Jack Johnson doesn’t mind being called “the Jimmy Buffett of the millennium”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 2003 Jack Johnson has spent a large part of his life riding the waves in his native Hawaii. He was only 12 when he started surfing the universally revered stretch of beach known as the Pipeline, and before he was out of high school he scored a … Continue reading Jack Johnson doesn’t mind being called “the Jimmy Buffett of the millennium”

Joe Jackson thinks about 10 percent of music is really good stuff

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 21, 2003 By Steve Newton If you liked catchy, hook-infested pop-rock back in 1979, there’s a good chance you tapped a toe or two to Joe Jackson’s debut album, Look Sharp!. From the cynical hit single “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” to the postpunk rave-up “Got … Continue reading Joe Jackson thinks about 10 percent of music is really good stuff

George Thorogood, no longer a dick, says you gotta have songs about the women

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 14, 2003 The last time I interviewed George Thorogood over the phone, back in 1993, he acted like a real dick. I realize the guy’s “Bad to the Bone”, but I wasn’t expecting him to be quite so surly and defensive. In retrospect, I suppose I shouldn’t have … Continue reading George Thorogood, no longer a dick, says you gotta have songs about the women

Nebula’s Eddie Glass doubts that Hendrix’s acid would still be good

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 14, 2003 By Steve Newton While preparing to interview Nebula guitarist-vocalist Eddie Glass, I honed in on his band’s Web site and came across a 1998 write-up from a concert at the Tattoo Bar in Forth Worth, Texas. In it, a reviewer named Jeff Downing raved that “Eddie … Continue reading Nebula’s Eddie Glass doubts that Hendrix’s acid would still be good

Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton Two years ago the Drive-By Truckers took the music world by surprise with Southern Rock Opera, a sprawling, two-CD concept album about ’70s rock and southern U.S. culture that focused on the legend of doomed Dixie rock act Lynyrd Skynyrd. The independent release … Continue reading Drive-By Truckers tone down the Skynyrdisms on Decoration Day

Big Dave McLean got pointers from John Hammond as a teen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton When he was just a teen, Dave McLean attended the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, and got pointers from John Hammond on how to play some basic blues progressions. A couple of weeks ago the now 51-year-old Big Dave performed with Hammond … Continue reading Big Dave McLean got pointers from John Hammond as a teen

54•40 walks the walk with first indie release since the ’80s

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 31, 2003 By Steve Newton Although they started out in the early ’80s as indie artists on MoDaMu Records, local guitar-rockers 54•40 have been signed to major labels since 1986, first with Warner Bros. and then with Columbia/Sony. But with its 10th studio album, Goodbye Flatland, the band … Continue reading 54•40 walks the walk with first indie release since the ’80s

Colin Linden says that Rockpile and the Clash influenced Blackie’s BARK

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 31, 2003 By Steve Newton There’s a handful of CDs that have pretty well guaranteed placement in my personal top 10 of 2003. By the Grace of God, the stunning riff-fest from Swedish hard rockers the Hellacopters, has already copped a spot; likewise Trouble No More, the bare-bones, … Continue reading Colin Linden says that Rockpile and the Clash influenced Blackie’s BARK

Delta bluesman Big Jack Jackson says you can’t hardly tell the rap kids nuttin’

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 24, 2003 By Steve Newton When the Straight contacts Big Jack Johnson—the veteran bluesman, not the youthful chart-topping surfer dude—at his home in Clarksdale, Mississippi, he’s just gotten back from Milan, Italy. To hear him tell it, the blues is definitely alive and well in Europe, and has … Continue reading Delta bluesman Big Jack Jackson says you can’t hardly tell the rap kids nuttin’

Guitar heroes help the Yardbirds fly again with Birdland

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 3, 2003 By Steve Newton When the Yardbirds were recording their new Birdland CD for the guitar-oriented Favored Nations label, they made sure to feature company prez Steve Vai on the remake of their 1966 hit, “Shapes of Things”. The quintet also encouraged such six-string stalwarts as Jeff … Continue reading Guitar heroes help the Yardbirds fly again with Birdland

Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton Terry Bozzio is among the most revered drummers in rock, but these days you won’t catch him tearing up the kit in concert or laying down tracks in a studio. The 52-year-old skin basher is more apt to be leading a drum clinic, … Continue reading Terry Bozzio on auditioning for Thin Lizzy and wishing he could play with Zappa again

Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in 2003: loves spicy plum sauce, not the White Stripes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 2003 By Steve Newton L.A. soul-rock quintet Maroon 5 named its debut CD Songs About Jane because that’s exactly what the album contains: tunes about singer-lyricist and guitarist Adam Levine’s ex-girlfriend, first name Jane. As Levine explains from a Toronto Thai restaurant, the former flame actually became … Continue reading Maroon 5’s Adam Levine in 2003: loves spicy plum sauce, not the White Stripes

Sam Roberts discovers that Vancouver isn’t all sunny days and good times

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 2003 When Sam Roberts fans pick up his debut album We Were Born in a Flame (due in stores on May 27), they might be surprised to hear that half of the singer’s The Inhuman Condition EP resurfaces on the CD. Among the three rereleased songs is … Continue reading Sam Roberts discovers that Vancouver isn’t all sunny days and good times

Gordie Johnson finds where the rock is on John Ford’s Bullets for Dreamers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 1, 2003 By Steve Newton One could be excused for presuming that the “Armagideon Time” on the new John Ford CD is the same song the Clash released in ’79 as the B side to “London Calling”. After all, the members of John Ford take a fairly Clash-like … Continue reading Gordie Johnson finds where the rock is on John Ford’s Bullets for Dreamers

Robert Randolph puts Stevie Ray Vaughan passion into pedal-steel guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 10, 2003 By Steve Newton Although he’s only 24, Robert Randolph has already done much to help popularize the pedal-steel guitar, both through his recordings on the revelatory Sacred Steel series of albums and via his own group, the Family Band. And he still feels strongly indebted to … Continue reading Robert Randolph puts Stevie Ray Vaughan passion into pedal-steel guitar

Guitar champ Muriel Anderson loves Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins and Les Paul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 10, 2003 By Steve Newton A lot of amazing guitarists have won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship since the annual contest at the Walnut Valley Festival near Wichita, Kansas, began in 1979. Champs include such acoustic-guitar stars as Peter Huttlinger, John Standefer, Steven King, and Canada’s own … Continue reading Guitar champ Muriel Anderson loves Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins and Les Paul

Life’s highway carries Tom Cochrane back to Red Rider

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 3, 2003 Tom Cochrane had his biggest hit, “Life Is a Highway”, two years after splitting up with long-time guitarist Kenny Greer and abandoning the Red Rider name. But fans who’ve followed the Ontario singer-songwriter’s storied career know that his time with Red Rider, from 1979 to ’89, … Continue reading Life’s highway carries Tom Cochrane back to Red Rider

Walter Trout has a spiritual bond with his Strat of 30 years

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 6, 2003 By Steve Newton Unless you’re really up on your rock guitarists, Walter Trout may be the biggest guitar hero you’ve never heard of. In a 1993 BBC Radio 1 poll of the top 20 players of all time, Trout came in sixth, ahead of such six-string … Continue reading Walter Trout has a spiritual bond with his Strat of 30 years