Monday, June 28, 2004


Sunday, June 27, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone
Wall of Death by Richard & Linda Thompson
If New Orleans is Beat by The Tragically Hip
World Leader Pretend by R.E.M.
Country at War by X
Together We're Heavy by The Polyphonic Spree
Runaway Child by The Funk Brothers

Drink to Me, Babe, Then by A.C. Newman
Jazzman by Eric Burdon
In the Garden by Van Morrison
That's So Amazing by Michelle Shocked
It's All in the Game by Tommy Edwards
Little Miss Strange by The Jimi Hendrix Experience
When Doves Cry by Patti Smith

All Songs by Prince except where noted

Life O The Party
Let's Go Crazy
U Got the Look (with Sheena Easton)
The Future
Little Red Corvette by The Gear Daddies
One of Us
Cinnamon Girl
Dirty Mind
Raspberry Beret by Hindu Love Gods
I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man
The Cross by The Blind Boys of Alabama
Dear Mr. Man
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Somehow my story about last week's threat to Gov. Richardson didn't make it to The New Mexican's web site. I'll post it here.

As published in the Santa Fe New Mexican

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

But when there’s a security threat going against the state Homeland Security Office, Homeland Security goes home.

At least that’s what happened this week when a woman called the Homeland Security Office threatening to shoot Gov. Bill Richardson, politicians in general and unnamed “Mexicans.”

According to Peter Olson, spokesman for the state Public Safety Department, a woman walked into the state Transportation Department and asked to use the phone Thursday afternoon shortly before 4 p.m.

She then called Homeland Security. Referring to “politicians,” the woman threatened to “line them up, Bill (Richardson) first, and get rid of them one by one.”

According to Olson’s press release, “The woman said approximately ten times in the conversation that she would ‘get a gun to shoot Mexicans.’ She stated that the next time a Mexican violated her rights; she would ‘shoot them.’

“The woman kept referring to immigration policies and used racial slurs against Mexicans throughout the course of the conversation,” Olson said.

Richardson was in Boston Thursday, attending meetings for the upcoming Democratic National Convention, of which he is chairman.

The woman’s image was captured on a security camera. However, she left the office before police arrived.

Homeland Security employees were sent home Thursday afternoon, Olson said. The office reopened Friday morning.

Annette Sobel, director of the Homeland Security Office, couldn’t be reached for comment Friday.

A spokeswoman for the governor’s office declined to comment referring questions to Public Safety Secretary John Denko.

Denko was quoted in the press release saying, “This represents another example of the increasing number of threats made against Governor Richardson since he assumed office in January of 2003. All security precautions will be taken to insure his safety.”

In the past year Denko and other administration officials have given security as a reason for Richardson’s state police drivers driving at 100 mph speeds and for not disclosing some details of Richardson’s travels.

But Olson said Friday couldn’t quantify how much the threats had been increasing because he didn’t know how many threats have been made against Richardson.

“We haven’t been keeping track,” he said.

State police have investigated threats against the governor that have included phone calls as well as “people yelling things from crowds,” Olson said.

Few of the threats have been publicized. In January, state police evacuated most of the Capitol — although reporters in the press room were not told to leave — for a police bomb squad to investigate a “suspicious package” in Richardson’s parking space in the underground parking garage. The governor wasn’t in the building.

Police haven’t disclosed details about the package. No arrests were ever made.


I just got the latest issue of No Depression in the mail today and it includes my piece on Santa Fe poet/singer/madman/drunk/angel-headed hipster/goodtime guy Kell Robertson.

The story's not available online, which means you'll have to go to the store and buy it. (Quaint little notion, no?) In Santa Fe you can find it at Borders and Hastings. It's the issue with Dave Alvin on the cover. (If it's not in the stores quite yet, have patience. It will be soon.)

It also includes this snapshot I took of Kell at Cafe Oasis a couple of months ago.


The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, June 25, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-Host: Laurell Reynolds

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
From a Jack to a King by Cornell Hurd
Honey Babe by Vassar Clements with Maria Muldaur
Believe by Robbie Fulks
Midnight Shift by Los Lobos
Oh Lonesome Me by Johnny Cash
I'm Gonna Be a Country Girl Again by Buffy Sainte-Marie
Sink Hole by Drive-By Truckers
Matty Groves by ThaMuseMeant

Mental Revenge/I'm It All Up To You by Linda Rondstadt
My One Desire by Freakwater
Crawling From the Wreckage by Graham Parker
Bring It On Home To Me by The Flatlanders
Everybody's Talkin' At Me by Emmylou Harris
Ashgrove by Dave Alvin
Wichita Lineman by Glen Campbell

Cool and Dark Inside by Kell Robertson
St. Mary of the Woods by James McMurtry
Paper in my Shoe by Michelle Shocked
Never Let the Devil Get the Upper Hand on You by Marty Stuart
Lonesome Valley by Jon Dee Graham
Walking After Midnight by Patsy Cline
The Bottle Let Me Down by Emmylou Harris
Don't Gossip in the Sauna by Emily Kaitz

Kind Woman by Buffalo Springfield
Hesitating Beauty by Billy Bragg & Wilco
She's a Mystery to Me by Roy Orbison
I Guess I've Come to Live Here In Your Eyes by Willie Nelson
Woman Walk the Line by Emmylou Harris
Young and Beautiful by Elvis Presley
Dreaming My Dreams by Waylon Jennings
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, June 25, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

Like many Prince fans — unfortunately, perhaps like most Prince fans — I’ve been out of touch with His Purple Majesty for several years now. I’d argue that he reached his peak in the late ’80s circa Lovesexy and The Black Album. Many say his pinnacle was even earlier, that it’s been downhill since Sign O’ the Times or even Purple Rain. But few would argue that Prince’s output in the last decade or so has been essential.

With each album seeming more obscure and less relevant, Prince started seeming like a happy memory instead of a still-vital music force. For the last couple of years Outkast, with its eccentric funk and tomfoolery, has done its best to fill the void that was once Prince’s territory.

But there’s good news: with his new album, Musicology, Prince proves he’s not ready for the nostalgia circuit just yet. The album is a sweet joy that reminds you of the splendor of the artist’s greatest years without feeling retro.

You can feel the confidence in his lyrics. In the title song, a celebration of “old school” funk, he evokes James Brown, Earth Wind & Fire, Sly, Chuck D, Doug E. Fresh and Jam Master Jay. He doesn’t come out and put himself in that pantheon. But he deserves to be there — and he knows it. By “Life ‘O’ the Party,” which includes a nod at Outkast and its Atlanta funk, there’s no false modesty or any question who the life of the party is.

As in his best work, there are some great, funky booty-shaking jams — the aforementioned tunes plus “Illusion, Coma, Pimp & Circumstance” — as well as some soul-shaking love ballads — “Call My Name,” for instance.

One of my favorites is “On the Couch,” a bluesy, gospel-drenched tune you could almost imagine the late Ray Charles covering. The horn section on the latter includes former James Brown sideman Maceo Parker and Dutch treat Candy Dulfer on saxes.

There are even some political songs here. “Cinnamon Girl” (not the Neil Young song) is about a girl of “mixed heritage” who is arrested for some unspecified crime after Sept. 11 but prays for peace “as war drums beat in Babylon.”

In “Dear Mr. Man” Prince rages against war, pollution and poverty, quoting Scripture and concluding his “letter” by saying, “We tired, U’all!”

It’s great to have Prince back. Hope he sticks around.

Some refried soul

*The Best of the Funk Brothers: the Millennium Collection. Here’s a strange situation. This is both a best-of album and, technically at least, a debut album.

The Funk Brothers, as documented so well in the film Standing in the Shadows of Motown, were the house band for Detroit’s most famous record label. The group played on hit records by Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, the Supremes, the Temptations, the Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, Smokey Robinson & the Miracles and the rest of the Motown stable.

But until now, they never recorded as the Funk Brothers. They released instrumental albums under the name Earl Van Dyke & the Soul Brothers because, so the story goes, back in the mid-’60s the word funk was considered to be just this side of obscene.

