Friday, July 21, 2017

Here's July's Big Enchilada Podcast!


Leapin' lizards, it's a new Big Enchilada episode! Featuring some of the world's greatest lizard bands including The Jesus Lizard, The Flying Lizards, The Lot Lizards! The Iron Lizards, The Thunder Lizards ... and more!


Here's the playlist:

 Hammer Blow by Skip Martin)
The More I Dream, The Sicker I Get by Lot Lizards 
Reptile by Casey Jones Dead
Scream and Scream by Screaming Lord Sutch
Coronet Hemi by Leadfoot Tea
Mon Deiu by The Yawpers
You're My Pacemaker by Archie & The Bunkers
One Evening by The Jesus Lizard

(Background Music: Gargantua's Last Stand by Man or Astroman)
Skintrade by The Mekons
Midnight Queen by Iron Lizards
Why Have You Changed by Thee Vicars
Don't You Just Know It by Wolfman Jack & The Wolfpack
Money by The Flying Lizards
Fuzz Face by PowerSolo
Girl With the Long Black Hair by The Other Half

(Background Music: Midnight by Hank Levine & The Blazers)
G.R.U.M.P. by The Thunder Lizards
Lizard Hunt by Gas Huffer 
In My Grip by Mary's Kids
Stuck on You by The Fox Sisters
Not to Touch the Earth by Modey Lemon
(Background Music: Kookie Limbo by Kookie Joe)

Play it below:

Thursday, July 20, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Songs That Cooder Taught Us

By the time Ryland P. Cooder released his first solo album, Ry Cooder, in 1970, he'd already built an impressive resume doing session work with Captain Beefheart (!), Paul Revere & The Raiders, Randy Newman, Gordon Lightfoot, Little Feat, Taj Mahal (they'd played together in a short-lived but influential group called The Rising Sons when Cooder was a teenager) and The Rolling Stones. That's Ry's mandolin on "Love in Vain" and his slide guitar on "Sister Morphine."

While Cooder's reputation was made by his impressive instrumental prowess, those 1970s solo albums -- my favorites being Into the Purple Valley,  Paradise and Lunch and Chicken Skin Music -- established him as a musician with an incredible knack for finding obscure gems from the world of blues, jazz, folk, hillbilly, gospel and soul music, putting his own stamp on them and making them relevant for modern audiences. Cooder introduced anyone with ears to hear  to so many artists and songs we might otherwise have missed, we really owe him.

Here's a small sampling of the songs Cooder taught us

Here's "Jesus on the Mainline," which appeared on Paradise and Lunch.  I'm not sure whether the 1959 Alan Lomax field recording version by James Shorty and Viola James with a Mississippi  church congregation is the first recording of this song. But it's a good one.

Ry Cooder knows what "Diddy Wah Diddy" means. So did Blind Blake back in the late 1920s.

Cooder was one of, if not the first, contemporary artists to recognize the genius of the mysterious traveling preacher Washington Phillips

For Into the Purple Valley (1972), Cooder recorded "FDR in Trinidad," which originally was recorded as "Roosevelt in Trinidad" by calypso star Atilla the Hun (Raymond Quevedo). Cooder's pal and sometimes musical collaborator Van Dyke Parks recorded this song for his own 1972 album Discover America.

Cooder played  "Girls from Texas" as a country tune. But originally it was a soul song by Jimmy Lewis

I was surprised to learn that the original version of Blind Alfred Reed's "Always Lift him Up" was a relatively upbeat song. Cooder did it on Chicken Skin Music as a moving dirge.

Here are links to some past Throwback Thursdays in this vein you might enjoy

Songs That Crumb Taught Us

Songs That Kweskin Taught Us

Songs That Leon Taught Us

Songs That Tiny Taught Us

Songs That Herman Taught Us

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Max Fleischer!

Remember when cartoons were dark, surreal, sometimes terrifying and almost always funny ... in glorious black and white?

