Saturday, September 29, 2007


Friday, September 28, 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


Call 428-1393 (local) or 1-866-907-5737 (toll free)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
It's Just the Whiskey Talkin' by Cornell Hurd
Winning Again by Billy Joe Shaver & Marty Stuart
Will You Visit Me on Sunday by Marty Stuart & Loretta Lynn
Dumb Blonde by Dolly Parton
Storms Never Last by Waylon Jennings with Jessi Colter
Little Rosie by Rosie Ledet
Bosco Stomp by Nonc Allie Young, Bessyl Duhon & Rodney Balfa
A Man Like Me by Roger Miller
I Didn't Mean to Be Mean by Ray Campi
Nancy Apple
Fruit of the Vine (Party Mix) by Nancy Apple
All Over Again by Susie Salley
Haunted Honky Tonk by John Lilly
Ranch of Ghosts by Bone Orchard
Any Time by Emmett Miller
Help Wanted by Nathan Moore
Footprints in the Snow by Ry Cooder
Pick a Bale of Cotton by Leadbelly

Marie Lavaux/Are You Sincere by Bobby Bare
Gun Show by Bobby Bare Jr.'s Young Criminals Starvation League
I Got Stoned and Missed It by Shel Silverstein
In the Hills of Shiloh/Me and Jimmy Rodgers/Detroit City by Bobby Bare

Burn by Bill Palmer
Old Pine Box by The Dead Brothers
Rollin' by John Egenes
Uncloudy Day by Michelle Shocked
Every 24 Hours by Peter Case with Richard Thompson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, September 28, 2007


From the Pittburgh Tribune-Review

Richardson campaigns in the Strip District
By Mike Wereschagin

Imagine my disappointment when I read the actual story.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 28, 2007

In my book, the original 1973 version of Bobby Bare Sings Lullabys, Legends, and Lies ranks right up there with Willie Nelson’s Phases and Stages, Waylon Jennings’ Honky Tonk Heroes, and Jerry Jeff Walker’s Viva Terlingua as one of the most lofty achievements of the Outlaw Era in Country Music.

Despite the fact that “Marie Lavaux” became a hit single, Bare has unjustly been forgotten through the years except by his diehard fans. But now comes a righteous rerelease of Lullabys in an expanded two-disc version. It’s full of “tales about murders and blueberry pie,” as Bare sings on the title cut, and was recorded live in the studio before an audience that included music cronies like Waylon and Mickey Newbury.

Bare’s gentle, drawling baritone — whether he’s singing or talking the lyrics — is responsible for much of the charm on these records. He’s like a wizened old cowboy telling tall tales with a wink in his eye. The humor usually is gentle, though a listener never knows when he might say something outrageous. And while the stories mostly are funny, very few are told just for laughs.

Bare probably would be the first to say that the late songwriter Shel Silverstein deserves equal credit here. Famous for writing novelty songs like “A Boy Named Sue,” “The Unicorn,” and “Cover of the Rolling Stone,” as well as a number of bestselling children’s books, Silverstein also wrote or co-wrote a batch of great tunes for Bare.

BOBBY BARE 3-17-06 There’s “Paul,” an irreverent look at the mythical lumberjack that transforms Bunyan from a cartoonish giant into a live, sweaty human. Then there’s “The Winner,” the hilarious story of a veteran barroom scrapper giving hard-won advice to a young challenger full of liquor and testosterone.

These and other songs are funny. But Shel and Bobby could get serious, too. “In the Hills of Shiloh,” is the tale of a woman whose husband apparently died in the Civil War. “Have you heard her mournful cries in the hills of Shiloh?/Have you seen her haunted eyes in the hills of Shiloh?” A twist at the end of the story makes the song even more poignant.

The jewel in this crown is “Rosalie’s Good Eats Café,” an eight-minute portrait of the people who populate an all-night diner. It’s funny — I still laugh out loud at the verse about the price the short-on-cash hippie might have to pay for his burger and coffee — but it’s an all-too-real depiction of a microcosm of America. There’s a waitress painting her nails; a sad couple who barely speak to one another; a pilfering cook who once was a rodeo star; a pregnant girl who can’t find the father of her child; insomniacs, winos, lost souls, losers, and dreamers. The onions fry, the neon flickers, the jukebox provides the soundtrack. You can almost imagine Bare and Silverstein at a table in the back, drinking endless cups of coffee while taking all of it in, laughing at folks mainly, but shedding an occasional tear for them as well.

