Crystal Bay’s reggae favorite Steel Pulse returns Tuesday

David “Dread” Hines is full of energy at the Crystal Bay Casino in October 2019. His band, Steel Pulse, returns Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Tim Parsons / Tahoe Onstage photos

Almost a half-century before it formed in England, Steel Pulse is beating as strong as ever.

A monthlong European tour in July is followed by a full West Coast itinerary in August, including back-to-back nights at the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre.

On Tuesday, Aug. 30, the Grammy winning reggae band will perform at the Crystal Bay Casino. Steel Pulse holds the Crown Room attendance record with 820 in July 2016.

At Steel Pulse’s last CBC show, frontman David Hines showed no ill-effects from a 2016 nearly fatal bout with pneumonia. He was bouncy and spry, as the band played five songs from its first new studio album in 15 years, “Mass Manipulation,” including the song “Rize,” which was a highlight of the show.

Keyboardist and singer Selwyn Brown has been with Steel Pulse since 1977. David “Cirious” Elecciri is the longtime guitarist. The saxophone/clarinet player is James Johnson.

The acclaimed rhythm section has Wayne “C#” Clarke, who performs encased with his drum kit, and bassist “Mr. A.T.” Amlak Tafari, who is the best in the genre, according to longtime Lake Tahoe reggae promoter Robbie Gade. Tafari played in Pato Banton’s original Reggae Revolution Band in the 1990s.

Inspired by Bob Marley and the Wailers album “Catch A Fire,” the founders were from the Handsworth neighborhood of Birmingham, a city in England that parallels with Kingston, Jamaica in its poverty and strife. Much of the band’s catalogue is about social injustice. “Don’t Shoot” was written in response to the killings of  Eric Garner and 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. Iconic songs include “Babylon Makes the Rules,” “Steppin’ Out,” Ku Klux Klan,” “Black and White Oppressors,” “Roller Skates” and “Your House.”

Steel Pulse was the first non-Jamaican band to win a Grammy Award for Best Reggae Album.

Hinds, 66, was hospitalized and missed six weeks of shows in early 2016 with pneumonia. “We nearly lost him,” Brown told Tahoe Onstage in an interview that year.

-Tim Parsons

Steel Pulse
When:
8 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30
Where: Crystal Bay Casino
Opener: tba
Tickets: $30 in advance/ $35 on the day of the show

Tahoe Onstage
Amlak “I.B” Tafari is the bass man.
Tahoe Onstage
“Taxi Driver” Selwyn Brown keeps the show on course.
Steel Pulse
David “Cirious” Elecciri on lead guitar.
Keysha McTaggart
Tim Parsons
High-altitude horn player Jerry Johnson was a crowd favorite in the record-setting 2016 show.
David Hinds
David “Dread” Hinds has a Steel Pulse.

ABOUT Tim Parsons

Tim Parsons
Tim Parsons is the editor of Tahoe Onstage who first moved to Lake Tahoe in 1992. Before starting Tahoe Onstage in 2013, he worked for 29 years at newspapers, including the Tahoe Daily Tribune, Eureka Times-Standard and Contra Costa Times. He was the recipient of the 2011 Keeping the Blues Alive award for Journalism.

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