Thursday, January 17, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Postcards from Patti

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 18, 2018

"You gotta know how to pony ..."

“I hold the key to the sea of possibilities ...”

“Outside of society if you’re looking/That’s where you’ll find me ...”

“Jesus died for somebody’s sins, but not mine ...”

This is just a tiny sampling of the lyrics of Patti Smith, just a brief glimpse of the wild incantations that spoke directly to my twenty-something self. With the help of her devastating band, especially guitarist Lenny Kaye, Patti brought me new faith in rock ’n’ roll — which, by 1975, when her first album, Horses, was released, had for the most part gotten soft and tired. Patti’s lyrics were mystical battle cries for rebellious souls who’d been wondering where all the rebellion had gone.

Back in the post-Watergate era, she made good on the promise that Janis Joplin couldn’t keep: “I’m gonna show ya, baby, that a woman can be tough.” She carjacked Wilson Pickett’s “Land of 1,000 Dances,” shouting, “Seize the possibility!” And those of us who heard the urgency of her call could never understand why others could ever dig Frampton Comes Alive!.

Patti comes to Santa Fe on Saturday, Jan. 19. No, it’s not going to be a crazy rocking concert like the one she did under a big tent next to SITE Santa Fe with her band in the summer of 1997. She’ll be reading passages from her recent books — Devotion, M Train (which I’ve read and recommend), and Just Kids. The Jan. 19 event at the Lensic Performing Arts Center is being billed as an “evening of stories (and an acapella song or two) about love, loss, art, and New York City.”

(Bad news for us procrastinators: The show has been sold out.)

But back to the old daze: After I graduated from college in 1976, I decided I should announce my arrival to the “real world” by sending jackalope postcards to the three people I admired the most — Rodney Dangerfield, Billy Carter (the beer-drinking good old boy brother of Jimmy Carter, who’d just been elected president), and of course, Patti Smith. I don’t quite remember the logic behind this weird stunt, if indeed there was any. It just seemed like a cool thing to do.

Amazingly, all three of my postcards got responses. Rodney, or at least someone in his official fan club, sent me an autographed glossy black-and-white publicity photo. Billy sent me a postcard featuring a color photo of himself holding a beer can, naturally, at the gas pumps of the service station he ran in Plains, Georgia.

But Patti sent me the coolest response of all. It was a plain white postcard with a sticker for her then-latest album, Radio Ethiopia (still my favorite Smith album, though most critics disagree), and a handwritten personal message. “Dear Friend S.S.,” it began. She’d gotten my last name wrong — blame my “alternative penmanship” — addressing her card to “Stephen Sevele.”

She continued, “Thanks for the Jackalope ... Is real cool.” (I knew she’d understand! Then she addressed a question I’d asked her on my card.) “Bull Dog Brawer is my favorite wrestler,” she said, referring to Richard Gland, who wrestled under the name of Dick “Bulldog” Brower. “I think wrestling is a lot like Blue Oyster Cult … Happy maniac energy.”

Then Patti spoke of an accident she’d recently had on stage: “I’m recovering from Olympic injuries. Send spinal energy. XXX Patti Smith.”

Those “Olympic injuries” were no joke. On Jan. 23, 1977 — 42 years ago next week! — when opening for Bob Seger (!) in Tampa, Smith tripped on a sound monitor and fell from the stage, a drop of about 15 feet, into the orchestra pit, leaving her with a fractured spine and broken vertebrae in her neck. In 2012 she told Uncut magazine that she still suffers from those injuries. “My neck,” she said. “I still get discomfort, spinal discomfort. It’s nothing I can’t live with.”

I sent her a couple more postcards, and she replied, though the responses got shorter and shorter. I still treasure the note in which she wrote the phrase “Tongue of Love” on a green slip of paper. I display it in my front room, right with the autograph from Wilson Pickett I got a few years later. Both are sacred talismans, chiding me because I never learned how to pony (like Bony Maroney), as the song goes.

