That time Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes told me he wasn’t here to make Bruce Fairbairn or Bob Rock famous

By Steve Newton There’s been a lot of buzz in the music world lately about the Black Crowes–in particular formerly feuding brothers Chris and Rich Robinson–getting back together for a 30th anniversary tour. So I figured I’d celebrate the good news by digging up the old Swing C-90 cassette I used to record my interview … Continue reading That time Chris Robinson of the Black Crowes told me he wasn’t here to make Bruce Fairbairn or Bob Rock famous

Album review: The Black Crowes, By Your Side (1999)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 11, 1999 By Steve Newton It’s no wonder that, after two unfocused and relatively unpopular CDs, the Black Crowes would get back to the straightforward boogie that made them a sensation with their 1990 debut, Shake Your Money Maker. But what is surprising is the vengeance with which … Continue reading Album review: The Black Crowes, By Your Side (1999)

Album reviews: The Black Crowes, Three Snakes and One Charm (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1996 By Steve Newton Those overtly pro-pot Black Crowes must be indulging in some mind-blowing reefer of late, because the Atlanta sextet really lets the creative juices flow on this, its fourth album. The band passes musical styles around like a fast-burning joint, injecting heavy (and … Continue reading Album reviews: The Black Crowes, Three Snakes and One Charm (1996)

Album review: The Black Crowes, Amorica (1994)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 10, 1994 By Steve Newton You know there are too many crows in the backyard when premier music-trade mag Billboard, in its October 15 issue, runs a promo shot of the Black Crowes and mistakenly calls it a picture of Counting Crows. Although both bands are similar in … Continue reading Album review: The Black Crowes, Amorica (1994)

Album review: The Black Crowes, The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion (1992)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 11, 1992 By Steve Newton Few rock ’n’ roll bands have managed to cause as big a stir with their debut album as the Black Crowes did with Shake Your Moneymaker in 1990. It took a while to “work” the album, as record reps say, but once … Continue reading Album review: The Black Crowes, The Southern Harmony & Musical Companion (1992)

Black Crowes influenced by where music came from and where it could go

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 30, 2001 By Steve Newton The Black Crowes are one of the most popular retro-minded bands around, so when they hooked up with guitar legend Jimmy Page last year to tour the U.S. and record a live album, it was like a dream come true for many classic-rock … Continue reading Black Crowes influenced by where music came from and where it could go

The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 1996 By Steve Newton Lucky Black Crowes fans holding tickets to the band’s virtually sold-out show at the Orpheum on Wednesday (September 25) should consider themselves doubly fortunate, since it looked for a while as if Crowes concerts could become a thing of the past. Last year … Continue reading The Black Crowes’ Rich Robinson lashes out at “Nazi-like” marijuana laws

After partying on the Black Crowes tour, the Jayhawks mellow out with Tom Petty

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 27, 1995 By Steve Newton Here’s a tip for new bands trying to get ahead in today’s music biz: make sure that when any important industry types call and you put them on hold, your music is what they hear while they’re waiting. It worked for the Jayhawks, … Continue reading After partying on the Black Crowes tour, the Jayhawks mellow out with Tom Petty

Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton About an hour into the Black Crowes’ sold-out Queen Elizabeth Theatre show last Wednesday (October 28), the Atlanta blues-rock sextet rolled out a brand-new tune for its exuberant fans, most of whom had been standing up the whole time, cheering like mad. At … Continue reading Weed-loving Black Crowes bring their pro-pot stance to Vancouver

Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

ken settle photo 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 … Continue reading Robert Plant holds his own with the Black Crowes in Vancouver

The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson never cared for southern rock

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 9, 1990 By Steve Newton Chris Robinson, of Atlanta, Georgia, was nine years old when southern-rock heroes Lynyrd Skynyrd recorded the historic live album One More from the Road at that city’s Fox Theatre. Robinson was a little young for concerts at the time, but even if he’d … Continue reading The Black Crowes’ Chris Robinson never cared for southern rock

That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Tony Iommi, the Riffmaster General, twice: the first time was back in ’84 when the Ian Gillan-fronted Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album, and the last time was in 2007 when he was back with Ronnie James Dio in the Heaven and Hell format. As the second … Continue reading That time I told Tony Iommi that “Supernaut” was my fave Black Sabbath riff, and he said that it was Zappa’s too

That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

By Steve Newton When it came to hard rock drummers in the ’70s, there were a couple who particularly turned my crank. One was Cozy Powell, mainly for his work with Rainbow, and the other was Tommy Aldridge, mainly for his work with Black Oak Arkansas and the Pat Travers Band. (In the ’80s he’d … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did my only interview with Ronnie James Dio, who was headed to Vancouver on the Sacred Heart Tour, with Yngwie Malmsteen’s Rising Force opening up. At one point in the conversation the legendary heavy-metal crooner compared the guitar-playing abilities of his former bandmate Ritchie Blackmore to those of … Continue reading That time Ronnie James Dio told me what he really thought of Ritchie Blackmore and Yngwie Malmsteen as guitarists

Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Graham Bonnet back in 1984 he was fronting a hard-rock/metal band called Alcatrazz that featured an unknown guitarist named Yngwie Malmsteen, who would not stay unknown for long. Two years earlier Bonnet had been a member of the Michael Schenker Group, which also boasted an amazing guitar player, a guy … Continue reading Graham Bonnet was bandmates with Ritchie Blackmore, Michael Schenker, and Yngwie Malmsteen, but called Gary Moore his hero

That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore was just a real nice, shy guy

By Steve Newton Ritchie Blackmore is one of my favourite guitarists of all time. As a 15-year-old when Machine Head was released in 1972, I could barely comprehend how great his guitar solo on “Highway Star” made me feel. Over and over again. Two years later he did it again with the lead break on “Burn”. … Continue reading That time Graham Bonnet told me that Ritchie Blackmore was just a real nice, shy guy

That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

By Steve Newton In the past I’ve had fun posting audio excerpts from my first interview with legendary Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi, which took place in 1984, during the group’s misguided Born Again phase. Fast-forward 23 years and I got Iommi on the phone again, this time to talk about the Heaven and Hell … Continue reading That time I asked Tony Iommi about Ronnie James Dio replacing Ozzy Osbourne in Black Sabbath

That time Black Sabbath riffmaster Tony Iommi told me that the first guitar he ever wanted was a Fender Strat

By Steve Newton So here’s the last of the audio excerpts from my 1984 interview with Tony Iommi, back when Black Sabbath was touring behind the Born Again album. I called him up at his home in Birmingham–or maybe he called me up, it was a while ago–and we chatted about stuff like the band’s blowing … Continue reading That time Black Sabbath riffmaster Tony Iommi told me that the first guitar he ever wanted was a Fender Strat

That time Tony Iommi told me about that Spinal Tap moment with Stonehenge props on Black Sabbath’s Born Again tour

I’m pretty sure these are the smaller Stonehenge props Iommi mentions at the very end of the excerpt. By Steve Newton Previously I’ve offered up audio excerpts from my 1984 interview with Tony Iommi in which the Black Sabbath guitarist talked about blowing up singer Ian Gillan’s boat during recording sessions for Born Again, and … Continue reading That time Tony Iommi told me about that Spinal Tap moment with Stonehenge props on Black Sabbath’s Born Again tour

That time Uli Jon Roth told me that he’d most like to jam with David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, and Jeff Beck

By Steve Newton Back in 2016 I interviewed Uli Jon Roth for the first time ever, and made sure to ask him one of the more burning questions guitar-freaks might have for the legendary picker. I knew he’d played with some of the world’s greatest guitarists over the years–heck, at the time he was touring … Continue reading That time Uli Jon Roth told me that he’d most like to jam with David Gilmour, Ritchie Blackmore, and Jeff Beck

Metallica delivers on Lars Ulrich’s promise to “kick f***in’ ass” while touring behind The Black Album

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 28, 1992 By Steve Newton You don’t have to be a big fan of Metallica’s furiously thrashy—albeit recently refined—sound to give the band credit for blazing a formidable trail since its inception in ’81. The group has always gone against the grain and done things its own way, … Continue reading Metallica delivers on Lars Ulrich’s promise to “kick f***in’ ass” while touring behind The Black Album

That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Warren Haynes six times, because he’s one of my favourite musicians of all time. I can’t get enough of his voice, his guitar, and his songs. And even if they aren’t his actual songs I’m crazy about ’em. Like when Gov’t Mule recorded the traditional gospel-blues tune “John the Revelator” … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me how he came to record the haunting “John the Revelator” on Gov’t Mule’s Dose

That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

By Steve Newton Way back in April of 1984 I interviewed Trevor Rabin, who at the time was the new guitarist in Yes. The band was on a world tour supporting its latest album, 90125, which had spawned the hit single “Owner of a Lonely Heart” and was topping the charts. At one point in … Continue reading That time I asked Yes guitarist Trevor Rabin whether Steve Howe was a hard act to follow

That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton I interviewed British guitar legend Albert Lee back in July of 1986, when he was touring with the Everly Brothers as their musical director. After chatting with Albert about how he first got involved with the Everlys, I asked him how it was different touring with them than with Eric Clapton, whose … Continue reading That time I asked Albert Lee how it was different touring with the Everly Brothers than with Eric Clapton

That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

By Steve Newton When I did my first interview with Jason Bonham back in 1989, I asked him what it was like growing up with a father who was world-famous for being the drummer in Led Zeppelin. Turns out it wasn’t that big of a deal to him. Have a listen: To hear the full … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me that his famous father in Led Zeppelin was “just dad to me”

That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Joan Jett back in 1992 she was touring behind her Notorious album, which, while not a bad album, wasn’t exactly racing up the charts. Jett explained to me that it didn’t help that the record wasn’t getting much promotional push from Sony, the major label handling distribution. Then she … Continue reading That time Joan Jett told me that it was the power of the people that made “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” a hit

That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Robert Cray four times, ’cause I reckon he’s one of the tastiest guitarists who’s ever strapped on a Strat. This was the first time, back in January of 1996, when he was touring behind his Some Rainy Morning album. Ten years earlier Cray had gotten a bit of a boost … Continue reading That time I asked Robert Cray if he was surprised that Eric Clapton covered his song “Bad Influence” on August