Friday, April 28, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Six New Ones from Voodoo Rhythm and Off-Label

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
April 28, 2017

With all the recent news of right-wing nationalism coming out of Europe, it’s refreshing to know that good old-fashioned garage-punk and other subversive stuff is still going strong on the old continent. In fact, my two favorite European music labels — Voodoo Rhythm from Switzerland and Off Label Records from Germany — have been flooding the market with wild, rocking trashy sounds.

Here’s a look at six albums I’ve been enjoying lately — and no, there are few, if any, overtly political songs among this batch. Just songs of love, sex, fun … all those things the authoritarians hate.

*  Heat Wave by The Vagoos. This fuzz-loving Bavarian quartet is a prolific bunch. This is their
third Off Label release since 2014 and, like their self-titled debut and their six-song EP follow-up, Love You, it’s full of raging, no-frills, hook-heavy guitar rock.

My favorites here include the opener, “Fidget,” which sets a properly urgent pace; “Must Be Voodoo,” partly because I tend to like songs with “voodoo” in the title; “Mint Island,” which features a Yardbirds-style rave-up guitar solo; and “Golden Key,” maybe the fastest and most furious number in an album full of frantic songs. Just listening to it makes me sweat.

But though the breakneck rockers are their specialty, The Vagoos also can play it slow and (kind of) pretty, as they prove on songs like “Hideaway” (somebody’s been listening to The Pixies) and “The Order of Laissez Faire,” which reminds me of The Black Lips (who should be releasing a new album any day now).

*  The Dust I Own by Laino & Broken Seeds. Andrea Laino is a guitar-playing, harmonica-blowing Italian fellow, but on a trip to New York four years ago in which, according to his press material, he spent some time “in a smoky blues bar on the Upper West Side,” he became obsessed with American blues.

With that inspiration still burning, he came up with a stripped down, blues-based rock sound to amaze and delight. On the Off Label release Dust, Laino is backed by drummer Gaetano Alfonsi and occasional guests.

The song “Fate of a Gambler,” with its distorted guitar and primitive beat, is in itself worth the price of admission. I’m also fond of “Can’t Wake Myself Up,” which Laino himself describes as an “homage to psychedelia. An homage to the fascinating and terrifying sensation you have when you’re convinced that dreams can go on during the daytime.” It sounds as if this “dream” was highly influenced by Bo Diddley. On the mellower side, the album ends with a sweet cover of Mississippi John Hurt’s “Pay Day.”

*  7  by Lynx Lynx. This is another garage-bred German quartet. While many of their tunes are just as unrelentingly thunderous as those of their Off Label labelmates, The Vagoos (I’m talking about songs like the opener, “Get Straight,”  “99 Things,” and, best of all, “Who Shot the Druggies”), Lynx Lynx also has a distinct softer side.

You can hear that on the folk-influenced “Coast of Wasted Youth,” the almost two-minute instrumental called “Sw├Ârds, Part II” (a soundtrack to some imaginary German horror movie?), and the heavy reverb of “Black Feather,” which features what the band accurately calls “cheap ’70s drum computer noise” behind what sounds like a classic ’60s slow-dance melody.

* Death of an Angel by Destination Lonely. When I describe the sound of this French trio as “monstrous,” that’s a compliment. They sound a lot like their Voodoo Rhythm stablemates and veteran (30 years and going strong!) garage-punkers, The Monsters. I’m sure that fact didn’t escape head Monster and Voodoo Rhythm chief Reverend Beat-Man when he signed them.

Like The Monsters, Destination Lonely is fast, loud, and raunchy, with a sincere affection for distorted vocals and guitar. Plus, they’ve got a good sense of rock ’n’ roll history.

Besides covering a song by 1990s Ohio psychobillies, The Gibson Bros (the opener, “Dirt Preacher”), the title song is a cover of a spooky 1955 hit by Donald Woods and The Vel-Aires.  (I first heard the song as performed on a live album by The Kingsmen.) This new version has a spookhouse electric organ that sounds like it’s being played by Del Shannon’s zombie.

Alawalawa by Blind Butcher. Back in the late ’70s, I believed, deep in my heart, that disco sucked
— except for maybe a few songs like Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” and The Village People’s “My Roommate.”

But this album by a Swiss duo is making me rethink that. Actually, Blind Butcher sounds like an illegitimate demon offspring of disco and punk.

I’m reminded of bands like Electric Six (remember the song “Danger! High Voltage” from 2003?) as well as some ’80s New Wave acts like Nina Hagen. Blind Butcher, I bet, could do an amazing cover of “Cosmic Shiva.” They’ve already got the German language down. And the irresistible opening track, “Staubsaugerbaby” (“Vacuum Cleaner Baby”), is cosmic in itself.

*Intergalactic Sex Tour by The Sex Organs. OK, so this a shtick-laden goof — two guys, a guitarist and a drummer, dressed up like cartoon or perhaps Cubist versions of actual sex organs. (They’re not realistic looking. I don’t think the drummer is in any danger of being grabbed by President Trump.)

“They traveled light-years across the universe on a mission to planet earth to bring YOU their special inter-galactic brand of SEX & ROLL,” their press release says. Most of the songs are introduced by dramatized radio reports of the invasion. And many of the song titles can’t be printed in a family newspaper like ours.

Yeah, The Sex Organs are dumb. But they’re good, dumb, dirty fun. They’ve got the two-man band sound down as they bash away at these catchy, if filthy, tunes. And the last song, a five-minute instrumental that slowly builds from a primitive stomp into a cosmic-orgasmic free-jazz-like frenzy is actually pretty impressive.

Some videos for yas

Here's The Vagoos from Heat Wave.

My favorite Laino song

From the new Lynx Lynx

The title song from Destination Lonely's new album

Blind Butcher with their trashy disco

Hey hey, we're The Sex Organs!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: When the Party Lights Dim

Claudine Clark can definitely be considered a one-hit wonder.

