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 2017

By Steve Newton Welcome to the old-rocker department. You won’t find much in the hip-and-happening realm here, but it’s not all about the kids, ya know. Gregg Allman Southern Blood One of the hardest-hitting musician deaths this year was southern-rock legend Gregg Allman’s passing in May of complications from liver cancer. But he left his millions … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2017

Album review: John Mellencamp, Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 12, 1996 By Steve Newton In 1994, John Mellencamp was scheduled to perform here in support of his Dance Naked release, but the show was cancelled when the then–four-pack-a-day smoker suffered a heart attack. He hasn’t toured since, and from the sound of this new CD, Mellencamp … Continue reading Album review: John Mellencamp, Mr. Happy Go Lucky (1996)

Album review: John Mellencamp, Whenever We Wanted (1991)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 14, 1991 By Steve Newton First it was Johnny Cougar, then John Cougar, then John Cougar Mellencamp, and now John Mellencamp. On his next album he’ll probably just be John. But that’s okay, ’cause names aren’t important when your music’s as brilliant as it is on Whenever … Continue reading Album review: John Mellencamp, Whenever We Wanted (1991)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 1991 By Steve Newton Rap and dance music made strong inroads in 1991, but the year wasn’t a total write-off. The sacred power of the electric guitar could still be heard above the soulless clatter of MC Moronitis and DJ Jerkaround. Danny Gatton 88 Elmira St.  Fellow scribe … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1991

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 23, 1993 By Steve Newton Popular music hit an all-time low this year with the outbreak of something called gangsta rap, an ugly, expletive-laden noise that degrades women and glorifies real-life crime and violence. We can only hope this latest strain of the rap virus will help bring … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1993

Drum great Kenny Aronoff was never afraid to go for it

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 25, 1999 By Steve Newton I’ve got a theory, and this theory, which is mine, is that everybody wants to be a rock ’n’ roll drummer. There’s just something irresistible about the idea of pounding away on a resonating circle until you’re sweaty and drained and then having … Continue reading Drum great Kenny Aronoff was never afraid to go for it

Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 20, 1999 By Steve Newton I like John Mellencamp, but my sister Julie and cousin Cory are crazy about him, so I did some serious scroungin’ and wangled three backstage passes to meet the Indiana rocker before he went on-stage at GM Place last Saturday (May 15). Now, … Continue reading Perfecting the lost art of the backstage meet ‘n’ greet at John Mellencamp in Vancouver

John Mellencamp cuts back on smokes, ramps up songwriting after heart attack

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 13, 1999 By Steve Newton John Mellencamp had the biggest-selling album of 1982 with American Fool, which boasted such huge radio hits as “Hurts So Good” and “Jack and Diane”. I interviewed him in advance of a show at the PNE Forum that year, and at the time … Continue reading John Mellencamp cuts back on smokes, ramps up songwriting after heart attack

John Mellencamp’s killer repertoire runs fast and loose in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 5, 1992 A couple of weeks back, the Straight ran a John Mellencamp interview in which the Indiana man characterized his debut acting/directing effort, Falling from Grace, as “a very slow and methodical movie”. Fortunately for the 13,000 or so rowdies who packed the Coliseum last Wednesday (February … Continue reading John Mellencamp’s killer repertoire runs fast and loose in Vancouver

Fogerty and Mellencamp: the ultimate double bill

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 25, 2005 When you get two singers like John Mellencamp and John Fogerty on a double bill, you've gotta hope to hell that they'll get together at some point during the show. Rock-star egos being what they are, such on-stage collaborations don't always pan out, but the two Johns have … Continue reading Fogerty and Mellencamp: the ultimate double bill

John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 8, 2009 It was quite a surprise to step into GM Place last for John Fogerty last night (June 7) and find that it was set up in “Pontiac Theatre” mode, where only a portion of the capacity is used. You’d think that a rocker of Fogerty’s stature would draw … Continue reading John Fogerty stays true to his rock roots in Vancouver