That time I asked Carlos Santana how he gets his guitar tone

By Steve Newton One of the biggest thrills of my life as a rock journalist came when I interviewed Carlos Santana in August of 2011. His guitar sound has just entranced me ever since I first heard "Black Magic Woman" as a kid. So of course I had to ask him where he gets his … Continue reading That time I asked Carlos Santana how he gets his guitar tone

Guitar legend Warren Haynes admits he’s “a Gibson guy”, but still likes to play a Fender now and then

texastengu photo By Steve Newton When you see a promotional image of Warren Haynes, or an in-concert shot, the American guitar legend is almost always clutching a Les Paul. So I was kinda surprised to see that on the latest Gov't Mule album, Revolution Come...Revolution Go, there's a photo of him in the CD booklet … Continue reading Guitar legend Warren Haynes admits he’s “a Gibson guy”, but still likes to play a Fender now and then

Album review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Weld (1991)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 1991 By Steve Newton Any folks crazy enough to miss Neil Young & Crazy Horse at the Pacific Coliseum earlier this year now have a chance to redeem themselves quite admirably by purchasing Weld, a live double-disc release that faithfully recaptures Young and his band in … Continue reading Album review: Neil Young and Crazy Horse, Weld (1991)

That time I asked Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts what he’d been listening to in his spare time

By Steve Newton Regular readers of Ear of Newt may have noticed that I, the Newt, really like posting excerpts from my four interviews with Dickey Betts. It's not just because he's a guitar legend. Or because he was in the freakin' Allman Brothers. Though that's part of it. But I also just like listening … Continue reading That time I asked Allman Brothers guitarist Dickey Betts what he’d been listening to in his spare time

Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN EXPERIENCE HENDRIX MAGAZINE, WINTER 2000 By Steve Newton When Texas blues-rock guitar-wizard Chris Duarte got married earlier this year, he commissioned his bassist, Jon Jordan, to compose a song for the occasion. Jordan came up with the hauntingly beautiful "Duarte Ezell", a piece that was performed at the wedding ceremony by a string … Continue reading Texas guitar-slinger Chris Duarte talks Hendrix, Santana, Doyle Bramhall, and the Vaughan brothers

Joe Satriani recalls birthday boy Les Paul making fun of his whammy bar

By Steve Newton Tomorrow is a big day for fans of electric guitar: that's the day that legendary guitarist, inventor, and innovator Les Paul would have turned 100. The celebration of Paul's legacy includes a big event at the Hard Rock Café in New York’s Times Square, featuring performances by Joe Bonamassa, Steve Vai, Warren Haynes, Steve Miller, Joan … Continue reading Joe Satriani recalls birthday boy Les Paul making fun of his whammy bar

Savoy Brown guitarist Kim Simmonds always comes back to the Les Paul

photo by Markus Hagner Savoy Brown was one of the top British blues-rock acts of the early seventies, making a mark with such albums as Raw Sienna (1970), Looking In ('70), Street Corner Talking ('71), and Hellbound Train ('72). For some reason the band was off my radar back then, as I was too busy listening … Continue reading Savoy Brown guitarist Kim Simmonds always comes back to the Les Paul

Guitar champ Muriel Anderson loves Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins and Les Paul

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 10, 2003 By Steve Newton A lot of amazing guitarists have won the U.S. National Fingerstyle Guitar Championship since the annual contest at the Walnut Valley Festival near Wichita, Kansas, began in 1979. Champs include such acoustic-guitar stars as Peter Huttlinger, John Standefer, Steven King, and Canada’s own … Continue reading Guitar champ Muriel Anderson loves Christopher Parkening, Chet Atkins and Les Paul

Some dude who followed me on Twitter plays a pretty mean goldtop

So I was checking out my Twitter account on the commute home last night and I noticed that my number of followers had blasted up from 1435 to an impressive fourteen-hundred and thirty-six. My new follower was a guy named Niro Knox, who looked like a pretty rockin' dude. So I took a gander at some of his … Continue reading Some dude who followed me on Twitter plays a pretty mean goldtop

Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

By Steve Newton On May 31, 1989, the Cult opened for Metallica at the Pacific Coliseum in Vancouver. A month earlier the band had released its fourth album, Sonic Temple, which wasn't no Electric, but did boast one of my fave tunes that year--"Fire Woman". And the album cover was definitely rockin: In advance of … Continue reading Cult guitarist Billy Duffy says it all boils down to the Les Paul

Blues Saraceno’s amp-blowing reminded Jack Bruce of something Hendrix would do

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1993 By Steve Newton As a kid growing up in the wee burgh of Middletown, Conn., Blues Saraceno had it kinda rough. He wanted to play guitar, but he couldn’t find anyone his age to jam with. “That was the absolute worst,” Saraceno says on the line … Continue reading Blues Saraceno’s amp-blowing reminded Jack Bruce of something Hendrix would do

Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest rock guitarist, awes a sold-out Vancouver crowd

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, OCT. 28, 2011 British guitar legend Jeff Beck blew away the sold-out crowd at the Centre in Vancouver last night, performing his Stratified renditions of everything from the Beatles' "A Day in the Life" to The Wizard of Oz's "Over the Rainbow". But his amazing licks wouldn't have seemed nearly so fine … Continue reading Jeff Beck, the world’s greatest rock guitarist, awes a sold-out Vancouver crowd

Former KISS man Ace Frehley still has a few tricks up his sleeve

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MARCH 12, 2008 By Steve Newton When Kiss played the Commodore Ballroom back in early 1975, the band had just released its second album, Hotter Than Hell, and was about to embark on a rocket ride to untold riches and fame. Thirty-three crazy years later and KISS guitarist Ace Frehley is … Continue reading Former KISS man Ace Frehley still has a few tricks up his sleeve

Legendary guitar creator Les Paul dies

Ir ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, AUG. 13, 2009 Les Paul, famed guitar player and creator of the solid-body Gibson guitar that bears his name, died today (August 13) at the age of 94 in White Plains, New York. Paul, the electronics mastermind who also created multitrack recording and tape delay, first gained popularity in the … Continue reading Legendary guitar creator Les Paul dies

Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, FEB. 6, 2011 The guitar world is in mourning today as the news of Gary Moore's death travels around the globe. The Irish musician—best known for his work with Thin Lizzy and his solo career as a hard rocker-turned-bluesman—passed away early this morning in his room at the luxury Kempinski Resort … Continue reading Irish guitar hero Gary Moore found dead in a Spanish hotel room