Friday, July 31, 2015

Dave & Phil Alvin meet Mister Kicks


There is no Terrell's Tune-Up this week. But as a consolation prize, please enjoy this new video (actually it's only audio) by Dave & Phil Alvin from their upcoming album, Lost Time, scheduled for a mid September release.

The song is "Mister Kicks," which is one of my favorite old Oscar Brown, Jr. tunes.

And here's Oscar Brown, Jr. doing another one of best songs.


Thursday, July 30, 2015


Not the actual award

I want to thank the good folks who voted in the Santa Fe Reporter Best of Santa Fe Poll for choosing this humble blog as one of the best "Arts, Music or Food" blogs in the city. The Stephen W. Terrell [Music] Web Log was tied with Victor Romero's The Santa Fe V.I.P. for first place.

Arts, music or food. I'm guessing it was those tasty Rice-a-Roni recipes I posted here a few months ago that did the trick.

The Reporter said:

We all probably know the Terrell win is no surprise—he’s a downright local institution and the kind of writer we all aspire to be and is prolific, to say the least. Kudos as well to Victor Romero and his site that basically makes it easier to go out at night. Y’all are both VIPs in the eyes of this town.

All I can say is thanks.


THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday Charlie Christian!

Charlie Christian at work

Yesterday, July 29, would have been jazz guitar pioneer Charlie Christian's 99th birthday.

That's a good excuse to re-run an old column I did about Christian, a fellow native Oklahoman.

Read on ...

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
October 26, 2002

This isn’t a record review. It’s a tirade, so get ready.

While listening to the wonderful music in Charlie Christian: The Genius of the Electric Guitar, a four-disc box set and reading the booklet, I got seriously angry.

Charlie Christian was the first great electric guitarist. Ever. He played with Benny Goodman circa 1939 to 1942, the year Christian died of tuberculosis. Virtually all the tracks in the box are by Goodman’s band, which, at least in Christian’s early days, included Lionel Hampton on vibes and Lester Young on sax.

In reading the booklet, I learned Charlie Christian was from Oklahoma City, my hometown. An essay by Les Paul even tells how Charlie sat in with Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in OKC.

What angers me is the fact that I didn’t know that until now. I hadn’t even heard of Christian until my early 20s, probably the first time I read an interview with B.B. King, who worshiped him.

It is inexcusable that no teacher in all those years I went to school in Oklahoma (up to the ninth grade) ever mentioned that one of the true innovators of jazz was from Douglas High School, just across town. No teacher ever mentioned that it was possible for even a poor black kid from OKC to go to the top of his profession, as Charlie Christian did.

Maybe it’s because my worthless history teacher was too busy preaching the virtues of George Wallace and bemoaning the fact that Vietnam War protesters weren’t being tried for treason.

Maybe it’s because Charlie Christian was black. Segregation was dying hard in Oklahoma in the 1960s.

Or maybe it was nothing sinister. It’s probably just that the teachers were too unhip, too thick and culturally crippled even to know that a local kid had grown up to play in Benny Goodman’s band. Still ...

We were never taught about Woody Guthrie in Oklahoma either, which also is a stupid shame, but given the twisted anti-commie paranoia of the day, I can understand that omission far more than I can understand ignoring Charlie Christian.

So Charlie Christian: The Genius of the Electric Guitar isn’t just great music. To me, it’s small reparation for something I was cheated out of as a youngster.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


No question about it, religion has given the world some beautiful music, from Gregorian chants to the Hallelujah Choral to Sister Rosetta Tharpe.

It's also given us stuff like you'll hear in the videos below.

These are musical expressions by members of various "alternative" faiths some call "cults."

Warning: If you listen to them all, you might have to be deprogrammed.

Let's have a listen, starting with Jeremy Spencer, who was an original member of Fleetwood Mac (back in the pre-Buckingham/Nicks days when they were a British blues band.)

One day in February 1971 while Fleetwood Mac was in Los Angeles for a gig at the Whiskey a Go Go, Spencer slipped away. He met up with members of a group called The Children of God and rather suddenly decided he wanted to join the group. So he did. He never went back to Fleetwood Mac.

