Friday, August 26, 2016


Friday, Aug. 26, 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
Let it Roll by Dinosaur Truckers
There Stands the Glass by Van Morrison
Bosco Stomp by The Cajun Playboys
I'm Not Drunk Enough by Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
Booze is Good by Dan Whitaker & The Sidebenders
Bloody Mary Morning by Willie Nelson
Bashful Rascal by June Carter
Dirt Queen by Country Trailer
Do as You Are Told by Martha Fields

White Lightning by The Waco Brothers
Train Kept Rollin' by The Royal Hounds
Get it on Down the Line by Danny Barnes
Lyin' to You Lying with Me by Kyle Martin
Just Tell Her I Loved Her by Joe Swank & The Zen Pirates
I Don't Know by Dex Romweber
The Toad Lickers by Thomas Dolby with Imogene Heap
When I Steal by Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers

Psycho by Eddie Noack
The John Birch Society by The Chad Mitchell Trio
Eight Piece Box by Southern Culture on the Skids
Angel Along the Tracks by The Dirt Daubers
Old Fashioned Love by The Western Flyers
Poison in Your Heart by Laura Cantrell
She Left Anyway by Jim Jones
What's Money by George Jones

Diamond Joe by Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur
Comet Ride by Ricky Skaggs
Underneath the Falls by The Handsome Family
Rain Crow by Tony Joe White
Touch of Evil by Tom Russell
It's Our Home by Joe West
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, August 25, 2016

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Nots, Gøggs, Pierre & San Antonio Kid

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Aug. 26, 2016

Indulge me in belaboring the obvious for a moment: Memphis, Tennessee, is an important city in rock ’n’roll. But that didn’t stop with Elvis, Sun Records, B.B. King, Rufus Thomas, Al Green, Stax Records, or Chuck Berry’s uncle writing messages on the wall.

Memphis is still an important city for rock. For years it’s been home to a vibrant “underground” rock scene, thanks largely to Goner Records (the store and the label), an associated festival called Gonerfest (coming up in late September), and bands including The Reatards, The Oblivians, and all of their offshoots.

My favorite group to emerge from this Memphis stew in recent months is Nots, an all-female punk band whose screaming new album Cosmetic is a wild delight.

Fronted by singer Natalie Hoffman, this is basically a guitar group — except they’ve got a keyboard player, Alexandra Eastburn, whose fearsome synthesized blips, bloops, wiggles, and squiggles remind me of Allen Ravenstine, the keyboard maniac of early Pere Ubu.

This is the most urgent-sounding music I’ve heard in a long time. Though it’s not always easy to understand the lyrics, it’s impossible to escape the intensity of the sound. Drummer Charlotte Watson deserves much of the credit for this. For the first few seconds of “Rat King” and “Cold Line,” she almost sounds like a hopped-up surf-band drummer ready to explode.

Nots really stretch out on a couple of tracks on Cosmetic. The five-and-a-half-minute title song begins with what might be described as a distorted blues riff. It starts off slow, but about three minutes in, the pace suddenly takes off and becomes a frenzied race to the finish.

Even better is the seven-minute closing song “Entertain Me.” In a recent interview with Stereogum, Hoffman said the lyrics deal with “the grotesque horror show going on in American politics and how they are portrayed — the rise of Trump, the reality-TV-like nature of American news, the almost-forced compliance of the viewer. ...” Indeed, this is entertainment!

Cosmetic will be available September 9.

Gøggs by Gøggs. A lot of people are referring to this as Ty Segall’s latest band, but actually it’s a collaboration among Segall, Chris Shaw of Ex-Cult — a Memphis band of which Nots’ Hoffman was a member — and Charles Moothart from Fuzz, another Segall group. Shaw handles lead vocals — he’s a shouter more than a singer — while Segall concentrates on guitar, though he and drummer Moothart switch instruments on a few tracks.

It’s hard to tell what you’re going to get with each new release from the prolific, restless Segall — the Stooges-like craziness of Slaughterhouse, mellow introspection like Sleeper, or the soul-tinged, almost-poppy fare like Manipulator. Gøggs is closer to Slaughterhouse, or whatever Segall was up to when he raged at High Mayhem in Santa Fe a few years ago. It’s loud, rough, raw, and noisy. And yet it’s a friendly-sounding assault — it’s the sheer fun Segall, Shaw, and Moothart seem to be having as they pound out these 10 tunes.

Highlights here include the harsh, hard-hitting “Assassinate the Doctor” (perhaps inspired by “Fearless Doctor Killers,” Mudhoney’s protest against “pro-life” violence); the riff-heavy garage-punker “Smoke the Wurm”; and “Final Notice,” which features insane screaming and, like the Nots’ record, is driven by crazy keyboards.