The R&B belter, who turned 76 yesterday, had a big hit back in 1962 with a song called "Party Lights."

The song, written by the Georgia-born, Philadelphia-raised Clark herself  was about a poor kid whose oppressive, over-restrictive  mother wouldn't allow her to go across the street to a big shindig where they were doing  the twist, the fish, the mashed potatoes ...

I see the lights, I see the party lights
They're red and blue and green
Everybody in the crowd is there
But you won't let me make a scene

The fish?

Not great poetry, but there was something so raw, so desperate in Clark's voice, you couldn't help but feel for the poor teen and the grave injustice she suffered.

Listen to the party, mama!


But like the girl in her own song, Clark for most of her career was forced to witness the fun from afar.

She went on to record more songs, including the follow-up to "Party Lights," a fun little romp called "Walkin' Through a Cemetery." Listen close, especially toward the end. It sounds as if she had Yoko Ono sitting on background vocals. I believe this should have been an even bigger hit than "Party Lights." But it didn't work out that way.

Subsequent Claudine releases didn't fare much better, though to my ears, tunes like "The Telephone Game" were just as good as lots of the other proto-soul tunes that dominated the charts in the early '60s. Here's one called "The Telephone Game."

And "Dancin' Party" sounds like a social even her mother finally allowed her to attend.


Clark even tried changing her name, recording as "Joy Dawn" on songs like "Hang it Up."

Alas, that didn't do the trick either.

I believe Claudine Clark deserved better.

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Golden Throats Sing For You

It's been almost two years since Wacky Wednesday explored the magical world of the Golden Throats.

"What is a Golden Throat?," you may ask. As I explained before:

Back in the '80s and '90s, when Rhino Records was actually a cool label, they released a series of albums called Golden Throats. These nutball compilations featured movie and TV stars, sports heroes and every stripe of cheesy celebrity singing ham-fisted versions of songs they had no business singing ...

Indeed, William Shatner is the Elvis of the Golden Throats. But the artists below might just be the Fabian, Frankie Avalon, and ... oh, I don't know. That metaphor is failing faster than a Golden Throat song.

Let's start off with Shaquille O'Neal. I'm pretty sure the "skillz" he's rapping about aren't musical.

William Shatner wasn't the only Golden Throat on the Starship Enterprise. Here's a little Spock Country.

I dream of Barbara Eden ...

Kevin Costner covers this Shatner classic.

And Jerry Mathers as The Beaver

Monday, April 24, 2017

Russ Gordon's 2017 Los Alamos Summer Concert Series

Russ Gordon
Russ Gordon has announced the line up for his 28th annual Summer Concert Series in Los Alamos, free Friday night concerts including some of my personal favorites like Dale Watson, Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys and guitar super-stud Deke Dickerson.

Free show, 28 years ... that's the good news.

The bad news is that Russ says this will be his last. He and his wife plan to move to Seattle to be closer to his grandkids.

So enjoy the music this year.

And hey, Russ is still looking for sponsors to help pay for the shows. If you can help, or know someone who can, email him!

Here's the schedule:

May 19 - Chuchito Valdes - Afro-Cuban jazz from Havana, Cuba & Cancun, Mexico.- Los Alamos Kite Festival Night

Deke Dickerson
Deke Dickerson at The Ponderosa Stomp, New Orleans 2013
May 26 - Deke Dickerson - Alt-Indie Rock, Retro Swing, Rockabilly Revival, Roots-Rock,Hillbilly, Surf, Jump Blues & instrumental rock.

June 2 - The Coral Creek Band - Americana/Country Rock, bluegrass, Cajun, Folk & Island rock from Colorado.

June 9 - Western Centuries - Alt./Country-rock,with early R&B, Honky-Tonk twang. -  Los Alamos Chamber Fest Night

June 16 - The Red Elvises - Russian Rok 'N Roll & Siberian Surf Rok. From Moscow & Santa Monica, Calif. - Los Alamos Daily Post Night

June 23 - Big Sam's Funky Nation - Funk-soul-jazz & rock from New Orleans

June 30 - Grayson Capps Band - Gulf Coast rock guitarist and singer-songwriter.
Big Sandy in Santa Fe
Big Sandy in Santa Fe, June 2012

July 7 - Ian Moore Band - great Texas blues rock band

July 14 - The Peterson Brothers Band - again, a great Texas blues rock band with a lot of soul - Los Alamos Science Fest Night

July 21 - Michael Hearne & Shake Russell with Jimmy Stadler. Country & Americana from Texas & Taos

July 28 - Eddy & The Nomads and DK & The Affordables - Nomads play rock & roots rock from 50's, 60's and 70's plus New Mexico's musica del Norteno . DK & The Affordables play roots rock & rockabilly.

Aug. 4 - Jim Lauderdale - The great singer-songwriter-performer returns. Backing Jim will be New Mexico's Higher Ground on bluegrass and DK & the Affordables, who will back him on his Memphis soul music

Dale Watson on his home turf, Continental Club, Austin, Texas
Aug. 11 - Dale Watson - Texas honky tonk - Los Alamos County Fair & Rodeo Night

Aug. 18 - Diego Figuerido - Brazilian jazz & Flamenco guitar master -  American Cancer Society's Relay for Life Night with Los Alamos Medical Center

Aug. 25 - Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys - Rock, rockabilly & roots-rock

Sept 1 - The Paladins - Rock and roots-rock hit band from the 80's. - Smith's Marketplace Night

Sept. 8 - M5- Metales The Mexican Brass - Classical brass quintet from Mexico with pop music. Los Alamos Concert Association Night

