Friday, February 05, 2016


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Friday, February 5, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Worried Man Blues by George Jones

Artificial Flowers by Cornell Hurd Band

Step Right This Way (Baby I'm You Man) by DM Bob & The Deficits

Let's Waste Another Evening by Josh Lederman y Los Diablos

Where's the Dress by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley

Little Ramona Gone Hillbilly Nuts by BR5-49

We Always Fight When We Drink Gin by Austin Lounge Lizards

Miller's Cave by Bobby Bare

Get Me Out of Jail by Danny Barnes


Oh Susana by Taj Mahall

Railroad Bill by Greg Brown

Aunt Peg's New Old Man by Robbie Fulks

Little Maggie by Red Allen

Corn Likker by Buck Owens

Watching the River Go By by John Hartford


Waco Brothers set

Lucky Fool / Oooh Las Vegas by The Waco Brothers

Sin City by The Mekons

New Country by Dollar Store

The Fame of Lofty Deeds by Jon Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts

Girl at the End of the Bar / Orphan Song/ Folsom Prison Blues by The Waco Brothers


Pretty Boy Floyd by The Byrds

New Lee Highway Blues by David Bromberg

Take Me With You by Freakwater

Gentle on My Mind by Kathy Mattea and Tom O'Brien

I Can't Help it if I'm Still in Love With You by The Holmes Brothers

Cold Trail Blues by Peter Case

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Viva Los Waco Brothers!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
February 5, 2016

It’s been so long since The Waco Brothers released an album of new material I was beginning to wonder whether the standard-bearers of Bloodshot Records’ “insurgent country” were going the way of the Branch Davidians — without the spectacular finale.

After all, since 2005’s Freedom and Weep, the only albums the group has released are a live record (Waco Express: Live & Kickin’ at Schuba’s Tavern, Chicago) in 2008 and a collaboration with alternative country singer Paul Burch (The Great Chicago Fire) in 2012.

But now the good folks at Bloodshot have given us a double shot of Wacomania. In December came a limited-edition live album called Cabaret Showtime, and set for release later this month is Going Down in History, that long-awaited album of all-new material.

For the uninitiated, The Waco Brothers came to be in the early ’90s, forming in Chicago, where Jon Langford of The Mekons had settled. Most of his current bandmates — including fellow Brits Tracy Dear and Alan “Sprockets” Doughty plus Wisconsin native Dean Schlabowske (aka Deano Waco) — have been in the Waco Brothers since the beginning.

At first they were basically a Langford side project, gigging in Chicago and covering lots of classic country songs (“for free beer,” or so the legend goes).

Langford’s love for country music is sincere. As a Mekon, he helped facilitate the shotgun wedding of punk rock and country music with albums such as Fear and Whiskey and Honky Tonkin’, back in the 1980s.

With The Wacos, he rocked the country far harder than The Mekons ever did while somehow remaining truer to the source material. And then Langford, Schlabowske, and the others started writing all these great songs especially for The Waco Brothers. (Their original tunes are officially credited to the band, so it’s hard to determine who actually wrote what.) And when Chicago’s Bloodshot Records was born in 1994, The Wacos were a natural match. They rightfully remain the label’s flagship band.

The first thing I noticed about Going Down in History is that the band is continuing the path of its last few studio albums, jettisoning many of its overt country touches. Steel guitarist Mark Durante has been gone for years now (and that’s a loss). And to be honest, unlike their earliest albums — To the Last Dead Cowboy and, especially, Cowboy in Flames, which whomped me over the head right off the bat, — it took a few listens for the new one to grow on me. But grow it did. The raw, muscular-but-melodic, roots-informed rock in the end is just hard to resist.

The opening cut, “DIYBYOB,” sung by Schlabowske, contains a clever twist on an old sea dog adage: “Sailors take warning, red eyes in the morning/You can’t kill us, we’re already dead.” There’s a vague reference to national politics, which Deano instantly backs away from (“Move along, there’s nothing here to see”), while the refrain seems to speak of a failed relationship (“DIYBYOB, there’s nothing left ’tween you and me”).

But by the last verse of the song, the singer proudly clings to the punk-rock ethos that still propels him: “On the day after the music died/Can’t take all the credit, but we tried/You can’t cut the power, you can’t turn out the lights/We’ll keep the party goin’ through the night.”

“We Know It” starts off with some foreboding, bluesy noodling but quickly turns into a hard-charging, almost paranoid rant by Langford: “We know it when we see it/We know it when it calls/We know it can’t be good for us/We know we want it all.”

