Jorma Kaukonen’s distinctive vocals help Hot Tuna get tasty in Vancouver

charles campbell photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 4, 1988 By Steve Newton An acoustic concert can be quite a scary thing to those people, like myself, who thrive on raunchy guitars and rock-steady rhythms. But you’ve got to be brave sometimes, and realizing that I headed down to the Commodore last Thursday (February 25) to see an … Continue reading Jorma Kaukonen’s distinctive vocals help Hot Tuna get tasty in Vancouver

Hot Tuna brings its deathless blues to Seattle this winter

Jack (left) and Jorma still chuckle about the mellow good times they had at Altamont back in ’69. Good news for ’70s-rock fans who might feel like taking a quick musical trip Stateside this winter. Hot Tuna–aka guitarist-vocalist Jorma Kaukonen and bassist Jack Casady–will be performing an acoustic show in Seattle on Feb. 20 at … Continue reading Hot Tuna brings its deathless blues to Seattle this winter

That time Buddy Guy told me how badly he wanted Stevie Ray Vaughan’s photo on his album cover

By Steve Newton Buddy Guy is one of my favourite old-school blues guitarists, right up there with Albert King, B.B. King, and Albert Collins. I’ve been fortunate enough to have interviewed him five times, and seen him perform live many more times than that. I did my first interview with Buddy in August of ’91, … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me how badly he wanted Stevie Ray Vaughan’s photo on his album cover

Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 6, 2011 The guitar world is in mourning today as the news of Gary Moore’s death travels around the globe. The Irish musician—best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and his solo career as a hard rocker-turned-bluesman—passed away early this morning in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort … Continue reading Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

Blind Willie Johnson’s blues genius lauded in upcoming tribute album

By Steve Newton Blues legends don’t get much more legendary than Blind Willie Johnson, whose recordings in the 1920s of songs like “John the Revelator”, “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, and “Keep Your Lamp Trimmed and Burning” have inspired versions by everyone from Hot Tuna to Warren Haynes to Led Zeppelin. So it’s more than … Continue reading Blind Willie Johnson’s blues genius lauded in upcoming tribute album

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

The spirit of ’76 will never falter because that’s the year Thin Lizzy put out two LPs instead of just one. Albums listed in alphabetical order according to title, otherwise Jailbreak would be right there at the top. I’ve included three song titles to help you remember how awesome the music was, and one clip to bring it … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ah, 1975. The year I graduated high school. Talk about dazed and confused. Albums listed alphabetically by title, including three choice tracks from each one to help you remember how wicked they really were. Against the Grain: Rory Gallagher (“Bought and Sold”, “Out on the Western Plain”, “Lost at Sea”) America’s Choice: Hot Tuna (“Sleep … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1975

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

1972 was a year when I got introduced to a number of bands that would become all-time faves, including Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Steely Dan. And as far as live albums went, the Allman Brothers, Jimi Hendrix, the J. Geils Band, and Rory Gallagher were well represented. I wouldn’t say ’72 was … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1972

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971

All in all, 1971 wasn’t one of the greatest years for rock in the seventies. But it was a pretty great one for Alice Cooper, Rory Gallagher, and Yes, who each had two albums on my Top 30. As before, I’ve listed the LPs alphabetically by title, and included three choice tracks from each disc … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1971

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1970

Last year I decided to turn the clock back four decades and put together a list of my 30 fave albums of 1973, because, for one thing, that was the year when the greatest rock album of all time–the Who’s Quadrophenia–was released. Then,  a couple of weeks back, I kept up the “40 years ago” … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1970

Buddy Cage says it was easy filling Jerry Garcia’s shoes on pedal-steel in New Riders of the Purple Sage

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 29, 2006 By Steve Newton As the story goes, Jerry Garcia had only been experimenting on pedal-steel guitar for two weeks when he played it on Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young’s 1970 hit “Teach Your Children”. Garcia’s licks resulted in the most widely heard pedal-steel performance ever, but that doesn’t … Continue reading Buddy Cage says it was easy filling Jerry Garcia’s shoes on pedal-steel in New Riders of the Purple Sage

Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 4, 2011 By Steve Newton I just learned via a tweet from Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen that blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passed away this morning, succumbing to heart failure at a New Jersey hospital at the age of 80. It’s a huge loss for the music world, as … Continue reading Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

concert reviews

So, yeah, I’ve reviewed a few shows over the years. IRON MAIDEN at Rogers Arena, Sept. 3, 2019 SONNY LANDRETH at the Rio Theatre, Aug. 24, 2019 BAND OF FRIENDS at the Fox Cabaret, Dec. 18, 2018 DRIVE-BY TRUCKERS at the Imperial, Feb. 2, 2018 ROGER WATERS at Rogers Arena, Oct. 28, 2017 GUNS N’ ROSES … Continue reading concert reviews

Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

By Steve Newton Metallica, arguably the world’s greatest-ever heavy-metal band, has announced that it will release its next album on my birthday. The Bay Area headbangers will unleash their 12th studio album, 72 Seasons, on April 14, 2023. “72 seasons,” says Metallica singer-guitarist James Hetfield in a press release. “The first 18 years of our … Continue reading Metallica announces new album to be released on my birthday, but won’t play Vancouver on world tour

Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty dead at 76

McCafferty, left, with Nazareth in the ’70s By Steve Newton Just had some sad news relayed to me by my nephew Jeff, the rock-loving dude you may have heard about through my backstage memories of Iron Maiden and Motley Crue. Jeff let me know that Dan McCafferty, the original vocalist for Scottish guitar-rockers Nazareth, had … Continue reading Nazareth singer Dan McCafferty dead at 76

Shaun Verreault deploys three slides at once to explore new ways of playing guitar

christopher edmonstone photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JAN. 16, 2021 By Steve Newton Over the last few months I’ve been checking in with Vancouver’s top guitar players to find out how, as professional musicians, they’ve been coping with the COVID-19 pandemic. Back in October Scott Smith of Terminal Station explained how he was recording artists at … Continue reading Shaun Verreault deploys three slides at once to explore new ways of playing guitar

Vancouver shredder Dave Martone gets emotional thinking about his hero Eddie Van Halen

edgar barseghyan photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON NOV. 18, 2020 By Steve Newton When the global pandemic hit last March, Vancouver guitarist Dave Martone was doing pretty well financially. He wasn’t living in a mansion like the guy from Nickelback, mind you, but he was busy as hell, playing an average of 35 gigs a month, … Continue reading Vancouver shredder Dave Martone gets emotional thinking about his hero Eddie Van Halen