Sunday, April 23, 2017


Sunday, April 23, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Nobody But Me by Lyres
The Grace by The Molting Vultures
Can't Wake Myself Up by Laino & Broken Seeds
Burn 'em Brew by Left Lane Cruiser
Sookie Sookie by Steppenwolf
Fidget by The Vagoos
Vete de Aqui by Ton Ton Macoutes
I'm s Full Grown Man by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Crybabies Go Home by The Ghost Wolves
Let's Turn This Thing Around by Peter Case

I'd Kill For Her by Black Angels
Get Straight by Lynx Lynx
No Cities to Love by Sleater-Kinney
Goin' Blind by The Melvins
Evil Child by Blind Butcher
Staying Undergroumd by Destination Lonely
Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Warren Zevon

Belated 4-20 Set
The Man from Harlem by Cab Calloway
Sweet Marijuana Brown by The Barney Bigard Sextet
Here Comes the Man with the Jive by Stuff Smith & The Onyx Club Boys
If You're a Viper by Fats Waller
Save the Roach for Me by Buck Wshington
Reefer Head Woman by Jazz Gillum
Light Up by The Buster Bailey Rhythm Busters
When I Get Low I Get High by Ella Fitzgerald
All the Jive is Gone by Andy Kirk & His 12 Clouds of Joy
Reefer Man by Don Redman

Bad Luck Man by Delaney Davidson
The Black Rider by Tom Waits
Born in 1947 by Ronny Elliott
It's Only Make Believe by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Love and Mercy by Brian Wilson
Lovers Never Say Goodbye by The Flamingos
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, April 21, 2017


Friday, April 21, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Working Class by The Defibulators
Fuck Up by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Don't Toss Us Away by Lone Justice
What Good Can Drinkin' Do by Martha Fields
Life of Sin by Sturgill Simpson
Match Made in Heaven by Jesse Dayton
Set Me Free by Scott H. Biram
It's a Mystery to Me by Big Sandy &The Flyrite Boys
Pinball Prison by Puddles Pity Party

Don't the Girls All Get Prettier at Closing Time by Mickey Gilley
Who's Gonna Play This Old Piano by Jerry Lee Lewis
Old McDonald Boogie by Johnny Tyler & The Riders of the Rio Grande
Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette) by Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen
I've Got the Boogie Blues by Charline Arthur
Window Up Above by The Blasters
Drinkin' Dark Whiskey by Gary Allan
We Deserve a Happy Ending by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Jackpot by Nikki Lane
The Week of Living Dangerously by Steve Earle
Ladies in the Know by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Americana by Ray Davies
Sittin' and Thinkin' About You by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Who's Gonna Build Your Wall by Tom Russell
All Men Are Liars by Nick Lowe
Baby I Like You by Southern Culture on the Skids
Collegiana by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Ode to Billy Joe by Joe Tex
Joy by Lucinda Williams
Banshee Moon by Shannon McNally
Leigh's Song by Stephanie Hatfield
Nothing Takes the Place of You by Shinyribs
Mr. and Mrs. Used to Be by John Prine & Iris DeMent
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, April 20, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: It's 4-20 Time Again

Yes, this year Throwback Thursday falls on 4-20 itself.

Need I say more?

Enjoy this batch of vintage reefer songs, including a few from some of America's greatest jazz musicians.

Let's start with Slim & Slam (Slim Gaillard & Slam Stewart) singing about "Dopey Joe" from Baltimore.

Here's an old favorite, "Sweet Marijuana Brown" by Barney Bigard, featuring the amazing Art Tatum on piano.

From the mid 1940s comes Buck Washington with "Save the Roach for Me."

Gene Krupa, who actually went to jail for a few months for marijuana, offers "I'm Feeling High and Happy," featuring Helen Ward on vocals.

"Weed Smoker's Dream" by Kansas Joe McCoy & The Harlem Hamfats, later evolved into "Why Don't You Do Right." This version features a bitchen cartoon.

I have to admit I consume far more actual spinach than marijuana these days. But I don't think Julia Lee & Her Boyfriends are actually singing about Popeye's favorite vegetable.

If this ain't enough for you, check out more old-time reefer classics on an old Throwback Thursday and some newer tunes on this 4-20 Wacky Wednesday.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Cuddle with Puddles

This might be the saddest Wacky Wednesday of  all time.

That's because it features my favorite crooning sad clown, Puddles Pity Party, an Internet sensation who has helped me overcome my fear of ... well, Internet sensations.

Puddles, the creation of Big Mike Geier of Atlanta, Ga., specializes in straight-faced (if white-faced) covers of familiar songs.

The near-seven-foot clown has been at it since the '90s when he led an all-clown band called Greasepaint. In 2013, his cover of Lorde's "Royals" propelled him to his current Internet cult status. It's received more than 18.5 million views on YouTube.

Last year, The New York Times wrote of Puddles, "... his special effect is a textured voice laced with melancholy. His emotional warbling adds heft to his frowns. ...  What makes him transcend the trope is his vulnerability."

I included a Puddles Pity Party video -- his version of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"-- about a year ago in my Wacky Wednesday post about singing clowns. But Puddles is still at it, so I think he deserves a post of his own.

Let's start out with a Bee Gees song that's a natural for the Pity Party treatment. Clearly, the joke was on Puddles

Here's Puddles covering my favorite Cindy Walker tune

Puddles teams up with Nicole Atkins on this wimp-rock classic, "Reflections of My Life" by the proto-Air Supply group, Marmalade.

And on this recent one Puddles covers Los Lobos' "Estoy Sentado Aqui."

But let's end on a happy note.  one of Puddles' rare tunes that's devoid of melancholy. I must have seen this mash-up of "Pinball Wizard" and "Folsom Prison Blues" a thousand times on my Facebook feed in recent weeks.