Chances are the ones you remember that match this description were probably the work of Max Fleischer, the Austrian-born animation master who was born on this day in 1883.

Happy birthday Max. Here's a musical tribute to you.

Fleischer, who created Betty Boop as well as the first Popeye cartoons, basically was the anti-Disney. With his brother Dave Fleischer directing many of his classic works, Max never was as successful as Uncle Walt, but for most of us believers in the subversive power of old cartoons, Max Fleischer is the mad king.

His work was psychedelic -- years before the invention of LSD. They were full of multi-layered gags, obscure, throwaway pop culture references and, best of all, sexual innuendo.

As animation historian Jerry Beck wrote in the introduction of Ray Pointer's The Art and Inventions of Max Fleischer: American Animation Pioneer 

"... the Fleischer universe was populated by individuals straight out of the diverse immigrant culture that surround that studio in New York City. Wise guys and con men, obese hippos and `gangsta' gorillas, tattooed sailors and a sexy bitch named Betty ... These were the denizens of Fleischer's world."

And another element that contributed greatly to the crazy energy of Fleischer's cartoons was the music, especially the jazz of the era. For instance, untold numbers of youngsters and probably a lot of oldsters were first introduced to the music of  Cab Calloway.

Here is one of those in which Cab sings "Old Man of the Mountain" (and a little "Minnie the Moocher")

This is an early (1930) short called "Swing You Sinners" featuring popular crooner Billy Murray on vocals.

Fleischer produced a series of live action / cartoon combinations centered around music. Here's a singing cowboy tune, "Twilight on the Trail" featuring Louise Massey and their band The Westerners (following some cowpoke jive by one of Massey's brothers.) Don't forget to follow the bouncing ball to sing along

Rudy Vallee appears in "Betty Coed" (1931) featuring the title character, who I suspect is a proto-Boop.

And finally here's Irene Bordoni singing "Just a Gigolo" in this 1932 cartoon with Betty Boop.

Sunday, July 16, 2017


Sunday, July 16, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Bloody Mary by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Station lost power right as I began the second song. Rest of the show cancelled.

I'll try again next week! Sorry.

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Friday, July 14, 2017


Friday, July 14, 2017
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
Clown Collector by The Cactus Brothers
Heartbroke by Sunny Sweeney
I've Always Been Crazy by Carlene Carter
Forget About Tomorrow Today by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
One Last Question by Jason & The Scorchers
Fixin' to Die by Steve Earle
Done Gone Crazy by Ray Condo & The Ricochets
Drinkin' with My Friends by Honky Tonk Hustlas
King Kong vs. Godzilla by Boris McCutcheon

Two Weeks Late by Ashley Monroe
I Think I'll Just Sit Here and Drink by Merle Haggard
High Class Girl from the Country by Zephaniah Ohora
Mean Mama Blues by Ernest Tubb
Mournin' Blues by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Stealin' Stealin' by Rapheal Saadiq
You're the Reason by Nancy Apple
Last One Standing by Ronny Elliott


Billy the Kid by Woody Guthrie
Billy 1 by Los Lobos
Me and Billy the Kid by Joe Ely
Billy the Kid by Charlie Daniels
Dancing With the Ghost of William Bonney by Bone Orchard
Billy the Kid by Chris LeDoux
Billy the Kid by Riders in the Sky
Billy the Kid by Ry Cooder
Billy 7 by Bob Dylan

Watching th River Go By by John Hartford
Up to No Good Livin' by Chris Stapleton
Please Don't by Lauria
The Future's Not What It Used to Be by Gary Heffern
Here Comes That Rainbow Again by Leo Kottke
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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Recent Work from NM Musicians

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
July 14, 2017

Singer-songwriter Boris McCutcheon is one of the original members of the local legion of superheroes who make up the Frogville Records stable. He was born in Massachusetts, but he’s lasted many winters in Northern New Mexico. In fact, he’s the only musician I know who’s ever been a mayordomo of an acequia.

