Monday, July 30, 2007


Sunday, July 29, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Driftin' by The Big Ugly Guys
Trash by The New York Dolls
Gentleman in Black by Tav Falco
Nothing Works by Rich Deluxe
Thunder Girl by Go! Go! 7188
Mechanical Flattery by Lydia Lunch
Almost Black by James Chance
Angel Baby by Roky Erikson

Fear Explosion by Chocolate Helicopter
Get Your Kicks on Route 666 by Monkeyshines
Saboteur by The Mayfair Classics
Undertaker by Pussy Galore
Devil Dance by The A-Bones
Fun Time by Iggy Pop
You Lost Everything But It's Not My Fault by Hang on The Box
American Wedding by Gogol Bordello

El Incidio de Los Alamos by The Knights
Vamos Ala GoGo by The Surf Lords
El Mosquito by Eddie Dimas
Bottle of Wine by The Fireballs
Bonehead by Milo de Venus
When You Were Mine by The Morfomen
Mi Saxophone by Al Hurricane
Moonbeam by King Richard & The Knights

My Rights vs. Yours by The New Pornographers
Lost in The Supermarket by The Clash
Mohammed's Radio by Warren Zevon
God's Away on Business by Tom Waits with The Kronos Quartet
I'm Your Man by Nick Cave
Every Day I Have to Cry by Arthur Alexander
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, July 28, 2007


Friday, July 27, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
It Came out of the Sky by Creedence Clearwater Revival
If You Don't Love Jesus by Billy Joe Shaver
Be a Little Quieter by Porter Wagoner
How Many Biscuits Can You Eat by Splitlip Rayfield
The Mermaid by Bobby Bare
Ten Year Coin by Martin Zellar
I Keep Wishing For You by Sir Douglas Quintet
I Should Have Married Marie by Cornell Hurd
Pink Burrito by R. Crumb & The Cheap Suit Serenaders

My Dirty Life and Times by Warren Zevon
Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart by Whiskeytown with Alejandro Escovedo
Give Back the Keys to My Heart by Uncle Tupelo with Doug Sahm
California Stars by Wilco & Billy Bragg
Tennessee Waltz by Sally Timms
Sally Let Your Bangs Hang Down by Rose Maddox
Hearts Like Ours by Marty Stuart & Connie Smith
Amos Moses by Primus

2007: A Bluegrass Oddity/Don't Be Cruel by Shawn Camp & Billy Burnette
Eager Beaver Baby by Johnny Burnette & The Rock 'n' Roll Trio
Cranky Mulatto by The Gourds
Something in the Water by Big Al Anderson & The Balls
You Ain't Gonna Have Ol' Buck to Kick Around No More by Buck Owens
She Never Met a Man She Didn't Like by Dolly Parton
One Man Against the World (Part One) by John Schooley
Jesus Loves a Jezebel by Goshen
Early Every Morn by Maria Muldaur

Odds and Ends (Bits and Pieces) by The Bill Hearne Roadhouse Revue
Blue Angel by Hundred Year Flood
Are You Still My Girl by Joe West
Poisonville by Ronny Elliott
Makeout King by Eleni Mandell
The Face of a Fighter by Willie Nelson
I'm Gonna Change My Ways by Peter Case
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, July 27, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 27, 2007

There’s a lot of history wrapped up in a modest little CD called King Richard’s Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew-Art! (subtitled A Southwest Guitar Rock and Ranchera Instrumental Adventure) by a band called The Knights, (formerly King Richard & The Knights).

It’s a tasty little collection of surfy instrumentals influenced by Mexican and cowboy music led by guitarist (and self-crowned “king”) Dick Stewart, a 40-plus-year veteran of New Mexico rock.

I first stumbled across King Richard & The Knights earlier this year while searching eMusic for obscure ’60s garage-band music. There I found Precision, a compilation credited to “King Richard & The Knights (Plus Other ’60s Albuquerque Groups).” It’s an album, originally released on the Collectibles label, of proto-psychedelia, instrumental tunes, and early rock ballads. The title track is an instrumental that was a regional hit in the early ’60s — back when “regional hits” were popular in the world of commercial radio.

The track that slugged me in the gut was the vocal version of “Moonbeam” (there’s also an instrumental); it’s six minutes of pure, greasy soul. Six minutes was an eternity when this song was recorded, but when it pops up on my iPod, I don’t want it to end.

Upon further investigation, I discovered the Lance Records Web site, run by Stewart. The site includes a candid history of The Knights that begins in 1961. Stewart describes the early incarnation of his band as “a Ventures/Fireballs clone playing 40 to 50 instrumental guitar songs per gig with no vocals other than a Chuck Berry tune here and there to break the monotony.”

“Precision” became a hit shortly before civilization as we knew it was destroyed by The Beatles and the subsequent British Invasion. Stewart on his Web site recalls: “Of course we were pissed, as were the other American rock musicians of the early ’60s, especially when our fans swiftly dumped us for the rock bands that sang with English accents, played those hideous-looking Vox guitars (especially when compared to the Fender), and grew their hair long! I admit that The Knights performed some of the early British hits shortly before calling it quits, but it was done purely out of necessity. (We wanted to remain employed.) Nevertheless, I just couldn’t shake the lead-guitar rock styles of the early ’60s, much less develop a passion for performing the new age of rock that was completely dictated by the British. That attitude, in fact, ultimately caused the demise of the original Knights.”

The band broke up just after Stewart started Lance Records, a “little, off-the-wall indie label” in Albuquerque in the mid-’60s that featured local garage bands like Lincoln Street Exit (which later became XIT, an influential Native American rock group) and Fe-Fi-Four Plus 2, best known for its psychedelic cult classic “I Wanna Come Back From the World of LSD.”

He also began publishing a newsletter called The Lance Monthly, which had stories about acts in the Lance Records stable and other local and regional acts like Al Hurricane, The Morfomen (a Santa Fe band), and Floyd & Jerry.

Stewart spent many years concentrating on his Hispanic music label, Casanova Records. But after Collectibles released the Precision compilation and the rise of Internet marketing convinced him the Web gave indie labels “a fighting chance,” Stewart revived The Lance Monthly. (This month there’s a lengthy and somewhat bitter recollection of the West Texas band The Cavaliers — most famous for the teenage-death classic “Last Kiss” — written by former Cavalier Sid Holmes.)

And Stewart revived The Knights.

As for Red Hot New Mexican Chile Stew-Art!, there’s a fine cover of “Ghost Riders” (which previously was transformed into a surf song by Dick Dale). There’s also one called “Phantom Riders.”

Did I say there was history on this album? Until I got this album I never realized that the original name of Clovis, N.M., was Riley Switch. “Riley’s Switch” is the title of a chugging little rocker here.

Meanwhile “El Incendio de Los Alamos (When Los Alamos Burned)” sounds like it could have come out of the classic surf-music era, as does “Surfin’ the Rio Grande.”

But my favorite ones are the rancheras — “El Rancho Grande,” “Poco de Todo,” “A Medias de la Noche.” They remind me of classic tunes by Arizona Hispano instrumental rocker Eddie Dimas, whose “El Mosquito” should have been a national hit.

So here’s to King Richard Stewart. Let’s hope he keeps cranking out The Lance Monthly and keeps rocking with The Knights.

Also recommended:

*Voodoo Surf Fever
by The Surf Lords. These guys haven’t been surfing the Rio Grande for nearly as long as King Richard, but they’ve been around long enough to make three CDs.

The Lords are led by guitarist/vocalist (they’re not entirely instrumental) Tom Chism, and their sound has a definite Latin influence. The song “Voices Carry” sounds like it’s inspired by Native American music — heavy tom-toms, some subtle chanting at the beginning and end, and guitar references to The Shadows’ “Apache.”

