Saturday, March 31, 2007

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 30, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
In the Jailhouse Now by Steve Earle & The V-Roys
Crazed Country Rebel by Hank Williams III
If Walls Could Talk by The Bottle Rockets
Poor Little Critter on the Road by Trailer Bride
Bullet of Redemption by Graham Parker
Always the Same by The Watzloves
Cottonseed by Drive By Truckers
When I Stop Dreaming by Charlie Louvin with Elvis Costello
Pig Ankle Strut by Cannon's Jug Stompers

Come On by Hundred Year Flood
Time Heals by The Gear Daddies
License to Drive Me Crazy by Jack McMahon
Ain't Got No Sweet Thing by Ponty Bone
Come and Take It by Brent Hoodenpyle & The Loners
Harper Valley PTA by Syd Straw & The Skeletons
I'm Sending Daffydills by Maddox Brothers & Rose

Truth and Darkness by Round Mountain
Lean on Me by Michael Hurley
Long Haired Country Boy by Charlie Daniels
The Running Side of Me by Dean Miller
Husbands and Wives by Roger Miller
Engine Engine Number Nine by Southern Culture on the Skids
I'll Sail My Ship Alone by Johnny Bush
My Blue Eyed Jane by Bob Dylan

I'm Tired of Pretending by Hank Thompson
Pistol Packin' Mama by John Prine & Mac Wiseman
I Walk Alone by John Egenes
Rose Petal Ear by Califone
Candy in the Window by Mary Cutrufello
Girls by Eleni Mandell
The Wilderness by Peter Case
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 30, 2007

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: ROUND MOUNTAIN, ANGEL, ROMANOVSKY

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 30, 2007


Here are some recent CDs by folks from around these parts:
* Truth and Darkness by Round Mountain. The brothers Rothschild show that Round Mountain’s strange and wonderful self-titled first album was no fluke.

The first notable musical project by Char and Robby Rothschild was the band Lizard House, a local favorite back in the early ’90s. In 2004 the brothers regrouped as Round Mountain, playing a whole museum exhibit’s worth of musical instruments from around the world — stringed instruments, horns, percussion.

On the new album the brothers, joined by veteran Santa Fe bassist Jon Gagan, continue mixing all sorts of sounds. You’ll hear traces of reggae, bluegrass, Balkan, and African music and other subtle influences you probably won’t consciously recognize.

Sometimes you don’t even realize that a song is taking off into different realms. “I Won’t Lose Sight of You,” for instance, starts out as a banjo tune, but before you know it, a saz (a Turkish lute) joins in. And there’s some Middle Eastern drumming by Robby. And some kind of flute.

The title song starts off with a sweet bagpipe-like drone (Celtic? Balkan? I dunno) before going into a melody that reminds me of something hippie/hobo Michael Hurley might have written.

As with the first album, songs are mostly somber and meditative, a mood that Round Mountain does well. Sometimes I wish the band would cut loose with a good, crazy stomper. (They come close with the reggae-fried “Candle in the Willow Tree.”)

The CD-release parties for Truth and Darkness are 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 30, and 4:30 p.m. Saturday, March 31, at the Armory for the Arts, 1950 Old Pecos Trail. Tickets are $10. For more information, call 984-1370.

* Amor, Dolor y Pasión by Angel Espinoza. This is how I like Angel best — nice and traditional. The music brings back memories of listening to Spanish-language radio as a kid, not understanding most of the words (my Spanish is still pretty bad) but being completely taken in by the seductive rhythms and the exotic, yet familiar, sounds.

This album — recorded in Mexico and San Antonio — has a real old-fashioned feel. Angel is backed here by instruments that include a prominent accordion (Rudy Cortez and Alex De Leon share the honors here), bajo sexto (a 12-string guitar), and horns and strings on some songs like “Pues a Poco No” and “Si Quieres.”

Angel’s voice is the centerpiece, as well it should be. (She won female vocalist of the year at the New Mexico Hispano Music Awards in January.)

Checking out Angel’s Web site, I see she has recorded a song for Gov. Bill Richardson. It’s more country western than norteño (there’s a steel guitar, and it’s in English). While not quite as cool as the one she did for Río Arriba political boss Emilio Naranjo a few years ago, it’s worth hearing. Find it

* It’s a Boy! A Circus Opera composed by Ron Romanovsky & Betty Katz Sperlich and Pittsburgh to Paris by Ron Romanovsky.

OK, I’ve always been a sucker for circus operas. True, that tag sounds a little crazy, but it’s a pretty apt description of the performance piece It’s a Boy! It was recorded live at Santa Fe Playhouse in 2005.

It’s operatic in that there are dramatic roles sung by various local musicians (Busy McCarroll, Peter Williams, Greg Harris, Nacha Mendez, and Charles Tichenor). And the music — provided by Romanovsky on accordion and guitar, Elena Sopoci on violin and viola, and Williams on electric guitar and string bass — sounds like a stripped-down circus band.

The subject matter is bound to make male listeners squirm. It’s basically a propaganda piece against circumcision. It’s handled with humor, however, with songs like “Cleaner Wiener” and “Locker Room Blues.”

And the music is a real treat. Romanovsky and Sopoci bring elements of French sidewalk café and Gypsy music into their circus sound, while Williams sounds like a monster when he comes in with his electric guitar.

Romanovsky is one of this town’s most interesting musicians. He’s got a Russian name, but he plays French music in New Mexico.

My favorite songs on the solo record are the French/Gypsy-flavored ones. (The instrumental “Birth Theme” from It’s a Boy! is on this CD, too.) Though there’s nothing wrong with Romanovsky’s voice, the best songs here are instrumentals — “Fellini’s Caravan” (which also is on his Je m’appelle Dadou album) and “Gypsy Hop.”

But I do appreciate Romanovsky’s humor. “Burro Alley Tango” is about finding a little piece of Paris in downtown Santa Fe, namely Café Paris, where Romanovsky entertained regularly for six years (“You will not find one single burro/ But you’ll find music and romance”).

In “The Gay in Paree” Romanovsky sings about feeling “butch” every time he goes to France even though he was taunted as a “sissy” as a lad (“I’m confused/I don’t know what to cruise”). He even pays tribute to KBAC-FM 98.1 radio personality Honey Harris with “Honey in the Morning.”

You can find these albums on CD Baby at HERE and HERE.

Ron Romanovsky is having a CD release party 8 pm Saturday at The Silver Starlight Lounge, Rainbow Vision at 500 Rodeo Road. Tickets are $10 at the door. For more information call 428-7781

Flash Flood: This is shaping up to be a great weekend for local bands. In addition to the Round Mountain and Romanovsky shows, Hundred Year Flood — a band we have to share with Austin, Texas — is returning to Santa Fe Friday, March 30, for a gig at Santa Fe Brewing Company. Goshen opens the show, which starts at 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 at the door.HUNDRED YEAR FLOOD 7-1-06

If you can’t make that, Hundred Year Flood also is appearing at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 31.

According to John Treadwell of Frogville Records, the Flood is going back to Texas until June after these gigs. Treadwell said he’s thinking of holding the annual Frogfest in June this year instead of August. Last year’s fest at the Brewing Company was a fantastic exposition of (mainly) local musicians, though it was criminally underattended. A lot of people whine that there’s no local music scene. If half of them had showed up, the joint would have been packed.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: LETTER TO A PASSIONATE SUPPORTER

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 29, 2007


The Richardson campaign last week sent one of its fundraising letters to The New Mexican’s post office box.

It was addressed to “Ms. Santa Fe New.”

And, in a nice personal touch, the letter, from campaign manager Dave Contarino, started off, “Dear Ms. New, I just got off the phone with Governor Richardson and he asked me to write you immediately.”

Apparently the guv. and “Ms. New” are old friends.

Deep down in the second page of the three-page missive, Contarino outlines Richardson’s goals for the next three months.

And in the letter is something that the campaign refused to tell me earlier in the week — how much money Richardson’s raised so far.

The letter says Richardson’s goal is to raise an additional $2.7 million from “the governor’s most passionate supporters” to meet a goal of $5.92 million by June 30. That would seem to indicate the campaign had raised about $3.22 million as of March 22.

