Saturday, July 31, 2004


I'm back to Santa Fe. Home to the sopapilla!

For reasons only known to The New Mexican's web staff, my story on the lukewarm reaction to Gov. Bill Richardson's convention piece didn't appear on the paper's free web site today. So I'll post it here:

(But before we get to that, here's the link to my story earlier this week on the Dems' anti-Ralph Nader effort)

Here's the speech article:

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 30, 2004

BOSTON — As part of the buildup to Thursday’s address by John Kerry, Gov. Bill Richardson took his turn as a speech giver on Wednesday.

But some New Mexicans who heard his speech at the Democratic National Convention said it wasn’t in the same league as those delivered by some of the heavy hitters who took the podium this week.

Some thought Richardson’s speech Wednesday might have suffered because it came so soon after the Rev. Al Sharpton’s stemwinder, which electrified the FleetCenter.

In his speech, which started out in Spanish, Richardson talked about his background as a former congressman representing Northern New Mexico and a cabinet member in the Clinton administration. He then spoke about why he thinks it’s important to elect John Kerry as president.

Most New Mexico delegates interviewed Thursday said they thought the governor did “pretty good,” or said, “It went OK.”

One even said, “He’s a good orator.” But some delegates qualified their assessments by saying it was hard to hear Richardson’s speech because of all the talking and commotion on the floor.

Notably, there was little talking and commotion when Sharpton or Illinois senatorial candidate Barack Obama spoke.

One delegate said she thought Richardson’s speech was aimed more at the television audience than the people in the convention hall.

Other New Mexicans who heard the speech were more critical.
“It was mediocre at best,” said one Democrat, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

“I thought it sucked,” said a delegate. “But I thought Ted Kennedy’s speech and (Richard) Gephardt’s speech sucked too.”

Richardson spokesman Pahl Shipley defended his boss’s convention address.

Alluding to Sharpton and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards, Shipley said, “It was a night of great speeches. The governor’s speech fit in quite well.”

Richardson’s speech wasn’t broadcast on any commercial television networks, though PBS and CSPAN carried it, gubernatorial spokesman Billy Sparks said.

Sparks said Richardson wasn’t disappointed by the speech’s limited exposure. Richardson had been interviewed on a couple of cable news shows shortly before the speech, he said.

Though Richardson’s speech didn’t make it onto CNN, his face made it onto Larry King Live — on a jar of salsa.

Comic/commentator Mo Rocca showed a jar of the promotional hot sauce that the New Mexico delegation has been giving away in Boston.

“This is much better than the Barbara Mikulski pico de gallo,” Rocca quipped, referring to a U.S. senator from Maryland.

Friday, July 30, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 30, 2004

BOSTON _ The trip to Boston was more than a political convention for one New Mexico delegate. Glorieta Nieto of santa Fe announced at Thursday’s delegation breakfast that this weekend she will marry her 14-year partner Jo Kenny.

Massachusetts, thanks to a state Supreme Court decision, is the only state where gay marriage is legal.

The delegation cheered the announcement and several members came up to the couple to express congratulations.

“This is very gratifying,” Nieto said. “Four years ago it made our delegation very uncomfortable whenever I tried to discuss gay marriage,” she told a reporter.

Nieto is a member of the Democratic National Committee and is vice chairwoman of the convention’s Gay and Lesbian Caucus.

Nieto and Kenny will be married Saturday by a justice of the peace at a Boston bed and breakfast called Newberry Guest House.

Singing for Lyndon

There has been a strangely diverse array of music at the convention. Acts who have appeared on stage include country titan Willie Nelson, gospel/soul great Mavis Staples, hip hopsters The Black Eyed Peas, ‘80s farm-belt rock John Cougar Mellencamp and folkies Peter, Paul and Mary.

But perhaps the strangest music heard around the convention was that of a group of young people devoted to political extremist and perrenial candidate Lyndon LaRouche.

A group of 30-40 LaRouche-ites marched through the second level of the Sheraton Boston Thursday morning as Democrats were scurrying between meetings and caucuses. The LaRouche bunch carried banners for their man, passed out copies of LaRouche’s “A Real Democratic Platform for Nov. 2004, all while singing a spooky sounding but moving multi-harmony song. One member said the melody was that of a Mozart piece, but the lyrics were written for the cause:

“Dubious is the convention/If LaRouche you fail to mention ... As long as you deny as truth/that this economy is doomed/You lie/We die ...”

The group marched out of the hotel, stopping near the entrance to sing several more songs -- including a version of “We Shall Overcome” with verses insulting John Kerry and Vice President Dick Cheney -- in front of the entrance before dispersing.

The Family That Sleeps Together

Vice Presidential candidate John Edwards made a brief but well-received appearance at the New Mexico delegation breakfast Thursday.

He got a laugh when he said his wife had promised their young children that if they behaved, they could sleep in their bed.

“That made for a long night,” Edwards said.

Edwards told a reporter that New Mexico was one of 5-10 delegations he’d spoken to that morning.

A spokesman for Attorney General Patricia Madrid -- who was Edwards’ state campaign manager for his presidential caucus campaign -- said Edwards invited Madrid and her husband Mike Messina to join the Edwards family in their box seat overlooking the convention center to watch Kerry’s acceptance speech.

Thursday, July 29, 2004


In case you're having a hard time finding my other convention stories on The New Mexican's website, here's some quick links.

*Story about the FREE SPEECH ZONE

*Story about the MANY PARTIES for the New Mexico delegation and who's paying for it

*MY PREVIEW of the Democratic National Convention


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 29, 2004

BOSTON _ A couple of weeks ago reporters across the country received an e-mail saying “please join us” at a panel discussion called “Funny But True: Important Issues in 2004,” to be held Wednesday at The Shubert Theatre.

The advertised panelists included former Bill Clinton aide Paul Begala and actors Chevy Chase, Ben Affleck and Alec Baldwin. The panel would discuss “the humorous side of politics.”

However, on Wednesday, when some of the reporters who had been invited and had made the trek to Boston’s theater district were told by official-looking guys at the door that the panel discussion was not open to the press. They gave no explanation for retracting the invitation to the funny forum.

Looks like the joke was on the press.

One reporter speculated the Democrats, who are so intent about keeping a positive tone, were afraid that one of the celebrities might pull a Whoopi Goldberg and say something outlandish that the Republicans would seize upon.

The Whoopie-Cushion Vote

Just down the street from the Shubert Theatre is the “world famous” Jack’s Joke Shop, a business specializing in fake vomit, snakes that pop out of cans, magic tricks and costumes. The shop originally opened in 1922 and touts itself as “America’s Oldest Active Joke Shop.”

When a reporter walked in, the owner, Harold Bengin was on the phone with a supplier, ordering more George W. Bush masks.

In the course of a conversation with the reporter, Bengin said, “You’re from New Mexico. You’ve got a great governor. I wouldn’t have been too sad if Kerry had picked him for vice president.”

Bengin noted that Gov. Bill Richardson had been a student at Tufts University in Boston.

“I don’t know if he was into pranks when he was here, so I don’t know if he ever came in this shop,” Bengin said.

But other politicians have been in the store. “About 12 years ago John Kerry came in with his daughter. I think she made him take her here.”

Wooing Hispanics
The Democrats are very serious about the importance of the Hispanic vote in the upcoming election. Some of the parties heaviest hitters spoke Wenesday morning to the Latino Caucus.

Among the star-studded speaker list were Teresa Heinz Kerry -- who asked to be “one of you Hispanics, honorary” --, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Howard Dean, Democratic National Chairman Terry McAuliffe and former Housing Secretary Henry Cisneros.

And though several pundits have commented on former Massasschusetts Gov. -- and 1988 Democratic presdential candidate -- Michael Dukakis not being invited to speak at the convention itself, Dukakis received a standing ovation from the Latino Caucus.

