Carlton Barrett – Straight from the Horse’s Mouth

“Straight from the Horse’s Mouth” is a series of short video documentaries produced by Harrison “Professor” Stafford and starring legendary Jamaican drummer Leroy “Horsemouth” Wallace where he shares his inside knowledge behind Reggae music…In this video “Horse” remembers his good friend Carlton Barrett, long time drummer for Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Carlton “Carly” Barrett, born December 12 1950, died April 17 in 1987, was an iconic Jamaican reggae drummer and member of the band Bob Marley & the Wailers since 1969. Together with his brother Aston “Family Man” Barrett Carlton wrote the song Talkin ‘Blues. Carlton also wrote the song War, in which the text is based on a speech to the UN by Haile Selassie I the Ethiopian Emporer. The song War was featured in all the concerts of Bob Marley & The Wailers performed at from the album Rastaman Vibration through until Marley’s death in 1981. Barrett was also one of the musicians who developed one drop, a successful reggae rhythm.

In Jamaica , there has been few bands compared to the pop and rock bands in the U.S. and Europe. It has instead been based around recording studios in Kingston and remained with the “house band”, that is a permanent ensemble of musicians. in 1960 – and 1970’s, and also to some extent later on singers and vocal groups worked out a melody and lyrics then had to seek out a recording studio or music producer to help them put it all together if their voices and their song was considered good enough to record a single.

Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer (Neville Livingston) who called themselves The Wailers were just such a vocal group with their voice as one instrument during the years in the 1960s. Carlton Barrett and his brother were in the late 1960s to the reggae producer and music scout Lee “Scratch” Perry stable of musicians, sometimes called The Upsetters. When Marley, Tosh and Livingston began recording his early reggae songs by Perry (Soul Rebel, Small Axe, Kaya, African Herbsman, So Sympathy, Rebel’s Hop, 400 Years, Keep On Moving, Do not Rock My Boat, Downpresser Others) complication were those of Aston and Carlton Barrett. When the three of The Wailers left Perry in the early 1970s, followed by Barrett brothers, and by other musicians hired more or less permanently became the Wailers one of the few stand alone reggae bands.

In 1973, The Wailers released the two albums, Catch A Fire and Burnin’ at the record label Island Records. That same year, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer joined the group, which henceforth called himself Bob Marley & The Wailers. The Barrett Brothers stayed in the band, and on the next album – Natty Dread (1974) – Carlton wrote two songs: Talking Blues and Them Belly Full.

Carlton Barrett was murdered outside his home in Jamacia on April 17th 1987, and as with so many other murders of reggae artists who had success, it looked like a robbery murder but for the fact that Carlton’s wife was suspected to be involved.

Wonderful Comments

11 Wonderful Comments

  1. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing! Is there anything else you have from Carlton Barret? I can’t find any video of him! Horsemouth understand Carly feel cuz’ he plays like him! There won’t be other drummers like them! The real reggae feeling!!

  2. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    For me the best reggae drummer with no disrepect to Sly,Lloyd Knibbs etc..On Tubby meets Rockers lp he is awesome.No wonder Bob Marley added him to The Wailers.

  3. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    The best ever, Carly played with such flavor, i always thought Carly played in clave 3-2 or 2-3 thank you brother horse mouth for clearing this!

  4. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Thanks for sharing this video!!! Much appreciated!

  5. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    definitely best drummer in reggae

  6. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    BEST reggae drummer EVER I know “best” and “legend” get tossed around a lot these days.Carly was a true innovator when it came to drums…always.He invented this style, not many people can lay claim to founding a genre of drumming..others played it.they weren’t Carlton Barrett.so hip and crisp.76 show bob says, I want you to met carlton,still get stoked on that drum break.amazing .to quote bret hart best there is best there was,best there ever will be Carly Barrett

  7. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    ….THANKS BREDREN,MUCH RESPECT MAHN ITS A SIKKKKKK TRACK!!!

  8. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    First song is “Bangarang” by Stranger Cole

  9. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    WHATS THE NAME OF THE SONG IN THE BEGINNING OF THIS VIDEO….JAH BLESS!!!

  10. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    nuff respect to Horsemouth! inity

  11. Anonymous says:
    Posted November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Big Up to BOTH of you for this video !!! I mean really —> Nice memories –> “Mystic competition” …. By the way : “Bangarang by Stranger Cole and Lester Sterling produced by Bunny Lee “What Else” ?… Yes I : Huge! 1Heart

    P-L


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