Like the title implies, this is kind of a spooky album. The best songs here are slow and spooky. There are fine mysterioso covers of Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” and David Essex’s “Rock On.”

“Lost in the Bayou” is simmering swamp funk. Downright psychedelic is a spacey medley “Echoes From Neptune — Shenandoah.” Yes, “Shenandoah” is the famous Civil War-era tune, but this one is way across the wide Missouri.

Thursday, July 26, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 26, 2007

People who read my music column or listen to my radio shows know that I like a lot of crazy music. I also like some strange movies, television shows, books and art. Captain Beefheart, R. Crumb and David Lynch are all heroes of mine.

But when it comes to the political process, I guess I’m pretty much a stuffy traditionalist. Monday night’s YouTube/CNN Democratic presidential debate made me feel like an old fuddy-duddy.

Don’t get me wrong. I like that this new format gave several “average Americans” (whoever they are) the chance to question politicians. I thought it was great that people whose children have died in the war and people struggling with real health issues had a platform to address the candidates. And the lesbian couple who asked about same-sex marriage put human faces on this wedge issue.

But despite all the praise lavished on the YouTube format, someone has to throw a wet blanket on some of the silly stuff.

It just didn’t seem quite right for these potential leaders of the free world to have to respond to talking snowmen, fake hillbillies and bad musicians.

I’m waiting for the Cartoon Network to host its own forum, where each of the candidates gets interviewed by Space Ghost.

Bundles of money: Richardson, based on a campaign finance report released earlier this month, has raised more than $13 million for his presidential campaign — which is considered a respectable amount, though far less than front-runners Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama and slightly less than John Edwards.

So who is bankrolling Richardson’s campaign? (the Web site of the campaign finance watchdog group Center For Responsive Politics) breaks down contributions by the donor’s employer. By far, the biggest employer is New Mexico’s state government. State employees so far have coughed up $244,730 for the chief executive’s campaign.

Employees from American Income Life Insurance, a Waco-based company, gave Richardson $34,300.

University of New Mexico employees contributed $31,950, closely followed by those who work for the Sutin, Thayer and Brown law firm, which gave $31,365.

Employees of BGK Group, a Santa Fe-based real-estate company, gave $27,500. Eddie Gilbert, who heads the company, hosted a fundraiser for Richardson in May, New Mexico Business Journal reported.

People who work for a California company called National Recreation Properties raised $20,700 for Richardson. According to, “The company markets residential real estate most notably through television advertising, including infomercials, generally featuring actor Erik Estrada or game show host Chuck Woolery.”

Forest City Enterprises employees handed Richardson $20,100. That company is involved in developing the 12,900-acre site in south Albuquerque.

Other companies whose employees have been generous to Richardson include Qwest ($19,100); the Denver-based Brownstein Hyatt law firm ($18,650); Time Warner ($18,300); and PNM Resources ($15,700).

The top industries contributing to Richardson are miscellaneous businesses ($1,767,924), lawyers ($861,022), real estate ($418,775), civil servants and government officials ($354,043), securities and investments ($351,000), business services ($206,474), education ($203,685), entertainment ($165,150), miscellaneous finance ($161,150), general contractors ($135,500) and health professionals ($131,225).

People who list their occupation as “retired” have provided $1.3 million to the campaign.

Blue acts: A huge source of Richardson’s campaign money has been Act Blue, the self-described “online clearing house for Democratic action.”

OpenSecrets, using figures from campaign finance reports, places the amount raised for Richardson via Act Blue at $238,285, though Act Blue’s own Web site, which presumably is more up to date, reports $301,810 raised for Richardson from 1,427 supporters.

While all the candidates have received some money through Act Blue, only two have raised significant amounts there. One is Richardson. But he’s raised far less Act Blue bucks than John Edwards, who has raised more than $3.5 million.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007


It's official! This here is a second-rate blog!

The Stephen W. Terrell Web Log won second place in The Santa Fe Reporter's annual Best of Santa Fe contest.

I lost out to Julia, but I beat the crap out of The Santa Fe Library Blog.

Maybe now Joe Monahan will buy me lunch.

Keeping it in the family, the store where my sister works, The Critters and Me, won best pet-supply store.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


My debate analysis for The New Mexican, focused on Gov. Richardson's performance is HERE.

In the piece I contend that Richardson missed an opportunity to stand out by not reacting to the weird guy who called his automatic weapon his "baby" -- an opportunity not missed by Joe Biden, who basically called the guy a wack job.

I've already received one e-mail from a strong gun-rights defender. It was a reasonable letter. I suspect there will be more -- and probably some won't be as reasonable.

Like I told the guy who wrote me, I wasn't taking sides on the gun issue. I'm not even a big gun-control advocate. I just think the guy in the video was kinda kooky and it would have been a good move to call a kook a kook -- especially someone with a good gun-rights record like Gov. Richardson. Kind of a "Sister Souljah moment" for firearms extremists.


Meanwhile, the Richardson campaign has declared victory in the debate, just as they did in all the others. They do point out he fact that a focus group of 24 undecided voters in Nevada declared him as "one of the winners." (Actually he tied with Hillary Clinton for the most votes from this group.)

Richardson's latest "job interview" ad that was shown during Monday's debate can be found HERE

Monday, July 23, 2007


4:40 PM: Waiting for the festivities to begin. Surprisingly there's no pre-debate hoopla on CNN. Just Lou Dobbs. I think he's against illegal immigration. Watch this space ...

4:51 PM: Richardson is just about to enter the debate stage. They all have military escorts.

4:59 PM: Some Demo consultant on Hillary's team just denied with a straight face that Hillary's the "front-runner."

5:02 PM: Oh no, they're showing the reject videos.

5:03 PM: Anderson Cooper just called the governor of California a cyborg.

5:10 PM: 10 minutes into it and not a peep from Bill Richardson. So far the questions have been for other candidates.

5:11 PM: Hillary's not a "liberal," she's a "modern progressive." What happened to Richardson's "new progressive" label he was trying out a couple of years ago?

5:13 PM: Cooper just said the next question was for Biden. But the guy on the video said it was for all candidates.

5:15 PM: They're showing videos made by the candidates. Chris Dodd has one about his white hair.

5:19 PM: I think Richardson is the only candidate who hasn't spoken yet.

5:21 PM: Finally! Richardson says "politics" affected the handling of Hurricane Katrina. He blasts predatory insurance companies and others ripping off the people of New Orleans.

5:29 PM: In a question about gay marriage Richardson says he'd do what's "achievable" -- "full civil unions with full marriage rights." He also listed a litany of other issues -- hate crime bills, don't-ask-don't-tell, etc. He never directly mentioned marriage. He also didn't mention that he voted in favor of a federal Defense of Marriage Act in the '90s.

5:35 PM: I meant to say earlier that Dodd's "white hair" ad seems greatly influenced by Richardson's "job interview" spots. Speaking of ads, the Richardson campaign has launched a new one. CLICK HERE

5:38 PM: Edwards' ad they just showed shows he can laugh at himself too. It uses the song "Hair." I think that cost less than Edwards' last haircut. What is this Democrat hang-up on hair.

5:40 PM: Richardson gets a question on Darfur. "I was at that refugee camp," he said, drawing attention to his experience over there. He calls for a permanent UN peacekeeping force there. "America needs to respond with diplomacy." Biden calls for American troops there. he's been to that camp too.

5:44 PM: Richardson didn't mention the Olympic boycott he raised in New Hampshire, though he did say that China should be pressured.

5:52 PM: Richardson: "The lives of our young troops are more important than George Bush's legacy. ... No politics. Get it done."

5:54 PM: Mike Gravel gets down! U.S. soldiers died in vain. Obama and Edwards dodge that one.

5:56 PM: Edwards against Bush vacation.