The one clunker here is the ultrasappy, sentimental “Daddy What If.” Let’s just say that Bobby Bare Jr. apparently has forgiven his dad for making him sing this cornball duet, so I guess we can, too. Actually, hearing Bare Sr.’s introduction, laughing at how one day young Bobby (now an alt-country star in his own right) would be embarrassed by this song,I feel better about it.

Disc one of this new version is the original album, while disc two is a collection of other Silverstein songs Bare has recorded through the years — including the notorious “Quaaludes Again,” a so-so country version of “Sylvia’s Mother,” “This Guitar Is for Sale” (a waltz that would have been lethal in the hands of Waylon Jennings), and the anthemic “Tequila Sheila.” As a whole, these don’t come close to the songs on the original Lullabys, Legends, and Lies, but it’s great for those whose appetites are whetted by disc one.

Also recommended:

*Everybody’s Brother
and Storyteller: Live at the Bluebird by Billy Joe Shaver. Everybody’s Brother, produced by Johnny Cash’s son, John Carter Cash, is Shaver’s big guest-star album, featuring spots by Kris Kristofferson, John Anderson, Marty Stuart, Native American singer Bill Miller, and even a duet with the producer’s late pappy.

Perhaps it’s a calculated shot to win a wider and more mainstream audience for the 68-year-old singer. If so, more power to him. Not a crumb of Shaver’s roadhouse honky-tonk integrity has been sacrificed.

The songs here — mostof them original religious tunes — are as strong as ever. Shaver preaches, but he never sounds pious. The spiritual truths he tries to impart sound hard won. And he’s very capable of devilish humor. “If you don’t love Jesus, go to hell,” goes the refrain of one song.

As for the just-released 1992 live album, it’s an acoustic performance with Shaver’s late son, Eddie. Most of Billy Joe’s greatest hits are here: “Old Chunk of Coal,” “Honky Tonk Heroes,” “Georgia on a Fast Train,” and “Black Rose.” But personally, I enjoy Billy Joe best with a full band. Do yourself a favor and seek out Unshaven: Live at Smith’s Olde Bar, a 1995 CD (with Eddie on electric guitar) that includes most of the songs on the Bluebird album.

*Compadres: An Anthology of Duets by Marty Stuart. Marty is the kind of guy you’d want to have on just about any country record you’d want to make. He’s a good singer, an excellent instrumentalist, and, in general, has impeccable tastes.
MARTY STUART& The Fabulous Superlatives SXSW 2006
Here he shares songs with other country singers — Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Earle. And there are a few tunes from the realms of blues and soul sung with B.B. King, the Staple Singers, and Mavis Staples on her own.

Most of these have been released before, though previously unavailable songs include Loretta Lynn’s powerful prison tune “Will You Visit Me on Sunday” and the Old Crow Medicine Show’s crazy bluegrassy rendition of The Who’s “I Can See For Miles.”

One real treat is a 1974 recording of a teenage Stuart playing a mandolin solo with his mentor Lester Flatt. Marty flies on the old Bill Monroe instrumental “de.” Funny thing is, Stuart seems just as enthusiastic about music now as he did back then.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


My analysis of Gov. Richardson's performance at last night's debate at Dartmouth is HERE.

No lethal slip-ups on his part, but no "home runs" either. As usual his time was limited and he was overshadowed by the top three, but at the debate and in most of the coverage I've seen so far.

(The photo here is one I took at an earlier debate in New Hampshire.)


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

Republican spokesmen this week were quick to downplay the SurveyUSA poll that showed U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici’s approval rating sinking to historic lows. But a New Mexico pollster said Tuesday that Domenici supporters shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss the poll.

The poll, conducted last week of 600 New Mexicans, showed a drop of 11 percent in one month and 27 points in the past 10 months for the state’s senior senator, who faces re-election last year.

“This is so far removed from our own professional survey research it verges on ludicrous,” Domenici spokesman Chris Gallegos said. (Of course, the senator’s internal polling has not been made public.)

State GOP spokesman Scott Darnell was equally adamant. He emailed me a couple of recent examples in which SurveyUSA showed “winners” of Congressional races who later turned out to be losers.

Albuquerque pollster Brian Sanderoff said he has some real qualms about SurveyUSA’s data-collection methods. The company uses automated calls instead of live human interviews. The poll sample consists of “adult residents” — not likely voters or even registered voters.

