That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton Back in April of 2003 I did my first interview with pedal-steel virtuoso Robert Randolph, who was just 24 at the time. At one point in the conversation I asked him about the time five years earlier when somebody gave him a tape of Stevie Ray Vaughan, which made a huge impression … Continue reading That time Robert Randolph told me that he was inspired by the passion and soul of Stevie Ray Vaughan

Robert Randolph puts Stevie Ray Vaughan passion into pedal-steel guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 10, 2003 By Steve Newton Although he’s only 24, Robert Randolph has already done much to help popularize the pedal-steel guitar, both through his recordings on the revelatory Sacred Steel series of albums and via his own group, the Family Band. And he still feels strongly indebted to … Continue reading Robert Randolph puts Stevie Ray Vaughan passion into pedal-steel guitar

Leon Russell and Doyle Bramhall II help pedal-steel ace Robert Randolph shine

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 16, 2010 By Steve Newton Pedal-steel virtuoso Randolph had no problem getting people like Ben Harper and Leon Russell to perform on his upcoming CD, We Walk This Road, which is set for release on June 22. His mind-blowing musicianship alone might have convinced them to offer their talents, but having … Continue reading Leon Russell and Doyle Bramhall II help pedal-steel ace Robert Randolph shine

Album review: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 18, 2007 By Steve Newton You may be wondering what Led Zeppelin‘s grizzled old blues-metal crooner was doing making a collaborative CD with a country-roots superstar. Was Robert Plant hanging out with Alison Krauss so she would play fiddle on the newfangled Cajun version of “Stairway to Heaven” … Continue reading Album review: Robert Plant/Alison Krauss, Raising Sand (2007)

Brian Robertson’s wicked solo from Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word” played on harmonica

By Steve Newton The wicked guitar solos cranked out over the years by the various Thin Lizzy guitarists–Eric Bell, Scott Gorham, Brian Robertson, Gary Moore, Snowy White, and John Sykes–are many. But I’ve got a few faves. Definitely in my Top 10 is Robertson’s 30-second solo from “Don’t Believe a Word”, the best track on … Continue reading Brian Robertson’s wicked solo from Thin Lizzy’s “Don’t Believe a Word” played on harmonica

That time I asked “Honeyboy” Edwards if he thought that his friend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads

Robert Johnson was tight with “Honeyboy” Edwards By Steve Newton I’m pretty sure that David “Honeyboy” Edwards was the oldest musician I’ve ever interviewed. He was 87 in March of 2003 when I called him up in Chicago to get the scoop on his early days with Mississippi Delta blues legends like Big Joe Williams, … Continue reading That time I asked “Honeyboy” Edwards if he thought that his friend Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil at the crossroads

That time Joe Bonamassa complained to me about Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list

By Steve Newton I did the second of my three interviews with American blues-rock guitar virtuoso Joe Bonamassa in December of 2011, when he was touring behind his Dust Bowl album. Shortly before our chat Rolling Stone had published its 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time list, so we spent some time ridiculing that, and … Continue reading That time Joe Bonamassa complained to me about Rolling Stone’s ranking of Robert Johnson on its 100 Greatest Guitarists list

That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Robert Plant back in 1993 he was in the midst of a world tour supporting his new album Fate of Nations. I asked the 45-year-old rock god whether it had gotten easier or harder to keep up the pace of touring over the years, and he said it was … Continue reading That time Robert Plant assured me “young girls still whimper as I walk past”

That time Robert Plant told me he wasn’t “a dumb cluck who wears tight jeans and sings fast songs about women’s parts”

By Steve Newton I often wish I could have started my journalism career 10 years earlier than I did–like in 1972 instead of ’82. Then maybe I would have had the chance to pull a Cameron Crowe and interview Led Zeppelin on its 1973 North American tour or some crazy-ass shit like that. But whoa … Continue reading That time Robert Plant told me he wasn’t “a dumb cluck who wears tight jeans and sings fast songs about women’s parts”

That time Robert Plant told me he was “very very pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t going to reform

By Steve Newton Now here’s a fun little soundbite I digitized off an old cassette I had lying around from 1993. It’s an AudioMagnetics XHE 60, so good on them for making tapes that still work decades later. That particular tape also includes 1993 interviews with Devin Townsend, Steve Hackett of Genesis fame, and Stuart … Continue reading That time Robert Plant told me he was “very very pissed off” that Black Sabbath wasn’t going to reform

Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

bev davies photo By Steve Newton On June 10, 1985, Robert Plant played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. That was four days after NRBQ played the Town Pump, and for some reason I gave their club show slightly more coverage in my Night Shift column than Plant’s arena show. I guess NRBQ was just better! Anyway, here’s my … Continue reading Robert Plant kicks off his 1985 World Tour with a ’50s-style sock hop in Vancouver

Taj Mahal and Robert Cray deliver soulfully smokin’ blues to a sold-out Commodore crowd

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 27, 1994 By Steve Newton If there’s one thing that’s a sure cure for the sad-eyed, rain-soaked January blahs, it’s a blues show at the Commodore. And when that show’s on a Friday night (January 21), the headliner is Robert Cray, and the opener is Taj Mahal, then … Continue reading Taj Mahal and Robert Cray deliver soulfully smokin’ blues to a sold-out Commodore crowd

Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 30, 1993 By Steve Newton Robert Plant is one of the best-known rock stars in the world. He’s certainly one of the best-known rock stars I’ve ever had the opportunity to chat with. So when he calls from New York and I ask him how he’s doing, the … Continue reading Robert Plant says young girls still whimper as he walks past

Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton The PNE isn’t normally the type of place you’d go to save money, but Vancouver blues-rock fans who paid just $7.50 (plus fair admission) to see guitar heroes Robert Cray, Jeff Healey, and Colin James last Thursday (September 3) got themselves a heckuva … Continue reading Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

Robert Plant gets the Led out and holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1990 By Steve Newton Robert Plant threw me for a loop at the Coliseum last Friday (September 21). From the lacklustre sound of his latest album, Manic Nirvana, I had the impression that the 42-year-old rock legend had drifted off into boring-old-fartsville, never to return again. I … Continue reading Robert Plant gets the Led out and holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

By Steve Newton I interviewed King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor back in June of 2001, when his funky prog-rock trio was touring behind its ninth studio album, Manic Moonlight, and headed to Vancouver for a club gig. Tabor’s solo career had recently seen him putting on several guitar clinics in Southeast Asia, where he was … Continue reading That time King’s X guitarist Ty Tabor told me that he wasn’t into chops for chops’ sake

Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

By Steve Newton Forty years ago, around this time, I was livin’ the dream–if the dream was to be a journalist specializing in heavy metal. I’d recently found work as a freelance music writer/proofreader with the Georgia Straight, a weekly Vancouver newspaper. The cool thing was, within a span of six weeks, I got to … Continue reading Metal mayhem in the summer of ’82: scoring cover stories on Ozzy, Maiden, and Scorps

That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1993 I interviewed Phish bassist Mike Gordon, whose band was touring behind its fourth album, Rift, and heading to Vancouver for a club show. The previous year Phish had taken part in the first annual H.O.R.D.E. festival, which also included the Spin Doctors. So at one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Mike Gordon if he was amazed by the success of H.O.R.D.E. tourmates Spin Doctors