Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin is the latest frontman for the legendary reggae band, which performs all their classic tunes tonight at High Dive.
Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin was in his mother’s womb on May 11, 1981, when the legendary Bob Marley died of melanoma cancer at just 36 years old.
When Anglin entered the world in Marley’s native Jamaica several months later, no one could have known that the child would one day carry on Marley’s cool rhythms as lead singer of the Wailers.
Although Marley would have turned 72 earlier this year, Anglin says his spirit lives on every time his music is played.
“Anybody who understands the significance of his music and its purpose will in some way channel Bob Marley when they’re singing his songs,” Anglin said in a telephone interview.
“I don’t think that’s something specific to me only because I’m lead singer of the Wailers. I think it’s something that transcends through all people who perform his music or listen to his music.”
Gainesville will have an opportunity to share in that experience tonight when Anglin and the Wailers perform at High Dive. The lineup also includes Gainesville’s The Savants of Soul, Maca Reggae Samba and Turnaround. Doors open at 6 p.m. The music begins at 8. The Wailers will take the stage close to 11.
“This is the third time the Wailers have played High Dive,” said Pat Lavery, who booked the show through his Glory Days Promotions. “This will be the first time they’ve had a horn section with them, and they are getting rave reviews for what they are adding to the show.
The Wailers have sold more than 250 million albums from their days as Bob Marley’s band.
“They recreate that spirit like no one else,” Lavery added.
The show will include Marley songs that go back to the 1960s as well as plenty of familiar tunes from the Wailers’ best-selling “Legend” album released more than 30 years ago.
The greatest-hits album—the most popular reggae album of all-time—continues to sell thousands of copies a week in the United States alone. It contains such iconic tunes as “One Love/People Get Ready,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “I Shot the Sheriff,” “Get Up, Stand Up” and “Stir It Up.”
“People are more familiar with that album than others in the Wailers’ catalog,” Anglin said. “I love performing all the roots songs, especially now with everything going on in the world. There’s so much fighting and so much turmoil and a resurgence of racist things going on.
“We need more messages that are grounded in positive vibrations and just encouraging people to unite and put their differences aside.”
The Wailers have consistently toured for the past 40 years, and in doing so, have been keeping the legacy of Bob Marley alive. They are the most successful reggae group in history, having sold more than 250 million albums worldwide and played to an estimated 25 million people around the world.
Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana and Kenny Chesney, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, Burning Spear and Alpha Blondy.
Anglin is still relatively new to the band. The Wailers invited him to join them on tour in 2010, shortly after his first single, “Excuse Me, Miss,” became a hit in Jamaica and Canada. His stage name, Danglin, stuck.
Anglin’s life parallels Marley’s in the fact they both were born into poverty on the island nation, something that is relatable to most Jamaicans.
“Unlike Bob Marley, I didn’t have a desire to do music until later in my life,” Anglin said. “I always loved music, but I never really aspired to be a musician or be an artist until I realized that nothing else would provide me with the fulfillment and the joy that music provided.”
When Anglin was a teenager, his family moved from Jamaica to New Jersey. Upon graduation from high school, Anglin joined the U.S. Navy and was assigned to the missile-defense program as a mechanical engineer, serving in Japan and South Korea from 2001-05.
Anglin said he feeds off the positive vibes of the Wailers’ music.
“The message is very simplistic—it’s all about inspiration and unity and empowerment of people,” he said. “It’s always against inequality and against segregation and separation.”
The only original member of the Wailers is bass player Aston “Family Man” Barrett.
“It is, for me, the greatest honor and privilege to be able to play with the person who plays the greatest bassline ever put together,” Anglin said. “This man is a legend. His work speaks for itself. He respects and loves the music so much.”
The current Wailers lineup includes: Aston “Family Man” Barrett (bass), Aston Barrett, Jr. (organ), Anthony “Benbow” Creary (drums), Audley “Chizzy” Chisholm (lead guitar), Cegeee Victory (vocals), Dwayne “Danglin” Anglin (vocals), Chaka Taylor (keyboards) and Melvin“Ras Mel”Glover (rhythm guitar).
Anglin said the volume of music produced by the Wailers is astounding, easily surpassing 1,000 songs.
“I might be familiar with 80 percent of the catalog, and I probably know 50 to 60 percent of it word-for-word,” he said. “But I’m not familiar with the entire thing. I don’t think anyone could do that. There’s no way!”
For ticket info about tonight’s show and other upcoming concert events, visit the High Dive website.