It’s not clear why they’re shooting for $5.92 million by the end of June instead of an even $6 million. Maybe they’re hoping for $80,000 from less passionate supporters.

Richardson’s other goals include showing “the American people what the governor has done in New Mexico” and presenting a “detailed outline of his plan to get American troops out of Iraq and establish a permanent Mid Eastern envoy.”

Another goal is to “blitz the early primary states to get his message of economic growth at home and diplomacy abroad to the voters. Once we’ve spread the word, we’ll begin to gain on the so-called ‘front-runners.’ ”

In an underlined paragraph, Contarino says, “If we can meet these goals by June 30, we will have the Democratic Party nomination for President of the United States in our sights by the end of this year.”

I hope they’re not counting on a contribution from Ms. New.

Nuclear and other threats: I thought Gov. Bill Richardson’s appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart would be the most humorous thing coming out of the Richardson campaign on Wednesday, but somehow an irreverent Washington, D.C., blog found some comedy in a speech Richardson made to Nitze School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University.

In a post with the headline, “Bill Richardson Threatens ‘Nuclear 9/11’ & Al Gore’s Life, Wonkette: The D.C. Gossip noted “You’re not a serious candidate until you start crazy fear-mongering so voters know you’re Tough On Terrorism,That’s why a somewhat likable like Bill Richardson had to ramp up his campaign today by threatening Americans with a ‘nuclear 9/11.’ ”
Before the word “voters” was a scratched-out word: “idiots.”

“Richardson, who couldn’t even keep track of laptops when he was Energy Secretary, says as president he will secure the world’s nuclear weapons to stop the constant accidental terrorism nuke attacks that are such a regular feature of our lives today.”

Wonkette missed an opportunity to poke fun at Richardson’s call in the speech for “a new Manhattan project to stop the bomb.” He’s already called for an “Apollo project” for clean energy. Can a president have a Manhattan project and an Apollo project at the same time?

As for the second part of Wonkette’s headline, the blog quoted an Associated Press story in which Richardson credited Gore with raising awareness of global warming — a quote described tongue-in-cheek as a “chilling message.”

“ ‘I like Al Gore, he looks very healthy and prosperous,’ Richardson said with a laugh. ‘He should stay where he is.’ ”

Bolo the belt: O.K., Wonkette, you can mock our governor. But not our recently designated official state tie. Last week, in a post about the governor’s weight loss, Wonkette wrote, “Richardson has reportedly lost 30 pounds, but he continues to burden his horse with the extra weight of a jackass ‘bolo tie’ that all western U.S. politicians are compelled to wear.”

Thanking Karl: Newsweek’s Michael Isakoff, in an article on that magazine’s Web site Tuesday, offers the latest twist in the ongoing U.S. attorney saga.

According to the story, Steve Bell, chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici, R-N.M., sent a “cryptic thank-you note” to White House political director Karl Rove in January at the same time Domenici was recommending replacements for fired New Mexico U.S. Attorney David Iglesias.

“Thanks for everything,” Bell said in a Jan. 8 e-mail to Rove and two other White House officials. Isakoff said the same e-mail included the name of a candidate to replace Iglesias.

Isakoff admits it’s not clear what Bell was thanking Rove for. “But the thank-you note is the first indication that Rove himself may have been involved in replacing Iglesias,” he wrote.

Domenici spokesman Chris Gallegos told Newsweek, “We’re not going to have anything to say about that e-mail,” and Bell “did not want to discuss a private communication.” A White House spokesman, according to Isakoff, said the e-mail was “interpreted” by the officials who’d received it as “a thank you for considering the names of Domenici's candidates for replacing Iglesias — not for their help in removing Iglesias.”

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GAYNEL!


Gaynel Hodge, a founding father of L.A. doo-wop and a co-author of "Earth Angel" has his own Web site. CLICK HERE.

I had the pleasure of meeting Gaynel about 13 years ago when I went to Phoenix to cover Lollapolooza. That encounter is described in the piece titled "Of Earth Angel, Lollapalooza and the Ghost of Kurt Cobain," which I wrote for The New Mexican. It turned out to be less of a concert review and more of a meditation on artistry and fame. You can find a reprint of that HERE.

I wonder if Gaynel ever crosses paths with Jerry Lawson, founder of the Persuasions, who also lives in Phoenix

Monday, March 26, 2007

ANOTHER REASON TO HATE THE MUSIC BIZ

My friend DJ Spinifex (I call him "Dave") from KSFR's The Twisted Groove sent me this link to a story of one music fan's frustrations with buying music downloads with weird "protections."

Long story short, the poor boob spent 10 bucks on a bunch of songs that are purposely set up not to be allowed to be played on an iPod.

Here's part of a conversation by the author with a record company "customer service" agent:

"Well" she responded, "You didn't actually purchase the files, you really purchased a license to listen to the music, and the license is very specific about how they can be played or listened to."

That's how these people think!

Read the story HERE

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 25, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

SUPPORT THE KSFR FUNDRAISER
PLEDGE @ http://www.ksfr.org
or call 428-1393 or (toll free) 866-907-KSFR


OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
It's Money That I Love by Randy Newman
Money Won't Change You by James Brown
I'm Busted by Ray Charles & The Count Basie Orchestra
Pay the Alligator by The Flatlanders
Money (That's What I Want) by Jerry Lee Lewis
Leave My Money Alone by The Blasters
Money Honey by Elvis Presley

Brother, Can You Spare a Dime by Dr. John & Odetta
10 Dollars More by The Fleshtones
Money is King by Growling Tiger
I Love Nickles and Dimes by Robbie Fulks
Do Re Mi by James Talley
Greenback Dollar by Hoyt Axton
It's Money That Matters by Randy Newman

Cry About the Radio by Mary Weiss
Give Her a Great Big Kiss by The New York Dolls
Ju Ju Hand by Handsome Dick Manitoba
Red Hot by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
I Couldn't Spell !!*@! by Roy Loney & The Young Fresh Fellows
I'm a Man by The Baker Street Irregulars
Little Sally Tease by The Standells
Green Fuz by Green Fuz
Generation by Jelly Bean Bandits
I'm Cramped by The Cramps
We Tried, Try It by The Morfomen

My Delight by The Detroit Cobras
Red Rolling Papers by Spanking Charlene
Stop Using Me by Howlin' Wolf
I Need It by Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Jesus Rolled Over by Hundred Year Flood
Ride a White Swan by T-Rex

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, March 24, 2007

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 23, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Nothing at All by The Waco Brothers
Gamblin' Man by Mike Ness
Lonesome, On'ry and Mean by Waylon Jennings
Panties in Your Purse by Drive-By Truckers
Our Kitten Sees Ghosts by Califone
Stadium Blitzer by The Gourds
Endless War by Son Volt
Catch Me a Possum by The Watzloves
Please Impeach Me by Jim Terr

Cussin' in Tongues by The Legendary Shack Shakers
False Hearted Girl by 1/4 Mile Combo
Tobacco Road by Southern Culture on the Skids
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Rosie Flores
Rich Man's War by Hundred Year Flood
Death of Floyd Collins by John Prine & Mac Wiseman
Tom Dooley by Steve Earle
The Sweetheart of Sigma Chi by Martin, Bogan & Armstrong

Candle in the Willow Tree by Round Mountain
Llegaste Tu by Angel Espinoza
Adios Mexico by The Texas Tornados
Rosalie by Alejandro Escovedo
What of Alicia by Terry Allen
Diggin' Billy by Jim Jones with Ranger Rick
I Love the Women by Maddox Brothers & Rose

Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On by Johnny Bush and Willie Nelson
Forever (and Always) by Lefty Frizzell
There's No Fool Like a Young Fool by Ray Price
Grave on the Green Hillside by Charlie Louvin with Tift Merritt & Joy Lynn White
The Girl in the Blue Velvet Band by Bill Monroe
Blue Wing by Tom Russell and Dave Alvin
Last Drop by Chris Mars
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 23, 2007

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: SUING WOLFGANG

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 23, 2007


I’m going to tell you about a pretty cool music Web site. But before I even start, here’s some advice: enjoy it while you can. The site, Wolfgang’s Vault, is the subject of a music-industry lawsuit. In most such cases, the music industry wins and cool music Web sites lose. And so do fans.

