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

Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

By Steve Newton One of my most popular posts on Ear of Newt is the one where Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”. Well, if you ever wondered what the Swedish Fender freak would sound like shredding on a piece of furniture, here ya … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed slide-guitar master Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1999 when he was only 20 years old. We had our second conversation 13 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months earlier Trucks had performed for Barack Obama … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you’re old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-’80s tune “Long Stick Goes Boom” and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group’s Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

By Steve Newton It’s Gary Moore‘s birthday today–he would have been 69–so I figured I’d post an audio excerpt from my one and only interview with the Irish guitar legend, one of the finest pickers to ever pick up the instrument. It was May 11, 1984, and Moore was opening for Rush on their Grace … Continue reading That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

By Steve Newton Long John Baldry had a huge influence on the British blues scene in the sixties. In fact, when I interviewed Baldry back in 1985, he confirmed that none other than Slowhand himself was urged to take up the guitar after seeing him perform. Have a listen: To hear the full audio of … Continue reading That time Long John Baldry told me that he inspired Eric Clapton to take up guitar

That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

By Steve Newton Back in the ’70s when rock music was having a huge impact on me I was rabidly anti-disco. I didn’t go so far as to wear a “Disco Sucks” t-shirt like one of my high school buddies, but I was with him in spirit. But in 1977, when the blockbuster Saturday Night … Continue reading That time Robin Gibb told me that the Bee Gees had never been a disco group

That time I told “Gatemouth” Brown that he played pretty good boogie for a 73-year-old

By Steve Newton Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown was one of those old blues guys who didn’t talk much–especially during interviews. When I chatted with him back in 1997 he was 73, and touring behind an album called Long Way Home that featured guest spots by Leon Russell, Eric Clapton, Ry Cooder, and Sonny Landreth. At one … Continue reading That time I told “Gatemouth” Brown that he played pretty good boogie for a 73-year-old

That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

By Steve Newton Danny Gatton has long been described as “the world’s greatest unknown guitarist.” Some have argued that that title is more suited to Roy Buchanan, but I think it’s safe to say that Gatton is the lesser known of the two relatively unheralded Telecaster masters. At least it seemed that way to me … Continue reading That time I asked Danny Gatton, the world’s greatest unknown guitarist, if he wished he were better known

That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

By Steve Newton Way back on July 24 of 1985 I interviewed the guitarists from three fast-rising (but still kinda underground) thrash metal bands: Gary Holt of Exodus, Kurdt Vanderhoof of Metal Church, and John Ricci of Exciter. All three groups were headed to Vancouver for a three-night “Metal Massacre” at the New York Theatre, … Continue reading That time 21-year-old Exodus guitarist Gary Holt told me that he couldn’t say enough bad things about Mötley Crüe

That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage

By Steve Newton I interviewed Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed on August 5, 1992, while his band was in the midst of a coheadlining stadium tour with Metallica. The tour was scheduled to hit Vancouver’s BC Place Stadium on August 17–with openers Faith No More–but three days after this chat James Hetfield got badly … Continue reading That time I asked Guns N’ Roses keyboardist Dizzy Reed if Metallica ever blew his band off the stage