Most of the tunes on this album are the Motown hits we know and love. “The Way You Do the Things You Do,” “Come See About Me,” “How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You),” (most of these done with Van Dyke’s organ taking the place of Diana, Marvin, Levi or whoever) all the way up to “What’s Going On” and “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.”

This collection is a good listen. And it goes without saying that keyboardists Van Dyke and Johnny Griffith; bassists James Jamerson and Bob Babbit, guitarists Eddie Willis, Robert White and Joe Messina; and percussionists Benny Benjamin, Uriel Jones, Pistol Allen, Jack Ashford and Bongo Brown deserve credit for creating the sound behind some of popular music’s greatest records. Without a doubt, it was a stupid injustice that Motown never credited its instrumentalists until Marvin Gaye shamed them into it on What’s Going On in 1971.

But this album disproves one of the troubling contentions of Standing in the Shadows of Motown — that the Motown singers were interchangeable, that with a band as great as the Funk Brothers, it didn’t really matter all that much.

Well, the singers did matter. And if you can’t tell Levi Stubbs from Stevie Wonder, or the Temptations from the Vandellas, then you shouldn’t call yourself a music fan.

The fact is, most of these cuts, despite the first-rate instrumentalists, sound half finished. You need those singers. Only the last few cuts — specifically the Temptations’ “Runaway Child Runnin’ Wild” and a Van Dyke original called “The Stingray” sound like actual songs instead of potential karaoke tracks.

And ironically, this collection commits an injustice of its own. They don’t list the horn players, who are essential to many of the songs, especially the late-period stuff included here.

Who were these guys? I guess we’ll have to wait for the documentary "Standing in the Shadows of the Funk Brothers."

Hear “Sweet Hour of Prince” on Terrell’s Sound World, 10 p.m to midnight Sunday. (The Prince segment will start shortly after 11 p.m.) And don’t forget The Santa Fe Opry, same time, same channel Friday night.

Thursday, June 24, 2004


An e-mail from the national Bush reelection campaign in Arlington, Va. Wednesday contained two mysteries.

“The Bush-Cheney ’04 campaign will hold a press conference at the Obelisk Plaza on Thursday, June 24, to announce that a New Mexico elected Democrat official will endorse President Bush for the November election.”

Mystery #1: What and where is the “Obelisk Plaza”?

Mystery #2: Which Democrat is jumping ship?

We’re pretty sure that the location of this press conference actually is by the obelisk on the Plaza.

But nobody in the GOP wanted to disclose the identity of the mystery Democrat until today’s press conference.

I think I’ve rounded up a pretty good suspect though.
Contacted Wednesday, City Councilor David Pfeffer said he knew the name of the Bush-supporting Democrat.

When asked whether it was him, Pfeffer would neither confirm or deny it.

“You’re asking a politician to either tell the truth or lie,” Pfeffer joked. “That’s pretty rude.”

City councilors, as well as mayors and municipal judges, are elected in non-partisan contests. Currently the council is dominated by registered Democrats, which isn’t unusual in a town where Dems have a 3-1 edge over Republicans.

Pfeffer was the only councilor to vote against a 2002 resolution opposing military action in Iraq war. He also was the lone dissenter on a resolution directing police to not cooperate with federal authorities under the Patriot Act in cases where in their judgment it violates an individual’s constitutional rights.

Pfeffer often finds himself at odds with some of his fellow party members on the council. He was in the center of a controversy following the March city election when he admitted to proofreading a newspaper ad for a group called Santa Fe Grass Roots that was highly critical of three councilors seeking election. Some of those councilors characterized the full-page ad, which ran in this paper, as an “attack ad,” saying it contained inaccuracies about their council records.

So is Pfeffer the elected local Democrat supporting Bush, or was he just pulling a columnist’s leg by refusing to confirm or deny? We’ll find out today in Obelisk Plaza.

Ship-jumping Greens: New Mexico’s Democratic Party isn’t the only political party with mavericks switching sides. A former state Green Party chairman and candidate for U.S. Senate, Abe Gutmann, is listed as a spokesman for an organization called “Greens For Kerry.”

Sarah Newman, a spokesman for the Oakland, Calif.-based group said the organization is launching its campaign to convince Greens to vote for John Kerry this week because the national Green Party is having its convention in Milwaukee, Wisc.

“The larger goal is beating George Bush,” she said. “Every Green and Nader supporter concerned about keeping civil liberties and environmental protection should vote for John Kerry.”

Gutmann, who couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday, has bucked his party to support a Democrat before. In 1998 he publicly backed Tom Udall for Congress over Green candidate Carol Miller.

The latest from Zogby: According to the latest known tracking poll in the state, Kerry is leading Bush by nearly seven percentage points. However, that lead still is within the margin of error.

The interactive poll of 505 New Mexicans, conducted via e-mail, shows Kerry with 50.1 percent, Bush 43.2 percent and Nader with 1.4 percent.

The Zogby organization conducted the poll in 16 battleground states June 15-20. Kerry is ahead in nine of the states, while Bush leads in seven.

However, the poll shows Bush gaining some ground. He only led in five states two weeks ago. Bush is leading 285-253 in electoral votes by Zogby’s estimate. The number of electoral votes needed to win is 270.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Sunday, June 20, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Miracle Drug by A.C. Newman
All For Swinging You Around by The New Pornographers
No Regrets by The Von Bondies
Falling Down Again by Buick MacKane
The Secret by Eric Burdon
Mother Rose by Patti Smith
Summer's Killing Us by The Tragically Hip

Little Billie by Michelle Shocked
This Is It (Your Soul) by The Hothouse Flowers
Black by Pearl Jam
Certain People I Could Name by They Might Be Giants
Everything Starts at the Seam by The Polyphonic Spree
Delilah by Tom Jones

That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine by The Everly Brothers
Papa Was a Rolling Stone by The Temptations
Papa Won't Leave You, Henry by Nick Cave
Just Like My Dad by ThaMuseMeant
Papa Was a Steel-Headed Man by Robbie Fulks

On the Couch by Prince
The Love Below Intro/Love-Hater by Outkast
When Did You Stop Loving Me/When Did I Stop Loving You by Marvin Gaye
The Stingray by The Funk Brothers
Hello, It's Me by The Isley Brothers
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, June 20, 2004


Here's a cheesy self-promotional plug. I'm selling something on E-Bay, a VHS version of Grateful Dawg, the documentary on Jerry Garcia's collaborations with David Grisman.

Here's the deal: I just won this tape on E-Bay. I thought was bidding on the DVD, so when I opened the package I was disappointed. (When my last VCR broke, I went to DVD and never looked back).

It was my own fault. The auction clearly stated VHS. There's a moral to this story ...

But if you've got a VCR and dig Jerry's bluegrass side, help me out and BID.


This isn't an ad. I don't even get a free download out of this. I just think some of you might be interested in a legal music download service I've been using the past couple of months, E-Music

The basics: You sign up and get 50 free song downloads for the first two weeks. After that you gotta pay. But the prices are fairly reasonable. I'm on the cheap -- $10 a month for 40 downloads -- plan. Under most the plans the downloads come out to about 25 cents apiece.

Although the selection of participating artists and labels isn't vast, there's quite a lot of great stuff available. There's tons of stuff by The Fall and The Cramps. I've downloaded live discs -- not available anywhere else -- by The Gourds and Robbie Fulks, Long Tall Weekend (an e-music only album by They Might Be Giants), a couple of Tav Falco efforts, some funky old blues compilations including Please Warm My Wiener, Jim Dickinson's Field Recordings, and It Came From Memphis, Vol. 2 (which has one track featuring pro wrestling great Jerry "The King" Lawler singing "Memphis, Tennessee.", plus stray songs from Willie Nelson, Wayne Kramer, Flaco Jimenez, Queen Ida, Steeleye Span, Billy Joe Shaver and others.

