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Fully Fullwood, founder and anchor of the crucial '70s
reggae band the Soul Syndicate, brings the band to the
SNWMF for their first U.S. performance in many years. Appearing
with Fully on stage will be original members of the band, Tony
Chin on rhythm guitar and Donovan Carless on lead vocals, as
well as the great Santa Davis on drums, Jamaka Johnson on
keyboards, Dwight Pinkney on lead guitar, Tenor Grant, Derrick
Hinds and Arnold Brackenridge on horns.
The Soul Syndicate rose to
prominence in Kingston in the 1970s along with other groups such
as the Wailers, The Upsetters, and Skin, Flesh & Bones. The
group became Jamaica's most prolific hit maker during the golden
era of reggae in the 70s. Various members of the band have
included Max Edwards, Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, Earl "Chinna"
Smith, Glen Adams, Leslie Butler, Keith Sterling, Cleon Douglas
and Freddie McGregor.
Performing under various names
such as the The Agrovators when recording for producer Bunny
Lee, Impact All Stars when recording for Randy’s, or The
Observers when in session for Niney, the group has cut tracks
for Bob Marley, Big Youth, Dennis Brown, U-Roy, Horace Andy,
Cornel Campbell, Johnny Clarke and a host of other reggae
During a U.S. tour in 1976
Warren Smith signed Soul Syndicate to Epiphany Records. At Harry
J Studio they recorded "Harvest Uptown / Famine Downtown," one
of the first Jamaican albums ever to be produced by an American.
A coast-to-coast U.S. tour followed, garnering critical acclaim
and many new fans.
In a subsequent visit to
Jamaica, Warren discovered roots singer Earl Zero (original
author of Johnny Clarke's now famous "None Shall Escape the
Judgment") and, with the Syndicate, released his dread "Visions
of Love" album in 1979.
Epiphany released Soul
Syndicate's "Was, Is and Always" the following year. Largely a
tribute to 1960s Jamaican standards, the cuts included personal
favorites of the Syndicate as well as their own
originally-penned harmonies of falsetto wickedness, a subtle
salute to America's 1950s pop vocals.
In 1982 a solo album saw the
light of day, this time from one of the Syndicate: drummer and
vocalist Max Edwards. "Rockers Arena," the title cut from the
album of the same name, proved a big hit in clubs and gained
Shortly thereafter came a
first in Jamaican music: linking roots session players Santa,
Family Man Barrett and Ras Augustus Pablo with former Turtles
Mark "Flo" Volman and Howard "Eddie" Kaylan. Produced by Chinna
Smith, the mix resulted in "Rock Steady with Flo & Eddie," a
bubbling stew of true Jamaican oldies - Stewart's "Sitting In
the Park" meets Stranger Cole and Gladdy's "Just Like A River."
Soul Syndicates "Friends and
Family" is a definitive collection of 17 reggae tracks by
artists who have recorded on the Epiphany label since 1977.
Freddie McGregor, Augustus Pablo and Tony Chin share their
Syndicate-backed recording projects with us. Vintage tracks from
Kansas City's own Blue Riddim Band spice up the mix. From the
Syndicate In Action (SIA) to Happy Together, this compilation
brings together two decades of work from some of reggae's
greatest institutions, the Soul Syndicate and their musical