That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

By Steve Newton I was a huge Foghat fan in the seventies. I couldn’t get enough of their hard-driving boogie-blues on albums like Energized and Rock and Roll Outlaws. When I learned that most of their original members had come from a band called Savoy Brown I went and checked them out as well, and … Continue reading That time Kim Simmonds told me that Eric Clapton was the greatest white blues guitar player he’d ever seen

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 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 Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King

By Steve Newton I absolutely loved the B.B. King and Eric Clapton album Riding With the King when it came out in 2000. It was a shoo-in for my Top 10 Albums of the Year list, alongside other guitar-centic offerings like Joe Satriani‘s Engines of Creation and Steve Vai‘s The 7th Song. But with such … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me that he was “all over” B.B. King and Eric Clapton’s Riding With the King

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me what it was like touring with the “brilliant” Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton Over the years I’ve asked various famous guitarists who they’d most like to play with, if they could choose anyone in the world, and more often than not the answer is Eric Clapton. Doyle Bramhall II is one of the lucky ones who’ve swapped solos with Slowhand. When I interviewed him back … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me what it was like touring with the “brilliant” Eric Clapton

That time Doyle Bramhall II called from Chicago and told me how he came to work with Eric Clapton

todd v. wolfson photo By Steve Newton Unless you’re a hardcore fan of bluesy music or a devoted follower of Eric Clapton you may not recognize the name Doyle Bramhall II, but he’s been one of the most in-demand guitarists in the blues-rock world for many years. I did my first interview with him back … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II called from Chicago and told me how he came to work with Eric Clapton

That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd‘s Second Helping was released the day after my 17th birthday, so the timing was right for it to become one of the major soundtracks to my rock-loving ’70s existence. I didn’t mind its smash-hit lead-off single, “Sweet Home Alabama”, but I liked its rollicking closing track, “Call Me the Breeze”, … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that, like Eric Clapton, Lynyrd Skynyrd also helped his bank account

Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

By Steve Newton Where were you when you first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s killer guitar playing on David Bowie’s 1983 hit single, “Let’s Dance”? It was definitely the type of thing that caught your ear, because you sure as shit didn’t hear much Albert King-style soloing on commercial radio up until that point. According to … Continue reading Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

That time B.B. King told me that Eric Clapton could make him do whatever he wants

By Steve Newton I’ve been lucky enough to have interviewed blues legend B.B. King twice, once way back in 1984, then again in 2002. The last time was a couple of years after he and Eric Clapton had recorded the awesome Riding With the King album, which was a shoo-in for my Top 10 albums … Continue reading That time B.B. King told me that Eric Clapton could make him do whatever he wants

Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler shiver spines in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Of the three big guitar names in seminal British blues-rock–Page, Beck, and Clapton–only the latter has chosen to take a player of his own calibre on tour with him. The match-up of Mark Knopfler and Eric Clapton is one made in guitarist’s heaven, … Continue reading Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler shiver spines in Vancouver

Atlanta guitar hero Tinsley Ellis on covering Leon Russell, adoring Eric Clapton, and listening to Tom Dowd

By Steve Newton The last time yours truly interviewed American blues-rocker Tinsley Ellis was 10 years ago, when he called the Georgia Straight in advance of a gig at the Yale Hotel, Vancouver’s top blues venue for decades. Sadly, the Granville Street joint hasn’t been a real home of the blues for years now, a fact not … Continue reading Atlanta guitar hero Tinsley Ellis on covering Leon Russell, adoring Eric Clapton, and listening to Tom Dowd

Album review: Eric Clapton, Me and Mr. Johnson (2004)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 2004 By Steve Newton Ten years ago, Eric Clapton issued an astounding love letter to the blues titled From the Cradle, which featured some of his most fiery electric-guitar work since the Derek and the Dominos days. Apart from two overdubs, the 16-track CD was a live, … Continue reading Album review: Eric Clapton, Me and Mr. Johnson (2004)

That time J.J. Cale told me that Eric Clapton had paid his rent for the last 30 years

By Steve Newton J.J. Cale is the coolest musician I’ve ever interviewed, and I’ve interviewed quite a few. Talk about laid back and down to earth. And what a wicked guitar player, as if being one of the world’s finest songwriters weren’t enough. I did my first interview with him in 1990, and my second … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that Eric Clapton had paid his rent for the last 30 years

That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

By Steve Newton Bass players don’t get much more special than Donald “Duck” Dunn. As a session musician for Stax Records, Dunn brought the bottom end on scores of legendary tracks, including gems like Otis Redding’s “Respect”, Sam & Dave’s “Hold On, I’m Comin’”, and Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign”. He was also the bassist … Continue reading That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me about working with Eric Clapton and John “the Godfather” Belushi