One of the chief delights by Langford here is “Building Our Own Prison,” which takes a souped-up Bo Diddley beat and makes it more chaotic, while Langford sings about “big boxes” ringing the town, donating his shopping list to science, and nailing “my body to the temple door.”

The Wacos do two cover songs on Going Down in History. One is The Small Faces’ “All or Nothing,” which sounds as close to a soul ballad as you’re ever likely to hear from the band. (They dedicate this to Faces’ keyboard man Ian McLagan, a friend of the band, who died in 2014.)

And they end the album with a rocking version of Jon Dee Graham’s “The Orphan’s Song.” At the end of the song they playfully alter the refrain, turning “I will be your brother for the night” into “I’ll be your Waco Brother for tonight.”

Sounds like a deal.

As for Cabaret Showtime, this is a lighter-hearted affair on which The Wacos romp through some of the great country tunes that inspired the group all those years ago: Buck Owens’ “Tiger by the Tail,” Johnny Cash’s “Folsom Prison Blues” and “Wanted Man” (which was actually written by Bob Dylan), and Gram Parsons’ “Ooh Las Vegas” are all here. There’s even a country version of bluesman Jimmy Reed’s “Baby What You Want Me to Do” (which is called “You Got Me Running” here).

My personal favorite on this album is a fairly obscure George Jones song, “Girl at the End of the Bar.” Langford practically spits the lyrics (“She had so many hard knocks/She don’t play the jukebox/She’s lived all those sad songs firsthand”) just before he plays probably the prettiest guitar solos I’ve ever heard him play.

But it’s not all hillbilly hijinks on Cabaret. There are not one but two Waco-ized T. Rex covers (“Debora” and a garagey “20th Century Boy”). And — believe it or not — The Waco Brothers play Pink Floyd! It’s an instrumental called “Interstellar Overdrive,” which appeared on Floyd’s 1967 debut The Piper at the Gates of Dawn.

So no, this album isn’t for country purists. But purists have never been The Wacos’ top demographic target.

Pre-order Going Down in History and buy Cabaret Showtime at

Enjoy some old Waco videos

Here is a semi-unplugged version of a Wacos classic. (I've never seen Langford perform while sitting down before)

And here the lads celebrate "The Death of Country Music"

Thursday, February 04, 2016


Seventy five years ago today, the United Service Organization was founded by a Quaker woman
Yvonne DeCarlo live in San Pedro
(in her wild, sexy pre-Lily Munster days)
named Mary Ingraham in a response to a request by President Franklin Roosevelt for a program to provide moral support and entertainment for armed services members. (The U.S. would not get directly involved in World War II for another 10 months, but the distant drums of war were getting louder.)

Although the organization was -- and still is -- involved in many activities to help the folks who serve in the military, it's most famous for its Camp Shows -- sending singers, dancers and comedians to entertain the troops at domestic military facilities as well as in war zones.

So today we salute the USO with some videos of some of those performances.

Here's a singer named Frances Lanford (no relation to The Mekons' Jon Langford) singing  "I'll Be Seeing You" on the Solomon Islands in 1944. That's Bob Hope introducing her.

Speaking of Bob Hope, in this clip he introduces four singers -- Dick Powell, Yvonne DeCarlo (yikes! She doesn't look monstrous at all here), Dale Evans (without Roy Rogers) and Danny Kaye. They're playing for sailors wose aircraft carrier is being repaired at the San Pedro shipyards during WWII.

This video features footage of the great Al Jolson performing at USO. The audio however is a radio performance of a song called "There'll Never Be Another War." The video begins with Jolson pitching war stamps. He starts singing about a minute and 20 seconds in.

I guess Jolson was wrong about there never being another war.

Jumping ahead to Viet Nam, here's Bob Hope introducing a "canary" named Jan Daley in Long Binh, Viet Nam. (This would have had to have been 1970 or later because she's singing the theme from Love Story.) Here Ms. Daley mercilessly teases some poor soldier (who doesn't seem to be complaining)

Happy birthday, USO.

Wednesday, February 03, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: It's 16th Amendment Day!

One hundred and three years ago today, the states of Delaware, Wyoming and my beloved New Mexico voted to ratify the 16th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, the one that gives the federal government authority to impose a personal income tax on its citizens.

Delaware is recognized as the 36th state to ratify -- the one that put it it over the top. I don't know whether Delaware did it before us due to their earlier time zone or whether our state Senate got preoccupied introducing guests in the gallery or the House got detoured by some memorial honoring the city of Pie Town.

Whatever the reason, Delaware got the credit. Or blame if you really hate taxes.

Here are a few songs by American artists honoring the 16th Amendment.

We'll start with bluesman Robert Cray's "1040 Blues'.

Next up is The Man in Black with "After Taxes."

