Toppa Top 10: The Best Reggae Guitarists

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October 24, 2012

6.ย Al Anderson/Junior Marvin/Donald Kinsey


Here’s one reason why Bob Marley crossed over to rock audiences in a way no other reggae artist has: he actually had some pretty accomplished rock guitaristsโ€”who were also skilled at reggaeโ€”in his corner. A graduate of the prestigious Berklee School of Music, New York-born Al Anderson nearly found himself in classic rock band Traffic before he linked with Marley for the Natty Dread sessions. He later would back Peter Tosh on Legalise It and Equal Rights. Ironically, Junior Marvin, one of the guitarists who replaced Anderson in the Wailers, wound up joining up with Traffic’s frontman, Steve Winwood, many years later. Prior to connecting with Bob, the Kingston-born Marvin (who’s not to be confused with singer Junior Murvin) actually fronted the British funk-rock band Hanson. And no, not that Hanson!

On our tour of Bob sidemen, we can’t leave out Gary, Indiana’s Donald Kinsey. The son of Chicago blues legend Big Daddy Kinsey brought the rock to “Roots, Rock, Reggae” and other cuts on Rastaman Vibration and, like Anderson, also held down Peter Tosh, on albums including Legalize It and Bush Doctor.