But, Sanderoff said, “I’ve got quibbles with their methodology, but SurveyUSA has a pretty good track record.”

Sanderoff, president of New Mexico Research & Polling, Inc., said he recently took it upon himself to study SurveyUSA polls from the last election around the country. “They were usually pretty close,” he said.

Based in New York, SurveyUSA is the only company that performs monthly tracking polls in all 50 states on U.S. senators, governors and the president. In New Mexico the tracking polls are sponsored by KOB-TV.

It might be questioned whether Domenici’s approval rating is quite as low as 41 percent, Sanderoff said. “When you see a significant drop like that in one month it makes you think twice.”

But, he said that SurveyUSA uses the same method every month, so even if 41 percent isn’t the correct number, it shows a trend that should concern Domenici.

Sanderoff said he believes the Iraq War is the main cause of Domenici’s diminishing approval numbers. A national anti-war group purchased television and radio ads targeting Domenici’s support of the war and President Bush.

“This is the first election in which Domenici’s been tied to the war,” Sanderoff said. “The last time he ran was in 2002.”

Bad polls: Darnell, when asked about the Domenici poll Tuesday night said that if you believed SurveyUSA, Patricia Madrid would be in Congress today, not Heather Wilson.

Indeed in a poll on the eve of last year’s general election, Survey USA showed Madrid leading Wilson by two percentage points. Wilson went on to win that race by less than 900 votes.

But the actual results came well within the poll’s 3.8 percent margin of error.

Another race Darnell point to was a run-off in a special Congressional election in Texas last year, where SurveyUSA just two days before the election showed incumbent Republican Henry Bonilla beating Democratic challenger Ciro Rodriguez 51 percent to 47 percent. But when the votes were counted, Rodriguez clobbered Bonilla by a nine-point margin — way outside the poll’s 4.3 percent margin of error.

“They’ve had a few bad calls in some races,” Sanderoff said. “We all have.” He noted his own WIlson/Madrid poll also showed Madrid ahead.

“But approval numbers are far easier to predict than elections,” Sanderoff said. Close elections, he said often are determined by who has the best organization and get-out-the-vote effort and by uncontrollable external circumstances, such as bad weather.

Taking credit: One announced Democratic candidate for Domenici’s job had an immediate public reaction to the poll. In an e-mail statement Jim Hannan of Santa Fe basically took credit for the poll plunge.

It's clear that my campaign is having an effect. When I started the race in March, Pete was at 68 percent. Now he's at 41 percent.” Hannan wrote. “Since George W. Bush is at about 25 percent, and Pete has supported Bush on everything, it's clear that his numbers will continue to decline.”

Actually Domenici was at 68 percent last November. In March, after the U.S. Attorney scandal broke, Domenici’s approval rating had gone down to 57 percent. And while Hannan is right that Bush’s numbers are lower than Domenici’s, SurveyUSA’s latest New Mexico poll on the president shows Bush’s approval rating at 34 percent.

Please pass the elephant butter: A curious news release came out of the lieutenant governor’s office this week, and I’m betting a computer spellcheck program is the culprit.

An announcement of Lt. Gov. Diane Denish meeting with leaders in southern New Mexico communities stated, “The Dona Ana Colonias Leadership has been concerned about the Helena Chemical Plant, economic and residential leadership and a surface-water treatment facility it is doing with the Elephant Butter Irrigation District.”

Maybe it’s time to butter up the folks at Elephant Butte.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


My story about U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici's huge drop in the SurveyUSA tracking poll can be found HERE.

The poll itself is HERE and you can see Domenici's numbers since May 2005 HERE.

There are legit questions about automated polling and you can never put too much stock in a single poll. But this could be an indicator of a very interesting election ahead.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


I've learned that my good friends at the Santa Fe Reporter will include my water bill in what I guess is an annual report on water usage in Santa Fe.

I'm not sure if I'll be portrayed as a responsible citizen or an evil water hog. I might have brought this on myself by feigning being hurt I wasn't included last year when the Reporter published my former colleague (now Journal North editor) Mark Oswald's water bill and not mine.

If it's anybody's business, I pay about $40 a month for my water, sewage and garbage bill. It went up a little bit this year because I planted a tree in my back yard. I also water flowers in two pots in my tiny front yard and ever so often the other plants in the front. I don't have a lawn. I take daily showers, wash my clothes and dishes. Sometimes I make spaghetti, which requires me to boil water.