Though she’s never matched the impact and intensity of her first three albums in the ’70s (the two mentioned above plus Easter, released in 1978), I’ve remained a fan. I’ve seen her live three times — in New York and in Santa Fe in 1997, then in Austin during South by Southwest in 2000. Each of those were full of what only can be described as “happy maniac energy,” on the part of Patti, her band, and her audience.

Sure, I’d much rather see Patti the rocker, making thunder with Lenny and the boys, than politely listen to a sedate poetry reading.

But this lady is a true artist. She’s seventy-two years old and has given her heart and soul to rock ’n’ roll. She’s long ago earned the right to present her visions any way she sees fit. We all should feel lucky that she’s still out there, sailing the sea of possibilities.

Here's a Patti primer on Spotify

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Classic Rock from Playboy After Dark

Back in 1969, Hugh Hefner was not yet a dirty old man. He was a dirty middle-aged man.

But while the pipe-smoking, tuxedo-wearing head of the Playboy empire didn't seem at place in the wild and woolly rock 'n' roll world of the day, Heff was responsible for one of the one of the best television platforms for rock 'n' roll during the brief (1969-70) run of his syndicated TV show,  Playboy After Dark.

Sure, the show featured appearances by Sammy Davis, Jr. and various lounge lizards like Jack Jones, Buddy Greco and Gloria Loring `- singers who weren't even invited to Woodstock. But it also featured a lot of truly hip acts of the day who you rarely, if ever saw anywhere else on TV back then.

Plus, it was kind of fun seeing the likes of Doug Sahm, Roger McGuinn, James Brown and other counter culture greats schmoozing with Heff, Barbie Benton, various bunnies and other Playboy types.

Here are some of those performances.

Let's start with the mighty Steppenwolf

The Byrds, during their Sweetheart of the Rodeo era (sorry, it's post-Gram Parsons)

Some Chicago blues with James Cotton & Luther Tucker

Two words: James Brown!

And here's The Sir Douglas Quintet

More Playboy After Dark clips (plus some from Heff's earlier TV foray, Playboy's Penthouse)  can be found HERE

Sunday, January 13, 2019


Sunday, January 13, 2019
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
Bears by The Royal Guardsmen
21st Century Pharisees by Mudhoney
(We Ain't Got) Nothin' Yet by The Blues Magoos
Black Blood in the Misissippi Mud by Black Blood & Chocolate Pickles
Pony Dress by The Flesheaters
Stuttering Wind by Johnny Dowd
Blood on the Track by St. Louis & The Walking Dead
No Smoke Without Fire by Sir Bald Diddley
Talk Talk by The Chocolate Watchband
Daddy Was a Preacher, Mama Was a Go-Go Girl by Southern Culture on the Skids

Someone Greased the Fat Man by Dean Ween Group
Penny & The Young Buck by The Gluey Brothers
Three Cool Cats by The Beatles
Brazil by The Coasters
Sinnerman by Esquerita
The House of the Rising Sun by Nina Simone
It is or It Ain't by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

Patti Smith set 
Ain't It Strange
The Boy in the Bubble
25th Floor
High on Rebellion
Distant Fingers
Gone Again

All Night Cowboy by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Alley Strut by Henry Townsend
Angel Meat by Sean Healen
Hurry It Up by Eric Hisaw
More Poor People by Justice Seven
Make a Little Love by Alex Chilton
Bonnie Clyde by DBUK
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Puddles Does Presley

Yesterday was the birthday of Elvis Presley.

Happy birthday, King!

Many artists have covered Elvis songs. Some otherwise unknown singers have made careers as Elvis impersonators.

But none have done it with the weird grace of the performer who goes by the handle of "Puddles Pity Party." Cruising YouTube yesterday, hoping to find some "funny" Elvis covers, I discovered that this clown has covered several Presley tunes.

I bet Elvis would have gotten a huge kick out of these,

So enjoy ...