You can stream all the songs from this album HERE

* Swing Cremona by Pierre Omer’s Swing Review. Omer used to be in a Swiss group called The Dead Brothers, who billed themselves as a “funeral band.” And indeed, there was something spooky and a little morbid about that group. But Omer’s latest band is much more upbeat.

This music is closer in sound to groups like the Squirrel Nut Zippers. They play a little hot jazz, a little vaudeville, a hint of calypso, a whiff of klezmer, and more than a touch of Weimar Republic decadence. It’s a four-piece band (guitar, stand-up bass, drums, and trumpet). But it sounds much bigger than it is.

Probably my favorite song here is “International Man of Mystery,” which makes me wish that Cab Calloway would return from the dead to sing in it and that Max Fleischer would come back and do a cartoon for it. Omer’s music spans the globe. He plays a “Russian Lullaby,” goes tropical with “Coconut Island” — try to listen to this all the way through without hearing Leon Redbone singing along — and strips “Misirlou” of any trace of surf music, taking the song back to its Middle Eastern roots (the way Dick Dale discovered it).

And speaking of Max Fleischer, the famed animator did a Betty Boop cartoon of “Mysterious Mose,” which is a variation of another song on Omer’s album, “Ol’ Man Mose.” That song, attributed to Louis Armstrong, has a rich history. A 1938 version of the song by Patricia Norman with the Eddie Duchin Orchestra is notorious for featuring the repeated use of a certain dirty word — in the refrain that goes “Mose kicked the bucket ...” Omer resists the temptation to work blue, however, so you can safely play his version for the children.

* San Antonio Kid by San Antonio Kid. This is a German group that has a strange obsession with the American Southwest. SAK plays an alluring, moody, noirish spaghetti-Western style of country rock. (Maybe we should coin a new category: sauerkraut Western?) There’s lots of twang and reverb and dreamy melodies packed into this 34-minute, eight-song record.

The whistling that opens the song “Strangers” sounds straight out of Clint Eastwood’s A Fistful of Dollars. San Antonio Kid reminds me a little of Calexico — without the marimbas and trumpet. And the harmonica on “Same Old Sound II” has echoes of Call of the West-era Wall of Voodoo.

Hear all of  San Antonio Kid’s songs HERE.

Some videos for you:

First some Nots

Here's Gøggs

Here's Pierre Omer (Reverend Beat-Man makes a cameo here)

Here's one from San Antonio Kid

And here's the 1938 Patricia Norman / Eddie Duchin version of "Old Man Mose."

THROWBACK THURSDAY: If Mommy is a Commie, Then Ya Gotta Turn Her In

John Birch
We only hail the hero from whom we got our name
We're not sure what he did but he's our hero just the same

from "The John Birch Society" by Michael Brown

Seventy one years ago today, just days after the end of World War II, a group of Chinese communists captured then killed a 27-year-old American Baptist missionary -- who also was working for the U.S. Office of Strategic Services -- named John Birch.

Birch, who spoke fluent Mandarin, had been sent, along with a group of Chinese Nationalist and American officers to accept the surrender of a Japanese base in eastern China.

According to a review in the Wall Street Journal review of the biography John Birch: A Life by Terry Lautz (2016, Oxford University Press) Richard Bernstein talked about Birch's career in China:

Birch bravely spent weeks and months at a time behind enemy lines helping to select targets for American bombers. After the Japanese surrender on Aug. 15, 1945, he was sent on a mission to scout territories in eastern China being evacuated by the Japanese. There, he and his men ran into a detachment of Communist guerrillas who, after a heated verbal exchange, shot and killed Birch. The date was Aug. 25, 1945.

He was a missionary. He was an officer in the OSS. But one thing John Birch never was: a member of The John Birch Society.

In this book review, Bernstein wrote about what happened to Birch's name after his death:

As a devout Christian, Birch would have found Communist values and practices deeply objectionable, but he didn’t live to witness Communist rule in China and was never an anti-communist fanatic. Yet in 1958, Robert H.W. Welch Jr., a wealthy candy manufacturer, founded the John Birch Society, seizing on the notion that the noble American war hero Birch was the first victim of a war declared against America and Christian civilization by the international Communist conspiracy. This was a war aided and abetted, in Welch’s post-McCarthyite view, by a coterie of highly placed American traitors. Dwight Eisenhower, he wrote, was “a dedicated, conscious agent of the Communist conspiracy 

... his untimely death [was] followed by his involuntary enlistment in a paranoid club that reduced a cause that might otherwise have gained his sympathy to a jokey kind of historical footnote.