I've used up my 40 downloads this month, but I've got my eyes on a bunh of others. I've found multi-disc sets by Uncle Dave Macon and The Delmore Brothers, plus albums by Jay Farrar, Michael Hurley, Loretta Lynn and 16 Horsepower. (There's enough there for a few months.)

To be sure, I do have some complaints about E-music. On some live albums, between-song stage patter counts as a song. Thus a 23-second rant by Hasil Adkins ends up costing the same as a 13-minute cut by John Fahey. I wish they could work out a system with breaks for downloading an entire album.

And again, while there's plenty of great stuff, the selection isn't great if you're looking for something specific. I hope E-music makes a bigger effort to attract more labels and more musicians to its fold.

But I think it's worth the $10 a month. And it definitely beats getting sued by the RIAA. Check it out.

Saturday, June 19, 2004


The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, June 18, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Hey! Sexy by Robbie Fulks
CaledonIa by The Gourds
Settin' the Woods on Fire by The Flatlanders
I Just Wanted to See You Again by Lucinda Williams
Does My Ring Burn Your Finger by Buddy Miller
If Walls Could Talk by Eric Amble with The Bottle Rockets
Rio Grande by Dave Alvin
I Always Loved a Waltz by Kell Robertson

Twilight by Jon Dee Graham
Too Long in the Wasteland by James McMurtry
Queen of Compromise by Graham Parker
Where Does Love Go? Uncle Dave & The Waco Brothers
Stop the World and Let Me Off by Dwight Yoakam
Pee Wee, Where Have You Gone? by Ukulele Man

Truckdrivin' Son of a Gun by Dave Dudley
My Uncle by Steve Earle
He's a Good Dog by Audrey Auld
Tramps Rouge by Starlings TN
I've Watched You Fall in Love Before by Cornell Hurd
(There'll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover by Jon Rauhouse with Sally Timms
Tit Monde by Taj Mahal
Pop a Top by Jim Ed Brown
Redemption by Johnny Cash

Midnight Sun by Rolf Cahn
Fame Apart from God's Approval by Norman & Nancy Blake
My Songbird by Emmylou Harris
Rising Son by Patterson Hood
I Still Could Not Forget You Then by Angel Dean & Sue Gardner
This Could Be the One by Peter Case
A Kiss at the End of the Rainbow by Mitch & Mickey
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, June 18, 2004


Note: Instead of reviewing new CDs in my column today, I paid tribute to Ray Charles, whose funeral was today. Avid readers of this blog may notice I lifted a little -- but just a little -- from my old box set review I posted here the day Ray died.

My friend Phil from North Carolina pointed out that the entire memorial service will be available on the NPR web site, but just for a week.

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

Ray Charles is one of the reasons I love music enough I have to write about it.

Ray was there for me right at the beginning, when I was eight years old and first started listening fanatically to the radio. One day in the spring of 1962 at a supermarket I sneaked two record albums into my mother’s grocery cart. One was Sam Cooke’s Twistin’ the Night Away. The other Ray Charles’ landmark crossover hit Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. Mom was cool. She paid for them. (LPs were about $3 each back then.)

They were first real albums. And that was it. Between Cooke’s “Whole Lotta Woman” and Brother Ray’s exuberant “Bye Bye Love” and achingly sad “You Don’t Know Me,” there was no turning back. Alvin & The Chipmunks just weren’t going to do it for me anymore.

That was 42 years ago. Since then I’ve gone up and down countless other musical paths -- many roads that are directly connected to and influenced by Ray Charles and his gospel-colored, blues drenched soul, and some that seemingly have little or nothing in common with the man behind the shades.

But, to paraphrase the lyrics of “Georgia on My Mind,” for me all those roads lead back to Ray Charles.

It struck me last week the night after Ray Charles died, as I was playing “You Don’t Know Me” as a part of a radio tribute, how that song cuts to the essence of unrequited love. You can hear the tears, the frustration, the self scorn, as he sings the bridge, “Afraid and shy, I let my chance go by …” The singer’s emotion is so raw you barely even notice the sweetening strings and white-bread chorale behind him.

And it struck me how the song retains all the power it had when it first punched me in the gut back in the third grade. If anything, it’s even more powerful to adult ears.

Of course, it’s the raw power of his emotion -- in addition to his vocal and piano talents -- that made Ray Charles so great in the first place. He blended so many styles of American music -- R&B, blues, gospel, country, pop, Broadway show tunes -- into his own distinctive sound then used them to express the entire spectrum of human emotion.

Try to find a more joyful song than Ray’s version of “You Are My Sunshine,” which, with the help of Raelette Margie Hendrix he makes sound like a Dionysian voodoo orgy.

Try to match the subtle seething anger of “I Believe to My Soul,” in which he doesn’t sound like he’s kidding when he threatens to “use my rod.” And try to match the sheer, sweating lust of the call-and-response section of “What’d I Say.”

He had tunes that were full of humor -- “It Should Have Been Me,” his take on “Makin’ Whoopee,” and “Understanding,” where his threat of decapitation is played for laughs. (“Her soul better belong to the good Lord, ‘cause her head gonna belong to me.”)

The Genius has songwriting credits on many of his early classic songs (“Hallelujah I Love Her So,” “I’ve Got A Woman,” “I Believe to My Soul“), but he’s best known for making tunes written by others into his own.

He had access to some top-notch material of course. From Hoagy Carmichael to Doc Pomus, from Buck Owens to Stevie Wonder. And Ray Charles did Beatles songs (“Yesterday,” “Eleanor Rigby”) better than The Beatles did Ray Charles tunes. (The Fab Moptops’ short, lo-fi and forgettable version of “Hallelujah, I Love Her So” is on their Beatles Anthology 1.)

But the thing about Ray Charles is that he was perfectly capable of turning a bad song into a good one by reaching into the depths of the tune, finding the one kernel of soul and building on it.

He proved this in the early seventies with “Look What they’ve Done to My Song, Ma” some pop bubblegum by Melanie. Look what he did to her song! By the end of it, he's improvising, ``I'm insane, insane, mama, I'm goin' crazy, mama!”

And the only time I ever got to see Ray Charles in person -- Albuquerque’s Civic Auditorium, December 1982, with a purple checkered jacket, a 17-piece orchestra and a beautiful batch of Raelettes -- he made “Oh What a Beautiful Morning” into one of the night’s most memorable songs. Normally the line, “The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye” is a self-fulfilling prophecy. But Charles made the audience savor it, drawing each word out slowly until you couldn’t help but smile. And he turned the lyric, “The sound of the Earth is like music,” from an empty-headed truism into a mystical statement of purpose.

Ray Charles is one with the Earth now. Like that lucky old son, he’s rollin’ round Heaven all day. The rest of us should just feel grateful for all the music he left behind.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Here in Santa Fe we like to claim Roger Miller as one of our own, being that he lived in Tesuque for the last dozen years or so of his life.

But the fact is, he thought of his hometown as Erick, Oklahoma, where he spent most his childhood.

The good citizens of Erick are about to open a Roger Miller museum. Makes me want to head back to Oklahoma just to see it.

I met Roger shortly after he moved to Santa Fe backstage at a Michael Martin Murphey concert at Paolo Soleri in the summer of 1980. Roger was the "surprise guest."

It would have been the first time I'd seen him play since I saw him at Springlake amusement park in Oklahoma City, circa 1965. I was in sixth grade then. Roger was a true hero for most Okie kids -- especially those of us who thought we could write a song.

But it wasn't meant to be that night at Paolo Soleri in 1980. Roger came out on stage, said, "Hi, I live down the road aways," struck a chord -- and the rain came down. That's back when Santa Fe used to have a "monsoon" season. It rained so hard that the rest of the show was cancelled.

The next time he tried to perform around here was at the Downs of Santa Fe at a Barbara Mandrell show a couple of years later. It rained like hell that night too, but at least the stage was covered, so the show went on.

I interviewed him for The Santa Fe Reporter shortly after the Paolo fiasco. (The above photo was taken by my first ex-wife Pam Mills at that interview at Roger's home.)

