Joe Goldmark

Blue Steel
Joe Goldmark
Blue Steel

Along with his work with Jim Campilongo and others, San Francisco-based pedal steel guitarist Joe Goldmark has produced eight solo CDs (and three earlier vinyl albums) covering broad swaths of popular music, among them collections of ’60s rock and Beatles tunes. This latest follows a similar path, as Goldmark navigates a blend of original instrumentals and rock, R&B, blues and country covers.

The instrumentals are his showcase, allowing him to stretch out, as he does on the title track, the reflective “Warm Rain,” and the dry-humored “Tacky Tango.” It’s welcome hearing him again with Campilongo here on the guitarist’s original instrumental “I Want To Be With You Forever.”

Eight selections are covers, including Jeff Lynne’s “A Love So Beautiful,” Jimmy McCracklin’s “The Wobble,” “Howlin Wind” by Graham Parker, Lefty Frizzell’s “Look What Thought Will Do,” Elvis Presley’s “True Love Travels On A Gravel Road,” and the B.B. King standard “Beautician Blues.”

The male and female singers on these tunes – Glenn Walters and Dallis Craft – are quite competent, but ultimately unnecessary. Their presence puts Goldmark into accompanist mode when hearing him make use of his instrumental prowess to explore these songs harmonically would have been infinitely more satisfying.


This article originally appeared in VG August 2018 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.