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Strong Like Bull...But Sensitive Like Squirrel (Digital Only)

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Album Review

Steel player Joe Goldmark proves on his many albums what many have always known: that the pedal steel has potential far outside the sphere of country music. On Strong Like Bull but Sensitive Like Squirrel, Goldmark (who has also published a book about his chosen instrument) not only breaks down genre barriers, but also shows the emotional range of the steel guitar. One listen to Goldmark's instrumental version of Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" pretty much dashes any country & western preconceptions about the pedal steel. The track is pure, gut-wrenching soul, bolstered by Stax horns. Goldmark even ably tackles the Nick Lowe composition "(What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding" (popularized by Elvis Costello), showcasing the bouncy pop potential of the pedal steel. Ubiquitous pedal steel player Greg Leisz has already redefined the instrument by working with artists in various genres (and by sacrificing a "signature sound" for the benefit of the overall composition). Goldmark takes another approach — and furthers the work of Leisz — by making his own albums.


Genre: Country

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Joe Goldmark is a pioneering pedal steel player who has consistently redefined the instrument by taking it out of the country music sphere. He has released multiple solo albums since the late '70s and, steel guitar at his fingertips, has explored the music of such groups as the Beatles (the album Steelin' the Beatles), the Byrds ("Eight Miles High"), Bob Seger ("Her Strut"), Fastball ("The Way"), the Grateful Dead ("China Cat Sunflower"), Don Gibson ("Sweet Dreams"), the Band ("Whispering Pines"),...
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Strong Like Bull...But Sensitive Like Squirrel (Digital Only), Joe Goldmark
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