Also speaking was New Mexico’s attorney general, Patricia Madrid, who urged Democrats to not only work hard on getting out the vote, but to read current political books to be better informed on the issues.

Several speakers emphasized the likely closeness of the presidential race and to assume there will only be a one-vote margin.

New Mexico House Speaker Ben Lujan, who attended the session, said he expects the margin to be much wider. In this state he said he expects Kerry to carry 70-75 percent of the Hispanic vote.

“The trick is to get them to the polls,” he said.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 28, 2004

BOSTON _ One of our swing states is missing.

Just when New Mexico Democrats are feeling good about all the attention the state’s delegation is receiving thanks to being a swing state in the close presidential contest and for Gov. Bill Richardson being the convention chairman, here comes a big ugly snub.

In the National Journal’s special Convention Daily there is a front-page story about the Sheraton Boston Hotel being host to “the Michigan, Ohio and West Virginia delegations -- all of them swing states that are crucial to a presidential victory.”

But another delegation also is staying at the Sheraton from one of those states between Texas and Arizona.

Busy Day for N.M. Delegation

Unlike the past few days when there were plenty of parties, cruises, clambakes and other organized activities for the state’s delegation, Tuesday was relatively loose, delegates said.

Some delegates went to various caucuses and workshops. Some went to a screening of Farenheit 911, sponsored by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employess, at which filmaker Michael Moore himself spoke.

And a handful of sleepy delegates who partied too late the night before reportedly got encouragement from state Democratic Chairman John Wertheim to not miss any more delegation breakfasts.

Tuesday’s breakfast included appearances of national Democratic Chairman Terry McAullife and one of John Kerry’s Vietnam swiftboat crewmates.

Traffic, Security Fears Overblown?

For weeks before the convention, Boston locals and even some Democratic officials expressed the fear that traffic would be so congested and security would be so overbearing, movement around the city would be next to impossible.

But two days into the convention, the buzz around Boston is that neither traffic nor security seems to be that big of a deal.

A National Parks Service ranger at the Boston Commons, said Tuesday that afternoon that usually by this time there were about 400-500 pedestrains passing by the park on a normal summer weekday.

“So far I’ve counted about 40,” he said. “I think a lot of locals left town.”

“Traffic seems lighter than usual,” a shuttle van driver told reporters Monday. He said he thinks the dire predictions about clogged streets prompted many locals to take vacations this week.

Security, to be sure, is very visible -- you can’t go very far around the area surrounding the convention center without seeing local and state police, Secret Service agents and even National Guard members. A helicopter hovers around the downtown area. Several streets are blocked and the subway station at Fleet Center is closed.

Those entering the center must pass through a metal detector.

But given these facts, there doesn’t seem to be much tension over security.

“I’ve had no problems getting in and out of the center,” said Ernesto Chavez, a delegate from Albuquerque. “I thought there would be from what I’d seen on t.v.”

Wertheim said, “I think the city of Boston did a good job in planning for traffic and security.”

A police officer near the FleetCenter said that things have gone easy for police so far. “I think we only had one arrest Monday,” she said.

But she said she’ll be happier when it’s over. Officers have been working 12-hour shifts, she said.

Tuesday, July 27, 2004


I've been lax on the blog for the past few days, I know. Teetering on exhaustion yesterday. Apparently lost a company camera. But I'm still alive.

The New Mexican published my main story today, but not the "notebook" sidebar. I'll run that below. I'll post Wednesday's in a few hours:

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 27, 2004

BOSTON -- The New Mexico delegation is headquartered at the Boston Sheraton downtown. The hotel is exploding with convention activity. Besides all the people milling about - many of them New Mexico political folk - the first thing you see when entering the lobby is a vending table. There's a whole array of $22 T-shirts -- among them one featuring John Kerry in a Paul Revere hat with the caption "The New Boston 'D' Party."

There's also a galaxy of buttons -- standard Kerry-Edwards pins at the table by the front door. But one floor up, where most of the people walking around are there for the Democratic convention, the buttons sold at another vending table take on an edgier anti-Bush tone. Some of the buttons have slogans such as "Read My Lips, No New Texans." One refers to the controversy surrounding Bush's National Guard service, "Where was George Bush May 1972 - April 1973." Another declares, "Somewhere in Texas There's a Village Missing Its Idiot."

There are Kerry-Edwards golf balls, Kerry-Edwards coffee mugs, Kerry-Edwards shot glasses and Kerry-Edwards polo shirts selling for $50.

Going to the Chapel

Lt. Gov. Diane Denish jokingly told a reporter Monday that she will soon be resigning to take up a singing career. The night before, at a party for the New Mexico delegation sponsored by Southern Pacific Railroad, a five-man doo-wop group called North Shore Acappella performed an after-dinner set. At one point the group called six women in the audience, including Denish, to perform the old Dixie Cups hit "Chapel of Love."

"My husband Herb has a beautiful tenor voice," the lieutenant governor said. "When he found out I was singing in public, he was rather disheartened."

Meanwhile, at a breakfast for the state delegation, Denish advised fellow delegates not to be disheartened by transportation problems in traffic-choked Boston.

"We're going to be waiting for several hours to get in and out of the (convention) center," she said. "It's not going to get any shorter if your string gets short."

Embedded Delegate

Normally reporters don't interview other reporters, but one new CNN reporters also happens to be a delegate from New Mexico.

Frances Williams of Las Cruces, a delegate for Wesley Clark, is one of four delegates "deputized" by CNN to give daily reports. The network issued Williams and the other three video cameras to record interviews and convention events from a delegate's perspective.

"It's like a reality show about delegates," Williams said Sunday.

Williams said CNN isn't paying her, but she's loving her new gig.

She was excited about one of her first interviews -- the celebrated sleaze/talk show ringmaster Jerry Springer, who has been cited at various convention-related events.

Saturday, July 24, 2004


Suzanne was asking about the Butch Hancock rafting photo in the review of The Flatlanders CD below.

I Googled around and learned that my July 1995 New Mexican article about rafting with Butch is still on the web. CHECK IT OUT


The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, July 23, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting:
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-host: Thom "Ciskoe" Pike

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Eggs of Your Chickens/The Stars in Your Life by The Flatlanders
Lighting A Torch by Billy Joe Shaver
Where the Devil Don't Stay by The Drive-By Truckers
Guitar Man by Junior Brown
Worried Man Blues by George Jones
Red or Green by Lenny Roybal

Your Mind is on Vacation by Mose Allison
Mose Allison Played Here by Greg Brown
The Whiskey Makes You Sweeter by Amy Allison
Long Gone Dream by Greg Trooper
Hong Kong Boy by Tom Russell
The Eyes of Roberto Duran by Chris Gafney
Stepside by Eric Ambel
Exquisite Dead Guy by They Might Be Giants

Willie We Have Missed You by Grey DeLisle
Old Black Joe by Van Morrison & Linda Gail Lewis
American Hotel by Tom Russell
Nelly Was A Lady by Alvin Youngblood Hart
Ghost of Stephen Foster by Squirrel Nut Zippers
Old Kentucky Home by Randy Newman
Oh Susanna by Ronny Elliott
Don't Bet Money on the Shanghai by BR5-49

Snake Oil by Steve Earle
Propiniquity by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Red Dress by James McMurtry
I Don't Feel That Way by Jon Dee Graham
Can I Be Your June by Mary Alice Woods
The Man in the Bed by Dave Alvin
Love Make a Fool of Me by Big Al Anderson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, July 23, 2004


A version of this was s published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 23, 2004

To play on an old Flatlanders album title, back in 1972 Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Butch Hancock were more a band than a legend.

On June 8 of that year -- that’s nine days before the Watergate break-in for you history buffs -- the boys from Lubbock performed an acoustic set before a small crowd at an Austin bar called The One Knite. There were 15-20 people there to hear the music, which was considered a pretty good crowd for The Flatlanders back then.

