Friday, November 21, 2014

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST


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Friday, November 21, 2014 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
Webcasting! 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist below:



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TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Bloodhounds and Stompin', Gut-Bucket Blues

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
November 21, 2014

It doesn't sound that thrilling on paper. A band plays basic, unfettered, rocking blues — closer to gutbucket than to the smooth, tame uptown stuff — cranks it up, adds a little rockabilly sneer, and in the process of honoring ascended masters like Hound Dog Taylor and Howlin’ Wolf, also pays sly homage to The Yardbirds and maybe even the Count Five and other ’60s garage crazies.

Yes, that’s been done before. And yet, when it’s done right with plenty of spirit, there isn’t much that can beat it. This is the case with a new band called The Bloodhounds. Their debut album, Let Loose!, despite all its obvious roots in the past, is some of the freshest-sounding music I’ve heard lately.

The Hounds are a predominantly Chicano band from East L.A. — which means they’re undoubtedly getting a little tired of the obvious comparison to early-1980s Los Lobos. But the comparison is apt. Let Loose!, especially the faster songs, reminds me a lot of ... And a Time to Dance, the 1983 EP that introduced Los Lobos to the rock ’n’ roll world. None of The Bloodhounds are up to David Hidalgo’s level as a songwriter yet. But give them time. (All the songs here are originals, credited to the four band members, except one Bo Diddley song and one by Otis Redding.)

The album comes bucking out of the stall with “Indian Highway,” which has an irresistible, bluesy guitar hook that evokes Bob Dylan’s “Obviously Five Believers.” As singer Aaron “Little Rock” Piedraita belts out the lyrics and guitarist Branden Santos makes his sonic offering to the voodoo loas of rock ’n’ roll, a listener knows it’s going to be a joyful journey.

The next tune, “Wild Little Rider,” starts off slow, like a sweet Mexican song. There are even marimbas in the background. But then, the sleepy cantina explodes. It’s on this track that The Bloodhounds reveal one of their most lethal weapons, the rave-up harmonica. (Three members are listed in the credits as playing harp, so I’m not sure who is playing on this song.)

On “The Wolf,” the musicians prove that they are perfectly capable of slowing it down to a swampy groove. With Santos playing spooky Hubert Sumlin licks and Piedraita name checking various Howlin’ Wolf song titles, this sounds like “Wang Dang Doodle” for a new generation. There’s one song here that might someday end up as an advertising jingle in, say, Colorado, Washington, Oregon, or Alaska. That’s “Try a Little Reefer,” which features a cool Hammond organ.

Besides their rocking side, The Bloodhounds sometimes slip into jug-band or skiffle mode. On songs like “Dusty Bibles and Silver Spoons,” “Hey Lonnie,” and the goofball “Olderbudwiser,” the group includes instruments like washtub bass, banjo, rub board, spoons, and kazoo. It’s good fun, and I’m a jug-band fan, but with three such tunes on one album, the novelty wears a little thin.

But even with that nitpicking, Let Loose! is a dandy debut. I hope these Bloodhounds keep sniffing.

Here are some other recent punk, garage, gutbucket blues, and rock albums I’ve been enjoying:

* The Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World by John Schooley. It filled my heart with joy to see a new John Schooley album — on Voodoo Rhythm Records, no less. It’s his first since 2007’s One Man Against the World.

Hailing from Austin, Schooley is a venerated pioneer of the punk-blues one-man-band movement. On this album, he plays nearly everything: guitars — electric and otherwise — banjo, and drums, though Austin harmonica player Walter Daniels joins him on several cuts. (Daniels and Schooley have another new album together, Dead Mall Blues, which I just learned about.)

Some cuts sound like crazed blues, while others, like “Cluck Old Hen,” might be bluegrass from the Red Planet. Then there is “Poor Boy Got the K.C. Blues,” in which Schooley sounds like he’s been listening to John Fahey (though Fahey never used drums miked nearly that high).

The title song comes from a great American trouba-dour and legendary drunkard, Charlie Poole. It’s a surreal little hillbilly classic with lyrics like “Oh, she’s my daisy, she’s black-eyed and she’s crazy/The prettiest girl I thought I ever saw/Now her breath smells sweet, but I’d rather smell her feet/She’s my freckle-faced, consumptive Sara Jane.” Schooley and Daniels soup it up into an eardrum blaster, jamming like madmen until the last minute or so. It’s sheer feedback squall. Charlie Poole meets Metal Machine Music. I love it!

* Man Monkey by O Lend├írio Chucrobillyman & His Trash Tropical One Band Orquestra. Speaking of one-man bands, this is the new album by Chucrobillyman (real name Klaus Koti), my very favorite Brazilian one-man punk/blues assault team. According to his website, he was “born in the depths of the Amazon jungle, spent his childhood listening to the frenzied roar of the beasts of the forest” and to “old albums of songs from rock-and-roll, blues, post punk, and youthful music.” (That’s from a Google translation of the original Portuguese.)

Truly, this is my kind of youthful music from the jungle. It’s even denser, crazier, and more voodoo-fueled than The Chicken Album, his previous record from Off Label Records (a German company specializing in wild sounds from across the planet). The new album actually has just as many chicken songs (“Chicken Style,” “Chicken Groove,” and “Fried Chicken Blues”) as The Chicken Album.

