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

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

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