Wolfgang’s Vault is run by a businessman named Bill Sagan, who bought the lost treasures of the late rock promoter Bill Graham, whose birth name was Wolfgang Grajonca.

Sagan’s site sells vintage rock T-shirts, photos, and posters. (Nostalgia flashback: back in the late 1960s the TG&Y at Santa Fe’s Coronado Shopping Center used to sell replicas — for about $1 apiece! — of some of the classic psychedelic San Francisco posters advertising rock concerts at the Fillmore Auditorium and the Avalon Ballroom. Many of those can be found at Wolfgang’s Vault — for far more than a buck.)

The part of the site I like best is the Concert Vault. Here you’ll find complete sets by a variety of artists from the late ’60s through the late ’80s. (Graham died in 1991.)

It’s streaming music, which means you just listen to it rather than download it. Supposedly, there’s some software you can buy to capture Internet streams, but I’ve never tried it.

There are some huge names here: The Rolling Stones, The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Bruce Springsteen, Eric Clapton, Pink Floyd. And there are some early MTV acts such as A Flock of Seagulls, Berlin, Big Country, Thomas Dolby, and The Alarm.

And, for some reason, there’s a bunch of cheesy Urban Cowboy-era country — Alabama, Lee Greenwood, and even Glen Campbell (a 1985 show in North Carolina with the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra).

Fortunately, there are also some hipper country artists such as Steve Earle, Merle Haggard, Bobby Bare (four shows from the mid-’80s), David Allen Coe, Charlie Daniels, and John Anderson (the guy who did “Wild and Blue,” not the lead singer of Yes, who, by the way, also is represented in the Vault).

Most of these are recordings made at Graham-promoted shows. By the ’80s his company, Bill Graham Presents, had stretched far beyond its San Francisco/New York base. But last year the Vault acquired the archives of a venerated, syndicated, live-rock radio show called The King Biscuit Flower Hour, which used to air on the old KRST-FM 92.3 in Albuquerque in the ’70s when that was a rock station.

So, naturally, Wolfgang’s Vault is being sued.

Last December a group of musicians, including Led Zeppelin, the Grateful Dead, Santana, and the Doors, filed a suit claiming copyright infringement. Sagan countersued in February, claiming the action against him was “a blatant attempt by two of the largest record labels in the world — using artists as a front — to secure new income streams and destroy a legitimate business.”

Like I say, enjoy it while you can.

Here are some of the shows I’ve listened to recently on Wolfgang’s Vault:

*Stevie Wonder, Winterland, San Francisco, March 3, 1973, and Berkeley Community Theatre, March 4, 1973. These concerts show Wonder at his wondrous peak. They took place between the time I saw him open for The Rolling Stones and a few months before he played Albuquerque’s Civic Auditorium. With his backup group, Wonderlove, he goes through his own impressive songbook (heavy on his albums Music of My Mind and Talking Book) and splendid covers like Billy Paul’s adulterer’s sleaze theme “Me and Mrs. Jones” and a short take on The Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

* Steppenwolf, Fillmore West, San Francisco, Aug. 27, 1968. I’ve always felt Steppenwolf is one of the most underrated groups of the ’60s. It’s too bad this recording is rather fuzzy. The concert was right before the release of the group’s second album (the one with “Magic Carpet Ride”).

*Elvis Costello, Winterland, June 7, 1978. He was young, angry and fresh. You’d never guess from this show that chamber quartets and Burt Bacharach were in his future.

*Talking Heads, CBGB’s, New York, May 31, 1977. My only complaint about this show is that it’s only four songs long, 17 minutes total. But CBGB’s in 1977 was ground zero of the New York punk explosion, which had begun to sweep the free world about the time of this recording. Even though we’ve all heard “Psycho Killer” and “Take Me to the River” a jillion times by now, these performances show a band full of fire.

*Los Lobos, Fillmore West, Dec. 31, 1985. This was right on the cusp of the group’s fame. Los Lobos dedicates “Our Last Night” to Ricky Nelson, who died in a plane crash earlier that night.

*Mother Earth, Winterland, Sept. 29 and 30, 1967: These are two 40-minute (give or take) sets from a Bay Area hippie blues-rock collective that should have been more famous. Mother Earth was the springboard for singer Tracy Nelson. A couple of songs on the latter show unfortunately are incomplete. These were recorded before the band’s first album, Livin’ With the Animals. Nelson’s “Help Me Jesus” is full of gospel glory.

*The Clash, Agora, Cleveland, Feb. 13, 1979. It’s only 33 minutes long and the recording quality is a little fuzzy, but this show from The Clash’s first American tour is nice and intense.

*Robert Cray, unspecified outdoor music festival in Austin, Texas, May 25, 1987. Back in the mid-’80s, it was very unusual to hear a young black guy playing the blues. That was part of the reason Cray was hailed as a savior of the blues at the time. But also it was because of his music. This concert, recorded a year after Cray’s classic Strong Persuader album, shows why Cray was a bona fide star.

*Patti Smith, CBGB’s, New York, Aug. 11, 1979. This two-hour-plus show starts out with a slow, 13-minute version of “Land.” This was just before Smith’s long “retirement,” and she sounds a little burnt around the edges. Her voice gets pretty hoarse after a few songs, and at one point she advises the audience to drink some hot tea in the morning. But her band rages. This set has lots of covers including John Lennon’s “Cold Turkey” and The Yardbirds’ “For Your Love” (with guitarist Lenny Kaye on vocals.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: SINE DIE and DAYS GONE BY

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 22, 2007


At last Saturday’s end-of-the-session news conference in the governor’s Cabinet Room, Gov. Bill Richardson made a strange statement that nobody challenged at the time.

I suspect those of us sitting around the big marble table were either too exhausted from the 60-day session or were still trying to cope with the reality of an upcoming special session to make anything of it.

I believe the governor was responding to a question about whether it was risky to call a special session so quickly.

Richardson answered that all his special sessions had been successful.

Success is a subjective thing, I suppose. But when he said that, my mind wandered back to the fall 2003 special session, originally called to consider an overhaul of the state’s tax system.

But as someone who covered that special session, I mostly remember it for the hostility, acrimony and accusations that Richardson wasn’t communicating well with lawmakers.
I remember that session for the Senate voting to sine die — go home without acting on the Richardson tax proposals. It was sine die déjà vu Tuesday, when the Senate voted to adjourn only hours after convening. Just like 2003, however, they will have to come back as long as the House keeps working.

The 2003 special session came after a blue-ribbon task force on taxes made several recommendations. However, Richardson denounced many of the ideas and came up with his own plan. But there was bipartisan consensus in both the House and Senate to balk at the 188-page bill pushed by Richardson.

True, Richardson got a package of bills aimed at fighting sexual predators in that special session, though some said the state easily could have waited until the regular session three months later to pass those bills.

And by the end of that special session, the Legislature passed a huge highway-construction package. That was the program known as GRIP (Governor Richardson’s Investment Partnership, for the record. Who thinks up these acronyms?) But that was seen largely as a “face-saving” measure so the entire special session wouldn’t seem like a waste.

It seems fitting that a new highway package — known as GRIP II — is one of the items on the governor’s call.

Wisdom from Max: Former Rep. Max Coll, D-Santa Fe, currently recovering from brain surgery, said something back in 2003 that still makes sense today.

In an interview after that harrowing session, Coll, who was still a lawmaker then, told me: “When you’ve got a special session, you need to build a consensus ... before you go in. You can’t just walk in without it settled.”

Coll never was one of Richardson’s favorite lawmakers, so it’s not surprising the governor didn’t heed those words.

The call of the Peregrine: As the governor spends much of this week campaigning in California, an old issue that nipped at him during his 2002 gubernatorial race — his tenure on a software company’s board of directors — has re-emerged in a scathing piece in a San Diego paper.

Columnist Don Bauder of the San Diego Reader notes in his latest column that the trial of four former executives of Peregrine Systems Inc. is scheduled to begin next month. Bauder has covered the Peregrine scandal for several years.

