Joe Goldmark was one of many 1970s musicians who took up the pedal steel guitar and took the eternally fluid instrument into new directions. He played in numerous Northern California bands, and has released several albums under his own name. Here's a quick look at his work...
Joe Goldmark "The Goldmark Round-Up: Steelin' From His Past" (Lo-Ball, 1996)
A CD-era compilation drawn from three early LPs: Pickin' My Pleasures (1977), Vertigo (1978), and Rockin' It (1981).
Joe Goldmark "All Over The Road" (Lo-Ball, 1994)
Local pedal steel luminary Joe Goldmark came back from a twelve year studio hiatus to record this excellent album, which may be the best of his career. Plenty of cover tunes, including material from Hendrix, Zappa and Nelson Riddle, including a bunch of R&B tunes and Goldmark originals... What sets this album apart is the solidity of the performance -- on other albums Goldmark frequently slips into goofy arrangements, which can be a distraction. Here, the inventiveness of his pedal steel work is matched by the fluidity of the backup, making this a rather fun record to listen to.
Joe Goldmark "Steelin' The Beatles" (Lo-Ball, 1997)
Joe Goldmark "All Hat... No Cattle" (HighTone, 1999)
His first album on the indie dynamo, HighTone Records, finds Goldmark trying out several kinds of world music -- steelified versions of Mexican, Caribbean and African material, as well as covers of rock tunes by the Byrds and The Dead. Yet more inventive instrumental explorations...
Joe Goldmark "Strong Like Bull... But Sensitive Like Squirrel!" (HighTone, 2001)
Another mainly-instrumental outing that features Goldmark's dazzlingly ornate brand of twangy note-bending and steel wizardry. The poppy Mussel Shoals-styled R&B arrangements which he favors throughout might not be to everyone's taste, but Goldmark's fluidity and mastery of the instrument are pretty impressive.
Joe Goldmark "Seducing The '60s" (Lo-Ball, 2007)
Joe Goldmark & Keta Bill "The Wham Of That Steel Man!" (Lo Ball Records, 2012)
The SF Bay Area's premier pedal steel player is back, with a 2-CD set showcasing his pickin' prowess, as well as the vocals of bluesy singer Keta Bill. A strong tilt towards old-fashioned 1960s soul and R&B, of the Motown-ish/Stax-y variety. Not quite my cup of tea, but I bet there's lots of uninhibited booty shaking at their live shows...
Hick Music Index