That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

By Steve Newton Carlos Santana has been known as a brilliant guitarist since the 1960s, but he didn’t hit his commercial peak until the release of the Supernatural album in 1999. That disc featured collaborations with artists such as Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, and Dave Matthews, and sold a staggering 30-million copies worldwide. … Continue reading That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

That time Carlos Santana told me pot should be legal and “it’s all fun once you get past the fear”

By Steve Newton Carlos Santana is one of the most amazing guitar players of all time. Everybody knows that. But he’s also got it goin’ on in the humanity department. He knows what’s important in life, it seems. I interviewed Santana in 2011, and at one point in the conversation I asked him if he … Continue reading That time Carlos Santana told me pot should be legal and “it’s all fun once you get past the fear”

That time I asked Carlos Santana who his favourite guitar player was

By Steve Newton When I interview the world’s greatest guitarists, I often like to ask them who they think is the world’s greatest guitarist. Carlos Santana is definitely one of the best ever, so when I interviewed him back in 2001 I put the question to him. Have a listen:   To hear my full … Continue reading That time I asked Carlos Santana who his favourite guitar player was

That time I asked Carlos Santana how he gets his guitar tone

By Steve Newton One of the biggest thrills of my life as a rock journalist came when I interviewed Carlos Santana in August of 2011. His guitar sound has just entranced me ever since I first heard “Black Magic Woman” as a kid. So of course I had to ask him where he gets his … Continue reading That time I asked Carlos Santana how he gets his guitar tone

Album review: Santana, Havana Moon (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1983 By Steve Newton The Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Tower of Power horns, Booker T. Jones, Willie Nelson. All fine artists, but what do they have in common? The new Carlos Santana album, that’s what. Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, drummer Fran Christina, bassist Keith Ferguson, and harmonica man Kim Wilson–the Fabulous … Continue reading Album review: Santana, Havana Moon (1983)

Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 2002 By Steve Newton Two songs into the new Carlos Santana CD, Shaman, I couldn’t decide whether I loved the album or despised it. Things start off just fine with the old-school, tribal-Latin workout, “Adouma”, cowritten by Angelique Kidjo, which is lit white-hot by the guitar god’s … Continue reading Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Unlike the recent Tom Petty box, this three-CD package doesn’t contain enough previously unreleased material to make it a must-have, but it does feature some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar, and you know that can’t be bad. Dance of the Rainbow … Continue reading Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

That time I asked Buddy Miles how Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix

By Steve Newton Everybody knows that it’s dumb to try and compare guitar players, and figure out who’s “best”. But that didn’t stop me from asking Buddy Miles, when I interviewed him back in 2001, how he thought Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix. He’d recorded albums with both guitar legends in the seventies, … Continue reading That time I asked Buddy Miles how Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix

Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, WINTER 2000 By Steve Newton When Texas blues-rock guitar-wizard Chris Duarte got married earlier this year, he commissioned his bassist, Jon Jordan, to compose a song for the occasion. Jordan came up with the hauntingly beautiful “Duarte Ezell”, a piece that was performed at the wedding ceremony by a string … Continue reading Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jeck Beck back in January of 2001, just before the release of his You Had It Coming album, I asked the world’s greatest living rock guitarist if the 2000 Grammy nomination for a track from his previous album, Who Else!, meant anything to him. In typically modest Beck style he … Continue reading That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

Cheering for St. Louis because Santana rocked that Blues jersey back in 1980

By Steve Newton The Stanley Cup playoffs are always more fun when there’s somebody to cheer for, but since no Canadian teams made the cut this year, it’s been kind of a drag. I mean, who were us hosers supposed to root for? The stinkin’ Kings? Not a hope in hell, eh. Since my fave … Continue reading Cheering for St. Louis because Santana rocked that Blues jersey back in 1980

Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 2003 By Steve Newton Will Bernard may be one of the best guitarists you’ve never heard of, but they sure know about him down in San Francisco. He was nominated for outstanding guitarist at the California Music Awards the past two years running, and the competition was … Continue reading Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat

Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 2000 Carlos Santana has been blowing folks away with his fiery, straight-from-the-soul fret work for more than 30 years now, but at GM Place on October 26, he never let his status as a guitar god override his main goal for the night. Santana … Continue reading Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1999 By Steve Newton When Ottmar Liebert calls the Georgia Straight from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it sounds as if the popular flamenco guitarist is living in a bird sanctuary. There’s a constant chirping in the background, the likes of which I haven’t heard … Continue reading Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton In a perfect rock ‘n’ roll world, Rod Stewart would quit releasing those snoozy Great American Songbook golden-oldie albums, hook back up with Ronnie Wood and whatever other old Faces members are still kickin’, start drinking again, and go out in a blaze of glory on a Faces club tour … Continue reading Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 1996 If you happened to walk into a house party while the last song on the new I Mother Earth CD was playing, you could be excused for taking a big swig of your beer, raising it in a toast, and proclaiming: “Man, that Carlos Santana can … Continue reading I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton It was the clash of the American rock titans last Sunday (August 22) at the Coliseum, and after Big Bad Bobby D. took on Carlos “The Fret Strangler” Santana in a four-hour, 15-man battle royal, only one man remained standing as a certified … Continue reading Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 8, 2008 The last time Carlos Santana played here, a few years back at GM Place, one reader used my rave review of the show as an excuse to slag the guitarist for selling out with his multiplatinum album of 1999, Supernatural. This Payback Timer didn’t like the fact that … Continue reading Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

Carlos Santana says you get the tone with what you’re thinking

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 24, 2011 By Steve Newton There’s a quote on Carlos Santana’s official website that reads: “When you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life.” If that’s true, then anyone who’s heard Santana effortlessly channel the sound of pure joy through his instrument knows that he … Continue reading Carlos Santana says you get the tone with what you’re thinking

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

That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

By Steve Newton The best musicians always try to surround themselves with the best musicians. For Edgar Winter that wasn’t hard. When he was born he already had a big brother named Johnny waiting at home, and they would become close musical collaborators throughout their lifetimes. Another hugely talented player that Edgar hooked up with … Continue reading That time I asked Edgar Winter about his old pal Rick and his big brother Johnny

That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open

By Steve Newton Way back in May of 1984 I interviewed Tony Carey, who I’d been a fan of since I heard him playing keyboards on Rainbow’s colossal Rising album of 1976. At the time of our chat he was promoting his new solo album Some Tough City, which was doing well on the charts … Continue reading That time Tony Carey told me that he thought “The First Day of Summer” was going to break his new album wide open