Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

By Steve Newton I called Louisiana slide guitar-ace Sonny Landreth up at his home in Lafayette yesterday and we chatted for a while, mainly about his latest album, Bound By the Blues, which he’ll showcase tunes from in Vancouver on January 17. The album, his ninth studio release, is a paeon to the blues and his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

My one and only interview with blues legend Albert Collins, who wanted to meet Clapton real bad

kirk west photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 1985 By Steve Newton Musician Magazine calls him “the most powerful blues guitarist in the world.” He has won awards from the Montreaux Jazz Festival, the French Academie du Jazz, and the Memphis Blues Foundation, and received three Grammy nominations. He is known as … Continue reading My one and only interview with blues legend Albert Collins, who wanted to meet Clapton real bad

If Clapton is God, then Doyle Bramhall II is the son of God

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 2, 2001 BY STEVE NEWTON “Clapton is God!” is a phrase that was bandied about early on in Eric Clapton’s fabled career, but there may be a new guitar-hero catchphrase on the horizon. How about “Bramhall is the Son of God!” And who the hell is Bramhall, … Continue reading If Clapton is God, then Doyle Bramhall II is the son of God

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 Sonny Landreth for A Sense of Place, okays Clapton sitting in

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

Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton A concert by Bay Area guitar wizard Joe Satriani is usually all it takes to transport his followers to instrumental-rock heaven, but come Friday (September 26) at the Plaza of Nations, they’ll be getting way more twang for their buck. That’s when Satriani … Continue reading Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

Cream live reunion DVD wasn’t worth hounding Clapton for

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 13, 2005 By Steve Newton In the interview portion of the new Cream DVD, Royal Albert Hall London 05, Eric Clapton explains how he’s been dogged for the last 30 years by queries about whether the British power trio-which also included bassist-vocalist Jack Bruce and drummer Ginger Baker-would ever re-form. … Continue reading Cream live reunion DVD wasn’t worth hounding Clapton for

Tedeschi Trucks enlists Clapton collaborator Doyle Bramhall II

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 5, 2013 By Steve Newton You might think that the pressure of travelling around the world with an 11-piece band that includes your soul mate might be a tad hard to take at times. But guitarist Derek Trucks—coleader of the Tedeschi Trucks Band with his wife, singer-guitarist Susan Tedeschi—says not … Continue reading Tedeschi Trucks enlists Clapton collaborator Doyle Bramhall II

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me about his dad’s connections to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton If you’re a Stevie Ray Vaughan fan who also likes reading liner notes you’ve no doubt noticed the name Doyle Bramhall on a number of Stevie Ray Vaughan albums. Bramhall is credited with cowriting such SRV tunes as “Dirty Pool” (from Texas Flood) and In Step‘s “The House is Rockin’”, “Tightrope”, “Wall … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me about his dad’s connections to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

By Steve Newton Carlos Santana has been known as a brilliant guitarist since the 1960s, but he didn’t hit his commercial peak until the release of the Supernatural album in 1999. That disc featured collaborations with artists such as Eric Clapton, Rob Thomas, Eagle-Eye Cherry, Lauryn Hill, and Dave Matthews, and sold a staggering 30-million copies worldwide. … Continue reading That time Carlos Santana told me that he was open to anything and everything

That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

By Steve Newton The first time I interviewed blues legend John Mayall was in December of 1988, shortly after he’d released his Chicago Line album, which featured smokin’ guitarists Walter Trout and Carlos Montoya. Mayall has always surrounded himself with the finest pickers–including guys like Mick Taylor, Eric Clapton, and Peter Green–so at one point … Continue reading That time John Mayall told me that his Bluesbreakers of 1988 were the best band he ever had

That time Buddy Guy told me how badly he wanted Stevie Ray Vaughan’s photo on his album cover

By Steve Newton Buddy Guy is one of my favourite old-school blues guitarists, right up there with Albert King, B.B. King, and Albert Collins. I’ve been fortunate enough to have interviewed him five times, and seen him perform live many more times than that. I did my first interview with Buddy in August of ’91, … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me how badly he wanted Stevie Ray Vaughan’s photo on his album cover

Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

By Steve Newton 30. Soundgarden King Animal (2012) The classic Soundgarden lineup of singer Chris Cornell, guitarist Kim Thayil, bassist Ben Shepherd, and drummer Matt Cameron releases its first album in 16 years, and it sounds like it’s never been gone. The raging, three-minute “Attrition” might be the best damn rock tune of the year. 29. … Continue reading Newt’s 30 best rock albums of the decade, 2010-2019

Steve Cropper’s musical career has been touched by tragedy but his killer guitar licks endure

