Album review: George Thorogood and the Destroyers, The Dirty Dozen (2009)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 20, 2009 By Steve Newton George Thorogood has made a good living covering crusty old gems by blues legends, but is that something we should hold against him? I think not. Every rock-loving kid that Thorogood turns on to someone like John Lee Hooker via his hellraising rendition … Continue reading Album review: George Thorogood and the Destroyers, The Dirty Dozen (2009)

That time Buddy Guy told me about Muddy Waters bringing him sandwiches when he was hungry

By Steve Newton Here's an interesting tidbit from the first interview I did with Buddy Guy, back in 1991. At one point in the conversation I asked Buddy about this story in his record-company bio about the time he was starving in Chicago and Muddy Waters "force-fed him salami sandwiches". Have a listen: To hear … Continue reading That time Buddy Guy told me about Muddy Waters bringing him sandwiches when he was hungry

Rory Gallagher’s stunning Blues should be his ticket to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

By Steve Newton Life is full of unanswered questions. Like, is there life after death? Are UFOs real? And why the hell isn't Rory Gallagher in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? I've been asking that last question for a few years now, via various blog posts, and the usual response from dedicated Gallagher … Continue reading Rory Gallagher’s stunning Blues should be his ticket to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

That time Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes told me who his biggest influences were on slide

By Steve Newton Oh man, I freakin' love the sound of slide guitar. And I especially love it when it's being created by somebody like Warren Haynes. In case you didn't know, Haynes is the player who took over the slide duties when the Allman Brothers reunited back in 1989. I did my first interview … Continue reading That time Allman Brothers guitarist Warren Haynes told me who his biggest influences were on slide

Buddy Guy soars to guitar heaven with a little help from Jeff Beck and Keith Richards

By Steve Newton Blues icon Buddy Guy--who I've been lucky enough to have interviewed five times--delivered a tasty treat to the world's guitar freaks today. In advance of the June 15 release of his new album, The Blues Is Alive and Well, the 81-year-old picker released a song called "Cognac" that sees him trading wild licks … Continue reading Buddy Guy soars to guitar heaven with a little help from Jeff Beck and Keith Richards

Album review: Johnny Winter, Guitar Slinger (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 22, 1984 By Steve Newton The albino boss of bad-ass blues really hits the mark on this new album, which promises to be the blues-rock record of 1984. It should do for Johnny Winter what Texas Flood did for Stevie Ray Vaughan last year. Backed up by some of … Continue reading Album review: Johnny Winter, Guitar Slinger (1984)

Album review: John Hammond, John Hammond Live (1984)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 1, 1984 By Steve Newton If you happened to see John Hammond's recent Vancouver appearance, this LP--recorded live at McCabe's Concert Hall in Santa Monica, California last year--should prove a worthy remembrance of that night. Performing solely on acoustic guitar, and with his own harmonica accompaniment, Hammond gets to the root … Continue reading Album review: John Hammond, John Hammond Live (1984)

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

Sonny Landreth on first hearing Johnny Winter: “Holy shit, man, this is awesome!”

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED ON JAN. 15, 2016 By Steve Newton When Sonny Landreth connects his glass slide to the strings of his Strat, there’s always a good chance a blues-drenched tone will emerge—perhaps blended with zydeco strains befitting the guitarist’s home state of Louisiana. A blues freak since day one, Landreth composed a love letter to … Continue reading Sonny Landreth on first hearing Johnny Winter: “Holy shit, man, this is awesome!”

The Newt Commute #2: Muddy Waters’ “Champagne and Reefer”

By Steve Newton Couple weeks ago I banged out a little blog about how I played Neil Young's "I'm the Ocean" eight times on my shitty commute. That was kinda fun to write, so while I was cruising into work this morning I kept my mind open for another song-based subject to blather on about. … Continue reading The Newt Commute #2: Muddy Waters’ “Champagne and Reefer”

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

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 7, 2015 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’ … Continue reading Joe Bonamassa says “I’m not a full-time rock ‘n’ roll guy. I like blues.”

Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 25, 2003 By Steve Newton When Koko Taylor was a youngster, living with her poverty-stricken family on a sharecropper’s farm in Tennessee, she used to find joy in her meagre existence through the music B. B. King liked to play. It wasn’t King’s own soulful blues that caught … Continue reading Koko Taylor, Queen of the Blues, says Willie Dixon was her right arm

Big Dave McLean got pointers from John Hammond as a teen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 7, 2003 By Steve Newton When he was just a teen, Dave McLean attended the Mariposa Folk Festival in Orillia, Ontario, and got pointers from John Hammond on how to play some basic blues progressions. A couple of weeks ago the now 51-year-old Big Dave performed with Hammond … Continue reading Big Dave McLean got pointers from John Hammond as a teen