6 PM: Half time! Richardson got to speak three times so far. Hurricane Katrina, gay marriage and Darfur. He was quite forceful during the last one. He hasn't made any real gaffes, but, as in previous debates, he hasn't had the opportunity to stand out. Being that the questions are from the public and addressed mainly to the front-runners, few questions have fallen his way. I guess these video submitters haven't seen the Richardson press releases that declare Richardson is in the top tier.

6:04 PM: Come to think about it, other than a couple of jabs at Hillary for her initial support of the Iraq war, none of the other candidates have done much to distinguish themselves and overtake Clinton either.

6:07 PM: "I'm trying to provoke a debate here." Richardson says about Iraq. He repeats his plan to get troops out of Iraq and leave none behind. Biden says "Let's start telling the truth."
Biden talks about his legislation about bomb-resistant vehicles. Hillary says administration should start planning to withdraw.

6:15 PM They're playing a Richardson ad I haven't seen before with the same job interview guy taking to fellow managers about this guy with great qualifications.

6:17 PM: They're playing a metal music video! Richardson says he'd scrap "No Child Left Behind" and gets big applause. Calls for $40K minimum wage for teachers. That's what teachers get here in NM right? Calls for a major effort for art and music programs in schools. Might have helped whoever made that weird YouTube video.

6:20 PM: I just corrected an unintentionally funny typo in the 5:29 post.

6:26 PM: Oh Lord, they just played one of those hillbilly videos. Now it's a creepy talking snowman. This is just plain weird ...

6:28 PM: Finally a question from a real person. Of course it's a lady in the bathroom.

6:30 PM: Richardson seems to waffle about whether he took a private plane to the debate today. He finally admits he did, but said it was "yesterday." Anderson Cooper doesn't ask him who paid for the jet.

6:32 PM: They're talking about nuclear energy. Richardson hasn't had a chance to say New Mexico is the clean energy state. Hillary is agnostic about nuke power.

6:34 PM: Gal on video seems to want Starbucks to run elections. Richardson said he would push states to go to verified paper-trail voting systems like New Mexico's.

6:39 PM: Dennis Kucinich's video is an ad for this "Text Peace" deal. he's repeated it several times. Kind of reminds me of that election where Jerry Brown had a 1-800 number.

6:41 PM: Richardson said he'll raise minimum wage. So far nobody has disagreed.

6:45 PM: Richardson calls for "bi-partisan" Social Security system. Now there's a bad country song video about taxes.

6:46 PM: Biden jabs at Richardson. talks about raising taxes to "pay for some of the things the governor is talking about."

6:47 PM: Richardson raised his hand for a rebuttal but Cooper moves on. Forgot to mention that Richardson, in his Social Security answer called for a national fight against diabetes.

6:54 PM: Richardson's health care plan would cover undocumented workers. He talks about getting rid of junk food in the schools "like we did in New Mexico."

6:55 PM: Good question from a guy who talks about the problem of having two families dominate the White House for all these decades.

6:59 PM: An atheist kid asks whether the Dems will pander to the religious right. Apparently they're all deeply religious Christians who believe in separation of church and state.

7:01 PM: Hey we're in overtime!A weird guy who has some kind of extreme gun and calls it his "baby" asks about gun control. Richardson wants instant background checks and to bring people together. Biden nails it. he says the guy in the video might not be mentally qualified to own a gun. "Hope he doesn't come looking for me."

7:05 PM: A YouTuber asks the candidates to say what you like and don't like about the candidate to the left. Obama says he likes that Richardson has devoted his life to public service. But he jokingly refers to Richardson's endorsement of the Yankees and the Red Sox -- without mentioning the Chicago White Sox. Richardson says he loves all the candidates. He praised Joe Biden as a hard worker. But my browser went down before I could get if he said anything bad about Biden.

It's been fun. I'll come back later and clean up some typos.

UDATE: Found a few typos. There's probably more. The price of live blogging.


Although they are 11 years apart in age, both of my kids have enjoyed the concerts and other activities at Warehouse 21.

The organization is trying to raise money for a new building in the Railyard. They've already raised more than $2.8 million but still need another $600,000 or so.

This Friday, July 27, there's a benefit dance at the old Club Luna (they call it "The Moon" in recent weeks), 519 Cerrillos Road, featuring The Soul Deacons.

Tickets are $21 or $30 for couples. For those under 21 it's $15 or $20 per couple.

Should be fun. Not only is it a good cause, but it would be kind of nostalgic to see the old joint where I saw X, Concrete Blonde and other cool shows back when Luna was Santa Fe's top night spot.


I've yacked on the radio about KSFR's new frequency, but I don't think I've posted about it here.

Anywho, you currently can hear the station at its original home at 90.7 FM as well as its future home at 101.1 FM. (At some point in the near future we'll be dropping 90.7 altogether.)

A couple of weeks ago I listened to 101.1 from Santa Fe all the way to the airport in Albuquerque. True, there were a couple of rough patches, but for the most part KSFR was loud and clear even in the city.

So spread the word! Tell all your friends in Albuquerque that The Santa Fe Opry can be heard 10 p.m. - midnight Friday and Terrell's Sound World same time on Sunday nights -- both at 101.1 FM. (I'm selfishly plugging my own shows here, but there's lots of good ones on KSFR. Check the program guide.)

I haven't driven up north since we've been using the new signal, but we're supposed to be reaching all the way to Taos. Any reports from there would be welcome.


Where's my Fats Domino CD? I need to put "Blue Monday" on repeat mode.

It's back to work today after two weeks off. (Yes, in case you were wondering why you haven't seen Roundhouse Round-up recently, that's why. I did write a couple of non-perishable Tune-up columns for the time I was on vacation.)

I'll be easing into this, starting the day writing an upcoming music column. Then at 5 p.m. (that's Mountain Time) I'll be live blogging the Democrats' Youtube/CNN debate. So come back to this here blog at 5.

Where's my coffee?


Sunday, July 22, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Hard to Be Human by The Mekons
Guest Informant by The Fall
Wonderlust King by Gogol Bordello
Of Whales and Woe by Les Claypool
Pedro Bound by Mike Watt
Chocolate Out by The Boredoms
Jet Ninjin by Go! Go! 7188
Bumble Bee Zombie by Roky Erikson

Surfin' Down the Rio Grande by Sir Richard & The Knights
Lost in the Bayou by The Surf Lords
Liberteens in My Scene by The Dirty Novels
Nicole Told Me by Half Japanese
Plot Against the President by The Dick Nixons
Catch Hell Blues by The White Stripes
Stabbing Trilogy by The Gluey Brothers
Boys Don't Cry by Mummy the Peepshow

They Crowned an Idiot King
California is Drowning and I Live By The River
Surfin' in Harlem
America is Bleeding
God Bless America for What?
F**k the Bomb, Ban the Drugs
Crawdad Hole

Here Comes Terry by NRBQ
Peter's Trip by The Electric Flag
I Feel a Little Spaced Out by Os Mutantes
Qu'ran by Brian Eno & David Byrne
Won't You Try/Saturday Afternoon by The Jefferson Airplane
Last Kiss by Pearl Jam
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, July 21, 2007


Friday, July 20, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Good BBQ by The Riptones
Come on Home to Houston by Cornell Hurd
Moon Gone Down by The Gourds
Long Haired Country Boy by Charlie Daniels
Waymore's Blues by Waylon Jennings with John Anderson
Wolverton Mountain by Southern Culture on the Skids
Old Black Joe by Jerry Lee Lewis
Shake That Thing by Big Al Anderson
She Got the House by NRBQ
Peach Blossom by Hundred Year Flood
Starry Eyes by Roky Erickson with Luanne Barton
You're Humbuggin' Me by Lefty Frizzell
Philadelphia Lawyer by Rose Maddox
Scraps From Your Table by Hazel Dickens
Happy Hour by Ted Hawkins
Gimme a Ride to Heaven by Terry Allen

Phantom Riders by King Richard & The Knights
Wicked Game by The Surf Lords
Old Chunk of Coal by Billy Joe Shaver
Worthless by Tony Gilkyson
Wildcat Tamer by John Schooley
Eleven Cent Cotton by Porter Wagoner
The Night Porter Wagoner Came to Town by Tabby Crabb
Back Home by Dolly Parton

Up the Country Blues by Maria Muldaur
I'm So Lonesome Without You by Hazeldine
Prodigal Son by John Egenes
Don't Go Back to Sleep by Patty Booker
Next Time You're Drifting My Way by ThaMuseMeant
Mean Old Wind Die Down by North Mississippi Allstars
Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, July 20, 2007


Yes, Santa Fe is REALITY ...