For a couple of years in the early '80s, I ran into him and his wife Mary frequently. Once he introduced me to Dandy Don Meredith at the Shohko Cafe. But one of the biggest nights for my ego was when Roger Miller introduced me to Hank Thompson in the dressing room of The Line Camp in Pojoaque. "Steve grew up on Reno Street," Roger said, referring to an old Oklahoma City skid row.

So if you're traveling Route 66, check out Roger's museum in Erick.


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

Sometimes politicians can be judged on the enemies they make as well as the friends they have.

This being the case, Gov. Bill Richardson probably is grateful for a couple of Enron day traders whose recorded conversations have stirred outrage around the country in recent days.

By now everyone should have heard about the outrageous taped conversations by Enron execs cheering "Burn, baby, burn as a forest fire shut down a large transmission line into California four years ago, worsening that state's energy crisis and driving electrical costs even higher.

The Enron jokers boasted about ripping off "those poor grandmothers in California," who they derisively dubbed "Grandma Millie."

"Now she wants her (expletive deleted) money back for all the power you've charged right up her (expletive deleted) for (expletive deleted) $350 a megawatt hour," one of the Enronoids scoffed.

It would be hard to find villains more villainous than these yuppie-weasel versions of Snidely Whiplash.

As revealed in transcripts of the Enron tapes, our governor, who was secretary of energy at the time, was held in even more contempt than Grandma Millie, at least by a couple of Enron traders.

But with enemies like this, who needs friends?

Richardson's name comes up in another recorded conversation, apparently made in August 2000, by another couple of Enron boys (not the same two who disrespected Grandma Millie).

"That (expletive deleted) Bill Richardson," said one of the men, identified only as "Matt".

"He's (expletive deleted) gone!" said the other, called "Tom" in the transcripts. "The (expletive deleted) Bill Clinton, he's ( expletive deleted). Ah, all those (expletive deleted) socialists are gone."

Noting that their company was Bush's largest contributor, both Matt and Tom fantasize about Enron president Ken Lay replacing Richardson as secretary of energy. That, of course, didn't happen.

For more transcripts and audio excerpts of Enron conversations, CLICK HERE

Big political weekend: Starting Friday out-of-state politicians will be invading Santa Fe as the city plays host to three national meetings.

On Friday and Saturday the Democratic National Committee's Platform Drafting Committee will be holding public meetings at Santa Fe Indian School, hearing testimony on domestic issues such as health care, the economy, education and civil rights.

Among those scheduled to speak - besides our governor of course - are former Labor secretary Robert Reich, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle, and Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack - who, even more than Richardson in recent weeks, is frequently mentioned as a possible running mate for Sen. John Kerry. Indiana Gov. Joseph Kernan is tentatively scheduled to speak.

Members of the public who would like to testify or submit written comments should e-mail the committee at, or fax at 202-572-7897. Because schedule and space are limited, interested parties should submit written comments as well.

With all those Democratic governors in town, it's only natural for the Democratic Governors Association to meet. They are having their annual summer policy conference here Friday and Saturday at Hotel Santa Fe.

They've got a three-hour meeting scheduled Saturday to discuss energy, transportation and technology. The rest of their schedule consists of a cocktail reception, dinner, breakfast, a golf tournament and attending The Buckaroo Ball.

Then starting Sunday is the Western Governors Association meeting at the Eldorado Hotel, which goes on until Tuesday. They've got a lot of receptions and one "gala dinner" scheduled.

But they've also got scheduled sessions on the proposal for regional presidential primaries, the drought, energy and other issues. Among the speakers scheduled include Interior Secretary Gail Norton, Intel president Paul Otellini, and national political pundit Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics.

Monday, June 14, 2004


This is the first time I've ever been mentioned in a fashion column. CLICK HERE

But she didn't even mention my Big Ugly Guys T-shirt ...


O.K., folks this is required reading. It's filmmaker Michael Ventura's classic essay "Hear That Long Snake Moan," in which the author argues that blues, jazz, rock 'n' roll, TV evangelism, and a lot of our pop culture springs from the religion of voodoo.

The web host indicates the essay will be on his site only temporarily, so read it right away.


By the way, "Long Snake" appears in Ventura's compilation Shadow Dancing in the U.S.A. . says it's out of print, but there are used copies available for real cheap.


Sunday, June 13, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
She's a Rainbow by The Rolling Stones
Over the Border by Eric Burdon
Max Ernst's Dream by Mission of Burma
Jubilee by Patti Smith
The Devil's Music by The Three Johns
Bulldozer Love by the Baby Robots

Show Me the Way by Dinosaur Jr.
Fog Over Frisco by Yo La Tengo
Hell Rules by The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Wayfaring Stranger/Fly Me to the Moon by Giant Sand
Pink Cigarette by Mr. Bungle
King of Beers by Too Much Joy
Ain't Dead Yet by The Breakers
A Million days by Prince

Ray Charles Set
(All songs by Ray Charles except where noted)

Confession Blues
Let's Go Get Stoned
Drown in My Own Tears
I Believe to My Soul by Van Morrison
Hide Nor Hair
Spirit in the Dark by Aretha Franklin with RC

Hallelujah I Love Her So by The Beatles
Eleanor Rigby
I Don't Need No Doctor
A Song For You
Don't Change On Me
That Lucky Old Sun.
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, June 12, 2004


The New Mexico Highlands University Board of Regents on Friday selected long-tim State Sen. Manny Aragon, the Senate majority floor leader, to be president of the university.

That's set off a leadership vacumm in the state Senate, as Senate President Pro-tem Richard Romero also is stepping down. He's running for Congress against incumbent Republican Heather Wilson.

Read my story on the leadership scramble HERE

More Manny coverage in The Santa Fe New Mexican can be found HERE and HERE


The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, June 11, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Out of Control by Dave Alvin
If You Were Me and I Were You by Dwight Yoakam
We Always Fight When We Drink Gin by The Austin Lounge Lizards with Kelly Willis
There's a World Between You and Me by Jerry J. Nixon
Family Tree by Loretta Lynn
Borrowed Bride by The Old 97s
Leave My Woman Alone by Jim Stringer
I Got a Woman by Johnny Cash & June Carter

Roll In My Sweet Baby's Arms by Flatt & Scruggs
Take Me by Jerry Garcia & David Grisman
Rise When the Rooster Crows by Norman & Nancy Blake
Precious Memories (Was a Song I Used to Hear) by Jerry Faires
My Long Skinny Lanky Sarah Jane by The Stanley Brothers
Ruby Ridge by Peter Rowan
In Tall Buildings by John Hartford
Don't You Want Me Baby by Moonshine Willie
Some of Shelly's Blues by The Earl Scruggs Revue

Ray Charles Country Set
(All songs by Ray Charles except where noted)
I'm Movin' On
We Didn't See a Thing by George Jones, Ray Charles & Chet Atkins
You Don't Know Me
You Are My Sunshine
Together Again
Born to Lose
Two Old Cats Like Us by RC and Hank Williams, Jr.
Seven Spanish Angels by RC and Willie Nelson
I Can't Stop Loving You

You Ain't Going Nowhere by The Mekons
You're Not My Same Sweet Baby by Chuck Prophet
Makes Me Wonder If I Ever Said Goodbye by Cowboy Johnson
What Do We Do Now by John Hiatt
Amanda/A Couple More Years by Waylon Jennings
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, June 11, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

Although Jerry Garcia died in 1995, for the past several years there has been a steady flow of CDs — and one movie, Grateful Dawg — documenting his partnership with mandolin magician David Grisman.

For Garcia, his low-key acoustic sessions with Grisman were something of a return to his beginnings long before the Grateful Dead burst into the cosmos. Garcia’s music of choice was bluegrass, jug band, old-timey blues and hillbilly tunes.

But according to the liner notes of the latest of these collaborations, Been All Around This World, this will be the last of these sweet collections.

