Entertainment

Wailing Souls back a yard

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

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AS a member of the Wailing Souls, Lloyd “Bread” McDonald has toured the world countless times. But as the veteran group approaches its 50th anniversary, he and co-founder Winston “Pipe” Matthews are keen to do more shows in Jamaica.

The duo will break a nine-year drought on October 13 when they perform on Stars R Us, to be held at Ranny Williams Entertainment Centre in Kingston. They will share the stage with Carl Dawkins, Big Youth, George Nooks, Half Pint, Admiral Bailey, and Josey Wales.

“Wi glad for dis opportunity 'cause wi would really like to establish ourself back a yard. Wi definitely want to do dat,” said McDonald.

The Wailing Souls last performed in Jamaica at Rebel Salute in 2009 in St Elizabeth. McDonald points out that although their live dates at home are rare, three of their last four albums have been recorded in Jamaica with Sly and Robbie and keyboardist Steven “Lenky” Marsden.

He and Matthews have been a duo for over 20 years. Along with Buddy Haye and Garth Dennis, they recorded a series of hit songs during the 1970s and early 1980s at Channel One studio in Kingston, including Jah Jah Give Us Life, War, Bredda Gravalicious, and Firehouse Rock.

Previously, they did songs for producer Clement Dodd at Studio One and for The Wailers' Tuff Gong label.

Originally from Trench Town, McDonald and Matthews are in their late-60s. They learned the rudiments of music from Joe Higgs, who was also The Wailers' mentor and a central figure in that community.

McDonald credits Higgs' timeless lessons for their endurance.

“Joe Higgs always encourage us to write our own songs an' get dem properly registered, 'cause dat is wi pension. So Wailing Souls always write good songs,” he stated.

Those songs have kept the 'Souls' on the road for over 40 years. In March/April, McDonald and Matthews performed in Europe (Austria, Poland, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland), followed by shows in Hawaii, California, Colorado, and Washington state.

In 2019, the Wailing Souls plan to celebrate their 50th anniversary with the release of a commemorative album, documentary and tour.

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