That time Greg Martin told me how the Kentucky Headhunters came to record their new song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”

By Steve Newton I interviewed Kentucky Headhunters lead guitarist Greg Martin in April of 1991, shortly after the release of the band's second album, Electric Barnyard. That was the one with their cover of the 1950s radio hit "The Ballad of Davy Crockett". When I was a kid I used to run around with my … Continue reading That time Greg Martin told me how the Kentucky Headhunters came to record their new song “The Ballad of Davy Crockett”

That time Gary Rossington told me that he wasn’t “Workin’ for MCA” anymore

By Steve Newton Way the hell back in 1986 I interviewed Gary Rossington and his wife Dale Krantz-Rossington. The happy couple, with two infant daughters, had just released the debut Rossington album, Returned to the Scene of the Crime, their first recording since the breakup of the Rossington-Collins Band in 1982. Both of Rossington's previous … Continue reading That time Gary Rossington told me that he wasn’t “Workin’ for MCA” anymore

Florida’s Lee Boys take the family approach to Sacred Steel

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 17, 2003 By Steve Newton I’ve wanted to interview Alvin Lee for years. Back in the ’70s, his speedy fret freakouts for Ten Years After were primo air-guitar fodder. On boogie numbers like “I’m Goin’ Home” and “Choo Choo Mama”, the skinny Brit axeman proved one of the … Continue reading Florida’s Lee Boys take the family approach to Sacred Steel

Nathan Williams only pretends he’s a millionaire accordion hero

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 2003 By Steve Newton For Louisiana accordionist-vocalist Nathan Williams—leader of Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas—music is a family affair. He grew up admiring his uncle, Harry Hypolite, who played guitar for the godfather of zydeco, Clifton Chenier. Williams was heavily influenced by Chenier, whom he regularly … Continue reading Nathan Williams only pretends he’s a millionaire accordion hero

Buckwheat Zydeco says everybody has a different vibration, man

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 2002 By Steve Newton You’ll rarely find Stanley “Buckwheat” Dural, Jr. without his trusty Hohner accordion—or the mile-wide grin that comes whenever he plays it. But the 54-year-old musician wasn’t always so enamoured of the instrument. When he was a youngster in Lafayette, Louisiana, Dural couldn’t stand … Continue reading Buckwheat Zydeco says everybody has a different vibration, man

That time some chick called me “a Skynyrd-loving moron” so I hummed a few bars of “Free Bird”

By Steve Newton Back in June of 2000 the Vancouver newspaper I'm still working at (god willing), the Georgia Straight, introduced a new column called Payback Time, where ticked-off readers could write in and vociferously complain about the music critics' opinions, before the scribe under attack was allowed to defend himself with a potentially witty … Continue reading That time some chick called me “a Skynyrd-loving moron” so I hummed a few bars of “Free Bird”

Mark Meaux just wants Bluerunners to be thought of as a butt-rockin’ Louisiana band

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1991 By Steve Newton Zydebilly, cajun metal, garage zydeco—critics have been falling over themselves trying to find words to describe the music of Lafayette, Louisiana’s Bluerunners. But singer/guitarist Mark Meaux has his own idea. “Individually, all those terms—cajun, zydeco, punk—describe really great genres of music. But jumbling … Continue reading Mark Meaux just wants Bluerunners to be thought of as a butt-rockin’ Louisiana band

That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

By Steve Newton Lynyrd Skynyrd doesn't fly the rebel flag in concert anymore, from what I've heard. But back in 1997 they sure did. So when I interviewed guitarist Rickey Medlocke before a '97 show in Vancouver I asked him if, from his Native American perspective, he found there to an intolerance among southern-rock fans … Continue reading That time Rickey Medlocke told me that the rebel flag was just a symbol of where Skynyrd came from

That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

By Steve Newton The first time I ever saw Grace Potter perform live I was blown away. Her band the Nocturnals opened for Gov't Mule in Vancouver, and she joined the Mule on a killer version of "Honky Tonk Women", displaying a whole lotta soul. A couple months later, in January of 2008, I interviewed … Continue reading That time 24-year-old Grace Potter told me that she wasn’t too young to appreciate the Allman Brothers