This CD shows a wide array of source material. Garcia and Grisman play the Jimmy Cliff reggae classic “Sitting in Limbo” (which also was on the Grateful Dawg soundtrack album) and James Brown’s “I’ll Go Crazy,” which shows that as a soul shouter, Garcia was a great guitarist. They delve into traditional Irish sounds on “Handsome Cabin Boy Waltz” and do a jazzy take on “Nine Pound Hammer” with Matt Eakle on flute.

But my favorites are a couple of country tunes. “Drink Up and Go Home” is an obscure Freddy Hart honky-tonk waltz with Joe Craven on fiddle.

Even more impressive is their version of Leon Payne’s classic (made famous by George Jones), “Take Me.” Although this aching love song was a big hit for Possum in the mid-1960s — and I believe it is among his very best recordings — for reasons best known to the Byzantine barons of the music publishing biz, it rarely appears on Jones’ greatest-hits collections. While Garcia doesn’t have Jones’ vocal ability by a long shot, there’s so much sincerity in his voice that he and Grisman do the song justice.

Although these Garcia-Grisman collaborations aren’t exactly essential recordings, it saddensme to think there won’t be any new ones.

Also recommended
*Morning Glory Ramblers
by Norman & Nancy Blake. This CD by multistring man Norman Blake and his wife and longtime music collaborator Nancy is just a sweet joy from start to finish.

Norman’s hoarse drawl takes you immediately to the hills and hollers. His voice has always sounded the way you’d imagine some backwoods balladeer from centuries past would. And on this record — the Blakes’ first duet album in nearly a decade — it’s great to hear a bigger contribution from Nancy. Her voice is a perfect complement to her husband’s.

The songs are traditional, or at least traditional-sounding. There are religious numbers (“The Wayworn Traveler,” sometimes recorded as “Palms of Victory,” is a standout), songs of sin (“Short Life of Trouble” and the Hank Williams/Luke the Drifter morality rap “Men With Broken Hearts”), love songs (“Loved You Better Than You Knew”) and a hard-times lament (“All the Good Times Are Over”).

But for me, the coolest thing about Morning Glory Ramblers is the fact that Norman & Nancy included a song by longtime Santa Fe picker and singer Jerry Faires: “Precious Memories (Was a Song I Used to Hear).” This is the second Faires song Norman has recorded. Jerry’s “D-18 Song (Thank You, Mr. Martin)” appeared on the 1990 album Norman Blake & Tony Rice 2. (Check out

*An Evening Long Ago by The Stanley Brothers.The 20 songs on this CD were recorded late one night (early one morning?) in 1956 at a radio station in Bristol, Va.

These sessions have been sold at Ralph Stanley concerts (in a vinyl version) — and those who have been to a Ralph Stanley concert know that Ralph will sell anything that’s not nailed down — but this is the first CD release.

According to the liner notes by Larry Erich (who set up the mikes for the session), the stop at WCYB capped off a full day for the band, including “radio shows, barn dances, hog auctions and the like.”

Besides Ralph on banjo and the late Carter Stanley on guitar, there were Curley Lambert on mandolin and Ralph Mayo on fiddle.

Most of the songs they recorded at the station were old traditional tunes. There are ballads of murders — “Poor Ellen Smith” — and other assorted tragedies (a mining disaster in “Dream of a Miner’s Child,” a fire in “Come All You Tenderhearted).” The best of these is “Story of the Lawson Family,” which the Stanleys wrote based on a true Christmas murder-suicide in North Carolina in the late ’20s.

But not everything’s so grim here. “My Long Skinny Lanky Sara Jane” has lines like, “Well they say her breath is sweet/But I’d rather smell her feet.”

*The Essential Earl Scruggs. The name Earl Scruggs is practically synonymous with bluegrass banjo. This two-disc collection covers Scruggs’ career from his work with Bill Monroe in the late ’40s to his “solo” work in the early ’80s. (Thankfully, it overlooks his 2001 collaborations with Sting, Elton John and Melissa Etheridge on the guest-star-heavy Earl Scruggs and Friends.)

Twenty-five of the 40 songs here are cuts by Flatt & Scruggs after they split from Monroe’s band. Their lengthy partnership, which lasted until the late ’60s, helped define bluegrass as much as Monroe or the Stanley Brothers did. Their powerful 90-mph 1950 recording of “Roll in My Sweet Baby’s Arms” is still breathtaking, while “Old Salty Dog Blues” (with fiddler Benny Sims on vocals) is just as cocky as rockabilly, which hadn’t even been born yet.

But while the tracks with Lester are the main strength of this collection, the latter-day Scruggs stuff has some gems as well. There’s a fine version of “I Still Miss Someone” with Johnny Cash on vocals. And there’s one of ex-Monkee and underrated country songwriter Mike Nesmith’s greatest tunes, “Some of Shelley’s Blues,” done here by the Earl Scruggs Revue, which featured the banjo man’s sons.

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Ray Charles died today. An Associated Press story is HERE.

I only got to see Ray in concert once, back in the early '80s at Albuquerque's Civic Auditorium.

What can I say? He was great.

I'll be honoring The Genius on both my radio shows this weekend (Santa Fe Opry on Friday night, Terrell's Sound World on Sunday, both starting at 10 p.m. on KSFR 90.7 FM

Here's an old Terrell's Tune-Up I wrote reviewing a Ray Charles box set.

Originally published in in The Santa Fe New Mexican Oct. 10,1997.

When introducing her guest singer at a 1971 concert at the Filmore West, Aretha Franklin exclaimed, ``I discovered Ray Charles!''

Those too young to remember the old Flip Wilson TV show probably won't get the joke. She is referring to one of Flip's most popular routines, the one where Columbus is pitching his expedition to Queen Isabella. The exuberant queen exclaims, ``Chris gonna find Ray Charles!''

Indeed, assuming that our music is one of America's greatest treasures, one of the most shining jewels is Ray Charles.

Rhino Records recently released the most comprehensive treasure chest of Brother Ray's music to date, the five-disc collection, Genius & Soul, The 50th Anniversary Collection.Half a century in show business. Prevailing over physical handicap, drug addiction, untold changes of musical styles. And almost every one of these 102 songs (which span the years from 1949 to 1993) sound fresh, vital and downright majestic.

It's true that Ray Charles is blind, but when it comes to music, he is a man of vision. Who else could sing blues, jazz, soul, pop, Tin Pan Alley, show tunes, country and even soda pop jingles? finding any kernel of passion, infusing it with his personality and making it sound like the only song that matters. Who else could record songs by Hoagy Carmichael, Buck Owens, The Beatles, the Gershwins and Quincy Jones and make it all sound like they were written especially for him?

Ray can even turn a fluffy little bubblegum ditty like Melanie's "Look What They've Done to My Song, Ma" into a soulful howl. (It must have been a joyous kick in the head for Ms. Safka when she heard what Ray Charles did to her song. By the end of it, he's improvising, ``I'm insane, insane, mama, I'm goin' crazy, mama!'')

There are so many great tunes here, it doesn't seem right to mention just the few that space will allow. I doubt that I have to convince anyone of the wonder of such hits like "Hit the Road, Jack," "I Got a Woman," "Georgia On My Mind," "Unchain My Heart" and "What I Say." (If I ever become Ayatollah, I'll put Ray Charles on the $10 bill with the inscription, "Tell your Mama, Tell Your Pa, I'm gonna send you back to Arkansas.")

But here's some lesser known Charles tunes that ought to be more famous:

* "It Should Have Been Me": This is an early one, recorded in 1953, a proto-R&B tune written by someone named Memphis Curtis. It sounds a lot like the songs that Lieber and Stoller would later compose. Ray's voice is noticeably higher.

*"You Are My Sunshine": This is the greatest of Ray's country songs. But, with the help of singer Margie Hendrix (the real star of this tune), it doesn't sound ``country'' at all. In fact, it sounds like some kind of voodoo ceremony accompanied by a big band.

*"Ruby": Like many of Ray's tunes, this one features lush strings and a full-blown chorus. Rock purists might cringe, but Charles radiates so much passion here, your average loud, raunchy guitar group pales by comparison.

