Rasta Man Rotation
Jamaican superstars the Wailers are synonymous with reggae. A mention of the name sparks memories of a revolutionary time in music when reggae was relatively untapped territory and its sound was fresh and innovative. In fact, it still is innovative, a truth that rings through the Santa Fe Brewing Company this week.***image2***
Along with legendary reggae icon Bob Marley, the Wailers successfully tackled international fame and continues to spread its positive messages built on the foundation of Rastafarianism. The band has circled the globe numerous times, played before an estimated 24 million fans and sold more than 250 million albums worldwide, consequently cementing Jamaica's reggae tradition in music history.
"I Know" was the last Bob Marley and the Wailers single to be released before Marley's death in 1981. Marley, then in a hospital in Bavaria, called Aston "Family Man" Barrett and asked him to prepare "I Know." In addition, Marley entrusted "Family Man" with the production of the Melody Makers, a group consisting of several of Marley's children.
To the detriment of the group, Carlton Barrett was murdered in 1987 and "Family Man" was unexpectedly left with the sole responsibility of ruling the Wailers' dynasty. Although it was a challenge to secure a consistently solid lineup, he managed to repeatedly pull new members from a superbly gifted pool of musicians, something he'd managed to do since the early formation of the group.
"Family Man" landed upon Los Angeles-native Elan Atias, a natural-born singer who had no formal vocal training and never performed in front of an audience. Shortly after, Atias was asked to officially become a member of the Wailers. As a result, there was very little time for Atias to adjust to his sudden submersion in stardom.
He performed for 5,000 people at his first show without rehearsal or sound check.
Atias complements the current core lineup, which consists of the chief architect of reggae himself, "Family Man" Barrett on bass, the world-renowned Al Anderson on guitar, Alvin "Seeco" Patterson on drums and Earl "Wya" Lindo on keys. Singer Marcia Griffiths, the reigning queen of Jamaican reggae since the '70s, also adds to the colorful collage of musicians.
I Choo-Choo-Choose You
What Santa Fe lacks in traditional dance clubs it makes up for in creativity. The latest on the do-it-yourself dance scene is the Silver 502 Lounge. Housed ***image1***on the Railyard in the Santa Fe Southern Railway's dome car, Silver 502 drowns out the sound of construction with a steady beat of house music courtesy of DJs Che and King George.
Co-organizers Clark Lecompte and Evans Law, who are also part of the force behind the unTRAINed Boxcar Gallery, thought the train would be a unique draw to the young crowd.
"We're not really affected by the construction," Law tells SFR. "But it is nice to be part of the change that's happening in Santa Fe."
The locals are coming, the locals are coming! There must be something about spring because suddenly SFR's office is filled with new local music.
First up, Eric Carlson and his quintet, which includes Carlson on vocals, guitar and a few other instruments, Hillary Schacht on fiddle, Michael Lawless on mandolin and Richard Hardy on bass, sails onto the scene with The Ship in the Sky. The self-produced album is a testament to Carlson's skill; it sounds as clean and clear as a big studio album. That the music is a sweet and simple bluegrass-ey folk helps too. The music is delicately plucked from instruments and has a shadow of the old-time blues hanging over it. Carlson has caught a long ago past with simplicity on Ship.
Hundred Year Flood fans can rejoice as Bill Palmer confirms that a new Flood album is "right around the corner." According to Palmer, packaging is the only thing holding the band up at this point.
For those who find themselves a bit impatient, Justus, a project that features Teck and Cynthia Murdock, Tone Forrest, Jeff Kascomb, Kent Malmquist and Palmer, is even closer. The band releases 2 Way Street, a collection of classic rock rhythms with an alt.country vibe and Cynthia Murdock's fantastic soulful vocals.