That's the news.

UPDATE: (9-26-07) Looks like the SFR water story didn't run this week. Oh well, check it next week to get to the truth about my water bill.

Monday, September 24, 2007


Sunday, September 23, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

email me during the show!

Call 428-1393 (local) or 1-866-907-5737 (toll free)

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
All Been Planned by Wayne Kramer & David Was
Thirsty and Miserable by Black Flag
Six Pack by the Dirty Projectors
Rain on Down by Drywall
The Idiot Kings by Soul Coughing
Free Radicals by The Flaming Lips
Woly Bully by The Butthole Surfers
Dumb All Over by Frank Zappa

Livin' in My Skin by The Pretty Things
Gypsy Plays His Drums by The Seeds
Sweet Potato by The Gore Gore Girls
A Certain Guy by Mary Weiss
I Saw a Ghost (Lean) by The Black Lips
Steady with Betty by The A-Bones
Goodbye My Roller Girl by Mummy the Peep Show
Harem in Tuscany by Gogol Bordello
The Penalty by Beirut

Hico Killer by John Zorn with Albert Collins
Bo Meets the Monster by Bo Diddley
Shining Pains by Soel
Kickback by George Clinton
To the Left to the Right by T-Model Ford & Big Oomp
Thunderbird (Part 2) by Ravi Harris & The Prophets
Grinnin' in Your Face by James Blood Ulmer

Shadow Government by They Might Be Giants
Humanoid Boogie by Bonzo Dog Band
Sea of Sounds by Sun Ra
Barton Fink by Kazik
I Trained Her to Love Me by Nick Lowe
Go Home Girl by Frank Black & Gary U.S. Bonds
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, September 22, 2007


Friday, September 21, 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
Tennessee Valentine by Amy LaVere
Rolling Stone by Billy Joe Shaver
Honky Tonk Lifestyle by Cornell Hurd
Cathead Biscuits & Gravy by Rob McNurlin & Nancy Apple
Happy Birthday
Chariot Wheels
You're the Reason
Sun Will Always Shine
Sings With Me
Angel Cried
Moonlight Over Memphis
Should Have Lied About That (recorded version)
Fruit of the Vine

Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers
Twisted by Pink Filth
Sinners & Saints by George Jones
House of Shame by Porter Wagoner
Lullabys, Legends & Lies by Bobby Bare
Good BBQ by The Riptones
Double Line by Heavy Trash
It Ain't Me by Ray Campi
Tennessee Woman by Charlie Musselwhite

Leonard Cohen's Day Job by The Austin Lounge Lizards
Closing Time by Leonard Cohen
Dying Crapshooters Blues by Michael Hurley
The Hope and The Anchor by The Mekons
Farmer's Blues by Marty Stuart & Merle Haggard
Million Dollar Bail 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, September 21, 2007


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 21, 2007

Four years after his death, Johnny Cash is still rightfully being honored for his music. But his younger devotees might not be aware of his TV career in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Cash had a weekly variety show, broadcast live from the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, which was the home of the Grand Ole Opry. Johnny would come out and sing songs along with his road troupe — wife June Carter Cash, Mother Maybelle Carter and the Carter Sisters, the Statler Brothers, Carl Perkins — and guest acts.

By the mid-’70s, the variety-show format all but sank under the weight of raw tackiness — The Sonny and Cher Show, Donnie and Marie, The Captain and Tennille — and the form never recovered.

But Johnny’s show was an exception; it featured some of the finest musicians — not only in country music but in rock, folk, and soul. Examples include Neil Young, Neil Diamond, Tammy Wynette, Stevie Wonder, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Ray Charles, George Jones, Derek & the Dominos, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis, Conway Twitty, and The Everly Brothers (with their dad, Ike Everly).

It was entertainment. But it was more.

“While a war in Vietnam divided America, a revolution on television brought us all back together,” a narrator intones at the beginning of the new two-disc DVD The Best of the Johnny Cash TV Show: 1969-1971, released on Sept. 18. “It was a time when reality TV meant TV that was real.”

Indeed, it was. Cash used his 30-minute weekly show to bridge generational, cultural, and racial divides in a nonthreatening way during a turbulent time. Today it wouldn’t seem that radical or unusual to see a country singer like Cash team with a “folk rocker” like Bob Dylan.