*"Don't Change On Me": A minor hit from the early '70s, showing Ray's sweeter side. It's just a sincere, simple love song with a chorus that clings to your brain.

*"Understanding": A disquieting thought: Did O.J. Simpson ever hear this 1967 song? Here Ray warns his woman better not cheat because if she does, Her soul better belong to the good Lord, 'cause her head gonna belong to me?

A personal note: When I first started getting seriously into music back in the third grade Ray Charles' "Hide 'Nor Hair," a minor 1962 hit written by Percy Mayfield, was one of my favorite songs. My mom bought me (actually, I put it in her grocery cart when she wasn't looking) Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, which was released about the same time, but to my grave disappointment, the song wasn't there.

Nearly a decade later I bought Ray's 25th Anniversary Collection, which until this box set was his best compilation. But "Hide 'Nor Hair" wasn't there either. Indeed, that single was never on an album. Until now. It's the first song on Disc Three. Naturally, it was the first song I played when I got this box.

Not only did I remember most of the lyrics though I hadn't heard it in more than 30 years I also remembered what first drew me to Ray Charles and to music in general. I won't argue that it's his greatest song. (At the moment I'm leaning to "In the Heat of the Night" or "I Believe to My Soul") But it sure means a lot to me.


As Published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

There was a little stampede at the Plaza Hotel in Las Vegas last Saturday.

It seemed that some of the major obituary writers in the free world were in our own Las Vegas on the day that Ronald Reagan died.

And pity anyone between the attendees of the annual Great Obituary Writers’ International Conference and a payphone when that news hit.

According to an article in The New York Sun, “A number of the approximately 45 assembled obituary professionals from America and Britain raced for the single payphone in the hotel lobby.”

Adam Bernstein of The Washington Post told The Sun, “I raced to the phone to block the Daily Telegraph from getting access. In an apparent reference to The Front Page, Bernstein said, “I almost wanted to put an ‘Out of Order’ sign on the pay phone.”

The writers had been attending a workshop on coverage of the Sept. 11 fatalities and casualties of the Iraq war.

The rush to the phones undoubtedly was a knee-jerk reporters' reaction. As the story goes on to explain, most large news organizations have the background material for obituaries of prominent people prepared years in advance, so most the writers in Las Vegas weren’t desperately needed by their papers that day.

Madam Governor: Local Democrats had a little party at Tiny’s Restaurant and Lounge Tuesday. Actually, it wasn’t that little. More than 100 crammed into the restaurant’s patio to greet state party Chairman John Wertheim and other party honchos, who are visiting each of the state’s 33 counties this week.

Speaking at the event was Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, who gave a rousing speech to the faithful.

But one thing that seemed odd was the fact that two previous speakers -- Wertheim and House Speaker Ben Lujan -- referred to her as “Gov. Denish.” and Denish didn’t correct them.

Well, technically she was governor at the moment, an aide pointed out. The real governor, Bill Richardson was in California at the Reagan library, so officially Denish was in charge.

However, according to Denish, referring to the lieutenant governor as “governor” is proper protocol when the governor isn’t present.

Where did she learn this arcane knowledge? From the people who ought to know a thing or two about gubernatorial protocol -- the governor’s state police security detail.

The 527s are Coming! Although the Democrats at Tiny’s seemed to be having a pretty good time, there are some people who might want to work in campaigns but aren’t comfortable with the regular party organizations. These are the people to whom the group called America Coming Together want to appeal.

ACT, one of the major liberal “527” groups (named so after a section in the national tax code that pertains to them) recently opened a headquarters in Santa Fe at 1500 Fifth St.

State ACT Director Geri Prado -- who was John Kerry’s state campaign director before the February presidential caucus -- said Wednesday her group plans to do door to door canvassing in hopes of defeating Presdient Bush.

ACT and other groups associated with America Votes -- a coalition of various progressive groups, PACs and 527s, are having a kick off event 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 12 at the NEA New Mexico Building, 13 South Capitol St.

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Sean Conlon, host of KSFR's Graveyard Shift (early Thursday morning, midnight - 2 a.m.) substituted for me last Friday (June 4) on The Santa Fe Opry.

Here's his play list.

Peter Stampfel & The Bottlecaps - Springtime in Alaska
Unholy Trio - Bring The Noise
Leon McAuliffe & His Western Swing Band - Blue Guitar Stomp
Rhythm Wreckers - Blue Yodel #12
Pine Valley Cosmonauts - Brain Cloudy Blues
Johnny Down - A Picture From Life's Other Side
Porter Wagner - The Rubber Room
Charlie Poole & His North Carolina Ramblers - Goodbye Booze

Janis Martin - Ooby Dooby
Blacktop Rockets - Froggie Went a Courtin'
Tina Turner - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
Jon Langford - Homburg
Kelly Hogan - Whispering Pines
George Jones - The Cold Hard Truth
Terry Allen w/ Lucinda Williams - Room To Room
Carter Family - You've Got To Righten That Wrong
Lorette Velvette - Broke The Circle

from Health & Happiness Show (Disc 1) by Hank Williams -
Happy Rovin' Cowboy
Wedding Bells
Lovesick Blues
Old Joe Clark
Where The Soul of Man Never Dies
Sally Goodin'

Maddox Brothers & Rose - Hangover Blues
Whiskeytown - Drank Like A River
Sally Timms - Seminole Wind
Ronnie Dawson - Rockin' & A Rollin'
Niu Abdomineaux Dangereux - Ghosts
Michael Hurley - Monkey On The Interstate/Whiskey Willie

Zeb Turner - Travelling Boogie
Johnny Tyler & The Riders of the Rio Grande - Freight Train Boogie
Jimmie O'Neal & The Colorado Hillbillies - Streamline Boogie
Lonnie Glosson - Pan American Boogie
Harry Choates - Louisiana Boogie
Jeff Durham & His Rhythm Playboys - Tennessee Boogie
Curley Williams & His Georgia Peach Pickers - Georgia Boogie
Gene O'Quinn - Texas Boogie

Ted Hawkins - Long As I Can See The Light

Monday, June 07, 2004


Attention musicians: Dave "Twisted Groove" Barsanti sent me this e-mail from the High Mayhem Festival's Carlos Sanistevan:

"Please help us get the word out! Forward this to everyone you know who might be interested. More info can be found at "

So do it! Here's High Mayhem's Contact Page.

(The Twisted Groove airs midnight to 2 a.m. Saturdays on KSFR, immediately following The Santa Fe Opry.)


In my recent review of Patti Smith's Trampin', (scroll down just a few posts) I went off on a tangent about new anti-war songs.

My friend David Menconi, music writer for the Raleigh News and Observer and author of the novel Off the Record, pointed out he did a story on this very subject more than a year ago. It lists quite a few that I missed, so CHECK IT OUT.


Sunday, June 6, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Birdhouse in Your Soul by They Might Be Giants
Lightning's Girl by Nancy Sinatra
Youth Against Fascism by Sonic Youth
Heart Full of Soul by The Yardbirds
I Think of Demons by Roky Erickson
Tele Novella by Cellophane Typewriters
Silver Naked Ladies by Paul Westerberg
Mudflap Girl by Timbuk 3

Fake Blood by Mission of Burma
Right of Way by The Von Bondies
Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine by Country Joe & The Fish
The Day Industry Decided to Stop by The Three Johns
Strobe Light by The B52s
Ignoreland by R.E.M.
Sweethearts by Camper Van Beethoven

Cash by Patti Smith
Down on Me by Big Brother & The Holding Company
If Eye Was The Man In Ur Life by Prince
Careless Eithiopians by Toots & The Maytals with Keith Ricahrds
At the Border Guy by Joe Strummer
Hollyweird by Wolfboy & The Fantods
Jhumka Gira Re by Asha Bhosle

Phil and Jerry by Mylab
Only You by Portishead
Riff Blues by Skip Martin
Two Thousand Places by The Polyphonic Spree
I Wanted To by Richard Thompson
Low Ambition by Lambchop
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, June 06, 2004


I had a good time Friday and Saturday night playing my tacky tunes with Gregg Turner (and on Friday, Lenny Hoffman). Got to see some old friends and meet a couple of new ones, which, besides making a joyful noise, is the chief reason I still do this kind of thing these days.