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 Eric Clapton played a show in Vancouver, but he wasn’t doing any interviews with the likes of me. I was happy as hell just to chat with bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn, who you may recall for his work with Booker T & the MG’s. During the course of our … Continue reading That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me about working with Eric Clapton and John “the Godfather” Belushi

Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 13, 1985 By Steve Newton Long John Baldry is a giant among British blues-rockers–and that’s not only because he stands 6 feet 7-1/2 inches tall. In his 26-year career the singer has played with stars such as Mick jagger, Rod Stewart, and Elton John, among many others, and … Continue reading Long John Baldry on Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, David Bowie–and Dale Martindale of Images in Vogue

Eric Clapton ends his 1985 North American tour in Vancouver, Duck Dunn proclaims “GODDAMN!”

mila geran photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 1985 By Steve Newton “Here’s one from 1967,” said Eric Clapton at the Coliseum last Saturday (July 26). “I hope you recognize it.” Then he launched into “White Room”, a hit from his days with Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in the power trio … Continue reading Eric Clapton ends his 1985 North American tour in Vancouver, Duck Dunn proclaims “GODDAMN!”

B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton Trying to reach blues legend B.B. King at his Arkansas hotel takes some doing. Even when you have the phone number of the hotel, the room he’s in, and a predetermined time to call, you can’t argue with a busy signal. After … Continue reading B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

Eric Clapton’s J.J. Cale tribute features Derek Trucks, Albert Lee, and Doyle Bramhall II

By Steve Newton FULL DISCLOSURE: I fuckin’ love J.J. Cale. Universal Music Canada has announced that Eric Clapton will release a star-studded album honouring J.J. Cale’s legacy this summer. Titled The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale, the 16-track disc will feature guitar by Clapton on all tracks, with guest appearances by such shit-hot pickers as Derek … Continue reading Eric Clapton’s J.J. Cale tribute features Derek Trucks, Albert Lee, and Doyle Bramhall II

Eric Clapton box set features Slowhand trading licks with Freddie King

By Steve Newton Music lovers of a certain age—let’s call them “old fogies” for want of a better term—know that 1973 was an incredible year for guitar-based rock. You can read all about it in music historian Michael Walker’s great new book, What You Want Is in the Limo, which focuses on the albums and touring … Continue reading Eric Clapton box set features Slowhand trading licks with Freddie King

Eric Clapton shown up by Doyle Bramhall II in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 28, 2007 A few days before attending last Friday’s Eric Clapton/Robert Cray show, I came across a timely TV broadcast of Taylor Hackford’s 1986 concert documentary, Chuck Berry: Hail! Hail! Rock ‘N’ Roll. Both Clapton and Cray are featured in it, the former performing the smokin’ slow blues, “Wee Wee … Continue reading Eric Clapton shown up by Doyle Bramhall II in Vancouver

Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

By Steve Newton When you think about the J.J. Cale songs that other artists have covered and made famous, Eric Clapton’s versions of “After Midnight” and “Cocaine” usually make the cut. (Lynyrd Skynyrd’s take on “Call Me the Breeze” and Santana’s rendition of “The Sensitive Kind” also come to mind.) But when I did my … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

That time I asked Buddy Guy why he was such a huge influence on Clapton and Beck

By Steve Newton Buddy Guy is one of the most influential guitar players of all time, having been a major inspiration for the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Eric Clapton, and Jeff Beck. When I did my first interview with Guy, back in August of 1991, he had just released his album Damn … Continue reading That time I asked Buddy Guy why he was such a huge influence on Clapton and Beck

That time I asked J.J. Cale if he’d bought anything nice with his Clapton money

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did my first interview with J.J. Cale, who you may recall is one of the wickedest damn songwriters and guitar players that the United States of America has ever produced. A couple of years earlier there was a TV commercial for Michelob beer in heavy rotation, featuring Cale’s … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale if he’d bought anything nice with his Clapton money

That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

By Steve Newton Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood called me up a couple days ago to plug his upcoming gig at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and I made sure to ask him all about his long-ago bandmate Peter Green. Fleetwood’s current outfit, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, is performing several Green-penned songs from the early … Continue reading That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton

By Steve Newton I love listening to these old soundbites of me hangin’ out with AC/DC‘s Malcolm Young and Brian Johnson at a Vancouver hotel room, sippin’ tea and chattin’ it up. The vast majority of interviews I’ve done since getting into the music-writing game back in ’82 with Vancouver’s Georgia Straight newspaper have been done … Continue reading That time AC/DC’s Malcolm Young told me that his biggest influences were “the old rockers” and early Clapton