Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Live Wyya, Solid 'Like a Rock'

Published:Saturday | March 26, 2016 | 3:00 AM
Band members (From left): Carl ‘C-Wyya’ Edwards (bass), Kirk Gayle (keyboards), Chadian Munroe (keyboards), Arnaldo Bolt (drummer), Michael ‘Colegate’ Downer (guitar), Jerome ‘J-Wyya’ Smickle (vocals).

Like a Rock, a song written by Bob Seger and recorded by him and the Silver Bullet Band in 1986, was used in Chevrolet truck commercials from 1991 to 2004 for the company's Like A Rock campaign.

Now, in 2016, St Ann-based reggae band Live Wyya has released a reggae cover of the song and has been getting very positive reviews.

"The initial reaction has been tremendous. Everyone gives it straight As," says band leader and bass player Carl 'C-Wyya' Edwards.

Live Wyya recorded the song at Bob Marley's famed Tuff Gong studios in Kingston after the band's management - Canadian-based Dazzle Entertainment - recommended they do a reggae cover of the song.

Edwards said that he had heard the song before but never paid it any mind. After paying keen attention to the song and agreeing to do it, the band did one rehearsal and hit the studio.

"We went into the lab and turned it into what it is now."

What it is, is a really good reggae cover of a legendary rock song, with Michael Downer's guitar solo and the smooth vocal harmony standing out.

The song has garnered favourable response and airplay. But according to Edwards, the song has done a lot for the band, especially drummer Arnaldo Bolt, who lost both of his parents in December. Bolt's dad, Bishop Lawford Bolt, was admitted to the St Ann's Bay Hospital for an operation in December. After one of her

visits to the hospital, his wife (Arnaldo's mom), Pastor Phyllis Bolt, was driving back home when she was killed in a car crash.

When the drummer's dad was eventually informed of the tragedy, his condition began deteriorating until he finally passed.

Edwards says the song helped to soothe not just the drummer, but the entire band as they grieved with him.

"This song is the song that kept him strong like a rock, so the song means a lot to us," Edwards pointed out. "In that time of sorrow, the song was our strength. In the studio, we put our best, our all, into it, and here it is."

Edwards says that the band expects positive things from the song.

"We expect great things from the song because, you know, Jamaica is our rock. As the song says, working for peanuts, 20 years have gone, and look who we are now. The song can relate to everybody."

The song should help to further cement Live Wyya as a show band as they try to shed the backing band label.

Edwards thanks saxophonist Dean Fraser for his input and singer Lukie D for helping with the harmony.

Live Wyya heads to Ontario, Canada, today for the inaugural Dazzle Music Fest, which will also feature Lukie D and Da'Ville, among

others. Ron Muschette is billed as MC.

The band hopes to release more singles later in the year as it builds its repertoire.