by Howard Campbell
SOUTH FLORIDA – David Hinds has toured the world as singer and rhythm guitarist with Steel Pulse since the band formed in the United Kingdom in 1974. He believes promoters, especially in the United States, are not giving foundation reggae artists their due.
According to Hinds, that is what makes shows like Inner Circle‘s 50th Anniversary Reggae Jam, even more important. Dubbed Meeting of The Legends, it takes place on December 29 at Ronald L. Book Athletic Stadium in North Miami Beach.
“It shows that as a people we are promoting shows and benefiting from it in terms of exposure and financially,” said Hinds. “You have other festivals out there who don’t advertise us as prominently as the younger acts and I think that sends the wrong message.”
Inner Circle, Michael Rose and Skip Marley are the other headliners for Reggae Jam which is being held for the second year.
Steel Pulse, Inner Circle and Rose have all won Grammys. Steel Pulse won the Best Reggae Album category in 1987 for Babylon The Bandit, while Inner Circle took that award in 1994 for Bad Boys.
Rose was lead singer of Black Uhuru in 1985 when that group won the first reggae Grammy with Anthem.
For next year’s awards, Steel Pulse are nominated for Best Reggae Album for Mass Manipulation, their first album in 15 years. Hinds, the band’s main songwriter, said he addressed hot topics on the 16-song set.
“A song like human trafficking is timely with all the stuff that went down with (Jeffrey) Epstein and (Bill) Cosby, while Don’t Shoot looks at the plight of African-Americans who have been wrongly killed by law enforcement. We’re talking about issues affecting the planet,” said Hinds.
Born to Jamaican parents in Handsworth, England, Hinds co-founded Steel Pulse there in the early 1970s, a time of social turmoil in the UK. Keyboardist/singer Selwyn Brown is the only other original member in the current lineup.
Steel Pulse is known for classic songs like Ku Klux Klan, Handsworth Revolution, Blues Dance Raid, Worth His Weight in Gold (Rally Round) and Steppin’ Out.