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Guitar Virtuoso Sandy Bull Gets Reissue of Last LP ‘Steel Tears’

Omnivore Records releasing new edition with unheard material by Bull in April

Omnivore Recordings will reissue Sandy Bull’s final album, Steel Tears, along with four previously unreleased tracks on April 13th. 

Bull, an influential psych-folk musician who influenced Patti Smith, Bob Dylan and more, recorded several albums that attracted a cult following in the 1960s. His work incorporated folk, blues, psychedelia and classical influences next to music from India, Brazil and the Middle East. But after 1972’s Demolition Derby, Bull recorded only three albums before his death in 2001. Steel Tears was the last, released in 1996.

Despite the gaps in Bull’s catalog, his work anticipated several developments in popular music. “While everybody in the initial wave of the folk revival of the ’60s was looking backwards, Sandy was looking forward,” the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band co-founder Jeff Hanna told The Los Angeles Times in 2001. “He had a way of taking influences from everything, from Appalachian music to Indian music to African music, and combining it into this great Sandy gumbo. He was a great musician.”

On Steel Tears, Bull explored his early affinity for country music. To honor that spirit, the new reissue will also include three Bull tribute tracks recorded in Nashville by a band that includes Hanna, Matraca Berg, a member of the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Mickey Raphael, a longtime collaborator of Willie Nelson.

Omnivore’s Steel Tears is the first reissue of the album, giving a new generation of listeners a chance to discover Bull. “Sandy Bull did it first, he laid the foundation, he built the highways,” said accomplished singer/songwriter/producer Buddy Miller in a statement. “[He was] a visionary who heard music as a communal stew pot.”

Steel Tears Reissue Track List

1. “Arabalabama”
2. “Long As We’re Dreaming”
3. “Can I Get A Witness”
4. “Old Habits Like You”
5. “Love Is Forever”
6. “I Don’t Care”
7. “It Should be Easier Now”
8. “My Baby Left Me”
9. “Steel Tears”
10. “Sideshow”
11. “I May Never Pass Out”
12. “Nagra Sarod (Take 1)”
13. “Rhumba”
14. “Nagra Guitar (Take 1)”
15. “Strat 1”
16. “Love Is Forever” (featuring Matraca Berg & Mickey Raphael)
17. “I May Never Pass Out” (featuring Jeff Hanna & Kevin Welch)
18. “Jesse James Jam”
19. “Sandy’s Last Word”  

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