The Original Wailers
Rosemount Hotel, 13 June
Photos by Caris Morcombe, Electric Shot Media
On Thursday Night, June 13th – I headed over to The Rosemount Hotel for a night of the best that Reggae’s got to offer – The Original Wailers.
In 1974 when Bob Marley went solo, on the brink of international stardom, he surprised the music community by choosing an American born lead guitarist, Al Anderson. It was Anderson’s lead work on such classics as No Woman, No Cry, & Three O’clock Road Block, that first alerted rock fans to the Wailer’s music.
The Original Wailers however, are a reggae group formed by Al Anderson and Junior Marvin in 2008. Both are best known as guitarists for Bob Marley & The Wailers as well as former members of The Wailers Band. Whilst Junior left the band a few years ago, Al has continued on with Chet Samuel (Lead Vocals / Guitar), Omar Lopez (Bass Guitar), Paapa Nyarkoh (Drums), and Adrian AK Cisneros (Keyboards and Organ) who continue the legacy of Bob Marley & The Wailers’ music.
Upon walking into the venue I was pleasantly surprised with what I walked into. I looked around and I saw all the different races of people in the venue. This music is universally loved! The Jamaicans were in the house. Islanders, Europeans, British, young people, old people. Everybody was there for this reggae love affair.
The night began with a bang – albiet a fairly relaxing bang as they opened with ‘I Shot The Sherrif’ followed shortly by ‘Stir It Up’. The slow dancing that was taking place throughout the crowd was certainly a relaxing atmosphere to take in. The crowd swayed with the slow, sweet grooves from the Wailers.
The crowd came unglued for ‘You Could Be Loved’. What a dynamite track. Ghanaian Drummer Paapa Nyarkoh was a metronome if I’ve ever heard one. I remember thinking to myself how on point his timing was, how sharp and precise he was – my thought being if they created a machine to keep time; even that machine would be outdone by Paapa.
‘Is This Love’ was another stellar number from the show, and it was love that we were feeling. The whole crowd. Partners slow dancing, the ‘girls nights out’ taking place, the Jamaican contingent in absolute bliss. It was a pretty great place to be.
The played a few newer songs which continued this relaxing vibe, ‘No Woman No Cry’ was another big highlight with a fun singalong with the audience, as well as ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright’. Boy, Bob Marley had a lot of iconic songs. The most lively performance of the night had to go to their final song of the set ‘Jammin’. They came out for an encore after that to send everyone home floating.
This show was certainly a celebration of an icon and a great band. Chet Samuel was a fantastic front man. He really did it justice. I was skeptical about the performance after seeing the Jacksons earlier this year, without Michael of course. It was glaringly obvious that they were missing a key ingredient. After seeing the first track of the night, that’s where my skepticism ended because Chet was brilliant.
Many congratulations to Al Anderson and his band. To be able to continue Bob Marley’s legacy all these years later is surely something to be proud of.