Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

Steve Newton Sad news for music fans today. Peter Green, the British guitarist who made a name for himself with his stunning work in the Bluesbreakers and Fleetwood Mac, has passed away at the age of 73. Long before the pop-minded duo of Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham put their radio-friendly stamp on Fleetwood Mac, … Continue reading Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page, but Mick Fleetwood says “he was the guy”

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me about his dad’s connections to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan

By Steve Newton If you're a Stevie Ray Vaughan fan who also likes reading liner notes you've no doubt noticed the name Doyle Bramhall on a number of Stevie Ray Vaughan albums. Bramhall is credited with cowriting such SRV tunes as "Dirty Pool" (from Texas Flood) and In Step's "The House is Rockin'", "Tightrope", "Wall … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me about his dad’s connections to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan

That time Doyle Bramhall II told me what it was like touring with the “brilliant” Eric Clapton

By Steve Newton Over the years I've asked various famous guitarists who they'd most like to play with, if they could choose anyone in the world, and more often than not the answer is Eric Clapton. Doyle Bramhall II is one of the lucky ones who've swapped solos with Slowhand. When I interviewed him back … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II told me what it was like touring with the “brilliant” Eric Clapton

That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

By Steve Newton When you think about the J.J. Cale songs that other artists have covered and made famous, Eric Clapton's versions of "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" usually make the cut. (Lynyrd Skynyrd's take on "Call Me the Breeze" and Santana's rendition of "The Sensitive Kind" also come to mind.) But when I did my … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

That time Doyle Bramhall II called from Chicago and told me how he came to work with Eric Clapton

todd v. wolfson photo By Steve Newton Unless you're a hardcore fan of bluesy music or a devoted follower of Eric Clapton you may not recognize the name Doyle Bramhall II, but he's been one of the most in-demand guitarists in the blues-rock world for many years. I did my first interview with him back … Continue reading That time Doyle Bramhall II called from Chicago and told me how he came to work with Eric Clapton

Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

By Steve Newton Where were you when you first heard Stevie Ray Vaughan's killer guitar playing on David Bowie's 1983 hit single, "Let's Dance"? It was definitely the type of thing that caught your ear, because you sure as shit didn't hear much Albert King-style soloing on commercial radio up until that point. According to … Continue reading Eric Clapton stopped the car when he heard Stevie Ray Vaughan’s guitar solo on “Let’s Dance”

That time I asked Buddy Guy about the greatest musical moment of his life and it turns out there’s a few

By Steve Newton I've been fortunate enough to have interviewed Buddy Guy five times so far, and every time I did I was psyched to chat with him. In case you didn't know, that dude can play! And he was playing particularly well the first time I talked to him, back in 1991, just after … Continue reading That time I asked Buddy Guy about the greatest musical moment of his life and it turns out there’s a few

That time I asked Dr. John which musician he was most proud of working with

By Steve Newton If you're a dedicated music fan you’ve no doubt heard by now that Dr. John passed away the other day. He was one helluva musician, which is why everybody and their dog wanted to play with him. He started hanging with folks like Professor Longhair and Earl King as a teenager. When … Continue reading That time I asked Dr. John which musician he was most proud of working with

Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1988 By Steve Newton When you're arguably the world's best female rock vocalist, you make friends easily. Tina Turner does, and a lot of those friends show up on her new double-live album, recorded last year in Britain, West Germany, and Sweden. Ms. Turner sings duets with Bryan Adams on … Continue reading Album review: Tina Turner, Tina Live in Europe (1988)

Atlanta guitar hero Tinsley Ellis on covering Leon Russell, adoring Eric Clapton, and listening to Tom Dowd

By Steve Newton The last time yours truly interviewed American blues-rocker Tinsley Ellis was 10 years ago, when he called the Georgia Straight in advance of a gig at the Yale Hotel, Vancouver’s top blues venue for decades. Sadly, the Granville Street joint hasn’t been a real home of the blues for years now, a fact not … Continue reading Atlanta guitar hero Tinsley Ellis on covering Leon Russell, adoring Eric Clapton, and listening to Tom Dowd

Album review: Eric Clapton, Me and Mr. Johnson (2004)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 2004 By Steve Newton Ten years ago, Eric Clapton issued an astounding love letter to the blues titled From the Cradle, which featured some of his most fiery electric-guitar work since the Derek and the Dominos days. Apart from two overdubs, the 16-track CD was a live, … Continue reading Album review: Eric Clapton, Me and Mr. Johnson (2004)

Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 29, 1996 By Steve Newton The folks behind this latest tribute to blues-rock guitar legend Stevie Ray Vaughan could hardly lose when they got Vaughan’s older brother (and biggest influence) Jimmie to organize and host a one-off concert featuring Eric Clapton, Buddy Guy, B.B. King, Bonnie Raitt, … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, A Tribute to Stevie Ray Vaughan (1996)

Album review: Buddy Guy, Slippin’ In (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 15, 1994 By Steve Newton I always felt that Buddy Guy’s two Grammy award–winning ’90s releases—Damn Right I’ve Got the Blues and Feels Like Rain—were fine examples of the legendary guitarist’s crossover blues, but when I wanted to hear him at his raw, sweaty, string-strangling best I … Continue reading Album review: Buddy Guy, Slippin’ In (1994)

Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 29, 1994 By Steve Newton Not many rock guitarists could step into Eric Clapton’s shoes—especially the sizeable ones he’s wearing right now, following the release of his stunning blues album, From the Cradle. But when Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker picked Gary Moore to become the M … Continue reading Album review: BBM, Around the Next Dream (1994)

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’

That time I asked bass legend Donald “Duck” Dunn why they called him Duck

By Steve Newton Here's a fun little 30-second audio snippet that never fails to make me smile. Back in 1985 I did an interview with bass-guitar legend Donald "Duck" Dunn, who at the time was playing in Eric Clapton's touring band. Dunn is famous for playing bass with Booker T. & the M.G.'s and for his session work … Continue reading That time I asked bass legend Donald “Duck” Dunn why they called him Duck

That time I asked J.J. Cale what it was like growing up in Tulsa

By Steve Newton “Livin’ on Tulsa time Livin’ on Tulsa time Well, you know I’ve been through it When I set my watch back to it Livin’ on Tulsa time” Eric Clapton recorded the Don Williams song “Tulsa Time” on his 1978 Backless album, and liked it so much he recorded a live version for his Just … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale what it was like growing up in Tulsa

That time I asked J.J. Cale if he’d bought anything nice with his Clapton money

By Steve Newton Back in 1990 I did my first interview with J.J. Cale, who you may recall is one of the wickedest damn songwriters and guitar players that the United States of America has ever produced. A couple of years earlier there was a TV commercial for Michelob beer in heavy rotation, featuring Cale’s … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale if he’d bought anything nice with his Clapton money

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

By Steve Newton Please, God, don’t let any more of my rock heroes die this year. Jeff Beck Loud Hailer The world’s greatest living rock guitarist isn’t resting on his laurels at the age of 72. With Loud Hailer—another term for “megaphone”—Beck delivers a fresh-sounding blast of intense, politically minded rock. His fretwork has never … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2016

That time J.J. Cale told me that Eric Clapton had paid his rent for the last 30 years

By Steve Newton J.J. Cale is the coolest musician I've ever interviewed, and I've interviewed quite a few. Talk about laid back and down to earth. And what a wicked guitar player, as if being one of the world's finest songwriters weren't enough. I did my first interview with him in 1990, and my second … Continue reading That time J.J. Cale told me that Eric Clapton had paid his rent for the last 30 years

That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

By Steve Newton Bass players don't get much more special than Donald "Duck" Dunn. As a session musician for Stax Records, Dunn brought the bottom end on scores of legendary tracks, including gems like Otis Redding's "Respect", Sam & Dave's "Hold On, I'm Comin'", and Albert King's "Born Under a Bad Sign". He was also the bassist … Continue reading That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me that Eric Clapton was the best all-around guitarist he ever worked with

That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

By Steve Newton Legendary drummer Mick Fleetwood called me up a couple days ago to plug his upcoming gig at the Hard Rock Casino Vancouver, and I made sure to ask him all about his long-ago bandmate Peter Green. Fleetwood's current outfit, the Mick Fleetwood Blues Band, is performing several Green-penned songs from the early … Continue reading That time Mick Fleetwood told me that Peter Green shunned the guitar-hero status of Clapton, Beck, and Page

Albert Lee says that his Everly Brothers gig was a “natural”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 11, 1986 By Steve Newton In the world of music, jolly old England is famous for a number of things. The Beatles for instance. And rock guitar heroes like Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page, and Jeff Beck. But country music is not one of Brittania's specialties, and it never … Continue reading Albert Lee says that his Everly Brothers gig was a “natural”

Susan Tedeschi can’t wait to get Doyle Bramhall II’s new album

By Steve Newton Susan Tedeschi called me up from her home in Florida last week in advance of the Tedeschi Trucks Band show in Vancouver this month. We go way back, as I first interviewed her in 1998 when she was a solo artist with a new debut album. While we were chatting about her … Continue reading Susan Tedeschi can’t wait to get Doyle Bramhall II’s new album

That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me about working with Eric Clapton and John “the Godfather” Belushi

By Steve Newton Back in 1985 Eric Clapton played a show in Vancouver, but he wasn't doing any interviews with the likes of me. I was happy as hell just to chat with bass-guitar legend Donald "Duck" Dunn, who you may recall for his work with Booker T & the MG's. During the course of our … Continue reading That time Donald “Duck” Dunn told me about working with Eric Clapton and John “the Godfather” Belushi

Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

By Steve Newton I called Louisiana slide guitar-ace Sonny Landreth up at his home in Lafayette yesterday and we chatted for a while, mainly about his latest album, Bound By the Blues, which he'll showcase tunes from in Vancouver on January 17. The album, his ninth studio release, is a paeon to the blues and his … Continue reading Sonny Landreth ranks Johnny Winter with Clapton and Beck

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 10, 2014 By Steve Newton One of the biggest music stories of 2014 concerned the trials and tribulations of AC/DC, which had one original member retire due to dementia and another facing criminal charges. The return of Pink Floyd after two decades also made a few headlines—or garnered a ton … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014