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» BREAKING NEWS, GUEST RUNDOWNS » BUNNY WAILER’S “BLACKHEART MAN” ALBUM CELEBRATES ITS 40th ANNIVERSARY!

BUNNY WAILER’S “BLACKHEART MAN” ALBUM CELEBRATES ITS 40th ANNIVERSARY!

BY HOWARD CAMPBELL—

 Bunny Wailer—

Forty years ago when Island Records released Blackheart Man, Bunny Wailers’ outstanding debut album, reggae was still underground music in the United States.

On his last extended tour of that country in 1996, a new generation of Americans had discovered his music. It is likely some of them are taking in his current ‘Blackheart Man Spring US Tour’.

Thirteen of the mainly club dates have been completed. This evening, the 69-year-old Wailer is scheduled to perform at BB King Blues Club & Grill in New York.

Maxine Stowe, a Wailer spokesperson, told the Sunday Observer that there has been strong response to the shows.

 BlackHeartMan:albumcover

“He has been embraced by many of the fans who have come with stories and memorabilia from his last tour which was in 1996. He has been in the US for various spot dates over the period, but nothing so extensive,” said Stowe. “For example the show in Albuquerque, New Mexico saw fans coming from various adjoining towns and states like Ohio.”According to Stowe, the venues range from 700 to 1,000-seaters. The shows have been attended by a diverse demographic.

“The fans were a mix of older fans, many who know of him from the last tour in 1996, and a younger crowd. He was enthusiastically received in the ganja-focused states of California, Seattle, Oregon and Colorado,” said Stowe.

Maxine Stowe

Maxine Stowe

Wailer began production on Blackheart Man in 1975, backed by an all-star cast of musicians including the Wailers rhythm section of bassist Aston ‘Familyman’ Barrett and his brother, drummer Carlton Barrett.

Peter Tosh and Bob Marley, his former colleagues in The Wailers, contributed. Tosh sang harmony and played rhythm guitar; Marley also did backing vocals.

TheWailers:named

Produced by Wailers’ Solomonic company, Blackheart Man was released by Island in September 1976. It contains hard-hitting songs like Fighting Against Conviction and Amagideon, and the uplifting Dreamland.

Bunny Wailer has had his highs and lows in the last 40 years. Marley died from cancer in 1981; Tosh was murdered in 1987.

He has recorded some quality songs with the Roots Radics Band and won three Grammy Awards for Best Reggae Album.

The Blackheart Man Spring US Tour concludes May 8 at The Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta.

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