Sunday, April 16, 2017


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

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Easter Everywhere by Julian Cope
Fire in My Bones by 13th Floor Elevators
Pretty Girls by Nobunny
Sick of You by Lou Reed
99 Things by Lynx Lynx
Golden Key by The Vagoos
Booga Chaka by Left Lane Criuiser
Dirt Preacher by Destination Lonely
Apocalyptica Blues by Blind Butcher
Can't Wake Myself Up by Laino & Broken Seeds
She's a Fool by Leslie Gore

Heaven on Their Minds by Murray Head
The Temple by Afghan Whigs
Damned for All Time by Scratch Acid
White Jesus by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
The Ballad of John and Yoko by The Beatles
I Shook His Hand by Gary Herffern
Peter Cottontail by Gene Autry

Dead in a Motel Room by Hickoids
Hillbilly with Knife Skills by The Grannies
Chem Farmer by Thee Oh Sees
Get on Board by Dead Moon
Today Again by Sad Girl
David by Courtney Barnett
Dusty Bibles and Silver Spoons by The Bloodhounds
The Other Two by Mark Sultan
A Young Girl by Noel Harrison

I'll Be Alright by Terence Trent D'Arby
Designated Fool by Sananda Maitreya
Look It Here by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
Day Tripper by Otis Redding
The Cross by Prince
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, April 14, 2017


Friday, April 14, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Wild Bill Jones by Acie Cargill
Nails in the Pine by Poor Boy's Soul
Help Me Joe by Dale Watson
See Willy Fly By by The Waco Brothers
Strange Heart by Banditos
3 Pecker Goat by Jesse Dayton
Cajun Moon by Phoebe Legere
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
Eb Tit Fille by Jo-el Sonnier

I Got Your Medicine by Shinyribs
Kick in the Head by New Riders of the Purple Sage
Crazy as a Junebug by Paula Rhae McDonald
Botched Execution by Shovels & Rope
Cornbread and Butterbeans by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Only You by NRBQ
Only You by Carl Perkins
Back Street Affair by Webb Pierce
Where's the Dress by Moe Bandy & Joe Stampley

The Nail by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Forever Lasts Forever by Nikki Lane
Confession by Stephanie Hatfield
Just Someone I Used to Know by Buddy Miller with Nikki Lane
Nothin' Feels Right But Doin' Wrong by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Wish You Back by Stephanie Hatfield with Mariachi Sonidos del Monte
He's Sorry by John Wagner

I See the Want To in Your Eyes by Gary Stewart
Long Black Veil by David Allen Coe
When I Was a Cowboy by David Bromberg
Storms Never Last by Waylon Jennings & Jessie Colter
Dreamin' My Dreams by John Prine & Kathy Matea
King David's Last Psalm by Jessie Colter
Were You When They Crucified My Lord by Johnny Cash with The Carter Family
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Sarah Shook, Stephanie Hatfield & Nikki Lane

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

Here are three of my favorite albums by female singers to cross my reality in recent weeks.

* Sidelong by Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. I don’t say this very often these days, especially when talking about emerging musicians, but Rolling Stone was right. Last summer, the magazine declared that this North Carolina outfit was one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need to Know.”

On my very first listen, I was a fan by the end of the first two tracks, “Keep the Home Fires Burnin’ ” (which has a beyond-catchy melody similar to the bluegrass classic “Rocky Top”) and “The Nail” (a love-gone-wrong honky-tonker with some fine guitar and lap steel in which Shook makes the wry observation, “Well, I ain’t your last, you ain’t my first/You can’t decide which fact is worse”).

With a fresh face like a young Jodie Foster and a voice with more than a hint of a whiskey rasp, Shook sounds as if she were born in an outlaw country song — or perhaps she’s the punk-rock granddaughter of Hazel Dickens.

In the country weeper titled “Dwight Yoakam” (which isn’t really about the singer by that name), Shook sings mournfully, “I’m drinking water tonight because I drank all the whiskey this morning.” Then in “Make It Up to Mama,” she playfully takes the persona of a bad hombre: “Well, I killed a man for lookin’ at me wrong … and I wasted my inheritance on hookers and booze/But I’m gonna make it up to Mama with this mother’s heart tattoo.”

I’m hoping that last one isn’t autobiographical, but I have a feeling that the preceding song — with a title that cannot be named in a respectable family newspaper like this one — might be based on personal experience: “I can’t cry myself to sleep, so I drink myself to death/I got cocaine in my bloodstream and whiskey on my breath/Ain’t a thing that I can change to get my luck up/I guess I’m just too much of a …”

Apparently Sidelong, originally self-released, has been out since late 2015, though Bloodshot Records is rereleasing it for national distribution at the end of this month.

* Traces by Stephanie Hatfield. Santa Fe’s Stephanie Hatfield just released her third and what I
believe to be her strongest album to date. This is music for late-night listening — with her sultry voice and heartfelt lyrics of love and longing.

Several tunes here, most notably “Stay Lover Strong,” “Wrap My Limbs,” “Season Too Soon” and “Exposed,” have a discernible Latin flavor. Aided by two members of a local group, Mariachi Sonidos del Monte (Eric Ortiz on trumpet and guitarist Santiago Romero), Hatfield creates a sound influenced by the band Calexico. And it works. On most of the songs the mariachi is more of a suggestion than the driving force. The driving force, as it should be, is Hatfield’s voice.

Some of my favorites on Traces are the mysterious, smoky “Talking to the Dead” and the soulful, gospel-informed “Sold and Stolen.” On the latter, Hatfield’s voice soars on the bridge while pianist R. Bruce Phillips offers sweet, subtle touches.

But even more satisfying is the minor-key slow-burner called “Confession.” At five and a half minutes, it’s the longest song on the album, but it’s time well spent. With her husband and co-producer Bill Palmer on guitar, the song builds and builds until the listener is virtually on the edge of his seat.

And the lyrics are even more intense than the music: “So I walk, I run, I hide in a bathroom down the hall/Sink to my knees and hold my head as if somehow I can stop the fall/He was gone and so I carried on, but I left most of me behind.”

