Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

By Steve Newton As you may aware, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame crapped the bed again yesterday, inducting the likes of Whitney Houston and Depeche Mode over nominees like Thin Lizzy, Soundgarden, Judas Priest, and the MC5. So today Newt's Rock Hall is gonna match their six additions, and add a seventh to … Continue reading Newt’s Rock Hall inducts Rainbow, BTO, Steve Earle, Judas Priest, Little Feat, Todd Rundgren, and Mahogany Rush

Album review: Steve Earle, Copperhead Road (1988)

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 11, 1988 By Steve Newton Virginia-born and Texas-raised country rocker Steve Earle carries on the fine tradition established by his first few albums with Copperhead Road, the sort of record that can please both rock and country audiences. Earle's emphasis has shifted toward rock though, so there's definitely … Continue reading Album review: Steve Earle, Copperhead Road (1988)

Album review: Steve Earle, Jerusalem (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 14, 2002 By Steve Newton In the liner notes to Jerusalem, Steve Earle refers to the likes of activists Martin Luther King, Malcolm X, and Abbie Hoffman as Americans who insisted on asking “the hardest questions in our darkest hours”. With the terrifying possibility of another Gulf … Continue reading Album review: Steve Earle, Jerusalem (2002)

Album review: Peter Wolf, Sleepless (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, NOV. 21, 2002 By Steve Newton I used to think Peter Wolf was supercool back in the ’70s, when he was fronting Boston-based party rockers the J. Geils band and delivering killer albums like Bloodshot and Live: Full House. I lost interest in the guy when the J. … Continue reading Album review: Peter Wolf, Sleepless (2002)

Album review: Steve Earle, Sidetracks (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 18, 2002 By Steve Newton It’s a testament to the unremitting quality of Steve Earle’s music that this collection of—not outtakes, but, as he calls them, previously unreleased “stray tracks” is just as worthy as any of his previous CDs. Sidetracks also demonstrates the impressive range of … Continue reading Album review: Steve Earle, Sidetracks (2002)

Album review: Various Artists, Big Bad Love Soundtrack (2002)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, JULY 25, 2002 By Steve Newton This is my favourite soundtrack album of the year, so far; I must have played it 20 times already. It’s essentially a showcase for the rough-hewn backwoods boogie of North Mississippi hill-country blues artists Robert Belfour, T-Model Ford, Junior Kimbrough, and R. … Continue reading Album review: Various Artists, Big Bad Love Soundtrack (2002)

Album review: Steve Earle, I Feel Alright (1996)

  ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 21, 1996 By Steve Newton If you’ve been wondering whatever happened to Steve Earle, join the club. Since his The Hard Way album of 1990, he’s been pretty well out of the musical picture—mainly because he was in jail for heroin possession. His run-ins with the law … Continue reading Album review: Steve Earle, I Feel Alright (1996)

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 19, 1986 By Steve Newton Steve Earle Guitar Town Catchy country-rock with a down home feel that sounds fresh even after repeated listenings. Eurythmics Revenge Irresistible little rock gems that make you hum whether you want to or not. Brian Setzer The Knife Feels Like Justice Stray Cat … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 1986

Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 14, 2000 By Steve Newton Sometimes I feel like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. Maybe you feel that way too—like I don’t know anything at all about popular music. I just don’t understand how a hate-filled sicko like Eminem can be revered by millions. … Continue reading Newt’s Top 10 albums of 2000

Steve Earle might cover Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top in Vancouver, but either way, it’s all good

By Steve Newton Back in the day you didn't have easy access to what songs your fave touring performers might be playing when they made it to your town. I mean, even when Steve Earle played the Commodore in Vancouver 15 years ago you weren't sure he was gonna do "Copperhead Road" until you maybe heard that … Continue reading Steve Earle might cover Jimi Hendrix and ZZ Top in Vancouver, but either way, it’s all good

Delbert McClinton once taught John Lennon a few harmonica tricks

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, DEC. 5, 2002 By Steve Newton To get a good idea of how admired Delbert McClinton is by today’s top country and roots artists, one need only check out the centre spread in the booklet for his new CD, Room to Breathe. It’s a black-and-white shot of McClinton in … Continue reading Delbert McClinton once taught John Lennon a few harmonica tricks

The immortal words of Country Dick Montana ring true at Steve Earle’s Vancouver show

kevin statham photo ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 17, 2000 By Steve Newton Some types of music are just made for drinkin’ to, and Steve Earle’s brand of down-home roots rock is one of them. And we’re not talking plain old boring beer, either. When it comes to liquid accompaniment for a Steve … Continue reading The immortal words of Country Dick Montana ring true at Steve Earle’s Vancouver show