But the important thing is that McCutcheon just keeps growing as a songwriter. His new album — I’m Here. Let Me In. — is his first since 2013’s Might Crash, and there’s not a dud on this record. It’s my favorite since 2005’s Cactusman Versus the Blue Demon. Most of McCutcheon’s albums in recent years have been credited to Boris & The Salt Licks. But this one, McCutcheon says, is a solo project, even though The Salt Licks appear on a couple of live songs and individual Salt Licks play on other songs, as do various Santa Fe stalwarts.

Among the best tracks are the upbeat “It’s Her Turn Now,” featuring the fabulous Salt Licks (guitarist Brett Davis, bassist Susan Hyde Holmes, Kevin Zoernig on keyboards, and Paul Groetzinger on drums). And this is followed by a pretty country song called “A Week Before the Fourth of July.” I think I was hooked in the first verse, when McCutcheon sings of eating tacos on the open road.

Another standout is the bluesy “Lazy With You,” in which Boris praises the virtues of sloth. A strong harmonica by Greg Williams and banjo by Alex McMahon give the song a Tom Waits feel. Meanwhile, the slow dirge-like “Poor Tired Hands” is a stark portrait of a guy who might benefit from a little laziness.

In a slow hillbilly waltz called “Godzilla vs. King Kong,” McCutcheon sings of domestic strife. As you might assume by the title, the lyrics are full of humor, but it’s bittersweet humor. With the deceptively pretty melody, you can’t help but feel for the unhappy couple. One verse goes, “Oh how did I wind up with a warrior princess?/She knows how to fight and kick my ass/There’s a storm in her eyes and she don’t know what she wants/She’s askin’ questions and getting’ no response.”

Keep listening to this album and you could end up with a storm in your ears.

Boris McCutcheon’s CD release party for I’m Here. Let Me In. is 8 p.m. Friday, July 14, at Meow Wolf, 1352 Rufina St. Tickets are $12 at the door ($10 in advance from The opening act is none other than Tony Gilkyson, a former local yokel who went on to play in such groups as X, Lone Justice, and Chuck E. Weiss’ God Damn Liars.

Also recommended:

* Countryachi by John Wagner. Wagner is not only known as a country singer and songwriter, but he has also owned and operated an Albuquerque recording studio for many years. As the title implies, the songs on this album are country songs, sung by Wagner, with added mariachi horns and strings. A couple of groups — Mariachi Tenampa (an Albuquerque group that has recorded at least one album of their own at Wagner’s studio) and Mariachi Los Vaqueros — lend their talents to the project.

The idea isn’t completely new. After all, back in the early ’60s, one of Johnny Cash’s biggest hits, “Ring of Fire,” featured mariachi horns. Basically, the horns and strings, when added tastefully, provide a tangy embellishment on a good three-chord song.

The songs on this album include two early classics by Belen-based country singer Mose McCormack, a long-time Wagner crony. If New Mexico had a songwriter hall of fame, McCormack’s “Beans and Make Believe” (the title song of Moses’ 1976 debut album) and “New Mexico Blues” would both deserve a prominent place there. Wagner also includes a couple of mariachi’d-up songs by the late great Lewie Wickham, who was half of an Albuquerque duet with his recently deceased brother Hank Wickham (“Border Town Blues” and “Yesterday Took Wings”), along with several originals, including “He’s Sorry” (which contains a Kristofferson-worthy first line: “He said he was sorry this morning for his sorry excuses last night”) and my favorite, “It’s Not Right,” a sad (like-to-be) cheatin’ song.

* When I’m an Angel by Lauria. It was 20 years ago when long, tall Laurianne Fiorentino, then fairly new to Santa Fe, released her first album, The Match, a set of 15 songs recorded live at the Santuario de Guadalupe. Two decades and several albums later, Fiorentino — now recording under the name of Lauria — still possesses her rich, sultry alto and songwriting chops, as this new record shows.

