Fingerstyle guitarist and Beatles freak Steven King is scary good

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 30, 2002 By Steve Newton Steven King may not be as well known as the horror scribe who spells his name differently, but he’s been winning acclaim as a technically boggling acoustic fingerstyle guitarist since 1994. That was the year King claimed the U.S. National Fingerpicking Championship, performing … Continue reading Fingerstyle guitarist and Beatles freak Steven King is scary good

Michael Burks always played a Gibson, but he keeps a coupla Strats handy too

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 30, 2002 By Steve Newton I know a couple from Richmond who were such huge Stevie Ray Vaughan fanatics that they named their first-born child Vaughan. That’s pretty cool, but I’d like to go one better, and have my own son actually become a blues-rock guitar wizard! … Continue reading Michael Burks always played a Gibson, but he keeps a coupla Strats handy too

Thin Lizzy box set is a fitting tribute to hard-rock poet Phil Lynott

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton Thin Lizzy was among my top-five fave rock bands in the ’70s. I picked up on the group after reading a rave review of 1973’s Vagabonds of the Western World in my magazine of choice at the time, Circus. I rushed out and … Continue reading Thin Lizzy box set is a fitting tribute to hard-rock poet Phil Lynott

Capitol Records 60th Anniversary box gets the Newt’s noggin noddin’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton To celebrate 60 years in business, Capitol Records has released an ambitious, six-CD boxed set, with each disc containing 16 tunes from one particular decade, spanning the ’40s to the ’90s. Not surprisingly, some of my fave pop and rock tunes of all … Continue reading Capitol Records 60th Anniversary box gets the Newt’s noggin noddin’

Tony Furtado dedicates song on American Gypsy to Americana great John Hartford

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton Twelve seems to be an age that many musicians—and music fans—look back on as being influential in the formation of their musical tastes. I can remember spending countless hours as a 12-year-old sprawled on my parents’ living-room rug, poring over the lyrics … Continue reading Tony Furtado dedicates song on American Gypsy to Americana great John Hartford

The Blasters’ Dave Alvin wants to search the Commodore for lost brain cells

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton Back in 1985, the Blasters were building a reputation as one of North America’s premier roots-rock acts. Then one cold November night in Montreal, the ongoing quarrels between guitarist Dave Alvin and his older brother, vocalist Phil, boiled over. After a particularly disastrous … Continue reading The Blasters’ Dave Alvin wants to search the Commodore for lost brain cells

Delbert McClinton once taught John Lennon a few harmonica tricks

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton To get a good idea of how admired Delbert McClinton is by today’s top country and roots artists, one need only check out the centre spread in the booklet for his new CD, Room to Breathe. It’s a black-and-white shot of McClinton in … Continue reading Delbert McClinton once taught John Lennon a few harmonica tricks

The Headstones’ Hugh Dillon on great Canadian rock bands and having a gun to his head

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 28, 2002 By Steve Newton There are a ton of rowdy, punk-edged rock tunes on the latest Headstones CD, The Oracle of Hi-Fi, but the one that really stands out on first listen is “Tiny Teddy”. A rollicking, three-minute tale of shady characters, cocaine, and revenge, it’s reminiscent … Continue reading The Headstones’ Hugh Dillon on great Canadian rock bands and having a gun to his head

Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music grew from a cathartic Hendrix experience

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 2002 By Steve Newton Joe Satriani named his latest CD Strange Beautiful Music, although the music on it isn’t much stranger or more beautiful than what the Bay Area guitar wizard has been conjuring over the past few years. The story behind the title has more to … Continue reading Joe Satriani’s Strange Beautiful Music grew from a cathartic Hendrix experience

Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

photo by Luke Seagrave ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton For more than 10 years I rented a dumpy old house near 58th and Main that was known as the Rock Palace because of the all-night rock-’n’-roll parties held there. The best thing about those cop-attended bashes was when … Continue reading Reviewing Nickelback in honour of pot-lovin’, hard-rock musicians from Alberta

B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 31, 2002 By Steve Newton Trying to reach blues legend B.B. King at his Arkansas hotel takes some doing. Even when you have the phone number of the hotel, the room he’s in, and a predetermined time to call, you can’t argue with a busy signal. After … Continue reading B.B. King says that Eric Clapton was like his girlfriend on Riding With the King

Major-label horror stories led the String Cheese Incident to go indie

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 10, 2002 By Steve Newton In the early 1990s, String Cheese Incident guitarist Bill Nershi, an avowed ski bum in Telluride, Colorado, decided he wanted to tackle a new mountain. He bought an old school bus, fixed it up, and moved to the ski town of Crested Butte, … Continue reading Major-label horror stories led the String Cheese Incident to go indie

Buddy Guy brings me down in Vancouver when he forgets to just be Buddy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 2002 By Steve Newton Buddy Guy spent a good portion of his concert at the Commodore last Friday (September 27) paying tribute to the legends of the blues, performing in the various styles of John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Eric Clapton, and Stevie Ray Vaughan. It was … Continue reading Buddy Guy brings me down in Vancouver when he forgets to just be Buddy

Robert Plant calls Shemekia Copeland, 23, “the next Tina Turner”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 26, 2002 By Steve Newton There are a number of things that can boost an up-and-coming recording artist’s career; one of the most effective might be having Robert Plant call you “the next Tina Turner”. Blues vocalist Shemekia Copeland, 23, had no complaints when the shaggy-maned former Zepman … Continue reading Robert Plant calls Shemekia Copeland, 23, “the next Tina Turner”