But believe me, in 1969 a large number of country fans equated rock musicians with dope-smoking, war-protesting, hippie weirdos (I can’t imagine why) — and rock fans equated country musicians with racist redneck warmongers. So it was a big deal when Dylan was the guest star on Cash’s first episode. Dylan sang a countryish tune called “I Threw It All Away,” then joined Cash for a duet on “Girl From the North Country,” (a song that the two had recorded for Dylan’s Nashville Skyline, which had only recently been released when the show aired).

One of the finest performances here is Cash singing “Blue Yodel No. 9” with Louis Armstrong playing trumpet beside him. This was a conscious re-creation of the time Armstrong made a recording with country-music forefather Jimmie Rodgers in 1930. Cash recognized how remarkable the Satchmo/Singing Brakeman team-up was — an underrecognized and amazingly daring milestone of racial integration during the terrible era of Jim Crow. Singing the song with Armstrong on television was a sweet way to reaffirm the importance of that moment in American music history.

Cash’s choice of politically diverse guests reflected his desire to heal a divided nation. He had on fellow country star Merle Haggard, who at the time was known for his hippie-bashing hits “Okie From Muskogee” and “The Fightin’ Side of Me.”

But Cash also welcomed Pete Seeger. A few years earlier, Seeger had been forbidden to play on the network folk-music show Hootenanny because of his indictment for contempt of Congress — he refused to discuss his political affiliations during the McCarthy-era witch hunts of the ’50s. Neither Haggard nor Seeger sang political songs on the show (and no, they didn’t appear together, which would have been extremely revolutionary TV). But Cash wasn’t out to agitate. His goal was to find common ground.

Still, Cash was not above preaching his social gospel. This DVD set includes a segment about the mistreatment of American Indians, including the song “As Long as the Grass Shall Grow,” a tune from Cash’s concept album about Indians, Bitter Tears.

Grainy film segments show Cash out among long-haired college students, talking honestly about issues like drugs. One kid asked whether there was a problem with drugs in the music industry. “Well, there was at this end of the music industry,” Cash says before telling of “courting death” with his own drug intake in earlier days. On the DVD, this segment is followed immediately by Neil Young singing “The Needle and the Damage Done.”

And there is some literal preaching too, with Cash talking unabashedly about his love for Jesus and singing gospel tunes like “Daddy Sang Bass.”

But, of course, the Cash show was not all social commentary. Mostly, it was just plenty of great music and honest television. Cash sings “Polk Salad Annie” with Tony Joe White and a young, clean-shaven Waylon Jennings sings Chuck Berry’s “Brown Eyed Handsome Man.”

This was live TV, so the goofs weren’t edited out. Joni Mitchell blows the lyrics of “Long Black Veil,” but maintains her composure like a pro. Cash veers off course toward the end of “Man in Black” — which was the first time he sang the song in public — singing the end of one verse as if it were the end of the song, then catching himself and going on. But that doesn’t detract from the emotional punch of the tune.

My only complaint with this compilation is that the show is interrupted just a little too frequently by people like Kris Kristofferson and Cash’s son talking about how important, groundbreaking, and special the show was. Not that it isn’t true, it’s just that the footage itself makes a better case.

The Santa Fe Opry: Country music as the good Lord and Johnny Cash intended it to sound, with special guest Nancy Apple, all the way from Memphis: 10 p.m. Friday, Sept. 21, on KSFR-FM 90.7 FM and 101.1 FM. Terrell’s Sound World, free-form weirdo radio, same time, same station, this Sunday night, Sept 23.

Blog Bonus: Here's a Youtube of the cash/Satchmo duet that I posted here a few months ago. (It looks and sounds a lot better on the DVD, but this will give you an idea.)

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Thanks to Chuck for alerting me to this nine-minute "documentary teaser" on Beatle Bob, the celebrated dancing fool -- and I mean that only in the nicest way -- of St. Louis.

He's usually at South by Southwest in Austin. But I don't think he's ever been to New Mexico.

This video doesn't really dig deep into Beatle Bob's personal life or anything. But apparently there's a full-fledged documentary by Jenni Serling in the works.

So for now, just be teased. Check out the testimony by Mojo Nixon at the end of the video.

