When it comes to roots-rock-reggae music, few old-school legends that are still touring have the pedigree for great songwriting that Don Carlos possesses. Although he's often overshadowed by more popular Jamaican reggae singers such as Burning Spear and Toots Hibbert, Carlos started out in the same era (early '70s) and arguably has better chops than both of them. His crooning on the classic song "Satta Masagana" helped create a whole new style called one-drop reggae, and his early work as a member of the group Black Uhuru is unfortunately overlooked as well.
Growing up in the legendary Waterhouse section of Kingston, Carlos was raised musically among veterans King Tubby, Prince Jammy, Desmond Dekker, and other leading reggae/dub pioneers. His releases during the early '80s, such as Never Run Away and Them Never Know a Natty Dread, are some of the finer records of that period — when reggae was at a standstill after the passing of Bob Marley. And although his late-'80s and early-'90s material sounded dated, his music maintains the essence of reggae's golden years. It's a shame more people don't know Carlos, so check him out this weekend when he comes to South Florida to share his message of love, sound, and power.
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