Don Carlos

Don Carlos

Don Carlos (born Euvin Spencer) Legendary Reggae Artist was born and raised in one of the most deprived regions of Western Kingston, Jamaica, in a district notoriously known as Waterhouse, which incidentally is also a musical spawning ground for many of Reggae’s greatest ever talents, such as King Tubby, Black Uhuru, The Jays, Junior Reid and King Jammy, to name but a few. Don Carlos started his singing career in 1973 as one of the original members of Black Uhuru, alongside other founding members, Garth Dennis who later went on to joining the Wailing Souls, and Derrick Ducky Simpson. As part of the trio, Don sang lead on the highly-acclaimed Love Crisis album, for producer Prince Jammy in 1977. This album was later re-released and re-titled Black Sounds of Freedom. A year after the trio’s groundbreaking debut, Don Carlos surprisingly decided to leave Black Uhuru in pursuit of a solo career. Within three years as a solo artist, developing his song writing and grooming his distinctive vocal style, in May 1981 Suffering was released. This strong release took the fraternity by storm, courtesy of a heavy roots and culture flavored showcase for the Negus Roots label. This album was a massive hit in Africa, selling unprecedented units. Unfortunately, the album was bootlegged, and Don never received proper royalties.

At the time, he worked alongside Gold, his sidekick, co-writer, and back up vocalist. Together they built a staunch following through touring the live circuit and releasing consistant albums including Harvest Time, Day to Day Living, Them Never Know A Natty Dread Have Credentials, all three issued in 1982, Spread Out 1982 also otherwise known as Laser Beam to which the majority of tracks in this set have been culled, Never Run Away 1984, Just a Passing Glance 1985 and more recently Seven Days a Week. Don’s partner, Gold was tragically shot and crippled, putting him out of the music business.

During the eighties dance hall mania, Don had five top ten hits between 1982 – 1985- Late Night Blues, Nice Time Tonight, Dice Cup, Hog & Goat, I’m Not Getting Crazy and Spread Out. Don is still churning out solid, melodic roots reggae. Other titles in his rich catalogue include Roots and Culture, Raving Tonight, Pure Gold, Spread Out, Plantation, Never Run Away, Slow Down Vol. 3, Rasta Brothers, Prophecy, Firehouse Clash, Deeply Concerned, Ease Up, Lazer Beam, Ras Portraits, Grove w/me, Head to Head, Jah Light, Live in San Francisco and Special Edition.

In 2009, Don released Changes, a critically acclaimed album featuring new anthems like Rude Boy, Favorite Cup, and remakes of classics like the title track and I Love Jah. In 2016 Don released some new remakes of his classinc singles Harmony and Give Me Your Love, as well as the original Righteous Chant in collaboration with American artist Christos DC. He is known as a mentor to many in the international reggae community, especially the California reggae scene, where he has worked with and nurtured many artists including Slightly Stoopid, Rebelution, Groundation and more.

Don’s latest single is Peace and Love on the Jus Time Records label, which is also the title of an upcoming tour of Europe in the summer and Africa in the fall. In 2018 he will celebrate 50 years in the music business with a new album and world tour. After all these years Don is on the road, keeping up the works and maintaining his legacy of quality reggae music.

DON CARLOS live @ Main Stage 2017

Don Carlos

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