FLABBA HOLT / ERROL CARTER
Flabba Holt / Errol Carter / Errol Flabba Holt
In a world of sampled music, manufactured foods, fake news and dubious sources, people yearn for authenticity. In the reggae music world, few are as authentic as Flabba Holt: singer, bass player and founder of the immensely influential Roots Radics, one of Jamaican reggae’s premier studio and touring bands. From Roots Radics’ first hits in 1979 with Barrington Levy, the band redefined Jamaican reggae music, applying their distinctive bass heavy sound to reggae dancehall, dub and roots music. They provided the music for hundreds of singers and DJs and an amazing number of dub albums. Since the 1980s, Flabba has continued to be in demand as a producer and musician. Roots Radics has toured with Israel Vibration for close to 30 years. Their impact remains today and their sound is as relevant as ever.
Born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1954, many know Flabba as the bassist and foundation of Roots Radics. Also known as Errol Carter, Flabba was already an established solo singer and well regarded bass guitar player by the time Radics came together. More recently, Flabba has begun to perform his own songs as a singer in his own solo show. Most of his catalog as a singer has been reissued in recent years – original copies from the 1970’s command hefty sums on EBay. He also played bass with Prince Far I And The Arabs and with The Morwells. In both of those groups he worked with Eric “Binghi Bunny” Lamont; the two of them eventually formed the Roots Radics as a means to manifest their distinct style.
As the Roots Radics, Flabba and Binghi Bunny provided the music for countless Jamaican hits of the 1980s. Many artists broke out on music produced by Roots Radics – Yellowman, Triston Palmer, Barrington Levy, Don Carlos, Eek-A-Mouse, - and others such as Gregory Isaacs, Johnny Osbourne, John Holt, Freddie McGregor and Bunny Wailer, came to Radics to give their careers a boost. In the past few years, various younger artists have used Roots Radics sound – Damian Marley has used samples, Jah 9 took an original Radics riddim from the 1980s and made a new hit of it, Chronixx has remade Prison Oval Rock as Spanishtown???? and even international pop star Bruno Mars has a song that is straight ahead Radics style. And there is a regular stream of reissues of Roots Radics dub albums.
Flabba Holt continues to perform with Roots Radics on tour with Israel Vibration and as well as solo and as Roots Radics. His session playing is in continued high demand – he has recorded with Beres Hammond for a number of years, playing on many of his hits. After more than 40 years in the music business, Flabba continues to innovate, motivate and inspire.
Roots Radics / 125 Orange Street / Kingston, Jamaica / RootsRadicsHQ@gmail.com