By CRYSTAL SCHELLE
5:35 PM EDT, July 24, 2013
CHARLES TOWN, W.Va. --
Jamaican native Dwayne Danglin wasn’t even born yet when singer-songwriter Bob Marley died in 1981.
But Danglin, 30, who now fronts Marley’s band, The Wailers, said Marley’s legacy lives on — not only musically but also in Marley’s lyrics of love and understanding.
“(Marley) was my No. 1 inspiration musically because of his message and melodies and his conviction,” Danglin said during a telephone interview from Long Island, New York — one of the band’s tour stops. “He set the bar for reggae musicians and for people to look up to for any kind of direction.”
In 2010, Danglin was asked to front The Wailers after an acquaintance of the band heard his Jamaican-released single, “Excuse Me Miss.” The Wailers, he said, were on tour and looking for a new lead singer.
Danglin met with them and two days later he was in Utah to perform with the band. He finished up the tail-end of the West Coast tour and was asked to come back for their next tour.
“I’ve been touring with them ever since,” he said.
The Wailers will perform at 8 p.m. Sunday, July 28, at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races in Charles Town, W.Va. The concert is free. Attendees must be 21 years or older to enter.
Music, Danglin said, has always been a part of his life. He said he was in the military, went to college and tried various jobs, but it was music that always called him back.
“When everything else becomes monotonous, that’s when you know you’re a musician,” Danglin said.
He said music never bores him because it always feels new to him.
“This is how I knew I was chosen to do music, not that I had chosen to do it,” he said. “Music is very selfish, it doesn’t allow you to do much else.”
The Wailers were formed in 1969 with Bob Marley. And since then have sold more than 250 million albums worldwide and have continued to tour the world.
Although he’s honored to be the frontman for The Wailers, Danglin said stepping into the spot where someone as legendary as Marley had once stood was admittedly a little daunting.
“At first, you’re not really sure what you have been asked to do. Because I’ve been performing awhile before that, but I had never been given a responsibility like that before,” Danglin said.
Fronting The Wailers is just more than just a performance, Danglin said. It is about giving the audience an experience.
“When people come to performances, they expect something to happen to them that they can talk about when they go home,” he said. “Now you have that responsibly to be that vessel, to convey that kind message of positive vibrations. You just have to realize that after awhile, after touring for a little while, you start to understand what this responsibility really carries. It’s a great experience and at the same time it’s a great responsibility.”
Danglin credits The Wailers’ longevity to the band’s message and the popularity of reggae.
“The Wailers’ music is very inspirational, it’s very positive and very realistic,” he said. “It educates you and gives you advice. As long as there is war, inequality and segregation and favoritism and racism and poor people, and all that in the world, there will always been a need for reggae music.”
If you go ...
WHAT: The Wailers
WHEN: 8 p.m. Sunday, July 28
WHERE: H Lounge at Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, 750 Hollywood Drive, Charles Town, W.Va.
COST: Free; must be 21 years old or older
CONTACT: Go to www.hollywoodcasinocharlestown.com