Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

By Steve Newton This year I picked some instrumental rock, some hard rock, some southern rock, and some Beatles, but the underlying thread running through most of this stuff is the blues. You just can't beat the blues. Joe Satriani What Happens Next Bay Area guitar wizard hooks up once again with Langley producer Mike Fraser … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 Albums of 2018

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

Booker T. Jones mistook his son Ted for Joe Bonamassa on YouTube

By Steve Newton When Booker T. Jones answers the phone at his Lake Tahoe home he sounds cool, calm, and collected. Mostly cool. That’s no surprise, as Jones has been producing some of the chilliest sounds around for the last 50 years or so. Ever since his instrumental combo the M.G.’s shot to fame with … Continue reading Booker T. Jones mistook his son Ted for Joe Bonamassa on YouTube

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2015

By Steve Newton The more I see pictures of headphone-wearing DJs alone on-stage, dickin’ around with laptops and turntables, the more I think: fvck off. Bottle Rockets South Broadway Athletic Club  One of the world’s most underrated bands comes up with a killer album of catchy guitar rock that rivals its stellar ’94 release, The Brooklyn … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2015

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.”

Joe Bonamassa wanted Deep Purple and Free in the Rock Hall “before fucking Green Day”

By Steve Newton American guitar hero Joe Bonamassa called me up today, in advance of his Vancouver double-header, and we mostly talked about his new live album, Muddy Wolf at Red Rocks. But since I also see it as my duty to slag the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame whenever necessary--which is basically all … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa wanted Deep Purple and Free in the Rock Hall “before fucking Green Day”

Paul Kossoff’s son Simon meets Paul Rodgers for the first time

photo by Lucy Piller Legendary blues-rocker Paul Rodgers finally got to meet the son of Paul Kossoff, the former guitarist in his old band Free. In a tweet last week Rodgers mentioned that he had his first-ever encounter with Simon Kossoff in London, and included a photo of the two of them together. "So much like his … Continue reading Paul Kossoff’s son Simon meets Paul Rodgers for the first time

Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes joins Joe Bonamassa on Deep Purple tribute

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 11, 2012 By Steve Newton Deep Purple fans saddened by the cancer death of keyboardist Jon Lord last month have something to look forward to, as a 40th-anniversary tribute to the group's biggest album, Machine Head, is scheduled for release this September. On Re-Machined, some of the world's loudest bands will be covering songs from … Continue reading Aussie rock legend Jimmy Barnes joins Joe Bonamassa on Deep Purple tribute

Joe Bonamassa has 200 guitars, says he’s “okay for guitars”

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 27, 2008 By Steve Newton In their recent autobiographies, famed British rockers Ronnie Wood and Eric Clapton hazily recall how one of their main pastimes while on tour—apart from getting wasted and rattling groupies—was cruising pawnshops and secondhand stores for cool guitars. When blues-rock virtuoso Joe Bonamassa calls from a … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa has 200 guitars, says he’s “okay for guitars”

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

Joanne Shaw Taylor says playing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was both terrifying and wonderful

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 28, 2013 By Steve Newton It’s always cool when the inspired playing of an up-and-coming blues guitarist gets showcased by a verified rock superstar. You may recall how it happened three decades ago when the captivating fretwork of a 29-year-old Stevie Ray Vaughan lit up David Bowie’s poppy megahits “China … Continue reading Joanne Shaw Taylor says playing the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee was both terrifying and wonderful

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