Thursday, September 03, 2015

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: In Memory of Miss Audrey

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
September 4, 2015


The late Audrey Auld talks to inmates about songwriting
A few months before she died, Tasmanian-born country singer Audrey Auld emailed DJs who play independent and alternative country music with information on her new album, Hey Warden. It contained the following message for media folks: “My hard truth is that I’m paying huge medical bills and am unable to mail out promo copies of the CD. … Thanks for your understanding.” She included a link to her Dropbox with songs, MP3s, photos, etc.

Huge medical bills. That was the first time I realized she’d been ill. Last month Auld died from cancer in California, where she’d lived for the past year or so. She was fifty-one. Her last album, only eight songs, is one of her best. And I’m not just being sentimental. Hey Warden is a unique work, one that’s truly worthy to remember her by.


It’s a prison album. Several musicians have recorded albums at correctional facilities. The two best known are Johnny Cash — whose At San Quentin and At Folsom Prison are among his best records — and B.B. King, whose Live in Cook County Jail was my introduction to the bluesman some 45 years ago.


Auld’s album was recorded in a studio, not a prison. But five of its songs were co-written by San Quentin inmates. After playing a show in the prison several years ago, Auld was inspired to begin teaching songwriting workshops for inmates there. 


According to the press release for Hey Warden, “Participants would include those who had never written creatively or shared their writing with anyone, to experienced musicians who wrote and played in a band within the prison’s walls. Audrey would initiate the writing session with a song swap, and then propose an idea or a title to explore in writing.” 



After each session Auld gathered song lyrics from prisoners who offered them to her. At home, she’d edit the inmates’ work and add melodies. The inmates’ names are on the songwriter credits (and I assume they get royalties).


The results are pretty impressive. The title song was the first song to come out of the workshops. “I hadn’t hosted a songwriting workshop before so I decided to give them the first line of each verse over a simple blues structure and see what happened.” Like the best of blues songs, the lyrics use wry humor to cope with grim realities. 


“Hey hey warden, can I borrow the keys?/Open up this old cellblock/Where the screws feed rats their cheese/Then I’ll head down to San Antone/Eat my Mama’s black-eyed peas.”


There isn’t much humor in “I Am Not What I Have Done.” Accompanied by just an acoustic guitar, Auld sings the tale of an inmate who knows he’s done wrong. “Drugs filled the void and crazy filled my head/I lost all my faith, I wanted her dead.” But he still tries to keep some sense of dignity. “Now I’m a killer, not a man/I’m a convict, not a son/I’m a felon, the bad guy, outcast/I am not what I have done.”


One of the most gut-wrenching tunes is “Poor Joe.” In the press release, Auld wrote that it was inspired by a letter from one of her workshop participants who was “on the precipice of taking [his] own life.” 


Poor Joe apparently had some unrealistic fantasies about his songwriting teacher. ‘But Joe, I have a husband dear/Joe, I am a wife/He’s the one who shares my songs/It’s he who holds me tight.” In the song, Auld encourages Joe to take his “darkest pain and turn it into light.”


Another song here is “Bread and Roses.” No, it’s not that great old labor song; it’s one Auld wrote herself, inspired by the Bread and Roses organization through which she did her prison songwriting classes. 


She got the idea for the song from the prison’s list of dos and don’ts she received when she started the program. These included a rule that she couldn’t bring any gifts for the inmates.


 “If I could bring you anything, I’d bring a banquet for a king ... I’d have made you a cake, but the hacksaw didn’t fit the pan ... But all I could bring was my guitar and my songs/Bread and roses for the wayward/Been hungry so long.”

Auld kept bringing that gift to the inmates even as her cancer advanced. 


She managed to perform again at San Quentin twice more this year since the album came out, once in March, when she did a show in the prison’s Catholic chapel, playing new songs and showing the video for “I Am Not What I Have Done” for a small audience; then in April, when she did a concert in the prison yard along with other performers for San Quentin’s annual Day of Peace celebration.


With this album, all her fans can share her gift. If you ask me, Audrey Auld was a Tasmanian angel. 


Video time! 


Here are some of Audrey's tunes, starting with the official one for "I AM Not What I Have Done." 




