Thursday, October 27, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Some Vintage Halloween Tunes

Yes, even before the heyday of Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Screaming Lord Sutch songs of witches and spooks have been part of American music. Here's a cauldron full of vintage Halloween tunes.

We'll begin at a seance,

This ghostly number is a longtime favorite of mine.

On my latest Big Enchilada podcast I included a new bluesy version of this song performed by Bibi Farber. But she got it from der Bingle.

This next one was written by one of my favorite songwriting teams of early rock 'n' roll -- Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote many of the songs you love best by The Everly Brothers.

You might think this next one from Fran Allison (Folks my age will remember Kukla, Fran & Ollie) might seem pretty saccharine. So it might help your enjoyment by imaging the type of horrific, blood-spattered, flesh-eating  scene Rob Zombie might build around this happy little tune for some future movie. There, that's better, isn't it.

For a zillion more Halloween songs check out all my Big Enchilada Spooktaculars. Click HERE

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Equal Time for Goblins!

While recently putting together my Big Enchilada 2016 Spooktacular, I had no problem finding songs about witches, ghosts, devils, vampires and werewolves.

But one group of demonic supernatural beings that are severely under-estimated in the Spookbox Jukebox is the humble goblin. There just aren't that many songs about them.

But fear not -- or since it's almost Halloween maybe I should just say "Fear!" -- I found a few for you.

We'll start with this obscurity from Rosemary Clooney, who revealed in 1950 that goblins ride flying brooms.

Thirty years later Frank Zappa was still playing with Clooney's goblin/wobblin' rhyme.

This is another song called "Goblin Girl" by a late '90s garage/punk band from Chicago called The Goblins.

It's rumored that The Fall's Mark E. Smith has a little Goblin in his ancestry.

Mystery Science Theater 3000 had their own Hobgoblin song, in honor of the 1988 movie Hobgoblins.

And here's one for my favorite Spiderman villain, The Green Goblin. I'm not sure where this weird mash-up came from. I just hope Napoleon XIV got a cut

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

9th Annual Big Enchilada Spooktacular!


Boo! Halloween's just around the corner AND SO IS A KNIFE-WIELDING MANIAC!!!
While most people my age are busy placing razor blades in apples for trick-or-treat night, I've been brewing up this cauldron of horror for your listening pleasure. Have a ghoulishious time with some spooky tunes on this month's Big Enchilada.


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Cemetery Stomp by The Essex)
Son of The Devil by D.D. Owen
Headless Horseman by Bibi Farber
I Saw a Ghost (Lean) by The Black Lips
Obeah Man by Meet Your Death
The Little Monster by Russ "Big Daddy" Blackwell

(Background Music: Ghoulash by Satan's Pilgrims)
Three Headed Demon by The Blues Against Youth
Hotrod Vampires by Demented Are Go
Graveyard Boogie by Cawama
Foxy Witch by Fire Bad!
Satan is Her Name by The Cavemen
Meet Me at the Graveyard by Andre Williams

(Background Music: Silent Screamer by The Dave Meyers Effect)
Macon County Morgue  by Captain Clegg & The Night Creatures
Voodoo Rhythm by The Monsters
Ghost by El Pathos
The Zombie by C.W. Stoneking
Werewolf by The Kact-Ties
(Background Music: Quentin's Theme by Charles Randolph Grean Sounde)

Play it here:

Sunday, October 23, 2016



Sunday, Oct. 23, 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

Happy People Make Me Sick by The Monsters

You Let the Dead In by Churchwood

The Flesh is Weak by James Chance & The Contortions

Took My Lady to Dinner by King Khan & The Shrines

Exercise Man by The Dean Ween Group

Women Who Jog by MFC Chicken

Money Rock 'n' Roll by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Nightmare by The Embrooks

Mustang Ranch by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears


Love Like a Man by The Fleshtones with Lisa Kekaula

Plastic Plant by Thee Oh Sees

Dumb All Over by Frank Zappa

Follow Me Home by The Mystery Lights

Crazy Love by Musk

Johnny by Sulfur City

Honky Tonk Biscuit Queen by The Voluptuous World of Karen Black


Voodoohexenshakit! by The Brimstones

Skylab by The Grannies

Wide Open Blues by Big John Bates

What's Your Name by Nathaniel Mayer

When Fate Deals Its Mortal Blow by Meet Your Death

Plastered to the Wall (Higher Than the Ceiling) by Swamp Dogg

Sunglasses After Dark by Archie & The Bunkers

Should've Been Home With You by James Leg

I Have Always Been Here Before by Hickoids


Brains a Flame by Johnny Dowd featuring Anna Coogan

What Is It? by The Come N' Go

Look in the Mirror by Gregg Turner

She's Wearing You Down by Stan Ridgway & Pietra Wexstun

Let's Burn Down the Cornfield by John the Conqueror

Good Old World by Tom Waits

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, October 21, 2016


Friday, Oct. 21, 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
Freak Flag by Southern Culture on the Skids
Shovelin' Bob by Washboard Hank
Ghosts on the Screen by Gary Heffern
Fools Like Me by Cornell Hurd
Then I'll Be Movin' On by Mother Earth
Killed Them Both by Wayne Hancock
Get on the Floor by C.W. Stoneking
The Stars by The Great Recession Orchestra
Odor in the Court by Doodoo Wah