The Southern California company’s chief executive was Richardson’s wife’s brother-in-law, Stephen Gardner — who last week pleaded guilty to three felony counts in connection with an accounting scandal that brought the company to bankruptcy. He faces up to 20 years in prison.

“During Richardson’s period on the board, Gardner was regularly telling directors that the Peregrine boat was sinking,” Bauder wrote. “But the public knew nothing about it. The company was releasing official reports telling how revenue was soaring.”

Richardson never was charged with any crimes. But he sat on the board of the company for about a year and a half in 2001 and 2002 — “the period in which the directors were trying to put a lid on the billowing financial scandal that would ultimately send the company into bankruptcy and many of its executives into criminal proceedings,” Bauder wrote.

Next month’s trial “means Dollar Bill is going to have to sharpen his Peregrine alibis for a national audience,” Bauder wrote. “In 2002 when he ran for governor, he got away with some lame excuses that may have worked in New Mexico then but won’t fly nationally now.”

When the Peregrine issue first came to light in 2002, Richardson responded that he helped uncover the financial problems of the company — though he also said he was unaware of the problems until he read news accounts.

Richardson in 2002 said as a member of the board of directors, he voted to fire Peregrine’s accountants and bring in new auditors to conduct an independent investigation. He also said he urged employees and investors be protected.

In 2002, Richardson’s Republican opponent, John Sanchez, tried to make Peregrine an issue, running television ads calling Richardson “an insider who got paid while honest people got hurt.”
Richardson won that year in a landslide.

Monday, March 19, 2007

eMUSIC MARCH

Here's my allotted 90 downloads from eMusic this month:


Turban Renewal: A Tribute Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs . A great songwriter once wrote, "Only two things for which I give a damn/That's reincarnation and Sam the Sham."

My friend Nancy Apple actually knows Sam the Sham (Domingo Samudio). That's only one of many cool things about Nancy Apple.

I saw Sam & the Pharoahs live at Springlake Amusement Park in Oklahoma City circa 1965.

Sam was so much more than "Wooly Bully" and "Little Red Riding Hood." Few bands today could ever record anything half as bitchen as "Ring Dang Do" or "Red Hot."

This tribute includes tracks from Hasil Adkins, The Fleshtones and The Devil Dogs (whose cover of New Mexico Music Commissioner Tony Orlando's "Bless You" I play every now and then on Terrell's Sound World.)



*Hello Lucille… Are You A Lesbian? by T. Valentine. Had Wesley Willis been a 1960s soul beter, he'd have been T. Valentine.

On the title song, he claims he hates all lesbians. I think he's protesting too much.




*One More Road for the Hit by Frank Black And The Catholics. I already had four tracks from this compilation, released years ago by iTunes as an "exclusive EP" In fact those four songs were the first things I ever bought from iTunes.

Like nearly all of Mr. Thompson's work with The Catholics, this is good solid and frequently catchy rock -- though nothing that approaches his work with The Pixies.




*Charlie Louvin. This officially is Charlie's first solo album in 10 years or so. But in reality, it's is one of those "guest-star" albums, where all sorts of artists come in to honor a fabled veteran. George Jones, Bobby Bare, Tom T. Hall, Elvis Costello and Jeff Tweedy are just some of Charlie's angels here.

Charlie, for those not quite up on their country-music history, is half of the Louvin Brothers, one of the most influential duos in American music. Ira died in 1965.

Most of the songs on this album -- "When I Stop Dreaming," "The Knoxville Girl," "The Great Atomic Power," "The Christian Life" -- are Louvin Brothers classics.


There's some decent tunes here. Tweedy's grungy guitar on "The Great Atomic Power" is surely the most radical departure. But I'd advise potential Louvin fans to start with the old stuff.

Note: This has been corrected. See comments.


UKE MADNESS
*Pompeii by Beirut. There's only two tracks on this eMusic only "album": "Fountains and Tramways " and "Napoleon on the Bellerophon."


* “My Body is a Cage,” the last track from Arcade Fire’s new Neon Bible. (That track was damaged on the promo I received.)



* The last 23 tracks from Vol. 2 America's Most Colorful Hillbilly Band by The Maddox Brothers and Rose. I downloaded the first seven tracks last month and the first volume back in October. This music not only has aged well. It just keeps getting better.

XXXXX

I had three tracks left, so I used them to get a start on the new solo album from Mary Weiss, former lead singer of the Shangri-Las. More on that next month.

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 18, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Leave the Capitol by The Fall
Give Me Some Truth by John Lennon
We're All Water by Yoko Ono
Mr. Big Stuff by Jean Knight
Back When Dogs Could Talk by Wayne Kramer
God Forsaken Town by Lorette Velvette
I'm Waiting For My Man by Lou Reed
Try Love by The Detroit Cobras

Keep the Car Running by The Arcade Fire
Police Call by Drywall
Sample and Hold by Neil Young
Brave Men (Run in My Family) by Sonic Youth
Books About UFOs by Husker Du
I'm So Happy by The Mekons
For a Few Dollars Less by King Automatic

Jon E.'s Mood by Jon E. Edwards
Blowin' Your Mind by O.C. Smith
I'm a Millionaire by Lee Field
Coffy is the Color by Roy Ayers
Shotgun by Junior Walker & The Allstars
Theme of Foxy Brown by Willie Hutch
Children of Production by Parliament

I Discovered America by Graham Parker
Joey by Concrete Blonde
Waiting Underground by Patti Smith
They Were Blue by Otis Taylor
Yer Not the Ocean by The Tragically Hip
Now by The Plimsouls
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, March 16, 2007

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: CONFESSIONS OF A MIDDLE-AGED iPOD NERD

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 16, 2007


A couple of years ago when I went through a Rodney Dangerfield/Back to School phase and took a political science class at The University of New Mexico, I noticed that about half the college kids I saw were strolling around the campus in blissful little worlds of their own, iPod buds in their ears, white wires swaying. The other half were yakking on cellphones.

At the time I looked down my middle-aged nose at them. Thinking back to my own UNM years 30-some years before, I huffed, “When I was a lad, we didn’t need any electronic device to walk around campus in a glassy-eyed daze.”

But now I’m one of them.

Although I thought all those pod people walking around campus seemed like zombies, I did feel a bit of jealousy while riding the parking shuttle. Looking at the blissful iPod kids on the bus, I realized that one of those contraptions would allow me to listen to Howlin’ Wolf or Tom Waits or Soundgarden instead of the Top 40 and “hot new country” radio that the bus drivers, bless their hearts, always seemed to be playing.

I started thinking about getting one, though I was pretty good about arguing with myself against the idea.

Although I like album art, liner notes, and good CD booklets as much as the next music fanatic, in recent years I’ve become a fan of MP3s. Through eMusic, ripping my favorite CDs and other sources (I’ve heard of a notorious MP3-swapping ring in the Roundhouse, but my investigation is inconclusive), I’ve begun to amass a good little digital-music collection.

In fact, most of the music I listen to at home these days is not on CDs; it’s digital music I have stored on a 160-gigabyte external hard drive and played through my computer, which is hooked up to my old-fashioned stereo system.

But at first I was reluctant to spend a couple of hundred bucks on a gadget the size of a pack of cigarettes. (I’m usually reluctant to spend a couple of hundred dollars on anything.) And I just couldn’t envision myself walking around with those stupid ear buds, lost in my own little world of music.

But my resistance began to soften. I remembered that it was a little device not much bigger than an iPod — a transistor radio — that led me to become a music freak back in grade school. I fell asleep almost every night with the music of the Shirelles and Sam Cooke and Bruce “Hey Baby” Channel coming through the little (monaural) earphone.

On a recent work trip to Nevada, looking around at my fellow airline passengers, I noticed a lot of happy faces with iPod wires hanging from their ears. Then came the realization that the state income-tax refund I’d just received was close to the price of a 30 GB iPod.

The first major challenge was deciding just what to load on the pod. I could have automatically synchronized it with the iTunes program on my computer. However, I have more than twice the music on my iTunes program than my little 30 gigger can hold, so the only option I had was to load it manually — choosing each song, each album. Some might consider that a big hassle. I consider it a labor of love.

I first loaded the basics. All my Johnny Cash, Beatles, Stones, Dylan, Ramones. Every MP3 I have of Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis, Frank Zappa, George Jones, NRBQ, and The Cramps. I decided to load everything — about 14 hours’ worth of music — from a self-created genre I call (with a tip of the hat to Greil Marcus) “Old Weird America” music. It consists of old blues, hillbilly, gospel, and jazz records, plus field recordings by the Lomaxes and their ilk.

My iPod probably has more Butterbeans & Susie than any other in town.

I began to realize that some of my favorite CDs had yet to be converted into MP3s. How could any self-respecting Steve Terrell iPod be without Astral Weeks or Smile or the Waco Brothers’ Cowboy in Flames or The Pogues’ Rum, Sodomy & The Lash?

So this new purchase has accelerated my project of converting all my favorite CDs. Almost every night after work I find myself rifling through my CDs to find more must-haves to digitalize and zipping up and down my iTunes finding more and more songs to add to the iPod.

(As I’m writing this, I’m ripping Elvis Is Back, the second of four Presley CDs that should be on the pod soon.)

I’ve found I almost always have my iPod on shuffle mode. Perhaps it’s because of my fondness for the good old days of free-form radio or because I like to be surprised.

I just love an Uncle Dave Macon song bouncing off something by the Pixies. And it makes the drive to work a little easier hearing Bo Diddley seem to answer some mystical call by The Bonzo Dog Band. With more than 3,200 songs — eight days’ worth of music — on the device (I’ve not quite filled it halfway), some pretty interesting combinations can be heard.

And yes, there have been a few times that the song was especially good, and I’ve been seen walking around the state Capitol with those idiot wires hanging from my ears. I’ve become one of them. I’ve become a 53-year-old iPod nerd.

Songs shuffling on my iPod one recent afternoon (when I couldn’t listen anymore to the state House of Representatives being piped into the Capitol press room) in the actual order:

“I’d Have to Be Crazy” by Willie Nelson
“Dagger Moon” by Dead Moon
“Saran Wrap” by Dengue Fever
“Adios Hermanos” by Paul Simon
“Rock ’n’ Roll” by Lou Reed
“Kentucky Gambler” by Merle Haggard
“Man Whose Head Expanded” by The Fall
“Say No to the Devil” by the Rev. Gary Davis
“The Man From Harlem” by Cab Calloway
“Devil in Her Heart” by The Beatles (Two devil songs out of the last three! Is my iPod sending me satanic messages?)
“Complete Control” by The Clash
“Long Haired Doney” by R.L. Burnside
“Judy in Disguise (With Glasses)” by John Fred & His Playboy Band

Thursday, March 15, 2007

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: UNUSUAL ALLIANCES

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 15, 2007


The battle over regional housing authorities is a classic example of how unusual alliances can form in the Legislature around various issues.

Sometime after 11 p.m. Tuesday, the House Business & Industry Committee effectively killed Senate Bill 519, sponsored by Sen. Mary Kay Papen, D-Las Cruces, which would put the state’s scandal-plagued housing authorities under state Mortgage Finance Authority supervision.

It was the second time in recent days that the committee, chaired by Rep. Debbie Rodella, D-Española, had tabled such a bill.

Last week, the panel tabled a similar measure proposed by Rep. Janice Arnold-Jones, R-Albuquerque.

The committee did, however, pass a bill (House Bill 1321, sponsored by Rep. Dan Foley, R-Roswell) calling for an investigation of housing authorities by the state auditor and the Legislative Finance Committee. The attorney general already is investigating.

Papen’s bill was prompted by the Albuquerque-based Region III Housing Authority’s defaulting last year on $5 million in bonds it had sold to the State Investment Council. The council later determined the authority had misused housing funds to pay salaries and benefits, make loans and buy vehicles.

At the center of the controversy is former Region III Director Vincent “Smiley” Gallegos, a lobbyist and former legislator who stepped down after the default. Gallegos has been spotted around the Roundhouse, some lawmakers say, making a case against the housing authority bills.

The oversight bills are strongly backed by Gov. Bill Richardson and Lt. Gov. Diane Denish.

Denish especially has been vocal about the issue. In the past week, she spoke to several fellow Democrats on the committee who had voted against Arnold-Jones’ bill, trying to get them to support Papen’s bill.

But none of those Democrats — Reps. Rodella, Jim Trujillo of Santa Fe, Joe Campos of Santa Rosa, Thomas Garcia of Ocate, Richard Vigil of Las Vegas and Andrew Barreras of Tomé — changed their votes.

Denish issued a statement Wednesday that committee members, by tabling Papen’s bill, “have essentially refused to protect taxpayers’ money in the future.” The regional housing authorities, she said, have “outlived their usefulness.” None of the agencies have built a single house in the past five years, the lieutenant governor said. Denish called upon the committee and House Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambé, to allow the bill to get heard on the House floor.

In fact, except for Democrat Dona Irwin of Deming, the only members supporting the governor-supported oversight bills were the Republicans.

So where does Luján — who normally is Richardson’s biggest helper in the Legislature — stand? Luján said last week that he supported Arnold-Jones’ bill and, in fact, was a co-sponsor. However, Luján also counts Smiley Gallegos as a friend, so many of the bills’ supporters are suspicious.

Media sweetheart: Sometimes it seems that Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, thinks the press hates him. He has claimed nobody has been attacked more in the news media than he has been.

I seriously doubt if that’s true. In fact, during this session the tow-headed conservative has won a lot of hearts among the ink-stained.

During Senate floor debates on whether to open conference committees to the public, when the discussion was allowed to devolve into a bilious barrage of press-bashing, Adair stood up for the press. No, he didn’t lay on the sugar. Adair said the press makes mistakes, usually isn’t thorough and isn’t always fair. But he said reporters are human, just like senators.

Adair got some cheers from the press room the day he called on the state to spend whatever money was necessary to make the Capitol more computer friendly. Those of us who have dealt with the spotty wireless service in the Roundhouse definitely support that idea.

On Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed Adair’s Senate Resolution 1, which will require the Legislative Council Service to post roll-call votes on the Legislature’s Web site within a day of the vote.

During floor discussion of the resolution, Adair joked that he was pushing the issue so he can find out how he voted on various bills the day before.

It’s a move toward openness and transparency in a body that doesn’t always seem to embrace openness and transparency. I only hope the House follows suit. After all, they have a computerized scoreboard and the ability to print out roll-calls within minutes of the vote.

No longer perennials: For this newspaper’s special section called The Session, published in January right before the Legislature convened, I wrote an irreverent little article titled, “The Top 10 Bills that Refuse to Die.” I looked at a number of bills that have popped up in nearly every 60-day session since I’ve been covering state government, bills for which “virtually everything that can be said — on either side — has been said.”

It looks as if I’d have to do some major revisions for such a story in the future.

I correctly anticipated this would be the last time cockfighting would be on the list. The governor signed the cockfighting ban this week.

But we’re also not going to have medical marijuana and the smoking ban to kick around anymore. And though a bill that would impose limits on payday loans hasn’t passed the Senate at this writing, a compromise bill, which the House passed unanimously, is on the Senate calendar.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

RETURN OF THE FLOOD

HYF Bill
I heard from John Frogville that Hundred Year Flood will return to Santa Fe Friday March 30 at the Santa Fe Brewing Company. Goshen will open the show, which starts at 8 p.m.

Advance tickets are available at the Lensic box office for a mere five bucks ($10 at the door.)
HYF Felecia & Kendra
Also Hundred Year Flood will play at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid the next night.