The Children of God seemed to be everywhere in the early '70s. I was frequently accosted by them in my early years at the University of New Mexico. The group was known for a controversial recruiting technique called "Flirty Fishing," which basically involved young female members using sex to entice new male members into joining. That never happened to me. All I got were hairy, stinky guys who wanted to rant about their crazy apocalyptic visions of the nuclear bombs stored deep in the Manzano Mountains.

Anyway, here's Jeremy Spencer singing one of his religious songs. I'm not sure how old it is. These days Spencer has white hair and less of it.

One day in the late 70s or early '80s when I was working at Stag Tobacoonists, this hairy, barefoot guy wearing a white robe came in the store and bought a bunch of Royal Jamaica cigars. Jesus, he told us, likes Royal Jamaicas. All us Stag employees were big fans of RJs, so we just agreed with him.

Lightning Amen
He told us he was a member of a church called The Christ Family.

During the next few years I would see several members of the Christ Family -- you could recognize them by their white robes and bare feet -- on the streets of Santa Fe. When I started writing a weekly features column for the Santa Fe Reporter in the early '80s, I decided to interview members of the group.

I found a half dozen or so members in a bus near the Santa Fe River off Guadalupe Street. They welcomed me aboard, but as the interview wore on, it was obvious they weren't welcoming my questions.

They told me that they lived celibate, vegetarian lives because Christ Family was against "killing, sex and materialism." They told me their messiah was someone named Lightning Amen (who I later learned was fond of good cigars. I assume those included Royal Jamaicas.)

At one point the man who was doing nearly all the talking became so angry with my questions, he was turning read in the face. I asked him why he was so upset. His answer:


He didn't laugh when I joked, "That's what she said last night."

Lightning Amen -- real name Charles McHugh -- died about five years ago. In 1987 he was sentenced to five years in prison for drug charges, including the transportation and possession for sale of methamphetamines.

But at least some of the Christ Family is still together in Helmut, Calif. Here is one of their songs.

Next is Scientology's answer to "We Are the World." You might have heard this on the HBO documentary, Going Clear.

And then there are the Hare Krishnas. They definitely had a presence in Santa Fe and Albuquerque in the late 60s and early '70s. They had a storefront temple on Water Street when I was at Mid High school here (in the same building that used to house the Adobe Laundromat.) A couple of times I stopped in to yack with them at the temple. Unlike the Christ Family, they never yelled at me when I asked questions. No heavy proselytizing either, though they always invited me to their Sunday feasts. (I never went.)

This song comes from the album The Radha Krsna Temple, which was produced by none other than George Harrison, And unlike the other songs posted here, it doesn't suck..

This next Krishna chant goes on for nearly seven hours. Give it a listen if you have the time.

Know any more "cult classics" from other "alternative" religions? Post links in the comments section.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Terrell's Sound World Facebook Banner

Sunday, July 26, 2015
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
Lupine Ossuary by Thee Oh Sees
Lemonade Man by The Electric Mess
Little Girl by Hollywood Sinners
Bad Girl by Detroit Cobras
Summer Boyfriend by The Manxx
Brain Dead by Sons of Hercules
It's Great by Wau y Los Arrrggghs!!!
Police on My Back by The Clash
Hot Rod Worm by The Slow Poisoner

Leaving Here by The Sonics
Willow by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Shake Me by Motobunny
Soul Shoes by Graham Parker & The Rumour
Playing with Jack by The Plimsouls
The Crawler by Ty Segall
The Trip of Kambo by O Lendario Chucrobillman
Elephant Stomp by Left Lane Cruiser
Garbage Dump by G.G. Allin

Dum Maro Dum by Asha Bhonsle
Naane Maharaja (I Am the Emperor) by Vijaya Anand
Fists of Curry by Anandji V. Shah & Kalyan V. Shah
Nothing is Impossible by  Lata Mangeshkar, Mohd. Rafi, Sushma Shreshtha

Do You Swing by The Fleshtones
Mysterious Mystery by Persian Claws
Hot Sour Salty Sweet by The Dirtbombs
Don't Stop to Dance by Rev. Beat-Man
Let's Make the Water Turn Black by The Mothers of Invention

What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone
Federales by Joe "King" Carrasco
Nightclub by Andre Williams & The Goldstars
Junkyard in the Sun by Butch Hancock
Ring of Fire by Social Distortion
Lucky Day by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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The New Big Enchilada is Up and Waiting for You


Welcome to the latest summertime episode of the Big Enchilada Podcast. We're going to have a rocking time with selections from  Barrence Whitfield, The Sonics, Thee Oh Sees, T-Model Ford, G.G. Allin, The Angry Samoans, The Grannies, Frontier Circus, Crankshaft & The Geargrinders, The Routes, Butch Hancock (with the song that inspired the name of this episode) and many more. As Butch says, "For every graveyard in the moonlight, there's a junkyard in the sun!"


