Monday, January 30, 2006


Sunday, January 29, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
There's Nothing on the Radio by Graham Parker & The Figgs
Monsters in the Parasol by Queens of the Stone Age
Piss Bottle Man by Mike Watt
One Big Holiday by My Morning Jacket
On Broadway by Neil Young
I Can't Control Myself by The Ramones
Cigarettes by Greg Dulli

The Shah Sleeps in Lee Harvey's Grave by Butthole Surfers
Loretta and The Insect World by Giant Sand
Eye of Fatima by Camper Van Beethoven
Millionaire by The Mekons
Memoirs From the Secret Spot by This Bike is a Pipe Bomb
That's Amore/Werewolves of London by Warren Zevon

You Don't Love Me Yet by Roky Erikson
Maggie's Farm by Bob Dylan
Thumb by Dinosaur Jr.
Finish Line by Come
Who Knows One by Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars

The Bum I Loathe is Dead and Gone by Desdemona Finch
The Man of Metropolis Steals Our Hearts by Sufjan Stevens
Roll Away My Stone by Mark Eitzel
I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got by Bettye LaVette
Tango by Bernadette Seacrest & Her Yes Men
World on Fire by Ken Valdez
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, January 28, 2006




Friday, January 27, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Declineometer by The Gourds
Throwin' Rocks at the Moon by The Backsliders
Interstate City by Dave Alvin
I Push Right Over by Robbie Fulks
Papa Dukie & The Mud People by The Subdudes
Juke Joint Jumpin' by Hank Williams III & Wayne Hancock
Miss Molly by Sid Hausman & Washtub Jerry
Rock Island Line by Leadbelly

You Can Pick 'em by Jessi Colter
No Good For Me by Waylon Jennings
Something's Gotta Happen by Martin Zeller
How Long (Have You Been Gone) by Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
Chicken Man by Boris & The Saltlicks
11 Months and 29 Days by Johnny Paycheck
How Can I Be So Thirsty Today? by Petty Booka

Cottonseed by Drive By Truckers
Sweet Kind of Love by The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Face to Face by Danny Barnes
Sinkhole by Drive By Truckers
Drunkard's Blues by The Pine Valley Cosmonauts with Kelly Hogan

Jacob Green by Johnny Cash
He's Coming to Us Dead by Norman & Nancy Blake
Blue Eyed Ruth & My Sunday Suit by James Talley
I'll Sign My Heart Away by Merle Haggard
Crooked Frame by The Section Quartet
Rock of Ages by The Duhks
One of The Unsatisfied by Lacy J. Dalton
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, January 27, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 27, 2005

The robber barons of the music industry are weeping again. In 2005 album sales hit the skids, declining about 7 percent from the previous year.

As usual, bigwigs of the major record companies are blaming illegal downloading for many of the industry’s problems. (And, as usual, guys like me will blame bad radio, overpricing, extravagant pampering of a handful of pop “royalty,” and most of all, crappy music.)

Personally, I like to see the Music Industrial Complex squirm. What better way to shake it up than a way to download free music that’s not illegal — or even immoral?

Get yourself acquainted with the Live Music Archive, a Web site that states a goal “to preserve and archive as many live concerts as possible for current and future generations to enjoy.”

Nearly 30,000 free concerts are available for downloading from more than 1,700 “trade-friendly” artists — that is, musicians who allow the taping of their shows and the noncommercial distribution of those recordings. (So actually it’s the commercial bootleggers who are hurt by this more than the music industry.) The vast majority of musicians represented in the Live Music Archive are pretty obscure. But there are a surprising number of well-known artists, either big in indiedom or cast aside by big labels.

The concept of the trade-friendly musician was pioneered by the good old Grateful Dead. Thus it’s not surprising that the Dead is the biggest presence on the Live Music Archive, with more than 3,000 shows ready to download. (This isn’t including spawn of the Dead like Phil Lesh & Friends, Ratdog, New Riders of the Purple Sage, etc.)

I’m no audiophile, but in general the sound quality on these shows is inferior to regular commercial CDs. In fact, some are pretty bad. I recently downloaded the Oct. 12, 1989, Camper Van Beethoven show in St. Louis, which was recorded, broadcast over the radio a couple of months later, and captured on some boombox before it made it onto the Internet.

Luckily, much of the spirit of the show remains — including covers of the Rolling Stones’ “Sweet Virginia” and Jerry Garcia’s “Loser” — more than making up for some loss of sound fidelity. In fact my biggest complaint is that Camper didn’t perform “Jack Ruby” from their then-current album Key Lime Pie.

Truth is, ever since I got DSL for my home computer, I’ve been like a kid in the proverbial candy store. While checking the band roster a couple of minutes ago, I just noticed that the Drive By Truckers were on it. I downloaded and am enjoying a live May 2005 version of “Where the Devil Don’t Stay” as I write, and it’s rocking!

Here are some of my other discoveries on the Live Music Archive:

*Mekons Live at the Echo Lounge, March 16, 2004: They don’t have as many shows here as the Grateful Dead, but the Mekons indeed are trader-friendly. They have 28 shows listed, going all the way back to 1980. You can also find a bunch of shows by Mekons offshoot the Waco Brothers and “solo” outings by Mekons singer Jon Langford. (Here's the 1999 Pine Valley Cosmonauts star-studded Bob Wills tribute show at South by Southwest. If you listen closely you can hear me applauding from the audience.)

Much of the repertoire from this show is from the Mekons album Punk Rock, which consisted of remakes of some of their earliest songs. There’s also a righteous cover of Bob Dylan’s “You Ain’t Going Nowhere” and a high-charged version of “Millionaire,” one of my favorite Sally Timms tunes, which unlike the studio version has no synths. Unfortunately, Sally’s voice sometimes gets overwhelmed in this mix.

One of my favorite nonmusical parts of this show is when Sally wonders aloud why the overwhelming majority of the Mekons’ audience these days is male: “I want to know what happened to all the women who used to come to our shows.”

*Robyn Hitchcock Live at Maxwell’s, March 26, 2005: This is an acoustic solo show Hitchcock recorded at a Hoboken, N.J., nightclub last year. Starting out with Dylan’s “The Gates of Eden” (and later covering “Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands”), Hitchcock also plays a couple of Syd Barrett tunes (“Dominoes” and “It Is Obvious”). But it’s his own strange tunes, which meander between whimsical and mysterious, that are the main attractions here. Too bad he muffs the ending of “Madonna of the Wasps.”

*Butthole Surfers Live at Emo’s, July 20, 2002: Gibby Haynes and the boys are on their home turf here in this Austin, Texas, show. The song list features tunes spanning their long career, from the near-folk rock of “Dessert” to the crazy chaos of “Lady Sniff.” (For reasons not explained, there are two takes on this song, one right after the other.)

* Warren Zevon Live at Parker’s Casino, Feb. 11, 1992: The late Zevon delivers faithful versions of crowd-pleasing rockers such as “I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead” and “Poor, Poor Pitiful Me” as well as killer takes on “Boom Boom Mancini” and “Detox Mansion.” But my favorite part of this Seattle show is after his synthy ballad “Searching for a Heart,” when he gets defensive about the song, which was included in the soundtrack of the forgotten ’90s film Grand Canyon.

