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Amplifier: The Wailers – Keb’ Mo’ – We Are Hex

Local venues welcome international music sensations Keb' Mo' and The Wailers. Then, Indianapolis-based We Are Hex brings their hard core rock to The Bishop.

The Wailers, We Are Hex, Keb' Mo'

Photo: The Wailers, We Are Hex, Keb' Mo' (websites)

The Wailers: Continuing The Legacy

When you here the name The Wailers, you immediately think of Bob Marley and the Wailers – probably the most popular reggae band since the genre broke onto the world stage in the 1960’s and 1970’s. The band is best known for hits like “No Woman, No Cry,” “I Shot The Sheriff,” and “Buffalo Soldier.”

But, after Bob Marley died in 1981, their leader (bassist Aston “Family Man” Barrett) and his brother (drummer Carlton Barrett) continued Marley’s legacy of great reggae music calling themselves simply The Wailers.

With Aston Barrett still at the helm and other reggae greats like Keith Sterling, Anthony Watson, Audley Chisolm, Everald Gayle and Chico Chin joining in, The Wailers continue to bring original roots/reggae music to the world.

When The Wailers play at the Bluebird on February 10, they’ll reinvigorate classic tunes from Bob Marley and other reggae greats with their new singer Koolant, who has already proved himself to be up to the task of fronting The Wailers. After regional success in Jamiaca as a solo artist, Koolant auditioned for The Wailers in early 2010 and immediately seemed to be a perfect fit. He has toured around the world with The Wailers for the past year to critical acclaim.

The Wailers

Photo: http://wailers.com/

Calling themselves "greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition," various incarnations of The Wailers have been performing music for over 40 years.

  • Where: The Bluebird (Bloomington, Indiana)
  • When: Thursday, February 10 at 9:00pm
  • How Much: $20.00 at the door
  • What Else: Duane Stephenson opens the show

Keb’ Mo’: More Than Just The Blues

Keb’ Mo is one of those contemporary artists that can craft great songs drawing from the vast history of different styles and techniques found in American popular music.

Steeped in the blues, taking notes from the likes of Robert Johnson, Keb’ Mo’ sings with a weathered, yet silky voice, telling you about the trials and tribulations of life. But from one song to the next, you’ll always hear evidence of rock n’ roll, jazz, folk, and pop creeping into the mix.

Keb’ Mo’ has won three Grammys Awards, made several TV appearances, written for movie scores, and produced albums throughout his eclectic career. This ability to be prolific in so many styles is especially apparent in his new album “Live & Mo’.” It is comprised of six seminal live tracks and four new studio recordings. It is here that we see his ability to take the blues and throw in other popular American styles and not only craft these songs, but also perform them live.

keb mo

Photo: http://www.kebmo.com/site/

Keb' Mo,' born Kevin Moore in Los Angeles, is a three-time Grammy Award winner and has a star on the Hollywood Rock Walk of Fame.

  • Where: Buskirk-Chumley Theater (Bloomington, Indiana)
  • When: Thursday, February 4 at 8:00pm
  • How Much: $36.00, reserved seating

We Are Hex: The DIY Music Scene

Indiana (and the Midwest in general) has always had a strong punk/hardcore/metal music scene, starting in the 1980’s with bands like the Zero Boys and The Gizmos.

I can’t think of a better show to prove that this aesthetic is alive and well today than the show at the Bishop on February 10. It features Bloomington’s own Medusa, Indianapolis’ We Are Hex, and Michigan’s Beast in the Field.

Medusa proved themselves to be not only an unstoppable force in metal/hardcore but across all genres by winning the Bluebird’s Battle of the Bands in summer 2010. With dominating guitar riffs, throbbing bass lines, and screaming vocals, Medusa puts on an energetic show that you don’t want to miss. Look out for the shirtless lead-singer Scott Van Buren swinging from the rafters.

We Are Hex puts on an equally intense live show. Front woman chanteuse Jilly boasts vocal abilities that range from haunting melodies to frightening wails to ear-splitting screams, and the rest of the band creates a noisy accompaniment of riffs and beats.

After attending a show like this, you’re sure to leave with your mind and body completely exhausted from the sonic bombardment. But, it will surely convince you that music still has the ability to completely and utterly affect you.

We Are Hex

Photo: We Are Hex (MySpace)

We Are Hex hails from Indianapolis, Indiana.

  • Where: The Bishop (Bloomington, Indiana)
  • When: Thursday, February 10 at 9:00pm
  • How Much: FREE
  • What Else: Also featuring Medusa and Beast in the Field

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