That time I asked Jeff Healey about his 1989 Grammy nomination and he told me that Jimmy Page would probably win

By Steve Newton On February 16, 1989, I did the second of my three interviews with Canadian guitar hero Jeff Healey. He was only 22 at the time, but holy crap could that guy play! Anyway, this was about five months after the release of his wicked debut album, See the Light, which you may … Continue reading That time I asked Jeff Healey about his 1989 Grammy nomination and he told me that Jimmy Page would probably win

Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid says he’s very much in awe of music

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2, 1988 By Steve Newton Living Colour is not your typical rock 'n' roll band. Drummer William Calhoun is a graduate of the Berklee School of Music, where he won the Buddy Rich Award as an outstanding percussionist. Bassist Muzz Skillings has played salsa, jazz, and reggae in … Continue reading Living Colour guitarist Vernon Reid says he’s very much in awe of music

That time I asked Buddy Miles how Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix

By Steve Newton Everybody knows that it's dumb to try and compare guitar players, and figure out who's "best". But that didn't stop me from asking Buddy Miles, when I interviewed him back in 2001, how he thought Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix. He'd recorded albums with both guitar legends in the seventies, … Continue reading That time I asked Buddy Miles how Carlos Santana rated compared to Jimi Hendrix

Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, WINTER 2000 By Steve Newton When Texas blues-rock guitar-wizard Chris Duarte got married earlier this year, he commissioned his bassist, Jon Jordan, to compose a song for the occasion. Jordan came up with the hauntingly beautiful "Duarte Ezell", a piece that was performed at the wedding ceremony by a string … Continue reading Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

By Steve Newton When I interviewed Jeck Beck back in January of 2001, just before the release of his You Had It Coming album, I asked the world's greatest living rock guitarist if the 2000 Grammy nomination for a track from his previous album, Who Else!, meant anything to him. In typically modest Beck style he … Continue reading That time Jeff Beck told me that Grammys mean nothing to him–especially when he loses to Santana!

Cheering for St. Louis because Santana rocked that Blues jersey back in 1980

By Steve Newton The Stanley Cup playoffs are always more fun when there's somebody to cheer for, but since no Canadian teams made the cut this year, it's been kind of a drag. I mean, who were us hosers supposed to root for? The stinkin' Kings? Not a hope in hell, eh. Since my fave … Continue reading Cheering for St. Louis because Santana rocked that Blues jersey back in 1980

Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 23, 2003 By Steve Newton Will Bernard may be one of the best guitarists you’ve never heard of, but they sure know about him down in San Francisco. He was nominated for outstanding guitarist at the California Music Awards the past two years running, and the competition was … Continue reading Bay Area guitar great Will Bernard says Carlos Santana and Joe Satriani are tough to beat

Buddy Miles proclaims “there’s nobody can even mess with Jimi”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 19, 2001 BY STEVE NEWTON When ’60s blues legend Willie Dixon wrote “Wang Dang Doodle” for vocalist Koko Taylor, it was pretty clear from her lusty delivery that the term was a euphemism for sex. In the ’70s, crotch-rocker Ted Nugent put his own randy spin on the … Continue reading Buddy Miles proclaims “there’s nobody can even mess with Jimi”

Interviewing Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest living rock guitarist

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 15, 2001 By Steve Newton Like most teenage guitar-rock freaks in the ’70s, I was big on Aerosmith. I made every effort to see them if they got within driving range of Chilliwack; I even hauled my skinny hick ass out to Seattle when they played the cavernous … Continue reading Interviewing Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest living rock guitarist

Guitar freak Roland Nipp shows his stuff on The Blue Room

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 6, 2000 Roland Nipp is nuts about guitar. Even before sampling the local picker’s tasty instrumental CD, The Blue Room, I could tell from scanning his bio that he’s a six-string aficionado. Among those mentioned in his extensive list of influences are such primo players as Joe Satriani, … Continue reading Guitar freak Roland Nipp shows his stuff on The Blue Room

Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 10, 1999 By Steve Newton When Ottmar Liebert calls the Georgia Straight from his home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, it sounds as if the popular flamenco guitarist is living in a bird sanctuary. There’s a constant chirping in the background, the likes of which I haven’t heard … Continue reading Flamenco guitarist Ottmar Liebert was entranced by Santana’s “Samba Pa Ti” as a kid

Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton In a perfect rock 'n' roll world, Rod Stewart would quit releasing those snoozy Great American Songbook golden-oldie albums, hook back up with Ronnie Wood and whatever other old Faces members are still kickin', start drinking again, and go out in a blaze of glory on a Faces club tour … Continue reading Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

There's a ton of incredible musicians who make appearances in B.B. King: The Life of Riley, a documentary about the Mississippi blues legend released on DVD and Blu-ray today (July 1). The lineup includes such amazing guitarists as Buddy Guy, Carlos Santana, Derek Trucks, Eric Clapton, Joe Bonamassa, Jonny Lang, Johnny Winter, Bonnie Raitt, Kenny Wayne … Continue reading The Life of Riley shows B.B. King’s talent flowing from a huge heart

Crossroads 2 (live in the seventies) finds Slowhand bluesy as hell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton They should have subtitled this one live (and bluesy) in the seventies, because over the course of this four-CD package old Slowhand really gets down, covering tunes by Johnny Otis, Elmore James, Sonny Boy Williamson, T-Bone Walker, Otis Rush, and—no fewer than six … Continue reading Crossroads 2 (live in the seventies) finds Slowhand bluesy as hell

I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 1996 If you happened to walk into a house party while the last song on the new I Mother Earth CD was playing, you could be excused for taking a big swig of your beer, raising it in a toast, and proclaiming: “Man, that Carlos Santana can … Continue reading I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 26, 1993 By Steve Newton It was the clash of the American rock titans last Sunday (August 22) at the Coliseum, and after Big Bad Bobby D. took on Carlos “The Fret Strangler” Santana in a four-hour, 15-man battle royal, only one man remained standing as a certified … Continue reading Carlos Santana cleans Bob Dylan’s clock in the clash of the Yankee rock titans

Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 10, 1992 By Steve Newton The PNE isn’t normally the type of place you’d go to save money, but Vancouver blues-rock fans who paid just $7.50 (plus fair admission) to see guitar heroes Robert Cray, Jeff Healey, and Colin James last Thursday (September 3) got themselves a heckuva … Continue reading Robert Cray and Colin James can’t match Jeff Healey in Vancouver

Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, NOV. 25, 2004 By Steve Newton Unless your an avid follower of guitar players--and slide-guitar specialists, in particular--you may not have heard of Sonny Landreth. According to Eric Clapton, he is "probably the most underestimated musician on the planet". But that didn't stop Landreth from earning a Grammy nomination for his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth hoped some of Albert King’s cosmic dust would rub off on him

Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT STRAIGHT.COM, SEPT. 8, 2008 The last time Carlos Santana played here, a few years back at GM Place, one reader used my rave review of the show as an excuse to slag the guitarist for selling out with his multiplatinum album of 1999, Supernatural. This Payback Timer didn’t like the fact that … Continue reading Carlos Santana still stunning the masses

Carlos Santana says you get the tone with what you’re thinking

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 24, 2011 By Steve Newton There's a quote on Carlos Santana’s official website that reads: “When you love what you do, you don’t have to work a day in your life.” If that’s true, then anyone who’s heard Santana effortlessly channel the sound of pure joy through his instrument knows that he … Continue reading Carlos Santana says you get the tone with what you’re thinking