Soul Syndicate

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Soul Syndicate
OriginKingston, Jamaica
Years activeearly 1970s – present
MembersEarl "Chinna" Smith
Carlton "Santa" Davis
George "Fully" Fullwood
Tony Chin
Bernard "Touter" Harvey
Keith Sterling
Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace
Cleon Douglas
Earl Lindo
Tyrone Downie
Donovan Carless

Soul Syndicate, originally called the Rhythm Raiders, were one of the top reggae session bands in Jamaica from the early 1970s to the mid-1980s.


In the first half of the 1970s the band from the Greenwich Farm area of Kingston recorded for producers such as Keith Hudson, Winston Holness (under the pseudonym The Observers),[1] Duke Reid and others on some of the most popular and influential recordings of the era. Core members of the band are guitarist Earl "Chinna" Smith, drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis, bassist and founder of Soul Syndicate George "Fully" Fullwood, rhythm guitarist Tony Chin and keyboard player Bernard "Touter" Harvey, later with Keith Sterling on keyboards.[2][3] Other members at various times included drummer Leroy "Horsemouth" Wallace, guitarist Cleon Douglas, and keyboard players Earl Lindo and Tyrone Downie.[3] Freddie McGregor was at one time the band's featured vocalist.[2] The nucleus of the band also recorded under the name The Aggrovators for Bunny Lee. As well as playing on countless releases backing some of Jamaica's top vocalists, including Dennis Brown and Gregory Isaacs, they also released several albums credited to the band. Harvey later became a member of The Wailers Band.[2]

According to guitarist Tony Chin, Sun is Shining was the first song members of the band recorded with Bob Marley. Soul Syndicate is also credited with recording the original versions of the Wailers' classic tunes "Small Axe" and "Mr. Brown."

The Soul Syndicate's "Stalag 17" and "Taxi" bass lines, are among many bass lines created by George "Fully" Fullwood, an instrumental, featuring Ansell Collins on organ who was a resident studio musician for Soul Syndicate in the 1970s, was much-versioned, providing the basis for hits over the two decades that followed for Big Youth, Horace Andy, Augustus Pablo, Frankie Paul, General Echo, Tenor Saw and others.[4] Soul Syndicate is accredited with performing on singles featuring many vocalists and feature artists including: Roy Shirley, Max Romeo, Cynthia Richards, Keith Hudson, Winston Garrett, Dirty Harry, Bobby Ellis, Lenroy Muffatt & the Soul Tops, Joe Gibbs, Romax & Elaine, Maria Baines, Abdul Sabuza, Leonard Dillon, Junior Byles, Errol Alphanso, African Brothers, Bim Sherman, Bobby Kalphat, Bim Man, Eli & Chen, Jah Carlos, Dillinger, I-Roy, Junior Delgado, Ingrid Scott, Country Joe, L. Moodie, Phillip Frazer, Freddie McGregor, Tony Tuff, Willie Brackenridge, Ashanti Waugh & D.J. Baller Joe, Augustus Pablo, Sheena Spirit & The Third Eye, King Tubby, King Jango, The Heptones, Nora Jean, Alton Ellis, U Roy, H. Cunningham, Cornell Campbell, Shenley Duffus, The Stingers, Johnny Cool, Sylvan White, Robert Scott, Blue Flame, Jimmy London, Emos McLeod, Mary Mundy, Dr. Alimantado, Dizzy, Lloyd A. Lawrence, Glen Lee & the Vandells, Charles Bennett, Porkey & Cynthia, Derrick Morgan, Badoo, Tony Brevett, Johnnie "Dizzy" Moore, Winston Fergus and Niney.[5]


In 2015, the band reunited and performed at Huntington Beach, California. The line-up for the performance included George "Fully" Fullwood, Tony Chin, Earl "Chinna" Smith, Carlton "Santa" Davis, Soul Syndicate's original vocalist Donovan Carless[6] and Keith Sterling.[7]

In Summer 2016, Soul Syndicate re-united once again to perform at Reggae on the River in Northern California. There, they backed six artists including Big Youth, U-Roy, Earl Zero, Marty Dread, Nature and Randy Valentine. The band featured George "Fully" Fullwood on bass, Tony "Valentine" Chin on rhythm guitar, Keith Sterling on keys, Karl Wright on drums, Vince Black on lead guitar, Glenn Holdaway on trumpet, Warren Huang on saxophone and Mad Professor controlling the mix.[8]



  • Harvest Uptown, Famine Downtown (1977) London/Soul Syndicate[9]
  • Moodie In Dub Vol 1 (1978) Moodie Music (Black Slate & The Soul Syndicate)
  • Nuh Skin Up Dub (1979) Keith Hudson & The Soul Syndicate[10]
  • Only Jah Can Ease The Pressure (1979) Earl Zero And The Soul Syndicate[11]
  • Was, Is, & Always (1980) High Times/Epiphany
  • Visions Of Love (1980) Earl Zero With The Soul Syndicate[11]
  • Roots Radics Meet Soul Syndicate In Dub (198?) Razor Sounds (with Roots Radics)[12]
  • Friends and Family (1996) Epiphany



  • Word, Sound and Power (2008), MVD


  1. ^ Thompson, p.194
  2. ^ a b c Larkin, p.279
  3. ^ a b Thompson, p.462
  4. ^ Barrow, p.117
  5. ^ "The Soul Syndicate". Discogs. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  6. ^ "Donovan & the Posse | Reggae from Raleigh, NC". ReverbNation. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  7. ^ "Fully Fullwood's LIVE Reggae Sundays". Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  8. ^ "Home".
  9. ^ "Soul Syndicate* - Harvest Uptown / Famine Downtown". Discogs. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  10. ^ "Keith Hudson & The Soul Syndicate - Nuh Skin Up Dub". Discogs. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  11. ^ a b "The Soul Syndicate". Discogs. Retrieved 16 November 2015.
  12. ^ "Roots Radics* Meet Soul Syndicate* - In Dub". Discogs. Retrieved 16 November 2015.


External links[edit]

  • [1] Legendary Jamaican bassist Fully Fullwood web site
  • [2] Legendary Jamaican roots reggae guitarist Tony Chin, member of Soul Syndicate,Big Mountain, the Fully Fullwood Band;and more.
  • [3] Legendary Jamaican drummer Carlton "Santa" Davis web site
  • Soul Syndicate at Roots Archives