Universal rave reviews and international airplay are piling up in support of pedal steel guitar ace Joe Goldmark’s new CD Blue Steel, his most exciting album to date, with a mix of Americana, blues and roots music worthy of the album’s title. Joining Goldmark and a cadre of Bay Area musical notables for the recording sessions at Red Rooster Studio in Berkeley were ex-Hoodoo Rhythm Devils lead singer Glenn Walters, plus chanteuse Dallis Craft, who share the album’s seven vocal performances, plus long-time Goldmark compadre, Jim Campilongo, who guests on electric guitar.
“Few artists can take on multiple genres within an album and expect solid results. Joe Goldmark is one of those few. The blues tunes will extend airplay for Goldmark beyond the country and Americana fare for which he is so highly respected. Goldmark has recorded seven pedal steel CDs including the critically acclaimed Steelin’ The Beatles, another example of his adventurous spirit. Whether you’re a fan of pedal steel or not, the musicianship and vocal takes on this mix of songs make for a breezy, relaxing listen.” – Jim Hynes, Glide Magazine
“It boasts a number of his crafty instrumental originals (picks are 'Night Flight', a sparkling 'Ginger Ale' and a particularly adventurous take on Bob Marley's 'Natty Dread') sprinkled alongside a diversified mix of honky-tonk country, blues and roots music worthy of the album's title. He also managed to enlist a preeminent crew of Bay Area musicians including Big Beat drummer Paul Revelli, marvelously instinctual guitarist Garth Webber and ace keyboardist Henry Salvia as well as expressive vocalist Glenn Walters (ex-Hoodoo Rhythm Devils) and tuneful chanteuse Dallis Craft--who share the set's seven vocal numbers. Picks among these encompass saxophone-emboldened versions of both Jimmy McCracklin's dancer 'The Wobble' and B.B. King's vintage 'Beautician Blues' on Walter's part with Craft soulfully shining on a reworking of Dallas Frazier's philosophical 'True Love Travels On a Gravel Road" and a Roy Orbison-informed 'A Love So Beautiful'.” – Gary von Tersch, Blues and Rhythm (UK)
“Blues radio will be delighted with the inclusion of Rufus Thomas’ “All Night Worker”; Jimmy McCracklin’s “The Wobble” and B. B. King’s “Beautician Blues”. These are beautifully sung by Glenn Walters’ former lead singer from The Hoodoo Rhythm Devils. In order to give equal time to Goldmark’s country side the fabulous Dallis Craft sings on Lefty Frizzell’s “Look What Thoughts Will Do”; on Dallas Frazier’s “True Love Travels On a Gravel Road”; on Graham Parker’s “Howlin Wind” and on Jeff Lynne’s “A Love So Beautiful.” Goldmark combines honky-tonk and blues in a most delightful way.” – Richard Ludmerer, Making a Scene
“…a blaze of blues, roots, country, soul and a hefty pinch of R & B to conjure up the multi-talent and former member of the Twangbangers (alongside Bill Kirchen, Dallas Wayne and Redd Volkaert) a unique Americana mix that always puts pedal steel in the foreground… a fascinating bridge between the mentioned, different music styles, paired with the highest steeler skills. Giant compliment! – Max Achatz, Country Jukebox (Germany)
Blue Steel showcases a number of original songs, plus a diverse mix of cover tunes ranging from Jimmy McCracklin, Graham Parker, B.B. King and Jeff Lynne, to Lefty Frizzell, Rufus Thomas and Dallas Frazier. Best known for his honky-tonk country and Americana sounds, Goldmark has combined an extra component this go-round with the addition of blues/roots songs like “All Night Worker,” “The Wobble” and “Beautician Blues,” that are destined for strong play on blues radio stations.
Joe Goldmark has seven pedal steel guitar CDs under his belt, including the popular Seducing the 60s and critically-acclaimed Steelin’ the Beatles, which demonstrate his unique vision for the steel guitar. He’s recorded three seminal albums as a member of the storied “Jim Campilongo and the 10 Gallon Cats.” He toured and recorded with “The Twangbangers,” and all-star band that featured Redd Volkaert, Bill Kirchen and Dallas Wayne. He has also toured with Jim Lauderdale and Peter Rowan, and played in the legendary “Texas Chainsaw Band.”
Growing up in Tucson, Arizona, he played cello from the age of nine, but also took up guitar and played in garage bands. He moved to San Francisco in high school and started playing bass in soul bands during the late ‘60s. Joe became enamored with the San Francisco Sound and saw many of the greats, including Hendrix, Cream, Doors, Big Brother, etc. It was while watching Jerry Garcia play with the New Riders of the Purple Sage, who were opening for The Grateful Dead, that Joe got bitten by the pedal steel bug. He soon dropped out of college to play the steel guitar full time, which he pretty much did for the next fifteen years. After getting married and having a son in the mid-1980s, Joe was fortunate to get a day job, going into the pizza business. Ten years later, he came full circle by becoming a partner at Amoeba Music, and getting totally immersed in the music business; however, he never stopped performing on the pedal steel.
Joe brings the pedal steel guitar into new musical territory playing high-energy reinterpretations of rock and soul music, as well as writing and performing his own instrumentals. He also has recorded with other artists, including the True Stories album with David Byrne, Restless Rambling Heart with Laurie Lewis, Amazing California Health & Happiness Road Show with the Mermen, and nine albums with “The Usual Suspects,” a project that included legends Mike Bloomfield, Taj Mahal, Peter Rowan, Norton Buffalo and Maria Muldaur.