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Junk Village by Alvin Red Tyler & The Gyros)
Scrap Collectin' Man by Crankshaft & The Geargrinders
C'mom, C'mon by The New Rocket Union
Lupine Ossuary by Thee Oh Sees
Roaches by Jack Larson
I'm a Good Man by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Look at Little Sister by The Sonics

(Background Music: Garbage Man (Call of the Freaks) by Harlem Hamfats
Junk by T-Model Ford
Wade in Bloody Water by The Grannies
Garbage Dump by G.G. Allin
Dying Under a Woman's Sword by Yol Aularong & Va Sovy
Knives by The Slow Poisoner
It's My Time by The Routes
Jukebox by The Giant Robots

(Background Music: Garbage City by The Street Cleaners)
Garbage Pit by The Angry Samoans
My 69 Blues by The Frontier Circus
Don't Shine Me On by Frankie & The Dell Stars
Shotgun Boo-ga-loo by The Slow Slushy Boys
Hard Working Man by Jonah Gold & His Silver Apples
Junkyard in the Sun by Butch Hancock

Play it here:

Friday, July 24, 2015


Santa Fe Opry Facebook Banner

Friday, July 24, 2015
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

Hot Dang by Dale Watson

Gone to Texas by Terry Allen

Guitar Man by Junior Brown

TJ by The Hickoids

Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets DM Bob & The Deficits

Rehab Girl by Joe West & The Sinners

Que Wow by Joe "King" Carrasco y Los Crowns


Swinging Doors by Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard

Wives and Girlfriends by Willie Nelson

Slow Death by Webb Wilder

Artifical Flowers by Cornell Hurd

Prairie Road by Reverse Cowgirls

Wild Wild Women by Lynn Anderson

Can't Get Away by Banditos

Lovin' on Back Streets by Mel Street


Knot Hole by Robbie Fulks

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

Hard Travelin' by Tim Timebomb

King of Fools by Louie Setzer

Dollar Dress by The Waco Brothers

Hallelujah Band by Eilene Jewell

Babe Be Mine by Butch Hancock

Where You Going by Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Soba Song by 3 Mustaphas 3


Everybody Loves Me by Charlie Musselwhite

Mr. Musselwhite's Blues by Ray Wylie Hubbard

Miracles by Don Williams

Yesterday Just Passed My Way Again by Lefty Frizzell

Whistle for Louise by Stan Ridgway

Louise by Tom Waits & Ramblin' Jack Elliott

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


Free Joe "King" Carrasco Concert at Railyard!

And I'm not Joe-king ...

It'll be a party party weekend Saturday night at the Santa Fe Railyard Plaza with Nuevo Wavo strongman  Joe "King" Carrasco.

In case you don't know much about Carrasco, a wise old rock 'n' roll writer once said:

Carrasco and the band seemed to come out of nowhere right about the time New Wave was starting to fade. Elvis Costello had repopularized the Farfisa/Vox organ sound a few years before (on his album This Year’s Model), but Carrasco, keyboardist Chris Cummings, and the others took it further, creating spirited music that sounded like a joyful blend of The B-52s and Question Mark & The Mysterians.

Carrasco was just a gringo loco (born Joseph Teutsch in Dumas, Texas), but his love for Tex-Mex music and Chicano rock in general propelled his Nuevo Wavo sound.

Carrasco and The Crowns seemed to be everywhere for a brief moment. They played “Don’t Bug Me Baby” on Saturday Night Live. Later, “Party Weekend” became a staple on MTV. Carrasco was interviewed in Rolling Stone. After a chance meeting at a recording studio, he did a duet with (pre-Thriller) Michael Jackson.

And for a few years it seemed he was at Club West in Santa Fe at least every few months. He was the one of the first national acts, if not the very first, to play there, treating local folks to his crazed, high-energy, hopped-up, crowd-surfing, wall-crawling antics in a stage show that was part James Brown, part Sam the Sham, and part Spider-Man.