25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 1989 By Steve Newton What's the most important element in a new band as far as making it in rock goes? Some might say financial backing, although when you look at groups like Kiss or the Sex Pistols it's pretty clear that image and/or hype are as effective … Continue reading 25-year-old Gordon Downie talks “38 Years Old” on the Tragically Hip’s Up to Here tour

Kelly Joe Phelps earns raves from the Edge, Steve Earle, and Bill Frisell

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, SEPT. 16, 1999 By Steve Newton When singer-songwriter-guitarist Kelly Joe Phelps released his second album, Roll Away the Stone, in 1997, it didn’t take long for the accolades to come rolling in. Q magazine gave it four stars, Blues Revue hailed it as “the acoustic blues album of the … Continue reading Kelly Joe Phelps earns raves from the Edge, Steve Earle, and Bill Frisell

Steve Earle says his midlife crisis took place when he was about 24

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, MARCH 5, 1998 By Steve Newton It’s pretty common for a recording artist to tout his latest work as his best ever. I’ve yet to hear one say, “Well, this new record’s okay, but it’s nothing like the one I did five years ago.” Sometimes you can tell whether … Continue reading Steve Earle says his midlife crisis took place when he was about 24

Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, AUG. 8, 1996 By Steve Newton So I’m sitting there by my phone, sipping a coldie and patiently waiting for Steve Earle to call. His manager has set up the “phoner” himself and guaranteed me that Earle will call from Dallas after his Lollapalooza gig. I’m raring to find … Continue reading Steve Earle on jail, addiction, execution, and other lighthearted topics

Steve Earle follows the Copperhead Road to Vancouver

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, April 21, 1989 How many famous touring stars hang around backstage after a show, tirelessly signing autographs and posing for pictures, till nearly all the hangers-on have snagged their mementos and headed off, leaving the object of their affection looking around and thinking, "Where'd everybody go?" Steve Earle is … Continue reading Steve Earle follows the Copperhead Road to Vancouver

Steve Earle on cops, bikers, jail, Ted Bundy, and The Hard Way

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED IN THE GEORGIA STRAIGHT, OCT. 11, 1990 By Steve Newton Steve Earle’s got a headache—a real doozie. The whirlwind promotional tour that brought him to Vancouver’s Georgian Court Hotel has taken its toll, and while this scribbler waits in the lobby, Earle’s up in his room, downing aspirins to ease the pain brought … Continue reading Steve Earle on cops, bikers, jail, Ted Bundy, and The Hard Way

The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013

Gov't Mule Shout! Mule fans got a double dose of their favourite southern-flavoured blues/jam-rock outfit this time around, as all 11 tracks on Shout! were rerecorded on a second disc with a stellar cast of guest singers, including Ben Harper, Dr. John, Steve Winwood, Grace Potter, and West Van resident Elvis Costello. Black Sabbath 13 It was definitely a … Continue reading The Newt’s top 10 albums of 2013

“Would you buy a used car from one of these guys?”

By Steve Newton I've been fortunate enough to interview Steve Earle a number of times over the years. On a pretty well regular basis since his second album, Exit O, actually. During one phoner I made the mistake of pronouncing the title "Exit Oh", and he kindly corrected me. "It's Exit Zero." He's always been very … Continue reading “Would you buy a used car from one of these guys?”

Justin Townes Earle is clearly his father’s son

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, MAY 13, 2009 By Steve Newton When Steve Earle paid tribute to his friend and mentor Townes Van Zandt by naming his first son Justin Townes Earle, he bestowed the child with a moniker that would take some living up to. But by all accounts, the younger Earle has proven himself … Continue reading Justin Townes Earle is clearly his father’s son

Robert Plant and the Band of Joy get raw and rootsy in Vancouver

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, APRIL 18, 2011 A few months ago, shock-rock king Alice Cooper made headlines in the music press when he complained about Robert Plant refusing to get back with Led Zeppelin. “Jimmy Page wants to do it,” griped Cooper. “John Paul Jones wants to do it. And they got [John] Bonham’s son [Jason Bonham], … Continue reading Robert Plant and the Band of Joy get raw and rootsy in Vancouver

Steve Earle dedicates a song “to Dubya and his fucking horse” in Coquitlam

ORIGINALLY POSTED ON STRAIGHT.COM, JUNE 9, 2012 By Steve Newton American songwriting legend Steve Earle played Coquitlam's Red Robinson Show Theatre last night, and--as always--took no prisoners as far as his political beliefs are concerned. One of the many highlights of the solo acoustic show was the performance of "Little Emperor", a song off Earle's latest album, I'll … Continue reading Steve Earle dedicates a song “to Dubya and his fucking horse” in Coquitlam