Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds Derek Trucks remembers

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 13, 2012 By Steve Newton Derek Trucks might not be the most recognizable name in the world as far as guitar heroes go, but the 33-year-old picker in the Tedeschi Trucks Band is doing all right lately in the accolade department. His group’s debut album, Revelator, won a Grammy this year … Continue reading Duane Allman’s slide was one of the first sounds Derek Trucks remembers

Buddy Guy brings fiery Chicago blues to Coquitlam, but can’t outshine opener Jonny Lang

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 29, 2012 Blues legend Buddy Guy brought a taste of Chicago to the wilds of Coquitlam last night (September 28), but the verifiable guitar legend was outshone by a “kid” 45 years younger than himself. Jonny Lang opened the show with an hour-long set that included a showstopping version of … Continue reading Buddy Guy brings fiery Chicago blues to Coquitlam, but can’t outshine opener Jonny Lang

Bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn dies in his sleep after a gig in Tokyo

Sad news for fans of blues, soul, and R&B music. Bassist Donald “Duck” Dunn, whose bottom end fuelled such classic tracks as Albert King’s “Born Under a Bad Sign” and Otis Redding’s “Respect”, passed away in his sleep early this morning after a gig at the Blue Note nightclub in Tokyo. He was 70 years … Continue reading Bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn dies in his sleep after a gig in Tokyo

Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 24, 2013 By Steve Newton Fans of Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth have reason to be thrilled about his latest album, Elemental Journey. It’s totally instrumental, which means there’s no pesky vocals getting in the way of the 61-year-old picker’s shimmering bottleneck licks. Turns out Landreth has yearned to go wordless … Continue reading Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking

Taj Mahal wasn’t so much shocked as pissed off by Jesse Ed Davis’s death

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 24, 2013 By Steve Newton When music legend Taj Mahal calls from a tour stop in Phoenix, it’s been just a few days since he played Eric Clapton’s Crossroads Guitar Festival at Madison Square Garden in New York. He’d been asked to play the event before, and never had the … Continue reading Taj Mahal wasn’t so much shocked as pissed off by Jesse Ed Davis’s death

concert reviews

So, yeah, I’ve reviewed a few shows over the years. IRON MAIDEN at Rogers Arena, Sept. 3, 2019 SONNY LANDRETH at the Rio Theatre, Aug. 24, 2019 BAND OF FRIENDS at the Fox Cabaret, Dec. 18, 2018 ROGER WATERS at Rogers Arena, Oct. 28, 2017 GUNS N’ ROSES at BC Place Stadium, Sept. 1, 2017 THE … Continue reading concert reviews

Ear of Newt: my first and last interview with bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn

  When they say “Duck” Dunn is smokin’ on bass, they aren’t jokin’ around.   ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2012 By Steve Newton American bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn passed away in his sleep this morning, after a gig in Tokyo last night. Back in June of ’85 I interviewed him on the phone … Continue reading Ear of Newt: my first and last interview with bass-guitar legend Donald “Duck” Dunn

J.J. Cale, 2009: “I’m ridin’ on the bus, so talk real loud.”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT, COM, JULY 29, 2013 By Steve Newton If you’re a music fan you’ve probably already heard that legendary songwriter J.J. Cale died of a heart attack last Friday (July 26) at the age of 74. He’s the guy whose deathless blues-roots songs have been interpreted by countless artists over the years. … Continue reading J.J. Cale, 2009: “I’m ridin’ on the bus, so talk real loud.”

Blues legend Buddy Guy’s still as potent as ever

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 5, 2008 By Steve Newton When Buddy Guy calls from Las Vegas at 7 on a Saturday morning, the sleep-deprived interviewer on the receiving end is still waiting for the coffee to kick in. But the 72-year-old Guy has already been up for hours. “Oh man, I was born and … Continue reading Blues legend Buddy Guy’s still as potent as ever

That time 20-year-old Davy Knowles told me that Rory Gallagher was his absolute idol

By Steve Newton Rory Gallagher fanatics will know Davy Knowles as the astounding guitarist who joined Gallagher’s former bassist Gerry McAvoy and late drummer Ted McKenna in Band of Friends, recreating the Irish guitar legend’s music live in recent years. But Knowles was professing his love for everything Gallagher long before Band of Friends hit … Continue reading That time 20-year-old Davy Knowles told me that Rory Gallagher was his absolute idol

God bless Snowy White’s guitar licks on his live version of Peter Green’s “Slabo Day”

By Steve Newton I first heard Snowy White when he became the coguitarist in one of my favourite all-time bands, Thin Lizzy. He shared the six-string duties with Scott Gorham on the early-’80s albums Chinatown and Renegade, which weren’t my fave Lizzy discs. And I’d actually preferred the guitar-work of previous Lizzy pickers Gary Moore, … Continue reading God bless Snowy White’s guitar licks on his live version of Peter Green’s “Slabo Day”

Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Satriani a couple of weeks ago, in advance of his show in Vancouver this Friday (June 1) at the Commodore Ballroom. I’ve seen Satch a bunch of times–including on various G3 Tours with the likes of Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai–so I wanted to ask him about … Continue reading Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

By Steve Newton I did my eighth interview with Joe Satriani a couple years ago, and finally got to ask him about something that his former G3 tourmate Yngwie Malmsteen once said to me. Back in 2014 I had interviewed Yngwie in advance of his Guitar Gods show in Vancouver, and that was when he … Continue reading Joe Satriani responds to Yngwie Malmsteen’s claim that Ibanez guitars are “a bad copy” of the Strat

That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

By Steve Newton When it comes to unheralded guitar geniuses, Danny Gatton is right up there. He’s never achieved the fame of a Clapton, Beck, or Page, but in-the-know guitar freaks realize that he’s worthy of comparison, talent-wise. I only got to interview Gatton once, back in April of 1993, before he came to Vancouver … Continue reading That time I called up Danny Gatton while he was sorting through his Roy Buchanan tapes

Telecaster queen Sue Foley didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or even guys, for that matter

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 2, 1992 By Steve Newton Talk about the harried, high-pressure life of a travelling blueswoman! In her Phoenix, Arizona hotel room, Sue Foley is getting it from all sides. It’s check-out time, and room service is banging on the door; she’s playing Tucson that night, and her fellow … Continue reading Telecaster queen Sue Foley didn’t pick up a guitar to get chicks–or even guys, for that matter

That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

By Steve Newton Gary Moore has been one of my fave guitarists ever since I heard him with Thin Lizzy back in the seventies. I then closely followed his hard-rock/metal solo career in the ’80s, before he got the blues bigtime in 1990. I was fortunate enough to have interviewed the legendary picker once, back in … Continue reading That time Gary Moore told me how he scored Peter Green’s ’59 Les Paul

That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

By Steve Newton As a blues fan I’ve been extremely lucky to have interviewed some of the genre’s greatest talents, including B.B. King, Albert Collins, Roy Buchanan, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Buddy Guy. But I was particularly thrilled when I got to chat with Albert King, back in 1990, two years before “The Velvet Bulldozer” … Continue reading That time Albert King tried telling me that he wrote “As the Years Go Passing By”

Sonny Landreth says he’s sure Johnny Winter will make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day

By Steve Newton In a few hours I’m heading out to see Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth play a gig in Vancouver. If you’re a fan of Sonny, you may know that his latest album, Bound By the Blues, features a tribute to one of his musical heroes, Johnny Winter, called “Firebird Blues”. You may also … Continue reading Sonny Landreth says he’s sure Johnny Winter will make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame one day

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

Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

For some reason a lotta old-school rock-guitar heroes don’t play in Vancouver. They head on up for gigs in Washington State, but then turn around and cruise back down to keep on feeding those riff-starved Americans. Are the border guards at Canada Customs really that daunting? Take Pat Travers, for instance. He’s half Canadian, but … Continue reading Stateside guitar frenzy: Pat Travers, Jeff Beck, Slash, Jake E. Lee & Yngwie-fucking-Malmsteen!

Al Walker’s ’72 Strat has been carved up by the best

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 18, 1991 Al Walker’s blues-rock trio, Rock Party, came about as close as you can get to taking home the top prize in last year’s Demo Listen Derby battle of the bands. And if it weren’t for the type of headgear that judge Paul Dean wore to the … Continue reading Al Walker’s ’72 Strat has been carved up by the best

Well-travelled John Hiatt ponders life from the road

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 25, 2010 By Steve Newton John Hiatt is a songwriter’s songwriter, which is why such esteemed artists as Bob Dylan, Ry Cooder, and Bonnie Raitt have recorded his tunes. When Canuck blues-rocker Jeff Healey blasted onto the scene in 1988 he doubled up on the Hiatt material, using both “Confidence … Continue reading Well-travelled John Hiatt ponders life from the road

interviews

Some of my interviews, arranged alphabetically, from AC/DC to ZZ Top AC/DC Malcolm Young & Brian Johnson, 1983 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, Sept. 2010 AEROSMITH Steven Tyler, 1997 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, 1997 AEROSMITH Tom Hamilton, 1994 AEROSMITH Joe Perry, 1988 AEROSMITH Tom Hamilton, 1983 TOMMY ALDRIDGE 2001 ALICE IN CHAINS Jerry Cantrell, 1991 ALL Bill Stevenson, 1993 … Continue reading interviews

My first and last interview with fallen guitar hero Gary Moore

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 13, 2011 By Steve Newton It was exactly one week ago today that the awful news started to get around: Irish guitar legend Gary Moore had been found dead in a Spanish hotel room. A post-mortem the next day revealed that the 58-year-old rocker had passed away in his sleep, … Continue reading My first and last interview with fallen guitar hero Gary Moore