Album review: John Mayall, Wake Up Call (1993)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1993 By Steve Newton Blues legend Mayall lays down 12 bare-bones blues-rock tunes on Wake Up Call, his third good album in a row after Chicago Line and A Sense of Place. Fans of wailing harp and biting guitar won’t be disappointed by the sounds coming … Continue reading Album review: John Mayall, Wake Up Call (1993)

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

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

By Steve Newton So the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame did it again. Today the poorly-named musical dumping ground in Cleveland inducted six acts into its fold, including folkie Joan Baez and rapper Tupac Shakur. Sure, they're both great at what they do, but are they rock 'n' roll? Kinda doubt it. The other … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Warren Zevon, Rick Derringer, Albert Collins, Ronnie Montrose, Gary Moore, and Jethro Tull

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

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

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”

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

Robert Cray isn’t gonna hold his breath until the blues gets back in vogue

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 13, 2001 By Steve Newton We’ve all heard contemporary blues-rock artists covering the works of Elmore James, whether it’s ZZ Top getting lowdown on “Dust My Broom”, or Stevie Ray Vaughan tearing it up on “The Sky is Crying”. Heck, the Black Crowes even named their first album … Continue reading Robert Cray isn’t gonna hold his breath until the blues gets back in vogue

David Gogo gets tongue-tied around Jeff Beck, “the best guitarist in the world”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 26, 2001 One of the best perks of being a Media Slut From Hell—I mean, music journalist—is getting backstage to pose for photos with your fave rock gods. At my house, there’s a hallowed location on an office wall where I’ve hung a framed snapshot of me and … Continue reading David Gogo gets tongue-tied around Jeff Beck, “the best guitarist in the world”

Debbie Davies holds her own with the big boys of blues

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 5, 2001 When I hear the name Jay Geils nowadays, I remember how I used to whip over to an old Chilliwack High School buddy’s house at lunch hour for a quick fix of tuna on toast and the latest ’70s rock sounds. Sometimes it was Foghat’s Energized … Continue reading Debbie Davies holds her own with the big boys of blues

Robert Cray speaks on Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 20, 2000 By Steve Newton Since barging onto the North American music scene in 1986 with the double-platinum Strong Persuader album, Robert Cray has proven himself a formidable purveyor of guitar-drenched blues and soul. And with five Grammy Awards to his credit—including one for his latest CD, Take … Continue reading Robert Cray speaks on Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chuck Berry, and Muddy Waters

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

Tab Benoit says there’s only one Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he’s gone

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 3, 1998 The biggest obstacle to conducting a phone interview with a touring musician is pinpointing precisely where the artist will be at a particular time. Which city, which hotel, which room, and—if they’re big shots like Robert Plant—which alias they’re using that day. The promotions arm of … Continue reading Tab Benoit says there’s only one Stevie Ray Vaughan, and he’s gone

David Gogo farts in his old record label’s general direction on Dine Under the Stars

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 27, 1997 Just two years ago Nanaimo blues-rocker David Gogo seemed to have the music world by the tail. Only 25 years old, he was inked to a worldwide recording deal by EMI Music, which was so pleased about signing Gogo that it manufactured limited-edition double-disc promo versions … Continue reading David Gogo farts in his old record label’s general direction on Dine Under the Stars

Robert Cray gets the thing happening on Some Rainy Morning

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 1996 By Steve Newton You wouldn’t think bluesman Robert Cray would be musically indebted to the Beatles, but they were the band that drove him to pick up a guitar. By the age of 10 Cray had already been soaking up the gospel, jazz, soul, and blues … Continue reading Robert Cray gets the thing happening on Some Rainy Morning

B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met

By Steve Newton I've interviewed a lot of incredible bluesmen over the years, including Stevie Ray Vaughan, Albert King, Albert Collins, and Roy Buchanan. But far and away the nicest was B.B. King. Famed Vancouver punk-rock photographer Bev Davies snapped this shot of me 'n' B.B. in his hotel room at the Plazazz Showroom in … Continue reading B.B. King: The nicest bluesman I ever met