“Is this the new, subdued, adult-contemporary kind of response I’m to expect from now on?” Zevon chided the crowd after the song. “Listen, you realize if this song was to actually be successful, it’ll, you know, enable me to be financially secure enough to actually go back and write those songs about sex, terrorism, and voodoo. ... Think of it as sort of like Dr. Hunter S. Thompson writing a few episodes of Knots Landing ...”

*Danny Barnes Live at the Tractor Tavern, Dec. 22, 2005: Here’s the most recent show I’ve come across, recorded right before Christmas. Barnes, former singer with the pioneering punk bluegrass outfit the Bad Livers, plays with a good, rocking band. It’s basically country rock, though he does a creditable take on the R&B classic “The Haunted House.” There’s some solo banjo here, as well as a medley from the Livers’ final album Blood & Mood — avant twang that Barnes describes as “music that killed my career.”

Thursday, January 26, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 26, 2006

Trips to see the World Series. Tickets to Denver Broncos games. Fact-finding jaunts to Europe.

Every year, Barry Massey of The Associated Press dutifully documents some of the goodies that lobbyists bestow upon legislators and other state officials.

Every year, Massey’s stories explain how there’s no limit on the amount of gifts, meals, travel and campaign contributions lobbyists can give. (HERE's a story from last May)

And every year, nobody does anything about it.

This week, Massey wrote about Louisiana Energy Services — a company that wants to build a uranium-enrichment plant in southeastern New Mexico — paying nearly $20,000 to send a couple of groups of legislators to the Netherlands to tour a similar uranium facility.

In light of the state treasurer scandal in New Mexico and the Jack Abramoff scandal in Washington, D.C., it might seem that unrestricted freebies from lobbyists would prompt more attention.

I asked Gov. Bill Richardson about it Wednesday morning at the annual Legislative Breakfast of the New Mexico Press Association.

“I want to work with the Legislature in the next session to see if we can have comprehensive reforms that deal with a number of these issues,” Richardson replied.

But the reforms the governor has in mind apparently don’t include legal limits on the amount of airline tickets and hotel rooms lobbyists can give.

“As long as it’s disclosed, promptly divulged,” he said, “I think it’s fine.”

Referring to the LES trips, Richardson said: “Sometimes legislators, many times congressmen, need fact finding. ... I felt this trip was legit. They took a critic from my administration, and she came back even more negatively disposed.”

He was referring to Gay Dillingham, who chairs New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board. She went to Holland on an LES-sponsored trip with a group of lawmakers and other state officials in 2004. Dillingham indeed remained critical of LES’ New Mexico plan.

But she’s an exception. Every legislative “fact finder” quoted in the AP story found facts that were favorable to the company’s proposal.

State Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, disagrees with Richardson about the quality of such “fact finding” missions.

“If something is important enough to study, it should be studied in a neutral way,” he said. “When you go on a junket paid for by a lobbyist, you’re only getting one side.”

McSorley said he would support legislation to prohibit lobbyists from paying for trips and to set a limit on the value of gifts allowed. “I don’t think you should be allowed to accept anything more than a meal,” he said.

Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, said she thinks gifts from lobbyists should be banned.

Trips, such as the LES Netherlands jaunts “don’t look good,” Feldman said.

However, she said, sometimes “think tanks” pay for lawmakers to go to out-of-state conferences concerning various issues such as health care. Feldman has accepted such trips, she said, which proved to be worthwhile.

Salaries for legislators: One might think that European junkets and World Series tickets would be pretty good incentives for recruiting new legislators.

But Senate Republican Whip Lee Rawson says the increasing workload and time it takes to serve in the Legislature is making it harder to attract anyone other than retirees, government employees and people who are financially secure or able to work nontraditional hours.

“It’s getting difficult to recruit people who could do an exceptional job, but can’t afford to run,” Rawson said in an interview this week.

“We no longer have a Legislature that is representative of our population at large,” he said.

Therefore, he said, the state should consider another path — providing an actual salary for lawmakers.

Rawson’s Senate Joint Resolution 2 would amend the state Constitution to give lawmakers a salary on top of the per diem and mileage they already receive.

The measure calls for legislators’ salaries to be set to 15 percent of a U.S. Congress member’s salary. That figure currently is $162,100, which would work out to an extra $24,315 for our state legislators.

“This isn’t about more money for me or the current legislators,” said Rawson, adding that everyone currently serving knew going in that nobody would be paid for all the time they spend.

The legislation would go to state voters in November if it passes both chambers.

Rawson said he’s aware that the next step after a salary could be a move for a full-time Legislature.

“If they do that, I’m out of here,” said Rawson, who has served in the Senate and, previously, the House for a total of almost 20 years. Such a move would completely take away the concept of “citizen Legislature,” he said.

The resolution is awaiting a hearing by the Senate rules committee.

Monday, January 23, 2006


Rolling Stone just ran an article about Music Row Democrats.

I first became familiar with this group because my buddy Ed Pettersen is involved in it (a member of the executive board.) I quoted Ed in a story about the infamous Johnny Cash demonstration I wrote from New York during the 2004 Republican Convention.


Sunday, January 22, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Sharkey's Day by Laurie Anderson
Journey to the Center of the Mind by The Amboy Dukes
Why Won't You See Me? by Concrete Blonde
I Want the Answers by The Fleshtones
Moving to Florida by The Butthole Surfers
Here Comes Your Man by The Pixies

Sputnik City Buvi Buvi by Kishidan
Drowning Witch by Frank Zappa
Two Amber Things by The Residents
Feedback Jazz by The Stilettos
Stabbing by Jon
Lost Avenue by Johnny Dowd
The Way We Were by Wild Man Fisher & Mark Mothersbaugh

(All Songs by Wilson Pickett except where noted)
Funky Broadway
I'm in Love
Soul Survivor
She's Lookin' Good
Hey Jude
Don't You Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down by Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir with Wilson Pickett
Land of 1,000 Dances
In the Midnight Hour

Why? (The King of Love is Dead) by Nina Simone
Pride (In the Name of Love) by U2
Keep on Pushing by The Impressions
His Eye is on the Sparrow by Isaac Hayes
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, January 21, 2006


Friday, January 20, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Broken Bottle by Jon Langford & Sally Timms
Nobody's Fault But Mine by Bethleham & Eggs
60 Acres by James McMurtry
Castanets by Los Lonely Boys
Gloriously Tangled by Boris & The Saltlicks
The Things I Done Wrong by Danny Barnes
Jeannie's Afraid of the Dark by Robbie Fulks

Panties in Your Purse by Drive By Truckers
Oh My Jesus by Destiny Whores
Loser's Lullaby by Ronny Elliott
My Beautiful Bride by The Handsome Family
Sweet Virginia by Camper Van Beethoven
That's What I Like About the South by Hank Thompson
Don't Be Afraid of the Neo-cons by Norman & Nancy Blake

What Makes Bob Holler? by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
Draftboard Blues by Cliff Bruner & His Boys
Roly Poly by Asleep at the Wheel with The Dixie Chicks
Brain Cloudy Blues by Merle Haggard
There'll Be Some Changes Made by W. Lee O'Daniel & His Hillbilly Boys
Trouble in Mind by The Pine Valley Cosmonauts with Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Oklahoma Stomp by Spade Cooley
Keep on Truckin' by Smokey Wood & The Wood Chips
Faded Love by Rod Moag & Dayna Wills
Bubbles in My Beer by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

Love Make a Fool of Me by Big Al Anderson
Burn That Broken Bed by Iron & Wine with Calexico
Welcome Back by Mike Ireland & Holler
Life of a Texas Man by Blaze Foley
Red River Memory by James Talley
Pilgrim by Steve Earle & The Del McCoury Band
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, January 20, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Jamuary 20, 2006

Many speeches were made about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. this week during his annual holiday. But if you really want to know how King affected people, pick up a copy of a new compilation of political songs by Nina Simone called Forever Young, Gifted and Black: Songs of Freedom and Spirit and cue up Track 4, “Why? (The King of Love is Dead).”