That time I asked John Bell about Widespread Panic being the first act signed to the newly reborn Capricorn Records

By Steve Newton If you were a southern-rock lovin' kid in the seventies, like me, you no doubt owned an LP or two with the Capricorn Records label on it. Capricorn released classic Allman Brothers albums like At Fillmore East, Eat a Peach, and Brothers and Sisters, as well as discs by Wet Willie, the … Continue reading That time I asked John Bell about Widespread Panic being the first act signed to the newly reborn Capricorn Records

That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

  mudcrutch photo by red slater By Steve Newton When I interviewed Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers guitarist Mike Campbell back in the summer of 1999 we got to talking about his early days playing with Petty in the Gainesville, Florida band Mudcrutch. At one point Campbell told me about how that band would sometimes … Continue reading That time Tom Petty guitarist Mike Campbell told me that Lynyrd Skynyrd’s success gave him hope

God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

By Steve Newton As most readers of Ear of Newt have probly figured out by now, I'm something of a guitar freak. I just love the sound of a guitar, especially when it's in the hands of someone really, really good. (I also spell the word probably as "probly" because that's how it sounds to me, … Continue reading God bless Chuck Leavell’s piano solo on the Allman Brothers’ “Southbound”

That time I asked Dale Krantz-Rossington if it was rough being a mom and a rocker at the same time

By Steve Newton Anybody who's raised a coupla kids will tell ya: it's rough. I've raised a coupla kids and lemme tell ya: it's rough. But it's still the best thing in the world. Now raising a coupla kids while rockin' and rollin' with your guitar-legend hubby Gary Rossington, that's gotta be a challenge as … Continue reading That time I asked Dale Krantz-Rossington if it was rough being a mom and a rocker at the same time

That time I asked Dr. John who he’d most like to work with

bruce weber photo By Steve Newton When the weekend chores are done--well, a couple of 'em anyway--it's always fun to sit down and bang out a quick rock blog. The wife brought home some garlic chili coho candy (aka smoked salmon) and Stellas, there's Apollo Pizza on deck, and in the fading light of Father's … Continue reading That time I asked Dr. John who he’d most like to work with

Remembering Dr. John’s answering-machine message

By Steve Newton Back in 2004 I did my one and only interview with New Orleans music legend Dr. John, aka Mac Rebennack. The first time I called him, though, he wasn't around, and after four rings his answering machine turned on. His message was short, but also pretty cool. I don't remember if I … Continue reading Remembering Dr. John’s answering-machine message

That time I asked Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes about working with legendary producer Tom Dowd

By Steve Newton that's Dowd on the far left, hangin' with Warren and the Brothers By Steve Newton Legendary producer Tom Dowd has worked with some of the biggest names in the music biz, including--as Warren Haynes points out in this audio excerpt from 1994--Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, and John Coltrane. But it was Dowd's … Continue reading That time I asked Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes about working with legendary producer Tom Dowd

The Drive-By Truckers’ 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

By Steve Newton So far I've posted these wacky "20 best songs" lists for some of my fave bands from the '70s, including Deep Purple, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Robin Trower, Van Halen, AC/DC, Blue Oyster Cult, and Thin Lizzy. When I decided to compile one for the Drive-By Truckers, who are … Continue reading The Drive-By Truckers’ 20 best songs, from wicked to freakin’ awesome

Burt Reynolds’ death two weeks after Ed King’s gets me raving about “Saturday Night Special”

  By Steve Newton I never thought Lynyrd Skynyrd's third album, 1975's Nuthin' Fancy, was anywhere near as fine as its first two albums, but holy fvck did I love the opening track, "Saturday Night Special". It boasted a killer main riff by guitarist Ed King, and some seriously kick-ass, southern-fried solos by Gary Rossington. … Continue reading Burt Reynolds’ death two weeks after Ed King’s gets me raving about “Saturday Night Special”