That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

By Steve Newton It's fun to pass on compliments sometimes. Like when I was interviewing Big Sugar frontman Gordie Johnson back in October of 1998. A couple weeks earlier I'd interviewed famed Vancouver producer-to-the-stars Bruce Fairbairn, who'd mentioned that he was impressed by the production on Big Sugar's latest album, Heated. When I told Johnson … Continue reading That time I made Gordie Johnson’s day by telling him that Bruce Fairbairn admired his production work

Wide Mouth Mason’s Shaun Verreault says work your butt off live, then get good management

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 29, 1997 By Steve Newton When it came time to record his band’s major-label debut last year, Wide Mouth Mason singer-guitarist Shaun Verreault took the old adage “Go west, young man” to heart. With bassist Earl Pereira and drummer Safwan Javed in tow, Verreault left the flatlands of … Continue reading Wide Mouth Mason’s Shaun Verreault says work your butt off live, then get good management

If Gordie Johnson has to pick between Zeppelin and Sabbath, he picks Sabbath

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 27, 2001 By Steve Newton The cover of the new Big Sugar CD, Brothers and Sisters, Are You Ready?, features a classic hard-rock image of a skinny, longhaired fellow flailing away on a doubleneck Gibson guitar. If you didn’t know the guy was Big Sugar singer-guitarist Gordie Johnson, … Continue reading If Gordie Johnson has to pick between Zeppelin and Sabbath, he picks Sabbath

Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 12, 1998 By Steve Newton Bluesman Luther Allison, folk-pop troubadour Jeff Buckley, fingerstyle-guitar innovator Michael Hedges, and jazz drummer Tony Williams might seem unlikely heroes for a southern-rock band, but they’re who Gov’t Mule’s new CD, Dose, is dedicated to. Between the time the band started recording Dose … Continue reading Talking Ry Cooder, Ronnie Montrose, and the Allmans with Gov’t Mule’s Warren Haynes

Big Rude Jake’s smokin’ swing-punk nixes the nostalgia route

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 6, 1997 When Big Rude Jake answers the phone at his home in Toronto, I’m relieved that he doesn’t live up to his middle nickname and greet me with “Yeah, whaddya want?” He does sound a little out of breath, but it’s not because I’ve caught him at … Continue reading Big Rude Jake’s smokin’ swing-punk nixes the nostalgia route

One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 1996 Most rockers would be happy being in one major-label recording band, touring around the country and heading into the studio when the time is right to make another album. But after spending seven years in Age of Electric, and getting signed to MCA Records in Canada … Continue reading One band ain’t enough for Limblifter and Age of Electric’s Ryan Dahle