That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me about his love of sixties blues

By Steve Newton Stevie Ray Vaughan wrote (and co-wrote) some damn fine songs, but he didn't mind covering somebody else's tunes either. When I did my second interview with him in 1990 his latest album was In Step, which included covers of sixties blues tunes by Howlin' Wolf, Buddy Guy, and Willie Dixon. When I … Continue reading That time Stevie Ray Vaughan told me about his love of sixties blues

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

Album review: George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Born to Be Bad (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, FEB. 26, 1988 By Steve Newton When it comes to party-time, rockin' blues, few people deliver with the same kind of no-frills, honest urgency as George Thorogood. Well, the bad-ass guitar ace from Wilmington, Delaware has come through with another sturdy collection of originals and classic blues covers that … Continue reading Album review: George Thorogood & the Destroyers, Born to Be Bad (1988)

Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues overflows with deathless blues classics

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 18, 2003 By Steve Newton Many music fans have discovered the beauty of the blues while uncovering the roots of rock, yours truly included. Twenty-some-odd years ago I got set on that course by a pedal-steel guitarist and country-bluegrass performer named Smokin’ Joe Michno. As a dedicated hard-rock … Continue reading Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues overflows with deathless blues classics

Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

By Steve Newton For his latest album, American guitar hero Joe Bonamassa came up with one helluva great idea. Or at least his producer, Kevin Shirley, did. The plan was to record a one-off concert dedicated to the music of blues legends Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf, and the resultant double disc—Muddy Wolf at Red … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

Deborah Coleman switched from bass to guitar after hearing Jimi Hendrix

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 4, 2002 By Steve Newton Deborah Coleman is a captivating soloist in her own right, but on her latest CD, Livin’ on Love, she did fans of impassioned blues guitar a big favour by letting her buddy Jimmy Thackery get his licks in as well. Actually, she might … Continue reading Deborah Coleman switched from bass to guitar after hearing Jimi Hendrix

Deborah Coleman was wowed by the blues grooves of Hooker, Wolf, and Waters

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 20, 2000 There are a helluva lot of lead guitarists in the world, and a tidy portion of them are blues pickers. Increasingly, that category includes females, from veteran slide specialist Bonnie Raitt to 14-year-old blues-rock sensation Shannon Curfman. But for some reason there aren’t many black female … Continue reading Deborah Coleman was wowed by the blues grooves of Hooker, Wolf, and Waters

Colin Linden inspired by Howlin’ Wolf and George Chuvalo on Raised by Wolves

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1, 1998 By Steve Newton When you write for a weekly like the Straight, most of your interviews with touring musicians happen over the phone, because the story has to be out before your subject hits town. But once in a while you get to actually meet a … Continue reading Colin Linden inspired by Howlin’ Wolf and George Chuvalo on Raised by Wolves

B.B. King’s busted guitar string becomes treasure for Tinsley Ellis

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 19, 1992 By Steve Newton When one of your biggest idols gives you a souvenir—whether it be a quickly scribbled autograph or a worn-out guitar pick—that thing automatically becomes priceless. I’ve got a two-inch mirror badge that Thin Lizzy guitarist Scott Gorham gave me during my first backstage … Continue reading B.B. King’s busted guitar string becomes treasure for Tinsley Ellis

T-Model Ford Lives Large

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 20, 2004 By Steve Newton Multiplatinum gangsta-rapper 50 Cent is famous for the several bullet wounds he sports. Big freakin' deal: T-Model Ford's been shot, stabbed, and poisoned. He even spent time on a Mississippi chain gang as a youth after killing a man. Looks like there's a new bad-ass mofo in town, … Continue reading T-Model Ford Lives Large

Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 4, 2011 By Steve Newton I just learned via a tweet from Hot Tuna guitarist Jorma Kaukonen that blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passed away this morning, succumbing to heart failure at a New Jersey hospital at the age of 80. It's a huge loss for the music world, as … Continue reading Blues guitar great Hubert Sumlin passes away at age 80

That time Joe Bonamassa told me to give Jann Wenner a good bashing

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 14, 2011 By Steve Newton When blues-guitar great Hubert Sumlin passed away on December 4 at the age of 80, it didn’t take long for the condolences and accolades to hit cyberspace. Within hours, ace picker Joe Bonamassa had tweeted his heartfelt sentiments, saying what a huge effect the “extraordinary” … Continue reading That time Joe Bonamassa told me to give Jann Wenner a good bashing