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Lyn Taitt

The architect from the rocksteady sound in Jamaica, virtuoso guitarist Lyn Taitt (his name was Nerlynn Taitt, sometimes listed as Nearlin Taitt) was created in 1934 in San Fernando, Trinidad, where he was a steel pan player and a guitarist. He shifted to Jamaica in 1962, where he started working in different ska bands, like the Sheiks as well as the Cavaliers. He shaped the Comets in 1964. His most well-known music group, the Jets, emerged jointly in 1966. The Jets documented what is probably the very first rocksteady monitor, “Keep Them,” for manufacturer Joe Gibbs in 1967. Taitt became the definitive guitarist within the design, attributing his well-known “chicken-picking” guitar audio to an effort to reproduce for the device the bubbling audio of metal drums. Taitt documented for all your major Jamaican manufacturers of your day, including Gibbs, Duke Reid, Sonia Pottinger, Leslie Kong, Derrick Morgan, Ken Absence, Bunny Lee, and Lee “Damage” Perry, and his well-arranged and funky instrumentals (a lot of which were addresses of worldwide pop strikes) stay classics. Taitt shifted to Canada in 1968, but his exclusive guitar design became a pivotal hallmark of Jamaican reggae, and it has been very much copied since.

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