BEATLE BOB JOINS THE WACO BROS. SXSW 06Beatle Bob joins the Waco Brothers, South by Southwest 2006


My former colleague T.J. Sullivan wrote this impressive blog piece after tripping over some breathless hyperbole in Time Magazine about an effort to preserve Bukowski's East Hollywood bungalow. Apparently the phrase "cultural earthquake" gave him the same acid reflux I get when some dimwit hype peddler declares some rock star a "legend."

Really? A place in which Bukowski flopped and farted on a regular basis is the epicenter of a cultural quake that continues to rock LA's literary landscape? What magnitude are we talking?
The Time article, one you pull yorself out of the rubble of the earthquake, really isn't bad. But, I think Bukowski would have appreciated T.J.'s piece.


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

If you think you’ve been seeing a lot of Lt. Gov. Diane Denish lately, maybe you’re watching too much late-night television.

Denish, like several New Mexico politicians before her, frequently pops up in public service announcements — those noncommercial commercials that television stations run to fulfill their “public service” requirements.

A Denish spokeswoman, Kate Nelson, insists these have nothing to do with the fact the lieutenant governor is running for governor in 2010.

Denish taped a spot about adoption for the state Children Youth and Families Department. There’s one for Insure New Mexico — a task force created by Gov. Bill Richardson and chaired by Denish that has studied ways to increase the number of people with health insurance in the state.

In the past, she has appeared in at least two PSAs for the state Department of Transportation through the New Mexico Broadcasters Association, aimed at discouraging underage drinking, plus another DOT spot aimed at first-time drunken-driving offenders.

Plus, Nelson said, Denish has lent her voice to a few radio spots for various causes, including a recent one plugging an event for an organization concerned with breast cancer.

A few television PSAs are still in the can. Nelson said the state Taxation and Revenue Department asked Denish to tape some spots to inform people about a new driver’s license issuance process that won’t be unveiled until the spring.

All of this face time on television screens might bring back memories of other state officials — former Secretary of State Rebecca Vigil-Giron, former Attorney General Patricia Madrid and Land Commissioner Pat Lyons, all of whom appeared in PSAs in recent years to plug various programs or causes. Critics charged the officials were using taxpayer money to promote their own careers by building their name recognition — a charge all three vehemently denied.
As does Denish.

“She already has name recognition,” Nelson said. “That’s one reason why these agencies ask her to do these.”

Denish doesn’t accept every invitation to make a public service announcement, Nelson said. “Just the issues she’s personally interested in.”

If PSAs become an issue for Denish in the 2010 race, she won’t be alone. Earlier this year The Albuquerque Tribune reported that Albuquerque Mayor Martin Chávez — a probable primary opponent for Denish — did the voice-over for a city-produced 30-minute documentary called Shaping the Future: Albuquerque’s Economic Success, which some suggested was a thinly disguised campaign ad. (To which Chávez protested, in the Tribune in July, “I’m not a candidate for anything.”)

Corruption list: The three Republican members of New Mexico’s congressional delegation made a nonprofit organization’s list of what it considers the 22 most corrupt members of Congress.

U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici and U.S. Reps. Heather Wilson and Steve Pearce were included in the third annual “Beyond DeLay” report by a Washington, D.C., group called Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, or CREW.

Domenici and Wilson were included for making phone calls to former U.S. Attorney David Iglesias — calls that Iglesias interpreted as pressure to bring corruption charges against a prominent Democrat, former state Sen. Manny Aragon of Albuquerque, before the 2006 election. This allegedly would have helped Wilson in her close re-election contest with Madrid. (Aragon eventually was charged, earlier this year, with several felony counts.) Both Domenici and Wilson repeatedly have denied they tried to pressure Iglesias.

CREW earlier this year filed complaints against Domenici and Wilson over the Iglesias matter.

As for Pearce, CREW alleges the congressman from Southern New Mexico failed to report the 2003 sale of the assets of Lea Fishing Tools Inc., of which he was president, on his financial disclosure statements.

CREW also criticized Pearce for backing a plan to open Southern New Mexico’s Otero Mesa to oil-and-gas drilling while taking more than $78,000 in campaign contributions from the Yates family — which is involved in the oil business and traditionally is a big GOP contributor in the state.

A Pearce spokesman released a statement that said: “They don’t have their facts correct. Rep. Pearce filed an accurate financial disclosure statement and all of Mr. Pearce’s assets and transactions were correctly reported as law required. There has been no violation of the Ethics in Government Act and Mr. Pearce stands by the documents on record. ... It is appalling that a group which claims to promote ethics and accountability would publish outright lies.”