I've had nightmares similar to this one

Sunday, January 06, 2019


Sunday, January 6, 2019
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
(Many, actually most, of tonight's selections are from my Best of 2018 list.)
The Beast is You by The Electric Mess
Spiders by Harlan T. Bobo
Far Out by The Vagoos
Nothing but a Cliche by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Fire Walk With Me by Archie & The Bunkers
A Meaningless Conversation by Thought Gang
I'm Hurtin' by Cedric Burnside
Rain and Snow by J.D. Wilkes
I'll Pick Up My Heart and Go Home by Lily Meola

Don't Tell Jesus by The Devils
Take Off Your Clothes by The Goon Mat & Lord Bernardo
Liberty Valence by Carbon Silicon
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence by Gene Pitney
I'm Home Gettin' Hammered While She's Out Gettin' Nailed by Jesse Dayton
Snake Farm by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Drip Drop by Dion
Never Learn Not to Love by The New Surfsiders
Last Meal by Big Bill

Mirrior by The Callas With Lee Renaldo
Four Chambered Heart/Marquis Moon by Charlie Pickett
I Can't Get No Ride by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Ghost by Jon Spencer
Sick  'n' Tired by The Ar-Kaics
I Have Enough by Reverend Beat-Man
New Ways to Fail by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
I Ride an Old Paint by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

Moon Bog by Thee Oh Sees
Young Men Dead by The Black Angels
Too High by Hamell on Trial
That's Why They Call It Temptation by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis
Tennessee Blues by Bobby Charles
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Thursday, January 03, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Best Albums of 2018

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 4, 2018

Here is a list of my favorite albums released in 2018.

* The Difference Between Me & You by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Longtime fans of young Black Joe should immediately realize that this record is a back-to-basics move for this Austin band. The Honeybears still have their excellent funky horn section, and a handful of songs here are closer to sweet soul ballads than rump-rousing rock. But the overall sound of Difference is raw and rowdy, with roots stretching back to Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf.

* The Night Guy at the Apocalypse Profiles of a Rushing Midnight by Hamell on Trial. This basically is a song cycle by singer/songwriter Ed Hamell centered around a fictional hardcore dive called The Apocalypse, which is populated by drunks, drug addicts, backdoor beauties, angel-headed hipsters, small-time criminals, and tough guys. It’s a lo-fi affair recorded in its entirety on Hamell’s iPhone in various locales.

* Songs from the Lodge by Archie and the Bunkers. Kids these days, conventional wisdom goes, don’t love rock ’n’ roll like we did when I was a lad. But not these two teenage brothers from Cleveland. Drummer Emmett and organ player Cullen O’Connor have a unique high-energy sound they call “hi-fi organ punk.” Plus, they do a couple of songs here about Twin Peaks: “Fire Walk With Me” and “Laura.” These kids not only have talent, they have taste.

* Thought Gang by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. Speaking of Twin Peaks, this album — full of avant-garde jazz, synthesized rumblings, and sinister beatnik-style poetry — is required listening for anyone who claims to be a fan of David Lynch and his musical henchman Angelo Badalamenti. Recorded in the early 1990s, the music is spooky, unsettling, and sometimes even funny.

* See You in Miami by Charlie Pickett. This guitar singer from Florida had an enthusiastic regional following back in the early-to mid-’80s, but he jettisoned his musical career to become a lawyer in Miami. This album, Pickett’s first original-material release in decades, picks right up from his ’80s
heyday. He still does songs that sound like ZZ Top trying to rewrite The Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street.

* Wild! Wild! Wild! by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis. Fulks takes a break from the heaviness of his recent work and tears up the honky tonk with a boogie-woogie country gal on this duet album with rockabilly royal Lewis. And Lordy, it’s fun. Wild! is full of rockabilly romps, country weepers, blue-eyed soul, bouncy blues, sweet harmonies, drinkin’ songs, cheatin’ songs ... the sounds that made America a beacon of the free world.

* Benton County Relic by Cedric Burnside. If anyone thought that Mississippi Hill Country blues died with R.L. Burnside — or T-Model Ford or Junior Kimbrough or Paul “Wine” Jones — get your ears on this album and think again. Cedric, who is R.L.’s grandson (and former drummer) has those
blues in his blood. Like the work of all those ascended masters, Cedric’s music is rough, raw, and sometimes hypnotic. Somewhere up above, R.L. is looking down smiling, saying, “Well, well, well ...”