My only disappointment is that this album doesn’t include Hatfield’s “Wish You Back,” her collaboration with the full Mariachi Sonidos del Monte. But don’t worry. You can download that one for a buck at Hatfield’s Bandcamp page.

* Highway Queen by Nikki Lane. Like Margo Price and Sturgill Simpson, Nikki Lane is a major voice in a loose-knit movement that I call “new country music that doesn’t suck.” And like Sarah Shook, she’s also got a punk-rock heart.

In fact, the first time I ever heard of Lane was when I saw her open for Social Distortion in Austin a couple of years ago. I walked away from that show with two songs ringing in my head: Social D’s cover of Hank Williams’ “Alone and Forsaken” and Lane’s “Sleep With a Stranger.”

Released earlier this year, Highway Queen shows I wasn’t wrong in my initial impression of Lane as a strong, spunky, and important country artist. But some of the tunes seem to be hinting  that the nonstop touring might be getting to her.

On the opening track, “700,000 Rednecks,” Lane sings, “Well, I travel around from town to town/I do the best I can everyday/I drive long hours and I don’t get to shower and I ain’t gonna brag  about the pay.” Then, on the album’s title song, she sings, “Sixty thousand miles of blacktop/Countless broken hearts between/Winding lines of white that don’t stop/Living the life of the highway queen.”

But it’s not all complaints about the road. “Jackpot,” a snappy little country rocker, is raw joy, as is “Big Mouth,” an upbeat tune about small-town gossip.

And like all great country artists, Lane knows how to write a heartache song. “Forever Lasts Forever” is just stunning. In the refrain she sings, “We swore for better or for worse/And it was better at first, and worse at the end/But they say, forever lasts forever/’til forever becomes never again.”

Lane is scheduled to appear at Launchpad in Albuquerque on Monday, May 1.  Tickets are $13.

Video time!

Here's Sarah

Here's a live-in-the-studio song from Stephanie (and Bill)

And here's Nikki

Thursday, April 13, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Lady in the Long Black Veil

It's  a song sung by a ghost, so it should not be a surprise that it's a song with an afterlife.

I'm talking, of course about "Long Black Veil." I first heard it by The Band. It's probably best known for its version by Johnny Cash. It originally was recorded by Johnny Cash. It was written by  by Danny Dill and Marijohn Wilkins.

American Songwriter in a 2013 article said the song began with Dill wanting to "write a folk song that would last for the ages."  Writer Jim Beviglia said:

He was partially inspired by a newspaper story of a priest in New Jersey who was killed under a streetlight with witnesses watching. For the chorus, Dill drew from the song “God Walks These Hills With Me.”

Perhaps most fascinating of all, Dill borrowed elements of the urban legend surrounding the grave of actor Rudolph Valentino. It seems that each year following the death of the legendary Italian screen star, a woman wearing a long black veil would lay a single red rose on the grave, drawing the attention of the press in the process. (The majority of the evidence points to the Valentino phenomenon having originated as a publicity stunt, which was then carried on in subsequent years by copycats.)

Dill took his unfinished song to co-writer Marijohn Wilkin to hammer out the plot. What they came up with was a tale that transcended all of its disparate sources.

Indeed they did. Here's Lefty's version recorded in 1959:

The song has been covered by a wide range of folk, country and rock acts, from Joan Baez to Social Distrortion's Mike Ness to The Chieftains (vocals by Mick Jagger) to Nick Cave to Bill Monroe to Orion.

But before most of those, the son's co-writer, Marijohn Wilkin, cut a version from the perspective of the best friend's wife. She called it "My Long Black Veil."

Then in 2011 Jason Boland & The Stragglers recorded a song called "False Accuser's Lament" in which he revealed the murder beneath the town hall light was part of a conspiracy by the husband of the lady in the long black veil.

Somehow Boland's answer song didn't inspire its own answer song in which the ghost of the frame man seeks revenge on his former best friend.

Maybe that's next. But until then, here is Red Foley's country hymn, "God Walks These Hills With Me"

And here's enough "Long Black Veils" to last you an eternity!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: 40 Years of Cramps

It was 40 years ago today Poison Ivy taught The Cramps to play.

Or something like that ...

Yesterday Norton Records co-founder and one-time Cramps drummer Miriam Linna posted on her Facebook page a video featuring eight lo-fi, early, early versions of Cramps songs.

And here's what she had to say:

So, like it or whatnot, now is the 40th anniversary of the Cramps first studio recording session, no matter what any boob or youtube might say. This sesh was in April 1977 and it was at Bell Sound in NYC and it was booked and paid for by Richard Robinson who also shot a home movie in his living room a few days later. The cover shown here was for  a Munster boot out of Spain many moons ago. I have no clue where they got the tape. That's all. You can debate the date all you want, but as Kim Brown's Renegades would say, "I Was There".  Just the facts, that is ALL.

As you can see, both the Youtube she posted as well as the bootleg album cover she refers to says the session in question in 1976, the year of our Bison Tentacle.

But like Miriam wrote, she was there and she says '77. So I'll go with that. Miriam said it, I believe it. That settles it.

Anywho, here's that music. As I said, the fi ain't high, but you're listening to HISTORY being made so stop your sniveling!

This is the set list:

1. Don't Eat Stuff Off the Sidewalk
2. I Was a Teenage Werewolf
3. Sunglasses After Dark
4. Love Me
5. Domino
6. What's Behind The Mask
7. I Can Hardly Stand It
8. TV Set

And in case you were wondering about the obscure reference to Kim Brown and The Renegades ...