Jack De Keyzer grew to like Howlin’ Wolf more than the Stones

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 19, 2002 By Steve Newton Toronto blues-rocker Jack De Keyzer spent the first decade of his life in England, when the biggest thing in pop music was Cliff Richard and the Shadows. Just before he moved to Ontario, though, the Beatles came along, and it was through the … Continue reading Jack De Keyzer grew to like Howlin’ Wolf more than the Stones

Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton Rush’s latest CD, Vapor Trails, may be its best recording ever, and since the Canuck prog-rock trio now has 17 studio releases to its credit, that’s saying something. But the album would never have been made if drummer-lyricist Neil Peart hadn’t had the … Continue reading Geddy Lee on Neil Peart’s personal struggles, shaping his lyrics, and loving Rush

Sue Foley teams with Colin Linden to kick ass on Where the Action Is

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 2002 By Steve Newton Ottawa-based blueswoman Sue Foley recorded her Juno Award–winning 2000 CD, the Colin Linden–produced Love Comin’ Down, in Kingston, Ontario, but travelled down to New Orleans to mix it. On her new album, Where the Action Is, she went full-on with the southern treatment, … Continue reading Sue Foley teams with Colin Linden to kick ass on Where the Action Is

Cherry Valence guitarist Cheetie Kumar is big on Thin Lizzy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 2002 By Steve Newton The Cherry Valence guitarist Cheetie Kumar is napping in the band’s van when the Straight catches up with her. The riff-based guitar-rock quintet is en route to a show in Brooklyn; the night before, it played the first date of a North American … Continue reading Cherry Valence guitarist Cheetie Kumar is big on Thin Lizzy

Corb Lund trades in raunchy riffs for down-home country roots on Five Dollar Bill

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 22, 2002 By Steve Newton The last time I talked to Corb Lund, two years back, he regaled me with stories of his then-group the smalls’ adventures while touring in Bosnia, of all places. The rifle-toting border guards over there weren’t always thrilled to have the Alberta rockers … Continue reading Corb Lund trades in raunchy riffs for down-home country roots on Five Dollar Bill

Little Feat goes DIY and still comes up with twists and turns

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 15, 2002 By Steve Newton Bill Payne has been singing and playing keyboards in Little Feat since the band’s inception in 1969, but he’s still learning new things about the music biz—like how to do the business yourself. Recently the group launched its own label out of North … Continue reading Little Feat goes DIY and still comes up with twists and turns

Leftover Salmon’s The Nashville Sessions should have won a Grammy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 15, 2002 By Steve Newton I’d never actually heard Leftover Salmon until two weeks ago, when a copy of The Nashville Sessions came across my desk. That’s when I knew I’d really been missing something. On that 1999 disc, the self-styled “polyrhythmic Cajun slamgrass” group from Colorado is … Continue reading Leftover Salmon’s The Nashville Sessions should have won a Grammy

David Lindley says its serious time for the oud

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 2002 By Steve Newton A while back I made one of my regular visits to Zulu Records and noticed that they were giving stuff away. Not great stuff—there were no limited-edition Hellecasters CDs or Jeff Beck bootlegs—but in the box of vinyl castoffs and local cassettes … Continue reading David Lindley says its serious time for the oud

Mountain’s Leslie West recalls Woodstock and his band’s old warmup act, Black Sabbath

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 1, 2002 By Steve Newton Seventies hard-rockers Mountain didn’t waste any time in getting famous. The bluesy power trio—best known for the lineup of guitarist and vocalist Leslie West, drummer Corky Laing, and bassist-vocalist Felix Pappalardi (who was shot dead by his wife in ’83)—played its first gig … Continue reading Mountain’s Leslie West recalls Woodstock and his band’s old warmup act, Black Sabbath

Deborah Coleman switched from bass to guitar after hearing Jimi Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton Deborah Coleman is a captivating soloist in her own right, but on her latest CD, Livin’ on Love, she did fans of impassioned blues guitar a big favour by letting her buddy Jimmy Thackery get his licks in as well. Actually, she might … Continue reading Deborah Coleman switched from bass to guitar after hearing Jimi Hendrix

Fuzz-pedal ripoff leads Fu Manchu to stack guitar tones on California Crossing

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton On their latest CD, California Crossing, SoCal guitar-rockers Fu Manchu took a slightly different musical approach than they had before, toning down the fuzz to produce a cleaner, sharper guitar sound. Part of the change had to do with the band’s willingness to … Continue reading Fuzz-pedal ripoff leads Fu Manchu to stack guitar tones on California Crossing

Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton I might not be the most sensitive guy in the world—what Skynyrd-loving bozo ever could be?—but there are certain heart-rending pop songs that can get even my old throat aclenchin’. Neil Finn’s “Lullaby Requiem” is one such pensive tune. It’s included on the … Continue reading Neil Finn got passion from his dad and ability from his mom

The Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik fears the day the Canadian army attacks Buffalo

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 2002 By Steve Newton It’s usually pretty easy to think of questions to ask famous rock stars, but sometimes they do things that make it a snap. Like when the Goo Goo Dolls decided to title their 2001 remix compilation What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art … Continue reading The Goo Goo Dolls’ John Rzeznik fears the day the Canadian army attacks Buffalo