Truth is, Carrasco and The Crowns became more of a regional phenomenon. Here in the Southwest, we still loved them long after the trendies and the mainstream forgot about them. 

IU've seen Carrasco the last couple of times he played Plaza Bandstand. And while he's gotten a little too old for some his his '80s acrobatics, he still gives a powerful performance.

He'll be playing with a band called Los Side FX. I haven't heard them, but if they're with Joe, they're bound to be good.

Santa Fe's own Alex Maryol opens the show. According to the AMP Concerts website, the doors open at 6 pm (which is weird, because there are no doors at Railyard Plaza) and the show starts at 7.

I'll be there. Will you?

Here's a video from his 2012 Bandstand show

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Thee Oh Sees Defeat Mutilaltor, Conquer the World

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
July 24, 2015

In Dec. 2013, John Dwyer — the lead singer, guitarist, songwriter, and resident visionary of Thee Oh Sees — said the band was taking a break from the music biz. Some fans, including me, thought perhaps Dwyer was ending the group while it was at its peak.

But since then, the group has released two albums: last year’s Drop and now Mutilator Defeated at Last — a rockin’ masterpiece that will please and delight old fans and is bound to win new ones.

During the band’s brief timeout, Dwyer moved to Los Angeles and got a new bunch of Oh Sees to take the place of the bandmates he’d worked with for the past few years. Mutilator is the first to feature Dwyer’s current touring version of the group — with Tim Hellman on bass and drummer Nick Murray. The sound is unmistakably Oh Sees: rubbery post-psychedelic guitar-based excursions into the unknown with distorted echoes of garage rock, punk, and noise-rock.

While Drop is a decent album, it is marred by too many mellow and airy-fairy tracks. In reviewing it last year, I accused Dwyer of trying to channel the Electric Light Orchestra on some songs.

Fortunately, Mutilator is much closer in sound to my favorite Oh Sees album, 2013’s Floating Coffin. Though the new album isn’t without its quieter moments, for the most part it’s way more frantic and raw than Drop. Opening with a bouncy tune called “Web,” which gets denser and louder as the song progresses, Dwyer and his new gang make it obvious that this time around, they are here to rock.

The most ferocious song here is the crazed “Lupine Ossuary,” which features downright nasty guitars and relentless drums, over which Dwyer’s trademark falsetto vocals drift in and out. As much as I love it, it’s so intense that it’s probably a good thing it’s only a little longer than four minutes. This is the second song by Thee Oh Sees to have the word “Lupine” in the title. Back in 2012, one of the high-water marks on their album Putrifiers II was a fierce little tune called “Lupine Dominus.” (What can I say? This is music you’ll want to wolf down.)

Dwyer with Thee Oh Sees in Albuquerque, 2013
Another favorite on Mutilator is a crunching stomp called “Turned Out Light,” which starts off with a guitar hook right out of some Southern rock boogie. No, nobody’s going to mistake Thee Oh Sees for the Allman Brothers or Wet Willie, but it’s a refreshing touch.

“Withered Hand” deceptively starts off slow, with eerie effects that sound as if you’re standing at the mouth of some wind cavern for the first 40 seconds or so. But that changes quickly, and the next three minutes turn into a screaming demolition derby of a song.

And the hopped up “Poor Queen” sounds like it could be the national anthem of some insect nation.

Yes, I did say there are some quieter moments on Mutilator Defeated at Last. “Holy Smoke,” featuring an acoustic guitar and a mellotron, and the keyboard-heavy “Sticky Hulks” both remind me of mellow Dinosaur Jr. tunes such as “Thumb.”

And speaking of bands of that era, Jane’s Addiction could easily cover “Palace Doctor,” which closes the album. All three of these start off nice and mellow, but none of them stay that way for the whole song.

It’s good to know that Thee Oh Sees haven’t drifted away as so many feared might happen back in late 2013. They truly are one of the finest rock ’n’ roll bands walking the Earth — and maybe other planets — today. If you’re not familiar with them, wise up. They’re just a few clicks away on the internet music service of your choice. And if you’re wondering which album to start with, Mutilator Defeated at Last is as good a place as any.

Good news for New Mexico Oh Sees devotees. The group is scheduled to play at the Launchpad in Albuquerque on Thursday, Sept. 24. Tickets are only $12. Check them out before they go on hiatus again! 

