That time Warren Haynes told me that it felt strange being chosen best slide player over Johnny Winter, Sonny Landreth, and Ry “The Man” Cooder

By Steve Newton Warren Haynes is one helluva slide-guitar player, as anyone who’s heard him will attest. There’s a reason why Dickey Betts brought him along to handle Duane Allman’s slide parts when he rejoined the Allman Brothers back in ’89. When I interviewed Haynes in November of 1998 he’d won the latest Guitar Player … Continue reading That time Warren Haynes told me that it felt strange being chosen best slide player over Johnny Winter, Sonny Landreth, and Ry “The Man” Cooder

Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

photo by the Newt By Steve Newton Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth played Vancouver last night, and if you’re a fan of bluesy, southern-style bottleneck, I hope you didn’t miss it. The player Eric Clapton calls first when he needs world-class slide did not disappoint–especially when he dedicated a tune to his old friend Johnny … Continue reading Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

Album review: Sonny Landreth, Outward Bound (1992)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton Sometimes when I hear a particularly snazzy slide guitar lick, I get a shiver up my spine, as if that cold piece of glass or metal stroking the strings were making a move up and down my own backbone. It doesn’t happen too … Continue reading Album review: Sonny Landreth, Outward Bound (1992)

Sonny Landreth says he’s sure Johnny Winter will make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day

By Steve Newton In a few hours I’m heading out to see Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth play a gig in Vancouver. If you’re a fan of Sonny, you may know that his latest album, Bound By the Blues, features a tribute to one of his musical heroes, Johnny Winter, called “Firebird Blues”. You may also … Continue reading Sonny Landreth says he’s sure Johnny Winter will make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day

Sonny Landreth on first hearing Johnny Winter: “Holy shit, man, this is awesome!”

By Steve Newton When Sonny Landreth connects his glass slide to the strings of his Strat, there’s always a good chance a blues-drenched tone will emerge—perhaps blended with zydeco strains befitting the guitarist’s home state of Louisiana. A blues freak since day one, Landreth composed a love letter to the genre with his latest album, Bound … Continue reading Sonny Landreth on first hearing Johnny Winter: “Holy shit, man, this is awesome!”

Sonny Landreth recalls the time Jimi Hendrix had “a bad gig”

By Steve Newton Louisiana slide-guitar legend Sonny Landreth sent me an autographed copy of his latest CD the other day, and man, was I happy to get that. And not just for the John Henry–the music’s wicked, too! On the album’s title track, Bound By the Blues, Landreth pays lyrical homage to some of his musical … Continue reading Sonny Landreth recalls the time Jimi Hendrix had “a bad gig”

Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

By Steve Newton I called Louisiana slide guitar-ace Sonny Landreth up at his home in Lafayette yesterday and we chatted for a while, mainly about his latest album, Bound By the Blues, which he’ll showcase tunes from in Vancouver on January 17. The album, his ninth studio release, is a paeon to the blues and his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

John Mayall recruits Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Clapton sitting in

By Steve Newton ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1990 When legendary bluesman John Mayall gets rolling on stage, he cuts right down to the roots of the blues. There’s nothing fancy about his approach to the music; with the help of his Bluesbreakers, he delivers it in all its raw and primitive … Continue reading John Mayall recruits Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Clapton sitting in

Rivers run deep on Sonny Landreth’s South of I-10

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 13, 1995 By Steve Newton Unless you’re a devoted follower of critically acclaimed slide guitarists—or the type of music fan that analyzes the musician credits on CD liner notes—you might not have heard of Louisiana singer-songwriter-guitarist Sonny Landreth. He’s been around for a long time, though, and he’s … Continue reading Rivers run deep on Sonny Landreth’s South of I-10

Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Unless your an avid follower of guitar players–and slide-guitar specialists, in particular–you may not have heard of Sonny Landreth. According to Eric Clapton, he is “probably the most underestimated musician on the planet”. But that didn’t stop Landreth from earning a Grammy nomination for his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

Sonny Landreth’s smokin’ slide heats up the Yale in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 20, 2009 A sell-out crowd of slide-guitar freaks converged on the Yale Hotel last night (February 19) to take in one of the world’s most amazing bottleneck players. Louisiana’s Sonny Landreth kept the audience entranced with a set that focused on material from his star-studded new CD From the Reach—which boasts … Continue reading Sonny Landreth’s smokin’ slide heats up the Yale in Vancouver

Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 24, 2013 By Steve Newton Fans of Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth have reason to be thrilled about his latest album, Elemental Journey. It’s totally instrumental, which means there’s no pesky vocals getting in the way of the 61-year-old picker’s shimmering bottleneck licks. Turns out Landreth has yearned to go wordless … Continue reading Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking

Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

By Steve Newton One of my most popular posts on Ear of Newt is the one where Yngwie Malmsteen calls Ibanez guitars “a bad copy” of the Strat and says Les Pauls are “furniture”. Well, if you ever wondered what the Swedish Fender freak would sound like shredding on a piece of furniture, here ya … Continue reading Yngwie Malmsteen shreds on what he once called “a piece of furniture”: the Gibson Les Paul

That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

By Steve Newton I’ve interviewed slide-guitar master Derek Trucks three times so far, including back in 1999 when he was only 20 years old. We had our second conversation 13 years later, when he was touring with his wife Susan and their 11-piece band, Tedeschi Trucks. Four months earlier Trucks had performed for Barack Obama … Continue reading That time Derek Trucks told me about watching a hip Barack Obama mouth Howlin’ Wolf lyrics

That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

By Steve Newton I interviewed INXS vocalist J.D. Fortune in January of 2006, two weeks before the band kicked off a North American Tour in Vancouver. The Canadian singer had earned the frontman position with the Aussie group the year before by winning the 11-week reality-TV competition Rock Star: INXS. So at one point in … Continue reading That time J.D. Fortune told me about the pressure of competing in the reality show Rock Star: INXS

That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

By Steve Newton If you’re old like me you may remember Swiss metal band Krokus for that early-’80s tune “Long Stick Goes Boom” and for the fact that they sounded a lot like AC/DC. I interviewed guitarist Fernando von Arb on November 12, 1984, three months after the release of the group’s Vancouver-made, Bruce Fairbairn-produced … Continue reading That time Fernando von Arb called and told me that Krokus was kicking Sammy Hagar’s ass on tour

That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

By Steve Newton It’s Gary Moore‘s birthday today–he would have been 69–so I figured I’d post an audio excerpt from my one and only interview with the Irish guitar legend, one of the finest pickers to ever pick up the instrument. It was May 11, 1984, and Moore was opening for Rush on their Grace … Continue reading That time I told Gary Moore it was the shits that he wasn’t coming to Vancouver with Rush

That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria

By Steve Newton Back in the ’80s, most successful recording bands liked to put an album out every year. Sometimes they’d skip a year, to vacation in the Bahamas or release a live or best-of LP. After three years their fans would start to get a bit worried, and so would their record label–especially if … Continue reading That time Steve Clark told me why it took Def Leppard so long to follow up Pyromania with Hysteria