Just three days after King’s assassination, Simone, performing at the Westbury Music Fair in Westbury, N.Y., unveiled undoubtedly the most moving musical tribute to King ever conceived.

And someone was smart enough to record it.

Written by her bass player, Gene Taylor, it’s a slow dirge that, like many a powerful gospel song, gradually picks up tempo.

The pain in Simone’s voice has always been obvious. But in this unedited version of that performance, listeners can get a taste of the full depth of the raw grief, the outrage, even the honest paranoia behind that song.

Previously released versions of “King of Love” had been seriously edited, to about half the length of the nearly 13 minutes on the new CD.

The previous versions crescendo until Simone wails, “What’s going to happen/Now that the king of love is dead?

But in the unedited version, we learn that there was more to the performance before she got to that last line.

“ What’s going to happen now when all of our cities/Our people are rising,” Simone begins to improvise as the music starts slowing down. In fact, many American cities were on fire at that moment as black people raged against the murder of King.

“They’re living at last,” she sings, “even if they have to die, even if they have to die at the moment that they know what life is/Even if at that one moment that you know what life is, if you have to die, it’s all right/Because you know what life is, you know what freedom is for one moment of your life/What’s going to happen/Now that the king of love is dead?”

As the applause subsides, it appears as if Simone is about to introduce another song. But then she goes off on a tangent about how many black leaders, artists, and musicians had died in recent years. She names Lorraine Hansberry, Langston Hughes, John Coltrane, and Otis Redding.

“We can go on,” she says, her voice beginning to quiver. “Do you realize how many we have lost? It really gets down to reality, doesn’t it?”

By now, Simone is in a stream-of-consciousness mode: “Not a performance. Not microphones and all that crap. But really something else.” Now she’s whispering. “We’ve lost a lot of them in the last two years. But we have remaining Monk, Miles ...”

Breaking the tension, a man in the audience adds, “Nina.”

“I love you, too,” she responds warmly. The audience applauds.

She could have left it there on a sweet sentiment. But this wasn’t a time for greeting-card clichés. Simone had more to say.

“And of course for those we have left we are thankful, but we can’t afford any more losses,” she says. Then she breaks down.

“Oh no,” she sobs. “Oh my God! They’re shooting us down one by one. Don’t forget that. ’Cause they are. They’re killing us one by one.”

She theorizes that King might not have been killed had just a few more people stayed “a little closer” to him. “Just a little closer to him,” she says, “Stay there, stay there. We can’t afford any more losses.”

As if there were no more words to say, Simone begins singing the bridge of “King of Love”: “He had seen the mountain top, and he knew he could not stop ...” And the band joins in.

Here Simone completely blurs the lines between entertainer, political advocate, and grieving friend. In that moment — “Oh no. Oh my God!” — Simone expresses the horror of a nation, not only for a terrible murder but for the grim realization that the civil-rights movement was doomed to dissipate.

Simone and her music soon would largely fade from the American consciousness. A few years after her Westbury performance, Simone left the United States. After living in several countries in Europe, the Caribbean, and Africa, she settled in France, where she died in 2003.

(Troubling fact: There’s a tradition of great black artists — including Josephine Baker, Sydney Bechet, James Baldwin, Memphis Slim, and Tina Turner — moving to France. I don’t think it’s for the cheese.)

While “King of Love” definitely is the highlight of Forever Young, Gifted and Black, the compilation is full of hard-hitting political songs from an artist who was hard to peg.

Known as the “High Priestess of Soul,” Simone, born Eunice Waymon in rural North Carolina, studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Her music, especially her piano-playing, drew from her classical training.

But she also interpreted folk music, gospel, blues, soul (also released this week is an expanded reissue of Nina Simone Sings the Blues, featuring an ultra-funky version of “House of the Rising Sun”), and show tunes. She even makes pop pap like the Association’s “Cherish” (from the album Silk and Soul, rereleased this week) sound soulful.

But it was her protest tunes that distinguished Simone. Forever Young, Gifted and Black has her inspiring anthem “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free” and stirring versions of “Turn! Turn! Turn!” and “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” There’s a song called “Revolution,” which sounds like an answer to the Beatles song. (But unlike the Fab Moptops, Nina’s saying, “Count me in!”)

The compilation includes two other tracks from the 1968 Westbury Music Fair — “Backlash Blues,” featuring words by poet Langston Hughes (“Who do you think I am?/You raise my taxes, freeze my wages and send my son to Vietnam”), and one of her most powerful songs, “Mississippi Goddam.”

Simone wrote the latter herself in the early ’60s, following a spate of murders of civil-rights activists. With its title and refrain, Simone ensured that this song would never get radio play in this God-fearing nation. But instead of a top-10 teen tune, she left us an honest testament from a troubled but promising era.

Thursday, January 19, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 19, 2006

What has been called “the last bastion of secrecy” in the state Legislature is under attack.

Lawmakers once again will try to open up conference committees — panels made up of members of both houses to iron out differences in bills that have passed both chambers.

Conference committees are now held behind closed doors.

“Other public bodies have done this and they’re still able to get things done,” said Sen. Dede Feldman, D-Albuquerque, who is sponsoring such a bill in the Senate.

In the past, some senators who have opposed the change claim that real negotiations can’t take place if reporters and television cameramen are present.

Lawmakers, the opponents say, would tend to grandstand for the cameras and not seriously negotiate. They would dig in their heels and stick to their positions as not to offend constituents and interest groups instead of trying to work out reasonable compromises, the argument goes.

But, Feldman said, “After a month or so, I think all the grandstanding would stop.”
According to a report distributed by Bob Johnson, executive director of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, New Mexico is one of only eight states in which conference committees are closed.

Gov. Bill Richardson, at a National Freedom of Information Coalition Conference in Santa Fe, endorsed the idea of opening the conference committees. According to an Associated Press account of the May meeting, Richardson said he wasn’t aware the meetings were closed.

On Wednesday the governor sent a formal message that he had put the conference committee bill on his call — which is necessary for a nonbudget bill to be considered during a 30-day session.

In recent years, attempts to open the conference committees have made it through the House, but died in the Senate. In 2001, Sen. Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, now Senate majority leader, argued, “The institution needs some privacy.”

And then there were two: The Democratic race to choose a candidate to run against Republican incumbent Pat Lyons got a little less crowded Wednesday. San Miguel County Commission Chairman Leroy Garcia, who was the first candidate to announce last year, said he was stepping out of the race to back another candidate — Jim Baca, former land commissioner and former Albuquerque mayor.

That leaves just Baca and another former land commissioner, Ray Powell Jr., on the Democratic side.

Garcia said he’d already collected about 4,000 petition signatures — more than the approximately 2,800 needed.

But he said he was afraid that he and Baca would split the Hispanic vote.

Garcia, a former analyst for the state Transportation Department, said he has been offered a position with that department.

Speaking of state jobs, Baca, who was hired by Gov. Bill Richardson as state natural resource trustee, said Wednesday he’ll retire from his post on March 1.