Mama's Picture by Mose McCormack
Wall Around Your Heart by Chris Hillman
I Lie When I Drink by Dale Watson
Fifteen Beers by Johnny Paycheck
Big Fake Boobs by The Beaumonts
City Lights by Willie Nelson
Don't Give a Damn by Hony Tonk Hustlas
Tell Me Baby by Martha Fields
Crazy People by The Boswell Sisters

Lift Him Up, That's All by Ralph Stanley
I Was Born to Preach the Gospel by Washington Phillips
Denomination Blues by Ry Cooder
Weekender by Margo Price
Seein' Double by Nikki Lane
A Devil Named Music by Chris Stapleton

It's Only Make Believe by Kelly Hogan & John Wesley Harding
Buglight by The Flat Five
Keep it Between the Lines by Sturgil Simpson
Heartsick Blues by Luke Winslow King
Hummin' to Myself by Dan Hicks with Maria Muldaur
Have Mercy by Steve Earle
Talk to Me Lonesome Heart by Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, October 20, 2016


America lost one of its true folk music icons last month.

Oscar Brand died of pneumonia Friday, Sept. 30 at the age of 96 at his home in Greatneck, N.Y..

He was a singer, recording artist. He composed scores for Broadway musicals and documentaries and even tried his hand at TV

But as Douglas Martin wrote in his obit in  New York Times, Brand was best known for his radio show, “Folksong Festival,” 

Every week for more than 70 years, with the easy, familiar voice of a friend, Mr. Brand invited listeners of the New York public radio station WNYC to his quirky, informal combination of American music symposium, barn dance, cracker-barrel conversation, songwriting session and verbal horseplay.

Seventy years! His last show aired less than a week before he died, the Times said.

And like the best radio DJs, he was a volunteer. He did it for his love of his music and never got paid a nickel for his WNYC shows.

Although Brand never was a member of the Communist Party, during the McCarthy era, he was labeled as a communist sympathizer whose radio program was a "pipeline of communism" because he frequently invited blacklisted performers like Pete Seeger to appear on Folksong Festival

According to Martin's obit:

He invited Burl Ives, too, even though he had alienated many of his fellow folk singers by naming names to the House committee. The singer Dave Van Ronk, in his autobiography, The Mayor of MacDougal Street (2005), recalled taking Mr. Brand to task for this, only to be told, `Dave, we on the left do not blacklist'— a response that, Mr. Van Ronk recalled, `put me right in my place.'

Here's a few videos to pay tribute to Oscar Brand.

Let's start with a dirty one

Brand, who was in the Army during World War II, was a collector of songs sung by soldiers, sailors and Marines. In the late '50s, inspired by a collection of Air Force songs collected by a pilot named William Starr, Brand recorded an album called The Wild Blue Yonder, which included this next tune, "Save a Fighter Pilot's Ass."

Brand recorded an entire album of campaign songs for every president between George Washington and Bill Clinton. This is one of my favorites.

Finally, here's a clip with Brand's 1961 "Folksong Festival" interview with a young Bob Dylan. Here, the future Nobel Prize winner speaks of his (imaginary) boyhood in Gallup. N.M. and his (imaginary) travels with carnivals.

For WNYC's tribute to Oscar Brand CLICK HERE

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Political Golden Throats

This week on Last Week Tonight  comedian John Oliver, in a segment ridiculing third parties, introduced a horrified world to the Green Party candidate Jill Stein's 1990s band, Somebody's Sister, effectively stomping down any trace of Jill-mentum there might have been.

Oliver likened the sound of the group to the Indigo Girls fronting the Red Hot Chili Peppers. A former colleague of mine had a more scathing review: "Jill Stein does not have my vote if only because her band just drove the whittled end of an old public toilet plunger up my ass, out one ear and through the very core of my creative being."

Judge for yourself ...

Of course, had things gone differently in the Democratic primary, we might have had to endure four years of a version of The Dropkick Murphys -- minus any kick. Here's former Maryland Gov. Marvin O'Malley with his band O'Malley's March.

