That time Albert King told me that Gary Moore could play guitar: “I guarantee it”

By Steve Newton During my 40 years of writing about music, I’ve been extremely fortunate, especially when it comes to interviewing guitar players. I’ve been able to interview some of the world’s greatest guitarists several times over, including amazing players like Joe Satriani (eight times), Warren Haynes (six times), Buddy Guy (five times), and Dickey … Continue reading That time Albert King told me that Gary Moore could play guitar: “I guarantee it”

That time I called up Albert King and asked how life was treatin’ him these days and he said “shit”

By Steve Newton On August 18, 1990, I did my one and only interview with blues legend Albert King. I was very fortunate to have scored that interview, because a little over two years later he was gone. I called Albert up when he was on the road in Poughkeepsie, New York, and asked him … Continue reading That time I called up Albert King and asked how life was treatin’ him these days and he said “shit”

That time Warren Haynes told me that Albert King might be the biggest influence on rock guitar ever

By Steve Newton When it comes to blues guitar, everybody’s got their favourite King. Lots love B.B. Some prefer Freddie. And then there’s others who think Albert is tops. Warren Haynes is one of those. When I interviewed Haynes in October of 1994, he was touring with the Allman Brothers, who were out promoting their … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me that Albert King might be the biggest influence on rock guitar ever

Albert King’s “adopted grandson” Little Jimmy King salvages Vancouver gig with Hendrix-style string-chomping

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton Sometimes greatness takes a while to reveal itself, and that was certainly the case at the Commodore on June 30. After a set of gospel-laced blues and spiritual tunes by the Holmes Brothers that included some soulful harmonizing on dusty standards such as … Continue reading Albert King’s “adopted grandson” Little Jimmy King salvages Vancouver gig with Hendrix-style string-chomping

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”

That time I tried telling Albert King that Elmore James was his biggest influence

By Steve Newton When I look back over my 39-year career in music journalism, there are some folks that I’m really, really glad I got to talk to. Like Albert King. Of the three big Kings–sorry B.B. and Freddie–I think I appreciate Albert the most. There was something about the way he could wring deep, … Continue reading That time I tried telling Albert King that Elmore James was his biggest influence

My one and only interview with legendary bluesman Albert King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 30, 1990 By Steve Newton The influence of the blues on British supergroups is well documented. The Stones, Zeppelin, Cream—they all lapped up the seminal works of people like Muddy Waters, Willie Dixon, and Howlin’ Wolf. Across the sea in Ireland, a young guitarist named Gary Moore also … Continue reading My one and only interview with legendary bluesman Albert King

Albert King gets inducted into the Rock Hall tonight: it’s about fucking time

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 18, 2013 By Steve Newton The brainiacs over at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will redeem themselves for years of bad calls when they finally induct blues legend Albert King into their hallowed institution tonight. The gatekeepers at the Cleveland-based facility have been getting flack for years for not inducting Canadian … Continue reading Albert King gets inducted into the Rock Hall tonight: it’s about fucking time

Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Unless your an avid follower of guitar players–and slide-guitar specialists, in particular–you may not have heard of Sonny Landreth. According to Eric Clapton, he is “probably the most underestimated musician on the planet”. But that didn’t stop Landreth from earning a Grammy nomination for his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

Coco Montoya was transformed by the sheer soul of Alberts Collins and King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Many guitarists can pinpoint a moment in their youth when they knew they were destined for a life in music. For blues-rocker Coco Montoya it happened in 1969, at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. He’d gone there to see Creedence Clearwater Revival and … Continue reading Coco Montoya was transformed by the sheer soul of Alberts Collins and King

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 Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kings of Leon drummer Nathan Followill on September 19, 2003, exactly one month after the release of the band’s debut album, Youth and Young Manhood. Exactly five years after that–on September 19, 2008–the band released its fourth album, Only by the Night, which spawned the hit single “Sex on Fire” … Continue reading That time Nathan Followill told me that the Kings of Leon didn’t know a right way or a wrong way to play rock ‘n’ roll when they started

Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

By Steve Newton Since the news hit yesterday about the death of beloved guitar legend Leslie West, accolades have been pouring in from some of the world’s finest pickers. “Leslie’s playing and sound was just superb,” said Tony Iommi, whose band Black Sabbath used to open for West’s group Mountain. “One of the GOAT,” declared … Continue reading Leslie West’s absence from the Rock Hall is as shocking as the exclusion of Rory, Johnny, and Link

That time Men Without Hats’ Ivan Doroschuk told me about making the video for “Safety Dance”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Men Without Hats singer and main songwriter Ivan Doroschuk in 1984, the year after the band’s second single, “The Safety Dance”, became a worldwide hit. I was just about to write that the band was a one-hit wonder, but then I remembered they had another hit called “Pop Goes the … Continue reading That time Men Without Hats’ Ivan Doroschuk told me about making the video for “Safety Dance”

Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

By Steve Newton One of the biggest regrets of my career in rock journalism–and there aren’t that many, believe it or not–was never getting the opportunity to interview Eddie Van Halen. I did get to chat with his big brother Alex once, and he gave me a really great interview, but it just wasn’t the … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen: what Steve Vai, Allan Holdsworth, Jake E. Lee, Leslie West, and brother Alex told me about “the king”

That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed American blues great Taj Mahal (real name Henry Saint Clair Fredericks) a couple of times. The first time was back in November of 2001, before he headed to Vancouver for a solo acoustic show at the historic Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked the 59-year-old Grammy-winner … Continue reading That time I asked Taj Mahal which blues artists were making him smile lately

That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed scads of incredible guitarists over the years, but I can’t think of any more amazing than Gary Moore. Everything about his playing just blew me away. So I was mighty psyched when I did my one and only interview with him way back on May 11, 1984. At the time … Continue reading That time I made Gary Moore laugh by asking what drives him

That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues

By Steve Newton Sometimes when I’m feeling a little down, uncertain about the future, I like to go through my piles of interview cassettes, pick something out, and just listen to bits of conversations I had with legendary bluesmen decades ago. Fight the blues with the blues, I reckon. Here’s what it sounded like back … Continue reading That time I called up Albert Collins and asked what attracted him to the blues