Joe Goldmark review…April 23, 2018…..

JOE GOLDMARK

BLUE STEEL

LO-BALL RECORDS  LB 011

NIGHT FLIGHT (INST.)–ALL NIGHT WORKER–A LOVE SO BEAUTIFUL–GINGER ALE (INST.)–THE WOBBLE–WARM RAIN (INST.)–HOWLIN’ WIND–NATTY DREAD (INST.)–LOOK WHAT THOUGHTS WILL DO–TACKY TANGO (INST.)–BEAUTICIAN BLUES–I WANT TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER–TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD

Steel guitar master Joe Goldmark doesn’t see that instrument as confined strictly to the country genre’.  In fact, he sees it as just the opposite–as a musical instrument capable of holding its own within any style, plus, Joe’s got the chops to pull it off.  He can play anything, from Bakersfield to the Beatles.  His latest release indeed takes a bluesier approach to this instrument, and is aptly-titled “Blue Steel,” for Lo-Ball Records.

For this set, he gathered up some old friends to carry the vocals.  On the male side, it is former Hoodoo Rhythm Devils lead man Glenn Walters, and, on the distaff side, it’s Dallis Craft.  Jim Campilongo adds electric guitar on one cut to round out the party.  The baker’s dozen cuts that comprise this set are a cool mix of Joe’s instrumentals plus covers associated with Lefty Frizzell, Roy Orbison, B. B. King, and others.

The set opens on an instrumental note, with Joe’s original, dreamy “Night Flight,” with excellent keys work from Tony Lufrano.  Of the remaining instrumentals, our favorite was the breezy, island-flavored, “Natty Dread.”

On the vocal side, we had two favorites, one from each of the featured voices.  Lefty Frizzell’s “Look What Thoughts Will Do” is as classic a two-stepper you’ll ever hear, delivered in grand style by Dallis, who reminds us to “watch those thoughts, they’ll get you down.”  At the opposite end of the spectrum, and a perfect example of the “blue” side of this project, is Glenn Walters’ read of B. B.’s obscure “Beautician Blues,” with Joe’s steel punctuated by an “uptown” horn section.

Joe Goldmark based “Blue Steel” on an old Starday recording from Arthur “Guitar Boogie” Smith, “Blue Guitar.”  Joe’s set captures his vision to make the steel guitar more than just an accompaniment to country records, and gives it more universal acceptance and appeal.  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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