* Years by Sarah Shook & the Disarmers. I was somewhat apprehensive when I got a copy of this album. How could it be anywhere as good as her debut, Sidelong, coming just a year later? Am I bound to be disappointed? But I wasn’t. Her sophomore effort is full of impressive tunes about love gone sour. But there is little, if any, confessional self-pity. Shook’s confidence, pride, and humor frequently shine through the heartache.

* A History of Violence by Harlan T. Bobo. Despite all the songs about romance gone wrong and the tensions between a man and a woman — and the fact that the Memphis rocker got divorced between his previous album and this one, Bobo has said this is not a breakup album. Either way, the songs here are packed with frustration, desperation, and loneliness. And some of the hardest rocking tunes are obviously dark fantasies of wanton violence.

* King of the Road: A Tribute to Roger Miller by various artists. It’s true that most tribute albums suck the warts. But partly because Miller really was one of the greatest songwriters to ever live — and partly because of the caliber of the talent that producer (and Roger’s son) Dean Miller has
wrangled for this project — nearly every track is a winner. The songs capture Roger’s wide emotional range: the funny tunes, cool anthems, honky-tonk stompers, and surprisingly powerful heartache songs. Standout tracks include the stunning bluegrass cover of “When Two Worlds Collide” by the female-fronted band Flatt Lonesome; a soulful take on a little-known Miller song called “I’ll Pick Up My Heart and Go Home” by Lily Meola; “The Last Word in Lonesome Is Me,” by Dolly Parton and featuring Alison Krauss; and the slow, jazzy “Lock, Stock, and Teardrops” by Mandy Barnett.

Honorable mentions (Damn! There really were a lot of fine albums released last year):

Spencer Sings the Hits by Jon Spencer

The Beast Is You by The Electric Mess

Psychic Action by The Vagoos

Clippety Clop by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

Trouble and Desire by The Callas with Lee Ranaldo

Blues Trash by The Reverend Beat Man & The New Wave

Soul Flowers of Titan by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Fire Dream by J.D. Wilkes

Smote Reverser by Thee Oh Sees

In This Time by The Ar-Kaics

UPDATED Jan. 6, 2019: Here's a Spotify playlist with 2 songs each from the Top 10 albums and one each from the "honorable mentions" (except Holly Golightly's, which isn't available on Spotify)

THROWBACK THURSDAY: These Are People Who Died (in 2018)

Here's a dozen of the major musicians who slipped the surly bounds of Earth in 2018.

Their music lives.

Blues/soul singer Denise LaSalle left us on Jan. 8 last year.

"Hugh Masekela's music was black as night," sang Eric Burdon in The Animals' hit "Monterrey." Here is part of the South African jazz trumpeter's performance at the 1967 Monterrey Pop Festival that inspired Burdon -- and countless others. Hugh died on Jan. 23, 2018.

Nokie Edwards, lead guitarist of The Ventures, died March 13, 2018.

Jazz piano giant Cecil Taylor died April 5, 2018. Here's a 1984 performance with the Art Ensemble of Chicago.

Elvis Presley's original drummer D.J. Fontana ascended on June 13, 2018. Here he is with Elvis (and Scotty and Bill) on The Milton Berle Show in 1956.

Lorrie Collins of the rockabilly duo The Collins Kids died on Aug. 4, 2018. Here she is with little brother Larry in 1958.

Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul went to sing with the angels on Aug. 16

Marty Balin, one of the singers in the Jefferson Airplane flew to Heaven on Sept. 27, 2018. Here he is at Woodstock in 1969, sharing vocal duties with Grace Slick.

The gators never got Tony Joe White. He escaped to the Hoodoo After-world on Oct. 24, 2018.

Country singer, who went to that great honky tonk in the sky on Oct. 27, 2018, was making music decades before he did this country hit in the early '70s. It was his biggest hit, and the song I remember him by.

Roy Clark has been pickin' and grinnin' at the feet of God since Nov. 15, 2018.

Pete Shelley of The Buzzcocks died way too soon on Dec. 6, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Postcards from Patti

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican   Jan. 18, 2018 "You gotta know how to pony ..." “I hold th...