Sunday, April 09, 2017


Sunday, April 9. 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Man in White by The Taxpayers
Creature by Double Date with Death
Lizard People by Playboy Manbaby
The Straight Life by Mudhoney
Dinero by Ton Ton Macoutes
Mantrap by Thee Headcoats
Panic is No Option by Mission of Burma
English Civil War by The Clash
I'm a Big Man by Big Daddy Rogers
It's All Right / For Sentimental Reasons by Sam Cooke

Sing Me Back Home by The Chesterfield Kings
It Ain't Gonna Save Me by Jay Reatard
Take Me Aay by Willis Earl Beal
Spastica by Elastica
I'm Moving On by Yoko Ono
Who Shot the Druggies by Lynx Lynx
No Rock on Mars by The Vagoos
Claw Machine Wizard by Left Lane Cruiser
Pan by Ty Segall
Over and Over by The Moonglows

Youth Against Fascism byb Sonic Youth
Sacrifice/Let There Be Peace by Bob Mould
I Walk for Miles by Dinosaur Jr
Hanged Man by Churchwood
Land of a Thousand Dances by Little Richard
Magic Carpet Ride by Steppenwolf
Don't Fuck Around With Love by Bernadette Seacrest & Kris Dale

The Fat Angel by The Jefferson Airplane
What Once Was Dead by Laino & The Broken Seeds
Is That You in the Blue by Dex Romweber Duo
Don't Blame Me by The Everly Brothers
Peace Like a River by Jerry Lawson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, April 07, 2017


Friday, April 7 , 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
They Call the Wind Mariah by Bobby Osborne
Dwight Yoakam by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Two Doors Down by Dwight Yoakam
Steve Earle by Lydia Loveless
Hardcore Troubadour by Steve Earle
Bottom Below by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
I Don't Give a Shit by Shinyribs

Border Town Blues by John Wagner
666 Pack by The Meat Purveyors
She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye by Jerry Lee Lewis
Bowling Alley Baby by Reach Around Rodeo Clowns
Mean Mama Boogie by Johnny Bond& His Red River Valley Boys
Patrick by The Misery Jackals
Pigfork Jamboree by The Imperial Rooster
Too Much Pork for Just One Fork by Southern Culture on the Skids
Carny Folk by The Saucer Men
I Drink by Mary Gauthier

Fishin' Forever by Mose McCormack
Season Too Soon by Stephanie Hatfield
Homeland by Lauria
Feelin' Haggard by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
He Won't Ever Be Gone by Willie Nelson
One Sweet Hello by Merle Haggard
Old Man from the Mountain by Eugene Chadborne with Bryan & The Haggards
I'll Fix Your Flat Tire Merle by Pure Prairie League

Take Out the Trash by Jesse Dayton
Who's Gonna Take Your Garbage Out by Rosie Flores & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Long Old Time by Scott H. Biram
Southern White Lies by Marty Fields
Praise Ye the Lord by Jessi Colter
Second Coming Blues by Larry Kirwin
The Man in the Bed by Dave Alvin
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, April 06, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: See You in My Dreams (Part 2)

Back in December 2014, just a few weeks after I started the Throwback Thursday feature on this blog, I did a look at one of my favorite old songs from the 1920s, "I'll See You in My Dreams."

Written by Isham Jones and lyricist Gus Kahn and published in 1924, and first recorded by the Ray Miller Orchestra (vocals by Frank Besinger) in 1925, "I'll See You in My Dreams" became an instant American classic.

Khan's lyrics seem almost like a mystical incantation, an opening of the door into the world of dreams:

I'll see you in my dreams
Hold you in my dreams
Someone took you right out of my arms
Still I feel the thrill of your charms

Lips that once were mine
Tender eyes that shine
They will light my way tonight
I'll see you in my dreams

You can find Ray Miller's version of "Dreams" and several others in that original post.

But there have been so many wonderful covers of the song in the past 90 years or so, I believe my original post deserves a sequel.

Let's start with Ella Fitzgerald, who recorded "Dreams" in the mid 1940s. That's Louis Armstrong on trumpet.

Thrill to the charms of the ever-sultry Julie London, who sang it on her 1968 album, Easy Does It.

Fast forward to the 1990s and you'll find The Asylum Street Spankers singing it on their first album.

British rocker Joe Brown sang it as the closing number of a tribute concert for George Harrison at the Royal Albert Hall in 2002

Brown's cover inspired this moving version by a young British ukulele enthusiast named Sophie Madeleine

That's it for now. See you in my dreams ...

Wednesday, April 05, 2017


There's a weird tradition in country music of novelty songs about Native Americans. It goes back at least as far Bob Wills' "Cherokee Maiden" (written by Cindy Walker) in 1941. The tunes are full of racial stereotypes and basically devoid of actual Indian culture.

Except perhaps for "Cherokee Maiden" and Hank Williams' "Kaw Liga" (which was about a wooden cigar-store Indian), you don't hear many of these tunes today. While they weren't written or performed in a hateful way, most of them were pretty clueless.

But there was one band that enthusiastically embraced these old songs -- an Irish "show band" -- cover bands that played Ireland's ballroom circuit -- called The Indians.

For most of the '60s the Dublin-based band was a journeyman group known as The Casino. But in 1970s, on the verge of breaking up. A prospective manager suggested The Casino needed a fresh gimmick. He recommended the group start wearing war paint and dressing up in headdresses and buckskins -- a proto-Village People style, basically.

So they did all that and and started playing all those Native-themed novelty tunes (though these actually are just a small part of their repertoire.)

The Indians are still around today, though most the original members are long gone. And apparently they still love those dumb-ass novelty songs.

Let's start wit "Kaw Liga." I don't think Hank done it this a way

One of the greatest pseudo-native songs in history "Running Bear."

Here's The Indians' interpretation of Hank Thompson's "Squaws Along the Yukon"

Here's The Indians' synth-marred version of the surf guitar classic "Apache."

This song didn't start out as an "Indian" song.

Finally, here's The Indians' version of Rex Allen's incest cautionary tale, "Son Don't Go Near The Indians."

