Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 2009 By Steve Newton Back in 2006, power-pop stalwart Matthew Sweet and sometimes-Bangles singer Susanna Hoffs collaborated on Under the Covers Vol. 1, in which they performed versions of ’60s hits by groups like the Beatles, the Who, and the Beach Boys. On Under the Covers Vol. 2 the … Continue reading Album review: Matthew Sweet and Susanna Hoffs, Under the Covers Vol. 2 (2009)

Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 17, 1997 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet calls in the afternoon from a Manhattan hotel room, he’s just hours away from taping an appearance on Late Show with David Letterman. That night, through the wonder of TV, Sweet’s new single, “Where You Get Love”, will be transmitted … Continue reading Matthew Sweet still searching for that elusive SNL appearance

Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 1995 By Steve Newton When Matthew Sweet checks in from his L.A. abode for an afternoon chat, I’ve got a fair supply of questions lined up. I want to uncover the acclaimed pop rocker’s thoughts about his place on the Another Roadside Attraction megatour, which comes to … Continue reading Matthew Sweet wishes his records were as loose as Neil Young’s

That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

By Steve Newton Hey, how about another audio excerpt from an old interview I did with one of my fave guitarists, Dickey Betts? Back in 1992 I was talkin’ to Dickey about the Allmans’ latest album, An Evening With the Allman Brothers Band: First Set. The disc’s cover photo, taken by the inimitable Kirk West, … Continue reading That time Dickey Betts told me how sweet the buses were that the Allman Brothers toured in

Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 28, 2000 Matthew Good is a loud rocker. That’s easily discernible from a quick spin of his band’s latest CD, Beautiful Midnight. Matthew Good is also a loud talker, as I discover for myself when he calls the Straight from his West End apartment prior to his five … Continue reading Matthew Good and the great Radiohead controversy of 2000

Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton If there were such a thing as a Webster’s Dictionary of Pop Music, you could probably look up the word bittersweet and find a picture of Arizona’s Gin Blossoms nearby. Like fellow southerner Matthew Sweet and local buddies the Odds—who will tour with … Continue reading Bittersweet Gin Blossoms encounter UFOs and Alice Cooper in their ‘hood

Frank Steffen Mueller releases original instrumental for Irish guitar legend Gary Moore

By Steve Newton Woke up today to find that German guitarist, session musician, composer, and teacher Frank Steffen Mueller had shared a link to my Facebook group, Newt’s Flaming Colossal Rockatorium. The link is for a YouTube video Mueller just posted of himself playing a ’69 Les Paul goldtop, performing an original song in the … Continue reading Frank Steffen Mueller releases original instrumental for Irish guitar legend Gary Moore

Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

photo by kevin statham ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton On Halloween day in 1987, I did my first interview with Country Dick Montana of the Beat Farmers. At the time, the big, bearded mountain of a man was looking forward to an All Hallows’ Eve gig in “some … Continue reading Something I wrote after the death of the Beat Farmers’ Country Dick Montana, who might be my dad

Sandbox guitarist Mike Scott says the band’s perceived connection to Anne Murray is kind of a drag

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 28, 1995 By Steve Newton Nova Scotia guitar-rockers Sandbox were nominated for a Juno Award in the best-new-group category this year, and considering the critical and commercial (near-gold) success of its Bionic debut, the band had a decent shot at the prize. Then there’s the fact that Sandbox … Continue reading Sandbox guitarist Mike Scott says the band’s perceived connection to Anne Murray is kind of a drag

Bob Rock resurrects the Payola$ with Paul Hyde and sets up a helluva three-night benefit for B.C.’s Children’s Hospital

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 8, 1994 By Steve Newton When the time comes to interview Bob Rock about the recent resurrection of the Payola$, the prospect is particularly appealing. Rumour has it that the big-time Vancouver producer (the Cult, Bon Jovi, Mötley Crüe) is to work with Metallica again soon, and I’m … Continue reading Bob Rock resurrects the Payola$ with Paul Hyde and sets up a helluva three-night benefit for B.C.’s Children’s Hospital

Guitar wizard David Gogo on his new debut LP and the undeniable influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 14, 1994 By Steve Newton If there’s a rock ’n’ roll heaven, you know they’ve got a helluva band…and I like to think that there are at least three guitarists in the lineup: Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, and Randy Rhoads. And when I picture Vaughan, I see … Continue reading Guitar wizard David Gogo on his new debut LP and the undeniable influence of Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time I asked Rob Halford what his personal fave tune was on the new Judas Priest album Painkiller

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed Judas Priest frontman Rob Halford four times, and he’s always been a very amicable, well-spoken chap. The second time was back in October of 1990, one month after the release of Priest’s Painkiller album. At one point in the conversation I asked Halford what his personal favourite tune was on … Continue reading That time I asked Rob Halford what his personal fave tune was on the new Judas Priest album Painkiller

Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton HEDLEY, B.C.—Backstage at the Hedley Blast, Blue Rodeo’s Greg Keelor slumps in his chair and casually scribbles out a song list, pausing now and again to ask roaming band-mates which tunes they want added or dropped from their upcoming set. New drummer Glenn … Continue reading Blue Rodeo gets grungier and more country on new disc Lost Together

The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The way today’s product-oriented music industry functions, it’s hard for most bands to have their cake and eat it too. But Toronto’s Phantoms are one band that’s licking the icing from its fingers these days. They managed to ink a deal with A&M … Continue reading The Phantoms’ Jerome Godboo says the world is a playground

That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1985 I interviewed Alain Caron, the phenomenal bassist for Quebec jazz-fusion band UZEB. His group was touring behind its second studio album, You, Be Easy, and headed to Vancouver for a two-night stand at the Commodore Ballroom. At one point in the conversation I asked Caron about … Continue reading That time I asked Alain Caron how he felt about UZEB being called “the Van Halen of jazz”

That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind

By Steve Newton Over the last 40 years I’ve been fortunate enough to have done one-on-one interviews with four members of Iron Maiden: Clive Burr, Steve Harris, Dave Murray, and Bruce Dickinson. I interviewed Dickinson back in June of 1983, when Maiden was touring behind its fourth studio album, Piece of Mind, which had been … Continue reading That time I asked Bruce Dickinson what his favourite tune was on Iron Maiden’s new album Piece of Mind

Nazareth’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton The sad news about Nazareth guitarist Manny Charlton passing away on July 5 inspired me to compile my list of the band’s best songs. Not surprisingly, they’re almost all from the ’70s. 20. “Just to Get Into It” (No Mean City, 1979) 19. “Silver Dollar Forger (Parts 1 & 2)” (Rampant, 1974) … Continue reading Nazareth’s 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen

By Steve Newton Back in August of 1989 I interviewed American bass god Billy Sheehan, who was promoting the new, self-titled debut album by his latest band, Mr. Big. The previous year Sheehan had been playing with Steve Vai in David Lee Roth‘s band, so as the conversation was winding down I asked him whether–if … Continue reading That time I asked ex-David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan if he would jump at the chance to join Van Halen