Don Carlos and Christos DC’s “Righteous Chant” is the best reggae single I’ve heard so far this year. Released digitally on Amazon and Itunes on July 14, 2015 this foundation roots tune features legendary Black Uhuru co-founder and vocalist Don Carlos and Washington DC musician and producer Christopher “Christos DC” Vrenios over a dense but lofty roots riddim produced by Christos at his Honest Music DC recording studio.
Don Carlos, who co-founded the Black Uhuru in the Waterhouse district of Kingston, Jamaica in 1973 with friend Rudolph “Garth” Dennis (Wailing Souls) and Derrick “Duckie” Simpson, is one of the most celebrated voices in reggae. His unmistakable velvet vocal allowed Carlos to build one of the most successful solo careers in reggae. Although he parted ways with Uhuru before they recorded their debut LP, he was a regular performer on the sound system circuit and later released a slew of critically-acclaimed albums with producers Robert “Flakko” palmer (Negus Roots), Henry “Junjo” Lawes (Volcano/Greensleeves), and Doctor Dread (RAS Records) before reuniting Black Uhuru in 1989 with co-founders Dennis and Simpson. The 63-year old Carlos is one of the most popular touring reggae acts today, drawing large crowds wherever he performs around the globe.
“Righteous Chant,” originally a four-track instrumental, was recorded several years back but went unreleased as both Carlos and Christos concentrated on other projects. According to Christos, he constructed the four-track with Don Carlos in mind as the lead vocalist. He first played the instrumental for Don while touring with him in 1997. Don immediately agreed to voice the track and penned lyrics which exemplify the righteous spirit of Rastafari. The track was recorded using analog equipment and sat on the shelf for years until Christos decided to revisit it last year. The production still has that signature vintage, warm analog sound despite the use of more modern digital production techniques.
“Righteous Chant” is a timeless reggae tune with brilliant vocal performances from both Don Carlos and Christos DC. It is the finest reggae single released so far in 2015. The single, along with a live Dub Architect Mix and Honest Music version, is available for purchase on iTunes and Amazon today.