The Original Wailers ADD

The Original Wailers

It starts with a beat born of the heart that moves forward the feet and the soul, one that traces its roots back to the dawn of humans on this planet, to the continent of Africa. Along the way, it travels to the ghetto of Jamaica where it finds its three kings; Marley, Tosh, and Wailer. It’s carried back across the oceans to Europe and Asia. To the islands of the Caribbean and the Pacific. To the streets of London and New York. Los Angeles and Paris. Tokyo and Berlin. And, of course, back home to Africa.

Its fire burns for decades until the world takes two of the brightest flames. Time and circumstance may have robbed this reggae riddim of its revolutionaries, its most prominent voices, and yet, its heart still beats. It still moves forward the feet and the soul. It survives.

And now, it has been entrusted to these musicians- The Original Wailers, whose latest album, Miracle, delivers on a roots reggae promise that harkens back to the golden era of the genre equally as it creates the sound of tomorrow. To listen to the Original Wailers is to hear musical history while it is being made.

From playing those unmistakable opening notes of No Woman, No Cry to the helm of today’s torchbearers of the Trench Town sound, guitarist and bandleader Al Anderson unites those that have chosen to honor their history not by attempting nostalgically to recreate it, but by taking the spirit, the intent of its creators, and moving it forward through the 21st century.

Sharing those transcendental moments with Anderson as a member of Bob Marley’s Wailers and here with him today is Tyrone Downie (keyboards). A veteran of both stage and studio, Downie’s stamped his passport with stints in The Abyssinians, Beenie Man, Black Uhuru, Buju Banton, Peter Tosh, Junior Reid, Tom Tom Club, Ian Dury, Burning Spear, Steel Pulse, Alpha Blondy, Tiken Jah Fakoly and Sly & Robbie.

Having been shoulder to shoulder with Marley and Tosh, Anderson knows the selection of a principal singer/songwriter is crucial to this band’s success. Enter Desi Hyson, native son of the Caribbean island of Dominica, who cut his teeth with the esteemed Joseph Hill and the group Culture, with whom he toured internationally for seven years. Hyson’s time-worn vocal delivery and edge of the razor lyrics put the message back in the music.

And that beat that began so long ago? It currently resides in the hands, feet, and heart of Francis (Paapa) Nyarkoh. Born in Ghana, West Africa, the self-taught timekeeper combines African rhythms with authentic Jamaican reggae, Calypso, and Soca beats from around the Caribbean. Paapa’s credits include Hugh Mesekela, Glen Washington, Everton Blender, Chico Debarge, Kirk Davis, Kenyatta Hill, Kwame Badiako, Prestige and Magic System to name but a few.

Steve Samuels, another past master of Joseph Hill and Culture, is the other half of the rhythm duo, laying the bass foundation one bottom note at a time. A Jamaican native, Samuels has worked with such artists as The Itals, Glen Washington, Everton Blender, Abyssinians, Sister Carol, Half Pint and Cocoa Tea.

The Original Wailers- a cultural, international, and generational sextet making footprints forward as it continues on a path laid so many years before.