Investigation heating up?: An “independent journalism” Web site called Truthout reported Wednesday that the Senate Ethics committee investigation of Domenici over the Iglesias case is heating up.

“According to some senior staffers working for lawmakers who sit on the Ethics Committee, the six-month preliminary investigation into Domenici has turned up enough evidence to open a formal, public investigation into the New Mexico senator,” the Web site says.

However, Truthout said it’s not clear whether a formal investigation will be filed.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

eMusic & Epitaph

Soon after posting my past month's eMusic downloads, I came across this story saying that the Epitaph label -- whose subsidiaries include Anti (home of Tom Waits, Neko Case, Bettye LaVette and others) -- is not renewing its contract with eMusic.

The reason is that eMusic sells its downloads for about a third of the price charged by iTunes and other services. (iTunes charges 99 cents per song, plus tax, while the average price for the subscription-based eMusic is closer to 30 cents. Those like me who were members before the latest price increase were grandfathered in at the old price, so I'm paying about 22 cents per download.)

On first glance that might make sense for Epitaph and its artists. Who wouldn't want to make three or four times as much for a song?

However, eMusic president David Pakman makes an interesting case.

At a time when the music industry is in such steep decline, our research and experience shows us that consumers are still willing to buy music, provided the value is right. And 99 cents a song is not an acceptable price point for all consumers. That’s one reason why eMusic exists and has been so successful; those consumers who are willing to spend more on music (provided the price is right) do so with us. (eMusic subscribers) spend more than 14 times as much as the average iTunes customer at a time when per capita spending on all music and audio is under $24. (eMusic subscribers) buy twenty times more music than the average iTunes customer.

We know that consumers seeking good value don’t have to buy CDs for $16 or buy downloads for $1 each. They simply go to Amazon and eBay and buy used Epitaph CDs for $3 each. When consumers buy used CDs, as you know, the artist and label don’t get paid at all. Some analysts have estimated that as much as 30% of Amazon’s music business comes from selling used CDs. With facts like these, it’s hard to argue that we, as an industry, can control the price of music. You, the consumers, make that decision and you are telling us what we need to know — you’ll buy more if you can pay less.
Pakman is lowballing the price of most used CDs, but what he says is basically true. Most of us only have a certain amount we can spend per month on music. If eMusic went away I wouldn't have much more than my $20 a month to spend on downloads. I'd probably spend it on used CDs. I've probably spent less than $10 on iTunes since they opened the thing.

I've said it before, but one thing I like about eMusic is the fact that because you have to download your allotment before the end of your month, it encourages you to experiment. I've ended up with some great tunes I otherwise would not have purchase -- and not very much bad stuff.

I'm glad Pakman is standing pat. And I hope Epitaph eventually changes its mind.

UPDATE: 9-20-07 I noticed that Fat Possum is still on eMusic, so I removed the reference to the label in the original version of this post.


* Raw and Alive: The Seeds in Concert. This was recorded a couple of years after their mid '60s short-lived heyday, but Sky Saxon and his band sound as gloriously seedy as ever. Lots of snarling fuzztone and proto psychedelic Farfisa.

Their hits are here -- "Pushin' Too Hard," "Can't Seem to Make You Mine." There's a 9-minute "Up in Her Room" in which they repeat those Louie-Louie chords over and over, proudly basking in the tease and the sleaze. They push even harder into the astral plane with "Gypsy Played His Drums," which, thankfully, isn't a drum solo. The Seeds still sound wild and vital. Like the overwrough DJ ("Humble Harv") says in his introduction, they'll "make your feet move and your head spin."

*Live In London - The BBC Recordings 1972 - 1973 by Judee Sill. Just a few years ago you couldn't find hardly anything about Judee on the Internet. There even was dispute about when she actually died. (It was 1979 -- a goddamned heroin overdose.)

But since the Rhino Handmade releases of her two albums, especially the immortal Heartfood, a few years ago, more and more people are being initiated into the strange and alluring world of Judee's music. Last year Warner's re-released both the albums and various outtakes and alternate versions as Complete Asylum Recordings (also released under the title Abracadabra: Asylum Years.) And the year before, Water Records released Dreams Come True, consisting of recordings for her never-completed third album, plus other stray demos and live tapes.

