Toppa Top 10: Reggae’s Ten Greatest Drummers

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April 29, 2014

6. Carlton (Santa) Davis


As a veteran drummer in the studio and the road, Carlton “Santa” Davis has played for too many bands and artists to mention. Early in his career, he played with Soul Syndicate and The Aggrovators. He left the Roots Radics (replaced by Style Scott) to tour with Peter Tosh. He’s toured with Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear, Big Mountain and Black Uhuru. His studio credits also include classic album cuts with Bob Marley. And he is sometimes credited with adapting the “flyers” sound (essentially open hi-hats on the upbeats), though some might say this can be heard on earlier ska recordings. Today, you can often catch him on tour with Ziggy Marley.