John says HYF will be going back to Texas until June. He also says Frogfest may be in June this year instead of August

Monday, March 12, 2007

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 11, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
I Have Always Been Here Before by Roky Erikson
Pray for the Girls by Frank Black & The Catholics
Fight the Cuts by The Mekons
The Bluejackets' Manual by Mike Watt
Behind by Spanking Charlene
TV Set by The Cramps
99 to Life by Social Distortion
Jesus Christ Pose by Soundgarden

Highball with The Devil by Les Claypool & Holy Mackerel
Here Comes Sickness by Mudhoney
(You Must Fight to Live) On the Planet of the Apes by The Mummies
Blues For Joe by The Monsters
Demon Seed by TAD
Black Girls by The Violent Femmes
Unsatisfied by The Replacements

Porn Wars by Frank Zappa
Sharkey's Night by Laurie Anderson
Sing For Me by The Fiery Furnaces
Staring at the Sun by TV on the Radio
Gentles on My Mind by Queen Earlene

Patriot's Heart by American Music Club
The Murderer's Pub by Kult
Mamo, Snezhets Navalyalo by 3 Mustaphas 3
The Minotaur's Song by The Incredible String Band
Dad's Gonna Kill Me by Richard Thompson
Last Kiss by J. Frank Wilson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, March 10, 2007

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 9, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Take Me to the Fires by The Waco Brothers
Roots Rock Weirdos by Robbie Fulks
Let's Invite Them Over by Southern Culture on the Skids
Satan Gets the Gold by Porter Wagoner
Some of Shelly's Blues by Michael Nesmith
Blues Stay Away from Me by Charlie Louvin with Bobby Bare and Tom T. Hall
Satan is Real/Straight to Hell by Hank Williams III
Stalin Kicked the Bucket by Johnny Dilks

It Is No Secret What God Can Do by Johnny Cash
Your Red Wagon by Paul Burch & His Honky Tonk Orchestra
Ain't it Funny What Love Will Do by The Holmes Brothers
Saginaw, Michigan by John Prine & Mac Wiseman
Forever (and Always) by Lefty Frizzell
Sweet Nutty by The Gourds
Gallo de Cielo by Tom Russell

My Mary by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price
These Hands by Johnny Bush
Philadelphia Lawyer by Willie Nelson & Merle Haggard
Bright Lights and Blonde Haired Women by Ray Price
Night Watch by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price
Ain't Your Memory Got No Pride at All by Johnny Bush & Ray Price
Something to Think About by Willie Nelson
Sweethearts or Strangers by Merle Haggard
Born to Lose by Johnny Bush
Back to Earth by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price

Lady Pilot by Neko Case
Lost Highway by Jerry Lee Lewis with Delaney Bramlett
I'm Out of My Mind by Johnny Paycheck
Dreaming My Dreams With You by Waylon Jennings
Dreamboat by Eleni Mandell
Whiskey Girl by Gillian Welch
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 09, 2007

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: HONKY TONK HEAVEN

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 9, 2007


If you ask me, the greatest Bush ever to come out of Texas never was president of the United States. No, not Jenna. I’m talking about Johnny Bush, the shoulda-been-a-lot-more-famous honky-tonk star.

Johnny Bush, born John Bush Shinn III, probably is best known for writing the song “Whiskey River,” which his longtime pal and former bandmate Willie Nelson has been using to open concerts for more than 30 years.

Bush should have been a star. But right at the cusp of fame in the early ’70s — shortly after he wrote “Whiskey River” — he choked. Literally. His voice just went. First he couldn’t reach the high notes. After a while he could barely speak. Doctors thought it was a psychological problem. Eventually he was diagnosed with a rare neurological disorder called spasmodic dysphonia. It drove his career right off the cliff.

Bush recovered and started recording regularly again — for small labels — in the mid-’90s. He’s revered in Texas and by lovers of Texas honky-tonk music everywhere.

But he should have been a star.

Bush, who turned 72 last month, recently published an autobiography titled Whiskey River (Take My Mind): The True Story of Texas Honky-Tonk and recorded a CD called Kashmere Gardens Mud: A Tribute to Houston’s Country Soul. The book and the CD are basically two halves of a whole. The former tells Bush’s life story and the latter explores his musical roots.

The CD includes Texas beer-joint classics like Moon Mullican’s “I’ll Sail My Ship Alone” and Floyd Tillman’s “They Took the Stars Out of Heaven.” (There are some vocals from Tillman, who died in 2003.)

There’s a Tex-Mex tune called “Tequila and Teardrops,” with accordion by Ruben Laredo and vocals by Dale Watson (who wrote the song); there’s an instrumental “Jole Blon” (the “Cajun national anthem”) recorded in 1975 that guest-stars “Fiddlin’” Frenchie Burke; “I Want a Drink of That Water,” an original bluegrass gospel tune Bush sings with his brother the Rev. Gene Shinn; some big-band blues with “Free Soul”; and a full-on Ray Pricey horns ’n’ strings tuxedo-country version of the country-western touchstone “Born to Lose.”

Bush pays homage to another giant from Houston, Townes Van Zandt, with a cover of “Pancho and Lefty.” Nelson joins Bush on that song, as he does on the even more impressive acoustic version of “Send Me the Pillow That You Dream On,” a song by Houstonite Hank Locklin that was a pop hit for Dean Martin in the ’60s.

And Bush performs a couple of Willie Nelson songs here: the Outlaw-era “Bloody Mary Morning” and an early stab at gospel, “Family Bible.” But what ties all this together is the title song, and it’s one of the most personal pieces Bush ever wrote.

“Nothing good ever grew in Kashmere Gardens,” Bush sings of the Houston hillbilly ghetto where he grew up: “Only bitter weeds and flowers of despair.”

The song recounts the poverty he knew, the apocalyptic fears he knew as a child at the dawn of the nuclear age, the trauma of his parents’ divorce. All of this is told in more detail in Bush’s book. But boiled down to a three-minute song, it’s just devastating.

Bush has made some pretty fine little albums in recent years. Green Snakes (2001) and HonkyTonic (2004) are worth seeking out. But Kashmere Gardens Mud makes you feel like you know Johnny Bush.

Also recommended:
*Last of the Breed Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard, and Ray Price. Speaking of venerated masters of the honky-tonk, this double-disc council of tribal elders is nothing but pure delight.

Haggard and Nelson, if not at full strength these days, remain vital artists. Price, who’s a decade older at 81 (and the only one of this trio who hasn’t toured with Bob Dylan), has slowed down his recording career. But, as his work here indicates, his voice remains strong and clear.

A little history: Nelson used to play in Price’s band the Cherokee Cowboys (as did Johnny Bush, Roger Miller, and Johnny Paycheck). The California-raised Haggard, who has recorded with Nelson, is a devotee of Texas music, having recorded definitive tribute albums honoring Bob Wills and Lefty Frizzell.

Among the 22 songs on this collaboration, the three titans harmonize and trade verses on some good Wills western-swing numbers (“My Life’s Been a Pleasure,” “Still Water Runs the Deepest”); some classic Texas honky-tonk (“I Love You So Much It Hurts”); some countrypolitan hillbilly jazz (“I Gotta Have My Baby Back”); a couple of Frizzell tunes (“Mom and Dad’s Waltz,” “I Love You a Thousand Ways”); a Hank Williams song (“Lost Highway,” actually written by Leon Payne); a Kris Kristofferson song (“Why Me Lord,” with Kristofferson singing background harmonies); a Mickey Newbury gem (“Sweet Memories”); a cornball but irresistible Gene Autry chestnut (“That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine”); new material from Nelson and Haggard (“Back to Earth” and “Sweet Jesus,” respectively); and a remake of one of Price’s greatest hits (“Heartaches by the Number”).

The singers are backed by some top-notch instrumentalists, including Buddy Emmons on steel guitar and Johnny Gimble on fiddle.

No, they don’t break much new ground here. But if you’ve ever liked any of these singers, there’s no way you can listen to this without a huge smile.

The bad news is that this album won’t be released until March 20. The good news is that Willie, Merle, and Ray are appearing 7:30 p.m. Sunday night, March 11, at the Santa Ana Star Center in Rio Rancho. The backup band for this tour is none other than Asleep at the Wheel. Tickets, available at Gettix.net, range from $55 to $86.

But the Santa Fe Opry is free: Hear all these honky-tonkers on KSFR-FM 90.7 from 10 p.m. to midnight Friday. (Yes, it’s free, but the station fundraiser is coming up, so start writing those checks!)