Here is a live version of "Hey Warden" performed with Felix Lucero, one of the inmates who'd help write it. This was Lucero's first gig as a free man. 



And here is an older tune with a special message from the heart.


THROWBACK THURSDAY: Songs of September


This is for all my friends who have birthdays in September. I was born in September. So was my brother and my grandfather.

 Here are some wonderful American songs that celebrate this ninth month of the year.

Let's start with the old Schnozzola himself, Jimmy Durante, singing one of his signature tunes, written by  by Kurt Weill with lyrics by Maxwell Anderson. It was first recorded in 1938 by Walter Huston. But I'll take Durante's cover.



Here's one from the 1960 off-Broadway musical The Fantastiks. It's sung by original cast member Jerry Orbach, who Law and Order fans will recognize as the actor who played Lenny Briscoe, the alcoholic wise-cracking police detective with the sad eyes and dark humor. ("Hope this doesn’t become habit forming," Lenny said over the corpse of a murdered nun.)



This song originally was done in 1959 by a long-forgotten vocal group called The Tempos. But I prefer the version done several years ago by a group called The Happenings.


Now let's end this September salute with some disco-tinged funk from the late '70s with Earth, Wind and Fire.


Have a great month!

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Belated Birthday Wish for R. Crumb

Sunday, August 30th was the 72nd birthday of one of America's greatest cartoonists, Robert Crumb.

Though best known for his work in the 1960s underground comix scene and his iconic characters like Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural  (and his disciple/victim, Flakey Foont) Crumb also is a musician -- and one with real vision.


Basically, he's a devotee of old jazz, blues and hillbilly music from the 78 rmp era. He's created several decks of cards featuring his portraits of his early musical heros.

And he's done lots of album covers, his most famous being Cheap Thrills for Big Brother & The Holding Company in 1968. (He liked Janis Joplin but didn't care much for her band.)

Around the same time, Crumb started his own band.

He talked about that in a 2013 interview in Red Bull Music Academy:

There were no musical influences around me at all but I remember having this really strong urge to make music. I was always fooling around with music. When I met my first wife she was part of the folk music scene in Cleveland so I kind of appropriated her guitar and started figuring out a few chords. Then when I moved to San Francisco in ‘67 it was the first time I got together with other guys who were serious about playing old time music and it was still the folk era, so the jug band thing had some popularity. So I started fooling around with these guys and we became The Cheap Suit Serenaders.

So happy belated birthday, Mr. Crumb. I salute you with your own songs.




A lot of people call this next one "Pink Burrito," though its real name is "Get a Load of This."



Another favorite, the Serenaders' cover of a 1931 Henry Roy song about a cat.



Crumb sometimes collaborates with the New York-based East River String Band. Here's a live song.



Crumb moved to France in the early '90s. He became enamored of the French musette music of the 1930s and by end of the decade he was playing with a group called Les Primitifs du Future, with who he released an album in 2000 called World Musette. Get a load of this!



Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer's Almost Gone, But the Big Enchilada Lives On!


THE BIG ENCHILADA



Welcome to the latest Big Enchilada Podcast episode. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are fading fast. But the Big Enchilada is rocking on into that glorious decay that is the fall. We're going to get wild with Rudy Grayzell, Holly Golightly, The Dirtbombs, Simon Stokes Ty Segall, Churchwood, Social Distortion and more. Hang on!


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Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Summertime by Die Zorros)
Let's Get Wild by Rudy Grayzell
Sweet Poison Caladina by YVY
Stopped My Heart by Holly Golightly
La Pizza de Colera by Madhello Orchestra
Bikini Girl by Panty-Meltdown Aftermath
Julie Ouli by Peach Kelli Pop
Psychedelic Baby by Rodd & The Librettos 

(Background Music: In the Summertime by Buckwheat Zydeco)
Man With Soul by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales
Alone and Forsaken by Social Distortion
Motor City Baby by The Dirtbombs
Rusty Hook by Thee Headcoats 
Courtyard by No Waves
Dance Me to Death by The Hi-Liters
G-Man Hoover by Sir Lancelot

(Background Music: The Sheik of Araby by The Continental Five)
Rickshaw Rattletrap by Churchwood
Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart by Ty Segall Band
I'll Still Be Here by Geek Maggot Bingo
Have a Say by The Hussy
Summertime Blues by The Outsiders
One Night of Sin by Simon Stokes