More fun at the Land Office: Last week this column reported that Baca was criticizing Lyons for spending more than $100,000 on television advertising spots featuring Lyons himself. Baca’s argued that the ads were nothing but “political commercials paid for by taxpayers.”

This week Land Office spokeswoman Kristin Haase argued that the ads were not paid for by taxpayers.

“In fact, we don’t spend taxpayer money,” she said. “We save taxpayers money. The Land Office generates its own income. We don’t get any money from the general fund.”

Baca replied that it doesn’t matter if the money is from the general fund or not — it’s still state money. “It’s $100,000 that’s not going to the beneficiaries,” he said.

Roundhouse dementia: Senate Republican Whip Leonard Lee Rawson on Wednesday demanded that fellow Las Cruces senator, Mary Jane Garcia, who’s also the Democratic whip, apologize for calling former Doña Ana County Sheriff Juan Hernandez “demented.”

Hernandez was nominated by Richardson for a spot on the state Parole Board. The Senate confirmed the nomination, though Garcia voted no.

“Sen. Garcia calling Sheriff Hernandez demented on the Senate floor today is totally irresponsible, completely inaccurate and vindictive,” Sen. Rawson said in a news release. “I am calling on her to formally apologize to Mr. Hernandez personally and to the Senate publicly.”

Garcia, however, won’t apologize. In an interview, she pointed out that Hernandez resigned in 2004 because of “dementia.”

A Dec. 1, 2004 news release from Doña Ana County said that “Hernandez has been diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia, an untreatable disease of the frontal and temporal lobes of the brain. His mental facilities are expected to deteriorate over the next 3-10 years.”

Hernandez’s supporters say that medication has helped Hernandez’s condition.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


This from an e-mail list of upcoming releases from Sony/BMG:

KENNY G - The Essential Kenny G (Arista/Legacy).

The good news on the list is that Big Al Anderson's After Hours will be released in early March. I have the self-released version of the album, which has been out for a couple of years. In fact, I played a song on last Friday's Santa Fe Opry.

A slight quibble with the Sony/BMG announcement. It says, "These days, Al splits his time between Connecticut and Nashville where he writes with some of the best tunesmiths in Music City."

Actually, he spends some time in Santa Fe, (a place where there is no music. ) This reminds me of some Junior Brown bios I've read that never mention his misspent youth in Santa Fe.

Monday, January 16, 2006


Once again, I'll be writing a separate blog concerning the New Mexico state Legislature.

There's not much there yet, but you can find it HERE. It's on the New Mexican's free Web site. (You have to register, but it's free and relatively painless.)

If you're a real legislative trivia buff you can find my 2005 Legislature blog HERE.

I'll still post my weekly Roundhouse Round-up on this blog just for consistency's sake.

I can't believe the session is already starting ...


Sunday, January 15, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
The Body of an American by Shane McGowan & The Popes
Spooky Girlfriend by Elvis Costello
Zoo Music Girl by The Birthday Party
Wicked by Greg Dulli
What a Wonderful Man by My Morning Jacket
Angel by Kevin Coyne & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
New Age by The Velvet Underground
Me and Shelly Winters by Marlee MacLeod

Polka Enemy Number One by The Polkaholics
Who'd You Like to Love You by Lil Wally
Jump River Polka by The Steve Meisner Band
Dream Cloud Chote by Crow Hang
Happy Chappie Polka by Elliot Sharp & Guy Klucevsek
Wheel Barrow Polka by Joe Patek's Orchestra
There's No Norwegians in Dickeyville by The Goose Island Ramblers
Weiner Dog Polka by Polkacide
The Happy Wanderer by Brave Combo

On the Road Again by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi
Nightbird by Markus James
Everyday I Have the Blues by Nightloser
Cypress Grove by Corey Harris with Ali Farka Toure
Lasdan by Ali Farka Toure with Ry Cooder & Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown
Hit the Road Jack by Cat

Title Theme from Three Tough Guys by Isaac Hayes
Backlash Blues by Nina Simone
A Funky Space Reincarnation by Marvin Gaye
Tripping Out by Curtis Mayfield
World I Never Made by Dr. John
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, January 14, 2006


South by Southwest has updated its band list (Click HERE or HERE)
Here's just some of the names that excite me:

Bettye LaVette
The Plimsouls
Peter Case
The Twilight Singers
Stan Ridgway
Tom Verlaine
The New Pornographers
Big Al Anderson
The Klezmatics
The Reigning Sound
Ronny Elliott
The Motels
The BellRays
Archie Bell (no mention of The Drells)
The Moaners
Scott H. Biram
John Schooley and his One Man Band

Clarence "Frogman" Henry
and of course, The Waco Brothers!

I ran into Jon Hendry of the state Tourism Department this week. He said he's producing a New Mexico showcase during SXSW with Hundred Year Flood and other bands. I'll post more info when it's available.


Friday, January 13, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Wanted Man by Johnny Cash
A Living Hell by The Bottle Rockets
Wife Beater by Drive-By Truckers
Cathead Biscuits and Gravy by Nancy Apple & Rob McNurlin
How Many Biscuits Can You Eat? by Split Lip Rayfield
UFO Attack by Asylum Street Spankers
Elk River Blues by Bayou Seco
Loser by Camper Van Beethoven

Vanity Press by Graham Parker & The Figgs
Too Long in the Wasteland by James McMurtry
Hey Beautiful by Hundred Year Flood
Pyramid of Tears by Lucinda Williams
Kissing You Goodbye by Waylon Jennings
That's All it Took by Gram Parsons & The Fallen Angels
Silence by Eric Hisaw
Is Your Inner World Like Your Outer World by Oneil Howes

I Didn't Dream of You by Destiny Whores
Don't Get Weird by Boris & The Saltlicks
White Folks' Blood by House of Freaks
I'm Troubled by The Gourds
Prison on Route 41 by Iron & Wine with Calexico
I Want to Live and Love Always by Junior Brown
Cat to the Rat by Danny Barnes
Swamp Hangover by The Bubbadinos

Love Make a Fool of Me by Big Al Anderson
Every Morning by Jon Nolan
Iowa City by Eleni Mandell
No Time to Cry by Merle Haggard
Live Free or Die by Son Volt
Be Still and Know God (Don't Be Shy) by Will Oldham
I Guess I've Come to Live Here in Your Eyes by Willie Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, January 13, 2006


I'm the guest this week on KNME's The Line, a weekly panel discussion of news, politics and culture hosted by Steve Lawrence of Crosswinds Weekly, Margaret Montoya of UNM lawscool, Albuquerque Tribune columnist Gene Grant and former state Republican chairman (and fellow New Mexican columnist) John Dendahl.

We taped the show yesterday. Items of discussion include the NSA wiretapping scandal, the Abramoff scandal and how it relates to New Mexico, (CLICK HERE, scroll down) the upcoming legislative session, the decline of broadcast radio and the life of Santa Clara Pueblo’s Pablita Velarde, who recently died.

The show airs at 7 p.m. Fridays (that's tonight!) and 7 a.m. Sundays on KNME, which for most the state is Channel 5.


Driving down to Albuquerque for the taping yesterday reminded me that I hadn't been down there since the end of my political science class with former U.S. Sen. Fred Harris last month.

I sure don't miss that drive two mornings a week, but I do miss the pleasure of listening to Fred Harris twice a week. We're both Okies in exile so he speaks my language.

I also miss seeing my daughter twice a week. She took the class also.

