Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Wailers: Sinner Man

This is a song that I first heard my brother sing back in the 1960s, although the reggae version here is quite different than his. This was the first song I ever performed in public with a guitar. Along with two other fellows, we performed “Sinner Man” at a church in Waverly, Ohio. That was in September 1973 and I played hi-strung guitar.

I’ve done this tune several times over the years, but probably hadn’t performed it since 1989 – that was until last Sunday when I sang it for the early service at church. I didn’t decide to do it until the wee hours of the morning before the service, so I grabbed my trusty Ibanez six-string acoustic to do it - I would have normally performed this with my 12-string, but didn’t have time to fool with tuning the thing.

I was asked to repeat the song today as its message will match up with today’s sermon, so at our 11 AM service I plan to do – this time with the 12-string – which sounds much better. I hope a friend of mine will join me on the ‘cello. We’ll see if he got my voicemail about bringing it.

Today’s version is by the Wailers and features Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, and Bunny Wailer. The song was released as a single in 1964 on the Coxsone label in Jamaica and on Island elsewhere except the US. I do not believe that it was released at that time in America, but came out on a later album issue.

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