(Historical irony: More than 20 years later, the building at 801 Red River St. that housed the One Knite would be reborn as Stubb’s Bar-B-Q, named for the rib joint operated by the late C.B. Stubblefield that for years was the spiritual center of the Lubbock music scene that spawned The Flatlanders.)

Little did the band know that the owner of the joint was recording them. In fact, according to the liner notes of the CD Live ‘72, the guys in the band didn’t realize such a tape existed until last year.

So now Santa Feans can hear the Nixon-era Flatlanders and see the Bush-era Flatlanders live when they play The Lensic Tuesday night.

Live ‘72 is a sweet joy for longtime fans of Gilmore, Ely and Hancock. Newcomers, however should start off with More a Legend Than a Band -- their early ‘70s album originally released only as an 8-track tape, or their recent CDs, Now Again and Wheels of Fortune (not to mention the plethora of Gilmore, Ely and Hancock solo from the late ‘70s on).

What we hear on Live ‘72 is a band that didn’t realize its members would mature into some of the finest singer-songwriters and roots-music performers of their generation.

They were already unique in one respect. The Flatlanders were one of the only bands of the day to include a musical saw, which, as one friend of mine has observed, gave a Plan 9 From Outer Space tinge to their West Texas sound. (Though Flatlanders sawyer Steve Wesson has made cameos on the band’s recent recordings, he hasn’t played with them the last couple of times I’ve seen them.)

But at that point The Flatlanders was a band not quite sure of itself, not quite ready to enter the same stratosphere as Willie and Waylon and the boys from Austin who were about to rearrange the atomic structure of country music.

Gilmore, who back then handled most of the vocals, was only starting to show hints that he indeed is a strange deity from the deep cosmos. Ely, who sang a few of the songs that night, showed little indication of the dynamic and charismatic performer he was destined to become.

By 1972 Hancock, the best songwriter of the bunch, probably was the most advanced in his craft. But only a couple of tunes of his -- “You‘ve Never Seen Me Cry,” and “The Stars in My Life” -- are on this album. And Hancock didn’t sing any leads that night.

Only three songs from the group’s 8-track appear on this CD -- Hancock’s numbers and “Jole Blonde,(aka “ the “Cajun national anthem.”) The rest are traditional folk and blues tunes (including Jesse Fuller’s “San Francisco Bay Blues,” which was practically mandatory for folkies of that era) plus songs by Hank Williams, Bob Dylan, Townes Van Zandt, their longtime pal Al Strehli and even Sam Cooke.

While that might seem amazing, you have to remember that The Flatlanders’ album -- now considered a classic in alternative country, Texas music or whatever -- received little notice or distribution. (8-track tapes were well on their way out by 1972.)

What you hear on this recording is a bunch of guys clearly in love with the timeless music they play. You hear it in the Everly-like harmonies on the old country song “Long Time Gone.” You hear it in Gilmore’s loving delivery of “Bring It On Home to Me,” which makes you realize that Sam Cooke and Hank Williams are probably pals in Heaven.

I bet this CD sounds a lot like Gilmore, Ely and Hancock did picking and jamming and singing around Lubbock living rooms. They’re more professional now, a little more polished, but that same free spirit marks their music still.

The Flatlanders will play at the Lensic Theater, 211 West San Francisco St., 8 p.m. Tuesday, Jul 27 2004. Ticket prices range from $24 to $34. For more information call 988-1234 or check the Fan Man Productions website.

My review of The Flatlanders' Wheels of Fortune can be found HERE

And what the heck, I haven't run my Butch Hancock rafting photo in four months or so.

Also Recommended:

Live in Aught-Three by James McMurty & The Heartless Bastards.
My favorite moment on this album is the spoken introduction of “Out Here in the Middle,” where McMurtry, in his laconic, deadpan drawl says, “Here’s another song off the last album which we have for sale up by the door for $15. I forgot to mention that last night and nobody bought a damn one of ‘em. I guess they already had ‘em, huh?” If that doesn’t sum up the struggles of a traveling recording artist who doesn’t sell zillions of CDs at the malls, I don’t know what does.

Live in Aught-Three is great for old McMurtry fans as well as newcomers to the cult. It’s got crisp, power-packed versions of my favorite McMurtry songs, “Too Long in the Wasteland,” “60 Acres,” and “Choctaw Bingo,“ McMurtry’s 8-minute-plus ode to the “north Texas/southern Oklahoma crystal methamphetamine industry.”

McMurtry and his Bastards are a rootsy power trio, sounding often like a less glitzy and more literate Z.Z. Top though there are some slow pretty tunes like “Out Here in the Middle” and McMurtry’s solo acoustic “Lights of Cheyenne.”

It’s definitely worth the $15 by the door.

Thursday, July 22, 2004


I got mentioned in Joe Monahan's New Mexico Politics Blog yesterday, along with other New Mexico press dogs going to Boston for the Democratic convention. Check his July 21 entry.

At least Joe said "grumbling" instead of "openly weeping" about missing the governor's clambake and lobster broil ...


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican, July 22, 2004

Gov. Bill Richardson isn't going to be the vice-presidential nominee, but as chairman of the Democratic National Convention in Boston next week, his proverbial dance card definitely will be full.

Richardson told local reporters Wednesday that he's been invited to more than 200 events by various state delegations and interest groups. He's the guest of honor at a dinner sponsored by Union Pacific Railroad and a luncheon for the National Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.

Richardson said he's scheduled to speak at three breakfast meetings for individual state delegations each morning during the convention.

The Boston Globe this week ran a story about these breakfast meetings and who's in demand as speakers. Richardson was described as a "stock favorite." The article quoted a spokesman for the Texas Democratic Party as saying: "Bill Richardson is on our short list, and he already told us he'd come by."

But The Globe noted, "A safe bet for one state, though, is out of another's reach. " 'We can't seem to get on Bill Richardson's schedule,' Scott Sterling, chairman of the Alaska delegation, said ruefully. 'But we're working on Max Baucus,' referring to the senator from Montana."

Name your governor: Richardson was scheduled to fly to Boston Wednesday night, which means Lt. Gov. Diane Denish is the acting governor at the moment.

But Denish is scheduled to go to Boston on Friday, which means Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron will be acting governor this weekend and most of next week.

However, Vigil-Giron said Wednesday that she has a meeting with the Navajo Election Administration in Window Rock, Ariz., on Monday. "I should be out of the state for about four hours," she said. According to the state Constitution, this means Senate President Pro-tem Richard Romero will be acting governor during that time.

If for some reason Romero has to leave the state during those four hours, we could be in for a constitutional crisis. The next in line is the speaker of the House. But Ben Luján also is going to the convention, and the Constitution doesn't specify who would be in line after him.

Little-known convention fact: Richardson isn't the only New Mexico politician who is an officer of the Democratic convention. Speaker Luján, D-Nambé, is one of 11 vice chairpeople. The others holding this honorary position include the governors of Washington and Louisiana, former governors of New Hampshire and Oregon, five members of Congress and the mayor of Columbus, Ohio.

Luján jumped on the Kerry bandwagon months before it became a bandwagon, announcing his support for Kerry about a year ago.

Ambassador Adair: Sen. Rod Adair, R-Roswell, couldn't resist lampooning Richardson's well-publicized announcement early this month that he was taking himself out of consideration as Kerry's running mate.

In a recent edition of Adair's e-mail newsletter, the senator proclaimed he had informed President Bush that he wouldn't accept an appointment to the position of ambassador to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Quoting an alleged letter to Bush, Adair said: "I am honored and flattered that you are seriously considering me for this august and prestigious position. I must tell you, however, that I respectfully remove myself from the selection process and withdraw my name from consideration for the ambassadorial position. As you know, when I ran for state senator, I made a commitment to the people of Chaves and Lincoln Counties to serve a full term."

