Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Aston "Familyman" Barrett

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by play paintball, Jan 11, 2006.


  1. Anyone else admire Aston Barrett as a great bass player?

    For those who don't know, he played with Bob Marley & The Wailers, has produced some albums such as "Hail HIM" by Burning Spear, and still tours around today with The Wailers.

    He is by far my favorite bass player. He doesn't exactly play amazingly difficult bass lines, but he has the ability to hear how the songwriter wants the song to sound, and come up with a perfect, melodic bassline that compliments the song.

    I also think the tone he gets out of his Jazz by playin with his thumb on the neck sounds amazing.

    [​IMG]
     
  2. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Banned

    Mar 24, 2005
    I love his playing too! I saw and heard him play with the Wailers a few months ago (at Toad's Place in New Haven....didn't you go to that show, play paintball?). I watched him intently throughout the night (wouldn't any of us?), but I never saw him use his thumb, only digits in traditional finger-style. He was playing a new-looking stock white Mexican Fender Jazz with a rosewood board, and seemed to have pretty high action and heavy strings (I was only about 15 feet from him). He plucked hard, just behind the heel of the neck (just like in your picture). Played through an older SVT head and cab. Very throbbing, and proof that even a Mexi Fender in the right hands can sound very good (although I have no way of knowing if the pickups were stock). I'm not saying he never plays thumb style, but I never saw it on this occasion. :cool:
     
  3. I was there!!! Were you in the 21+ or under 21 side?

    I was in the under 21 side...I had one arm restin on the stage, one on the divider for drinking and non drinking.

    I think that show changed my life hahah

    I guess i worded that wrong - I mean the way he's playin in that picture, not actually plucking with his thumb.


    Did you like the weird breakdown things in the first band? Where they woudl like stop the beat for a second, then pick it back up
     
  4. jetsetvet

    jetsetvet Banned

    Mar 24, 2005
    I'm a bit of a geezer at 45, compared to your youth. I had not looked at your profile, to know your age, until now. I think that its great that you, at the age of 16, appreciate this kind of music, and this kind of a bass player. I have a 16 year old cousin who only digs bands similar to Korn, but he pretty much makes all of his choices according to peer pressure (as did I, when I was 16). Indeed, I was over in the 21+ side right up front by the right side of the stage in front of Family Man.

    I'm sorry to say that I cannot recall the specific style of the first band that you refer to, even though I did watch most of their set. I do remember that the bass player in that band had an Ibanez BTB 5 string, and he sounded very good.

    By the way, Lee "Scratch" Perry, will be playing at Toad's on Feb. 16th. I have no idea who is playing bass in his band, but this will be a good show. Scratch, literally, invented Dub. There simply is not anyone alive today who is more "old school reggae" than him. I think you would enjoy it.
     
  5. I had already seen him on the calendar and I'm already begging my parents to drive me out there. (they prolly wont let me drive myself that far yet)

    I saw Burning Spear at Toad's a few months ago...that was quite a good show too.
     
  6. loendmaestro

    loendmaestro

    Jan 15, 2004
    Vienna VA
    Aston's playing is brilliant. Classic example of leaving breathing room & knowing where NOT to play. He & his brother were one of the tightest rhythm sections in history.
     
  7. dave_p

    dave_p

    Dec 20, 2005
    CT
    back in the early 90's i worked for a sound reinforcement company and we did the wailers in greenwich ct. one day. i was watching the amp rack to make sure none were clipping so i was directly stage left for the whole show and i got to check him out up close. my younger brother has done sound for them more than once. we both agree he is just a great player and great dude all around. very easy guys to work with (junior was a little full of himself).
    btw, i play paintball too but im a geezer. who knows maybe ive run into you at maslars or hogans.
     
  8. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    You mean this guy? :D
     
  9. Aston is certainly one of my favorite bassists. I started listening to Bob Marley and the Wailers in the late 1970's. The first thing that struck me about the recordings was the bass. It was the combination of Aston's playing and that the bass is way up the mix that made me a big fan of the music.

    I'm currently learning the bass line to "So Much Trouble in the World" (from Marley's "Survival"). What a fun and challenging line it is.

    Paul Mac
     
  10. Blow

    Blow

    Jan 9, 2006
    Germany
    Hi...I totally agree with you. Family Man is a wicked player!!!:ninja:
    Sometimes his playing reminds me of Jamerson...
     
  11. :) Glad to see there are other fans out there.

    dave_p - I bet i have seen you before, I played at Hogans almost every weekend.

    loendmaestro - Yea, Carlton in my opinion was an amazing drummer. Its a shame he passed.

    Woodchuck, you are one lucky man haha.
     
  12. This thread made me listen to a bunch of Aston's work with Bob Marley. What make his playing so unique is how fluid he moves from note to note. Even when playing choppy, 8th notes with rests, he has a way of making it flow so well. Also, note his use of space. "Concrete Jungle" and "Three Little Birds" are perfect examples of this.

    Paul Mac
     
  13. Blow

    Blow

    Jan 9, 2006
    Germany
    Mr. Barretts feel, phrasing and tone are really beautiful...those things are something, what playing reggaebass really is about... and by the way...does any of you know Groundation?
    What do you think of the bassplayer?
    Check out the Rototom Sunsplash homepage. There you can watch hours of concerts, lots of great singers and bands...ooriginaaalllll stufffff:D
     
  14. dlloyd

    dlloyd zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    Apr 21, 2004
    Scotland
    While Lee Perry was certainly one of the pioneers of Dub, and I love his work, I wouldn't say he invented it. King Tubby has more of a claim to that accolade.

    Back on topic:

    There's a great interview with Familyman here...

    http://www.iration.com/wailers/astonbarrett.html
     
  15. jomahu

    jomahu

    Dec 15, 2004
    Bos, MA
    that's a great bassline. my band has a song where i like to throw in snippets of "so much trouble."
     
  16. It says he gives music lessons.

    How about everyone puts their resources together and finds a way for me to get lessons from Mr. Barrett! :) hahaha
     
  17. Woodchuck

    Woodchuck

    Apr 21, 2000
    Atlanta / Macon (sigh)
    Gallien Krueger for the last 12 years!
    I actually have his number. ;)
     
  18. How about you phone him up, and say you know a wonderful kid who would like lessons!

    hahaha
     
  19. tomthedude

    tomthedude

    Jun 8, 2004
    Scotland!
    im another huge fan of him. i got marley and the wailers live at the rainbow for christmas!

    Tom
     
  20. gop_jeff

    gop_jeff

    Feb 18, 2006
    Puyallup, WA
    I also am a huge Aston Barrett fan. I saw the Wailers in Seattle back in 2002, though I was too far away from the stage to pick up on any particulars of playing style. He's definitely one of my biggest influences!