The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

By Steve Newton Remember how you'd set the needle down on the opening track of a new rock album and the first tune would just blow you the funk away? Me too. "(Ain't Nothin' But a) House Party" (Bloodshot, J. Geils Band, 1973) "All the Way From Memphis" (Mott, Mott the Hoople, 1973) "Already Gone" … Continue reading The 70 greatest opening tracks of the ’70s

Album review: Robin Trower, Take What You Need (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 24, 1988 By Steve Newton Robin Trower has put out some mighty fine albums in the past, like Bridge of Sighs in '74, Caravan to Midnight in '78, and B.L.T. (with Jack Bruce) in '81. I've got a total of 11 Trower LPs in my collection, which might seem … Continue reading Album review: Robin Trower, Take What You Need (1988)

Album review: Robin Trower, Beyond the Mist (1986)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 7, 1986 By Steve Newton Some people slough Robin Trower off as a Hendrix clone, without realizing that there's something special and unique about his guitar playing. Trower always seems to inject a whole lotta soul into his songs. Of course, the fact that he's had bassist/vocalists such as Jack Bruce and … Continue reading Album review: Robin Trower, Beyond the Mist (1986)

Album review: Robin Trower, Back It Up (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 28, 1983 By Steve Newton The best things in music, like the best things in life, often go unnoticed. And Robin Trower is one of them. The British blues-rocker has been putting out exceptional albums for ten years now--the most notable being Bridge of Sighs, Victims of the Fury, … Continue reading Album review: Robin Trower, Back It Up (1983)

Rock Hall boneheads once again choose Chic over Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

By Steve Newton The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame apparently believes that Depeche Mode outrocks Johnny Winter, that Chic blows Rory Gallagher away, and that Joan Baez is more rock than Link Wray. Whatta buncha boneheads. Yep, Jann Wenner and his gaggle of dimwits at the Rock Hall have done it again, blindly ignoring three … Continue reading Rock Hall boneheads once again choose Chic over Johnny Winter, Rory Gallagher, and Link Wray

Newt’s Rock Hall inducts UFO, Robin Trower, Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Ten Years After

By Steve Newton Tonight the much-maligned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame officially inducts Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller, Chicago, and, unbelievably, legendary rock 'n' rollers N.W.A. Now, this is better work than you commonly expect from the RRHOF, which, back in 2013, had the audacity to induct Cat Stevens instead of fellow nominee Link … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts UFO, Robin Trower, Blue Oyster Cult, Mott the Hoople, and Ten Years After

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 13, 1984 By Steve Newton Stevie Ray Vaughan Texas Flood  “Texas Flood is by far my most played album these days. It’s one of those rare albums where every song is a winner…if your’re a fanatic of electric blues guitar, you’ve got to have this record.” Gary Moore Corridors … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1983

Shit-hot picker Greg Koch shows off the Robin Trower signature Strat

If you were big fan of guitar-based rock in the '70s and your head wasn't too far up your ass you probably listened to Robin Trower, the bluesy British picker who released a string of soulful albums heavy on the Hendrix that went gold on the charts and in my rock-lovin' heart as well. Now Fender guitars … Continue reading Shit-hot picker Greg Koch shows off the Robin Trower signature Strat

Remembering the Commodore’s Drew Burns: Best. Promoter. Ever.

By now most everyone who follows the Vancouver music scene has heard the sad news about the passing of local concert-biz legend Drew Burns. The longtime proprietor of the Commodore Ballroom died on Saturday, leaving scores of friends and fans feeling down--until memories of him got them up again. The last time I saw Drew was backstage … Continue reading Remembering the Commodore’s Drew Burns: Best. Promoter. Ever.

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Cheap Trick and David Bowie led the way in '77 with two albums each, and the blues was represented by Johnny Winter, Muddy Waters, and Roy Buchanan. Aja: Steely Dan ("Peg", "Deacon Blues", "Josie") American Stars n' Bars: Neil Young ("Hey Babe", "Will to Love", "Like a Hurricane") Bad Reputation: Thin Lizzy ("Opium Trail", "Bad Reputation", … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1977

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

The spirit of '76 will never falter because that's the year Thin Lizzy put out two LPs instead of just one. Albums listed in alphabetical order according to title, otherwise Jailbreak would be right there at the top. I've included three song titles to help you remember how awesome the music was, and one clip to bring it … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1976

Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Last year I put together a list of my 30 fave albums from 1973, which was a particularly awesome year since it included the release of what I've always felt was the world's greatest rock album, the Who's Quadrophenia. Now that you've all had a good chance to go out and purchase each and every one … Continue reading Ear of Newt’s Top 30 Rock Albums of 1974

Stevie Ray Vaughan tops my Top 10 albums of 1983

It's always fun getting your Top 10 albums of the year list together. My list for 2013 went out earlier this month, including longtime faves like Gov't Mule, Steve Earle, Buddy Guy, Sabbath, and Satch. But when I was rustling around in my boxes of old Georgia Straights recently I came across my Top 10 … Continue reading Stevie Ray Vaughan tops my Top 10 albums of 1983

Taking my sis to see the Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man

By Steve Newton It's nice when you can pay somebody back for turning you on to great music when you were a kid. Back in the '70s, my older sister got me into everybody from Steely Dan to Robin Trower to Lynyrd Skynyrd. But I'll always be especially thankful for her getting me into Bob … Continue reading Taking my sis to see the Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man