Play it below





Sunday, August 30, 2015

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

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Sunday, August 30, 2015
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

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

Police Call by Drywall

Henrietta by The A-Bones

Love Me Like Before by The Brood

Willow by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Mustang Ranch Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Snake by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales

The Devil's in the Swamp by The Slow Poisoner

Gett Off by Prince

 

Mi Saxophone / Reyes Ruiz / La Mula Bronca by Al Hurricane

Rattlesnakin' Daddy by Dave & Phil Alvin

Whtebread 'n' Beans by Left Lane Cruiser

The Wolfs are Coming by WolfWolf

Between Me and You, Kid by Mudhoney

Obviously 5 Believers by Big Foot Chester

 

Tupelo by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Shake it On Down by R.L. Burnside

Gimme Love by Sleater-Kinney

Heart Attack and Vine by Lydia Lunch

Whistlin' Past the Graveyard by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Red Head Walking by Beat Happening

Come Back Lord by Reverend Beat-Man

Rat Fink by Bloodshot Bill


Holy Smoke by Thee Oh Sees

Frozen in Time by Holly Golightly

Lover's Curse by Bracey Everett

My Shadow by Jay Reatard

Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra

Addicted by Amy Winehouse

Noble Experiment by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

I've Got a Home by The Holy Wonders

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Viva Al Hurricane!

El Godfather in action
The Godfather of New Mexico music, Alberto Sanchez, better known as Al Hurricane, is hanging it up. At the age of 79, he's near the end of his "Farewell Tour." What's being billed as his last show will be Saturday, Sept. 5, during the Fiesta de Santa Fe’s Mariachi Extravaganza at the Fort Marcy Ballpark.

I was saddened to learn that Al is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer.

My New Mexican colleague Staci Matlock just wrote a wonderful profile of Hurricane's life and career in today's paper. You can find that HERE. You also should check out some more videos of Al's interviews, shot by Natalie Guillen, HERE.

And if you've really come down with Hurricane mania, you can even check out the 1998 profile I did.  I tacked it on a political column from a few years ago in which I'd mentioned Al. CLICK HERE (and scroll down for the profile.)

New Mexico loves you, Al!

Enjoy some of his music below.



Friday, August 28, 2015

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

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Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FMEmail me during the show! terrel(at)ksfr.org

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Look at That Moon by Carl Mann

Mud by Legendary Shack Shakers

Riot in Cell Block # 9 by Wanda Jackson

New Deal of Love by Hank Thompson

Guacamole by Freddie Fender with Augie Meyers

He'll Have to Go by Ry Cooder

Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers

Liquored Up by Southern Culture on the Skids

Pappa's on the House Top by Dave & Phil Alvin

Stealth Cowboy by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy

 

Wreck of the Old 97 by Johnny Cash

Timebomb by The Old 97s

I'm Through Hurtin' by Dale Watson

The Ballad of Charles Whitman by Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys

White Dress by Anthony Leon & The Chain

If You Take Drugs You're Gonna Die by The Beaumonts

Old Chunk of Coal by Billy Joe Shaver

Small Ya'll by George Jones

Tight Like That by Asylum Street Spankers

 

 

Am I Still Country by Jim Ed Brown

Judas Iscariot by Joe West & The Sinners

I Can't Stop Loving You Now by Skeeter Davis & NRBQ

Ice Water by Peter Case

Wheels by Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen

Which One is to Blame by The Malpass Brothers

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose by Little Jimmy Dickens

Darling Cora by Corbin Hayslett

Singing in the Bathtub by R. Crumb & The Cheap Suit Serenaders

 

Sittin' and Thinkin' by Charlie Rich

Poor Joe by Audrey Auld

Hallelujah Anyway by Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Touch Taven Elizabeth LaPrelle & Jadoo

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday Carter Stanley

Ralph (with banjo) and Carter Stanley (with guitar)

Carter Stanley, half of the seminal bluegrass band The Stanley Brothers, would have been 90 years old today.

He didn't make. Although his younger brother Ralph still is touring, the hard-drinking Carter died of cirrhosis more than 50 years ago.