And yes, I did make an "A" in the class. But I didn't ace the final like I thought. I got an "A" on the test, but my score wasn't quite as high as I'd thought, which means I was wrong on a couple of questions I thought I'd knew. Since it was the end of the course we never reviewed the answers. This means I'm walking around with some false knowledge in my head.

(I just found Fred's button image over on NPRs "Political Junkie" column page.)


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 12, 2006

You hear a stringed instrument — an oud? — noodling some vaguely Middle Eastern melody. Percussion is starting to bubble, with some swirling notes of a flute counterpart. What sounds like a zephyr starts strumming a steady rhythm. The chord changes seem familiar as the bass comes in. Now wait a minute ... is that a harmonica?

Indeed it is. And by the time the electric guitar joins in, it’s obvious that you’re listening to an instrumental version of Canned Heat’s “On the Road Again.”

It seems that the blues, that basic building block of American music, has been on the road in some unexpected corners of the world.

Fooling around the Web site of Calabash Music recently, I came across some examples of musicians worlds away from the Mississippi Delta, across the ocean from the South Side of Chicago, playing good old American blues while adding elements of music from their own cultures.

The fact that folks from faraway lands are inspired by American blues shouldn’t be surprising, really. Countless African dance bands have been influenced by American jazz and soul. And any serious student of Jamaican music knows that the sounds of New Orleans — Professor Longhair, Fats Domino — helped spark reggae.

And don’t forget the British blues scene of the early 1960s. There the musicians seemed intent on slavishly recreating Howlin’ Wolf’s growl, Robert Johnson’s wail, and B.B. King’s guitar licks. But when some of these imitators started branching off and adding their own ideas, they turned into the Rolling Stones, Van Morrison, the Animals, the Yardbirds, etc., and created music that shook the world.

What I like about the international blues I just stumbled across is how the musicians make the blues their own. The “local” elements — the ouds, the gypsy violins — show how the old voodoo spirit that is the blues can look pretty spiffy in exotic clothes.

Here’s a look at some of those world blues albums:

* Sair Zamanlar by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi. This Turkish band started out in 1993 when American-music aficionados Sarp Keskiner and Salih Nazim Peker decided to mix the ethnic music of their native land with blues, soul, and blues-based psychedelia.

As showcased on its version of “On the Road Again,” Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi includes Western accompaniment (guitar, bass, harmonica) along with Turkish instruments.

There’s a definite Captain Beefheart feel on many tunes, including “Biskotin,” where a slide guitar plays against the buzzing woodwind.

Most of the vocals here are in Turkish, though “Whiskey-Headed Woman No. 3” is in English. I just think it’s amazing that a song called “Whiskey-Headed Woman” could come out of a predominantly Islamic nation.

Kumpanyasi is wildest on its nine-minute workout “Hüseyni Twist,” which incorporates elements of fuzz-tone surf music — Dick Dale could work wonders on this song.

The title song is a slow, grooving, flute-led excursion that might remind some of Traffic’s “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”

Then they get mellow on “Dürüst Duman,” a flute-led soft funk instrumental that might remind American listeners of Herbie Mann.

*Plum Brandy Blues by Nightlosers. From the great nation of Romania comes this down-home stomping blues band led by a film director named Hano Hoffer.

Unlike the Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi, most of the Nightlosers’ songs are sung in English. Not only that, but they are titles that any American bar band should recognize: “Hoochie Coochie Man,” “Stormy Monday Blues,” “Trouble in Mind,” even “Blue Suede Shoes” and “Goodnight Irene.”

But what distinguishes the Nightlosers’ music is the domination of the gypsy violin on just about every song.

Nightlosers have not only musicianship but a wicked humor as well. In their version of “Everyday I Have the Blues,” the violin trades lengthy solos with some stringed instrument that sounds like a hammer dulcimer. Then there’s a solo for someone on bird whistles. Later there’s a jam with the fiddle, bird whistles, and cuckoo noises.

The most unrecognizable song here is “Mystery Train,” which starts out with a violin and woodwind duet that sounds like some pastoral Romanian melody that picks up steam before melting into a down-and-dirty blues.

But perhaps the most crazy and majestic moment is the cover of Bo Diddley’s “Pretty Thing” that sounds like a mad Arabian tango.

*Calabash Blues by Markus James. James is an American singer, born in Virginia, living in San Francisco, who has dedicated much of his career to going to Mali and recording his original blues with traditional music of that African country.

It’s not really an original idea. More than 10 years ago, Ry Cooder collaborated with Malian singer Ali Farka Toure and his band for the album Talking Timbuktu. More recently young bluesman Corey Harris recorded with Toure in Mali for Harris’ 2003 album Mississippi to Mali.

The idea of an American “bringing the blues” to an African country doesn’t interest me nearly as much as Turks and Romanians taking up the music themselves.

So about the only thing Calabash Blues has going for it is the music.

It’s dark, brooding, mysterious music, with James’ growling voice and spooky whispers intertwining with a Malian njarka fiddle, the clacking of the calabash percussion (played by Hamma Sankare of Toure’s band), and James’ own atmospheric guitars, both electric and acoustic. It might remind you of Otis Taylor. Maybe even a little of Dr. John’s early gris-gris sound.

Hear this music: Sunday night on Terrell’s Sound World, KSFR, 90.7 FM. The show starts at 10 p.m., the international blues segment at 11 p.m.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 12, 2006

"America the Beautiful" plays in the background as state Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, surrounded by the bucolic beauty of the Rio Grande Nature Center, talks about the importance of conservation and how his office takes care of public land.

A new political-campaign ad for Lyons, who is running for re-election to a second term?

Absolutely not, said Kristen Haase, spokeswoman for the state Land Office.

“The Land Office is an important, but little-known agency, therefore during the commissioner’s tenure we have produced a total of four public-service announcements, all part of a media campaign to inform and educate the public about trust lands and the work we do at the Land Office on behalf of public education in New Mexico,” Haase said.

However, former Land Commissioner Jim Baca — a Democrat who hopes to get the nomination to run against Republican Lyons in this year’s election — says the ads are nothing but political commercials paid for by taxpayers.

“What it’s really about is informing the public about a little-known land commissioner,” Baca said. “I feel like I’m up against the eight ball here, going up against a taxpayer-financed campaign.”

In a letter to Lyons e-mailed Wednesday, Baca wrote, “I demand that you reimburse the state land maintenance fund for any and all dollars used to fund these political commercials.”

Other announced Democratic candidates are Ray Powell Jr., who also is a former land commissioner, and LeRoy Garcia, chairman of the San Miguel County Commission.

The Land Office spent about $100,000 to buy television time for the spots, which cost about $1,500 each to produce, Haase said. The ads are running in rotation on KOB, KRQE, KOAT and Comcast cable.

“I’m about to buy a month of time with Time Warner so we can hit Las Cruces,” Haase said. That time will cost $1,496, she said.

While all broadcast stations run public-service announcements for free, Haase said, “we wanted guaranteed and decent hit times, so we went through the advertising (departments)” of the stations.

Though Baca said he thought the Land Office ads were illegal during an election year, Mary Lynn Roper, general manager of KOAT, said there are no laws or regulations prohibiting such commercials.

“While it may be an issue for public discussion, it’s not an FCC issue,” Roper said.

Roper said if someone is upset about a political commercial, the Federal Communications Commission requires a station to provide “equal time.” But all that means is that the station must give the complaining party a chance to buy ads at the same rate as the offending ad.

