That time Dickey Betts told me that he liked the Allman Brothers’ opening act, Blues Traveler, “a whole lot”

By Steve Newton If you've been checking out Ear of Newt much in the last couple years, you likely noticed that I really enjoy posting audio excerpts from my four interviews with Dickey Betts. As I've been saying all along, he's one of my fave guitarists, but I like hearing his down-home southern drawl almost as … Continue reading That time Dickey Betts told me that he liked the Allman Brothers’ opening act, Blues Traveler, “a whole lot”

Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 3, 1991 By Steve Newton If you were ever a big fan of the Blues Brothers, chances are you appreciate a few chuckles tossed in with your listening. Blues Traveler singer/harmonica player John Popper certainly does. In fact, it was his love of comedy that first got him … Continue reading Blues Traveler’s John Popper went from the Blues Brothers to Paul Butterfield to Elmore James to Hendrix

That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

By Steve Newton As most Canadian rock fans know, the Tragically Hip ended its final major tour in August of 2016 with a gig in its Kingston hometown that was broadcast (and celebrated) nationwide. Touring has always been at the heart of what the Hip is all about. Sure, making amazing records is a biggie … Continue reading That time the Tragically Hip’s Gord Downie told me that he just loves meeting other musicians–period

That time Gord Downie told me about the “unique” life on the road with the Tragically Hip

By Steve Newton On July 2, 1995, I did my fourth Georgia Straight interview with the Tragically Hip's Gord Downie. It had only been six months since our previous chat, and it was unusual--even back then, when newspapers were thriving--to publish two feature stories on the same band within such a short span of time. But … Continue reading That time Gord Downie told me about the “unique” life on the road with the Tragically Hip

John Popper’s wild harp licks in Vancouver bring to mind Jan Hammer on Wired

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 7, 1995 Blues Traveler singer-harpist John Popper may be the most awe-inspiring harmonica player in the world of rock, but what really makes him special is the way he couples the mastery of his instrument with truly outstanding vocals. There aren’t that many virtuoso instrumentalists who can also … Continue reading John Popper’s wild harp licks in Vancouver bring to mind Jan Hammer on Wired

Gordon Downie sees Bruce Allen in a Subway ad at Another Roadside Attraction

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 20, 1995 By Steve Newton The Another Roadside Attraction show at Seabird Island two years ago was one of Gordon Downie’s all-time favourite gigs. The Tragically Hip vocalist told the Georgia Straight recently that it was the natural beauty of the Agassiz location—surrounded by nearby mountains and dense … Continue reading Gordon Downie sees Bruce Allen in a Subway ad at Another Roadside Attraction

Blues Traveler’s wheelchair-bound John Popper displays weapons and wicked harmonica in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1993 By Steve Newton In the liner notes to the new Blues Traveler release, Save His Soul, John Popper is credited with “vocals, harmonica, Irish whistle, acoustic 12-string, electric guitar, 12-gauge shotgun, and 9-mm pistol”. Now, I didn’t see any shotguns or pistols at the Commodore last Thursday … Continue reading Blues Traveler’s wheelchair-bound John Popper displays weapons and wicked harmonica in Vancouver

Mike Gordon says Phish is happy with the current situation

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 1, 1993 By Steve Newton A lot of bands know how to play to a crowd, but not many bands know how to be played by a crowd. Vermont’s Phish is one of the latter. Band members came up with the idea of throwing beach-balls out into the … Continue reading Mike Gordon says Phish is happy with the current situation