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At The Castle

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Album Review

The Wailers had coalesced from a crude instrumental combo with hits like "Tall Cool One" into a storming rock'n'soul outfit by the early 1960s, and the Spanish Castle in the DMZ between Seattle and Tacoma was their home turf. Modeling themselves somewhat on the scale of a small-change soul revue, they sported instrumental workouts from the band built around Mike Burk's propulsive and exciting drumming ("Shivers," "Sac O'Woe") and Rich Dangel's bluesy guitar playing ("San-Ho-Zay"), along with the triple threat of vocal turns from piano/organ pounder Kent Morrill (a nice reprise of "Dirty Robber" from the Golden Crest album) and featured band vocalists Rockin' Robin Roberts ("Rosalie," "Since You've Been Gone") and Little Gail Harris ("All I Could Do Was Cry," "I Idolize You"). These are the Fabulous Wailers you hear on this disc: a groundbreaking band in their prime on their home turf. An added bonus to this ultra-important live album — and make no mistake about it, every Northwest band from the Kingsmen to the Raiders to the Sonics on down were influenced by this band and this record — are the inclusion of two bonus tracks, both sides of the original Etiquette/Wailers/Rockin' Robin Roberts single of "Louie Louie" and "Mary Ann." Undoubtedly one of the most influential albums in Seattle rock & roll history.

Biography

Formed: 1963

Genre: Reggae

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Following leader Bob Marley's death from cancer on May 11, 1981, the Wailers Band struggled nearly a decade for direction, hampered from releasing their own music by a Gordian knot of legal entanglements. Anchored by world-class bassist Family Man Barrett and his drummer brother Carlton (who was murdered by gunmen hired by his wife in April 1987), the Wailers Band performed well-received international tours almost constantly through the '80s. Lead guitarist Junior Murvin bravely handled most of the...
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At The Castle, The Wailers
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