The "announcement" goes on to say that Adair "has said repeated for months that he was not interested in being the Ambassador to the Court of Saint James. Even though, as friends often said, 'he is of British heritage, and he speaks the language fluently.' "

Monday, July 19, 2004


Sunday, July 18, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays MDT
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Jenny I Read by Concrete Blonde
Don't Shake Me Lucifer by Roky Erickson
1880 or So by Television
Shame by P.J. Harvey
Gus the Polar Bear from Central Park by The Tragically Hip
Come Crash by A.C. Newman
Pigeon Heart by Marah
Spiderman by The Ramones

Afghan/Forklift by Stan Ridgway
Spiders by Wilco
The Day Industry Decided to Stop by The Three Johns
Never Say Never by Romeo Void
Green Fuz by Green Fuz
Somethin' Stupid by Frank & Nancy Sinatra

Tarzan of Harlem by Cab Calloway
Saturday Night Fish Fry by Louis Jordan
The Minor Drag by Fats Waller
Here Comes the Man With the Jive by Stuff Smith & His Onyx Club Boys
Bloodshot Eyes by Wynonie Harris
Is You Is or Is You Ain't My Baby by Joe Jackson
Wackey Dust by Chick Webb & His Orchestra with Ella Fitzgerald
There Ain't No Sweet Man Worth the Salt of My Tears by Geoff Muldaur's Futuristic Ensemble with Martha Wainwright

When Kingdoms Crawl by Bone Pilgrim
When the Fool Becomes the King by The Polyphonic Spree
Heaven by Eric Burdon
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, July 18, 2004


My cyber friend and poetry man Mike Schiavo is included in a new anthology called Don't Abuse the Muse: The Middlefinger Press Mixed Tape of Fiction & Reality.

One hundred percent of the profits go to Parkinson's Disease research.

So check it out.


Here's Friday's S.F. Opry list from Tom

The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, July 16, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Guest Host: Tom Knoblauch

One Hundred Years From Now by The Byrds
Truck Drivin’ Man by The International Submarine Band
Blue Canadian Rockies by The Byrds
Hickory Wind by The Byrds
You Don’t Miss Your Water by The Byrds
Sweetheart of the Rodeo
Tonight I’ll Be Stayin Here With You/I’ll Be Your Baby Tonight by Bob Dylan
Wild Horses by The Flying Burrito Brothers
I Am A Lonesome Hobo by Bob Dylan
John Wesley Harding
The Train Song/Sing Me Back Home by The Flying Burrito Brothers
She by Gram Parsons
Older Guys by The Flying Burrito Brothers
In My Hour of Darkness by Gram Parsons
On the Banks of the Rio Grande by Blind James
Rio Grande by Dave Alvin
Rusty Old Red River/What’s It Take by Toni Price
Better Off Without a Wife/Warm Beer & Cold Women/Nighthawks at the Diner by Tom Waits
Cowboy Peyton Place by Doug Sahm
Beat Me Daddy Eight to the Bar/Truck Drivin’ Man/Too Much Fun by Commander Cody
Mikey Gave Up the Booze by Joe West
Have Your Way With Me by Hundred Year Flood
Next Time by TheMuseMeant
Hey Beautiful/Let’s Fall in Love Again Tonight by Hundred Year Flood
Rowdy’s Tune by Dickie Lee Erwin
Diggy Liggy Lo by John Fogarty

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

Saturday, July 17, 2004


Lordy lordy, I leave town for a few days and a civil war breaks out amongst Santa Fe musicians.
As Anne Constable wrote about in The New Mexican a couple of days ago, (Read it HERE ) David Lescht, who heads the Summer Bandstand committee hated my brother Jack Clift's Plaza performance so bad he cancelled three other "improvisational" bands that were scheduled to perform. Not only that but he fired Jeff Sussman from the committee, apparently for hiring Jack and the other bands.
Since Jack is my brother (yes, different last name. But we're brothers. Ask him ...) I have an obvious bias here.
I've always liked David and have admired and written about his program Outside In, which brings music to prisons, hospitals, retirement homes, homeless shelters etc. But these recent actions make him seem like he's trying to be the Ayatollah of rock 'n' rolla.
And all to please the tourists?
Reminds me of the last verse of "The Bozo Buck Stops Here," a song I wrote in the late '70s partly about the frustrations of being an original musician trying to get gigs in a tourist town:

"I never could pull off any John Denver image,
I'm not as sensitive as Jackson Browne.
And as hard as I might try I'll never look like Linda Rondstadt,
So they won't let me play my tunes in this here town
I'm sick and tired of trying hard not to scare the tourists
When maybe all they need's a shot of fear
Just keep 'em out of touch and it won't hurt 'em very much
When the Bozo Buck stops here."


Just got back from Denver and I noticed Curtis' reply to my previous Denver post, in which he plugged KCUV radio, an "Americana" station there.
Luckily I discovered it on my own a couple of days ago. (Actually there was an ad in Denver's print edition of The Onion. ) Curtis is right. It's a great little station. I hadn't heard AM radio sound so good since the legendary Jello Fellows practiced their after-hours subversion on KVSF here in Santa Fe 30-plus years ago.
KCUV's definition of "Americana" is pretty broad. You hear a fair amount of blues -- John Lee Hooker, Muddy Waters, Albert King -- as well as soul (Al Green! Ray Charles!) and founding-fathers rock 'n' roll (Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis) . They'll even throw in some rootsy classic rock. This morning they played some early Steve Miller that didn't suck.
I was really sad when the station started to fade right before I got to Colorado Springs. They'd just played Los Lobos' "Matter of Time" (original version, thank you) and had just started Asleep at The Wheel's "The Letter That Johnny Walker Read."


As published Friday July 16, 2004 in The Santa Fe New Mexican
It’s been four years -- four years! -- since the last P.J. Harvey album. I hesitate to say that her new one Uh Huh Her was "worth the wait," because, to steal a line from the old Wolf Brand Chili ads, "well that’s too long!"

But worth the wait or not, this new album is a doozy.

From the first crunching guitar notes of the opening cut "The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth," longtime fans of Polly Jean will realize that she’s harkening back to the raw, rocking joys of her earliest albums Dry and Rid of Me -- the very records that made us love her in the first place.

And the ragingly bitter lyrics to this song is a long way from the giddy "This is Love" from her last album, Stories From the City Stories From the Sea.

"Cos everything is poison," Harvey spits in "Mr. Badmouth." "You'll be the unhappy one/Your lips taste of poison/You're gonna be left alone … Your bad mouth has killed off everything we have."

The first half or so of the album is marked by loud grating guitar riffs, (played by Harvey herself,), complimenting her voice, which can go from a sexy, low, bluesy croon to high piercing cries.

While the guitar sounds like it might explode in "The Letter" (not to be confused with the old Box Tops hit), the lyrics are surprising sentimental, expressing a sensual longing for pre e-mail days.

"Who is left that/Writes these days?/You and me/We'll be different/Take the cap/Off your pen/Wet the envelope/Lick and lick it."

But the second half of Uh Huh, Her consist mostly of quieter tracks. The best of these -- including "The Slow Drug," "The Desperate Kingdom of Love," "The Darker Days of Me and Him." are brooding and ominous, like an eye in an emotional hurricane. You can tell by the titles that these aren’t going to be joy rides.

For instance, the sound is somewhat softer on "Pocket Knife" -- strummed guitar suggesting Mid-Eastern music. But the lyrics are no less harsh. Tackling a theme as old as the old folk tune "I Never Shall Marry," Harvey makes her matrimonial reluctance very clear.

"Please don't make my wedding dress/I'm too young to marry yet/Can you see my pocket knife?/You can't make me be a wife."

And in case the implied threat isn’t clear, by the last verse she sings, "White material will stain/My pocket knife's gotta shiny blade."

The photo array of the CD cover might remind old-timers of the old Rod Stewart line from the song "Every Picture Tells a Story": "Comb my hair in a thousand ways …" In other words, she looks as if she’s searching for an identity.