Lauria is at her best on bluesy, jazzy songs like the opening track, “Homeland,” which features a cool mandolin by Tristan Scroggins as well as Asher Barreras on bass; “Please Don’t,” with trumpet by JQ Whitcomb; and “Simple as the Sun,” a song that originally appeared on The Match. The melody is similar to a song I used to sing back in my Methodist Youth Fellowship days: “They’ll Know We Are Christians by Our Love.”

Also worthy is “All Night Rain,” an aching seven-minute country song that doesn’t actually have a steel guitar in it, though it’s easy to imagine one. And defying genre pigeonholing is the song “Drop,” a spoken-word piece in which Lauria, reciting lines like “I’m a melted drop of matter, a tear that never fell/When darkness comes to get me, you can find me in the well,” is backed only by drummer Joel Fadness, some uncredited voice, and her own harmonica honking.

* Songs for Donald by Jim Terr. Failing parodist songwriter from Las Vegas, N.M. attacks the president of the United States of America — who won the election in a landslide — with unfunny, unfair, unpatriotic songs. #sad

I’m trying to help you here, Jim. If you could get Trump to attack you on Twitter, that would boost your GoFundMe project for this album ( and sell a jillion copies.

Video Time

Here's Boris McCutcheon doing "Poor Tired Hands."

John Wagner plays "New Mexico Blues" with Mariachi Tenampa and special guest appearance by Mose McCormack

Here's a longtime favorite from Lauria

And here's a new one from Jim Terr

Thursday, July 13, 2017


You're going to run to the rock, the rock was a meltin'
Run to the sea, the sea was a boilin'
Run to the moon, the moon was a bleedin'
Run to the Lord, Lord won't you hide me?

It's one of the most frightening spirituals ever sung on American soil: "Sinner Man."

It's about a sinner trying to escape from the hands of an angry God. "Oh, sinner man, where you gonna run to /
All on that day?" But everywhere he goes, everything is -- literally, I guess -- going to Hell.

I suppose the song is ancient. Certainly the terrifying theology behind it is.

The earliest version I can find is a song included in a 1911 collection of songs, The Most Popular Plantation Songs, compiled by Gilbert Clifford Noble (co-founder of Barnes & Noble. The lyrics are somewhat different, but the same idea is there:

Oh! sinner, Oh! sinner man...
Oh! sinner, Oh! which way are you going?

Oh! come back, sinner, and don't go there,
Which way are you going?
For hell is deep and dark despair,
Oh! which way are you going?

The theme of a sinner running from the wrath of God has appeared in many songs. In 1954, a gospel group called he Sensational Nightingales recorded a tune called "On the Judgement Day," which basically is "Sinner Man." (In fact, whoever uploaded this to YouTube calls it that.)

(This embed looks as if it's a video that's been removed, but it's not. Go ahead and click.)

A couple of years later, swing man Les Baxter recorded his take on "Sinner Man" (with vocals by Will Holt.)

Another gospel group, The Swan Silvertones, did a version that sounds a lot like a tune called "Run, Sinner Run," recorded by Josh White and The Golden Gate Quartet in 1940.

The Weavers introduced "Sinner Man" to the folk music world.

Down in Jamaica in 1966 The Wailers recorded a proto-reggae version of "Sinner Man." A decade later, Wailer Peter Tosh turned the song into "Downpresser Man."

But it was Nina Simone who, in the early '60s, brought new fire into "Sinner Man" in a 10-minute, piano-driven version.

Here are a couple of 21st Century "Sinner Man" takes. In 2002, tThe Colorado goth-country 16 Horsepower put their own peculiar stamp on the song.

And Black Diamond Heavies recorded a powerful version in 2008.

But my favorite "Sinner Man" is the two-part romp recorded by R&B mutant Esquerita in the mid '60s but not released until 2012. It's definitely based on the Nina Simone version, though it's even wilder. Here's Part Two. Hang on and run to the rock!

Here's July's Big Enchilada Podcast!

Leapin' lizards, it's a new Big Enchilada episode! Featuring some of the world's greatest lizard bands including The...