Wildland Firefighter Foundation Meet and Greet with The Wailers and Voice of Reason is a Smashing Success

It was a cold December night. But the mood in the room was electric. At the meet and greet with the Wailers in Hidden Springs, Idaho; Amanda Woods of Woods on Fire Innovative beauty set the stage with warm opening remarks.

38 Firefighters have lost their lives this year. That is why this benefit http://www.wlfholidaybenefit.com/ is so special.

Voice of Reason showed up first and connected during an introduction to the crowd.

Singer/Songwriter John "Hoony" Hoonhout
"Jah music for years and years..." reads their Facebook page.

The core of the band, John "Hoony" Hoonhout and Andrew Furnee have been playing reggae in different projects since 1989. Most recently proir "The 8750 Reggae Band" from Telluride CO. These guys were supporting act for every major reggae artist, too many to list. For more, check out the web pages.

In 1986 the song writer, arranger and guitarist, John "Ras Hoon(y)" Hoonhout, started to study and write Reggae influenced by the 1960-70s Jamaican music and second wave Ska from UK. In 1988 Andrew Furnee, present bassist, was recruited for their first Reggae project "Active Culture" and has been a collaborator ever since. The next project was touring with a Reggae band called "8750" from Telluride Colorado with Furnee on Bass and Ras Hoony on lead vocals and guitar. After the first tour of the West from Cali to B.C and back down the East slope of the Rockies to Arizona Hoony went on Pilgrimage to Jamaica by invite from Earl "Chinna" Smith to record at "High Times Records" in Kingston. The decision was changed on the flight over by a conversation with a seasoned american who lived there part time. His advice was to go with him to Westmoreland and learn the culture from Rastafari Elders and get to know the people before going to the big city of Kingston. Hoon followed his advice.

Reggae Excellence at Hyde Park St. Fair in Boise's North End
While in Little London contacts were made to live in Springfield, Westmoreland where he formed a trio with some local musicians: "Cateye", "Paul" and "Thirteen" calling that project "The Core".
Named, Ras Hoon(y) by Rastafri Elder "Jah Send I" Ras Lifeless he lingered to gain more experience while backing many singers from the region, the two week trip ended up lasting six months!Cateye was one of the singers who really made an impression and collaborated on two of Ras Hoon's original songs.

Upon returning to Colorado, 8750 continued to tour up to two hundred dates a year for several years and worked as supporting act for the greatest Reggae names. No kidding... Bunny Wailer would be,in my mind,their biggest honor.Then there is Black Uhuru,The Wailers Band(5x),James Brown(the biggest thrill),Lucky Dube, Steel Pulse,Toots and the Maytals (5x), Culture, Clinton Fearon, Melodians, Pato Banton(2)...the list goes on.

Their description continues:

Eventually emmigrating to Boise in 2005 Hoonhout and Furnee founded Voice Of Reason (VOR) and began performing in the area as a three piece, eventually growing into a fierce, full bodied force to be reckoned with. Heralding Horns, the growl and chirp of Hammond Organ, the croaking Clavinet, feeding the Drum and the Bass, taunting a rough and rude guitar.That sound...earthy, deliberate, original Roots Rock Reggae/Ska/Soca. Real REGgae for REGular people, like Toots said.......

At about 8:00 I connected with the original Wailers and got a photo taken.

Together with Bob Marley, the Wailers have sold in excess of 250 million albums worldwide. In England alone, they’ve notched up over twenty chart hits, including seven Top 10 entries. Outside of their groundbreaking work with Marley, the Wailers have also played or performed with international acts like Sting, the Fugees, Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, and Alpha Blondy, as well as reggae legends such as Peter Tosh, Bunny Wailer, and Burning Spear. As the greatest living exponents of Jamaica’s reggae tradition, the Wailers have completed innumerable other tours, playing to an estimated 24 million people across the globe. They have also been the first reggae band to tour new territories on many occasions, including Africa and the Far East.

Their nucleus formed in 1969, when Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, and Peter Tosh recruited the Barrett brothers - bassist Aston “Family Man” and drummer Carly - from Lee Perry’s Upsetters to play on hits such as Lively Up Yourself, Trenchtown Rock, Duppy Conqueror, and many more besides. Inspired by Rastafari and their ambitions of reaching an international audience, this is the line-up that pioneered roots rock reggae, and signed to Island Records in 1971. Bunny and Peter left two years later. It was at this point that the in-demand Barrett brothers - whose rhythms also underpinned innumerable seventies’ reggae hits by other acts - assumed the title of Wailers, and backed Marley on the group’s international breakthrough album, Natty Dread. Under Family Man’s musical leadership, they then partnered Bob Marley on the succession of hit singles and albums that made him a global icon, winner of several Lifetime Achievement awards, and Jamaica’s best-loved musical superstar. Drummer Carlton “Carlie” Barrett died in 1987, leaving his brother as the main beneficiary of the Wailers’ mantle.

The band broke out n an Acapella version of:

One heart
One love
Let's get together and feel alright