By Steve Newton On the phone from his home in Nashville, Steve Cropper sounds happy and full of life. He talks a lot and ends most of his sentences with a chuckle, as you might expect from a guy who’s spent the last 60-or-so years of his life doing exactly what he loves the most: … Continue reading Steve Cropper’s musical career has been touched by tragedy but his killer guitar licks endure

Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

photo by the Newt By Steve Newton Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth played Vancouver last night, and if you’re a fan of bluesy, southern-style bottleneck, I hope you didn’t miss it. The player Eric Clapton calls first when he needs world-class slide did not disappoint–especially when he dedicated a tune to his old friend Johnny … Continue reading Sonny Landreth pays tribute to old friend Johnny Winter in Vancouver

The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember when the last track on an album would finish and you’d wish the music would just never end? Me too. “All Right Now” (Fire and Water, Free, 1970) “American Girl” (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, 1976) “Another Star” (Songs in the Key of Life, Stevie Wonder, … Continue reading The 70 greatest closing tracks of the ’70s

John Mayall believes the Bluesbreakers are better than ever on Chicago Line

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1989 By Steve Newton The biggest aim for most rock musicians when they’re starting out is getting on a major label. A major-label signing means that your music is available to the masses. It’s the first step on the road to international stardom. But it’s not just … Continue reading John Mayall believes the Bluesbreakers are better than ever on Chicago Line

Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 7, 1988 By Steve Newton Two nights after Eric Clapton and Mark Knopfler sailed through town, on September 30, a couple more British rock greats visited. While not as widely known, Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson have a following that is just as devoted, and … Continue reading Ian Hunter and Mick Ronson bring the best of Mott the Hoople to Vancouver

Dickey Betts curses the “goddamn heroin” that took Allen Woody and opines the casualties of rock

By Steve Newton On August 20, 2001, I did my fourth interview with guitar legend Dickey Betts. The date can be seen as significant in a couple of ways, because it was one week before the first anniversary of former Allman Brothers bassist Allen Woody’s suspected overdose death, and just 11 days after the bizarre … Continue reading Dickey Betts curses the “goddamn heroin” that took Allen Woody and opines the casualties of rock

Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton When you’re arguably the world’s best female rock vocalist, you make friends easily. Tina Turner does, and a lot of those friends show up on her new double-live album, recorded last year in Britain, West Germany, and Sweden. Ms. Turner sings duets with Bryan Adams on … Continue reading Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

Badfinger’s Joey Molland on working with the Beatles and dealing with the fallout of suicide

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 11, 1987 By Steve Newton Remember that neat movie from 1970, The Magic Christian, which starred Peter Sellers and Ringo Starr and was a cutting farce on the lengths people would go to to get money? And remember that film’s nifty theme song, “Come and Get It”, which sounded like … Continue reading Badfinger’s Joey Molland on working with the Beatles and dealing with the fallout of suicide

Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 8, 2003 By Steve Newton You might think, since the current version of the Yardbirds includes only two founding members of the pioneering ’60s Brit-rock act—rhythm guitarist Chris Dreja and drummer Jim McCarty—that the latest installment is just trying to cash in on the group’s famous name. One … Continue reading Album review: Yardbirds, Birdland (2003)

Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton The folks behind this latest tribute to blues-rock guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan could hardly lose when they got Vaughan’s older brother (and biggest influence) Jimmie to organize and host a one-off concert featuring Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers slay Vancouver with smokin’ guitarists Montoya and Trout

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 6, 1987 By Steve Newton John Mayall knows blues guitarists. And it’s no wonder since he’s played with the best of them–guys like Eric Clapton and Mick Taylor. But the two lead players he brought with him to the Commodore last Thursday (October 29) were so hot that they literally stole … Continue reading John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers slay Vancouver with smokin’ guitarists Montoya and Trout

Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmie Vaughan says his favourite thing about music, and life, is style

charles campbell photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1987 By Steve Newton Like the title of their latest album, the Fabulous Thunderbirds of Austin, Texas, are a Hot Number these days. Their previous LP, the Dave Edmunds-produced Tuff Enuff, sold nearly a million copies, and their latest disc, also produced by Edmunds, … Continue reading Fabulous Thunderbirds guitarist Jimmie Vaughan says his favourite thing about music, and life, is style

Album review: Buddy Guy, Slippin’ In (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 1994 By Steve Newton I always felt that Buddy Guy’s two Grammy award–winning ’90s releases—Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues and Feels Like Rain—were fine examples of the legendary guitarist’s crossover blues, but when I wanted to hear him at his raw, sweaty, string-strangling best I … Continue reading Album review: Buddy Guy, Slippin’ In (1994)

Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994 By Steve Newton Not many rock guitarists could step into Eric Clapton’s shoes—especially the sizeable ones he’s wearing right now, following the release of his stunning blues album, From the Cradle. But when Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker picked Gary Moore to become the M … Continue reading Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)