Album review: Colin James, Rooftops and Satellites (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, By Steve Newton Methinks Colin James has been listening to a little too much ZZ Top of late. Don’t get me wrong—I can play the Texas boogiemeisters’ first five albums all day long and still have a hankering for more Tres Hombres. But on “Man’s Gotta Be a Stone”, the … Continue reading Album review: Colin James, Rooftops and Satellites (2009)

That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1995 I interviewed Canadian blues-rocker Colin James, who I’d been a fan of since his self-titled 1988 debut album. At the time he was touring behind his fourth album, Bad Habits, which saw him playing quite a bit of slide guitar on tunes like “Real Stuff” and “Walkin’ … Continue reading That time Colin James told me that playing electric slide-guitar was a challenge for him

That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me how much he liked Colin James

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Stevie Ray Vaughan in July of 1990, six weeks before his death, I asked him what he’d been listening to in his spare time–if he had any. “Well I really haven’t had time to look up!,” he declared, before adding that he’d been mostly paying attention to the record … Continue reading That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me how much he liked Colin James

Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON NOV. 18, 1988  By Steve Newton The first time yours truly met Colin James was at the Commodore a couple of years ago. I forget who was playing, but I was hanging out in front of the bar with fellow rock scribbler John “Wacky” Mackie, a member of the band L. Kabong, … Continue reading Colin James lives up to the hype at the second of five straight sold-out Commodore shows

Album review: Colin James, Bad Habits (1995)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 3, 1995 By Steve Newton They say that life begins at 40, but for 30-year-old Colin James the Big Three-O might well be the milestone signifying delivery to the good life. With Bad Habits, the fresh-faced rocker has turned into a goatee-sporting practitioner of funky, soulful, seasoned-sounding … Continue reading Album review: Colin James, Bad Habits (1995)

Guitar stars Jimmie Vaughan, Neil Schon, Kim Mitchell, and Colin James shine at CFOX birthday bash

charles campbell photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 20, 1987 By Steve Newton “The Fox rocks” is the motto that local FM station CFOX likes to use whenever possible. And whether you agree with that claim or not, one thing you’ve go to admit is that The Fox knows how to throw a … Continue reading Guitar stars Jimmie Vaughan, Neil Schon, Kim Mitchell, and Colin James shine at CFOX birthday bash

Colin James took some funky pills for his new Bad Habits

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 31, 1995 Some guys have it tough, and then there’s Colin James. When it came time to record his fourth album, the local blues-rocker didn’t hole up in any ice-encased northern studio. James ended up down in the Bahamas, poor guy. But it wasn’t like he went there … Continue reading Colin James took some funky pills for his new Bad Habits

Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton The PNE isn’t normally the type of place you’d go to save money, but Vancouver blues-rock fans who paid just $7.50 (plus fair admission) to see guitar heroes Robert Cray, Jeff Healey, and Colin James last Thursday (September 3) got themselves a heckuva … Continue reading Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

Colin James shines bright on the talent-packed Limelight

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 24, 2005 By Steve Newton On Limelight, his new, Juno Award-worthy CD, Colin James pulls off a sharp cover of Bob Dylan’s “Watchin’ the River Flow”, but the coolest thing about that track is what happens at the end of it. Just as the final strains of the 12-bar-blues number … Continue reading Colin James shines bright on the talent-packed Limelight

Paul Shaffer says that jamming with James Brown was the highlight of his career

By Steve Newton Sometimes it’s the little things in life that matter. Or the stories behind them. Like Paul Shaffer’s barely noticeable appearance in the 1988 Christmas comedy Scrooged. At one point in the film Shaffer is seen performing in a New York City street band, playing keyboards along with saxophonist David Sanborn, guitarist Larry … Continue reading Paul Shaffer says that jamming with James Brown was the highlight of his career

That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

By Steve Newton I remember buying the Styx album The Grand Illusion when it came out back in 1977, but they were never one of my favourite bands. I enjoyed a few of their more rockin’ tunes (“Too Much Time on My Hands”, “Blue Collar Man [Long Nights]”), but there was also something about them–a … Continue reading That time Styx guitarist James Young told me about getting drunk with Thin Lizzy’s Phil Lynott

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Ronnie James Dio back in 1985 there was a backlash going against heavy metal, with groups like the PMRC (Parents Music Resource Centre) trying to depict it as dangerous to the wellbeing of young kids. Dio was well aware of how metal artists were being stereotyped for their music … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that music was given to us to colour our world

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he loved classical music, and that Bach was a real rock ‘n’ roller

By Steve Newton I interviewed Ronnie James Dio back in December of 1985 while he was touring behind his Sacred Heart album, with Yngwie Malmsteen opening up. At one point in the interview I mentioned how Ronnie had started out as a trumpet player when he was five, which led to him confessing his deep love … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he loved classical music, and that Bach was a real rock ‘n’ roller

That time Colin Hay told me that he thought Men at Work were a success story when they were playing Melbourne pubs

By Steve Newton I interviewed Men at Work frontman Colin Hay back in October of 1983, when the Aussie group was touring behind its second album, Cargo, the followup to its hugely successful debut, Business as Usual (the one with “Down Under” and “Who Can It Be Now?”). (Strangely enough, when the band got to … Continue reading That time Colin Hay told me that he thought Men at Work were a success story when they were playing Melbourne pubs

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

By Steve Newton Way the funk back in 1985 I did my one and only interview with Ronnie James Dio. He was touring behind Dio’s Sacred Heart album, and he got tickets and backstage passes to the show in Vancouver at the Pacific Coliseum. I’ll never forget how kind and generous he was when we … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that Black Sabbath’s “Heaven and Hell” was his favourite song out of all the things he’d done

That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he thought Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules was a better album than Heaven and Hell

By Steve Newton Black Sabbath impressed a lot of people in April of 1980 when it released Heaven and Hell, its first album with Ronnie James Dio on vocals. I was one of those people. So I was pretty surprised when, while I was interviewing him in 1985, Dio told me that he thought Sabbath’s … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me that he thought Black Sabbath’s Mob Rules was a better album than Heaven and Hell

Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton If you were ever a big fan of the Blues Brothers, chances are you appreciate a few chuckles tossed in with your listening. Blues Traveler singer/harmonica player John Popper certainly does. In fact, it was his love of comedy that first got him … Continue reading Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did my only interview with Ronnie James Dio, who was headed to Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour, with Yngwie Malmsteen‘s Rising Force opening up. At one point in the conversation the legendary heavy-metal crooner compared the guitar-playing abilities of his former bandmate Ritchie Blackmore to those of … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists