20-year-old slide-guitar ace Derek Trucks wants to jam with B.B. King

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 2, 1999 By Steve Newton Teenage blues-rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd has a great story about how he got inspired to take up guitar. It has something to do with him, as a little kid, watching Stevie Ray Vaughan perform from atop one of the Texas guitar legend’s amp … Continue reading 20-year-old slide-guitar ace Derek Trucks wants to jam with B.B. King

Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson sings the praises of unsung Satellite Rick Richards

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 13, 1999 Everyone I’ve talked to about new L.A. guitar band Buckcherry—including Vancouver rocker and reporter John Armstrong, the original “Buck Cherry” of the Modernettes—views the group as a rehash of riff-rock acts from the ’70s (Kiss, AC/DC) and ’90s (the Black Crowes). But Buckcherry’s retro raunch-boogie doesn’t … Continue reading Buckcherry guitarist Keith Nelson sings the praises of unsung Satellite Rick Richards

Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 6, 1999 By Steve Newton Five years ago, Orange County’s Cadillac Tramps released It’s Allright, an album chock-full of hyper, street-level punk rock that never quit. The album made my top 10 of ’94, but shortly afterward the group disbanded, vocalist Gabby Gaborno forming the X-Members and guitarist–main … Continue reading Heroin overdose leads to the return of the Cadillac Tramps’ tattooed thugs

Galactic Cowboys meld melodicism and raunch on At the End of the Day

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JAN. 21, 1999 By Steve Newton Few bands straddle the line between pop and metal as skillfully as the Galactic Cowboys. On the Texas quartet’s latest CD, At the End of the Day, they meld melodicism and raunch so winningly that it’s hard to tell if these Cowboys are … Continue reading Galactic Cowboys meld melodicism and raunch on At the End of the Day

Susan Tedeschi just enjoys being a musician, pretty much

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 3, 1998 By Steve Newton When Susan Tedeschi’s cell phone rings in an L.A. hotel room, a female voice answers, but it isn’t the one I’m looking for. It’s actually Tedeschi’s mom, who, in a very motherly way, explains that her daughter’s in the bathtub. Sounding concerned that … Continue reading Susan Tedeschi just enjoys being a musician, pretty much

Robbie Fulks tears a strip off the Nashville scene on Let’s Kill Saturday Night

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 26, 1998 Singer-songwriter-guitarist Robbie Fulks is an up-front kind of guy. He lets people know how he feels, and when he’s feeling pissed off, look out. The object of his wrath was Nashville a couple of years back, when Fulks—unimpressed by his treatment there at the hands of … Continue reading Robbie Fulks tears a strip off the Nashville scene on Let’s Kill Saturday Night

Patty Griffin learns how to live on Flaming Red

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 16, 1998 By Steve Newton For her first album, 1996’s Living With Ghosts, Patty Griffin appeared alone, accompanied only by her acoustic guitar. On her new CD, Flaming Red, the 34-year-old singer-songwriter from Maine is in the company of more than a dozen musicians, including such stellar types … Continue reading Patty Griffin learns how to live on Flaming Red

The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 9, 1997 If there’s one thing that can lift my spirits on a sombre Sunday night, it’s the driving instrumental theme song of TV’s King of the Hill. I know there’s gonna be some hilarious redneck Texas humour comin’ up, and besides, it’s a damn fine tune—even if … Continue reading The Refreshments fluked out scoring the King of the Hill theme

Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 28, 1997 As bands sometimes do, Florida guitar-rockers Sister Hazel included snapshots from their youth in the booklet for their latest CD, …Somewhere More Familiar. There are photos of four little kids playing piano, violin, guitar (with a Neil Young headband!), and drums—and one of a smiling tyke … Continue reading Sister Hazel’s meat-and-potatoes rock is alright by the Allman Brothers

Freaky ponytail action and ’60s rave-ups at Link Wray’s Vancouver riff-o-rama

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 10, 1997 By Steve Newton When I heard that legendary instro-rock guitarist Link Wray was performing a few tunes and signing autographs at the Virgin Megastore last Friday afternoon (July 4), I snuck off from work early and headed down to Robson Street clutching my trusty Plexiglas-body Raven … Continue reading Freaky ponytail action and ’60s rave-ups at Link Wray’s Vancouver riff-o-rama

Infant death and screwing up inspire Rob Thomas on Matchbox 20’s debut

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 3, 1997 Multitudes of new rock acts release their debut albums every year, but only a small percentage of them garner extensive airplay or achieve major sales figures. So it helps if a baby band gets a hand from a capable producer its first time out. Orlando, Florida’s … Continue reading Infant death and screwing up inspire Rob Thomas on Matchbox 20’s debut

Link Wray: my one and only interview with the inventor of the raunchy riff

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 3, 1997 By Steve Newton There’s been a missing Link on the North American music scene for a long time, but now he’s back, and instro-rock fans have serious cause to rejoice. Two weeks ago in Texas, 68-year-old guitar god Link Wray launched his first North American tour … Continue reading Link Wray: my one and only interview with the inventor of the raunchy riff

That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 22, 1997 By Steve Newton Back when the Starfish Room was still a headbanger’s haven known as Club Soda, a rock-crazed pal of mine named Stick bumped into Lars Ulrich there. The Metallica drummer was hangin’ out with his entourage after one of the band’s intense Vancouver gigs … Continue reading That time my buddy Stick ticked off Lars Ulrich in Vancouver by asking him to jam

Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 1996 It’s just after 11 p.m. when Jon Auer from the Posies rings up, but he’s still just scraping the sleep dust from his eyes, and the familiar clink of ice cubes is evidence that potent liquid refreshment is speeding the transition to wakefulness. It’s actually late … Continue reading Beatles freak Jon Auer says the Posies want to emulate the Fab Four

The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JUNE 27, 1996 By Steve Newton When Arizona rockers the Refreshments were starting out, they would do most anything to get a crowd interested. They used to play gigs in shower caps, water wings, and senior’s sunglasses, and give away candies and chocolate milk to first dancers. Hey, you … Continue reading The Refreshments chickened out from calling themselves Pop Enema

I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MAY 23, 1996 If you happened to walk into a house party while the last song on the new I Mother Earth CD was playing, you could be excused for taking a big swig of your beer, raising it in a toast, and proclaiming: “Man, that Carlos Santana can … Continue reading I Mother Earth guitarist Tanna happy to echo Lifeson, Santana

Everclear’s Art Alexakis channels Angus Young in Vancouver, plays AC/DC’s “Sin City” flat on his back

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, APRIL 4, 1996 By Steve Newton I went to see the 9:15 showing of Dead Man Walking at the Park last Saturday night (March 30), and because of that I missed the 11:15 showing of Naked Man Running at the Commodore. According to sources at the scene, the singer … Continue reading Everclear’s Art Alexakis channels Angus Young in Vancouver, plays AC/DC’s “Sin City” flat on his back

Aussie songwriting great Paul Kelly hits 40 and treads into Deeper Water

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 23, 1995 By Steve Newton Ever wonder what happened to the Aussie Invasion? Back in the early- to mid-’80s it seemed as if a band wasn’t on top unless it was from Down Under. Two-hit wonders Men at Work kick-started the worldwide interest in the music of koala … Continue reading Aussie songwriting great Paul Kelly hits 40 and treads into Deeper Water

S.C.O.T.S.: the finest in high-cholesterol, toe-sucking geek rock since 1985

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 16, 1995 By Steve Newton “High-cholesterol, toe-sucking geek rock.” That’s how singer-guitarist Rick Miller describes the œuvre of his band, Southern Culture on the Skids. And he’s mighty proud of it, too. Miller’s been striving to produce the finest in high-cholesterol, toe-sucking geek rock ever since forming the … Continue reading S.C.O.T.S.: the finest in high-cholesterol, toe-sucking geek rock since 1985

The Smalls sound nice and chunky on Waste & Tragedy

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 9, 1995 By Steve Newton Some rock bands dream about being popular enough to play large venues but whine about getting booked in the little, out-of-the-way places on the way up. Not the Smalls, though. You won’t get any complaints out of them when they see locations like … Continue reading The Smalls sound nice and chunky on Waste & Tragedy

Santo & Johnny put the instrumental bug in Friends of Dean Martinez

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 5, 1995 By Steve Newton You could foresee that by calling your band the Friends of Frank Sinatra, you’d be leaving yourself open for a spot of legal trouble—or worse—should Ol’ Blue Eyes catch wind of the misleading moniker. But could you forgive an instrumental quintet from Arizona … Continue reading Santo & Johnny put the instrumental bug in Friends of Dean Martinez