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

18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd recalls being seven and watching Stevie Ray Vaughan from Stevie’s amp case

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 28, 1995 By Steve Newton If a longhaired, bearded, beer-bellied guy in a teal Precidia pulls up next to you on a rain-soaked Vancouver street, there’s a good chance it’ll be me. And if the unmistakable strains of Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar are escaping the vehicle’s minute confines, … Continue reading 18-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd recalls being seven and watching Stevie Ray Vaughan from Stevie’s amp case

Kenny Wayne Shepherd never played with Stevie Ray, but still has hope for Clapton

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 2000 By Steve Newton When Kenny Wayne Shepherd calls the Straight on a crapping-out cellphone from the wasteland of Duluth, Minnesota, it feels like a mixed blessing. On one hand, I’m happy to chat with anyone who’s helping to keep the Strat-ified blues-raunch spirit of Stevie Ray … Continue reading Kenny Wayne Shepherd never played with Stevie Ray, but still has hope for Clapton

Texas Strat-strangler Kenny Wayne Shepherd goes all Stevie Ray on Vancouver’s ass

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 14, 1999 Guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan had a profound effect on a lot of people, and 21-year-old blues-rock whiz kid Kenny Wayne Shepherd is one of them. As the story goes, Shepherd developed his Stevie Ray obsession at the age of seven when the Texas Strat-strangler sat … Continue reading Texas Strat-strangler Kenny Wayne Shepherd goes all Stevie Ray on Vancouver’s ass

20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 1997 By Steve Newton Some guys have all the luck—and a fair whack of talent, too. Take Kenny Wayne Shepherd, for instance. He just turned 20, yet he’s one of the biggest names on the blues-rock scene, with a debut CD that has moved more than 750,000 … Continue reading 20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

Kenny Wayne Shepherd gets swamp cred with Days

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 30, 2007 By Steve Newton The last few times I’ve pitched Straight music editor Mike Usinger stories on white blues artists, he’s flippantly responded with the bewildering phrase “Blues Hammer!” I had no clue what the guy was on about until he forwarded me a clip from Terry Zwigoff’s quirky … Continue reading Kenny Wayne Shepherd gets swamp cred with Days

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 Rickey Medlocke told me that he was hired to play Allen Collins’ guitar parts in Skynyrd

By Steve Newton Back in 1997 Lynyrd Skynyrd was headed to Vancouver for a show with Paul Rodgers and Kenny Wayne Shepherd, so you bet your ass I was gonna go. I was also gonna interview Rickey Medlocke, who had rejoined the band to play guitar alongside founding member Gary Rossington and former Outlaws picker … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that he was hired to play Allen Collins’ guitar parts in Skynyrd

That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I interviewed Motley Crue guitarist Mick Mars the same day his band played Vancouver on its Theatre of Pain tour. At one point in the conversation we were talking fave guitar players–his (and mine) being Jeff Beck–and I asked him how he felt about the new superstars … Continue reading That time Mick Mars told me that Yngwie Malmsteen could be the world’s best guitarist if he’d just change his attitude

Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

all photos by Jeff Sutherland By Steve Newton Your first concert is a big deal–or that’s what my nephew Jeff says, anyway. Thirty-five years ago I took him to his very first rock show, at the Pacific Coliseum. It was Iron Maiden on the Powerslave tour. He was 14. It ruled. Last night (Sept. 3) … Continue reading Iron Maiden was the world’s best metal band in Vancouver last night

That time I asked Telecaster master Danny Gatton if he liked playing slide with beer bottles

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Danny Gatton, “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist”, back in 1993, just before the release of his Cruisin’ Deuces album. Tragically, he took his own life the following year. A close friend said he thought Gatton had suffered from depression for over two decades. He … Continue reading That time I asked Telecaster master Danny Gatton if he liked playing slide with beer bottles

Jeff Healey jams at Vancouver’s Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 8, 1988 By Steve Newton Jeff Healey loves to play guitar. Two long, sweat-soaked nights at the Town Pump obviously weren’t going to be enough for the blind blues ace. So he could be seen down at the Yale Saturday afternoon (July 2), taking part in the pub’s … Continue reading Jeff Healey jams at Vancouver’s Yale Pub before tearing up the Town Pump with a feedback-laden “Oh Canada”

Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Being a rock critic is not all fun and games. “Sure, Steve,” you’re probably saying, “all those free concerts and backstage brewskies must be real tough.” Okay, so there are worse occupations, but like anything else it can get boring. … Continue reading Def Leppard makes a triumphant in-the-round return to Vancouver on the Hysteria tour

Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

By Steve Newton I did my eighth interview with Joe Satriani a couple years ago, and finally got to ask him about something that his former G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen once said to me. Back in 2014 I had interviewed Yngwie in advance of his Guitar Gods show in Vancouver, and that was when he … Continue reading Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

By Steve Newton Welcome to the old-rocker department. You won’t find much in the hip-and-happening realm here, but it’s not all about the kids, ya know. Gregg Allman Southern Blood One of the hardest-hitting musician deaths this year was southern-rock legend Gregg Allman’s passing in May of complications from liver cancer. But he left his millions … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

Stratman Vince Converse just likes to hang out in bars and play blues for women

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 18, 1999 By Steve Newton Vince Converse is one of those up-and-coming guitar slingers you read about in guitar magazines, a simmering talent just waiting to explode onto the music scene. He’s also the kind of player Fender likes to have as an endorsee. I guess that means … Continue reading Stratman Vince Converse just likes to hang out in bars and play blues for women

Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

By Steve Newton Google “100 greatest guitarists” these days and what shows up at the top is a total joke. It’s the high ‘n’ mighty Rolling Stone‘s list of the so-called finest, posted from 2015. And man does it suck. But what do you expect from the same bozos who oversee the Rock and Roll … Continue reading Rolling Stone can piss right off: here’s the 100 Greatest Guitarists (that I’ve interviewed) and 50 that I haven’t (yet)

That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

By Steve Newton As a blues fan I’ve been extremely lucky to have interviewed some of the genre’s greatest talents, including B.B. King, Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Buddy Guy. But I was particularly thrilled when I got to chat with Albert King, back in 1990, two years before “The Velvet Bulldozer” … Continue reading That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

Paul Rodgers on the creation of “All Right Now”, the mystique of Paul Kossoff, and the awesomeness of Jimi Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, WINTER 2000 By Steve Newton If you polled all the music fans in the world and asked them to name their fave party tune of all time, you can bet that there’d be more than a few votes for Free’s “All Right Now”. That ultimate ode to chasing chicks … Continue reading Paul Rodgers on the creation of “All Right Now”, the mystique of Paul Kossoff, and the awesomeness of Jimi Hendrix

That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I interviewed British art-pop legend Kate Bush, who was promoting her new album Hounds of Love, which you may recall spawned the hit single “Running Up That Hill”. At one point in the conversation she told me about working with David Gilmour as a teenager, discovering Pink Floyd, and … Continue reading That time Kate Bush told me about working with David Gilmour and experiencing the “profound” Pink Floyd

That time Kate Bush told me about creating the music video for her new single “Running Up That Hill”

By Steve Newton Back in November of 1985 I did a phone interview with Kate Bush, who was promoting her new album The Hounds of Love at the time. Three months earlier she’d released the single “Running Up That Hill”, which I really liked, but I hadn’t yet seen the new video for it. So … Continue reading That time Kate Bush told me about creating the music video for her new single “Running Up That Hill”

That time David Gilmour told me that he didn’t miss Pink Floyd and didn’t have a fave Floyd album

By Steve Newton Back in May of 1984 I did my first (and so far, only) interview with legendary Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour. Gilmour wasn’t in Floyd at the time, though–he was doing press to promote his second solo album, About Face. But that didn’t stop me from asking him if he missed Pink … Continue reading That time David Gilmour told me that he didn’t miss Pink Floyd and didn’t have a fave Floyd album

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2012

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2012 By Steve Newton Sorry, I’m just not into the Gangnam style. Neil Young and Crazy Horse Psychedelic Pill  The Can-Am rock legend gets back together with his favourite combo for a platter that, while not in the league of Crazy Horse offerings like Zuma and Ragged Glory, still delivers … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2012

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 2000 By Steve Newton Sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. Maybe you feel that way too—like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. I just don’t understand how a hate-filled sicko like Eminem can be revered by millions. … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000