Indeed, in the world of popular music you only hear Birch's name in a couple of jokey songs -- jokey folkie songs -- from the early 1960s.

Those songs are below. But remember when listening to them that the John Birch Society is not John Birch.

First there's "The John Birch Society," as performed by The Chad Mitchell Trio.

Then there is Bob Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Society Blues."

Ironically, this song proved that paranoia was not the exclusive property of the Birchers. Dylan was going to sing this on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1963,

According to Today in History:

Dylan had auditioned “John Birch” days earlier and had run through it for Ed Sullivan himself without any concern being raised. But during dress rehearsal on the day of the show, an executive from the CBS Standards and Practices department informed the show’s producers that they could not allow Dylan to go forward singing “John Birch.” While many of the song’s lyrics about hunting down “reds” were merely humorous ... others that equated the John Birch Society’s views with those of Adolf Hitler raised the fear of a defamation lawsuit in the minds of CBS’s lawyers. 

Dylan refused to alter the lyrics or play another song. So he gave up his chance to appear on Ed Sullivan. Sullivan himself later denounced the idiotic decision by the CBS suits.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: You Think I'm Psycho, Don't You, Mama?

Leon Payne, the blind bard of Alba, Texas, is best known for writing the Hank Williams hit "Lost Highway." Personally, I think he should be remembered more for "Take Me" by George Jones or "Selfishness of Man," a gut-puncher recorded by Jones, Bobby Osborne, Buddy and Julie Miller and others.

But neither of those are the Leon Payne song I want to talk about today. I want to talk about one that has always seemed to be somewhat out of character for Leon.


I first hear this tune at Cafe Oasis in the early '90s, the first time I saw ex-Angry Samoan Gregg Turner play. It's a perfect song for Turner, a pretty tune full of black humor and strange plot twists. I assumed he'd written it. But he told me it was the work of "some old country guy" and that Elvis Costello had recorded it.

Actually a couple of old country guys recorded it -- first Eddie Noack back in the late '60s. He was a friend of Payne's. Then a Michigan singer named Jack Kittell in the early '70s. Costello didn't get to it until the early 80s during his Almost Blue period. (It can be found as a bonus on at least one version of Almost Blue.)

Here's Noack's version, followed by Costello's:

And many others followed. As Randy Fox wrote in Nashville Scene in 2012, "Psycho" became "a favorite cover song for many alt-country bands that skew to the weirder and darker side of country. Thus proving a great country song will always find its audience, once the world gets weird enough."

In his "Psycho" article Fox interviewed Payne's daughter Myrtie Le Payne, who told how her dad came up with this macabre song.

"Jackie White was my daddy's steel guitar player," [ Myrtie Le] says. "He started working with him in 1968, and the song came out of a conversation they had one day."

Fans of "Psycho" should recognize that name:

I saw my ex again last night mama / She was at the dance at Miller's store / She was with that Jackie White mama / I killed them both and now they're buried under Jenkins' sycamore

Fox wrote, "According to the story related by White, in the spring of 1968, he and Leon Payne were discussing the Richard Speck murders. Speck murdered eight student nurses in Chicago in July 1966 and was convicted and sentenced to death the following year. Being a history buff, Payne was familiar with the cases of many notorious mass killers, and the discussion soon turned to other famous cases — Charles Whitman, Ed Gein, Mary Bell and Albert Fish. That conversation directly inspired the song."

According to this, the opening line, "Can Mary fry some fish, Mama?" is a sly reference to Mary Bell, a child killer who was a child herself. Her life story makes me wonder whether she's the inspiration for Nick Cave's "The Curse of Milhaven."

Indeed, "Psycho" was an unusual song for Leon Payne. But maybe the seeds of it came from an earlier song, one I mentioned above, "Selfishness in Man":

Little children painting pictures of the birds and apple trees / Oh, why can't the grown up people have the faith of one of these / And to think those tiny fingers might become a killer's hand ...

You think that's psycho, don't you ...

Any way, here  are a couple of more versions of "Psycho," first by an Australian band called The Beasts of Bourbon

And here's a fairly recent one I like a lot by another Australian, Mojo Juju

And here are more, including covers by Jack Kittel, T. Tex Edwards, Andre William & The Sadies, and more. Sorry, I couldn't find a Gregg Turner version anywhere.

Once Again, The Big Enchilada Heads for the Honky Tonk!


It's honky-tonk time at the Big Enchilada, so come on in for a brand new hillbilly episode. You'll hear country music, old and new; songs of joy and songs of shame; songs touched by the Lord and songs scorched by the Devil's hellfire ... As my friend, the late, great Kell Robertson used to say, come on in, it's cool and dark inside!