Fortunately her songs -- be they loud or soft, bitter or loving, sultry or hysterical -- maintain a consistent soulfulness. She knows who she is.

Also Recommended:

*A Ghost Is Born by Wilco. The thing I like most about this album is the same thing that first grabbed me about P.J. Harvey’s new one: the loud obnoxious guitars.

Listen to the first song, "At Least That’s What You Said." It starts off as a slow, dreary, piano-based tune with Jeff Tweedy singing, "When I sat down on bed next to you/ you started to cry …" (This is at least the second Wilco song with references to domestic violence, the other being "She’s Ajar" from Summerteeth.)

It goes on for a couple of verses. But just before you start thinking that Tweedy’s acquired some kind of Joni Mitchell complex, Tweedy comes in with a pounding guitar -- the ghost of John Lennon and echoes of Don’t Bring Me Down" are in there somewhere -- and the next thing you know the song has mutated into a screaming guitar stomp.

There’s even a crazy guitar solo (is it Tweedy or John Stirratt, Wilco’s longtime bassist who plays guitar on this cuty) in "Hell is Chrome," which sounds like a slow gospel tune filtered through The Velvet Underground’s "Sweet Nothings."

But my favorite guitar freakout is the 10-minute "Spiders (Kidsmoke)," which over a percolating techno pop beat, Tweedy goes psychedelic, recalling acid-drench guitar solos from the daze of The Jefferson Airplane, The Doors and Country Joe & The Fish.

But the one huge flaw is "Less Than You Think," in which a sad, slow piano ballad (yes, another one) is inexplicably followed by 12 minutes of grating electronic drone. I love noise and excess as much as anyone, but did we really need a mini-ode to Metal Machine Music?

But as we’ve come to expect on Wilco albums are sweet, simple melodies harkening back to Tweedy’s country-rock days, underlying all their sonic excursions. The hypnotic "Handshake Drugs" and the pop-saavy "The Late Greats" each have melodies that will stick to your brains. And "Muzzle of Bees" is so earthy and folky it’s something you might expect to find on a Pentangle album -- with the guitar rage waiting until the last minute or so to kick in.

In general, this album is less focused and less seamless than Wilco’s last outing, the masterful Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. But like that album, it holds secrets that will take listen after listen to crack.

*Stan  By Your Man: I’ve been wishing for Stan Ridgway to do a Santa Fe concert for years. It’s gonna happen Saturday, Aug. 14 at the Paramount. Watch Pasatiempo for more details.

*You’re not dreaming, KSFR is streaming!: In case you haven’t noticed, KSFR is on the internet. Just go the station’s web site, . Locals can still listen on your old fashioned radios, (90.7 FM), but be sure to tell your out-of-town friends that Santa Fe Public radio is just a few mouse clicks away.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Greetings from Denver!

Sitting here in Cafe@Netherworld in overheated Denver, Colorado. Nice little getaway. Anton and I went to Ellich park/Six Flags yesterday for thrills and sunburn.

For you blog faithful, there will be no Roundhouse Round-up this week and no radio playlists, unless my substitutes Tom and Sean e-mail me their playlists, in which case they will be late. Terrell's Tune-up will be up, but a day or two late.

Carry on,


Monday, July 12, 2004


Sunday, July 11, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-host: Anton Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Shortning Bread by The Cramps
Pocket Knife by P.J. Harvey
Hard Lovin' Man by The Fleshtones
Broken Home, Broken Heart by Husker Du
Teenage Nightingales to Wax by The Three Johns
The Changeling by The Doors
Bubba's Truck by Key

King For a Day by Stan Ridgway
Highway 62 by Eric Burdon
Don't Bring Me Down by Eric Burdon & The Animals
Porn Wars by Frank Zappa
Teacher's Pet by Petty Booka

Jon E. Edwards in the Mood by Jon E. Edwards
It's All in the Game/Make It Real One More Time by Van Morrison
I'll Be Allright by Terrance Trent D'Arby
Mama Was Right by Howard Tate
Penny and the Young Buck by The Gluey Brothers
Treat Her Right by Los Straightjackets with Mark Lindsay

Sand by OP8
Summer's Killing Us by The Tragically Hip
Everything Starts at the Seam by The Polyphonic Spree
Theologians by Wilco
The Kiss by Judee Sill
I Mumble Your Name by Jack Clift
Lucky Day by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, July 10, 2004


Yes indeed, KSFR is now steaming on the Internet! We're in the 90s

The Santa Fe Opry is on Friday nights 10 to midnight Mountain
Daylight Time.

My freeform show, Terrell's Sound World is on same time SUNDAY

Feel free to e-mail me during the show

(Gonna be on vacation next week, so Tom Knoblauch will sub on the SF Opry next Friday and Sean Conlon will be in charge of Terrell's Sound World Sunday July 18.)

Here's tonight's playlist. The first 25 minutes was the pre-recorded Santa Fe Opry "Emergency CD" I was late getting back from covering John Kerry & John Edwards in Albuquerque and filing my story for The New Mexican

The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, July 9, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
(Emergency Disc: I don't have a complete list of the songs on the disc, but among the tunes I heard driving over to the station were:
The Wreck of the Old 97 by Wayne Hancock
One in a Row by Willie Nelson
Ghost Riders in the Sky by The Last Mile Ramblers
Highway Patrol by Junior Brown
Red Red Robin by Rosie Flores.)

Start Live show
Sioux City Sue by Willie Nelson & Leon Russell
Some of Shelly's Blues by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band
Harvest by Jon Dee Graham
Button Up by Dollar Store
Call in Twisted by Rev. Horton Heat
Valium Waltz by Old 97s
Worried Man Blues by George Jones
Hole in the Head by Eric Ambel
Sweetwater by Tres Chicas

East by Marah
Invisible Banjo by ThaMuseMeant
Cruel Lips by Graham Parker and Lucinda Williams
Living the Wrong Way by Emily Kaitz
Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith
Stars in My Life by The Flatlanders

Fisher of Men by Mose McCormack & Jack Clift
Busted by Peter Stampfel & The Bottle Caps
Walk You Home by Marlee MacLeod
I Wish You Love by Friends of Dean Martinez
Nine Volt Heart by Dave Alvin
Fire by Patterson Hood
Torture Rack by Gary Heffern
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, July 09, 2004


As published in The New Mexican

When I heard "Once Upon a Time," the first song from My Secret Life, the new album by Eric Burdon, I was disheartened. Here's another washed-up old rock star pining for the good old days and that old-time rock 'n' roll. The second track, "Motorcycle Girl," which has a taste of Burdon's classic shouting and some flamenco-pop guitar, was better, so I didn't turn the CD off.

And good thing. The third song, a beefy minor-key blues-rocker called "Over the Border," is a berserk Tarantinoesque tale of drugs, paranoia, murder and betrayal. Burdon growls, wails and struts over the bound-for-battle B-3 organ of Mike Finnigan. Burdon attacks it as if this is the song that's been waiting for him all his life: "30 years on the highway running/I've got a trunk full of guns no love and no woman," he bellows in the bridge, his voice barely showing any age.

Burdon's been running down the highway for well more than 30 years. His old band the Animals is the most underrated British Invasion group. Sure, "House of the Rising Sun" is a mainstay of oldies radio. And "We've Got to Get Out of This Place" is used for great comic effect in Fahrenheit 9/11, as Michael Moore discusses the bin Laden family and other Saudi Arabians slipping out of the country right after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

But the Animals never got the respect bestowed upon the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, the Who and the Kinks. Maybe it's because they were too meat-and-potatoes looking to become the darlings of French fashion magazines, like the Stones were. Or maybe it was because the Animals wrote little of their own material, most of which was old blues tunes and souped-up Brill Building offerings.

While others of his generation have remained in the public eye, Burdon basically sank from view after splitting from War, the influential funk-rock band he made famous in the early '70s. But he's been plugging away ever since, recording for tiny, unknown labels, doing an occasional Animals revival, playing casinos and living the blues he sings.

