That time Buddy Guy told me about Muddy Waters bringing him sandwiches when he was hungry

By Steve Newton Here's an interesting tidbit from the first interview I did with Buddy Guy, back in 1991. At one point in the conversation I asked Buddy about this story in his record-company bio about the time he was starving in Chicago and Muddy Waters "force-fed him salami sandwiches". Have a listen:   To … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me about Muddy Waters bringing him sandwiches when he was hungry

Buddy Guy’s autobiography reflects the bittersweet beauty of the blues

By Steve Newton Like the blues itself, the life of Buddy Guy has been all about joy and pain, beauty and sadness. And in his autobiography, When I Left Home, the 81-year-old blues legend tells his tales of hardship and triumph with the same raw, truth-telling vibe you'll pick up from one of his searing guitar solos. … Continue reading Buddy Guy’s autobiography reflects the bittersweet beauty of the blues

That time blues legend Otis Rush told me that he was always tryin’

By Steve Newton I've interviewed a lot of legendary blues guitarists over the years. B.B. King, Albert King, Buddy Guy, Albert Collins, Stevie Ray Vaughan--they don't get much more famous than that. But I've also managed to score time with lesser-known blues artists who--though not as familiar to the average music fan--have been very influential … Continue reading That time blues legend Otis Rush told me that he was always tryin’

Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

By Steve Newton Well, those bozos down at the highly slaggable Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally came to their senses. Twenty-two years after it first became eligible for induction, legendary British hard-rockers Deep Purple finally gained admittance into the Cleveland institution's hallowed halls. I guess the powers-that-be finally broke down and played Machine Head … Continue reading Rock Hall finally inducts Deep Purple; could Rory, Link, Johnny, and Maiden be far behind?

Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 2003 By Steve Newton When Koko Taylor was a youngster, living with her poverty-stricken family on a sharecropper’s farm in Tennessee, she used to find joy in her meagre existence through the music B. B. King liked to play. It wasn’t King’s own soulful blues that caught … Continue reading Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

Harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite has real good lung capacity

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 14, 2002 By Steve Newton Charlie Musselwhite was just 13 years old when he started playing harmonica, the instrument that he’d wield so well while staking out his place in the blues world. He was living in Memphis at the time, which was a good location to be … Continue reading Harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite has real good lung capacity

Chicago blues ace Lil’ Ed Williams learned to be nice from his uncle J.B. Hutto

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 3, 2001 On the cover of his latest CD, Get Wild!, blues-rocker Lil’ Ed Williams is pictured atop his rhythm guitarist’s shoulders, lookin’ sharp in a black-and-gold fez, sporting a huge grin and a red Washburn guitar with the name Pamela in block letters on the front. That’s … Continue reading Chicago blues ace Lil’ Ed Williams learned to be nice from his uncle J.B. Hutto

“It’s rough all over the world,” says R.L. Burnside, “even down in Mississippi some.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 18, 2001 BY STEVE NEWTON R.L. Burnside is one of the most popular blues artists around today, but up until five years ago he was barely known outside of his native northern Mississippi hill country. After being featured in the 1991 documentary film Deep Blues, and releasing the … Continue reading “It’s rough all over the world,” says R.L. Burnside, “even down in Mississippi some.”

Eddy Clearwater took Magic lessons on Chicago’s West Side

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 24, 1999 Eddy “The Chief” Clearwater chose a good guy to hang with when he moved to Chicago’s West Side in 1950. As a budding, 15-year-old bluesman, Clearwater became close friends with Magic Sam, the legendary West Side guitarist who died of a heart attack at the age … Continue reading Eddy Clearwater took Magic lessons on Chicago’s West Side

Chicago blues legend Otis Rush still gets around: “It’s a job, you know, and I got to work.”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 19, 1997 By Steve Newton In conversation, blues legend Otis Rush comes across like one of his classic guitar solos: direct and to the point. He’s no fancy talker, but he gets to the heart of the matter. When the Georgia Straight tracks the 62-year-old musician down at … Continue reading Chicago blues legend Otis Rush still gets around: “It’s a job, you know, and I got to work.”

My first and last interview with underrated blues-guitar great Luther Allison

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 21, 1995 By Steve Newton Why would a gifted bluesman from the Windy City ever think to leave his sweet home in Chicago and take up residence in a place like Paris, France? Maybe so he could get some inspiration for a tune called “Nuclear Weapon–Testing Weasel Blues”, … Continue reading My first and last interview with underrated blues-guitar great Luther Allison

Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell steals riffs from Chicago blues bands

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 29, 1992 By Steve Newton The Windy City is not generally regarded as a rock ’n’ roll hotbed. The U.S.A.’s third-largest metropolis seems much better known for Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks than big-selling boogie bands. “It’s not exactly a boom town for music,” admits Trouble guitarist/songwriter Rick Wartell. … Continue reading Trouble guitarist Rick Wartell steals riffs from Chicago blues bands

The Stones & Muddy Waters make blues magic on Chicago’s south side

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JULY 31, 2012 By Steve Newton Eagle Rock Entertainment recently released the DVD Muddy Waters/The Rolling Stones/Checkerboard Lounge/Live Chicago 1981, and, man, is it a sweet treat for fans of electric blues. The coolest part of the concert comes when the Stones arrive while Muddy's a minute-and-a-half into "Baby Please Don't Go" … Continue reading The Stones & Muddy Waters make blues magic on Chicago’s south side

Horror review: The Relic

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 16, 1997 By Steve Newton If somebody asked you to name two of the most popular contemporary action-horror films, there’s a good chance Jurassic Park and Aliens would come to mind. That’s what happened, it seems, when Paramount Pictures started looking for celluloid inspiration for its latest action-horror … Continue reading Horror review: The Relic

Horror review: Candyman

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 22, 1992 By Steve Newton On paper, Candyman looked like it had the makings of a fright fan’s wet dream. It was based on a short story from Clive Barker’s Books of Blood, the collection of gut-wrenching, in-your-face horror tales he churned out before getting all artsy and overblown … Continue reading Horror review: Candyman