Johnny Paycheck sings about his friends at the Internal Revenue Service.

Here's an assault on taxes from the left -- and a funky one at that -- by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

But here's a different kind of message about taxes. In 1942, as the U.S. was fighting World War II, the IRS commissioned Irving Berlin to write a little reminder that paying taxes is patriotic. Here in his song "I Paid My Income Tax Today," comedian Danny Kaye sings lyrics like:

See those bombers in the sky?
Rockefeller helped to build ’em, so did I
I paid my income tax today

Bombs away ...

Sunday, January 31, 2016


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Sunday, January 31, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Puzzlin' Evidence by Talking Heads

Oblivion by Mudhoney

Slow Death by Flamin' Groovies

Sea of Blasphemy by Black Lips

Get Sick by Scratch Buffalo

Violent Shiver by Benjamin Booker

Down the Road by Dead Moon

Heartbreak Hotel by Roky Erikson

Take it Easy, Greasy by Bobby Charles

Hollywood Harlot For Miniature Golf by John Trubee & The Ugly Janitors Of America


Highway 666 by Left Wing Fascists

Uranium Rock by The Cramps

That's Your Problem by Mal Thursday & The Cheetahs

Hotdog (Watch Me Eat) by Detroit Cobras

I Want a Hotdog for My Roll by Butterbeans & Susie

Little Sally Tease by The Standells

Baby Don't Tear My Clothes by The Raunch Hands

TV Eye by The Stooges


Paul Kanter and Signe Anderson Memorial set

All Songs by Jefferson Airplane

The Other Side of This Life

Chauffeur Blues

The Ballad of You and Me and Pooneil

Blues From an Airplane


I Just Wanna Make Love to You by Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF

You Never Had it Better by Electric Prunes

Circles by Ty Segall

The Mystery Trend by Julian Cope

Where the Wild Roses Grow by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Jozo by Sondogo

Tomorrow Night by Tom Jones

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 29, 2016


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Friday, January 29, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Cocaine Blues by Johnny Cash

Rainy Day Woman by Waylon Jennings

Hot Dang by Dale Watson

Whatever Happened to Jesus (and Maybellene) by Terry Allen

What the People Want by Freakwater

Cold by Legendary Shack Shakers

The Sinner by Anthony Leon & The Chain

Run Back to Him by Brent Hoodenpyle

Receiver by Waco Brothers


Cherry Bomb by Jimmy & The Mustangs

Busted by Two Tons of Fire

11 Months and 29 Days by Johnny Paycheck

Back Street Affair by Brennen Leigh & Jesse Dayton

Beatin' My Head by Jayke Orvis

Honky Tonk Stardust Cowboy by Bill Hearne

Never No More by The Satellites

High Cotton by Bobby Osborne


Dyin' Crapshooter Blues by David Bromberg

Fuck Work by Asylum Street Spankers

Old Dogs, Children and Watermelon Wine by John Prine & Mac Wiseman

Manifold by Charlie Parr

Maybe Mexico by Jerry Jeff Walker

America is a Hard Religion by Robbie Fulks

Lovesick Blues by Artie Hill & The Long Gone Daddies

Wasted Mind by Danny Barnes


Life Sentence Blues by Rachel Brooke

Hank Williams' Ghost by Darrell Scott

I'm Coming Home by Cynthia Becker

You'll Never Be Mine Again by Levon Helm

Drinkin' Thing by Gary Stewart

Feel Like Goin' Home by Charlie Rich

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, January 28, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: You're the Dirty Hack That Shot Your Woman Down

Last night in the Roundhouse news room, after a long day of covering the Legislature,  I was talking to my old friend and fellow newsdog Stuart Dyson and made some reference to a line from "Cocaine Blues" which we both know mainly from Johnny Cash's version on his Folsom Prison album.

Stuart couldn't resist and responded with some other verses from the song. I followed suit as did he, until we'd practically recited the entire song -- albeit not in the correct order. The other reporters in the room, most of which are much younger than Stuart and me, probably just wrote us off as deranged old fools babbling in some secret codger code -- strange talk of  "hop joints," smoking pills, and "dirty hacks" who shoot their women down,

But who cares? It's a great old song. Here's how Johnny sung it:

But -- as longtime Throwback Thursday readers probably figured -- Cash wasn't the first to do this song.

"Cocaine Blues" was written in the late 1940s by a western-sing singer named T.J. "Red" Arnall, who recorded it with his band W. A. Nichol's Western Aces. This version is fairly similar to the one Cash would do 20 years later -- but without Johnny's crazy edge (and without referring to the victim in the song as a "bad bitch.")