I'm back from my vacation to Texas. We visited my daughter and son-in-law, made a side trip to Waco to see the Branch Davidian compound (I always make my children visit crime scenes and massacre sites) and the not-so-fabulous Dr. Pepper Museum (cheap pricks don't even give free samples!)

And we got to see Hundred Year Flood at the Saxon Pub.

Check out my FLICKR site for my vacation photos. (Thanks to FLICKR I don't have to come to your house and give you a personal slide show.)



A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 20, 2007

Nobody has ever accused Swamp Dogg of being too subtle. The cover of his new album, Resurrection, features a picture of the singer nailed to a cross, clad only in an American flag loincloth and a cap that reads "Witness Protection Program." Above his head a sign reads "Program Failure."

Yep, it’s a Swamp Dogg album all right, and it’s Swamp Dogg through and through, with songs of love, lust, and cranky political ranting.

While the notion of “cult artist” is overused, it fits Swamp Dogg (aka Jerry Williams). While he’s been releasing records for nearly 40 years, he’s never been a mainstream success. As he said in a June 2007 interview in the London newspaper The Guardian, “I’m not a down-and-out R & B singer. I’m not a used-to-be because I never was. I am so glad now that I didn’t become a great R & B hit in the ’60s, because I may still be in the ... ’60s, running around singing ‘Baby You’re My Everything’ and ‘I’m the Lover Man.’”

One of the things I love most about this singer is that he embodies so many contradictions. He’s known as a musical renegade and iconoclast who bolted the big-label, music-industrial complex and started his own independent label (Swamp Dogg Entertainment Group) years before it was fashionable. And yet his music, instrumentally at least, is basically conservative — old-fashioned, late ’60s/early ’70s soul that sounds as if George Clinton, Prince, and hip-hop never happened.

Although Dogg’s a soulster through and through, his biggest songwriting success is “She’s All I Got,” a country hit for Johnny Paycheck in the early ’70s.

And then there’s the matter of his lyrics. You’d probably expect him to be a fire-breathing, radical militant judging by the cover of this album; the titles of some of the songs (“America is Bleeding” and “They Crowned an Idiot King,” a one-fingered salute to the current chief executive); and his comfort with casual profanity and liberal use of the N word (Swamp Dogg obviously didn’t go to the recent NAACP “funeral” for the offensive epithet).

It’s true Swamp Dogg is anti-war and anti-Bush, and he believes racism is alive and well in modern America. But from his lyrics you also learn he opposes abortion and gay marriage, doesn’t like Mexican immigrants using Civil Rights-era slogans, and wants to keep God in the Pledge of Allegiance.

By my count, his politics are pretty close to those of Merle Haggard, which I personally find far more fascinating than those of the straight paint-by-numbers, talking-point liberal or conservative.

The 12-minute title song is a tour de force of Swamp Dogg’s political theory. Starting off with the rumbling of thunder he evokes the days of slavery, comparing it with the crucifixion. He praises Martin Luther King Jr. as “the messenger.”

Soon some of his social conservatism becomes apparent. Swamp Dogg denounces the welfare system, saying it encourages fatherless families. He blasts drugs, espousing a just-say-no policy. “You don’t have to do nothing about it, just leave it the hell alone and it will go away/It’s a proven fact that if a product is not being consumed the supplier will soon move on to other things.”

Swamp Dogg offers some sound economic advice to African Americans (or anyone else for that matter): “Start putting $10 to $15 a week into a savings account until it becomes big enough to buy a six-month certificate of deposit at 9 percent then continuously roll it over and don’t touch it and buy no damned Christmas presents!”

He also advises his people to put aside frivolous reading and “read a copy of Black Enterprise, Forbes, Money, and Fortune/Discover what the upscale black is doing and what the white man is planning to build in a year on the same site where you’re renting.”

He works himself into an emotional frenzy by the end of the song. “I will see you when you come out of the tomb!” he shouts. “ I will see you when you rise!”

Besides politics, the other major topic on Resurrection is love, specifically his recent marriage. “Today I Got Married” is a string-sweetened, tinkly-piano tribute to his wife, with a refrain that goes, “She knows how to fight to funk/She knows how to lift a [N word] up.” He promises to “do the things that make a marriage work/Bring my money home, get my lovin’ at home, and spend more time in church.”

This is a man who is passionate about and believes in everything he sings. It makes his music a true pleasure.

Also recommended:

* Bad Blood in the City: The Piety Street Sessions by James Blood Ulmer. Here’s another 60-something black musician who has a way with angry protest songs.

Ulmer is a jazzman who has played with the likes of Ornette Coleman and Art Blakey. But in recent years his art has taken him deeper and deeper into the blues. I loved his 2005 album Birthright, but this new one is even more exciting. It was recorded in New Orleans’ Piety Street studios with a full band.

Ulmer performs several fresh-sounding covers of songs by Son House, Howlin’ Wolf, John Lee Hooker, and Junior Kimbrough. But New Orleans — particularly, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina — is never far from Ulmer’s mind. Songs include “Survivors of the Hurricane,” “Katrina,” “Let’s Talk About Jesus,” and “Backwater Blues,” a traditional blues number that in Ulmer’s hands sounds like a prophecy.

Ulmer’s main strength is that he captures the mysteriousness of the blues. Even when the band is rocking, you can imagine the husky-voiced singer in a graveyard, sitting on a tombstone, playing his guitar, and shouting melodies that double as secret incantations and dark warnings.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


Sunday, July 15, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

(This is the pre-recorded show I left for Sunday. Tom Adler filled in for me on The Santa Fe Opry Friday.)

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Conquest by The White Stripes
Fire Engine by 13th Story Elevators
Memos from Purgatory by The Chesterfield Kings
My Dawgy Heap by The A-Bones
Pinon Lurker by The Gluey Brothers
Come Back Baby by Rev. Beat Man & The Unbelievers
Step Aside by Sleater-Kinney
Mi Saxophone by Al Hurricane

Forty Dollars by The Twilight Singers
Big Shoe Head by Buick MacKain
Lonesome Cowboy Bill by The Velvet Underground
Ask The Angels by Patti Smith
Where Were You by The Mekons
Road Runner by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Motorcycle Irene by Moby Grape
Violenza Domestica by Mr. Bungle

Budokan Tape Try (500 Tapes High) by The Boredoms
Moon I'm Coming Home by Pere Ubu
I'm Insane by Sonic Youth
I Live in a Split Level Head by Napoleon XIV
The Torture Never Stops by Frank Zappa

Love is All Around by The Troggs
Sad Days, Lonely Nights by James Blood Ulmer
Hookers in the Street by Otis Taylor
Hiawatha by Laurie Anderson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, July 13, 2007


Julia recently wrote about taking a "mini-vacation" from the internets, as did Mario.

Looks I'm doing the same thing -- but not on purpose. I took off for my vacation yesterday and even though I got my laptop into its carrying case, I never got it to the car. I discovered that fact when checking into a motel in Abilene last night.

I'm in the motel lobby now. Fortunately I had the Terrell's Tune-up (immediately below) prepared to go.