Donald Trump couldn't make it, but he sent a friend. (You have to sit through some wretched piano noodling until you get to the dreadful vocals) Fats Domino would do a better job invading Ukraine than Putin does on this song.

Somehow this guy pulled off the musician thing with a little style back in the Nutty '90s.

And who can forget this patriotic anthem from former Attorney General John Ashcroft.

The late Sen. Robert Byrd from West Virginia was never shy about his bluegrass roots

But we haven't really had a great singing politician since Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis. (I played this very song on The Santa Fe Opry last week.)

(For Donald Trump reciting the lyrics of my favorite Oscar Brown, Jr. song, see last week's Wacky Wednesday.)

Sunday, October 16, 2016



Sunday, Oct. 16, 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

Look at That Moon by Carl Mann

Garbage Head by Eric Amble

Melt by The Mystery Lights

Rick Wakeman's Cape by The Fleshtones

The Same by Grey City Passengers

Baby Runaround by The Gears

Violets are Blue by The Mobbs

Dead in a Hotel Room by The Hickoids

Spook Factor by The Memphis Morticians

My Baby Left Me by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Tiger in My Tank by King Salami & The Cumberland 3


The Dozens by Eddie "One-String" Jones

Elephant Man by Meet Your Death

Human Lawn Dart by James Leg

Bloodhound by Left-Lane Cruiser

The Wolf by The Bloodhounds

Sexual Release by Lonesome Shack

Tie My Hands to the Floor by Sulphur City


Savage by The Cavemen

Milchblut by The Grannies

Tura Santana Tribute Song by The Dustaphonics

Trouble of the World by Dex Romweber

Heaven is Ugly by The Gospel Truth

Mad Mod Goth by The Fall

Evil Eye by Dead Moon

Dirty Deeds by Grandpa Death Experience


Slippin' Sideways by Drywall

Here Come the Martian Martians by Jonathan Richman

Vibrator by The Painted Dogs

Motorcycle Irene by Moby Grape

Teenage Maniac by The Spooklights

Are You Man Enough by The Four Tops

This Time Darlin' by Social Distortion

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE


Friday, October 14, 2016


Friday, Oct. 14, 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

Guitar Man by Junior Brown
Endangered Species by Waylon Jennings
Kung Fu Fighting by Girls on Top
I Just Left Myself Today by The Hickoids 
Rocket in Your Pocket by Jenny & The Steady Gos
King's Highway by Sulphur City
Downward Mobility by Southern Culture on the Skids
Southern White Lies by Martha Fields

Freddy Lopez by Joe West
Dirty House Blues by Wayne Hancock
My Boyfriend by Nancy Apple
If You're Looking for a Loser by Arty Hill
You're Humbuggin' Me by Dale Watson
I'm Not Drunk Enough by Rex Hobart
She's a Humdinger by Gov. Jimmie Davis
Your Past's Gonna Come Back to Haunt You by Emily Kaitz

My Gal by Jim Kweskin Jug Band
Easy Ridin' Mama by Devil in a Woodpile
Coney Island Washboard by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Euphoria by Holy Modal Rounders
Banjorena by Dixieland Jug Blowers
Lampshade On by The Dustbowl Revival
Darktown Strutters Ball by Howard Armstrong 
Down on Penny's Farm by Jim Kweskin & Geoff Muldaur
Under the Chicken Tree by The Texas Sheiks

American Boy by Eleni Mandell
Tiny Tina by The Handsome Family
Falls of Sleep by Freakwater
Mexican Divorce by Ry Cooder
Needed by Robbie Fulks
Drinkin' Thing by Gary Stewart
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list
R.I.P John Conquest

Thursday, October 13, 2016

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Meet Your Death and James Leg

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Oct. 14, 2016

Back in 1960, a folklorist/ethnomusicologist named Frederick Usher discovered a street singer named Eddie Jones (if, indeed, that was his real name) playing a one-stringed contraption and singing the blues on Skid Row in Los Angeles.

Usher described Jones’ instrument as a “home-made African derived Zither-Monochord.” (I doubt Jones called it that.) It’s basically a close cousin of the diddley bow, another instrument with African roots.

There, in some Skid Row alley, Usher recorded at least 15 songs by Jones, some with his crony, harmonica player Edward Hazelton. Four years later, the venerated folk label Takoma Records released an album of those recordings under the title One-String Blues.

I first heard this remarkable, if under-appreciated, blues gem back when I was in college. My favorite track was a wild, filthy, hilarious little romp Jones called “The Dozens.”

The song begins:

“God made elephant big and stout / He wasn’t satisfied until He made him a great long snout. … He made him some eyes that was to look at that grass / He wasn't satisfied until He gave him a big fat ass ...” 