Thursday, March 08, 2007

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: TELEPHONE BANKING

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 8, 2007


Thumbing through lobbyist reports at the Secretary of State’s Office, you don’t find only records of lavish parties for lawmakers and expensive dinners for legislative committees.

Another expense popping up lately involves what’s known as telephone banking.

Last week, I reported on a Texas lobbyist for Philip Morris who spent $4,000-plus to have a Virginia company call New Mexico smokers and urge them to tell their legislators to vote against House Bill 965, which would raise cigarette taxes.

It’s not just big industries spending money on phone banks, however. It’s citizens groups, too.

According to recent lobbyist reports required to be filed within 48 hours of the expenditure, Matt Brix, executive director of and registered lobbyist for New Mexico Common Cause reported spending $2,607 on phone banking late last month.

The calls were made to constituents in strategically selected legislative districts, Brix said Wednesday.

If the person called agrees to urge his legislator to vote for ethics-reform bills, he is immediately patched through to the legislator’s phone.

In addition to using a professional phone banker, Brix said, Common Cause is using volunteers to make calls.

Another group is helping Common Cause in this effort. The Albuquerque-based state chapter of the League of Young Voters reported spending $4,565, about half of which was for phone banking on behalf of the ethics legislation,such as a bill that would restrict gifts to public officials.

The other half went for a radio ad targeting House Bill 685, sponsored by Rep. Dan Silva, D-Albuquerque.

This measure would require state agencies to disclose the names of whistle-blowers who report alleged violations and limit a state agency’s rule-making ability to only those areas which the Legislature has already put into law. A fiscal-impact report by the Legislative Finance Committee says this could greatly reduce an agency’s ability to act, League of Young Voters co-director Keegan King said Wednesday.

The bill got a unanimous do-pass from the House Business and Industry Committee and currently is in the House Appropriations and Finance Committee.

The jury is still out on whether legislators are influenced more by expensive parties and fancy dinners or by phone calls generated by phone banks.

Wanted: Songwriting Cowboys: Rep. Gloria Vaughn, R-Alamogordo, is learning that getting an “official state cowboy song” through the Legislature is nearly as hard as passing ethics-reform bills. For a couple of years now, she has tried unsuccessfully to get a song called “New Mexico” by Calvin Boles and R.D. Blankenship designated the official cowboy song. (CLICK HERE, then scroll down to the singing cowboy for more info on this song.)

It’s not that the Legislature is unfriendly to cowpokes. On Wednesday, the House unanimously passed House Memorial 81, sponsored by Rep. Anna Crook, D-Clovis, which declares March 15 as Cowboy Day in the House.

Vaughn’s cowboy-song bill stalled this year, according to state folklorist Claude Stephenson, because nobody can find Blankenship’s heirs. For a song to be declared an official state song, the writers or their heirs must transfer the rights to that song to the state, Stephenson said.

But Vaughn isn’t giving up. She introduced House Memorial 70, which calls for a state competition to write an official state cowboy song.

The measure still is in committee. Stephenson said if the House passes it, the state Music Commission — of which he’s a member — would set up a committee to judge the competition.

“The winner forfeits his copyright but will gain notoriety and will be enshrined forever in the state Blue Book,” Stephenson said.

Bye, centennial?: But will they sing the state cowboy song at the New Mexico Centennial celebration, which is coming up Jan. 6, 2012?

Not if the state doesn’t start planning its 100th birthday, the state folklorist said.

“We’re going to have a party in 2012, like it or not,” Stephenson said. “It’s coming up in less than five years. Do we want to plan for a good celebration or not?”

The state government of Arizona, which also became a state in 1912, has been working on its centennial for two years — with a $2.5 million budget, Stephenson said.

Rep. Rhonda King, D-Santa Fe, introduced HB 511, which would set up a 13-member Centennial Commission with a $250,000 appropriation. But the proposal apparently didn’t make the state budget.

Sounds like a pot-luck dinner and no-host bar for New Mexico in 2012.

Monday, March 05, 2007

TERRELL'S SOUND WORLD PLAYLIST

Sunday, March 4, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Oowee Baby by The Cramps
Backstreet Girl by Social Distortion
Psychodelic Nightmare by Dead Moon
Here Comes Sickness by Mudhoney
I Hate Girls by Spanking Charlene
Searching by The Monsters
Rockabilly Madman by Screaming Lord Sutch
Here Comes the Terror by King Automatic
Bermuda by Roky Erikson

Jack by TAD
Everybody lets Me Down by J. Mascis & The Fog
They Ride by The Twilight Singers
Dumb All Over by Frank Zappa
Vicki Is a Pro by Jesus H. Christ & The Four Hornsmen of the Apocalypse
Sing No Evil by Half Japanese
Single Again by The Fiery Furnaces
Come on a My House by Julie London

Stack O Lee by Samuel L. Jackson
Little Betty by Otis Taylor
Victory by P.J. Harvey
Fish in the Jailhouse by Tom Waits
Release It by The Time
She Cracked by Seaweed
Missing My Baby by G Love

Rhinocratic Oaths by The Bonzo Dog Band
Blue V Woman by Pere Ubu
Strange Apparition by Beck
Constant Sorrow Man by Frank Black & The Catholics
King Eternal by TV on the Radio
Out of Nowhere by Mark Lannegan
Fountains and Tramways by Beirut
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, March 03, 2007

THE SANTA FE OPRY PLAYLIST

Friday, March 2, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Webcasting!
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

NEW: email me during the show! terrell@ksfr.org

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Bloody Mary Morning by The Supersuckers
Great Atomic Power by Charlie Louvin with Jeff Tweedy
Cash on the Barrelhead by Joe Nichols & Rhonda Vincent
There Goes Bessie Brown by Jim Lauderdale
Waiting For a Train by Dickie Betts
Pictures Can't Talk Back by Johnny Paycheck
Who Shot Sam by George Jones
Big Daddy's Rye by Arty Hill & The Long Gone Daddies
The Hunch by Hasil Adkins

I Love You So Much it Hurts Me by Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price
The Face of a Fighter by Willie Nelson
I'll Sail My Ship Alone by Johnny Bush
Hand of the Allmighty by John R. Butler
Sweet Rosie Jones by Buck Owens
Old Dogs, Children & Watermelon Wine by John Prine & Mac Wiseman
Sweet Thing by Ernest Tubb & Loretta Lynn
Picture Show in My Mind by Brent Hoodenpyle & The Loners
Red Silk Stockings & Green Perfume by Maddox Brothers & Rose

Engine Engine # 9 by Southern Culture on the Skids
When Two Worlds Collide by Roger Miller
If It's Really Got to Be This Way by Bill Kirchen
Learning How to Live by Mike Ireland
Bonapart's Retreat by Mike Nesmith
Oh Lonesome Me by Don Gibson
Lubbock Lights by Thrift Store Cowboys
I Don't Wanna Work by Eric Hisaw

Standin' So Still by Boris McCutcheon
Distant Drums by Jim Reeves
These Days by Susan Clark
Close the Door by Eleni Mandell
Last Seen in Gainesville by Audry Auld Mezera
The Pilgrim by Jerry Lee Lewis & Kris Kristofferson
California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, March 02, 2007

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: COUNTRYPOLITAN HAMS

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 2, 2007



Countrypolitan — an outgrowth of the Nashville sound of the ’50s —
is among the most commercially oriented genres of country music. The Nashville sound emerged in the ’50s as a way to bring country music to a broad pop audience. The movement was led by Chet Atkins, who was the head of RCA Records’ country division. Atkins designed a smooth, commercial sound that relied on country song structures but abandoned all of the hillbilly and honky tonk instrumentation. He hired session musicians and coordinated pop-oriented, jazz-tinged productions. ... In the late ’60s, the Nashville sound metamorphosed
into countrypolitan, which emphasized these kinds of pop production flourishes. Featuring layers of keyboards, guitars, strings, and vocals, countrypolitan records were designed to cross over to pop radio and they frequently did.


From Allmusic.com

It was the more excessive countrypolitan sounds of early-’70s Nashville (as well as the creative stranglehold exerted by Nashville’s record labels) that prompted the Willie ’n’ Waylon outlaw revolt that briefly turned the country-industrial complex on its head 30-some years ago. You could argue it also sparked Buck Owens’ Bakersfield rebellion.

