That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

By Steve Newton When you think about the J.J. Cale songs that other artists have covered and made famous, Eric Clapton's versions of "After Midnight" and "Cocaine" usually make the cut. (Lynyrd Skynyrd's take on "Call Me the Breeze" and Santana's rendition of "The Sensitive Kind" also come to mind.) But when I did my … Continue reading That time I asked J.J. Cale which covers of his songs he liked best and Clapton’s didn’t even come up

Album review: Santana, Havana Moon (1983)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 3, 1983 By Steve Newton The Fabulous Thunderbirds, the Tower of Power horns, Booker T. Jones, Willie Nelson. All fine artists, but what do they have in common? The new Carlos Santana album, that's what. Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan, drummer Fran Christina, bassist Keith Ferguson, and harmonica man Kim Wilson--the Fabulous … Continue reading Album review: Santana, Havana Moon (1983)

Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 7, 2002 By Steve Newton Two songs into the new Carlos Santana CD, Shaman, I couldn’t decide whether I loved the album or despised it. Things start off just fine with the old-school, tribal-Latin workout, “Adouma”, cowritten by Angelique Kidjo, which is lit white-hot by the guitar god’s … Continue reading Album review: Santana, Shaman (2002)

Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 1995 By Steve Newton Unlike the recent Tom Petty box, this three-CD package doesn’t contain enough previously unreleased material to make it a must-have, but it does feature some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar, and you know that can’t be bad. Dance of the Rainbow … Continue reading Dance of the Rainbow Serpent features some of Carlos Santana’s finest moments on guitar

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, DEC. 10, 2014 By Steve Newton One of the biggest music stories of 2014 concerned the trials and tribulations of AC/DC, which had one original member retire due to dementia and another facing criminal charges. The return of Pink Floyd after two decades also made a few headlines—or garnered a ton … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2014

Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

By Steve Newton Fans of Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, are in for some real treats next month. Legacy Recordings, the catalog division of Sony Music Entertainment, announced today that it will release a collection of music titled JACO: Original Soundtrack on November 27, aka Record Store Day Black Friday 2015. Produced by … Continue reading Jaco Pastorius, the wickedest bass player of all time, is everywhere next month

The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2014: yep, AC/DC’s on there

AC/DC Rock or Bust With the help of Langley’s Mike Fraser as engineer and mixer, the Australian hard-rock icons create a fitting follow-up to 2008’s hugely successful Black Ice album. Its first-ever album without stalwart rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young shows the band in fine, swaggering form. Pink Floyd  The Endless River The prog-rock legends’ first album in … Continue reading The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2014: yep, AC/DC’s on there

Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 2, 2000 Carlos Santana has been blowing folks away with his fiery, straight-from-the-soul fret work for more than 30 years now, but at GM Place on October 26, he never let his status as a guitar god override his main goal for the night. Santana … Continue reading Carlos Santana chides firecracker-blasting moron in Vancouver

Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

photos by Jet Sutherland By Steve Newton In a perfect rock 'n' roll world, Rod Stewart would quit releasing those snoozy Great American Songbook golden-oldie albums, hook back up with Ronnie Wood and whatever other old Faces members are still kickin', start drinking again, and go out in a blaze of glory on a Faces club tour … Continue reading Santana’s guitar magic outshines Rod Stewart’s showmanship in Vancouver

Alejandro Escovedo says Buick MacKane just wants to rock

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 5, 1997 BY STEVE NEWTON It ain’t easy being an old-fashioned guitar-rock fan in the twilight of the 20th century. Techno and dance music are all the rage, DJs are the new music stars, and even the once-mighty Aerosmith has been reduced to formulaic power ballads. It’s getting … Continue reading Alejandro Escovedo says Buick MacKane just wants to rock

Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 23, 1992 By Steve Newton Every long-time Allman Brothers fan has a favourite tune by the influential Southern rock band. Some folks tend towards the bluesy slide-guitar riff of “One Way Out”, some go hog-wild when they hear the cascading guitar intro to the band’s biggest hit, “Ramblin’ … Continue reading Dickey Betts figures the Allman Brothers transcend generations

This Is the Blues goes heavy on underrated guitar hero Peter Green

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 15, 2010 By Steve Newton Several years ago I was combing the CD stacks at Zulu Records—back when they were located on the other side of Fourth and a little further east—and came across the 1995 tribute album Rattlesnake Guitar: The Music of Peter Green. Man, what a find that … Continue reading This Is the Blues goes heavy on underrated guitar hero Peter Green