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Fatman's Twist by Southern Culture on the Skids)
John Wesley Hardin by Jimmie Skinner
Just Tell Her I Loved Her by Joe Swank & His Zen Pirates
Bashful Rascal by June Carter
Truckdrivin' Son of a Gun by Dave Dudley
Brenda by Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
Chatham Jack by Billy Childish & The Blackhands
Turn Off What Marijuana Turned On by Basil McLaughlin

(Background Music: Steel Guitar Stomp by Hank Penny)
The Toadlickers by Thomas Dolby with Imogen Heap
Ol' Town Drunk by Clark Bentley
Second Fiddle to an Old Guitar by Jean Shepard 
Booze is Good by Dan Whitaker & The Shinebenders
Girl on the Billboard by Del Reeves
Buffalo Gals by J. Michael Combs & Friends

(Background Music: Oakville Twister by The Hoosier Hotshots)
Hard Times by Martha Fields
Down on Penny's Farm by Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur
Invisible Stripes by Eddie Noack
There's No Right Way to Do Me Wrong by The Miller Sisters
It's Our Home by Joe West 
(Background Music: Black Mountain Rag by Jerry Rivers & The Drifting Cowboys)

Sunday, August 21, 2016


Sunday, Aug. 21, 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
Sinner Man by Esquerita
Human Lawn Dart by James Leg
Tracking the Dog by Meet Your Death
Shaking Satan's Balls by The Devils
Wild Man by Hollywood Sinners
I'm Cryin' by The Animals
Black Jack by The Hives
Psychotic Reaction by Brenton Wood

Final Notice by GØGGS 
Entertain Me by Nots
One Evening by Jesus Lizard
Before I Die by The Sloths
Hey Ya'll by Blaine Cartwright & Ruyter Suys
Pucker Up Buttercup by Paul "Wine" Jones
Don't Be Afraid to Pogo by The Gears

Priestess of the Promised Land by Stan Ridgway & Pietra Wextun
Sexual Revolution by Johnny Dowd
Mexican Garage by Archie & The Bunkers
A Million Times by The Soulphonics
Puddin' Truck by NRBQ
Welcome to Star 65 by Alien Space Kitchen
Psykick Dancehall by The Fall

Wish I Was a Catfish by T-Model Ford
The Trip by Donovan
Frankie Baby by Mojo Juju
I Lost My Smile by Pierre Omer's Swing Revue
Frida by Cankisou
Still I Dream of It by Brian Wilson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, August 19, 2016


Friday, Aug. 19, 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
John Wesley Hardin by Jimmie Skinner
Hot Dog by Rosie Flores
Old Man From the Mountain by Bryan & The Haggards with Eugene Chadbourn
Great Shakin' Fever by Ray Condo & The Ricochets
Gettin' High for Jesus by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Tunafish Every Day by Southern Culture on the Skids
Southern White Lies by Martha Fields
Ghosts of Hallelujh by The Gourds
Country Fool by The Showmen

Big Fake Boobs by The Beaumonts
The Way I Walk by Ruby Dee & The Snakehandlers
Tomorrow's Just a Trainwreck Away by Joe Swank & The Zen Pirates
On the Verge by The Royal Hounds
What You Gonna Do, Leroy by Brennen Leigh
Party Dolls and Wine by Eddie Spaghetti 
All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down by Supersuckers
Mr. Wiggly by Reverend Billy C. Wirtz

Jimmy Joe the Hippy Billy Boy by Ed Sanders
Bright Lights, Big City by Sleepy LaBeef
San Antonio Romeo by Cathy Faber & Her Swinging Country Band
It's No Secret by Mose McCormack
Carroll County Blues by The Western Flyers
The Bass Player is a Junkie by Joe West
Sweet Thang by J. Michael Combs

The Silver Light by The Handsome Family
Where the Soul of Man Never Dies by Hank Williams
How in Heaven by The Whites
Clumps by Lydia Loveless
It Just Doesn't Seem to Matter by Dallas Wayne & Jeannie Seeley
Bury Me by Dwight Yoakam with Maria McKee
I Had a Dream by Dex Romweber
Iowa City by Eleni Mandell
Raise a Ruckus by Josh White
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, August 18, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Remembering John Wesley Hardin

Tomorrow marks the 121st anniversary of the killing of John Wesley Hardin, a true bad-ass Old West gunslinger. He was a cowboy, a fighter against reconstruction and an actual jailhouse lawyer who studied law while serving time for killing a sheriff's deputy in Brown County, Texas. He claimed to have backed down Wild Bill Hickok, who was sheriff of Abilene.

