That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed blues legend John Mayall was in December of 1988, shortly after he’d released his Chicago Line album, which featured smokin’ guitarists Walter Trout and Carlos Montoya. Mayall has always surrounded himself with the finest pickers–including guys like Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green–so at one point … Continue reading That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 20, 1989 By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd once recorded an LP called Nuthin’ Fancy. Now I don’t know if British blues great John Mayall ever heard that album or not, but he sure seems to have taken the title to heart. At the Town Pump … Continue reading John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers bring the guitar-heavy Chicago Line to Vancouver’s Town Pump

John Mayall believes the Bluesbreakers are better than ever on Chicago Line

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1989 By Steve Newton The biggest aim for most rock musicians when they’re starting out is getting on a major label. A major-label signing means that your music is available to the masses. It’s the first step on the road to international stardom. But it’s not just … Continue reading John Mayall believes the Bluesbreakers are better than ever on Chicago Line

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

Album review: John Mayall, Wake Up Call (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1993 By Steve Newton Blues legend Mayall lays down 12 bare-bones blues-rock tunes on Wake Up Call, his third good album in a row after Chicago Line and A Sense of Place. Fans of wailing harp and biting guitar won’t be disappointed by the sounds coming … Continue reading Album review: John Mayall, Wake Up Call (1993)

John Mayall recruits slide wizard Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Eric Clapton sitting in

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1990 By Steve Newton When legendary bluesman John Mayall gets rolling on stage, he cuts right down to the roots of the blues. There’s nothing fancy about his approach to the music; with the help of his Bluesbreakers, he delivers it in all its raw and primitive … Continue reading John Mayall recruits slide wizard Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Eric Clapton sitting in

Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton The lineup of guitar slingers on this five-CD package is enough to make any blues-rock devotee start foaming at the mouth: Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Otis Rush, Steve Miller, Walter Trout, Jeff Healey, Steve Cropper, and Jonny Lang. Such … Continue reading Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

Clean-living music-biz veteran John Mayall has still got the blues

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 10, 2011 By Steve Newton While prepping for my interview with British blues-rock legend John Mayall I browsed my trusty CD collection and came up with the remastered version of his 1971 album, Back to the Roots. This turned out to be a fine choice from a guitar freak’s standpoint as … Continue reading Clean-living music-biz veteran John Mayall has still got the blues

John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 3, 1984 By Steve Newton “They were so close it was scary,” claims X bassist John Doe of the near-identical musician’s ads he and guitarist Billy Zoom ran in a Los Angeles paper back in 1979. The eerie similarity of the two advertisements brought the players quickly together, … Continue reading John Doe describes X as “a rock and roll band that loves songs”

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

That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

By Steve Newton I usually write about loud rock and roll music, but every once in a while I get turned on to something else. Back in September of 1995 I interviewed Bill Elm, lap-steel guitarist for the instrumental group Friends of Dean Martinez. The band was formed in Tucson, Arizona as an experimental side-project by … Continue reading That time I told Bill Elm that I wished Friends of Dean Martinez had recorded Santo & Johnny’s “Sleepwalk”

That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

By Steve Newton When I interviewed metal vocalist John Bush back in August of 1993 he was touring with Anthrax, who had released their first album with him, Sound of White Noise, three months earlier. The 30-year-old Bush, formerly of Armored Saint, had been brought in to replace the fired Joey Belladonna, who had sung … Continue reading That time new Anthrax vocalist John Bush told me that he thought the band’s weakest link had always been its singer

Graham Goble knows it’s a long way there, so Little River Band recruits John Farnham for the trip

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 14, 1983 By Steve Newton When, after releasing six albums, a group loses both its original lead singer and lead guitarist, there’s a good chance a large number of longtime fans will be next to go. But that shouldn’t be the case with the Little River Band, for … Continue reading Graham Goble knows it’s a long way there, so Little River Band recruits John Farnham for the trip

Album review: John Fogerty, Revival (2007)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 1, 2007 By Steve Newton There’s nothing sweeter in the world of rock ‘n’ roll than the sound of John Fogerty railing against warmongers, as he’s been doing so successfully ever since Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” blasted onto the radio back in ’69. On Revival, his best … Continue reading Album review: John Fogerty, Revival (2007)

That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with blues legend Long John Baldry on September 8, 1985, shortly after he’d moved to Vancouver, where he would remain until his death 20 years later. Ten days earlier I’d gone to an incredible Vancouver concert by another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose third … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who’d recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain’t Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

That time 24-year-old John Popper told me that touring with the Allman Brothers was like studying “the masters”

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Blues Traveler singer and harmonica slinger John Popper in September of 1991, when he was just 24. That was three weeks after the release of Blues Traveler’s second album, Travelers and Thieves, and three years to the month before the band released its multiplatinum Four album, … Continue reading That time 24-year-old John Popper told me that touring with the Allman Brothers was like studying “the masters”

That time slide-guitar ace Ellen McIlwaine told me that Johnny Winter showed her how to go in her own direction

By Steve Newton Back in 2001 I interviewed Alberta-based blues singer-songwriter and guitarist Ellen McIlwaine before a club gig in Vancouver. Realizing she’s best known for her slide-guitar expertise, I asked her who her biggest influences were on slide, and wasn’t surprised to hear that Johnny Winter was one of her heroes. Have a listen: … Continue reading That time slide-guitar ace Ellen McIlwaine told me that Johnny Winter showed her how to go in her own direction