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Steel Pulse: “Biko’s Kindred Lament”, Live (1979)

I’ve been checking out a lot of reggae lately, but one album always sticks with me: Steel Pulse’s Tribute to the Martyrs. My friend John gave it to me years ago and I still play it regularly, thanks in large part to the heavy bass grooves emitted by Ronald “Stepper” McQueen.

As the title suggests, the album focuses on political and social injustices and the people who worked to fight them. Here’s an awesome clip of the band paying homage to anti-apartheid activist Steve Biko by performing “Biko’s Kindred Lament” at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1979. This song in particular has always kept my attention thanks to interesting harmonic twists and McQueen’s propelling lines.

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