Charlie Daniels brings his redneck fiddle noise to my old hometown for the Chilliwack Country Music Festival

@shotbykevin ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 10, 1990 By Steve Newton Whether you’re a big country music fan or just someone who enjoys partying in the sun with several thousand other folks, the Chilliwack Fairgrounds was the place to be over the long weekend. Twenty-four bands performed, much beer was consumed, and it … Continue reading Charlie Daniels brings his redneck fiddle noise to my old hometown for the Chilliwack Country Music Festival

Danny Kirwan’s death revives memories of cruising the Chilliwack strip listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House

By Steve Newton You may have heard that British musician Danny Kirwan passed away on Friday, at the age of 68. Don’t feel too bad if his name doesn’t sound familiar, but he was a member of Fleetwood Mac between 1968 and 1972. I didn’t know his work all that well myself, even though he … Continue reading Danny Kirwan’s death revives memories of cruising the Chilliwack strip listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Kiln House

Back to the ‘Wack: Newt signs Gord Downie book in Chilliwack

By Steve Newton In case you haven’t heard, my first book came out last month. It’s called Gord Downie, and it’s about a poetic Canadian guy who rocked his ass off for decades and won over his home country before bravely succumbing to brain cancer and winning over his home country even more. When the … Continue reading Back to the ‘Wack: Newt signs Gord Downie book in Chilliwack

Newt rocks out at 60th birthday bash with members of Chilliwack bands Cold Chain, Horsepower, and Concrete Jungle

jet sutherland photo By Steve Newton After 35-plus years of writing about other people rockin’ out on guitar, I finally got off my butt, hopped on stage, and did some half-assed riffing myself. Last night at the Coast Hotel, in the heart of beautiful downtown Chilliwack, B.C., a bunch of old guys who were born … Continue reading Newt rocks out at 60th birthday bash with members of Chilliwack bands Cold Chain, Horsepower, and Concrete Jungle

Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 7: Midnight Smoke says Chilliwack is a “gold mine” for a versatile band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE CHILLIWACK PROGRESS, MAY 6, 1981 By Steve Newton (In the seventh of a series of stories on local bands, The Progress presents a profile on Midnight Smoke. Next: Homegrown) Midnight Smoke is a longtime Chilliwack band that is currently composed of Peter Priebe on bass and lead vocals, Ed Porter on … Continue reading Back in the ‘Wack Vol. 7: Midnight Smoke says Chilliwack is a “gold mine” for a versatile band

Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

By Steve Newton Back in January I blogged about the “major concert news” that my old buddy’s cover band, Cold Chain, was gonna play the 40-year reunion for my Chilliwack Senior High School class of 1975. At the time I put a request in for what was probably my fave tune that year, Ian Hunter’s … Continue reading Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

Major concert news: Newt’s buddy’s band will play the Chilliwack Senior High class of ’75 reunion

By Steve Newton It probably won’t garner as much attention as the announcement of the upcoming AC/DC world tour, but I just found out that my old buddy’s cover band is playing the 40-year reunion for the Chilliwack Senior High School class of 1975. So I guess I’ll go. Here’s the unofficial setlist. The band … Continue reading Major concert news: Newt’s buddy’s band will play the Chilliwack Senior High class of ’75 reunion

Bill Henderson says Chilliwack ripped off its name for the First Nations vibe

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 6, 2000 By Steve Newton It’s a bit weird coming from a small town that has the same name as a popular ’70s rock band. When you admit to having been born and bred in Chilliwack, there’s always some joker who’ll wonder aloud, “Hey, isn’t that where that … Continue reading Bill Henderson says Chilliwack ripped off its name for the First Nations vibe

Call me a hick from Chilliwack, but I ain’t never seen no spiral haircut before

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 6, 1992 What makes a rock writer desperate to score the reviewer’s assignment for a Red Hot Chili Peppers show? Could it be the group’s incendiary brand of primitive thrash-funk, or the fact that their live appearances are known far and wide for their unbridled energy and uncontrolled … Continue reading Call me a hick from Chilliwack, but I ain’t never seen no spiral haircut before

Strange Euphoria sparks memories of a (Chilliwack) Coliseum concert

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 25, 2012 By Steve Newton Over the years I’ve heard quite a few folks fondly reminisce about seeing Heart play their high-school gym out in Buttfuck, B.C., back in the year of our lord, 1976. That was the same year that the Ann and Nancy Wilson-led band released its debut … Continue reading Strange Euphoria sparks memories of a (Chilliwack) Coliseum concert

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

By Steve Newton Mott the Hoople is one of my all-time favourite bands, and Ian Hunter is one of my all-time favourite rockers. I interviewed him and Mick Ronson separately on the same day–September 9, 1988–when they were headed to Vancouver for a show in advance of recording their awesome 1989 album YUI Orta. At … Continue reading That time Ian Hunter told me that what sells Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter–or what doesn’t sell Ian Hunter is Ian Hunter

That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

By Steve Newton We’ve all heard the old joke before: “What do you call somebody who hangs around with musicians? A drummer.” I think it’s fair to say that drummers don’t always get the credit they deserve. I haven’t interviewed that many over the years–for the simple fact that I prefer talking to guitarists–but some … Continue reading That time Alex Van Halen told me how early on he discovered the fascinating power of live music

That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1990 I did the first of my seven interviews with Joe Satriani. At the time he was touring behind his latest album, Flying in a Blue Dream, and the buzz about him was growing fast. People were learning that he’d spent several years as a guitar instructor, teaching … Continue reading That time I asked Joe Satriani who his best guitar student was and he said Steve Vai caught on the quickest

That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

By Steve Newton I was fortunate enough to have interviewed Canadian guitar wizard Jeff Healey three times. Man could that guy wail on the Strat! The first interview took place in June of 1988, when he was just 22, and still three months away from releasing his incredible debut album, See the Light. When I … Continue reading That time I called up 22-year-old Jeff Healey and asked him about his role in the upcoming bouncer flick Roadhouse

That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Bon Jovi may have been hugely popular back in the day, but I actually enjoyed guitarist Richie Sambora’s solo debut album, Stranger in This Town, more than any Bon Jovi band release. I even preferred Sambora’s lead vocals over Jon Bon Jovi’s, especially on solo tunes like “Ballad of Youth”. So it … Continue reading That time Richie Sambora told me why Bon Jovi switched producers from Bruce Fairbairn to Bob Rock

That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Kenny Wayne Shepherd four times, ’cause I’m a sucker for folks who can play the shit out of a Strat. The first time was back in December of 1995, when he was only 18 and touring behind his platinum-selling debut album, Ledbetter Heights. At one point in the conversation I … Continue reading That time 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd told me about meeting his idol Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

By Steve Newton As April Wine once said, “I Like to Rock”. I like to rock as well, but once in a while a beautiful, gentle ballad is, as Ted Nugent once said, “Just What the Doctor Ordered”. But enough about April Wine and Ted Nugent. This little blog’s about a softer-rockin’, more prog-oriented band … Continue reading That time I asked Justin Hayward if he knew the Moody Blues’ “Nights in White Satin” was special as soon as it came to him

That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

By Steve Newton I’ve long felt that John Fogerty was the biggest triple-threat in rock: as a songwriter, singer, and guitarist, few can match him. I’ve also always hated how, for years after the breakup of Creedence Clearwater Revival, Fogerty couldn’t even perform the incredible CCR songs he’d written, for legal reasons. The old CCR … Continue reading That time I asked Elliot Easton if he felt like a mercenary playing John Fogerty’s licks in Creedence Clearwater Revisited

That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s

By Steve Newton I missed out on the MC5 when they were a major musical force on the American counterculture scene in the late ’60s. And it’s not just ’cause I’m Canadian. I was only 11 when their groundbreaking Kick Out the Jams debut album came out, and at that point all I listened to … Continue reading That time Wayne Kramer told me about the MC5’s political consciousness in the ’60s