Feel it in Carlie’s One Drop

Saturday, April 02, 2016

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THE Wailers’ Carlton Barrett, who perfected the One Drop beat during the 1970s, is number 29 on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Top 100 Drummers.

The list appears in the publication’s latest issue. Sly Dunbar, who came to prominence as a session musician during that period, is ranked at 65.

Rolling Stone’s writers saluted Barrett’s unique style.

"Nothing sounds more certifiably reggae than Carlton ‘Carlie’ Barrett’s tumbling tom-toms followed by the high, whip-cracking snare that launched a thousand tracks. Arguably the single most influential musician in reggae’s history, Barrett popularised the music’s signature ‘One Drop’ rhythm in the Wailers and Bob Marley’s solo band. The ‘Field Marshal’ and his bassist brother Aston ‘Family Man’ Barrett decelerated rocksteady’s rhythm into the locked-in slow grooves that came to define classic roots reggae. His dry drum sound — heard in tracks like Duppy Conqueror, Soul Rebel and Small Axe — and triplet-feel hi-hat served as a tractor beam for skanking fans until his 1987 murder at age 36."

Barrett played on all Marley’s albums for Island Records, including the groundbreaking Natty Dread and Rastaman Vibration.

Three British musicians occupy the top three places: John Bonham of rock band Led Zeppelin was rated at number one, ahead of The Who’s Keith Moon and Ginger Baker of Cream.

Neil Peart, Hal Blaine, Clyde Stubblefield and John ‘Jabo’ Starks, Gene Krupa, Mitch Mitchell, Al Jackson Jr and Stewart Copeland complete the top 10.

Other noted names in the 100 are The Beatles’ Ringo Starr (14), Phil Collins (43), and Sheila E (58).

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