Bob Marley wrote the songs, gave the music its direction, became the John Lennon of Jamaican music, and that can't (and shouldn't) be undone.
Of course, every great songwriter needs a great band to get the message across, and Marley was luckier than most in that regard. He had the Wailers, after all, and even though that band changed so radically from the days when it was a trio comprised of Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer, through Marley's final tours as a superstar at the end of the '70s, one thing remained consistent: The Wailers played reggae better then anyone else, and they were the perfect vehicle for Marley's muse.
The '70s-era Wailers backed Marley on his biggest commercial hits and were responsible for crafting much of what came to be known as Marley's sound. At the heart of all of this was bassist Aston "Family Man" Barrett, perhaps the greatest living reggae and dub bass player, and a man largely responsible for crafting the gluey, skanking rhythms of Marley's music.
Rightly, Barrett leads the current configuration of the Wailers, which also features the brilliant guitar world of "Exodus"-era guitarists Al Anderson and Junior Marvin.
Marley is corporeally absent, but his spirit is certainly in attendance when the Wailers gather in his name. The band will do just that on Tuesday, beginning at 8 p.m., inside the Town Ballroom, 681 Main St. Tickets are available now through Tickets.com or at the Town Ballroom box office. They're priced $20.
Home on ice
Brooklyn's Clap Your Hands Say Yeah makes its Buffalo debut this weekend, with an 8 p.m. show inside the Town Ballroom on Sunday. Anyone under the mistaken impression that indie-rock is dead should visit www.myspace.com/clapyourhandssayyeah and check out the band's music.
Tickets for the all-ages show are available now at the Town Ballroom box office, New World record or through Tickets.com.
Former Blue Rodeo frontman Jim Cuddy brings his new band to town to perform songs from "The Light That Guides You Home," the Jim Cuddy Band's debut effort, inside the Tralf, 622 Main St., at 7 p.m. Thursday.
Tickets are $20 advance, $22 on the day of the show, and can be found now at the Tralf box office, or through Ticketmaster.
Check out Cuddy's new stuff at www.jimcuddy.com/band.