Newt’s top 10 Vancouver concerts to see in the first half of 2023

Jason Isbell plays the Queen E By Steve Newton Bowie Ball: the eighth annual tribute to David Bowie and fundraiser for the BC Cancer Foundation, featuring performances by local acts the Bad Beats, Rebel Valentine, Ophelia Falling, China Syndrome, Ford Pier, Cherry Maraschino, Mime, Left Spine Down, and Rat Silo. January 7 at the Rickshaw … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 Vancouver concerts to see in the first half of 2023

Newt’s top 10 things to do in Metro Vancouver this weekend, March 3-5

Jason Isbell plays the Queen E By Steve Newton FRIDAY: the West African Music Celebration at North Vancouver’s BlueShore Financial Centre for the Performing Arts features Kofi Gbolonyo and CapU Jazz Ensembles. FRIDAY: Pi Theatre presents Black Space Jam, an evening of multidisciplinary art at the Biltmore Cabaret, featuring poetry and spoken word by Shayna … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 things to do in Metro Vancouver this weekend, March 3-5

Album review: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 20, 2008 By Steve Newton When long-time member (and major songwriting force) Jason Isbell left the Drive-By Truckers last year, some fans worried that the southern rock–influenced alt-country act might falter a step or two. No freakin’ way: it just recruited another wicked guitarist, pedal-steel specialist (and original … Continue reading Album review: Drive-By Truckers, Brighter Than Creation’s Dark (2008)

Newt’s top 10 (or 11) Metro Vancouver concerts in March

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit plays the Queen E By Steve Newton White Denim: Austin, Texas indie-rock band, with guests Cascading Moms. March 4 at the Rickshaw Theatre. Sloan: guitar-rock quartet from Halifax, Nova Scotia. March 4 at the Commodore Ballroom. SOLD OUT. Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit: Americana singer, songwriter, and guitarist, … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 (or 11) Metro Vancouver concerts in March

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

Newt’s top 10 Vancouver concerts to see in the second half of 2023

Nita Strauss plays the Rickshaw By Steve Newton There were some darn fine concerts to see in Vancouver during the first half of 2023–including gigs by Jason Isbell, Larkin Poe, John Mellencamp, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Now here’s my top 10 picks for the second half of the year. Rock on, people! Nita … Continue reading Newt’s top 10 Vancouver concerts to see in the second half of 2023

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

God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

By Steve Newton I really, really enjoy guitar solos sometimes. When a geetar player hits just the right notes with just the right feel, it’s almost like a religious experience for me. That’s why I’ve asked God to bless exquisite guitar solos by Scott Gorham on Thin Lizzy’s “Romeo and the Lonely Girl”, Donald “Buck … Continue reading God bless Hughie Thomasson’s guitar solo on the Outlaws’ “Hurry Sundown”

Eddie Van Halen’s favourite AC/DC album was Powerage

By Steve Newton I’ve long held the opinion that AC/DC’s Powerage is their best album. Keith Richards agrees, and he knows a thing or two about rockin’. And more importantly, Malcolm Young himself has named Powerage as Number One. When I met Young backstage after an AC/DC show in Vancouver back in 2001 I mentioned that … Continue reading Eddie Van Halen’s favourite AC/DC album was Powerage

That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

By Steve Newton Back in April of 1997 I did my first interview with Rush bassist-vocalist Geddy Lee. At the time the group was touring behind its Test for Echo album, and that tour marked the first time Rush had taken the “An Evening With” approach, where there is no opening act and it’s just … Continue reading That time Geddy Lee told me that Rush had 4,000 albums

That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

bev davies photo By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford back in May of 1984, when Judas Priest was touring behind its Defenders of the Faith album. At one point in the conversation I mentioned how one of Priest’s songs from two years earlier, “You’ve Got Another Thing … Continue reading That time back in ’84 when Judas Priest’s Rob Halford told me that metal was a young musical force

That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Mick Mars a couple of times. The first time was way back in 1985 when Mötley Crüe was touring behind its Theatre of Pain album. The following excerpt is from my second interview with Mars, which happened in March of 1999, when the original lineup had reunited after recording one … Continue reading That time Mötley Crüe guitarist Mick Mars told me that the music he loves most is blues-based stuff like Edgar and Johnny Winter

That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”

By Steve Newton I did my first interview with Crowded House frontman Neil Finn back in August of 1998, when he was touring behind his debut solo album, Try Whistling This. I’d been a fan of Crowded House since the 1986 release of its first album, which featured one of the most beautiful pop songs … Continue reading That time I asked Neil Finn what inspired him to write one of my all-time favourite tunes, Crowded House’s “Don’t Dream It’s Over”