Sunday, April 02, 2017


Sunday, April 2. 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Kickin' Child by Dion
The Ode Trip to Jerusalem by The Mekons
Treat Her righ by The Blue Bonnets
Bo Weavil Laino & The Broken Seeds
Karate Monkey by The Woggles
Andres by L7
Strobe Light by The B-52s
Days and Days by Concrete Blonde
Angel Baby by Rosie & The Originals

Must be Voodoo by The Vagoos
Crazy to the Bone by Dead Moon
Black Eyed Dog by Destination Lonely
Get Straight by Lynx Lynx
Never Say Never by Romero Void
Apostle Island by The Blind Shake
Sexy Hell by Blank Generation
Memories Are Made of This by Little Richard

Sheela-Na-Gig by PJ Harvey
Now You're Gone by Mark Sultan
Hang Up by The Cramps
If I Had My Way by Evan John
Come Back Lord by Reverend Beat-Man
Never Stand If You Can Walk by Help Me Devil
Elephant Man by Meet Your Death
25th Floor/High on Rebellion by Patti Smith

Lips of a Loser by Black Joe Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Manny's Bones by Los Lobos
People Want to Go Home by William Bell
The Last Day of Our Acquaintance by Sinead O'Connor
Don't Blame Me by The Everly Brothers
And I Bid You Goodnight by The Persuassions
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, March 31, 2017


Friday, March 31, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Back from the Shadows Again by Firesign Theatre
700,000 Rednecks by Nikki Lane
Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers
Still Sober After All these Beers by The Banditos
Solitary Confinement by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Battle of Love by Mose McCormack
Beans & Make Believe by John Wagner 
This Town Gets Around by Margo Price
Fuck This Town by Robbie Fulks
I'm Fixin' to Have a Breakdown by Dale Watson
Y'all Come by Minnie Pearl

Hands on Your Hips by Shinyribs
My House Has Wheels by Southern Culture on the Skids
The Ballad of Thunder Road by Jim & Jesse
Flora, The Lily of the West by Tim O'Brien
Hey Little Darlin' by The Wilders
I Believe in Spring by Eleni Mandell
Sold and Stolen by Stephanie Hatfield
Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean

She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye by Jerry Lee Lewis
Who's Heart Are You Breaking Now? by Don Walser
Cajun Joe (Bully of the Bayou by Doug & Rusty Kershaw
North to Alaska by Johnny Horton
I'd Like to Know by Jo-El Sonnier
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud Loud Music by John Prine & Amanda Shires
One Bad Shoe by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Wasp's Nest by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Crippled and Crazy by Scott H. Biram

Mercy and Loving Kindness by Jessi Colter
Commandment 3 by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
The Selfishness of Man by George Jones
You Don't Know Me by Willie Nelson
Crazy Moon by Merle Haggard
April Fool's Day Morn by Loudon Wainwright III
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Thursday, March 30, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Here's to Seward's Folly!

One hundred and fifty years ago today, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia to purchase what later would become the 49th state for $24 in beads.

Ooops. That was another land deal. Seward agreed to buy Alaska for $7 million -- which was about 2 cents per acre.

But while this still was a huge bargain, opponents mocked the deal as "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Ice Box" or "Seward's Ice Capades" (Ok, I just made that one up.)

The U.S. Senate on April 7, 1867 ratified the treaty by a one-vote margin.

To celebrate, here's a musical tribute to the Last Frontier.

This is Alaska's official state song.

Here's what ought to be Alaska's damn state song:

Johnny Horton had a knack for Alaska songs

And finally some old fashioned Alaska-centric political incorrectness from Hank Thompson

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday, Eric Idle

Eric Idle, probably the most musical member of Monty Python, turns 74 today.

Let's honor him by presenting some of his greatest songs.

Here's one called "Eric the Half-a-Bee" from Monty Python's Previous Record, their third album released in 1972.

Eric got cosmic in this classic number from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

The Carter Family's "Keep on the Sunny Side" might have sounded like this had the Carters sung it while being crucified. (From The Life of Brian.)

And we can't forget Eric's contributions to The Rutles, in his guise as Dirk McQuickly.

Here's a sentimental little gem from the George W. Bush era.

And here's a happy little meditation on mortality performed on the Craig Ferguson show in 2009

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BIG ENCHILADA 106: And Their Hearts Were Full of Spring


It's springtime at the Big Enchilada. Birds are singing, bells are ringing and bitchen tunes are sprouting up like poisonous mushrooms awaiting their victims! Plus an inspired tribute to the recently ascended master Chuck Berry. So don't fall back, spring forward to the glorious sounds. 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Garbage City by The Street Sweepers)
Tailgate Party by The Gay Sportscasters with Evan John
Fate of a Gambler by Laino & The Broken Seeds
It's Not Easy by Alcoholic Helltones
Kill Zone by James Arthur's Manhunt
Mean Evil Child by The Raunch Hands
(Background Music: Midnight by Hank Levine & The Blazers)

Roll Over Beethoven by The Sonics
Let it Rock by The Animals
Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller by The Flamin' Groovies
Rock and Roll Music by The Red Elvises
Reelin' and a Rockin' by The Astronauts
The Promised Land by Dale Hawkins
Johnny B. Goode by Lolita #18
(Background Music: My Mustang Ford by Chuck Berry)

Crazy to the Bone by Dead Moon
Apes Live a Life by The Blind Shake
Mojo by Blind Butcher
You Can Be a Fascist Too by Playboy Manbaby
(Background Music: Holiness Dance by The Rev. Louis Overstreet)

Play it below:

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Sunday, March 26. 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Nutbush City Limits by New Diamond Heavies
Boogie Tale by Laino & The Broken Seeds
The Stranger Rides Tonight by Daddy Long Legs
Funeral by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Heart Attack and Vine by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Big Black Mariah by John Hammond
No Pussy Blues by Grinderman
Johnny B. Goode by Lolita No. 18

