Carl Harvey

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Carl Harvey
Performing with Toots & the Maytals, 2011
Background information
Born Jamaica
Origin Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Genres Reggae, funk, soul
Occupation(s) Guitarist, record producer
Instruments Guitar
Years active 1970s–present
Associated acts Crack of Dawn, The Aggrovators, Willi Williams, Toots & the Maytals

Carl Harvey is a Jamaican born guitarist and record producer who recorded as a member of Crack of Dawn and The Aggrovators in the 1970s, and later became guitarist for Toots & the Maytals.


Toots and the Maytals with Dave Matthews when performing together in 1998

Harvey was born in Jamaica[where?][when?] and emigrated to Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his family at an early age.[1] He began playing guitar aged 13 and also played the tuba at school.[1] Harvey was initially inspired by Jimi Hendrix: "The first time I heard Purple Haze I knew that I wanted to get a sound from the guitar that I had never heard coming from a straight guitar amp setup. Another pivotal point came with the release of the Cream's "White Room" and Jimi's "Voodoo Child" (Slight Return) sealed it."[1] Harvey joined the Toronto funk and soul band The Crack of Dawn, which was signed by Columbia Records and had hits in Canada with "It's Alright" and "Keep the Faith" in 1976.[2] In the mid-1970s, Harvey visited Jamaica regularly and recorded as a member of Bunny Lee's house band The Aggrovators, playing on albums such as Kaya Dub, Jackie Mittoo's In Cold Blood and King in the Arena, and also played guitar on Willi Williams' Messenger Man.[3] In 1978, he went into the studio with Lee to record several tracks where he played improvised guitar over some of Lee's classic rhythms. These were released in 1979 as the album Ecstasy of Mankind on the British label Cancer, without Harvey's knowledge.[4] Harvey had returned to Canada, and was first told about the album by Mittoo, who had seen it for sale in London.[4] Although the record was unavailable for many years, it was released by Rhino Records in 1994, who fraudulently sold it as a Lee "Scratch" Perry album, under the title Guitar Boogie Dub.[4] The album was given a wider release, with correct title and credits, in 2005 by Makasound Records. In the 1980s, he became the lead guitarist of Toots & the Maytals, and has been with the band for over twenty-five years.[5][6] He also toured with his own band, with Jackie Mittoo, and worked as a record producer, producing four albums by Messenjah (two of which were nominated for Juno Awards), and recordings by the Juno-winning Kim Richardson and Sway.[7] Harvey released a second solo album, The Times, in 2005.

Solo discography[edit]

  • Ecstasy of Mankind (1979), Cancer
  • The Times (2005) - Carl Harvey (credited to Carl Harvey & Friends)
  • Unleashed EP (2012) - Carl Harvey Project


  1. ^ a b c "Biography",
  2. ^ Bush, John "Crack of Dawn Biography", Allmusic, Macrovision Corporation
  3. ^ "Carl Harvey at Roots Archives
  4. ^ a b c Maslowski, Nicolas & Germa, Romain (2005) Ecstasy of Mankind liner notes, Makasound Records
  5. ^ Johnson, Reed (2009) "Live: Toots & the Maytals and Black Uhuru at the Hollywood Bowl", Los Angeles Times, 11 August 2009
  6. ^ "Ecstasy of Mankind review",
  7. ^ "Reggae Archived June 8, 2011, at the Wayback Machine." in The Encyclopedia of Music in Canada, Historica Foundation of Canada

External links[edit]