It’s natural for me to side with the rebels against the establishment in situations like this and to vilify the purveyors of countrypolitan for trying to smooth over good, raw American hillbilly sounds for lowly purposes of filthy lucre.

The only thing is — and I’m sure Willie and Waylon would agree — the countrypolitan era produced some great music.

Sure, there was crap and pap like Johnny Tillotson, “Dreams of the Everyday Housewife,” Eddie Arnold’s squishier moments, “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.,” Ronnie Milsap, and Olivia Newton John’s tenure as a “country” singer. And sure, it was countrypolitan that later morphed into the Urban Cowboy scare of the ’80s and the Hot New Country scourge of the ’90s. And it’s probably to blame for Kenny Rogers as well.

But give the countrypolitans credit where it’s due. What would American music be like without Patsy Cline or Jim Reeves or Tammy Wynette or Charlie Rich? And my Okie hero Roger Miller was considered countrypolitan — and if you’re running down Roger, you’re walking on the fightin’ side of me.

Southern Culture on the Skids, that surf-guitar/trashabilly/voodoo-and-fried-food-obsessed trio from North Carolina, recognizes the value of this misunderstood music. SCOTS’s new album is titled Countrypolitan Favorites. And indeed, this all-covers affair includes some prize tunes of the genre.

The musicians do a version of one of the first singles I ever bought in the early ‘60s, Claude King’s “Wolverton Mountain.” They do raw renditions of Taos resident Lynn Anderson’s hit “Rose Garden” and Don Gibson’s “Oh, Lonesome Me.” They cover the wife-swapping classic “Let’s Invite Them Over,” originally recorded by George Jones in 1963 (and more recently recorded just a few years ago by John Prine and Iris DeMent).

And they do a respectful and respectable take on a Roger Miller song, “Engine Engine # 9,” with railroad drums and a Floyd Cramerish piano as well as Rick Miller’s trademark surfy guitar.
There’s “Tobacco Road,” a song that bounced around between rock ’n’ roll bands and soul singers — from The Blues Magoos to Lou Rawls. But it was written by Nashville tunesmith John D. Loudermilk.

Don’t expect the same kind of overproduction that glumped up so much of the country music of the countrypolitan era. Most of these songs sound much closer to the hard-twanging, R & B-informed style of SCOTS than the slick Nashville studio sounds of Owen Bradley or Billy Sherrill. Miller and crew don’t make the mistake of trying to camp up these songs.

They keep the yodels on “Wolverton Mountain,” but they add an Augie Meyers-like, “96 Tears”-style organ for a Tex-Mex flavor. And Miller’s snarling guitar intro to “Rose Garden” never would have been found on a Lynn Anderson record — though I bet Lynn wouldn’t have any problems with Mary Huff’s vocals here.

And as for “Tobacco Road,” the biggest surprise here is that SCOTS hasn’t recorded this classic before now. It dealt with Southern culture on the skids long before there was a band named after the phenomenon.

But don’t expect to find only countrypolitan classics on Countrypolitan Favorites. For some reason it also includes a bunch of rock songs by the likes of Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Kinks, The Byrds, and even T. Rex.

Don’t get me wrong. Most of these sound fine, especially the Kinks’ country rocker “Muswell Hillbilly.” (There’s that garage-band organ again.) The relatively obscure Creedence tune “Tombstone Shadow” sounds like it was written for SCOTS. And Huff makes Wanda Jackson’s rockabilly torch song “Funnel of Love” her own.

But I would have preferred if SCOTS had stuck to the theme and rescued more lost countrypolitan songs. Jim Reeves’ “Distant Drums,” written about a soldier going to Vietnam, would be just as meaningful today. The group could have worked magic with Joe South’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” or Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City.” Huff would sound great interpreting just about any of Wynette’s hits.

She even might have been able to redeem “The Happiest Girl in the Whole U.S.A.”

Thursday, March 01, 2007

ROUNDHOUSE ROUNDUP: GUTTING ELECTRONIC DISCLOSURE

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 1, 2007


The only campaign-finance bill to speed through the state Senate this session is one that would have the effect of slowing down campaign-finance reporting.

Senate Bill 363, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, was passed unanimously by the Senate on Wednesday with virtually no discussion.

This on the day after senators killed the latest attempt to open the Legislature’s conference committees to the public.

Basically, SB 363 would make it optional for a candidate for state office to file campaign finance reports online. A requirement for online reports went into effect only last year. The idea was to let the public click on the secretary of state’s Web site and see all the money coming into the various campaigns and how it was being spent.

“This bill certainly will significantly increase the amount of time between the filing of a report and the ability of people to view them,” Matt Brix, executive director of New Mexico Common Cause, told me Wednesday.

“Common Cause believes that a robust electronic filing system is one of the basic tenets of good disclosure laws, especially in 2007,” Brix said.

Sanchez argues his bill isn’t intended to thwart electronic reporting. “This isn’t trying to hide campaign-finance reports,” he told me a couple of weeks ago. “It’s for people like me who aren’t very good at computers or access to the Internet.”

Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, who sponsored the legislation that created the electronic filing system, voted for Sanchez’s bill.

Immediately after the vote, Feldman said some amendments to the bill made in committees made it more palatable. “It’s still not a good measure,” she admitted. “But given the difficulty that some legislators had with electronic filing, it’s probably the best we could do.”

The best they could do.

I was afraid of that.

SB 363 seems to be on the fast track in the House as well. House Speaker Ben Luján, D-Nambé, assigned it to only one committee — the House Voters and Elections Committee.

However, there could be hope on the Capitol’s Fourth Floor. Gilbert Gallegos, spokesman for Gov. Bill Richardson, declined Wednesday to say whether the governor would veto the measure. But he stuck by a statement he made to The Associated Press: “Gov. Richardson continues to support a firm requirement for candidates to file campaign reports electronically. The governor believes New Mexicans are better served if campaign finances are as transparent as possible.”

SOS for the SOS Web site: Critics of the current electronic filing system do have one valid point. Simply put, the system doesn’t make it easy for anyone.

About the only discussion of Sanchez’s bill Wednesday was by Sen. Richard Martinez, D-Española, who spoke about the difficulty he had trying to file his last report. And he said he was trying to file from the Secretary of State’s Office.

And it’s difficult — in fact impossible in recent months — on the public’s end as well.

Backers of the original electronic filing requirement said the public no longer would have to travel to Santa Fe and go to the Secretary of State’s Office during business hours to review campaign reports.

Of course, it didn’t work out that way.

As faithful readers of this column know, the section of the SOS Web site with campaign finance reports basically broke down sometime last October. Almost none of the reports that were due after an early October deadline are available on the site. If you want to know who made last-minute contributions to most candidates last year, you’ll have to pay a personal visit to the Secretary of State’s Office.

James Flores, spokesman for new Secretary of State Mary Herrera, told me recently that his office has hired a computer expert to revamp the Web site.

But if you thought the SOS Web site couldn’t get any more useless, SB 363 could prove you wrong.

Let’s play nice: Gov. Bill Richardson’s most-quoted moment from last week’s presidential candidate forum in Carson City, Nev., was his call for Democratic candidates not to attack one another. Lots of national press quoted him in context of a feud between U.S. Sen. Hillary Clinton and U.S. Sen. Barak Obama concerning nasty remarks that an Obama supporter made about Clinton and her husband, former President Clinton.

However, Richardson’s stance on campaign negativity aroused memories for a Republican operative and blogger from Albuquerque.

Whitney Cheshire was the press spokeswoman for John Sanchez, Richardson’s GOP opponent in 2002. In her Wednesday Morning Quarterback blog on Monday she wrote, “... we remembered that Richardson called for no negative campaigning in his first race for NM Gov against John Sanchez, and then he launched the first SCUD, so we’re inclined to believe the `cease fire' will only remain in effect for him if and only if HE DOESN’T CHANGE HIS MIND.”

Indeed, in 2002, it was Richardson who aired the first negative television ads in that race, which was notorious for its attack ads.

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