But the song even pre-dates Red Arnall. And the murdered woman has a name: Little Sadie.

Yes, "Cocaine Blues" basically is a drug-fired rewrite of  the old murder ballad "Little Sadie." You can hear that in Doc Watson's version.

And there is another murder ballad that shares a lot of elements with "Little Sadie' and "Cocaine Blues" called "Bad Lee Brown" (not to be confused with "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.")

Here's a version from more than 85 years ago by John Dilleshaw, who was in a band called Seven Foot Dilly and His Dill Pickles. (Thanks to Murder Ballad Monday for pointing me to this song.)

In the early '40s Woody Guthrie recorded "Bad Lee Brown" and it sounded a lot more like what would become "Cocaine Blues" -- even though there was no mention of the white powder.

So come on, you gotta listen unto me, lay off that whisky, and let that cocaine be.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I had this friend named Big Norm back in college. Sometimes he misunderstood lyrics to popular songs. Sometimes I think he did it on purpose. For instance, at the dawn of the disco scourge, Big Norm thought that the spoken refrain of Van McCoy's "Do the Hustle" was "Eat a Hot dog!"

Goofy, I know. But sometimes when I'm craving a good old American frankfurter, deep in my skull I hear Van McCoy's music and Big Norm's voice telling me what to do.

And sometimes I think of some of the great American songs about hot dogs posted below. Except some of these might not actually be about food, per se.

Let's kick it off with a rockabilly classic by one Corky Jones, which was a pseudonym for the one and only Buck Owens. (Back in the '50s, Buck tried to conceal his identity as not to offend his country fans. But by the end of the 80s he re-recorded this song under his own name and made it a title song of one of hi last studio albums.)

In the mid 1920s, Butterbeans & Susie always had hot dogs on their menu.

Bessie Smith had a similar idea a few years later.

Then there was Hasil Adkins

And this song by The Detroit Cobras practically could be the theme song for the American Wiener Institute.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The First Big Enchilada Podcast of 2016


Welcome to the first Big Enchilada podcast episode of 2016. We've all been working hard since the holidays, so let's just take a little break for some music. This is the most rocking show I've done in a while, And it might just be the first show in podcast history to have songs by Dead Moon and Tom Jones in the same episode!


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Black Cat Strut by WaveSauce)
Way Down in the Hole by Compulsive Gamblers
Parchment Farm by Dead Moon
Prove Me Wrong by Thee Fine Lines
Drug Mugger by Ty Segal
Everything Went Black by The Phantom Scars
Burning Tread Baby by Left Wing Fascists

(Background Music: Song of The Nairobi Trio (Solfeggio) by The Fortune Tellers
I Wish You Would by Tom Jones 
Get Outa My Way by The Laughing Dogs
So Long Sanity by The Orange Iguanas
Insecticide by Downliners Sect
Sztos (Stroke) by Kazik & Kwartet ProForma
Nowheria by Bungalow Bums 
Saved by The Woggles

(Background Music: Tarzan's Monkey by The Apes)
A Glimpse of Another Time by Wild Billy Chyldish & CTMF
Little No More by The Hentchmen
Gotta Stop by Badass Mother Fuzzers
John Dillinger Blues by The Fugates
I Kiss You Dead by The Monsters
Blood River by King Mud

Play it below

Sunday, January 24, 2016


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Sunday, January 24, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Burning Tread Baby by Left Wing Fascists

War Dancers by King Mud

Gotta Stop by Badass Mother Fuzzers

Across the River by Dead Cat Stimpy

Do The Clam by The Cramps

Make You Say Wow by Bob Log III

Sweet Poison Caladina by YVY

Rat's Revenge Part 1 by The Rats

Hot Fingers by Little Freddie King

Booty City by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears


Shout Bama Lama by Benjamin Booker

Hey Sailor by Detroit Cobras

Chatterbox by New York Dolls

Little Blonde Girl by Any Dirty Party

Give Me Love by The Gories

Backstreet Girl by Social Distortion

New Day Risin' by Husker Du

Black Beard by The Universals


A Little Mixed Up by Koko Taylor

Nervous by Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim

Whistle Bait by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Golden Shower of Hits by The Circle Jerks

I See the Light by Reverend Beat Man

The Masks by Death

Call the Police by The Oblivions

Last Time I Saw Cole by Deadbolt


Hungover by Kady Bow

Love to Love by Miriam

Bowlegged Woman, Knock-Kneed Man Part 1 by Bobby Rush

C'mon Billy by PJ Harvey

The Elements: Fire (Mrs. O'Leary's Cow) by The Beach Boys

Life in Vain by Daniel Johnston

Curtain Falls by Bobby Darrin

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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