He was shot and killed in the Acme Saloon (no, this wasn't a Roadrunner cartoon) in El Paso on Aug. 19. 1895. Killed by a guy he'd previously hired to kill the husband of his girlfriend.

Hardin, the son of a Methodist preacher, claimed to have killed more than 40 people (though only 27 were confirmed.) One of his victims was a friend he killed for snoring.

But according to Frontier Times:

Hardin was an unusual type of killer, a handsome, gentlemanly man who considered himself a pillar of society, always maintaining that he never killed anyone who did not need killing and that he always shot to save his own life. Many people who knew him or his family regarded him as a man more sinned against than sinning. 

Or as Bob Dylan might say, "he was never known to hurt an honest man."

Actually Dylan did say that in a song titled "John Wesley Harding." Dylan added a "g" to the outlaw's name and basically turned him into Robin Hood, a "friend to the poor" who "was always known to lend a helping hand." Though the hero of Dylan's 1967 song bore little resemblance to the real Hardin, it's still a fine little tune.

You can play it here:

But about eight years before Dylan's song, a hillbilly named Jimmie Skinner did a slightly more historically accurate account of Hardin's life. For example, the song correctly says Hardin "shot a man dead at the age of 15" and it does have him going to prison for killing a law enforcement officer (though in real life, Hardin was pardoned after serving 16 years of his 25 year sentence for kiling Deputy Charles Webb.)

If that melody sounds familiar, that's because Webb lifted it from another outlaw song, "John Hardy Was a Desperate Little Man,"  recorded in 1928 by The Carter Family (and a million others after them and a few before them). John Hardy was completed unrelated to John Wesley Hardin. Hardy was a black man who was hanged for murder in 1894 in West Virginia. He'd killed another guy in a craps game. (Holy Stag-o-lee, Batman!)

Finally, I'm not sure what this last song is about. Maybe the singer who called himself John Wesley Harding. On;y Wesley Willis knows for sure and he's not talking anymore.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: It's David Koresh's Birthday!

Exhibit inside Branch Davidian church, Mount Carmel, Texas. I took this in July 2007

When David Koresh's birthday falls on Wacky Wednesday, you take heed.

So as a second installment to my "Cult Music by Real Cults" series, I'm going to present some songs by the man born Vernon Wayne Howell.

Yes, before he went into the messiah business, Howell wanted to be a rock star. However he sounded liked some souped-up, third-rate Dan Fogelberg.

I can overlook that though. After all, he inspired the names of one of my favorite bands.

 Here are some of his tunes.

This first one is especially terrible. A crappy recording of a bad band. But at least the lyrics are crazy.

This one actually reminds me of some of Charlie Manson's songs

Here are a couple of songs about Koresh and the Waco tragedy.

The first is from a 2007 rock opera called David Koresh Superstar by a band called The Indelicates

And here's a song that's hard not to like whatever your political leanings. It's by the late Russell Means (and produced by the one and only Simon Stokes!)

What the Hell, here's the Waco Brothers!

Sunday, August 14, 2016


Sunday, Aug. 14, 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
Live the Life by The Oblivians
Insect Collector by Shonen Knife
Dreaming by The Go-Wows
JuJu Hand by Handsome Dick Manitoba
Ooga Booga Baby by 1313 Mockingbird Lane
Diggin' a Grave by Terminal Licks
Yeah! By The Cynics
Sinner Not a Saint by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Stepping on My Toes by New Mystery Girl
The Infinite by Dot Dash
Elvis Presley for President by Lou Monte

My Baby I Killed Her by Coachwhips
Losing My Mind by Alien Space Kitchen
Strange Baby by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Mighty Man by James Leg
I See the Light by Reverend Beat-Man
Glendale Junkyard by GØGGS
Rabid Pigs by Jesus Lizard
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson
Politics of Greed and Gain by Billy Childish & The Blackhands

Cosmetic by Nots
Pat's Trick by Helium
Have Love, Will Travel by The Sonics
Nightmare by The Embrooks
Jim Dandy by Jello Biafra & Reuter Suys
Blood in the Dirt by Sex Hogs II
Officer Touchy by The Scrams
Those Are the Breaks by The Soulphonics
Don't Bug Me, I'm Nutty by New Bomb Turks
Coconut Island by Pierre Omer's Swing Revue

Boris by The Melvins
Little Blonde Girl by Any Dirty Party
Village of Love by Nathaniel Mayer & His Fabulous Twilights
I'm Coming Home by The Almighty Defenders
Speak Now Woman by Howlin' Wolf
I Just Want to See His Face by The Rolling Stones
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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