Friday's Aztec Cafe show was officially opened with a genuine Hassidic rabbi (Gregg, Lenny, remind me of his name!) who blessed the macaroons that we passed out to the audience.

My major accomplishment during my set was performing the late Rolf Cahn's "Special Love" for the first time in public. Before we started, the rabbi asked if I knew any Jewish songs, so I guess Rolf's tune will have to do in that category. Although I've loved the song since Rolf gave me the cassette tape 20-plus years ago -- and through the years I've frequently found myself singing the line "You can loaf with some oaf on the shore by the sea," I only learned the song last week. I got a weird urge that I must learn the song -- maybe a message from Rolf in the Great Beyond -- Tuesday night at work writing my election stories. So I went home and learned it and I don't think I blew any of the lyrics at the Aztec. I believe every Santa Fe musician should do at least one Rolf Cahn song.

I didn't realize until I got there that Saturday's gig at Twister's, an antique clothing store, was a fashion show! Believe it or not, I've never done a fashion show gig before. I guess I was modeling my Big Ugly Guys T-shirt and my Albuquerque Isotopes cap. Turner modeled a lovely pair of shorts.

Twisters set up a stage in back of their store facing the alley, where the Second Street Brewery sold beer and Back Road Pizza sold food. If it would have had about 500 more people and The Waco Brothers, it would have reminded me of the great Bloodshot Records parties at the Yard Dog Gallery during South by Southwest in Austin.

The highlight of my set was a two-or-three year old kid wearing a Pinocchio T-shirt and a painted-on mustache who got on the stage with me, dancing and hopping around.

Finaly, there's no Santa Fe Opry play list, at least not yet. Sean Conlon of The Graveyard Shift substituted for me Friday so I could play at the Aztec. If he sends me a list, I'll post it. I'll be doing Sound World as usual Sunday night.

Friday, June 04, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican, June 4, 2004

Patti Smith is pushing 60, but her new album Trampin’ shows her rocking as hard as ever.

In fact Trampin’ is an outright call to celebration in the face of adversity, to “be a jubilee” as the first song says, to let the doves multiply even though the hawks are circling.

The song “My Blakean Year” (with a melody and beat that will remind old fans of “Dancing Barefoot”) espouses a similar creed: “Throw off your stupid cloak/Embrace all that you fear/for joy shall conquer all despair/ in my Blakean year.”

Some of the tunes rock downright ferociously, such as “Stride of the Mind” -- a mystical mishmash of lyrics set to a thumping garage rock tune -- and a couple of trademark Smithean epics here -- “Gandhi” and “Radio Baghdad” -- both long, (nine minute and 12 minute respectively) freewheeling , politically charged inspired diatribes that start off slow but build up into monster guitar frenzies.

(Political side trip: The war in Iraq is starting to inspire some musicians, Besides Smith’s raging indictment, there’s “That’s the News,” by Merle Haggard; a sad and beautiful tune called “Baghdad” by songwriter Ed Pettersen; The Beatie Boys’ “In a World Gone Mad”; Spearhead’s “Bomb Da World,“ not to mention the entire Rock Against Bush CD featuring punk bands like The Offspring, NoFX, Pennywise, etc. Nothing has the strong anthem potential of Country Joe & The Fish’s “I-Feel-Like-I’m-Fixin’-To-Die Rag” or Pete Seeger’s “Knee Deep in the Big Muddy” has emerged.)

There are a couple of slow, pretty numbers here like “Peaceable Kingdom” and “Trespass.”

And surprisingly, one of the strongest, most memorable tracks here is the title song, an old spiritual, gone here with Smith’s daughter Jesse on piano. “I’m trampin’, trampin’, tryin’ to make Heaven my home,” Smith sings in a weary but unaffected voice.
While nobody honestly can claim that Patti Smith is mainstream, she’s no longer on the cutting edge of rock ’n’ roll as she was during her wild ride of the mid to late 70s.

But who cares? She’s created her own sound, her own style that nobody’s ever pulled off imitating. And she’s always been true to her visions. The uninitiated might not hear the call, but Smith fans should celebrate Trampin’.

Also Recommended:

by Mission of Burma.
When most of us hear the name “Roger Miller,” we think of the hillbilly hipster who used to live in Tesuque who was responsible for “King of the Road” and “Dang Me.” But there’s a whole generation of old punk rockers from Boston who know Roger Miller as the guitarist, singer and main songwriter of a short-lived but influential band from the early ‘80s, Mission of Burma.

Mission only did one studio album before breaking up about 20 years ago. But now they’re back, three out of four original members intact. (Miller, bassist Clint Conley and drummer Peter Prescott, both of whom also sing and write songs.)

O.K., MOB was one bandwagon I didn’t jump on back in the day. So I’m approaching Onoffon with fresh ears, unencumbered by whether or not the band sounds as good as they did during their golden era.

And I like what I hear.

With Miller’s dense feedback-drenched guitar roaring over meandering but sometimes catchy melodies this record reminds me somewhat of Husker Du (who arose in faraway Minnesota after MOB’s demise). And I hear just a little bit of another Massachusetts band that came along later, Dinosaur Jr.

But neither comparison does justice to the band.
There are so many joys on this record. The opening song “The Setup” sets the frantic tone of the album with Miller shouting over the glorious din. The rhythmic noise rock of “Fever Moon” sounds like punk and metal had a baby and they named it Bo Diddley. And “Max Ernst’s Dream” is an apparent followup to a very early MOB song.

Basically this makes me want to go back and discover Mission of Burma’s first album Vs. and other early work.

*Ruby Satellite System by Cellophane Typewriters. This is the new band of Santa Fe’s Zelda Salazar, who used to call his group The Occult Morphinas.

I don’t care what he calls it, this probably is Salazar’s best album yet. It’s full of big psychedelic guitars, crunching riffs colored by Kevin Zoernig’s keyboards.

The first song “Belladonna” is an exuberant tune even though he’s singing to a pill-freak girl who’s “barely alive” and “full of fear.“ It shows traces of Eastern music -- filtered through ’60s garage psychedelia, to be sure.

“The Prize” has even more brutal lyrics about a druggo friend who he envisions getting “brutalized, victimized and sodomized for your prize”

One of the most moving songs is “Evil Star,” a child’s bitter rebuke to a bad father.

Salazar doesn’t gig much, but he’s pretty prolific with the recordings. And he just keeps getting better.

(Last I checked, the Cellophane Typewriters’ web site wasn’t working. For more info try e-mailing or writing Iron Lady Music, 369 Montezuma St., Box 129, Santa Fe, N.M. 87501.)

*Hear songs from all the above albums on Terrell’s Sound World, 10 p.m. Sunday , KSFR, 90. 7 FM. And don’t forget The Santa Fe Opry, country music as God intended it to sound, Fridays, same time, same channel. Sean Conlon will be filling in for me tonight while I do my gig at the Aztec Cafe.

FOr details on that gig, scroll down until you see the poster of Gregg Turner and me.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Are You a Music Snob?

Find out HERE

I am not a music snob.

I don't have bony knees.

But I do dig Monti Rock III.


One of the real eye-openers during the recent primary season in Santa Fe was the sheer amount of money being raised by a couple of the candidates — tens of thousands of dollars all for a part-time position that pays a modest per diem.

Peter Wirth raised more than $101,000 according to his most recent report filed last week. If that’s not a local record, someone please let me know. Some of his critics grumbled that he was “buying” the election. And indeed he won the House District 47 race in a landslide.

But over in Senate District 25, Sen. Roman Maes reported raising more than $70,000, more than all his three opponents’ totals put together. But Maes came in second to John Grubesic, who raised less than one-sixth of Maes’ total.

