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

Drum great Kenny Aronoff was never afraid to go for it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve got a theory, and this theory, which is mine, is that everybody wants to be a rock ’n’ roll drummer. There’s just something irresistible about the idea of pounding away on a resonating circle until you’re sweaty and drained and then having … Continue reading Drum great Kenny Aronoff was never afraid to go for it

Al Stewart admits that he might be lynched if he doesn’t play “Year of the Cat”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 12, 1985 By Steve Newton In 1976, British singer-songwriter Al Stewart had a massive hit with the title track of his seventh album, Year of the Cat. A smooth and snappy number with a nice piano intro, acoustic and electric guitar solos, a breezy sax break, and evocative … Continue reading Al Stewart admits that he might be lynched if he doesn’t play “Year of the Cat”

Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre on the legacy of Aqualung

By Steve Newton Legendary rock guitarist Martin Barre of Jethro Tull fame was touring B.C. in July with a crack band, performing the Aqualung album in its entirety. He called me from a friend’s house near Nanaimo and filled me in on the tour. SN: First off I wanted to ask a little bit about Aqualung, … Continue reading Jethro Tull guitarist Martin Barre on the legacy of Aqualung

Album review: Pride & Glory, Pride & Glory (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1994 By Steve Newton It comes as somewhat of a surprise that Ozzy Osbourne guitarist Zakk Wylde is a dyed-in-the-swamp southern-rock maniac, but the New Jersey native is at the forefront of the current trend toward repopularizing the style epitomized by the Allman Brothers Band. On its … Continue reading Album review: Pride & Glory, Pride & Glory (1994)

Album review: Gilby Clarke, Pawnshop Guitars (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 5, 1994 By Steve Newton Sometimes I wonder if guitarists join Guns N’ Roses just so they can get in the position to release their own solo recordings of punk-inspired garage-rock and blues-based boogie. (I doubt if they do it so they can bask in the positive vibes … Continue reading Album review: Gilby Clarke, Pawnshop Guitars (1994)

Album review: Little Jimmy King, Something Inside of Me

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 29, 1994 By Steve Newton The death of blues guitarist Albert King in December of ’92 was a real downer for anyone who had followed the stellar career of the big bulldozer operator and master of the Flying V. King’s influence on the likes of Jeff Beck, Eric … Continue reading Album review: Little Jimmy King, Something Inside of Me

Jimmie Vaughan’s supertasty live licks tell the story of brother Stevie’s final flight

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 12, 1994 By Steve Newton I count myself among the lucky few who got to see Jimmie Vaughan‘s little brother, Stevie Ray, play the Commodore in the mid-’80s. Back then, when you went to an SRV show you knew what to expect: bass, drums, and the wildest blues-rock … Continue reading Jimmie Vaughan’s supertasty live licks tell the story of brother Stevie’s final flight

Album review: the Allman Brothers Band, Where It All Begins (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1994 By Steve Newton Like a hearty handshake from a rarely see high-school buddy, every new Allman Brothers release is a hazy reminder of my teenage glory days, when the purchase of a southern-rock LP such as the Allmans’ Eat A Peach made everything right in my … Continue reading Album review: the Allman Brothers Band, Where It All Begins (1994)

Album review: John Mellencamp, Dance Naked (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 15, 1994 By Steve Newton Talk about cutting out the fat. John Mellencamp just keeps making his instrumentation leaner as the years go by; now he’s gotten to the point where he’ll pass up bass and go with drums and guitars only, and the effect–on bare-bones tunes like … Continue reading Album review: John Mellencamp, Dance Naked (1994)

That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed Aerosmith bassist Tom Hamilton was back in 1983, during the period when Joe Perry and Brad Whitford were out of the band, and the group was touring behind its Rock in a Hard Place album. The second time we chatted was when the original lineup had been … Continue reading That time Aerosmith’s Tom Hamilton told me that he smoked a big bone right before thinking up the bass lick for “Sweet Emotion”

Album review: Various Artists, Kiss My Ass (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1994 By Steve Newton The first time I ever laid eyes on Kiss–I think it was on Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert–I thought the band was just a bunch of Alice Cooper copycats. A short time later, though, I heard Kiss’s 1974 debut album and became a huge … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Kiss My Ass (1994)

Album review: Mick Ronson, Heaven and Hull (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 27, 1994 By Steve Newton From his early-’70s glory-and-glitter days as the muscular, platinum-haired axeman in David Bowie‘s Spiders from Mars to his workmanlike late-’80s club gigs with Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson always proved himself a rock guitarist of the highest order. When Ronson succumbed to cancer on … Continue reading Album review: Mick Ronson, Heaven and Hull (1994)