Graveyard has nothing to do with death (metal)

By Steve Newton When your band is called Graveyard, it’s no surprise that you sometimes get pegged as yet another grinding death-metal act. According to Graveyard frontman Joakim Nilsson, it happens quite a bit. “Yeah, we hear that a lot,” says the 37-year-old singer-guitarist, on the line from his home outside Gothenburg, Sweden. “But I … Continue reading Graveyard has nothing to do with death (metal)

Judas Priest’s setlist bodes well for British Steel (and Birmingham metal) in Vancouver

By Steve Newton Tonight’s the night for Lower Mainland metalheads! Well, tomorrow’s the night too, I suppose. Tonight and tomorrow (October 27 and 28) legendary heavy-metal act Judas Priest plays Hard Rock Casino Vancouver for what will be its first-ever non-arena Vancouver shows with singer Rob Halford at the fore. So only about a thousand folks each … Continue reading Judas Priest’s setlist bodes well for British Steel (and Birmingham metal) in Vancouver

Rolling Stone made a monkey of itself with its bogus list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

By Steve Newton Google “100 greatest guitarists” these days and what shows up at the top is a total joke. It’s the high ‘n’ mighty Rolling Stone‘s list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, from November 2001. And man does it suck. But what do you expect from the same bozos who oversee … Continue reading Rolling Stone made a monkey of itself with its bogus list of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time

Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 25, 1990 By Steve Newton The liner notes to Squeeze’s new live album, A Round and a Bout, contain a precise itinerary of the 892 concerts that the band has performed around the world since forming in ’74. There are early shows at the Camden Girls School and … Continue reading Squeeze carries on undeterred after Jools Holland opts for his “Mr. Showbiz caper”

Coco Montoya was transformed by the sheer soul of Alberts Collins and King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Many guitarists can pinpoint a moment in their youth when they knew they were destined for a life in music. For blues-rocker Coco Montoya it happened in 1969, at the Shrine Auditorium in L.A. He’d gone there to see Creedence Clearwater Revival and … Continue reading Coco Montoya was transformed by the sheer soul of Alberts Collins and King

The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

By Steve Newton You had to be there. Abraxas: Santana (“Black Magic Woman/Gypsy Queen”, “Oye Coma Va”, “Samba Pa Ti”) 1970 A Day at the Races: Queen (“Tie Your Mother Down”, “Somebody to Love”, “Long Away”) 1976 Aerosmith: Aerosmith (“Make It”, “Dream On”, “Mama Kin”) 1973 After the Gold Rush: Neil Young (“Tell Me Why”, “Southern Man”, “When You … Continue reading The Newt’s 300 Best Rock Albums of the 1970s

David Gogo gives Depeche Mode a bluesy makeover on Skeleton Key

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 2002 By Steve Newton David Gogo is a festive kinda guy. When he calls the Straight from his home in Nanaimo, he’s just returned from playing the Ottawa Blues Festival, where he got to see one of his guitar idols, Otis Rush, and shared the event’s acoustic … Continue reading David Gogo gives Depeche Mode a bluesy makeover on Skeleton Key

Nikki Sixx says he’d turn down Rock Hall: awesome, more room for Rory

By Steve Newton Motley Crue bassist Nikki Sixx declared on his Facebook page yesterday that he’d “probably” turn down induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Fvckin-AAA! That just leaves more room for more deserving types like Rory Gallagher, Johnny Winter, and Link Wray. Here’s Sixx’s post, complete with grammatical errors: The only … Continue reading Nikki Sixx says he’d turn down Rock Hall: awesome, more room for Rory

Kenny Wayne Shepherd never played with Stevie Ray, but still has hope for Clapton

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 7, 2000 By Steve Newton When Kenny Wayne Shepherd calls the Straight on a crapping-out cellphone from the wasteland of Duluth, Minnesota, it feels like a mixed blessing. On one hand, I’m happy to chat with anyone who’s helping to keep the Strat-ified blues-raunch spirit of Stevie Ray … Continue reading Kenny Wayne Shepherd never played with Stevie Ray, but still has hope for Clapton

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

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 7, 1990 By Steve Newton 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 slide wizard Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Eric Clapton sitting in

That time at Aerosmith in Vancouver when Joey Kramer’s hallowed drumstick got snatched away

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 30, 1997 By Steve Newton At the climax of Aerosmith’s two-hour-plus concert at the Coliseum last Saturday (October 25), muscular skin-basher Joey Kramer emerged from behind his rotating drum kit, trotted to the front of the stage, and jubilantly hurled one of his drumsticks into the roaring, near-capacity … Continue reading That time at Aerosmith in Vancouver when Joey Kramer’s hallowed drumstick got snatched away

Whiney False Creek residents put a damper on the Long John Baldry-topped Granville Island Blues Fest

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 26, 1996 By Steve Newton What is it with Vancouver residents who can’t stand the sound of music emanating from an outdoor venue? I remember how the folks living in the Hastings-and-Renfrew area used to beef about the volume of daylong rock concerts at Empire Stadium in the … Continue reading Whiney False Creek residents put a damper on the Long John Baldry-topped Granville Island Blues Fest

Aerosmith kicks major butt in Vancouver on the Get a Trip Tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 19, 1993 By Steve Newton In last week’s Straight, former doper Joe Perry explained that music was his drug of choice now, that it was capable of giving him an instant attitude change whenever he needed it. Well, last Saturday (August 14) Perry and his mates showed yours … Continue reading Aerosmith kicks major butt in Vancouver on the Get a Trip Tour

Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 13, 2006 By Steve Newton The lineup of guitar slingers on this five-CD package is enough to make any blues-rock devotee start foaming at the mouth: Peter Green, Eric Clapton, Gary Moore, Mick Taylor, Billy Gibbons, Otis Rush, Steve Miller, Walter Trout, Jeff Healey, Steve Cropper, and Jonny Lang. Such … Continue reading Essentially John Mayall sees the British bluesman with a cavalcade of guitar heroes

Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 2, 2009 By Steve Newton Got someone on your Christmas list who’s a huge fan of wailing rock guitar? Then look no further than Eagle Rock’s five-disc feast of fret-burning action by Irish guitar hero Gary Moore. So what if it contains no less than four live versions of Otis Rush’s … Continue reading Gary Moore’s Essential Montreux is a five-disc feast of fret-burning action

sound & vision

“Sound and Vision” was a pretty cool tune from a David Bowie album that made my Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977. It’s also a pretty cool name for this page where I’ll gather up my box set (sound) and Blu-ray (vision) reviews. I might also throw in the odd DVD and CD/vinyl reissue when … Continue reading sound & vision

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Ah, 1979. According to my calculations, that was the last year of the ’70s, which was the greatest decade for guitar-based rock music ever. I’d like to thank Fender, Gibson, Marshall, and everyone else who created the instruments of my enjoyment back then. A Million Vacations: Max Webster (“Paradise Skies”, “A Million Vacations”, “Let Go … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1979

Rush is in, Deep Purple’s out: the Rock Hall’s worth is still in doubt

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 12, 2012 By Steve Newton If you’re a Rush freak who’s been holding a grudge against the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for not inducting your heroes, you’ve probably already heard that the Cleveland-based institution broke down yesterday and finally—after 14 years of eligibility—let the Canuck prog-rock legends in. … Continue reading Rush is in, Deep Purple’s out: the Rock Hall’s worth is still in doubt