But for the most part I'll be without the Internet for the next week or so. And for someone as addicted as me, that's going to be a challenge.

Wish me luck ....


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 14, 2007

I was prepared to be disappointed by The White Stripes’ new album, Icky Thump.

It’s not just because Jack White somehow turned into a movie-star-dating, model-marrying rock star. It was the music. After four exciting, enchanting, and exuberant albums, the band’s 2005 effort, Get Behind Me Satan, was a frustrating mess that never quite jelled. And White’s subsequent side project, The Raconteurs, was just plain bland.

Oh well, I figured, maybe it was time for The White Stripes to fade away. Four good-to-great albums isn’t a bad run for a band, especially for a duo — a duo! — performing high-charged, Zepped-out covers of old Son House and Robert Johnson tunes. And besides, Jack White will always have that album he produced for Loretta Lynn and those cool hillbilly songs on the Cold Mountain soundtrack. You can’t take those away from him.

So I was just hoping that the new album wouldn’t do any permanent damage to The White Stripes’ memory.

Guess what? As Hazel, would say, Icky Thump is a doozy. Jack and his ex-wife, Meg, have returned to their basic guitar/drum attack. In fact, some songs, like the nasty slide-guitar-driven “Catch Hell Blues,” seem to be a conscious return to the Stripes’ early sound. However, many songs are fortified by touches of instrumental weirdness that show the Whites looking forward.

Jack sounds truly happy to be here, playing his guitar like a maniac and warbling like the reincarnation of Marc Bolan hopped up on trucker crank. Meg is playing drums less like Moe Tucker and more like the Mighty Thor.

On the first song, the title track, I was almost afraid the Stripes were going political by interjecting themselves in the immigration debate. In the middle of lyrics about a “redheaded seƱorita” in Mexico comes a provocative verse: “White Americans, what?/Nothing better to do?/Why don’t you kick yourself out/You’re an immigrant too.”

Not that I mind political songs, but that wouldn’t seem to be a strength of the Stripes. This verse seems to be an anomaly on this album. People are going to remember the song for the crazy balloon-rubbing guitar noises and the explosive drums. There don’t seem to be other overt political themes unless “St. Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air)” is an oblique reference to Iraq.

I’m having fun spotting subtle salutes to older songs. The hook on “300 M.P.H. Torrential Outpour Blues” might remind you of the Allman Brothers’ “Midnight Rider,” while the acoustic guitar chords on “Effect & Cause” is right out of The Stones’ “Honky Tonk Women.”

Did I say something about instrumental weirdness? “Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn” features some Cold Mountain mandolin and droning bagpipes (not to mention Meg’s drums, which make a subliminal suggestion that a Scottish army is about to come down from the hills and pillage the town). That’s immediately followed by “St. Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air),” another bagpipe-and-drum song with Meg reciting some strange prayer (“This battle is in the air/I’m looking upwards/St. Andrew, don’t forsake me”) and White blasting bizarre, electronically altered guitar licks straight out of The Beatles’ “Tomorrow Never Knows.”

But even this pair of tunes isn’t as delightfully strange as “Conquest,” a twisted cover of an old Patti Page song. Jack and Meg, aided by trumpeter Regulo Aldama, turn the song into an electric bullfight. White pours himself into the melodramatic lyrics, “The hunted became the huntress, the hunter became the prey” (making the final “became” into a five- or six-syllable word). But I think the Frank Zappa-like Munchkins-in-the-dungeon background vocals are my favorite part of the song.

At this writing my favorite song on Icky Thump is “Rag and Bone,” a partly sung but mostly spoken tune in which we find Jack and Meg scavenging for old junk — “a broken trumpet or a telephone ... turntables and gramophones.” It’s not clear if they’re supposed to be cruising yard sales or just going through trash outside peoples’ houses. Whatever the case, a listener wants to be with them. During the song Jack goes into a rap (with Meg responding, “Uh huh,” in agreement) that could almost be interpreted as the band’s philosophy of music as well: “It’s just things that you don’t want, I can use ’em. Meg can use ’em. We’ll do something with ’em. We’ll make something out of ’em. We’ll make some money out of ’em at least.”

I hope they make lots of money and stick around for a long time.

Also recommended:

*Listen My Friends: The Best of Moby Grape. MG is a San Francisco Summer of Love band whose name is spoken with reverence in rock criticdom — or at least without the condescending sneer reserved for other bands of the hippie era. And in truth, the Grape deserves major respect. The group’s first, self-titled album (pictured here) was nothing short of a masterpiece, and the songs “Omaha” and “Hey Grandma” from that album are timeless rockers that still thrill those with ears to hear, while “8:05” is a sweet heartbreaker that ranks with the finest of country rock.

Unfortunately, after that wild creative burst things started falling apart for MG. Part of that was due to singer/guitarist Skip Spence’s descent into schizophrenia.

The follow-up Wow was sprawling and self-consciously artsy but had some great moments. Their subsequent work was almost completely forgettable.

This collection includes six impeccable songs from the first album (including those named above) and some of the better tunes from Wow, including the brilliant “Murder in My Heart for the Judge” and “Can’t Be So Bad,” a rampaging blues number that slows down at the end of every verse for some inexplicable days-of-old-when-knights-were-bold trumpets.

Most of the remaining songs are pretty mediocre except “Sweet Ride (Never Again),” which shows traces of the first album’s spark, and Spence’s “Seeing,” which starts slow and builds into an intense psychedelic workout.

I just wish that Sony/BMG would have instead rereleased Moby Grape and Wow, now available only in overpriced versions on the obscure San Francisco Sound label.

Monday, July 09, 2007


* Hentch-Forth.Five featuring Jack White by The Hentchmen. Back in 998 Detroit's Hentchmen, led by Farfisa fiend John Hentch (aka John Szymanski, aka Johnny Volare), had a bass player named Jack White who went on to become singer and guitarist for The White Stripes. Detroit’s Italy Records has remastered the album, originally released on vinyl only, and rereleased it on the same day The White Stripes’ new album, Icky Thump, was released. My favorite tracks here are “Some Other Guy,” in which White and Hentch harmonize like the early Beatles and “Psycho Daisies,” an obscure Yardbirds tune.

Hey, does this all sound familiar? I just reviewed this in Terrell's Tune-up a couple of weeks ago.

*April March Sings Along With The Makers . I'd never heard of Ms. March until Grindhouse. She sings the song "Chick Habit" during the closing credits. I'd assumed, despite the name, she was Japanese. She's not. Lots of people think she's French because she recorded an album of French pop tunes -- or at least tunes that sounded like French pop. But no, April's all American and this is nothing but good old garage punk fare with echos of "Psychotic Reaction." She sounds kind of like the gal in Daisy Chainsaw (remember "Love Your Money"?)

* Naughty Bawdy & Blue by Maria Muldaur. It was predetermined nearly 40 years ago that I would get this album -- first time I heard Maria, then with the Jim Kweskin Jug Band, coo the words, "red rooster say cock-a-doddly-doo/ Richland woman say, `any dude'll do' ... "

She re-recorded "Richland Woman Blues" for an album of that title about five years ago -- and sounded, if anything more sexy than she did when she was a young woman.

Maria continues along that line in this collection of old classic-era blues songs from the likes of Bessie Smith, Mamie Smith and Victoria Spivey. She loves this stuff and that love is infectuous.

However lovers of naughty and bawdy music beware. The title of this album is an oversell. The bawdiness doesn't go much beyond double entendres like the ones in Hunter's "Handyman." There's no Lucille Bogan songs here or anything like the raunchy tunes found on collections like Please Warm My Weiner.

But for those of us with strong dirty imaginations, this album is just fine. Like a modern Sophie Tucker, Maria Muldaur is the last of the red-hot mammas.

*Live at Montreux 2004 by George Clinton & Parliament/Funkadelic . Thirty years beyond P-Funk's golden era, Clinton and his aging band of funky pranksters are just as tight and proficient as the old days. Actually this is a great companion to Live: Meadowbrook, Rochester, Michigan 12th September 1971, which I downloaded several months ago.

There's not a whole lot of surprises here -- Bop Gun" and "Atomic Dog" are as funk-filled as ever -- except the appearance of Clinton's granddaughter (!) Sativa, who offers some truly "naughty, bawdy and blue raps" on "Something Stank" and "Hard as Steel," and "Whole Lotta Shakin'," which actually is a medley of '50s rock tunes showing Clinton's love for that era.

My main complaint about this album is that there's no liner notes (a major drawback of downloading in general) and the credits found on the eMusic page (as well as the Allmusic entry) are threadbare. I want to know which of the original P-Funsters are playing here.

* Texas, 1986: Live at the Continental Club by Sonic Youth. Anyone who has ever been to Austin's Continental Club knows it's a pretty small place. This had to be LOUD AS HELL! (No, the picture here isn't the Continental. I took this at the 1995 Lollapalooza in Denver.)

This was back when most of America -- myself included -- was unaware of Sonic Youth, a couple of years before Daydream Nation woke up to them. In fact this was right about the time of their album EVOL. They're grating and noisy, a little scary and driven. And of course "Expressway to Yr Skull" is pure majesty. What would we have done without them?

* Bad Blood In The City: The Piety Street Sessions by James Blood Ulmer. Singer/guitarist Ulmer is a jazz man who has played with the likes of Ornette Coleman and Art Blakey. But in recent years his art has taken him deeper and deeper into the blues. I loved his 2005 album Birthright, but this new one is even more exciting. It was recorded in New Orleans' Piety Street Studios with a full band.

There are several covers of songs by Son House, Howlin' Wolf, John Lee Hooker and Junior Kimbrough, as well as originals, including songs inspired by Hurricane Katrina.

Ulmer's main strength is that he captures the mysteriousness of the blues. Even when the band is rocking, you can imagine Ulmer in a graveyard, sitting on a tombstone playing his guitar and shouting melodies that double as secret incantations and dark warnings.

*Paint The White House Black by The Dick Nixons. There's political commentary and then there's political commentary!

I first heard The Dick Nixons about 10 years ago on the Star Power compilation, a tongue-in-cheek celebration of those '70s K-Tell compilations advertised on late night T.V. This band covered the wimp-rock classic "One Tin Soldier," purposely confusing the legends of Tricky Dick and Billy Jack.

There's lots more Nixon songs on this CD, released in the early '90s when their hero was still alive. But what convinced me to download this wasn't the hilarious cargo-cult-like glorification of the disgraced 37th President. It was even the fact that the album was produced by Memphis wizard Jim Dickinson.

It's because there's a punk apocalypse cover of one of the greatest hits of New Mexico Music Commissioner Tony Orlando: "Knock Three Times." I'm waiting for the band to re-form as The Tony Orlandos.

*In C by Bang on a Can & Terry Riley. Back in my Dr. Strange days, Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air provided the soundtrack to a memorable excursion into the Eternal Vishanti.

Riley, of course is considered a father of minimlism. This collaboration with Bang on a Can on one of his his influential compositions could be considered minimalism to the max. You've got a violin, mandolin, woodwinds, glockenspiel, cello, marimba and who knows what else, all playing off the note of C -- more more than 45 minutes.

It's mediatative without a trace of New Age mush, almost robotic in its pulsating rhythms, yet with undeniable soul.


*"Diamond in Your Mind" by Tom Waits with the Kronos Quartet. This is a single released from an upcoming album called Healing the Divide, a benefit for an organization that provides healtcare and insurance for impoverished Tibetan monks. This is an inspiration little song that Waits wrote for Solomon Burke a few years ago. Unlike some Kronos collaborations, the Quartet doesn't overwhelm Waits. In fact, you barely know they're there.

*2007 Pitchfork Music Festival Sampler Here are 17 free tracks, (including "Kill Yr Idols" from the Sonic Youth album above.)


Sunday, July 8, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Penny & The Young Buck by The Gluey Brothers
Stealing Kisses by The Dirty Novels
Teddy Picker by The Arctic Monkeys
Hang on Sloopy by The Remains
Crimson & Clover by Joan Jett
Bits and Pieces by The Dave Clark Five
Little Sister by The Runaways
I'm Cramped by The Cramps

Prickly Thorn, But Sweetly Worn/St. Andrew (This Battle is in the Air) by The White Stripes
Smothered in Hugs by Guided by Voices
Sweet Ride (Never Again) by Moby Grape
Lazy White Boy by Nashville Pussy
Bad Man by The Reigning Sound
Sameday by J. Mascis & The Fog
Shakin' All Over by Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
No More Hotdogs by Hasil Adkins

Resurrection by Swamp Dogg
Commit a Crime by James Blood Ulmer
Atomic Dog by George Clinton
Is That religion by Cab Calloway

Handy Man by Maria Muldaur
Way Down in The Hole by The Blind Boys of Alabama
Did Deeper by The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Storm Coming by Gnarls Barkley
Lonley Just Like Me by Arthur Alexander
Diamond in Your Mind by Tom Waits & The Kronos Quartet
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, July 06, 2007


Friday, July 6, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and our new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
In the Jailhouse Now by The Grevious Angels
Amarillo Highway by Terry Allen
Why Do I Feel Like Running? by Big Al Anderson & The Balls
White SIlver Sands by James Luther Dickinson
Mac Attack by Ronnie Dawson
Promenade by The Gourds
Honky Tonk Hell by Webb Wilder
Hesitation Blues by The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band

Satan's River by Porter Wagoner
Waltz of the Angels by Bill Hearne's Roadhouse Revue
The One-Way Hula by Patty Booker
Bluebird by Dallas Good
Jack of Diamonds by The Tarbox Ramblers
A Couple More Years by Jerry Lee Lewis with Willie Nelson
The Wrong Direction Home by Dolly Parton
Crawdad Hole by Big Bill Broonzy

(Woody was born July 14, 1912. I won't be here that week but wanted to commemorate his 95th birthday.)

Bufallo Skinners by Woody Guthrie
Do Re Mi By John Mellencamp
Pretty Boy Floyd by The Byrds
I Ain't Got No Home by Bruce Springsteen
Vigilante Man by Ry Cooder
Dust Bowl Refugee by James Talley
California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
Pastures of Plenty by Woody Guthrie

I Want to Be With You Always by Lefty Frizzell
A Ghost I Became by Richmond Fontaine
Wish You Were Beer by ThaMuseMeant
Strange Things Happening Everyday by Michelle Shocked
I'm Gonna Change My Ways by Peter Case
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 6, 2007

Santa Fe not only is home to many worthy pickers and singers hustling gigs at local bars and coffeehouses but also to a much smaller number of musicians with national or international followings who have made their reputations elsewhere and aren’t active participants in the local music scene.

Two of these, Big Al Anderson and Terry Allen, have dandy new albums that ought to make Santa Feans proud to live in the same city and inspire local listeners to pressure both of them to play some gigs here.

Anderson — who has a house in Santa Fe as well as a home in Nashville — is best known for his 22 years as the lead guitarist and sometimes singer for NRBQ. He’s responsible for some of that band’s greatest songs including “Riding in My Car,” “What a Nice Way to Go,” “It Comes to Me Naturally,” “It Was an Accident,” and “Better Word for Love.”

Pawn Shop Guitars by Big Al Anderson & The Balls is something of a departure from Anderson’s previous solo effort, After Hours. That aptly named album was a showcase for his mellower, prettier, jazzier side. The new one, however, is mainly Balls-out (sorry) roadhouse rock.

