Carrying on Bob Marley’s legacy

CHARLES TOWN – As much as Aston “Family Man” Barrett loved playing alongside Bob Marley in Jamaica starting in the 1970s, he’s thrilled these days to wow audiences born long after the reggae superstar’s passing.

The 65-year-old – bass guitarist and leader of The Wailers, Marley’s legendary band – on Friday will bring Marley’s legacy to the H Lounge, the nightclub that opened last summer at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

The Wailers are led by Aston “Family Man” Barrett, who performed with Bob Marley and The Wailers starting in the 1970s in Jamaica. The Wailers kick off a U.S. tour this week and will perform Friday in the H Lounge at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races.

The show comes as the band kicks off its six-week “Revolution” tour, which also includes stops in music festivals in Cleveland, Atlantic City, N.J., Utah, the Carolinas and elsewhere.

“Music is the oxygen and reggae is the heartbeat of the people,” explained Barrett in a news release about the tour. “It’s the message of roots culture and reality.

“It is for all ages and for past, present and the future so even if the people can’t feel it musically, they’ll feel it spiritually. Music will go on forever, and so will The Wailers.”

Marley himself died 31 years ago this month, succumbing in Miami at age 36 to a malignant melanoma that he’d first spotted in 1977 as a wound on his foot. His final recording, a live show taped in Pittsburgh in the fall of 1980, became “Bob Marley and The Wailers Live Forever.”

Just as Marley during his life worked for peace, justice, equality and other human rights issues, the band with this tour is working to boost awareness of the problem of global hunger. The Wailers will donate proceeds from their shows to the United Nations’ World Food Program.

Friday’s show is the biggest entertainment yet at the high-end H Lounge, which made its debut in July of 2011 as part of the latest $40 million expansion at Hollywood Casino.

The H Lounge is situated beside the casino’s table game party pit. It features a dance floor and a sophisticated, square-shaped bar area where servers create martinis and other cocktails.

Open seven days a week from noon to 2 a.m., evenings at the H Lounge bring cover bands, top regional musicians or music from a DJ.

Friday night, Baltimore-based reggae band Jah Works takes the stage at 9 p.m. with The Wailers’ 90-minute set slated to start at 10 p.m.

At other stops on the tour, a ticket to The Wailers can go for as much as $40, but there is no admission fee charged for the Friday show. Fans can RSVP on The Wailers’ Facebook page.

Want to know more?

For details on the H Lounge– entertainment schedule, go to www.hollywoodcasinocharlestown.com. Find out more about opening act Jah Works at www.jahworks.com. For info on The Wailers tour, go to www.wailer.com.

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