"Over the Border" is definitely the highlight of My Secret Life, but there are other gut punchers too. "The Secret" is full of crime and voodoo, while "Highway 62" is a tale of drugs, death and motorcycles.

"Black and White World" is a garage band/ska romper with an electric organ that recalls original Animal Alan Price.

Though the opening song, in which the singer yearns for the days of Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Elvis Presley and other singers, is a sentimental dud, Burdon does some tribute songs here that work. "Jazzman," featuring cool sax and trumpet, is a Van Morrison-worthy ode to Chet Baker, Billie Holiday and "Philly" Joe Jones. "Can't Kill the Boogieman" is a pounding invocation of the late John Lee Hooker. This is appropriate. Jillions of Americans, including me, were led to Hooker via the Animals' version of "Boom Boom."

And there are a couple of impressive covers here. Burdon does a slow, gospelish version of the Talking Heads' "Heaven." And the title song is a soul ballad written by Leonard Cohen.

This is such a rockin' CD, it makes me want to seek out some of Burdon's other little-heard works from the past 30 years.

Also recommended:

Ashgrove by Dave Alvin.
Like Eric Burdon, Alvin pays tribute on his latest record to venerated old blues sages whose music moved him as a youth.

But the title song, a stinging blues shuffle named for the long-gone Los Angeles blues club where Alvin saw many members of the blues pantheon, isn't just a nostalgic look at the good old days. There's a gnawing dread and bitter regret here that undermines the happy boyhood memories. "Tryin' to make a livin', tryin' to pay the rent, tryin' to figure out where my life went," Alvin moans.

But not all is despair. As the song progresses Alvin makes it clear that his chosen path as a musician, "raising the ghosts" of Big Joe and Lightnin', not only gives him purpose, but gives a little joy and maybe even a little hope to the people he plays for.

Songs as good as this - and albums as good as this - indeed are beacons in difficult times.

And this is only the first song on the album, which is packed with jaw-dropping tunes; thanks mainly to Alvin's understated electric guitar, aided by guitar and steel-guitar monster Greg Leisz, the music is nearly as moving as the stories Alvin sings.

Some of my favorites:

"Nine Volt Heart," featuring Chris Gaffney on background harmonies, is the story of a kid whose life is changed by a car radio, which he discovers while his mom is looking for his dad in a bar.

"Out of Control" is a classic Alvin tough-guy tune. The narrator is a speed-dealing pimp who sits in his car with a gun as his girl is "puttin' on a show for some chump" in a motel room, and he sometimes calls on his ex-wife who's found the Lord, but he still likes to get "out of control."

Alvin wrote "The Man in the Bed" for his late father. Though he's weak and helpless and hospitalized, the old man has the spirit of the wild youth who rode the rails in the Depression and fought in World War II and organized unions, and who knows that he could have broken the heart of the young nurse tending him. "The man in the bed isn't me/Now I slipped out the door and I'm runnin' free." Alvin sings this sad acoustic waltz softly, as if he doesn't want to wake the subject of his song.

This is Alvin's first album of new original material since 1998's Blackjack David. After an album of folk tunes (Public Domain) and a live album (Out in California) I was beginning to worry that Alvin had lost his muse.

Those fears can be put to rest.

Thursday, July 08, 2004


My friend Cathy, who lives up in that neck of the woods, has given me the harsh lowdown on Boston traffic during the upcoming Democratic Convention.

And now this from Maureen Dowd:

"Except for the fact that the Secret Service has already advised journalists to bring "escape hood respirators" to the Democratic convention in Boston in case of a terrorist attack, it looks as if happy campaign days are here again."

This is going to be fun ...


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

It's pretty clear that New Mexico Democrats love John Kerry and John Edwards.

But it's also clear that New Mexico Democrats don't always love each other.

Case in point, Lt. Gov. Diane Denish and Attorney General Patricia Madrid.

The two ran against each other in the lieutenant governor primary in 1994 (Madrid won, but she and Gov. Bruce King lost in the general election.) And both are generally thought to harbor the ambition of one day being elected as the first female governor of the state.

In an interview Tuesday, the day Kerry announced that Edwards would be his running mate on the national Democratic ticket, Denish was talking about Edwards would help Kerry in the state.

When asked why Edwards came in a distant fourth in the state Democratic caucus last February, she said that was because his organization in the state wasn't strong. "You didn't see much of an (Edwards) organization here, just a few people out front," Denish said.

And who was in charge of Edwards' organization in the state? Attorney General Patricia Madrid.

But neither side on Wednesday wanted to rock the Democratic love boat - especially not with Kerry and Edwards coming to the state on Friday.

Caroline Buerkle, a spokeswoman for Madrid - and herself a part of Edwards' New Mexico caucus campaign - disagreed that Edwards' state organization was weak. But she said Madrid didn't want to comment on Denish's remarks. "We'll take the high road on this one," she said.

Meanwhile, Lauran Cowdrey, a spokeswoman for Denish, said the lieutenant governor didn't mean her remarks to interpreted as "a slam" against anyone.

"She just meant that she just couldn't identify a big organization for Edwards, whereas Kerry did have a big organization," Cowdrey said. "It was intended as a compliment to the Kerry campaign."

The return of medical marijuana: It seems like a different epoch back when Gary Johnson was governor and it looked like there was a decent chance that the Legislature might pass a law allowing New Mexicans suffering from serious medical conditions to legally use marijuana to treat their symptoms.

But it was just three years ago in 2001 when both the House and Senate passed different medical-marijuana bills. But because neither bill made it through both Houses, neither could be signed into law.

Even though Gov. Bill Richardson has said he'd consider signing a medical-marijuana bill, he also made it clear that it wasn't one of his priorities. Richardson appointed John Denko, an outspoken foe of medical marijuana, as Public Safety secretary. And when such a bill came to a vote in the House in 2003, many lawmakers who'd voted for it before changed their minds. The bill went up in smoke.

Though the political climate has changed, Reena Szcepanski, director of the New Mexico Drug Policy Project, said Wednesday her group intends to make another go for medical marijuana.

Though there hasn't been much movement in New Mexico on the issue in the past couple of years, Vermont recently became the ninth state to pass a medical-marijuana bill, Szcepanski noted. And polls around the country still show widespread support for the concept.

Support for medical marijuana hasn't completely evaporated in the Legislature. The winners of all three contested Democratic legislative primaries last month - Rep. Jim Trujillo, Rep. Peter Wirth and Senate candidate John Grubesic - all are on record for supporting a medical marijuana bill. (Wirth and Grubesic have opponents in the general election.)

Starr Time!: He was a solicitor general of the United States. He served two years on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He's the future dean of Pepperdine University School of Law. But come on, admit it. You only know him as the guy who examined the blue dress that led to the impeachment of a president.

Ken Starr, the special prosecutor who never learned what Bill Clinton's definition of "is" is, will be speaking in Albuquerque next week to a civic group called The One Hundred Club of New Mexico.

Tickets to the event (noon, July 16 at the Albuquerque Country Club) cost $20 per person. For reservations call 243-3525 by Monday.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004


I always knew deep in my heart that the story of Elvis was much larger than the story of the rise and fall of an entertainer.

This confirms it.


Tuesday, July 06, 2004


My KSFR buddy and accomplished radio ranter Chris Goldstein has revamped his web site for his Wednesday night show The Last Hours of Night CLICK HERE

The new site includes a well-deserved rant against the cynical sham of a Clear Channel outlet based in Santa Fe claiming to be a "community radio" station. Chris doesn't name the offender, but it's KBAC.

Listen to Chris' show 10 p.m. Wednesday night on KSFR, 90.7 FM REAL community radio.


Sometimes nightmares come true.

Here's every newspaper person's nightmare.

Here's the original story published in The New York Post, CLICK HERE.

And here's a story from the journalism trade publication Editor & Publisher. CLICK HERE

Monday, July 05, 2004


Last night when I played Paul Simon's "American Tune" to cap off the 4th of July Terrell's Sound World, I was trying to explain to my co-host Laurell what that song means to me. Probably didn't do a great job doing that.

But then I remembered something I'd written on the old AOL No Depression Music Board back in 1999, a ranting that later was published in No Depression magazine (Issue #22, July 1999).

Here's the significance of "American Tune":

It was the fall of 1973; I'd just turned 20 years old (that was actually in Columbia, Missouri, at a bar called the Loading Zone; I'd just learned of Gram Parsons’ death), and I was on my first great hitchhiking adventure across these United States. Somewhere outside of Madison, Wisconsin, I got picked up by three fools from Connecticut in a VW Bus they called Lightnin’. The Lightnin’ boys were like me: out on the road to glimpse Kerouac's vision before things started changing too much.

We traveled together several days, had a great time, got chased out of South Dakota from a little drugstore town. Back on that first night, traversing southern Minnesota at night, we had dinner at a truck stop and purchased two 8-track tapes: Rock 'n' roll Is Here To Stay by Sha Na Na, and There Goes Rhymin' Simon by Paul Simon.

Whenever I hear “American Tune”, my mind goes back to that bus called Lightnin': "We come on a ship they called the Mayflower/We come on a ship that sailed the moon…” But I just see this crowded VW bus, driver Bruce chugging bourbon while outmaneuvering the pursuing rednecks in South Dakota, or chugging up an impossible hill in Montana. I see Nixon in the White House, just starting to talk to the statues. Agnew was being prepared for the sacrifice... “We come in the age's most uncertain hour/To sing an American Tune…”

I recall us convincing the ranger at Mount Rushmore to turn on the lights even though it was way after hours, and all of us, maybe even the ranger, singing "America The Beautiful" when the faces were lit. Singing "Days Of ’49" in a campground restroom; hearing the Allman Brothers' "Ramblin' Man" in almost every other car that picked me up. And Sha Na Na: "If you don't like rock ’n’ roll, think what you've been missing…” I hear it all in "American Tune".

"Still tomorrow's gonna be another working day," Simon sang. Yeah, before we all knew it, just about every day would be another working day. But damn, the adventure was fun while it lasted.


Sunday, July 4, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-Host: Laurell Reynolds

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
America by Lou Reed
4th of July by X
Rockin' in the Free World by Neil Young
One Time One Night by Los Lobos
200 Years Old by Frank Zappa with Captain Beefheart
Something Broken in the Promised Land by Wayne Kramer

4th of July Asbury Park (Sandy) by Bruce Springsteen
U.S. Blues by The Grateful Dead
4th of July by Soundgarden
American Music by The Blasters
People Have the Power by Patti Smith
Gallent Men by Sen. Everett McKinley Dirksen

Bad Days by The Flaming Lips
Thats Not Really Funny by the Eels
Fighting For Strangers by Steeleye Span
I'm Gonna Miss You by Slim Harpo
Scratch My Back by the Flamin Groovies
The Messiah Will Come Again by Roy Buchanan
I Need Love by Little Richard

The Life and Death of Mr. Badmouth by PJ Harvey
Handshake Drugs by Wilco
The Great Event by Leonard Cohen
Can't Keep From Cryin' by Pentangle
Johnny Mathis' Feet by American Music Club
American Tune by Paul Simon
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, July 04, 2004

Strange Conversation

I had a very weird little exchange with Gov. Bill Richardson following a press conference Friday. I'm not sure what it means. Probably just a misunderstanding? Who knows? And it's true, he was trying to be nice, and I ended up being a smart ass. But I thought it was kind of funny.

Richardson: I read your music column today. You didn't like that guy, huh?

Me: No, I liked everyone I wrote about today. {Graham Parker, etc.}

Richardson: Well maybe it was last week.

Me: No, I think I wrote about Ray Charles last week. {Note: I was mistaken. Actually I wrote about Ray Charles two weeks ago}

Richardson: How's Ray Charles doing?

Me: Oh, he's still dead.

{Unfortunately this conversation wasn't taped. But I wrote it down immediately when I got back to my office in the Capitol after the press conference while it was still fresh in my head.}

Saturday, July 03, 2004


The Santa Fe Opry
Friday, July 2, 2004
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Fourth of July by Dave Alvin
American Trash by Betty Dylan
Warmed Over Kisses, Leftover Love by Dave Edmunds
Fairground by Graham Parker
Beyond Our Means by Dollar Store
River of No Return by Jon Rauhouse with Neko Case
Laura (What's He Got That I Ain't Got) by Leon Ashley
The Squid Jiggin' Ground by Peter Stampfel & The Bottle Caps

Future Mrs. Dave/F.M.D.R.I.P by Uncle Dave & The Waco Brothers
Dirty Drawers by Vassar Clements with Elvin Bishop
Move Along by The Lonesome Brothers
My Name is Jorge by The Gourds
I'm Gonna Take You Home and Make You Like Me by Robbie and Donna Fulks
Stupid Boy by The Gear Daddies
I'm Still in Love With Every Girl by Floyd Tillman with Justin Trevino

My Country Too by Kell Robertson
Trouble on the Line by Loretta Lynn
It'll Only End in Tears by Eric Ambel
You Are My Flower by Willie Nelson
Let's Flirt by Cornell Hurd with Conni Hancock
Festival Zydeco by Cyndi Lauper
Kindness by Eric Hisaw
Gail With The Golden Hair by The Handsome Family

You Don't Know Me by Susanna Van Tassel
On the Sea of Galilee by Emmylou Harris with the Peasall Sisters
I Wish by Marlee MacLeod
Something to Look Forward Too by Jon Dee Graham
You Got to Say by Michael Hurley
One of the Unsatisfied by Lacy J. Dalton
Going Where The Lonely Go by Merle Haggard
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Friday, July 02, 2004


As published in The New Mexican

As if he hasn‘t already had problems with people mistaking his name for “Gram Parsons,” Graham Parker — the same Graham Parker, who for 30 years or so has played his own brand of soul music with a punk-rock heart — has made a “country” album.

But before Parker purists get cranky, the new album Your Country isn’t some kind of hokey genre exercise. Unlike some rockers who “go country,” Parker doesn’t sound like he’s auditioning for some Hee-Haw revival.

In other words, this album is closer in sound to Elvis Costello’s King of America than it is to Elvis Costello’s Almost Blue.

(Poor Parker — since the late ‘70s he’s had to endure comparisons with Elvis Costello — both arose from the British pub-rock scene and both used Nick Lowe as a producer in the early days. I suppose he’ll survive this comparison too.)

Your Country has a rockabilly take on “Crawling From the Wreckage,” an old Parker song best known for its version by Dave Edmunds. And most surprisingly, there’s a Grateful Dead cover, “Sugaree.” Robert Hunter’s lyrics sound natural coming from Parker’s mouth: “You thought you was the cool fool/ and never could do no wrong/Had everything sewed up tight/how come you lay awake all night long?”

But more importantly , there are some top-notch new songs here.
“Cruel Lips,” a duet with Lucinda Williams, is a wicked put-down song with a bittersweet melody that could have been written by that other GP.

“Tornado Alley,” a cool country-rocker, has even more brutal lyrics: “But when that twister rolled through Kentucky/And ripped up our trailer park/I saw your big butt flyin’ through the window/And the hound dogs started to bark.”

“Fairground” is full of acidic character sketches of carnies: “See that girl in the tattered dress/who runs the Octopus ride/She’s no more than fourteen/and already one inside/and every tattoo that’s tattooed/upon her hide/tells the story of her life/a life of pain and pride.”

My personal favorite is “Things I Never Said” is an emotional love ballad with a deceptively simple melody and a sweet steel by Ben Peeler. Though the title suggests regrets over a lost love, the situation is more complex and interesting. It’s about feeling lost and empty with a current lover.

