The Family Man

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Andrew Jones, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    Berklee has a Marley Ensemble a 14 piece that plays his music. I desided I wanted to do this ( how many time in life do you get a to play marley with a 14 piece)so I started seriously shedding some Family man.

    Wow his sence of time is Deadly! he's so on but if he wants on the studio stuff he pulls just one or 2 notes back for some extra nastiness!(doesnt seem to do this live though), SIck! His left hand is great too! He has Poor technique in a traditional sense (IE its ugly to watch) but the result is every note its detached and yet gets full value. Ok so he has great technique;)

    Then theres the Lines the hooks the Funk the TONE.

    MAN I could just go on and on

  2. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    Thank God!! Though I go on and on about how much I love Bakithi Kumalo, The strongest INFLUENCE on my playing is Familyman.

    The ability to NOT play is one of the most impressive qualities in any musician, I love how he was so tasteful and spot on 100% of the time on what note to play and, more importantly, when to play. He's so chilled for a guy with SO MUCH responsibilty, listen to the songs and try to imagine if the bass wasn't there at all....many of the songs remain strong, most would sound barren and unlistenable without him.

  3. garron


    Jun 26, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Amen Brother Duffy
  4. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    thanks Garron, ain't no word of a lie either. He was there at the very start of my bassing and stayed with me (3 1/2 years now, longest relationship yet :) :D)

    ... oh and, Andrew, I'm sooo freakin jealous you lucky fecker. good luck.

    just remember:
    (What Would Familyman Do?)
  5. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    Family Man is awesome, and I love his tone. :)
  6. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass

    Thanks, But you should know that it's not a done deal(I might have implied other)Like all the best ensembles it's by audition and performance. Thats Why Ive been shedding it this far in advance. I did have a audition on friday and it went very well infact I was invited to stick around to fill things out while auditioning others (allways a goood thing)So, while I feel confident its not a done deal and most likely I will have to audition again 2nd round type of thing.

    wwFd ;)

  7. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    sweet. What songs did you play for audition?

    can't go wrong with a bit of 'Africa Unite' or 'So much trouble in the world'.....

    What's the drummer like? Carlie Barrett's not an easy act to follow/replace/copy

    BTW... sounds like you got it, being asked to stick around after the audition and all. Well, I hope you get it (that way, you can come back and tell me what it's like:))
  8. baba

    baba Supporting Member

    Jan 22, 2002
    3rd stone from the sun
    Locking in Family Man's lines really tight is one of most difficult things I've ever tried to do on bass. Perfect example of "it's not what you play, it's how you play it."
  9. ZonPlyr


    Apr 29, 2003
    Pasadena, CA
    Thank God for this thread. I watched the live concert from London this past weekend on Directv. I have always loved Family Man but this concert blew me away. I loved how he can move the 1 and still keep the groove alive. The version of I Shot the Sheriff is awesome. Holding a groove together and even laying out on 1 at times is soo cool.
    Just had to add my $.02.

    Good luck on the audition man.
  10. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    This is a big band with arrangements so I was just smart enough to figure that the teacher (Matt Jenson amazing piano/b3 player) wouldn't have all new tunes so I learned the set.

    Rastaman Chant

    Trenchtown Rock

    Kinky Reggae

    Positive Vibration

    So much Trouble

    Could you be loved

    Get up Stand up


    Rebal music


    Wake up and Live

    Waiting in Vain

    Rhythm setions played rebal,kinky,waiting and a blues. Singers(all girls no "BOB") got trenchtown, positive, waiting. Oh yah he wanted to hear the drummers steppers groove so we played Exodus (Please lets hope that with out any changes we play the exodus off the studio album horns, tempo, the way the bass and drums comes in with the vocal!Amazing!)

    Nice choices good balance of common and not as well known.

  11. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Excellent! Good luck... Hope you get the gig!

  12. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    That was a good concert! They couldve left the music videos out IMO. But none the less a great show.

    Every shot I saw of Aston his right hand was playing up on the neck.

    I agree with what was said earlier, this guys sense of time is excellent. He's not the flashiest of players, but he's damn good and can lay down a very tight groove.
  13. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Ahhhh....Family Man.....the Jamerson of reggae!
    Ever notice how guitar players don't dig reggae......they don't seem to appreciate the space in the groove;)
  14. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    cuz it's boring....nobody will know of their incredible skills if they play for the song.
  15. Monkey

    Monkey Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Dayton, Ohio, USA
    I have been influenced heavily by Family Man since I first heard him in 1980. I play in a reggae/funk band, and Family Man and Robbie Shakespeare are my role models for reggae.

    I would agree that most guitarists don't like palying reggae,but I have been lucky enough to play with a guy since '86 who loves laying down the "chink" (as we call it), and is very subtle in the variations he uses. He is one of the few guitarists I have ever met who was perfectly happy to hold down a reggae groove as long as needed. Most guitarists get bored quickly and start putting extra stuff in.
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    Yeah he's the man alright.. I've hardped on about him in many a post :D

    The Babylon By Bus live album is one of the best albums I have of Marley & the wailers

    The opening track, Rastaman Vibration - or whatever it's called, has a bass break where he plays one note, just the one note... but man does it groove!!!

    I love that, one note, it's such a stoned thing too "why play all them others notes when just one and make people groove"

    the thing is that really he's concentrathing absolutley on the groove and not on the melody or harmony. he's using the bass as a pure rhythm instrument, like a kick drum really.

    he rules. period.
  17. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    I'm not sure I FULLY agree here, absolutely he's so tight with the kick drum...his solidity seems to give each drum a pitch but I think he has a great sense of melody and, indeed, creates much of the melody in the songs. In an interview he once said he saw his playing as a baritone singer, and if you listen to the tracks with this in mind you're bound to agree with him.
    I have almost every BMW album and I love everything about Familyman, his solidity, his style, his feel, his sense of melody.

    no argument.
    oh, and monkey...good call on Robbie Shakespeare, that's another serious player (he wrote the bassline for Concrete Jungle off "Catch a fire")
  18. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I'm not saying that he's ignoring melody or harmony to any degree, but that those aspects of the music are not what he is focussing on.

    he couldnt very well play one note in every tune, but he does play a very minmimal bassline - i agree his lines usually bolster the vocal melody completely, but it is always a very simple supportive line - and the rhythm is always, in my opinion, where he is concentrating most of his effort.

    I mean the music is about the groove, the top-end melody is provided almost solely by the vocals and harmony is very sparce - the guitar which rarely rings out, the b/vs and bass are hamonising, but in 99% cases it's amazingly simple.

    I dont think you can really say that reggae is about anything other than groove - it's that groove that defines the genre really... in my opinion of course :)
  19. CDuff


    Sep 14, 2002
    Yeah fair enough, good points there.
    What I was saying earlier was take away bass and vocals and the songs would sound quite similar due to the style of guitars, percussion and keyboards. Where the vocal melody is flowing and catchy, Familyman's bass melody is quite sparse.

    But, you're right, Reggae is undeniably about the groove. Good call, Howard.