A Fix on You by Dead Moon
Pizza by Double Date with Death
Circus Freak by The Electric Prunes
Complication by The Monks
Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy by The Fall
Become A Monk by Modey Lemon
Ways to Get Along with You by Lynx Lynx
All My Lovin' by The Beatles
I Can't Dance by Singing Sadie

The Cuckoo by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Police Call by Drywall
Weakling by TAD
Lava by Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
Down on the Street by The Stooges
I Shot All the Birds by The Blind Shake
How to Fake a Lunar Landing by Alien Space Kitchen
The Other Two by Mark Sultan
Bounce Your Boobies by Rusty Warren

Don't Worry About Me (Opus 17) by The Four Seasons
Stay Lover Strong by Stephanie Hatfield
Up in Flames by Julee Cruise
Still Around by Scott H. Biram
Changes by Charles Bradley
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 23, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP Scott H. Biram and The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March. 24 , 2017

“I’m here to tell you about something that just might save your life..” 

Those are the first intelligible words you hear on The Bad Testament, the new album by Scott H. Biram — that dirty old one-man band from Austin — right after a few seconds of ambient radio noise and when the first song, “Set Me Free” actually begins. 

I can’t honestly say this album saved my life or will save yours. But it sure won’t hurt. The important thing is, this might be the best Biram album yet.

While it boasts the basic Biram sound — his rough-edged voice over acoustic guitar and foot-stomping — as a songwriter, Biram just keeps improving. He can still rock hard and crazy, the best examples here being “TrainWrecker” and “Hit the River,” a wild instrumental. He’s not afraid to get obscene if the spirit says so, as he proves on “Swift Driftin’.” 

And he has always had a way with good-time drinking songs like “Red Wine.” (One can easily imagine Texas honky-tonker Dale Watson singing this one.) But what Biram really has going for him is a knack for writing downright pretty blues-soaked country songs, and The Bad Testament has plenty of those.

“Still Around” is a minor-key song of a scorned lover, proud and defiant: “Go ahead and throw me down, I might be broke, I’m still around,” he sings. “I’m the weapon in your hand/I’m the stone that drags you down/I am the rock on which you stand/I am the one who hangs around.” The lyrics provide few clues as to what led to the singer’s angry words (“I have never been your friend/I’m just worn down by wind”), but the pain is audible. Plus there’s some pretty fancy near-flamenco fingerpicking in a couple of places here.
Scott H. Biram

“Crippled & Crazy” could very well be autobiographical. Nearly 15 years ago Biram survived an auto accident — a head-on collision with a pickup truck — that basically broke every bone in his body. Those wounds apparently still haunt him, as do others.

 With a sad electric organ adding a little texture, Biram sings of being “crippled and crazy and out of control” as well as being “sober and stupid” and “sold down the river.” On the heart-wrenching bridge he cries, “Calling all angels, all heartaches and demons, calling all lovers that left for no reason, down through the chamber that echoed the screamin’; twisted and turnin’ I just quit believin’ in love.’’

“Righteous Ways,” with its own sweet fingerpicking, sounds as if Biram has been listening to some Mississippi John Hurt. It’s an introspective number on which he yearns for a spirituality he knows he may never achieve. “I struggle all the time in my mind and in my heart,” he sings. “There’s just never enough time for righteous ways.”

But later on the album he makes a stab at righteousness, with “True Religion,” an a cappella tune that goes back at least as far as Leadbelly (and I suspect further). Biram’s probably being tongue-in-cheek here, seeing how the song is sandwiched between crazy religious radio samples. But in light of “Righteous Ways,” I suspect there’s a grain of earnestness too. 

Biram may seem a little bit touched at times, but I think the angels are among those who touched him. 

Also recommended:

 Front Porch Sessions by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This “big damn band” consists of exactly three people: Josh Peyton on vocals and guitar; his wife, Breezy Peyton, on washboard and background vocals; and drummer Maxwell Senteney — three people and no more. So it might seem odd to describe this album as more stripped-down than previous albums, but that’s what it is. 

The record wasn’t really recorded on Peyton’s front porch. But it sounds as if it might have been. It could be the soundtrack of a great summer barbecue, where the music is as tasty as the ribs.

There are not as many hard-chugging songs as on most of the albums by this Indiana trio. In some ways, Front Porch resembles the 2011 album Peyton on Patton, which was a solo album in which the Reverend played songs by blues pioneer Charley Patton. 

The new album has several covers of blues greats as well: Furry Lewis’ “When My Baby Left Me,” Blind Willie Johnson’s gospel stomper “Let Your Light Shine,” and “When You Lose Your Money,” which is based on Lewis’ version of the classic bad-man ballad “Billy Lyons & Stack O’ Lee.”

Peyton’s originals are worthy as well. The sweet opening cut, “We Deserve a Happy Ending,” sung with Breezy, is a moderate tempo blues, accented by the Reverend’s slide, about marital joy. “Even when we’re losing, it feels like we are winning,” the couple sing. 
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Low Spirits
The mood shifts with “What You Did to the Boy Ain’t Right,” on which the singer scolds, “I don’t want to fight, but what you did to the boy ain’t right.” It’s never spelled out what exactly was done to whom. We just know the Reverend don’t like it. 

Then there is the slow “One Bad Shoe,” which works an existential metaphor about traveling unprepared, knowing there’s a good chance you won’t make it to your destination.

In the tradition of previous Reverend Peyton food songs — like “Pot Roast and Kisses,” “Born Bred Corn Fed,” and “Mama’s Fried Potatoes” — the final track on Front Porch Sessions is “Cornbread and Butterbeans.” Here Peyton celebrates “eatin’ beans and makin’ love as long as I am able.” It’s a well-deserved feast.

Let's see some videos

First my favorite two songs on the Bad Testament

And now, Rev. Peyton