The poultry-obsessed Chucrobillyman also likes jungle songs. Here we have “Midnight Jungle,” an instrumental featuring wild rhythms and animal noises, and “She Lives in the Jungle,” a spooky blues stomper.

My favorite on Man Monkey is another jungle tune called “The Trip of Kambo.” Kambo refers to a traditional shamanic medicine made from the secretions of a giant monkey frog, which has been used for thousands of years by native tribes in the Amazon. Kambo sounds downright psychedelic with this musical backdrop that reminds me of some of Louisiana hoodoo rocker C.C. Adcock or Tony Joe White’s swampier excursions.

Enjoy some videos, starting with The Bloodhounds live on Halloween



And here they are again.



Here's John Schooley live at Beer Land in Austin, where I saw him play with Walter Daniels and Ralph White a few years ago.



And here's Chucrobillyman playing "Rollercoaster Love."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Make a Dumb Man Speak, Make a Lame Man Run

Yesterday I started "Wacky Wednesday" on The Steve Terrell Music Web Log. Today I'm starting "Throwback Thursday." No, it's not like the Facebook deal where I post my junior high pictures or whatever. These will be musical throwbacks where I'll feature a song, artist or musical phenomenon to eras gone by. And some might be even wackier than Wacky Wednesday.

So let's start with one of my favorite songs that has been kicked around jazz, blues and jug band circles for more than 80 years: "Beedle Um Bum."
Georgia Tom Dorsey

It's a little tune about a girl named Cindy -- or is it Simmy? Or Jenny? -- who works in a "meat shop" where she serves a meal called "southern eel" -- or is "tadpole heel" ? Either way, every time you pass by this business establishment, you can hear Cindy, or whoever, crying:

Oh, my beedle–um–bum,
Come an’ see me if you ain’t had none.
Make a dumb man speak make a lame man run,
Sure miss somethin’ if you don’t get some of my,
Beedle–um–bum, oh, my beedle–um–bum,
It’s the best beedle–um that’s made in Tennessee

To be blunt, this a whorehouse song, first recorded in late 1928 by a group called The Hokum Boys, actually Tampa Red (Hudson Woodbridge) on guitar and Georgia Tom (Thomas A. Dorsey) on piano. Georgia Tom in later years would become famous under his real name as one of this country's greatest composer of gospel songs. He wrote "Peace in the Valley" and "Precious Lord, Take My Hand."

But, getting back to the whorehouse, Dorsey also is credited with writing "Beedle Un Bum."

Here's a video (credited only to Tampa Red) of the song.


It didn't take long for others to pick up on "Beedle Un Bum." Just a few months after The Hokum Boys, a Detroit-based jazz band called McKinney's Cotton Pickers recorded it.


Other bluesmen recorded it also. One of the earliest was Big Bill Broonzy. Blind Willie McTell also did a version in 1956.


In the 1960s "Beedle Un Bum" became a favorite of the hippie neo-jug bands after Jim Kweskin's Jug Band recorded it. In California, Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, which featured future Grateful Dead members  Jerry Garcia, Bob Weir, and Ron "Pigpen" McKernan did a Kweskin-influenced cover. Later Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks picked it up.

Here's a version from a recent Hicks album, Live at Davies guest-starring Kweskin. I'm not sure where the weird verse about Johnson City, Texas came from, but it's goofy enough for the song.


If these don't make you hungry for tadpole heel I don't know what will.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Introducing "Wacky Wednesday" on This Here Blog

I'm starting a new feature on my music blog: WACKY WEDNESDAY, where I'll introduce you, the reader to strange, funny and/or confounding music -- the type of "unclaimed melodies" that the Firesign Theatre's Don G. O'Vani was talking about when he said , "if you were to go into a record store and ask for them they would think you were crazy!"

Let's start out with an album I stumbled on over at the Free Music Archive., The Many Moods of Bob Purse.

No, I'd never heard of him either. But I bet we'd be friends if we ever met. Purse, an Illinois resident whose day job is in the mental health field, is a blogger, responsible for a site called The Wonderful and The Obsure, which is devoted to song-poems and other obscure and wonderful musical finds.

And he also writes strange tunes himself, some of which were released on an album by Happy Puppy Records a few years ago.

Here's what Happy Puppy had to say about Purse's music:

On the occasion of his 50th birthday, he posted some of his original material on his blog that he had recorded privately over the years. They came from a cassette he originally shared with friends and family back in 1997 called The Many Moods Of Bob. ...

What follows is a truly fantastic DIY album, up there with the likes of R. Stevie Moore, the weird 4-track stuff by Ween, etc. Not only does Bob has a knack for writing off-the-wall tunes, but he's also covered a song-poem [that's  "The Watusi Whing Ding Girl" --swt ] , a handful of obscure commercials, and a couple of parodies, recalling my younger-days of hearing this kind of stuff on Dr. Demento ("Bad TV Acting" was even played by Dr. D on May 16, 1999).


Right now, my favorite one here is the perverse but lethally catchy "The Man Who Licks Your Ears." I'm also digging the bizarre Bee Gees tribute "Three People Pouring Orange Juice."

I'm sure there's a favorite for you too. Play the whole thing below.

Happy Wacky Wednesday!





Sunday, November 16, 2014

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST


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Sunday, November 15, 2014 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
Webcasting!
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)ksfr.org

Here's the playlist below

Check out some of my recently archived radio shows at Radio Free America
Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE