Singer/composer Don Carlos (born Euvin Spencer) founded the legendary reggae band Black Uhuru in 1974 with Rudolph Dennis and Derrick "Duckie" Simpson, friends from the rough Waterhouse district of Kingston.
Carlos didn't remain long with the trio; he left after recording only one single to continue his solo career, which had begun with inspired recordings like the full length LP Suffering. He performed for a number of years as Don Carlos and the Gold. In the early '80s he worked with producer Bunny Lee, and released some standout roots albums on various labels, including Harvest Time (1982) and the highly acclaimed Just a Passing Glance (1984) with the Roots Radics crew.
Black Uhuru went through many changes, the lead singer role going to Michael Rose (1977-1984) and Junior Reid (1986-87). In 1989 Duckie Simpson convinced Don Carlos to return to the band. The reunited Uhuru, with Carlos behind the mic, regained some of the popularity it had attained in the '70s and '80s. The trio released Now (1990), a solid recording remaking some of the material from Black Sounds of Freedom, and continued on to release Iron Storm, but that was the last Uhuru recording for Don Carlos. He broke with the group once again.
Don Carlos' next record Seven Days a Week (1997) marked his return to solo work. One of his best known offerings, and one that has garnered him an entire new generation of fans, Seven Days showcases his talents and skill with insightful lyrics and burning riddims, including massive songs like the title track and "Movin' (To the Top." The 1999 release of Groove With Me was a landmark for Don Carlos fans. A reissue of a vintage 1970s session, originally called "Pass the Lazer Beam," which featured Sly & Robbie and was produced by Bunny Wailer, the album is hailed as the rediscovery of a lost roots classic. Most recently, Don Carlos worked with The Congos and Northern California reggae band Groundation to put out Hebron's Gate (2002) which is chalking up impressive sales. In 2010, Don Carlos released a brand new CD entitled "Changes." In all Carlos has put out more than 20 solo albums.
Performing live Don Carlos is every bit as impressive as in the studio. His sweet tenor voice with Waterhouse style embellishments and African overtones combines with his high energy to make every set an unforgettable one. His burning passion and conscious strength are an inspiration to all who listen.
-- Mara Weiss