That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

By Steve Newton Very sad to hear the news tonight of the passing of Americana artist Justin Townes Earle. He was a helluva singer-songwriter. I only got to interview him once, back in May of 2009, when he was touring behind his third album, Midnight Movies. Having interviewed his father Steve Earle numerous times, I … Continue reading That time Justin Townes Earle told me that it was Jason Isbell’s songs that made him a big Drive-By Truckers fan

That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

FSimani photo By Steve Newton The Drive-By Truckers are probably my favourite band right now. They were also my favourite band back when Jason Isbell was in the lineup. I did my first interview with him in 2007, after he’d left the DBTs and was promoting his debut solo album, Sirens of the Ditch. I … Continue reading That time Jason Isbell told me he was in a Ford Econoline E350 van and his band cracked up at that

Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2011 By Steve Newton Being from Alabama certainly has its benefits, one being the fact that you can really put your heart into it when you sing the chorus of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s biggest hit. But for Jason Isbell, one of the joys of growing up in northern Alabama was … Continue reading Alabama’s joys and troubles inspire Jason Isbell’s songs

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 Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

By Steve Newton Led Zeppelin freaks may recall the first time John Bonham’s son Jason performed with his dad’s old band, back in 1988 as part of the Atlantic Records 40th anniversary concert. But that was only young Jason’s first “official” performance with Zeppelin. When I did my first interview with 23-year-old Jason a year later he … Continue reading That time Jason Bonham told me about taking Bonzo’s spot to jam with Led Zeppelin as a teen

Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

By Steve Newton On December 22, 1989, Bonham played the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver, opening for the Cult. The group was named after 23-year-old drummer Jason Bonham, the son of legendary Zeppelin skin-basher John. In advance of the concert, Bonham called me from Toronto to chat about his current album, The Disregard of Timekeeping, and his … Continue reading Bonham tours behind The Disregard of Timekeeping and Jason reflects on his dear old dad

Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 25, 2007 By Steve Newton When the Straight hooks up with former Drive-By Truckers guitarist-vocalist Jason Isbell on his cellphone, he and his backing band are trying to escape from Manhattan, searching for the Holland Tunnel enroute to a gig at Pennsylvania State College. A casual query about the type … Continue reading Ex-Trucker Isbell heeds the siren call of the ditch

That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with Irish guitar legend Gary Moore on May 11, 1984. Five months earlier the Provisional wing of the Irish Republican Army had exploded a car bomb outside Harrods department store in central London, killing three police officers and three civilians, and injuring 90 people. (The … Continue reading That time I asked Gary Moore if he’d ever write a song about “the Troubles” in Northern Ireland

That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton I did my one and only interview with blues legend Long John Baldry on September 8, 1985, shortly after he’d moved to Vancouver, where he would remain until his death 20 years later. Ten days earlier I’d gone to an incredible Vancouver concert by another blues legend, Stevie Ray Vaughan, whose third … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry who his favourite blues people were these days and he went with Stevie Ray Vaughan

Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1985 By Steve Newton Dan Hartman likes to pull people’s legs. That’s why, for the video of his big 1984 hit “I Can Dream About You”, he had four black guys doing the song, singing and dancing and sliding around. The first impression is that one of … Continue reading Dan Hartman flying high 12 years after taking his “Free Ride” with the Edgar Winter Group

That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

anthony pepitone photo By Steve Newton Sean Costello is one of those guitarists who blows you away with his amazing talent and then you look around and he’s gone. The fast-rising blues guitarist and singer-songwriter –who suffered from bipolar disorder–died of an overdose 16 months after I interviewed him in December of 2006. He was … Continue reading That time Sean Costello told me about recording with Susan Tedeschi at 17 and playing with Derek Trucks at 12

That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

By Steve Newton Like most kids growing up in the seventies who were into prog rock, I liked Supertramp. Probably not as much as my sisters did, though. They were crazy about Supertramp. I interviewed one of the band’s two main guys, singer-songwriter-guitarist Roger Hodgson, in March of 1998, long after he’d quit the group … Continue reading That time I asked Roger Hodgson why he left Supertramp anyway

That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

By Steve Newton The Refreshments were a great rock band from Tempe, Arizona that was around for a few years in the mid-’90s. I interviewed lead guitarist Brian Blush in October of 1997, two weeks after the release of the band’s third and final album, The Bottle & Fresh Horses. The Refreshments are perhaps best … Continue reading That time Brian Blush told me about the Refreshments recording the “King of the Hill” theme song

That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

By Steve Newton Joe Elliott is the fourth Def Leppard member I’ve interviewed. I started off with bassist Rick Savage in 1983, hooked up with guitarist Steve Clark in ’88, and chatted with VIvian Campbell–the guy who took Clark’s place after he died–in 1992. I didn’t get around to talking with Elliott until 2003, when … Continue reading That time Joe Elliott told me that Def Leppard wasn’t a big-hair band, and didn’t belong in “the Winger/Warrant/Ratt category”

That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

By Steve Newton Heart were one of the first great rock bands I ever saw. Back in the early seventies they would play gigs in my hometown of Chilliwack, showcasing wicked tunes like “White Lightning and Wine” and “Magic Man” that would eventually appear on their 1975 debut album, Dreamboat Annie. I didn’t get to … Continue reading That time Heart’s Ann Wilson told me that the only movie scripts she ever got were for hard-drinking, Janis Joplin-type roles

That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

By Steve Newton Back on February 20, 1992, I did my one and only interview with Pantera drummer Vinnie Paul. That was five days before the Texas metal band released its most popular album, the double-platinum Vulgar Display of Power. At one point in the conversation I asked Vinnie about Rob Halford’s professed love for … Continue reading That time Vinnie Paul told me about experiencing “the ultimate high” when Judas Priest fanatics Pantera jammed with Rob Halford

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who’d recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain’t Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Jackson in August of 2003, when he had reunited with his original band for its 25th anniversary, and to record the album Volume 4. That’s the same band–guitarist Gary Sanford, bassist Graham Maby, drummer David Houghton, and Jackson on vocals and piano–that played on his awesome 1979 albums, Look … Continue reading That time Joe Jackson told me that Duke Ellington was wrong: there’s actually three kinds of music