Album review: Various Artists, Guitar Speak (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 9, 1998 By Steve Newton The lineup of incredible guitarists on this all-instrumental string-fest says it all: Alvin Lee, Randy California, Eric Johnson, Leslie West, Ronnie Montrose, Steve Howe, Paul Manzanera, Rick Derringer, Pete Haycock, Steve Hunter, Hank Marvin, and Robby Krieger. Each player does one song, and … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Guitar Speak (1988)

Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

By Steve Newton I interviewed Joe Satriani a couple of weeks ago, in advance of his show in Vancouver this Friday (June 1) at the Commodore Ballroom. I've seen Satch a bunch of times--including on various G3 Tours with the likes of Eric Johnson, Yngwie Malmsteen, and Steve Vai--so I wanted to ask him about … Continue reading Joe Satriani compares the musical styles and backgrounds of recent G3 tourmates John Petrucci, Uli Jon Roth, and Phil Collen

Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 10, 1997 By Steve Newton Talk about a rock-guitar freak’s dream gig! Three American masters of the electric six-string unite for a tour that sees each of them performing a separate set before they combine on a three-song jam-o-rama. Break out the air guitars, kids—and dust up on … Continue reading Album review: Joe Satriani/Eric Johnson/Steve Vai G3—Live in Concert (1997)

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

Double Trouble’s Tommy Shannon finds the groove in that pocket

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 5, 2001 For its debut CD, Been a Long Time, Double Trouble—Stevie Ray Vaughan’s former rhythm section of bassist Tommy Shannon and drummer Chris “Whipper” Layton—assembled some of the most admired blues and rock guitarists around. Eric Johnson, Jonny Lang, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Doyle Bramhall II, Gordie Johnson, … Continue reading Double Trouble’s Tommy Shannon finds the groove in that pocket

Eric Johnson strives for pure tone, not Fats Waller perfection

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 25, 2001 By Steve Newton Out of the many rock and blues guitarists that I’ve chatted with over the years, the most revered ones have invariably turned out to be the most self-effacing and down-to-earth. Whether it be Jeff Beck, B.B. King, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Danny Gatton, or … Continue reading Eric Johnson strives for pure tone, not Fats Waller perfection

Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 18, 2000 By Steve Newton I’ve yet to be bitten by the techno bug. You won’t find any discs by the Chemical Brothers or Crystal Method in my collection, or any stashes of Ecstasy in my dresser drawer. But after listening to the new Joe Satriani CD, Engines … Continue reading Joe Satriani gave Steve Morse his full endorsement to join Deep Purple

Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 13, 1997 By Steve Newton When the time came for California guitar great Robben Ford to record his latest CD, Tiger Walk, he had a pretty good idea which rhythm section he wanted backing him up. He’d heard it on a Keith Richards album. “I’m not really a … Continue reading Robben Ford scoops up Keith Richards’ rhythm section for Tiger Walk

Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 1997 By Steve Newton A concert by Bay Area guitar wizard Joe Satriani is usually all it takes to transport his followers to instrumental-rock heaven, but come Friday (September 26) at the Plaza of Nations, they’ll be getting way more twang for their buck. That’s when Satriani … Continue reading Joe Satriani reveals that he’s invited Clapton, Beck, and Page on G3 tours

20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 1997 By Steve Newton Some guys have all the luck—and a fair whack of talent, too. Take Kenny Wayne Shepherd, for instance. He just turned 20, yet he’s one of the biggest names on the blues-rock scene, with a debut CD that has moved more than 750,000 … Continue reading 20-year-old Kenny Wayne Shepherd has the guitar world by the balls

Jack Semple’s Guitar Warz win delivered confidence and a hook

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 29, 1993 By Steve Newton One day about a year ago, I bumped into a guitar-playing acquaintance who was visiting the Georgia Straight office to put a free musician’s ad in the paper. He started raving about this “wicked” guitarist he’d seen the night before at Jake O’Grady’s, … Continue reading Jack Semple’s Guitar Warz win delivered confidence and a hook

Robben Ford wanted to be a guitar player when he heard Mike Bloomfield

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 22, 1993 By Steve Newton In 1973 the Doobie Brothers recorded a tune called “Ukiah”, about a place in Northern California with “green trees and timberlands; people workin’ with their hands”. Judging by the lyrics, it was a pretty nice place to be. And for Ukiah-raised guitar great … Continue reading Robben Ford wanted to be a guitar player when he heard Mike Bloomfield

Fourth Estate guitar wizard Dave Beegle is nuts about Max Webster

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 6, 1992 By Steve Newton Once in a blue moon, I’ll come across an album by a band that I’d never heard of before and be blown right away. Such was the case when local promoter Brock Armstrong turned me on to Fourth Estate, an instrumental rock band … Continue reading Fourth Estate guitar wizard Dave Beegle is nuts about Max Webster

Seeing bass god Jaco Pastorius changed Stu Hamm’s life

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 1991 By Steve Newton There are rock heroes, and then there are rock heroes’ rock heroes. For virtuoso bassist Stuart Hamm, it was the cosmic abilities of the late Jaco Pastorius that made the most profound impression on him. He couldn’t sleep for two days after seeing … Continue reading Seeing bass god Jaco Pastorius changed Stu Hamm’s life

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

Sonny Landreth’s smokin’ slide heats up the Yale in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 20, 2009 A sell-out crowd of slide-guitar freaks converged on the Yale Hotel last night (February 19) to take in one of the world's most amazing bottleneck players. Louisiana's Sonny Landreth kept the audience entranced with a set that focused on material from his star-studded new CD From the Reach—which boasts … Continue reading Sonny Landreth’s smokin’ slide heats up the Yale in Vancouver

Jonny Lang says he’s stolen countless things from Buddy Guy

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 14, 2010 By Steve Newton Two weeks before he called the Straight to chat about his smokin' new album and his upcoming Vancouver gig with Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang was on the stage of Atlanta's historic Fox Theatre as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour. His set involved trading licks with Aerosmith's … Continue reading Jonny Lang says he’s stolen countless things from Buddy Guy

Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JAN. 24, 2013 By Steve Newton Fans of Louisiana slide-guitar ace Sonny Landreth have reason to be thrilled about his latest album, Elemental Journey. It’s totally instrumental, which means there’s no pesky vocals getting in the way of the 61-year-old picker’s shimmering bottleneck licks. Turns out Landreth has yearned to go wordless … Continue reading Sonny Landreth and friends let the music do the talking