When others slept, he sang, finding his voice in those early morning hours when most voices have fallen silent.
As a little boy, Don Carlos used to sing for his father.
He still remembers those late nights, recalls them with a warmth evocative of summertime in his native Jamaica, even though 60 years have passed.
“From the time I was like 3, my dad used to tell me, I used to go sing,” the 66-year-old Carlos says. “I remember when I was like 5, 7, I used to get up in the night and sing for my dad. My dad was a tailor. He used to make pants. He used to sew right through the night. I used to see him working and sing to him.
“When I started to sing, people would tell me, ‘Yeah, you’ve got a good voice,’ ” he continues. “They used to tell my mom, ‘That boy’s going to be a singer.’ The music was just given to me. I don’t know how I do it.”
Return to the Desert
Carlos will dig deep into that songbook of hits at the 18th edition of Reggae in the Desert, Vegas’ biggest annual celebration of Caribbean music, culture, art and food.
He’ll be joined on the bill by familiar faces in headliners Sly and Robbie, the well-traveled Jamaican rhythm section and production duo who worked with Black Uhuru on many albums. They’ll perform with Carlos’ fellow Black Uhuru veteran Mykal Rose.
The lineup also features roots reggae favorites Alborosie & The Shengen Clan, Yellowman, Jesse Royal and others.