That time Tommy Emmanuel told me about first meeting Chet Atkins, and looking after Lenny Breau

By Steve Newton Tommy Emmanuel is a stunning guitarist; maybe the most amazing acoustic player I’ve ever seen live. I interviewed the Aussie picker back in May of 1994 when he was headed to Vancouver for gigs at the big Music West festival. His latest album at the time was The Journey, which featured a performance … Continue reading That time Tommy Emmanuel told me about first meeting Chet Atkins, and looking after Lenny Breau

Prairie fretmaster Jack Semple on teenage trauma, guitar contests, and watching Tommy Emmanuel like a hawk

By Steve Newton They say you can judge a man by the company he keeps, so Saskatchewan guitar wizard Jack Semple was on the right track when he tweeted a photo of himself seated alongside guitarists Vinny Raniolo, Tommy Emmanuel, and Frank Vignola. Taken in Louisiana this past June at Tommy Emmanuel Guitar Camp USA, … Continue reading Prairie fretmaster Jack Semple on teenage trauma, guitar contests, and watching Tommy Emmanuel like a hawk

Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

By Steve Newton Last week I scored a copy of the new CD from Canadian nuevo-flamenco guitarist Jesse Cook, One World, and before even cracking it open I got a nice surprise. The track listing on the back cover revealed the inclusion of one featuring Tommy Emmanuel, the Australian fingerstyle guitarist who just four days earlier … Continue reading Jesse Cook collects three “amazing” takes from Tommy Emmanuel’s creativity tap for “Tommy and Me”

Hey guitar freaks: you’d be friggin’ nuts not to go see Tommy Emmanuel

He might not be the most famous guitarist in the world, but, man, I’m tellin’ ya—Tommy Emmanuel might just be the best. All-around, that is. We all know Jeff Beck is tops when it comes to rock. (Especially since Jimi, Stevie Ray and Rory blues-shuffled off this mortal coil.) But if you’re looking for an … Continue reading Hey guitar freaks: you’d be friggin’ nuts not to go see Tommy Emmanuel

Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 5, 1994 By Steve Newton When I was in my early 20s, I made what for me was a major investment. I bought a near-new, shiny black Fender Stratocaster. The fact that I couldn’t even play guitar at the time didn’t matter; I figured anything that cool-looking had … Continue reading Aussie guitar wizard Tommy Emmanuel on playing with Chet Atkins and looking after Lenny Breau

That time Tommy Shannon told me that the song he dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan poured out like water

By Steve Newton Back in March of 1998 I did my first interview with Tommy Shannon, who is best known as the bassist from Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s old band, Double Trouble. At the time Shannon was touring with his group Storyville, promoting the album Dog Years, which featured a song of his called “There’s a … Continue reading That time Tommy Shannon told me that the song he dedicated to Stevie Ray Vaughan poured out like water

Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN MODERN DRUMMER MAGAZINE, APRIL 2002 By Steve Newton Fifty-year-old drum great Tommy Aldridge first came to prominence with ’70s Southern-rock hooligans Black Oak Arkansas, although you wouldn’t know that by visiting his current Web site. B.O.A. is only grudgingly referred to as “that band” in Aldridge’s online biography. “I had some real … Continue reading Tommy Aldridge says that doing drum clinics is better than a jab in the ass with a frozen carrot

That time bass legend Tommy Shannon told me who his favourite musician of all time was

By Steve Newton Tommy Shannon is perhaps best known as the bassist for Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble, but dedicated blues-guitar freaks will also know him as the guy who brought the bottom end on Johnny Winter’s first three albums. I interviewed Shannon back in 1998 when he was in the band Storyville, and … Continue reading That time bass legend Tommy Shannon told me who his favourite musician of all time was

That time Roger Glover told me that he was “disgusted” when he saw Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin

By Steve Newton I was 18 years old when Deep Purple released the album Come Taste the Band, so being a huge fan of the band since Fireball, I bought it. It took me a while to get into it–it didn’t have the immediacy of a Machine Head or Burn–but eventually I grew very fond … Continue reading That time Roger Glover told me that he was “disgusted” when he saw Deep Purple with Tommy Bolin

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

By Steve Newton As far as seeing concerts goes, I’ve been very lucky to have been situated in Vancouver since the early ’80s. It’s a major stopping point for bands touring North America–just a quick scoot across the border from Seattle–and being a music writer meant most of the shows were free. Only a few … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that he “wasn’t a fan” of Brian Downey’s drum parts with Thin Lizzy

That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

By Steve Newton Drum legend Tommy Aldridge has played with some of the greatest rock guitarists of all time: Gary Moore, Steve Vai, Randy Rhoads, Pat Travers, Tony MacAlpine, Scott Gorham, John Sykes. Heck, even his first band of note, Black Oak Arkansas, featured some pretty heavy-duty pickers. When I interviewed Aldridge back in 2001 … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me that Randy Rhoads was the most talented guitarist he ever played with

That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

By Steve Newton When it came to hard rock drummers in the ’70s, there were a couple who particularly turned my crank. One was Cozy Powell, mainly for his work with Rainbow, and the other was Tommy Aldridge, mainly for his work with Black Oak Arkansas and the Pat Travers Band. (In the ’80s he’d … Continue reading That time Tommy Aldridge told me why Black Oak Arkansas wasn’t mentioned in his bio

Newt’s top 5 Vancouver concerts of 2015: U2, Foos, Skynyrd, Alvins, Emmanuel

Skynyrd photo by Kevin Statham, all other photos by the Newt By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd at Hard Rock Casino Vancouver on March 20. “When you’ve got three shit-hot guitarists tearing up the place on deathless southern-rock songs you can’t really go wrong, in my book.” U2 (above) at Rogers Arena on May 14: “The encore … Continue reading Newt’s top 5 Vancouver concerts of 2015: U2, Foos, Skynyrd, Alvins, Emmanuel

From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 2001 By Steve Newton Tommy Aldridge is one of the most recognizable hard-rock drummers in the world. His name may not be a household word along the lines of Moon or Bonham, but anyone who’s followed the careers of Pat Travers, Whitesnake, Ozzy Osbourne, Ted Nugent, and … Continue reading From Black Oak to Thin Lizzy, Tommy Aldridge has been a monster on the kit

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