About Don Carlos

About Don Carlos
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The Relaxed and Mellow Vibe of the Legendary Don Carlos

 

The legendary sweet-voiced Don Carlos was born Euvin Spencer, on June 29, 1952 in the notorious “Waterhouse” district of Kingston, Jamaica. Many talented Jamaican musicians have come out of this very deprived district! Although his first recording was in 1965, Don Carlos began singing as a member of Black Uhuru in 1972, a group founded by King Tubby, another of those Waterhouse successes.

Black Uhuru, whose name comes from the East African Swahili language meaning "freedom" (hence Black Freedom), was originally formed as a trio. Don Carlos sang alongside Derrick "Duckie" (now “Gong”) Simpson (the trio’s leader) and Rudolph "Garth" Dennis (who later went on to join the Wailing Souls). They played clubs around Jamaica but did not initially attract much local attention.

After recording only one single with Black Uhuru and playing a prominent role in the group’s Love Crisis album (later re-released as Black Sounds of Freedom), Don Carlos left the band to pursue a solo career and formed the band “Don Carlos and Gold” with Gold, his co-writer and backup vocalist. They blossomed about 1980 with the release of the heavy roots album, Suffering, for the Negus Roots label. This album became quite popular in Africa. Other notable albums between 1980 and 1984 were Harvest Time, Day to Day Living and Them Never Know a Natty Dread. A particular favorite of mine is Just a Passing Glance with Don at his mellow, silky-smooth, laid-back best.

In 1989 Don re-united with Simpson and Dennis, helping to revive Black Uhuru with a new album, Now.  From then until 1994, Don Carlos kept singing lead for Black Uhuru through the release of three more successful albums, Mystical Truths, Iron Storm and Strong. In fact, there were Grammy nominations for all four of these classic albums!

Don Carlos went back on the road again as a solo artist in the mid-‘90s. His live performances are very popular and, since 1981, he has released an impressive 33 albums! He continues to live in the Waterhouse district of Kingston and his 13 children are spread throughout Jamaica, London, New York and California.  He enjoys traveling the world and blends the diverse cultures and places into his music.

In the early 2000’s, Don teamed up with the California-based Reggae Angels. Though his peak period as a solo artist was during the 80's pre-digital dancehall craze, Don Carlos maintains his roots flavor and splendid melodies. He continues to grow in popularity and still performs all over the world with his band, Dub Vision. His latest album (2009), Changes, is currently available on his official website or at Amazon.com.


 

 
 

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