Country or not, Your Country is full of that old Graham Parker spark.

Also Recommended:
*Jon Rauhouse’s Steel Guitar Rodeo.
This is a good-time outing by one of Bloodshot Records' most dependable sidemen, steel guitar stud Rauhouse.

Here the Arizonan — who also picks a little banjo and guitar — teams up with a small army of musicians, including members of the Giant Sand/Calexico axis.

The most memorable tunes here are sung by Bloodshot’s bevy of bitchen babes: Kelly Hogan (who sings a sultry take on James Brown’s “Prisoner of Love” and a torch tune called “Smoke Rings”); Neko Case (who soars on a sweet but spooky “River of No Return,” a western movie theme previously recorded by Tennessee Ernie Ford, The Sons of the Pioneers and, I’m not kidding, Marilyn Monroe, who starred in the 1954 film); and Mekons songbird Sally Timms, who does a sweet, sexy “(There’ll Be Bluebirds Over) The White Cliffs of Dover,” a popular World War II song from England.

There’s some jaunty instrumentals here too, my favorite being the steel guitar take on the “Perry Mason Theme,” one of history’s greatest “crime-jazz” songs of all-time — written by Santa Fe resident Fred Steiner.

*9 Slices of My Midlife Crisis by Uncle Dave & The Waco Brothers. At ease, Waco Brothers fans. It’s been a couple of years since the last real Wacos album, New Deal and this doesn’t really count as a follow-up. Like Jon Langford’s All the Fame of Lofty Deeds and Dean Schlabowske’s recent side project, Dollar Store, this is something of a teaser.

Here the Wacos back up an old pal, New York songwriter Dave Herndon. Missing is the crazed country-style anarchy the Wacos are known for, not to mention Langford’s — and Schlabowske’s — songwriting.

But here’s some worthy tunes here, such as the slow, sweet “West Side Wind” (featuring some weeping steel from Mark Durante) and the rocking “I Love You Baby (And I Hate Myself)”

But my favorites are a pair of songs about the “Future Mrs. Dave.” In the song of that title, this unknown woman is Uncle Dave’s ideal, who’s “always looking’ good no matter what she wears” and stands by her Dave even when he’s drunk or unemployed or sulking or raving.

Then the last song “F.M.D.R.I.P.” starts out with the Wacos singing in a Druid/jungle chant “Future Mrs. Dave, Future Mrs. Dave, Future Mrs. Dave is dead …” Turns out that Uncle Dave has come to the sad realization that Future Mrs. Dave “existed only in my lonely head,” so he kills her off, metaphorically speaking.

*Dollar Store. Jon Langford is truly the high priest of The Waco Brothers, but Dean Schlabowske’s contributions shouldn’t be overlooked. With his hoarse Wisconsin drawl, he’s been out on some of the band’s best songs, including “Out There A Ways,” “Red Brick Wall,” and the anti-Bush tune from New Deal “The Lie.”

This album doesn‘t have any songs quite as memorable, but it’s a good solid album. The band includes Waco bassist Alan Doughty, and, on most tracks, Jon Rauhouse on steel and sometimes Hawaiian guitar and banjo.

“Beyond Our Means“ is a sad song about self-loathing. “Amazing Disgrace” (which features Dave Alvin on lead guitar) is a slow, burning put-down song, while “Little Autocrat” is a snarling Neil Young rocker.

And in the weird covers department, Dollar Store does a Cher song, “Believe.” This one’s becoming an alt country ironic fave. Fellow Bloodshot singer Robbie Fulks has been known to perform it in his live shows.

Thursday, July 01, 2004


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican

There’s a tradition in New Mexico of maverick Republicans. Think of Gov. Gary Johnson driving about half his party crazy with his advocacy of drug-law reform. Think of Gov. “Lonesome Dave” Cargo driving his party crazy with just about everything he said and did.

The latest to join the state’s maverick Republican ranks is Al Lopez, who is running against incumbent Democrat Sen. Phil Griego for the District 39 Senate seat. Lopez is calling for Northern New Mexican Republican candidates to hold press conferences “outlining that our candidacies are not promoting the re-election of President Bush.”

Lopez said this week that Bush has a “terrible credibility gap” with voters in his district — which includes parts of Santa Fe, San Miguel, Mora, Los Alamos and Taos counties. “When I go out and talk to voters, the two main things they want to talk about are George Bush and Bill Richardson,” he said.

“I am doing very well in establishing good relations with Hispanic Democrats, but the cross I have to bear in carrying the Republican banner is justifying being a Republican and answering questions regarding the Iraq war,” Lopez said.

Lopez pointed out that District 39 is not only heavily Democratic (65 percent), it voted significantly in favor of Al Gore in 2000.

But Lopez hasn’t completely jumped ship. He hasn’t endorsed John Kerry. At least not yet, he said.

“When (voters) ask me about Bush,” Lopez said, “I just tell them to think, listen, evaluate and decide for yourself. I’d rather be talking about issues related to District 39 — why Mora and San Miguel are ranked so low (in per capita income), how we can help Hispanic kids in trouble.”

More ship-jumping

Last week the local Republican Party welcomed Santa Fe City Councilor David Pfeffer, a Democrat who endorsed Bush. However, up in Los Alamos, the GOP has lost a city councilor.
Mike Wismer, according to the online Majure Report, has announced he switched his party affiliation from Republican to independent last month.

Wismer, a Desert Storm veteran, said Thursday that the Iraq War was the main reason for his switch.

“I am troubled by the political passion of those on the extreme right who seem to claim divine wisdom on political as well as spiritual matters,” he said in the Majure Report. “On the other side of the spectrum, I am put off by patronizing liberals who claim to know what is best for society but devote little thought as to who will pay the bills.”

Battling chairmen

They’re not quite as much fun as John Dendahl and Jamie Koch were a couple of years ago when Dendahl was state GOP chairman and Koch was his Democratic counterpart. But the new guys in those jobs — Republican Allen Weh and Democrat John Wertheim — are showing some promise in terms of political entertainment.

Last week, Weh was milking the national story about an anti-Bush group called America Coming Together hiring some felons to do door-to-door canvassing in other states.
“ACT has admitted to sending felons convicted of sex crimes and assault to conduct voter registration efforts in as many as 17 states,” Weh wrote to Wertheim, a missive that was provided to the press, of course.

“Despite initial willingness to clarify their hiring process they now refuse to say whether they sent a murderer and a rapist door to door.”

Pointing out that New Mexico was “the last state in the country to pass a real Megan’s Law,” which he said has made the state “a haven for violent sexual predators,” Weh said to Wertheim: “I hope you will make clear that the Democratic Party of this state, under your direction, is not using similar tactics to register voters.”

This week, Wertheim shot back a letter to Weh — also sent to the press, of course — arguing that ACT isn’t part of the Democratic Party.

Wertheim also twisted the knife.

“Your objections to the employment of felons are belied by the candidacy of convicted felon John Ryan in New Mexico’s tenth Senate District,” he said.

“As you recall, Mr. Ryan pleaded guilty and was convicted for his participation in a burglary and extortion scheme in 1980.”

When Johnson was governor, he pardoned Ryan.

Finally Wertheim told Weh: “I know yours is a stressful job, and that sometimes we all need to get away for a little while and clear our heads. Movies can be helpful in this regard.

“For your enjoyment, I have enclosed two tickets for you and a friend to Fahrenheit 911. Enjoy.”

GOP Executive Director Greg Graves said Wednesday that Weh hasn’t received Wertheim’s letter — or the tickets.

“We weren’t asking (Wertheim) to be cute,” Graves said. “This is a very serious thing.”
He said Weh has no interest in seeing Michael Moore’s movie.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Tales of Tobacco Road

I was born in a dump / Mama died and my daddy go drunk... These are the first words of a song that became one of the most cover...