Other spots: Lyons is not the only state official to be criticized for his television spots.

Incumbents in important but better-known agencies also have used television ads to inform the public — and, cynics, would say, increase their recognition.

Attorney General Patricia Madrid has appeared in several commercials warning consumers against possible rip-offs. Last year, she appeared in spots lambasting the payday-loan industry.

Gov. Bill Richardson currently appears in two PSAs. One is about ignition interlocks for drunken drivers. The other ad uses the most memorable slogan to come out of the administration: “You drink, you drive, you lose.”

In late 2004, U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici called for a federal investigation of New Mexico Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, who produced several publicly funded television, radio and print ads concerning the Help America Vote Act.

Domenici and other Republicans charged that Democrat Vigil-Giron — who wasn’t running for office in 2004 and isn’t running for anything now — was using the ads to bolster her own name recognition.

However, Vigil-Giron was formally cleared early last year by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission.

The offices of both Lyons and Richardson say they will stop running their respective commercials Feb. 13.

That’s the day before filing day for state offices.

One of our 33 is missing: Lt. Gov. Diane Denish has a Web site where supporters can download nominating petitions for her re-election effort. The site asks for the names and addresses of those getting petitions. But a drop-down menu for the counties is short by one.

There’s no Santa Fe County.

A spokesman for Denish said Tuesday this is only an oversight and that the lieutenant governor expects to get a lot of support from Santa Fe Democrats.

But the county was still missing early Thursday morning.

UPDATE: At 8:26 a.m. Thursday I was informed by Steve Fitzer, finance director for the Denish campaign, that Santa Fe County is back on the menu.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


And danged if it's not Greg Solano!

(I wonder if I'll get busted for stealing a photo from the sheriff?)

Thanks to Julia for pointing this out.


A recent interview in the New Hampshire Daily Gazette with former NRBQ guitarist/songwriter Big Al Anderson contained this little gem:
Anderson grew up in Windsor, Conn., and now he lives most of the year in Santa Fe, N.M., with his wife and two dogs. He travels to Nashville, Tenn., to write and pitch songs, but when he is in Santa Fe he isn't part of a music scene. 'It's good to be in a place where there is no music when I'm done with makin' it,' said Anderson.
Aw, come on, Big Al, it's not that bad! (At least nobody can accuse him of sucking up to get a seat on the New Mexcio Music Commission.)

Monday, January 09, 2006


Sunday, January 8, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Seasons in the Sun by Too Much Joy
Bastards of Young by The Replacements
Nick the Stripper by The Birthday Party
Planet of Sound by The Pixies
Let the Be Pain by The Stillettos
Black Swan by Greg Dulli
Goin' on Down to the BBQ by Drywall
Pistol of Fire by Kings of Leon

Dead End Street by Lou Rawls
Natural Man by The Dirt Bombs
Boom Boom Mancini by Warren Zevon
Yer Ropes by Giant Sand
Dustdevil by Butthole Surfers
Madonna of the Wasps by Robyn Hitchcock

Kurbagli Bodrum by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi
Radio Szegerely/AhYa Assmar El Yawn by 3 Mustaphas 3
Woman in Hell by Warsaw Village Band
Midnight Banda Judia by Frank London's Klezmer Brass All Stars
Aijo by Vartinna
Satan's Nightmare by Paiboon
Sukiyaki by Kyu Sakimoto

Oh Mary/Love on the Rocks by Neil Diamond
Diamonds by Mercury Rev
Sleeping Beauty by Mark Eitzel
Should I Betray? by Richard Thompson
The Kiss by Judee Sill
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, January 08, 2006


The New Mexican's web editor Stefan Dill has started a blog on the paper's site all about Bollywood. Check it HERE. (You have to register for the free New Mexican site, but it's free.)

Here's my favorite Bollywood album.

And check out Stefan's personal music blog.


The Bryan Harvey killings sadly remind me of other musicians who were murdered. Here's a list, taken mostly from a strange feature piece I did in The New Mexican in September 1998. I had to make some revisions -- such as the fact that Marvin Gay, Sr. died and Mia Zapata's killer has been arrested and convicted since the original story appeared. I don't claim it's complete, so feel free to point out omissions in the comments section,

Last month marked the 25th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon. He was shot and killed by Mark David Chapman in shortly after the release of his first album in more than five years. Controversial biographer and reknown idiot Albert Goldman implied that Yoko was in on the killing.

Sam Cooke, one of soul music's founding fathers - who was one of the country's best known gospel singers in the 1950s and 1960s - was shot and killed by a motel manager in Los Angeles in 1964 while he was pursuing a woman. Cooke was wearing only a sports jacket and shoes when he was shot.

King Curtis, born Curtis Ousley, was a famed session sax man who recorded with Sam Cooke, (that's him with Cooke on the above album cover), Buddy Holly, Aretha Franklin, John Lennon, The Coasters, Wilson Pickett, LaVerne Baker, Bobby Darin, Solomon Burke, The Shirelles, Nina Simone and countless others. He was stabbed to death in front of his apartment in New York City on August 13, 1971.

Blaze Foley, an obscure but influential Austin singer songwriter who wrote Merle Haggard's "If I Could Only Fly" and who inspired Lucinda Williams' "Drunken Ange"l and Townes Van Zandt's "Blaze's Blues." On Feb. 1, 1989 Foley, whose real name was Michael David Fuller, was shot to death at the home of an elderly friend. The killer was the old man's son, Carey January, who claimed self defense. A jury later that year found January not guilty.

Marvin Gaye, one of the greatest soul singers of all time was shot and killed by his own father in 1984. The elder Gaye claimed self defense. He was convicted of voluntary manslaughter and given a six-year suspended prison sentence. He died in October 1998.

Bobby Fuller, an El Paso disciple of Buddy Holly, best known for his 1965 hit I Fought the Law, was found dead in 1966 inside his car parked in front of his mother's home. He was 22. He died of gasoline inhalation. Although his death was ruled a suicide, his family and friends have made a credible case that Fuller was actually murdered. His death was the subject of an Unsolved Mysteries segment as well as a panel discussion - featuring Fuller's brother Randy Fuller - at the 1998 South by Southwest Music Festival.

The Notorious B.I.G., a.k.a Christopher Wallace, was shot and killed in Los Angeles in March 1997. Although no link to Tupac's death has been established, many in the rap community believe Biggie was murdered in retaliation for Shakur's death. (Some Tupac partisans blame Biggie for Shakur's 1994 shooting.) The last song on Biggie's posthumously released second album is titled, "You're Nobody Until Somebody Kills You."

Tupac Shakur, the rap star, was shot and killed in Las Vegas, Nev. in September 1996. It was not the first time he had been injured by gunfire. Two years before he was shot five times in what police said was a robbery, though some Tupac fans claim was an assassination attempt by rivals in the music business. (Weird note: Some Tupac fans actually believe that Shakur faked his death and is still alive. )

Stringbean, born David Akeman. This banjo picker was a former sideman of bluegrass founding father Bill Monroe, though he was best known as a star of the country comedy television show Hee Haw. He and his wife were shot and killed by burglars at their Nashville home in 1973.

Peter Tosh, one of the original Wailers and a reggae star in his own right, was murdered at his Jamaica home in 1987.

Mia Zapata, lead singer and songwriter of the Seattle punk band The Gits, was raped and strangled July 7, 1993 while walking home from a popular bar. A decade after her killing, DNA evidence led police to a suspect -- Jesus Mezquia, who was living in Florida at the time of his arrest. He was convicted of Zapata's rape and murder in 2004 and sentenced to 36 years in prison.

One bizarre aspect of Zapata's murder is that several of her song lyrics seemed aimed at an unnamed serial killer. The song "Sign of the Crab" begins, "You take me for a roller coaster ride with your serial killing ways ... Go ahead and slash me up, spread me all across this town/'Cause you know you're the one who won't be found ... Maybe I pushed my luck one too many times ...."

In "Spear & Magic Helmet" she sang, "You jumped her from behind/Two against one ... Then you raped her, you left her in the alley way ... I'm coming after you/you're nothing but a filthy scum/ And now I'm out to ruin you and your reputation/ Just because you sing in a band, you think I won't do it ...."

Saturday, January 07, 2006


Police have arrested two been in connection with the killings of House of Freaks frontman Bryan Harvey and his family -- as well as another terrible crime in which three members of another family were killed in their home in Richmond.

Not many details yet. The suspects' names are Ray Joseph Dandridge and Ricky Gevon Gray. The motive in both sets of killings is said to be robbery.

Here's the Richmond Times Dispatch story and here's the story from a t.v. station in Philadelia, where the suspects were caught.

Last night while playing my House of Freaks tribute on The Santa Fe Opry, I gave myself the creeps by playing a song called "Ten More Minutes to Live," Bryan Harvey's black-humor contemplation of the last minutes of his life.

But I stumbled across a story of later House of Freaks song, one I wasn't aware of called "Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey," that seems to describe a murder in a basement. CLICK HERE .


Even The Hulk has his own blog!


Friday, January 6, 2006
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
19th Nervous Breakdown by Jason & The Scorchers
Barrier Reef by The Old 97s
Behind That Locked Door by My Morning Jacket
The Things I Done Wrong by Danny Barnes
Blood of the Ram by The Gourds
O Death by Camper Van Beethoven

2000 Funerals by Graham Parker
Rich Man's War by Steve Earle
Burn the Flag by The Starkweathers
There's a Star Spangled Banner Waving Somewhere by Hank Thompson
Don't get Me Started by Rodney Crowell
Baghdad by Ed Pettersen
That's the News by Merle Haggard
Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning by The Bubbadinos

(All songs by House of Freaks)
When the Hammer Comes Down
Ten More Minutes to Live
White Folk's Blood
Meet Your Heroes
Kill the Mocking Bird
You'll Never See the Light of Day
Big Houses
The World of Tomorrow

How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live by Ry Cooder
Not the Tremblin' Kind by Laura Cantrell
The Dream (A True Story) by Porter Wagoner
Music Has No End by Clothesline Revival with Neil Morris
Solitary Man by Johnny Cash
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, January 06, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 6, 2006

It’s a strange state of affairs when the latest Neil Diamond album is much cooler than the new Neil Young.

But it’s true. Mr. Velvet Gloves and Spit has made his strongest, his toughest album in probably 35 years.

Some credit producer Rick Rubin for the aesthetic success of Diamond’s album, 12 Songs. “He did it for Johnny Cash, now he’s done it with Neil Diamond, blah blah blah …” I say hogwash. First of all hiring Rubin as producer is no guarantee of a great “comeback” album. Anyone remember Sutras by Donovan a few years ago? Cosmic yawn.

Rubin’s stripped down production, his slave-master demand for new Diamond songs and his insistence that Neil do his own guitar tracks certainly helped create the somber but tasteful sonic atmosphere of 12 songs. But I believe Diamond is an old lion who needed to roar.

Perhaps because of artistic boondoggles like the Jonathan Livingston Seagull soundtrack and outright drek like “Turn on Your Heartlight,” people forget what a great songwriter that the old Brill Building vet Diamond truly is.

This is the man responsible for the most underrated boozy love song of all time, “Love on the Rocks,” the weird mysticism of “Soolaimon,” the kid-fear saga of “Shilo.” This is the guy who screamed at his own furniture in “I Am, I Said.”

And now he’s the guy who can make you feel the ache of love in “Oh Mary” and “Evermore.” There’s so many fine tunes here. “Man of God” finds still glowing embers from the fire that was “Brother Love‘s Traveling salvation Show.” “Delirious Love” is sweet delirious pop. And “Hell Yeah” is the best rewrite of “My Way” I’ve ever heard.

Consumer note: Before you plop this CD in your computer, make sure your copy doesn’t have the dreaded XCP “anti-piracy” software, which Microsoft classified as “spy ware” that can render your box vulnerable to viruses. My copy is possessed by this evil demon, so I only listen to it on my DVD player and in my car. Sony has stopped making Cds with XCP.

Holiday Clearance Section: It’s time for holiday leftovers at Terrell’s Tune-up. Here’s some quick takes on a whole mess of CDs released in 2005 that I somehow never got around to reviewing. Some have been in the musical refrigerator for months.

* Magic Time by Van Morrison. To make an obvious play on the title, Morrison indeed still has the magic. His peculiar style of sweet soul music infused by his peculiar brand of Celtic mysticism sound like they drifted out of some ancient cave. There’s a melancholy feel on this record. “Just Like Greta” finds Morrison wistfully fantasizing about disappearing from public site, (just like Garbo), while “They Sold me Out,” which almost sounds like some lost song by The Impressions, is a classic Morrison diatribe against music industry weasels. But I doubt if he’s really going away. On one song, an upbeat blues with honking harmonica, Van promises to “Keep Mediocrity at Bay.”

* Front Parlour Ballads by Richard Thompson. If you’re craving some of those classic crazed Thompson guitar solos, this mostly acoustic record isn’t for you. Some of the songs here, such as the bouncy opening cut “Let it Blow” will practically leave you screaming, “Come on Richard, plug in!” But indeed, the record lives up to its title. I love the electric Thompson and I hope this album is just a diversion. Still there’s some strange, twisted, bittersweet gems here such as the squeeze-box colored “Miss Patsy” (Is that a mandolin he’s playing or a lute?) whose quaint melody is a weird contrast to the lyrics, which deal with a terrorist in prison. “The Boys of Mutton Street,” with its catch sing-along melody is about a street gang. “When We Were Boys at School” deals with a bitter victim of bullies who dreams of rising to power to inflict vengeance. “Should I Betray,” the taunting song of a blackmailer, is perhaps the creepiest of all.

* Long Gone by Clothesline Revival. Taking old field recordings of American blues, gospel and hillbilly singers and mutating them with electronica backdrops isn’t a new idea. Moby did it several years ago with his album Play. But the idea still sounds fresh on this, the second Clothesline Revival CD. Led by California guitarist Conrad Praetzel, Clothesline makes these old scratchy recordings come to life. Praetzel for the most part doesn’t distort or overwhelm these ancient melodies. Instead he enhances them. Some of the tracks, such as “Strange Things Happening,“ (based on a tune sung by Charles Haffer, Jr. in a Clarksdale, Miss. funeral home 1942) and “I’m Worried about My Soul” (sung by Lillie Knox in south Carolina in 1937) are downright haunting. And “Down in Arkansas,” sung by Almeda Riddle in 1959, actually rocks.