That’s clear from the first song, “Something in the Water,” which starts out with Anderson singing excitedly over a drumbeat, “She don’t look like her mother, nothin’ like her father/How else can you explain it/Must be something in the water.” Then the rest of the band comes in, churning out a lusty tribute to a “little Dixie chicken” who grew into a “Mississippi queen.”

Big Al “Poor Me,” featuring pedal steel guitar and some crazy slide guitar, shows Anderson’s country side. It’s a joy ride to a honky-tonk. “Drinkin’ on the Weekend” also has country overtones, though it rocks a lot harder.

The title song is a musician’s sweet memory of his early days “bangin’ on chunks of wood.” The refrain is exuberant — “We’re all gonna be stars/Chicks, beers and bars/Pawn shop guitars” — but not as exuberant as Anderson and his band jamming their collective hearts out. You can even hear strains of Hendrix in the song’s fading moments.

There are some quieter tunes too. “Just a Thought,” co-written with Delbert McClinton and Sharon Vaughn, is slow, blue-eyed soul with tremolo guitar and Memphis-style horns. And “Airstream” is a pretty paean to a chrome motor home.

Though most of the material here consists of good-time tunes, there’s one song with seriously dark overtones. “Bigger Wheel” musically sounds like a long-lost John Hiatt song. Starting out as a rather bombastic lost-love tune, “Wheel” turns more sour: “I just ain’t no good at this/I’m tired of being afraid/ Took a lifetime coming to the decision that I’ve made,” Anderson sings. When the narrator talks about “surrendering” to “the bigger wheel,” is he talking about suicide or some kind of spiritual grace?

I’ll leave that to the theologians. All I know is it’s great to hear Big Al rocking.
(This CD is available only at Al's Web site.)

Americana Master Series: Best of the Sugar Hill Years by Terry Allen is set for release Tuesday, July 10. The title is a little misleading. The “Sugar Hill Years” includes almost all of Allen’s recording career, especially since the company has been rereleasing his earlier work and even many of his most obscure music projects. It would have worked just calling it “The Best of Terry Allen” even though it lacks a few cuts I believe should have been included.
If you’re not familiar with this Lubbock Mafia godfather, this CD is a decent way to introduce yourself. (On the other hand, if you are familiar with him, chances are you’re a zealot like me and already own all his CDs, so this one is not necessary.)

Allen is not just a musician; he’s a visual artist as well — a painter, sculptor, and installation artist. His music basically is good old country rock. Since his 1979 album Lubbock (On Everything), he has employed primarily West Texas musicians — most notably steel-guitar great Lloyd Maines — in his Panhandle Mystery Band. He tells hilarious though usually poignant stories about characters mainly from the Southwest.

Probably most of the songs here would be mandatory choices for an Allen best-of. I can’t imagine any such record not starting off with “Amarillo Highway.” (The song’s refrain, “I’m a panhandlin’, man handlin’, post-holin’, high-rollin’, Dust Bowlin’ daddy,” will have to be on Allen’s tombstone.) You couldn’t do this without “Gimme a Ride to Heaven Boy.” (Is it really Jesus or a common carjacker? I’ll leave that to the theologians too.)

And, of course, you couldn’t do it without “New Delhi Freight Train,” which was recorded by the original Little Feat in the 1970s. This is the rocked-out Lubbock (On Everything) original version, not the one recorded with East Indian musicians on Allen’s The Silent Majority.

Great choices that aren’t so obvious to include on this collection are “Peggy Legg,” a twisted song about a one-legged woman on the dance floor (a duet with Jo Carol Pierce), and “The Doll,” an outraged meditation on materialism (“our lord and savior, Jesus Cash”) featuring Middle Eastern instruments.

I would have included songs like “There Oughta Be a Law Against Sunny Southern California” (one of Allen’s finest rockers), “Room to Room” (a duet with Lucinda Williams), and “Ain’t No Top 40 Song” (undistilled rage and violence). But take a listen to this CD, and if you’re hungry for more, seek out those tunes.

Photo notes: The Big Al shot is from his 2006 South by Southwest showcase. Terry Allen is pictured above with Joe Ely at a Santa Fe Brewing Company show last year.

Thursday, July 05, 2007


Good news. Robert Mugge's excellent documentary on Hurricane katrina's affect on New Orleans music will be availab;e on DVD on August 7.

Here is a review I wrote on it last year.

Here's Robert's Web site.


This is definitely the best show I've ever seen for $1. Joan was rocking!

She basically played the same set I saw her do about three years ago in Austin -- all the favorites -- "Bad Reputation," "Crimson & Clover," "Do You Want to Touch Me," The Replacements' "Androngynous," Sly's "Everyday People," "I Hate Myself for Loving You," etc. And, just like the last time I saw her, she sang The Mary Tyler Moore Show theme. (Hey, it was written by Sonny Curtis, who also wrote "I Fought the Law.") She should do more TV themes. I suggest The Patty Duke Show ("Our Patty loves to rock 'n' roll/A hotdog makes her lose control ...")

We left the park as the fireworks were going. As we drove away Lee Greenwood's putrid "God Bless the USA was blaring. I hope Joan was out of there before she had to hear it. Maybe I'm a traitor, but somehow "I Love Rock 'n' Roll seems far more patriotic to me.


Before Joan hit the stage, Mayor Marty Chavez came out and played guitar with the band Redline 7,000. He did three songs -- "Wild Thing," The Kinks' "You really Got Me" and a medley of "Louie Louie," "Hang on Sloopy," and "The Game of Love." He didn't sing, just played guitar. (All these tunes have near identical chord patterns.)

I don't think Ms. Jett will be calling soon to ask Marty to join The Blackhearts. But it was pretty cool that the mayor was rocking.

See more of my photos of the Joan Jett show, plus Pancakes on the Plaza and other stray shots I took on the Fourth on my FLICKR site.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 5, 2007

Ever so often in the national press, you run across a reference to New Mexico as a “red” state. Usually these days, it’s a mention of Gov. Bill Richardson as a “Democratic governor of a red state.”

It’s true New Mexico’s electoral votes went to George W. Bush in 2004. But his margin over John Kerry was less than 1 percentage point, not much bigger than Al Gore’s margin over Bush in 2000.

That would make us more of a “purple” state. Our congressional delegation is Republican by a 3-2 margin, but our state government basically is run by Democrats — for more than 70 years, the state GOP has always reminded us every time a prominent Democrat is indicted.

However Media Matters — a Washington D.C.-based “progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media” — says New Mexico actually is bluer than most people realize.
(For the record, the watchdogs at Media Matters were about the only ones to stand up for Richardson last January when the New York Post ran a headline saying, “N.M. Gov Throws Sombrero Into Ring.”)

The organization last month published a report called “The Progressive Majority: Why a Conservative America is a Myth,” which uses polling data from the past 20 years to come to the conclusion that many political scientists have said for years — Americans like to say they are conservative, though on certain issues they’re actually liberal.

This week, Media Matters broke down the statistics from the 2004 National Annenberg Election Survey by state.

Among the findings for New Mexico:

* 69 percent said the federal government should spend more money on providing health insurance for people who don’t have it.

* 81 percent said the federal government should help pay for health insurance for all children.

* 55 percent said the federal government should try to reduce the income differences between rich and poor Americans.

* 64 percent opposed the federal government’s banning all abortions.

* 55 percent opposed “an amendment to the U.S. Constitution saying that no state can allow two men to marry each other or two women to marry each other.” (37 percent favored such an amendment.)

*52 percent said the federal government should do more to restrict the kind of guns people can buy.

The number of New Mexico residents interviewed varied greatly in each question, as did the margins of error, which ranged from 8 to 9 percent on the health care questions to 4.5 percent on the abortion question.

Questions: The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania is highly regarded and nonpartisan. Still, some of these numbers might deserve a second look.

