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 bands 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 bands legacy with their current tour, which commemorates the 30th anniversary of Legend, the greatest-hits collection that was released after Marleys death. Unfortunately, Marley isnt 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. Thats 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 isnt 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 hell 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 Im a part of this tradition and its an honor for me to be able to be active in this part of it.