So imagine my delight when I recently came across a new self-titled album by an Austin band called Meet Your Death. They’ve got a track they call “Elephant Man,” which is a louder, more raucous version of Jones’ one-string “Dozens.” Frontman Walter Daniels growls the lyrics over John Schooley’s apocalyptic slide guitar and then blows his harmonica as if challenging the elephant to a loser-leave-town battle.

This version is based on Bo Diddley’s 1970 take on it, also titled “Elephant Man.” And even though I’m pretty sure Meet Your Death wasn’t overly concerned about getting a G rating here, they leave out the “dirty” verses. Even so, the song is crazy joy from start to finish.

Walter Daniels
But even without “Elephant Man,” I was bound to love this band. I’ve been a long-time fan of both Daniels and Schooley — I even got to see them together in an acoustic setting along with fiddler Ralph White at a Beerland gig in Austin a few years ago.

Harp-man Daniels is a longtime Austin stalwart, having played in such bands as Big Foot Chester and Jack O’Fire, which covered a Blind Willie McTell song called “Meet Your Death” back in 1994.

I mostly know Schooley from his three albums on the Swiss label Voodoo Rhythm Records, under the name “John Schooley and his one-man band.”

In Meet Your Death, this dynamic duo is backed by a couple of younger guys — Harpal Assi on bass and Matt Hammer on drums.
John Schooley

Meet Your Death plays hard-rocking punk blues covers by some great American writers like Hank Williams (“I Don’t Care If Tomorrow Never Comes”) and Mose Allison (“If You Live”).

But next to “Elephant Man,” my favorite song here is the opening track, which comes from a more obscure source. “Obeah Man” is based on a song called “Exuma, The Obeah Man,” recorded in 1970 by Bahamian singer Macfarlane Gregory Anthony Mackey, who recorded under the name Exuma.

Starting off with jungle drums, the song quickly turns into a hoodoo-drenched, Dr.-John-by-way-of-Bo-Diddley invocation to the ruling demons of rock ’n’ roll, with Daniels as the ragged-voiced high priest.

By the end of the song you’ll believe that the singer “came down on a lightning bolt” and “has fire and brimstone coming out of [his] mouth,” as he sings.

Also recommended:

Blood on the Keys by James Leg. If you need more of that blues-driven, rump-bumpin’, holy-roller-shoutin’, swampy rock ’n’ roll, a keyboard player called James Leg just might be your man.

Leg was born John Wesley Myers. He’s the son of a preacher man, born in Port Arthur, Texas ( Janis Joplin country), and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee (home of the choo-choo).

Before launching his solo career, Leg played with a couple of notable hard-chugging bands. He fronted The Black Diamond Heavies and played in the final incarnation of The Immortal Lee County Killers, a pioneering band of the punk blues sound. Leg also recorded an album (Painkillers, 2012) with current blues minimalist titans Left Lane Cruiser.

Blood on the Keys, recorded in a converted Masonic lodge in Kentucky, is a splendid showcase of what Leg does best: roaring and thundering (with a voice that falls somewhere between Captain Beefheart and Jim “Dandy” Mangrum of the band Black Oak Arkansas) over stripped-down atomic-powered boogie.

A big percentage of these songs feature Leg backed by his own keyboards and drummer Mathieu Gazeau — sometimes joined by guest guitarists and, on a couple of tracks, backup female vocalists (a group called Foxxfire).

And indeed, these songs — including the opener, “Human Lawn Dart”; “Mighty Man” (written by the early ’70s British band Mungo Jerry, best known for their hit “In the Summertime”); “Huggin the Line”; and “DogJaw (Do Some Things You Say)” — are guaranteed to get the crowds moving.

But there are a handful of outliers here too. One of the most memorable songs on the album is “Should’ve Been Home With You,” penned by the late Austin songwriter Blaze Foley. This minor-key tune rocks with just about as much intensity as any other on Blood on the Keys, but the demonic fiddling of Sylvia Mitchell gives it a sweet touch.

Mitchell also plays on “St Michel Shuffle,” which sounds like a tribute to Tom Waits. There are also a couple of soulful, gospel-influenced ballads, including the title song and, even better, “I’ll Take It.”

I’m glad that Leg’s blues bruisers outnumber his ballads. But there’s nothing wrong with a little variety.

Video time!

Here's Meet Your Death live at Beerland

Here's some live Leg (from a Paris show in July)

And finally, I couldn't find "The Dozens" by Eddie "One-String" Jones on YouTube, Spotify or anywhere else. But here's a video of Jones doing "Baby Please Don't Go."