Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton HEDLEY, B.C.—Backstage at the Hedley Blast, Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor slumps in his chair and casually scribbles out a song list, pausing now and again to ask roaming band-mates which tunes they want added or dropped from their upcoming set. New drummer Glenn … Continue reading Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

Album review: Blue Rodeo, Casino (1990)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 29, 1990 By Steve Newton Ever since its eponymous first record was unleashed to rave reviews three years ago, Blue Rodeo has been the little Canadian band that could. Mixing whimsical, feel-good roots rockers (“Heart Like Mine”) with savoury ballads (“Try”)—and always putting the music before things like … Continue reading Album review: Blue Rodeo, Casino (1990)

Blue Rodeo doesn’t recommend taking acid at the Commodore in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 8, 1992 By Steve Newton There’s nothing like timing it just right, so that when you walk into a concert venue the band’s just going on stage. But sometimes that I-don’t-feel-like-waitin’ approach backfires, and you end up missing a few tunes by the group you’re all geared up … Continue reading Blue Rodeo doesn’t recommend taking acid at the Commodore in Vancouver

Blue Rodeo wanted to make “a real pop record” with Casino

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 7, 1991 By Steve Newton For the past two years, the presenter of the Juno award for Canadian Band of the Year has ripped open a sealed envelope and seen the same two words: Blue Rodeo. The powers that be at the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and … Continue reading Blue Rodeo wanted to make “a real pop record” with Casino

Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy broadens his solo scope

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 9, 2006 By Steve Newton When you think of Blue Rodeo frontmen Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor, it’s easy to picture Cuddy as the Paul McCartney to Keelor’s John Lennon. Cuddy is best known as the sentimental crooner of the pretty hit ballad “Try”, whereas Keelor is most recognized as … Continue reading Blue Rodeo’s Jim Cuddy broadens his solo scope

That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with British blues great John Mayall back in May of 1990, when he was heading to Vancouver for a show with his band the Bluesbreakers. He was touring to promote his latest album, A Sense of Place, which featured slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth on … Continue reading That time blues legend John Mayall told me why he handles his own gear and never uses roadies

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers slay Vancouver with smokin’ guitarists Montoya and Trout

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 6, 1987 By Steve Newton John Mayall knows blues guitarists. And it’s no wonder since he’s played with the best of them–guys like Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. But the two lead players he brought with him to the Commodore last Thursday (October 29) were so hot that they literally stole … Continue reading John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers slay Vancouver with smokin’ guitarists Montoya and Trout

Johnny Winter is white, hot, and blue in Vancouver

On September 1, 1989, Johnny Winter played the Commodore Ballroom in Vancouver. The chance to witness the underrated Texas guitar legend in the confines of one of VanCity’s finest concert venues (for the second time) was not one I was about to pass up. Besides, at the time I was really grooving on his latest album, … Continue reading Johnny Winter is white, hot, and blue in Vancouver

Blackie & the Rodeo Kings ebullient about a Band classic

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 22, 2006 By Steve Newton Like Brian Wilson used to do in his Beach Boys days, Colin Linden gets around. When the Straight catches him on his cellphone he’s just leaving a Calgary hotel with his fellow members of Blackie & the Rodeo Kings—Tom Wilson and Stephen Fearing—for a … Continue reading Blackie & the Rodeo Kings ebullient about a Band classic

Where were you in ’82? Rockin’ with Blue Öyster Cult & Aldo Nova too?

By Steve Newton On August 22, 1982, I was at the Pacific Coliseum watching my hard-rock heroes from the States, Blue Öyster Cult, kick butt on a bill with Canadian one-hit-wonder Aldo Nova. How do I remember the precise date of that ancient gig, you ask? Well, it’s not like I still have the ticket … Continue reading Where were you in ’82? Rockin’ with Blue Öyster Cult & Aldo Nova too?

That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

By Steve Newton Thirty-five years ago today–on  November 26, 1987–I did an interview with Joey Molland of Badfinger. I’ve loved Badfinger ever since I first heard them doing that 1969 song that everybody thought was the Beatles, “Come and Get It”, from the film The Magic Christian. Joey Molland wasn’t in the band then, but … Continue reading That time Joey Molland told me about the “crooks” that stole a ton of royalty money from Badfinger

That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

By Steve Newton I wasn’t a huge fan of new-wave music in the mid-’80s–I was too busy banging my head to Maiden and Priest and Scorps and such–but for some reason in November of 1985 I sat down with Martha Davis for an interview that was never actually published. She was promoting the Motels’ fifth … Continue reading That time Martha Davis told me that the Motels lost 60 grand a week on their last tour

That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

By Steve Newton Way back in November of 1985 I interviewed Helix frontman Brian Vollmer. This was right after the band had released its fifth album, Long Way to Heaven, and were quite popular on the Canadian heavy-metal scene. Anybody remember 1983’s “Heavy Metal Love”? At one point in the conversation I asked Vollmer if … Continue reading That time back in ’85 when I asked Brian Vollmer if Helix were hometown heroes in Kitchener

When Graham Brown plugs in his Telecaster he’s 12 years old again

rob bubek photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JUNE 23, 2022 By Steve Newton When I try calling Graham Brown at the time specified for our interview there’s no answer, so I leave a message and try again a few minutes later. This time we do connect, only to have the local rocker apologize and explain that … Continue reading When Graham Brown plugs in his Telecaster he’s 12 years old again

That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with American guitar legend Steve Vai on May 31, 1990, eleven days after the release of his second album, Passion & Warfare–you know, the one with “For the Love of God”. Seven months earlier Vai’s former guitar teacher, Joe Satriani, had released his third album, Flying in … Continue reading That time I asked Steve Vai if he had any desire, like his buddy Satch, to try his hand at vocals

Newt’s top 10 things to do in Metro Vancouver this week, Nov. 21-25

Horror director Gigi Saul Guerrero appears at the Rio By Steve Newton MONDAY: American indie-rockers Built to Spill, featuring singer-guitarist Doug Martsch, play the Commodore Ballroom, with guests Braided Waves and Anchorbaby. MONDAY: the Vancouver Canucks take on the red-hot Vegas Golden Knights in National Hockey League action at Rogers Arena. Blue Rodeo plays the … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 things to do in Metro Vancouver this week, Nov. 21-25

That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Richard Marx back in November of 1991 he was one of the most popular singer-songwriters around. His self-titled 1987 debut album had sold three million copies, and his 1989 followup, Repeat Offender–the one with “Right Here Waiting”–had moved six million copies. So, doing the math, I asked him if … Continue reading That time I asked Richard Marx if he was hoping to sell nine million copies of his followup to Repeat Offender

That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers

Actual footage of Townsend giving Vai an ulcer By Steve Newton Back in September of 1993 I did my second interview with Canadian metal genius Devin Townsend. He was only 21 at the time, and had recently joined up with guitar virtuoso Steve Vai to record the vocals for Vai’s Sex & Religion album and … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Devin Townsend told me that he and Steve Vai give each other ulcers