggae artists are respected by fans and fellow artists, Marley is a legend who pretty much defines the genre. It doesnt matter if you hate reggae music, you probably like at least one song by the man. Sadly, he died in 1981. But his music lives on through The Wailers.Bob Marley & The Wailers, a band he fronted after Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer left their former band, The Wailers, propelled him into musics mainstream and made him an icon. Now only bassist Aston Family Man Barrett remains from the original lineup of Bob Marley & The Wailers still touring today. His brother, drummer Carlton Carlie Barrett, died in 87. Now The Wailers are fronted by reggae singer Elan Atias from Los Angeles, and they are currently on tour throughout America with a stop for a performance in Beaver Creek Sunday night.(Marley) was my inspiration and I was influenced by him. Im not trying to fill his shoes, Im not trying to be him, said Atias during a phone interview while on the road in Idaho. Atias made it clear that he isnt in the band to steal any of Marleys thunder or to try to impersonate him. I hear a lot of people (say) you got the vibe, youre keeping the music alive and youre adding your own touch to it. Youre bringing a good energy and youre bringing it to a new millennium, Atias said.

During their performance at the Vilar Performing Arts Center, The Wailers will perform the classic Bob Marley & The Wailers album Exodus in its entirety. The album contains memorable hits like Jamming, Three Little Birds and One Love.Justin Barnett, aka DJ Jahstone, hosts a reggae radio show on 102.1 KSMT in Summit County and co-hosts a live reggae show at the Sandbar in Vail Sunday nights. Hes seen The Wailers several times in concert and said its a show any reggae fan should attend at least once.They established themselves as probably the hardest working band in the reggae business. Its a very tight instrumental band and I think thats due to the success of Bob Marley … even though they lost their lead man, its kind of like their music carries on because its so good, Barnett said.Barnett said while he loves all Bob Marley & The Wailers albums, the band matured the most with Exodus.I just think its an outstanding album from front to back, Barnett said.

Despite all of the lineup changes and the death of key members of The Wailers, their music lives on, many generations later.Weve had so many members in this band, from 67 until now. And its really more about the music and the message and the movement of roots reality and culture. Thats why this band is what they are today and what they were and what they will be. It will last forever, Atias said.Barnett couldnt agree more.The spirit of The Wailers I think is very strong and its one of those torches that just keeps on burning, Barnett said.High Life Writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.


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