Also recommended:

* Motobunny by Motobunny. This is one of the more fun-filled CDs to cross my desk in recent weeks. Motobunny is a hard-rocking foursome fronted by two women: Christa Collins and Nicole Laurrene.

In their music I hear Joan Jett, a little Sleater-Kinney, some Donnas, and in some songs (here’s the surprise) the B-52s. In fact, Collins and Laurrene sound so much like Kate and Cindy on “Spider & Fly” and “You’re Killing Me” that you easily can imagine either song being played in a medley with “Rock Lobster.” Like the 52s ladies, Collins and Laurrene tend to sing in unison rather than harmony.

“Spider” is my favorite on this debut album, but there are other good ones. “Apocalypse Twist” lives up to its name. “You’re Killing Me” is a raging stomp.

The group has its own “Hey, hey we’re The Monkees”-like theme song in “Motobunny,” which features a souped-up Peter Gunn guitar riff. And the final song, “I Warned You,” is downright pretty. The melody sounds like some long-lost Shangri-Las B-side that should have been an A-side.

My one complaint about this album is that it’s a little too slick-sounding — which is surprising, considering Detroit’s Jim Diamond recorded and mastered it. Next time out, I hope Motobunny keeps it a little rougher and rawer.

Video time:

Here's a live version of "Web."

Hey hey, we're Motobunny!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Miracle of "Miracles"

Look what they've done to my song, Ma ...

Last week I was catching up on Portlandia, when a haunting song played at the end of a skit caught my ear.

As fate would have it, I easily found that very skit on YouTube.  Watch the whole thing. It's worth it.

The song is called "Going Home," and it's sung by Rosalie Folger-Vent, who I'd never heard of before.

But I'd heard that melody. And even though it's well known in high cultural circles, the first place I'd ever heard it was on country radio in 198. It was performed by one of my favorite country artists of that era, Don Williams. But the song he sang was called "Miracles."

The lyrics aren't deep, but they're sweet. I don't have the original record, but all the online sources credit the song to Roger Cook. And he's a story in himself.

He's a British songwriter who wrote or co-wrote other Don Williams hots including "I Believe in You" and "Love is on a Roll," (co-written by none other than John Prine.)

Cook had a hand in writing radio hits include The Fortunes' "You've Got Your Troubles," "Long cool Woman in a Black Dress" by The Hollies and "Talking in Your Sleep" by Crystal Gayle. But his best known song probably is "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing (In Perfect Harmony)," which became famous as an ad jingle for Coca Cola. (And you thought Don Draper wrote that, admit it!)

Though Roger Cook may have written the lyrics to "Miracles," he certainly didn't write the melody.

Credit for that goes to a Czechoslovakian composer, Antonín Dvořák (1841-1904). It comes from Dvořák's  "Largo" theme from his Symphony No. 9 (From the New World), Op. 95. According to American Music, "His symphony was composed while he was in America and was first performed by the New York Philharmonic at Carnegie Hall on December 16, 1893."

According to that website, "It has been said that Dvořák's themes in his symphony were inspired by American folk melodies, especially Afro-American or American Indian. But his themes are just as similar to Bohemian folk music."

One of Dvořák's students, William Arms Fisher (1861-1948), created a song out of the Largo theme and added his own lyrics. He called it "Going Home."

Said Fisher in 1922: The Largo, with its haunting English horn solo, is the outpouring of Dvorak's own home-longing, with something of the loneliness of far-off prairie horizons, the faint memory of the red-man's bygone days, and a sense of the tragedy of the black-man as it sings in his "spirituals." Deeper still it is a moving expression of that nostalgia of the soul all human beings feel. That the lyric opening theme of the Largo should spontaneously suggest the words 'Goin' home, goin' home' is natural enough, and that the lines that follow the melody should take the form of a negro spiritual accords with the genesis of the symphony.

"Going Home" has been performed by boys' choirs, bagpipers and Old Man River himself, the great Paul Robeson. Here is a version of Robeson singing it in 1958.

And here is the Dvořák piece from which it came. This is the Vienna Philharmonic conducted by Herbert von Karajan.

All quite lovely. But I'm still a fan of Don Williams' "Miracles."

It's hard to get the best of a man named Don