Music preview: The Wailers continue reggae tradition with Carrboro show

CorrespondentJanuary 16, 2014 

67803000

“Jamaica is the mecca where it all began,” says reggae singer Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin, foreground, of the Wailers.

STEPHEN LOVEKIN — GETTY

  • Details

    Who: The Wailers

    When: 7 p.m. Sunday

    Where: The ArtsCenter, 300-G E. Main St., Carrboro

    Cost: $28-$36

    Info: 919-929-2787 or www.artscenterlive.org

In February of 2010, Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin was just another performer trying to make it in the reggae scene. But that was before he got the call to become a member of the Wailers.

“I was in Jamaica at the time,” says the Jamaican-born, South Jersey-based Anglin, now 31, on the phone from Jacksonville. “I was doing some solo work. I had just released one of my first singles in Jamaica. So, it was after that release that they contacted me and asked me if I wanted to, you know, consider joining the band.”

Anglin flew out to Utah, where the Wailers were at the tail end of their Midwest tour. They all headed to Las Vegas the next day, where Anglin did four shows with them. Danglin has been the band’s lead singer ever since. As for what drove them to consider Anglin for the position, the man simply says, “I guess they wanted a voice similar to the Marley sound.”

Those are definitely some big shoes for an up-and-coming reggae artist to fill. After all, the Wailers was a group, originally formed by reggae gods Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, that was integral in popularizing reggae music all over the world. And at the front and center of that was Marley, the charismatic, dreadlocked lead singer who rose to rock-star status before dying of cancer in 1981.

“It was an honor, definitely – an honor and a privilege,” says Anglin, who did a four-year Navy tour in Japan before becoming a musician. “But intimidation, I think, would only be relevant if I was trying to replace or act as a replacement, you know. And this is just mainly me trying to carry on the work that has already been laid out. The foundation has already been laid.”

These days, Anglin and the Wailers are reminding audiences of the band’s legacy with their current tour, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of “Legend,” the greatest-hits collection that was released after Marley’s death. Unfortunately, Marley isn’t the only Wailer to have been taken from reggae fans all too soon.

Founding member Tosh was murdered during a robbery in his home in 1987. Earlier that year, drummer Carlton “Carly” Barrett (brother of bassist and longtime Wailers member Aston “Family Man” Barrett) was also murdered in his home. So, when it was rumored last month that former Wailers guitarist Junior Marvin died, the word spread fast. But later news reports cleared up that it was actually Junior Mervin, another reggae artist, who passed away.

“When I first heard it, I thought it was him as well,” admits Anglin. “But within a few seconds, you figure it out. That’s why you have Google and all that.”

Nevertheless, the Wailers continue to tour and release new music. Just last month, Kenny Chesney released the single “Spread the Love,” which has him backed by the Wailers. (This isn’t the first time the country star worked with the band; in 2008, they got together for the single “Everybody Wants to Go to Heaven.”)

As for Anglin, even when he pursues working on solo efforts, he knows he’ll always be a Wailer at heart.

“I can identify with Wailers music because I am, by every sense of the word, Wailers music, because Jamaica is the mecca where it all began,” he says. “So, being Jamaican, I feel like I’m a part of this tradition and it’s an honor for me to be able to be active in this part of it.”

News & Observer is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service