As pointed out painfully in a 2004 article by Eddie Dean in The Washington Post, ever since the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? Ralph Stanley has won all sorts of accolades and respect and generally is considered the grand living patriarch of bluegrass. But Carter, outside of bluegrass and folk circles, has been all but forgotten.

Few would argue that [Ralph] Stanley has long since earned every penny of his career-capping cash-in, which a few years ago seemed as likely as his winning the Virginia Lottery. Yet there is a nagging sense that this Appalachian fairy tale is missing its crucial character, if not the leading man.  ... Without Carter, there would have been no Stanley Brothers, perhaps the most revered brother act in country music history. Carter was the founding member and the driving force, while kid brother Ralph, at least in the early years, mostly tagged along for the ride.

So today on his birthday we celebrate Carter Stanley with some of the music he left behind.

First, here's an audio clip of Carter sharing the stage with bluegrass originator Bill Monroe. The Stanley Brothers broke up for a couple of years in the early '50s. During part of that time, Carter joined Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Check out the dis of Flatt & Scruggs in this song's introduction.



Here the Stanleys, with their band The Clinch Mountain Boys perform on Pete Seeger's mid-60s television show.



I'm including this simply because it's my favorite Stanley Brothers song of all time.



And here, the Stanleys cover a Hank song. Not Hank Williams, Hank Ballard! Some bluegrass purists hate this! I like it, even though it would have been far more bitchen had they done "Work With Me Annie" instead.



Happy birthday. Carter

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: An Ode to Trailer Trash

from Alpha's Flickr page
Here are a bunch of tunes that just kind of tickle me -- except one, which you'll see below. They all appeal to my inner Okie redneck.

I just stumbled across this stupid tune by a singer named Colt Ford and immediately liked it. You'll see why. Or not.



I knew there had to be more like this, so I searched Youtube for "Trailer Trash" and up popped this one from a band called  Powder Mill.



Of course, I couldn't leave out Southern Culture on the Skids and this early tune of theirs. I like this fan-produced video:



All the above songs were written and sung in good fun. This next one wasn't. (Don't let the "cover photo" fool you.)




 This one, uploaded in 2013, was "written after idiot judge limited the amount of time I could have with my sons and hooked me up for half my income for child support while they all lived with my ex's meth head boyfriend."

Man, as the veteran of two divorces,both of which induced some pretty bitter moments, I can feel this guy's pain. I left him a note saying "It gets better," because if you can eventually rise above the bitterness, it will get better. I just pray this guy and his sons are doing much better.

But let's not leave Wacky Wednesday on a downer note. Here's another silly "Trailer Trash" tune -- and a fan-made video -- from a group called Rebel Son.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

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Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015
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

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

Dames, Booze,Chains and Boots by The Cramps

Journey to the Center of Your Mind by The Ramones

Do the Clam by Elvis Presley

Thunder Kiss '65 by White Zombie

I Can't Stand It by Velvet Underground

As You Go Down by Holly Golightly

The Musical Rogues by Wild Billy Chyldish

Beaver Patrol by Wild Knights

G-Man Hoover by Sir Lancelot

 

Crystal Ball by The King Khan & BBQ Show

Katy Didn't by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Wonderful Girl by Jack Mack & The Heart Attack

Black Snake by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales

You're the Dog by Irma Thomas

Second Cousin by Flamin' Groovies

Manny's Bones by Los Lobos

Love Your Money by Lolita #18

 

Shadow World by Undercover Bonobos

Hit Me by The Fleshtones

Hospitals by Acid Baby Jesus

Graveyard by Dead Moon

Voodoo Music by J.B. Lenoir

Suicide Chump / Jumbo / If Only She Woulda by Frank Zappa

Devil With the Blue Dress by Shorty Long

Medley: Buke E Kripe Ne Vater Tone/Kalaxhojne by 3 Mustaphas 3

 

Sea of Love by Iggy Pop

Let's Burn Down the Cornfield by John The Conqueror

My Ding a Ling by Dave Bartholomew

Come in the Morning by Moby Grape

Forty Dollars by Twilight Singers

Ballad of Dwight Fry by Alice Cooper

Wang Dang Doodle by P.J. Harvey

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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