So how much did the candidates pay for each vote?

Using the total amount of money the candidates reported raising as of last week (the final campaign finance reports aren’t due until July), assuming all that money got spent, and dividing the number of votes they received, according to unofficial results, here’s how it broke down:

Grubesic got the most bang for the buck. Each of the 2,928 votes he got cost $3.87.

That’s a stark contrast to Maes, who paid about $27.60 for each vote he got. And that doesn’t even include the $9,000 that Gov. Bill Richardson’s PAC paid for mail-outs and automated phone calls.

Maes’ votes cost less than those of Wirth’s. For his race, Wirth paid $31.83 per vote.

Down in House District 45, which was a low-key, low-budget race, Rep. Jim Trujillo, who handily beat challenger Robert Ochoa, paid $9.33 per vote.

Local government blues: A word to aspiring politicians. Local government positions in Santa Fe are rarely springboards to state office. At least not in recent years. My editor reminded me that a couple of guys named Bruce King and Ben Lujan started out on the Santa Fe County Commission.

But that was a long time ago. Two candidates from local government bodies got turned down by voters in legislative races Tuesday.

City Councilor Carol Robertson Lopez, who ran for the District 47 House seat, came in a distant second behind Wirth. Wirth had 65 percent of the vote in the four-candidate race, compared with 21 percent for Lopez.

Ochoa, who served on the Santa Fe school board for eight years, lost to Trujillo by a 70-30 margin.

The only Santa Fe local officials to go on to state offices in the last decade or so are senators Nancy Rodriguez — a former county commissioner, and Phil Griego, a former city councilor. Both senators won their unopposed primaries Tuesday.

Don’t forget the GOP: Democrats outnumber Republicans in Santa Fe by about 3 to 1, but several Republican legislative candidates will be on the ballot. Wirth will face Gregg Bemis in District 47, while Griego will be up against Republican Al Lopez in Senate District 39.

In Senate District 25 Grubesic has a Republican opponent in Bob Mallin. Also on the ballot is Green Party primary winner Rick Lass. Lass probably would have gotten more traction running against the more conservative Democrat Maes than Grubesic, who was endorsed by several progressive political groups.

Making good on his word: One opponent Grubesic doesn’t have to worry about is Robb Hirsch, who had been gathering petition signatures to get on the November ballot as an independent.

Hirsch on Wednesday did what he said he’d do if Grubesic won the primary. He officially ended his campaign and threw his support to the Democrat.

"The outcome of this election is a testament to the wonderful people who turned out to vote yesterday and who single-handedly defied the status quo power politics, overcame the special interest money game and put their confidence behind someone with new blood and integrity," he said in an e-mail press release.

Hirsch said he’ll devote his energy to a group he and his wife founded called Independent New Mexicans for Kerry.

He’s given up his campaign, but not his web site.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Hund on Lobos

"Dr. Hund," like me, a frequent contributor to the No Depression Yahoo group tried to fit this long rambling rebuttal to my recent Los Lobos review into the comment section of this blog. It was way too long.

I couldn't resist posting the whole thing here.

You want interactive? YOU CAN'T HANDLE INTERACTIVE! Check out my scathing rebuttal (which could not fit on that mickey mouse blog):

Steve, you ignorant slut. You miss the whole point of this fun album.

It is not a tribute album, friar's roast, nor Chieftains Syndrome. Nor is Los Lobos getting lazy. The band members (especially Hidalgo & Perez) just like to expand their horizons, experiment (which gave us their best work so far in the Latin Playboys), and keep the music fresh. It's not like they are slackers in original album and song production. Even the old tunes here (totally re-invented and less than half the album) are fresh. And there is some great new writing from Hidalgo/Perez, both as their usual songwriting team and collaborated with others like Luis Torres, Dave Alvin, Tom Waits, and Ruben Blades. Cesar Rosas and Robert Hunter also wrote a song for this diverse album.

BTW...why do you have a blog? You are published constantly in the major New Mexican newspapers, beam a radio show, have a media chokehold on New Mexican politics, and are already all over the internet. By proxy, your words are constantly being delivered by
other Southwest power brokers. You even have your own phraseology that is now coined worldwide and borrowed by many, such as, "Green Chile Diplomacy", "Boomburbs", and "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road".

With New Mexico losing judges, politicos, writers, celebs, and other speak boxes like vanishing desert land – you are now the de facto voice of the entire region - albeit via a "Last Man Standing" scenario. You have more market penetration and exposure in New Mexico than Clear Channel. You need a blog like George W. needs another asshole.

Back to your review. Sure, sometimes its difficult if not impossible to hear Los Lobos on a few of these songs but I like how they gather so many all-star sounds in such an unselfish quest for a unique album recorded with friends which they may never have a shot at again. But make no mistake...there are plenty of new sounds from Los Lobos here within the generous 13 songs. The first song with Café Tacuba is a fun summer tour de force followed by "Rita", which is one of the best Los Lobos songs ever. Both of these are new.

It seems from your review, you like these songs plus "Charmed", "Hurry Tomorrow", "Chains of Love" , "Somewhere in Time," (which you describe as "a duet between David Hidalgo and Dave Alvin, featuring a Drifters/"Spanish Harlem" beat and Leisz's hypnotic steel, almost sounds like a latter-day Righteous Brothers tune with baritone Alvin as Bill Medley and Hidalgo as Bobby Hatfield"...isn't that cool?), the Waits track, "Kitate" (you say "sounds like something off one of the Latin Playboys' CDs. Like the music of that Lobos side project, this tune sounds like a surreal field recording from some Mexican or Central American street festival, with lots of percussion, horns and carnival organ. Waits scats and shams and growls in languages nobody speaks in a near call and response with Martha Gonzalez of the band Quetzal"....isn't that cool?), and the new version of "Wicked Rain" is sung by '70s soul man Bobby Womack, as a part of a medley with Womack's Blaxploitation movie title song, "Across 110th Street" , and "The Wreck of the Carlos Rey," featuring "Hidalgo trading verses with Thompson, is a rocking tune. But with its folk rock riffs and Thompson's guitar, it sounds like something right off a Thompson album -- even though it's written by Hidalgo and Louie Perez." This all sounds sweet and it is!

Terrell, I think you are just pissed with what you call "the one truly misguided song here" (one misguided song out of 13?!) is Elvis Costello's version of "Matter of Time." The best part of your review is this history of this song that you so compassionately describe:

"The song is a conversion between a Mexican man and his wife right before the man leaves her to go to the U.S. to seek a decent future. It's the story of this country and all its immigrants. `I'll send for you, baby in just a matter of time.'

"It's a moment full of tenderness and uncertainty. But in the original 1984 version on How Will the Wolf Survive, the rhythm is upbeat and Steve Berlin`s sax, is jaunty, giving a sense of optimism even when the singer wonders if he's just pursuing an empty dream.

"Costello's version is slow and maudlin. Pretty, yes. But it sounds like a sad dirge. The promise of a new life, which propelled the original version, is completely missing here."

Yes Terrell! They are totally different approaches and versions because of this. I think that was the point. And what the hell is a "dirge"? Is that Latin, Mr. Smarty Pants? You do brilliantly describe the original's "sense of optimism" in such a sad song – which is so typical of Latin music. Even the sad songs seem to have some happy vibe underneath. But Costello is no Latino and sings this slowly with a solo piano accompaniment - and it is much sadder than the original. It also brings new light to the words and the music.

Did you want a rehash here of the original that only Hidalgo and Berlin could deliver in such a way you described? I think you are still pissed at Costello for becoming Mr. Diana Krall. But Steve, I ask you this, have you seen her legs? And at least Elvis is not
pussy-whipped to the point that he could actually be dragged to a Styx concert...for instance.

As you Steve, I do prefer full throttle new Los Lobos (what I would really love is new Latin Playboys) song batches - but the guest list, fun, and hybrid sounds of The Ride makes more than a decent ride.

It is one of the best albums this year.


Sunday, July 21, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrel...