That time Chris Whitley told me that he thought Johnny Winter’s debut album was the best blues-rock record ever made

By Steve Newton I interviewed Chris Whitley for the first time back in October of 1991, three months after the release of his debut album, Living With the Law. He called me up from Nashville, where he was opening for Tom Petty on Petty’s Into the Great Wide Open Tour. At one point in the … Continue reading That time Chris Whitley told me that he thought Johnny Winter’s debut album was the best blues-rock record ever made

Nomadic tendencies and Jimmy Page colour Chris Whitley’s creative outlook

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 1997 By Steve Newton Chris Whitley sure gets around. Born in Texas 37 years ago, the singer-songwriter-guitarist has so far taken up residence in such disparate locales as Mexico, Belgium, Vermont, and New York, to name a few. When his harried road manager calls the Georgia Straight … Continue reading Nomadic tendencies and Jimmy Page colour Chris Whitley’s creative outlook

Chris Whitley figures Johnny Winter is the best blues-rock record ever made

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 14, 1991 By Steve Newton Certain albums hold sacred places in people’s hearts. They know every chorus, verse, and bridge of one particular LP. For me, that ultimate album might be Mott the Hoople’s Mott. For dobro ace Chris Whitley, it’s definitely Johnny Winter’s Johnny Winter. “To me, … Continue reading Chris Whitley figures Johnny Winter is the best blues-rock record ever made

That time I asked Ronnie James Dio which singers he admired the most and he said Mike Reno had a lot of control and “great pipes”

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1985 I interviewed Ronnie James Dio when he was in the midst of his Sacred Heart Tour and headed to Vancouver for a show at the Pacific Coliseum–with Yngwie Malmsteen opening up! At one point in the conversation I asked Dio which singers he admired the most, but … Continue reading That time I asked Ronnie James Dio which singers he admired the most and he said Mike Reno had a lot of control and “great pipes”

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally pulls its heads out of its ass long enough to nominate Warren Zevon

By Steve Newton If you’ve been visiting this blog much in the past few years you may have noticed how often I go out of my way to call out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Heck, I even created a special section just for slagging it. The three artists whose continuing absence from … Continue reading The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally pulls its heads out of its ass long enough to nominate Warren Zevon

That time Canadian rock-guitar wizard Dave Martone got choked up talking about Eddie Van Halen

By Steve Newton Vancouver-based guitarist Dave Martone knows wicked guitar players. As well as having collaborated and toured with his good friend Joe Satriani over the years, Martone has managed to work with such acclaimed six-string slingers as Yngwie Malmsteen, Jennifer Batten, Tosin Abasi, Greg Howe, Paul Gilbert, and Marty Friedman. But when I interviewed Martone in November … Continue reading That time Canadian rock-guitar wizard Dave Martone got choked up talking about Eddie Van Halen

That time I asked Canadian fingerstyle-guitar virtuoso Don Ross how he got so good

By Steve Newton I interviewed Canadian guitar virtuoso Don Ross for the first time back in 2001, when he was touring behind his Huron Street album. Ross is the only person to win the National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship twice (1988 and 1996), so yeah, he’s shit-hot. At one point in the conversation I asked him … Continue reading That time I asked Canadian fingerstyle-guitar virtuoso Don Ross how he got so good

That time Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson told me that he never had the desire to make a solo album

By Steve Newton Back in January of 1992 I interviewed Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson while his band was touring behind its Roll the Bones album. At one point in the conversation I asked Lifeson if he ever had the desire to make a solo album, and he claimed that he didn’t. Guess he changed his … Continue reading That time Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson told me that he never had the desire to make a solo album

That time Mason Ruffner told me about the “special thanks” to Jimmy Page on his new Gypsy Blood album

Ruffner and Page try each other’s guitars By Steve Newton I interviewed Strat-playing Texas blues-rocker Mason Ruffner back in July of 1987. At the time he was touring in support of his second album, the Dave Edmunds-produced Gypsy Blood. His music was along the same lines as his Epic Records labelmate Stevie Ray Vaughan, so I … Continue reading That time Mason Ruffner told me about the “special thanks” to Jimmy Page on his new Gypsy Blood album

Ear of Newt and The Tapes Archive present Ronnie James Dio: The Sacred Heart Interview, 1985

By Steve Newton A couple of weeks ago I posted a blog telling of a new partnership between me, the Newt in Ear of Newt, and The Tapes Archive, a U.S.-based podcast that focuses on releasing previously unpublished interviews with rock legends. That blog included a link to a YouTube video The Tapes Archive’s Alan … Continue reading Ear of Newt and The Tapes Archive present Ronnie James Dio: The Sacred Heart Interview, 1985

That time Voivod’s Denis “Snake” Bélanger told me he’d rather sing about extraterrestrials than sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1993 I interviewed Voivod vocalist Denis “Snake” Bélanger. At the time his quartet from Quebec was en route to a show at a Vancouver bar called the Town Pump, touring behind its new album, The Outer Limits. I wasn’t that familiar with Voivod, but I quite enjoyed that … Continue reading That time Voivod’s Denis “Snake” Bélanger told me he’d rather sing about extraterrestrials than sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll

Slide-guitar ace Harry Manx praises Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Kevin Breit, and his first blues influence, Johnny Winter

By Steve Newton When I call up Harry Manx for an interview, I have no idea where he’s located. The area code (250) signifies that it’s somewhere in B.C., but that’s about it. Turns out he’s been residing on Salt Spring Island for the last 20 years or so. And as luck would have it … Continue reading Slide-guitar ace Harry Manx praises Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, Kevin Breit, and his first blues influence, Johnny Winter

That time I asked Rickey Medlocke if he and Hughie Thomasson might get to sneak a Blackfoot or Outlaws tune into Skynyrd’s set

By Steve Newton I interviewed Rickey Medlocke in 1997, the year after he’d joined Gary Rossington and Hughie Thomasson in Lynyrd Skynyrd’s three-guitar lineup. While Rossington was a founding Skynyrd guitarist, and Medlocke had played drums for them in their early days, Medlocke and Thomasson had made their names in two of my other fave … Continue reading That time I asked Rickey Medlocke if he and Hughie Thomasson might get to sneak a Blackfoot or Outlaws tune into Skynyrd’s set