* Punk Trampoline by The Stillettos. The Stillettos was a New York punk band that started out before “punk rock” even had a name. Led by a high-pitched shouter who called herself Elda Stilletto -- whose voice contained traces of Yoko Ono as well as Betty Boop -- the group allegedly included Debbie Harry and Chris Stein of Blondie, Cheetah Chrome of The Deadboys and Rick (“Rock ‘n’ Roll, Hoochie Koo”) Derringer. This is a collection of recordings spanning the ‘70s. My favorites are the ones like “Feedback Rock” and “Pink Stilettos” that feature a crazy sax. There‘s even a weird punk/jazz tune called “Feedback Jazz.”

Terrell’s Sound World is back! Freeform weirdo radio returns to Santa Fe Public Radio after a three-week break, 10 p.m. this Sunday, on KSFR 90.7 FM.

And don’t miss The Santa Fe Opry 10 p.m. Friday on KSFR. I'll play a lengthy House of Freaks segment around the 11th Hour.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
January 5, 2006

The holiday spirit lingers in New Mexico’s political world. Some folks are still talking about a surprise Christmas card they received from one political figure — resigned state Treasurer Robert Vigil.

The card shows the former treasurer surrounded by his family and offers “Seasons Greetings and best wishes for the New Year.”

But that’s the large print. The surprise was in the small print at the bottom of the card: “Paid for by Friends of Robert Vigil for State Treasurer.”

Vigil, before he was arrested on federal extortion charges in September, was busy raising money for a re-election bid. In fact after he was videotaped taking money in a car from an investment adviser, Vigil’s lawyer said this wasn’t a kickback but an honest campaign contribution (though it never showed up on any report).

Maybe he was just raising cash to spread some Christmas cheer.

A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office said there’s no record of anyone picking up a campaign packet for a 2006 Robert Vigil campaign.

More late Christmas cards: Someone call Bill O’Reilly! The War on Christmas” is getting help from unexpected quarters.

Upon returning to work Tuesday I found a Christmas card from the Republican National Committee in my mail box. It showed a nice winter scene in front of the Lincoln Memorial, with a couple resembling Mr. and Mrs. Claus strolling arm and arm down the steps.

But the real shocker was inside. No, it didn’t say “Paid for by Friends of Robert Vigil.” It said “... we wish you a happy holiday season and joyful New Year.”

No mention of Christmas or Christ!

Friends of Jack: Congresswoman Heather Wilson of Albuquerque is the only incumbent New Mexico politician to have taken campaign contributions from convicted lobbyist Jack Abramoff.

The only other New Mexican to get cash directly from Abramoff was former Congressman Bill Redmond, a Republican who ran against U.S. Sen. Bingaman in 2000. Redmond, according to a study by the Washington, D.C. based Center for Responsive Politics, got $1,000 from the notorious lobbyist for that race.

However, several other political figures from this enchanted land have received contributions from Abramoff clients.

That can be largely explained by the fact that the list of those who hired Abramoff’s Greenberg Traurig firm to lobby Congress include two New Mexico Indian pueblos, Sandia and Santa Clara.

It probably could be argued that these pueblos, both of which operate casinos, would have been making campaign contributions any way.

The Pueblo of Sandia, according to the Associated Press, paid Abramoff’s firm more than $1 million to help the pueblo reclaim about 10,000 acres along the west face of the Sandia Mountains. Congress approved a settlement in 2003.

The Pueblo of Santa Clara paid Abramoff about $20,000 for lobbying in 2003, federal records show. But Santa Clara terminated its contract by the middle of 2004.

According to the CPR study, Wilson not only got the $1,000 from Abramoff in 2002 — a contribution that will be passed on to the Boy Scouts, according to a Wilson spokeswoman this week — she also took in $4,000 from Sandia Pueblo, half for her 2002 race, half for her current re-election effort.

Meanwhile, according to the CRP report, Sen. Pete Domenici got $2,750 from Santa Clara and $2,500 from Sandia in 2002.

But Republicans in New Mexico aren’t the only ones who got money from Abramoff clients.

The Democratic Party of New Mexico itself got a $5,000 contribution from Sandia Pueblo in 2002 and a $1,250 contribution for the current election cycle.

Sen. Jeff Bingaman received money from two gaming tribes that employed Abramoff — but not the ones from New Mexico. He got $2,000 from the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians of Palm Springs, Calif. for his current re-elections effort. In 2000 Bingaman received $1,000 from the Tigua Indian Reservation near El Paso. The Tiguas, whose casino shut down in 2002, say they were defrauded by Abramoff.

Unsuccessful Democratic candidates Gloria Tristani, who ran against Domenici in 2002, got $1,000 from Sandia Pueblo, while Richard Romero, who twice ran against Wilson and 2004, received $2,000 from Sandia in 2002 and $1,000 from Santa Clara in 2004.

Sandia Pueblo spent nearly $100,000 on candidates for state offices in 2002. More than $57,148 of that went to Gov. Bill Richardson’s campaign.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Bryan Harvey, the voice and guitar of a very cool late '80s band House of Freaks, has been murdered along with his wife and two daughters in their Richmond, Va. home.

You can read the gruesome details of the murder -- as well as how much the Harvey family was loved and respected in their community -- HERE.

Rolling Stone has more details of Harvey's music career HERE

House of Freaks was one of my favorite bands circa 1989. Tantilla. which I'm listening to as I post this, was in my Top 10 that year.

More than a decade before anyone ever heard of The White Stripes, House of Freaks was a two-man band with Harvey (who's the guy on the right in this photo) as frontman and Johnny Hott on drums. (Some cuts on Tantilla had a guest keyboardist. Marty McCavitt.)

Though minimalist, their sound had a melodic, almost folkish quality. Tantilla was full of gothic Southern tales. Songs about the Civil War, songs about race, of family, of white mansions. There were songs of running from the law, running from the hellhounds. But it never sounded hokey. Critics, myself included, drew comparisons to Faulkner and O'Connor. Christ, it was great album!

(I just stumbled across a web site devoted to House of Freaks where Harvey talks about the album.
"As far as Tantilla goes ... I think a lot of the songs reflected my obsession with race and the south and the lost cause and the nature of southern guilt. Originally I didn't intend to write a "concept" album ("When the Hammer Came Down" was written early on before we even moved to L.A.) but somewhere along the way after the release of Monkey on a Chain Gang, I thought I'd like to record a southern epic. I tried but I don't think anyone in 1989 wanted a historical epic in their rock 'n roll."
I'd wondered what happened to House of Freaks. Though the band had broken up, Harvey and Hott were still buddies. Apparently it was Hott who discovered the crime scene when he went to The Harveys' house for a New Year's barbecue.

Harvey worked for the local school system, though he still played music at night, in a soul-covers band called NrG Krysys.

This murder's got me depressed. Harvey's voice blasting over my speakers isn't helping. But what else is there?

Sunday, January 01, 2006


I'm ripping off Mario here, but here's some recent search phrases that directed visitors to this blog. (Some will have links.):

justin timberlake bee gee jimmy fallon clip snl
new pornographers jackie dressed in cobra lyrics
tom ruprecht bill richardson
scott sterling tattoos
terrell owens funny cartoons
kent nelson investment adviser
dave hahn taos e-mail
end of my journey piano music
buck owens ranch show dvd
oneil howes
send me to the lectric chair bromberg tab
emilio naranjo
lulu gal lyrics
Out of sheer boredom the other day I created a list on eMusic. It's called "Santa Fe Opry Faves," and consists of music I've downloaded from eMusic that I've played on my Friday night show on KSFR.

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...