The gun question is the one area that initially raised the most skepticism in me. I’m not a gun-owner myself and honestly don’t have strong feelings either way on the issue. But living in New Mexico for nearly 40 years, I always assumed most other people around here think of guns as ice cream and cake. There is a 6.2 percent margin of error on that particular question though, meaning, the number could be below 50 percent.

The gay-marriage numbers don’t quite jibe with a poll done for The New Mexican and KOB-TV in 2004 by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research. That statewide poll found a slight plurality of voters — 49 percent to 43 percent — favored an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to recognize only the union between a man and a woman as a valid marriage. Mason-Dixon’s poll had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points. The Annenberg margin of error was 4.6 percent, according to a Media Matters spokesman.

But the 2004 Mason-Dixon numbers on abortion might be even stronger than those of the Annenberg survey. In our poll, only 10 percent of New Mexicans favored banning abortions completely. But a plurality (46 percent) said they favored adding tighter restrictions on abortions while 43 percent said abortion should be legal, without any government interference.

Is that any way to talk to a colonel? Last week in this column, I mentioned that I wasn’t one of the 500-plus people made a Colonel Aide-de-Camp by Secretary of State Mary Herrera on the days she’s served as acting governor, but I had been given that honor in the past. Former Gov. David Cargo and former Lt. Gov. Walter Bradley each gave me the certificate.

I received this e-mail reply from a former Bradley staffer:


“If you read the fine print on your Colonel Aide-de-camp it said something like you have to fatefully (sic) fulfill the duties of this office. Did you not realize that we made you a colonel so that if the Texans ever invaded us again that you’d be thrown out there to fight them off? We figured that members of the fourth estate were the most expendable.”

Tuesday, July 03, 2007


I'm extremely happy to hear that The Flatlanders will be performing at the Thirsty Ear Festival.

The past two times they've been in town, I missed them because I was out of state.

Here's the press release.

Southwest Roots Music presents the 8th annual
August 31 - September 2, 2007, Eaves Movie Ranch, Santa Fe
Tickets at the Lensic Box Office 505-988-1234
or online at

THE FLATLANDERS featuring Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely & Butch Hancock
JERRY FAIRES * HIGHER GROUND & many more folk, blues, Cajun, zydeco, roots rock, bluegrass & alt-country artists on multiple stages to be announced.
Plus interactive demonstrations by ROGER LANDES (Celtic Music) and MICHAEL DOUCET (Cajun Music), kids' activities, local crafts, healthy food, NM microbrews & wine, solar & sustainable energy exhibits.


An actual e-mail from a reader concerning the Joe Wilson sidebar (mysterious and racist "ebonics" reference left intact) :

From: xxxxx
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 12:32 PM
Subject: 'LAME' PLAME and JOE'the putz'WILSON

The questions you should be axsking(ebonics spelling) is why did VALERIE PLAME or her 'real' maiden name state that "...she (PLAME)wanted to marry rich and no just be a secretary at C.I.A. anymore"??? Mrs. WILSON and her husband seemed to enjoy 'outing' themselves in WHO'S WHO - don't-ch-think??? Oh sorry you are part of the NATIONAL ASSHOLE MEDIA - you don't or can't think!!!

Zyskandar A. Jaimot, Orlando, Fl.

My reply:

Thanks for your thoughtful note.

Actually I'm not part of the National Asshole Media. Just the local asshole media.

Have a good holiday,


Steve Terrell
Santa Fe New Mexican
1368 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe NM 87505


I just got this clever retort:

From: xxx
Sent: Tuesday, July 03, 2007 1:58 PM
Subject: RE: 'LAME' PLAME and JOE'the putz'WILSON

glad you admitted you are an ASSHOLE

have a great 4th hope a cracker gets up your ass!


My brother Jack Clift just posted on YouTube four videos of his Uzbek band Jadoo playing live in Tashkent.

I've only seen the first one. Great music and lovely dancers!

You can find all of Jadoo's videos HERE

Monday, July 02, 2007


This probably will be on The New Mexican's site by the morning, but just in case ...

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
July 3, 2007

Commuting the prison sentence of I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby raises questions of whether President Bush is now an active participant in obstructing justice, former Ambassador Joe Wilson told The New Mexican on Monday.

“I’m outraged,” Wilson — whose wife, Valerie Plame, was outed as a CIA agent by Bush administration figures — said in a telephone interview. “The question for President Bush is if, in commuting this sentence, are you not an accessory or participant in the obstruction of justice in ensuring that Libby will never be forced to tell the truth?”

President Bush on Monday commuted the 2 1/2-year prison sentence of Libby, former chief of staff of Vice President Dick Cheney. Libby was convicted of perjury, obstruction of justice and lying to investigators in the Plame case.

Wilson, Plame and their children moved to Santa Fe this year.

Wilson said the action on behalf of Libby means “the president can no longer hide behind an ongoing investigation. He could instruct the special prosecutor to release (Bush’s) interview with the special prosecutor and the vice president’s interview, so we can learn what is the cloud hanging over Vice President Cheney.”

Special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald has spoken of a “cloud” hanging over Cheney in the Plame scandal.

“Congress ought to conduct an investigation of whether or not the president is himself a participant in the obstruction of justice,” Wilson said.

Although outraged, Wilson said he wasn’t surprised by Bush commuting Libby’s sentence. “I’ve seen enough of this administration to realize they are capable of this,” he said.

Wilson and Plame last year sued Cheney, Libby, White House political director Karl Rove and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage. Armitage has admitted leaking Plame’s name to conservative columnist Robert Novak, who published it after confirming it with Rove. The civil suit is still pending in federal court.

In February 2002, the CIA sent Wilson to Niger to investigate a claim that Saddam Hussein had tried to buy enriched “yellowcake” uranium. He concluded the story was false. The next year, he wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times accusing the Bush administration of exaggerating the threat of Iraq to justify going to war.

Soon after, White House officials informed some journalists, including Novak, that Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA.

Several Democratic presidential candidates, including New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, decried Libby’s commutation.

“The arrogance of this administration’s disdain for the law and its belief it operates with impunity are breathtaking,” Richardson said in a news release. “Will the President also commute the sentences of others who obstructed justice and lied to grand juries, or only those who act to protect President Bush and Vice President Cheney?”


Ed Pettersen has just posted some videos of his songs on YouTube. More people should know about this guy.

The first song, "Baghdad," is on Ed's recent album The New Punk Blues.


Sunday, July 1, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
I Wanna Live by Iggy Pop
Bone Broke by The White Stripes
Psycho Daiseys by The Hentchmen
Sealings by The Yeah Yeah Yeahs
Sick of Sex by Daisy Chainsaw
I Just Might Crack by April March
Veronica Fever by The Raveonettes
The City Never Sleeps by The Fall
Rub Every Muscle by Half Japanese
Marie Douceur Marie Colere by Marie Laforet

Buried Alive by The Black Lips
Don't Tease Me by ? & The Mysterians
Coney Island Steeplechase by The Velvet Underground
Voodoo Idol by The Cramps
Oh That's Good, No, That's Bad by Sam the Sham & Pharoahs
Deputy Dawg by Great Gaylord & The Friggs
Murder in My Heart for the Judge by Moby Grape
Heart by The Remains
Animal Girl by The Standells
It's a Hard Life by The Seeds

I've Been Watching You (Move Your Sexy Body) by Parliament
Joe Tex by Buddy Miles
Chicken Heads by Bobby Rush
Soul Town by The Motherhood
Black Snake Moan by Samuel L. Jackson
Joy in Repetition by Prince
Slinky by The Dynomites featuring Charles Walker

Ghost Surfer by The Surf Lords
Goldfinger by Webb Wilder
Um Expectro Sem Escala Man or Astroman
Insense & Peppermints by The Strawberry Alarm Clock
You Wear Your Dresses Too Short by The Jefferson Airplane
Trying to Get to You by Elvis Presley
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


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