Michael Schau dedicates Livin’ the Blues to Stevie Ray, Hendrix, and the two Alberts

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 9, 1995 By Steve Newton During my years as a rock scribbler I’ve been fortunate enough to have interviewed lots of amazing guitarists. Unfortunately, many of them aren’t around anymore. Roy Buchanan hanged himself in a jail cell (or so the story goes). Danny Gatton shot himself in … Continue reading Michael Schau dedicates Livin’ the Blues to Stevie Ray, Hendrix, and the two Alberts

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

The Harvesters’ Chris Springer thinks improvisational rock is replacing grunge

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 5, 1994 By Steve Newton The resurgence in recent years of rootsy, improvisational music—as exemplified by jam-happy recording acts like Blues Traveler, Phish, and Widespread Panic—has been a balm to anyone whose appreciation of instrumental ability has been tested by the nonmusical grate of rap or the mind-numbing … Continue reading The Harvesters’ Chris Springer thinks improvisational rock is replacing grunge

Vancouver blues vets Incognito keep the music rough and tough

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton You don’t have to prowl Vancouver’s smoky blues hang-outs to hear local blues-rockers Incognito—all you need is a radio and chances are you’ll come across the rockin’ jingle the quartet recorded for Grower’s Cider. The catchy ad might even be followed by Incognito’s … Continue reading Vancouver blues vets Incognito keep the music rough and tough

The seriously rockin’ Last Wild Sons can’t compete with the Beat Farmers’ comical escapades

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 14, 1991 By Steve Newton The scene is the roughly furnished, graffiti-blasted band room in the basement of the Town Pump. The characters are several members of local blues-rockers the Last Wild Sons and sundry friends and relatives who saunter in and out, taking care not to bump … Continue reading The seriously rockin’ Last Wild Sons can’t compete with the Beat Farmers’ comical escapades

Happy Man’s Jay Homenchuk and Graham Brown were Born to Entertain

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 5, 1992 By Steve Newton Happy Man singer/guitarist Jay Homenchuk has been involved with Vancouver’s independent rock scene for a number of years—either as a guitar roadie for Brilliant Orange or as a member of Green House and his current group. Born and raised in Lotusland, he’s seen … Continue reading Happy Man’s Jay Homenchuk and Graham Brown were Born to Entertain

That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 I did an interview with British blues legend Long John Baldry, who'd recently moved to Vancouver, where he would stay until his death 20 years later. In 1971 Baldry had released an album called It Ain't Easy that was produced by his buddies, Rod Stewart and Elton John. It … Continue reading That time I asked Long John Baldry if he was the King in “Don’t Try to Lay No Boogie Woogie on the King of Rock and Roll”

Devin Townsend, 19, scores opening gig for Michael Schenker with his first band, Gray Skies

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1992 By Steve Newton Decisions, decisions. Tearing open the shrink-wrap from a tape by a local band called Gray Skies, I see that one side of the six-song demo is labelled the Juvenile Side, while the other promises the Dyslexic Side. Just as I’m ready to go … Continue reading Devin Townsend, 19, scores opening gig for Michael Schenker with his first band, Gray Skies

Vancouver guitar ace Scott Smith sends out a Lifeboat for pedal-steel fans in these trying times

By Steve Newton I first became aware of the six-string talents of Vancouver's Scott Smith when he sent me a copy of his blues-rock trio Terminal Station's Rolling All Night album back in 2009. I also knew of his fine work with Bottleneck, the country-roots quartet he fronted with Robyn Carrigan, and his guest appearances … Continue reading Vancouver guitar ace Scott Smith sends out a Lifeboat for pedal-steel fans in these trying times

That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

By Steve Newton Back in December of 1991 I wrote a Georgia Straight cover story on Vancouver producer Bob Rock, best known for his work with Metallica, and one of the Big Three of Vancouver hard-rock producers (along with fellow Little Mountain Sound-men Bruce Fairbairn and Mike Fraser). While putting the story together I gave … Continue reading That time I asked famed producer Bruce Fairbairn what he thought of famed producer Bob Rock

Moist releases Creature, opens for Neil Young, and waits for reality to set in

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 17, 1996 By Steve Newton Whenever I feel like getting a rise out of my 16-year-old niece, all it takes is a quick mention of her former fondness for New Kids on the Block. So what if she was only in Grade 3 at the time of the … Continue reading Moist releases Creature, opens for Neil Young, and waits for reality to set in

Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 4, 1986 By Steve Newton Until the release of the album Power Lines, Jim Foster had not been heard from for many years. It makes one wonder whether the Alberta-raised singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist is on somewhat of a comeback. "Well gosh," says Foster. "How can you make a comeback when … Continue reading Jim Foster gets his “Steely Dan opportunity” at Mushroom Studios in Vancouver

Skywalk guitarist Harris Van Berkel makes like Larry Carlton for The Bohemians

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 28, 1986 By Steve Newton Skywalk guitarist Harris Van Berkel carefully ponders the suggestion that his group's new album has sort of a West Coast sound to it. "There's a slight one... There's a kind of a West Coast affiliation, I guess. We definitely don't have an East Coast … Continue reading Skywalk guitarist Harris Van Berkel makes like Larry Carlton for The Bohemians

Kris Schulz plays beautiful tune by Columbia River, beckons Phil Lynott’s thunderous soul

By Steve Newton Vancouver guitar ace Kris Schulz posted a clip on his Facebook page today in which he's playing a beautiful instrumental next to an equally gorgeous river. "Wild Mountain Thyme has always been a favorite of mine to play," says Schulz in the post, "and yesterday's setting alongside the banks of the Columbia river was … Continue reading Kris Schulz plays beautiful tune by Columbia River, beckons Phil Lynott’s thunderous soul

Nick Gilder on his new LP and his “ironic” replacement in Sweeney Todd, Bryan Adams

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 25, 1985 By Steve Newton You remember Nick Gilder, don't you? He goes way back. So far back, actually, that Bob Geldof once interviewed him for this publication. Gilder was the lead singer for Sweeney Todd, one of Vancouver's more popular glam/glitter rock bands. Named after the … Continue reading Nick Gilder on his new LP and his “ironic” replacement in Sweeney Todd, Bryan Adams

Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

By Steve Newton Back in January I blogged about the "major concert news" that my old buddy's cover band, Cold Chain, was gonna play the 40-year reunion for my Chilliwack Senior High School class of 1975. At the time I put a request in for what was probably my fave tune that year, Ian Hunter's … Continue reading Cold Chain revives the spirit of ’75 at the Chilliwack Senior High 40-year reunion

Craig Northey covers Art Bergmann’s “Faithlessly Yours” to show support for The Apostate

By Steve Newton Vancouver music great and all-around good guy Craig Northey recently recorded a version of Art Bergmann's 1991 song "Faithlessly Yours" to show support for Bergmann's new album, The Apostate. If you want to follow Northey's lead, you can help in the creation of Art's new music via Pledge Music. Here's the original video … Continue reading Craig Northey covers Art Bergmann’s “Faithlessly Yours” to show support for The Apostate

Don’t call Vancouver’s Skywalk jazz or fusion, it’s just “a music band”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 8, 1983 By Steve Newton "When it comes to Skywalk," says the group's drummer and veteran session player Kat Hendrikse, "the word jazz is inappropriate. It's got a lot of jazz influences, but basically it's a modern concept. It's modern music in that it's very composition-oriented as opposed … Continue reading Don’t call Vancouver’s Skywalk jazz or fusion, it’s just “a music band”