This originally ran in the St. Louis Post Dispatch in 1992.
Legendary Reggae Group Coming To Town
The Wailing Souls, since the early 70's, have been
one of reggae music's greatest vocal groups. Having released
some of that genre's most memorable recordings, this classic
twosome is held in the highest regard by countless
Their recent signing to Columbia records has resulted
in their first major Stateside tour as well as a new
release, "All Over The World," which has been both a
critical and commercial success.
St. Louisans will finally have a chance to see these
legendary singers when they perform at Mississippi Nights on
Tuesday June 29th, with local favorites Reggae At Will
opening the show.
Even with their new found national exposure and much
deserved recognition, this duo is still extremely accessible
and down-to-earth, as was the case in a recent phone
interview with lead singer Winston "Pipe" Matthews. During
the conversation he talked of his group, their current tour,
his teenage singing days with Bob Marley and basic reggae
"The tour has been unbelievable, boss. So far we've
been playing to mostly sold out crowds," Matthews
deliberately said in his Jamaican accent. "We've had great
reviews - the people have responded very well. We've even
played some shows with 10,000 Maniacs [the popular rock
act]. We opened for them in Denver and when we came on stage
over 10,000 people were standing up - they stayed that way
until we finished. It was positive, boss.
"In St. Louis we should be on stage for close to two
hours. Our touring band plays some real crucial reggae.
These guys are master musicians. We'll do some classics like
"Mr. Fire Coal Man," "Back Out With It," "Things And Time,"
"Jah Jah Give Us Life To Live," "War," "Bredda Gravilicious"
as well as 8 or 9 songs from the new album. We're even
bringing Pappa Juggy with us [one of the DJs on their latest
"Ya know, people, when they go to a concert, they
always come to see something extra. So I always feed on that
momentum - that good vibration - to really give the people
their money's worth."
The Souls began their outstanding career as a quartet
and are now comprised of only founding members Matthews and
Lloyd "Bread" McDonald. In 1988 they moved from Jamaica to
"Ya see the Father showed me and 'Bread' that we were
supposed to leave Jamaica if we were to really get our music
"I was born with this acoustic ability to do music.
'Cause ya see, boss, I came to America with the reggae in
me, ya know? And the only thing I see to do was to mix my
music with some of the American sounds, like R&B and rap, to
raise our sound to an international level.
"Ya know, people say I sound like Bob Marley, and
that's good, boss. We both went to the same school and had
the same teacher [Joe Higgs]. Ya see, Bob and Joe were older
and they saw that us younger guys had potential. They would
take us with them when they went to jam. So we got that
schooling from the days when we were traveling up and down
"I've been told that my voice is a voice that comes
only once a decade. I was blessed with it. I get this
calling from the Almighty so that I can serve - to spread
the words to all the people. Peace, love and unity. Those
are the things that we must think about, ya know, boss? We
need to live in one harmony.
"All our inspiration comes from the Most High. Ya see,
our songs deal with consciousness. I've learned that if you
forget your roots, you won't be here. 'Cause whenever a tree
loses its roots, it dies. So you need to cling to your
"Make sure to give all my blessings and all my love
from me and 'Bread' to all the people in St. Louis - all our
new fans and all the ones that have followed us throughout
the years. We look forward to a great show in your city,
boss. Maximum respect goes out to each and every one of
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