Now comes a live album, also released by Water. These were recorded during a British tour. It's stripped-down solo versions of songs from Judee Sill and Heartfood. If you haven't heard those albums, get them first to hear the songs as God, or at least Judee, intended them to be remembered. But if you are already a Sill fan, you'll want this record. While I prefer Heartfood's full-blown version of "The Donor," the solo version here also will infest your soul.

*Petey Wheatstraw - The Devil's Son in Law by Rudy Ray Moore (actually, Nat Dove & The Devils). When the Allmusic Guide says to "Avoid at all costs" a CD and I've kind of liked the audio clips I've heard from it, I have to take that as a challenge. Sure the theme song is a super disco-y, but hell ... This soundtrack is tons of fun. I just wish more old bluesmen got the Blaxploitation treatment. "They say Mississippi John Hurt is one bad mother ... HUSH Yo' MOUTH!" (In reality, this movie apparently has nothing to do with the actual bluesman Peetie Wheatstraw, whose real name was William Bunch. Bunch took his stage name from an African American legend of "the Devil's Son-in-law." ) Plus I might want to adopt the blues-soaked "Steve's Den" as some kind of theme song. Now I've gotta Netflix the movie.

*Foot Hill Stomp by Richard Johnston. Though not as powerful as his live performance (I just saw him earlier this month at the Thirsty Ear Festival in Santa Fe), this record by the one-man band from Beale Street, still is a hoot.

This album is loaded with tunes by R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough. This might be the greatest Fat Possum album that's not on Fat Possum.

Here's a true case of saving the best til the last: The late Jessie Mae Hemphill joins Johnston on the final track "Chicken and Gravy."

*Good Bad Not Evil by The Black Lips. This Georgia band proudly is carrying the Nuggets torch. I first became acquainted with them earlier this year when I stumbled across Los Valientes Del Mondo Nuevo, a live album they recorded in a Tijuana nightclub.

This new one is a studio effort and it seems more solid, while not losing a bit of that Tijuana spirit. The BLs step back from their Count Five/Seeds/Swingin' Medallion fuzztone bop for a moment and actually play some decent cowpunk on the twisted country spoof "How Do You Tell A Child That Someone Has Died."

*Conversations by Archie Shepp & Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio. This seven-song 1999 effort teams saxmaster Shepp with drummer El'Zabar's group (Ari Brown on piano and a little sax and bassist Malachi Favors Maghostut.)

Songs like "Revelations" and the opening Conversations 1" remind me of John Coltrane's classic quartet, the music going from brooding to celebratory. There's also some downhome vocals on "Big Fred" (the album is dedicated to the late bassist Fred Hopkins) and "Brother Malcolm," a joyful ode to Mr. X.

*Spike's Choice: The Desco Funk 45' Collection by various artists. Here's some fine samples of one of those soul revivals I wrote about a few weeks ago. I already had the four Lee Fields tracks. Besides Fields, a proud disciple of James Brown, a belter named Sharon Jones is one of the main draws to this album. She's got six tracks here, including the funky "Hook And Sling Meets The Funky Superfly (Part 1)."

The biggest surprise is Ravi Harris & The Prophets. The lead instrument here is the sitar. East Indian music never sounded so funky!

PLUS ...

* Keeper of the Secret - A Sampler of Dionysus Records Empire . This is a compilation from a cool little indie label based in Burbank that records garage, punk, soul, exotica, and even country. Nothing that has made me crave more, at least so far. (Except maybe the loopy "How to Keep Your Husband Happy" by The Comopolitans, which has a nice early B-52s sound). But it's great to be able to check out this stuff for free.

* African Roots by Various Artists - Frochot Music Yes, another FREE African Compilation from eMusic -- at least it was free earlier this month. Some of these sound almost like field recordings rather than the rock 'n' soul-soaked sounds of modern African dance music. There's lots of the kora and other acoustic instruments. The only name I recognize here is Saif Keita from Mali, who sings a mournful tune called "Mono." Things get more interesting with Bembeya Jazz National from Guinea in the early 1960s. Their song "Wisky Soda" sounds almost like early ska.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


They couldn't get Shatner, and Jack Webb is dead.

But Santa Fe's Golden Throats show of the year will be this Friday night when The Kevin Costner Band plays a free concert at the Rodeo Grounds.

That's not quite as cool as Nancy Apple appearing live on The Santa Fe Opry later Friday night, (10 p.m., KSFR 101.1 FM), but, hey, it's a free show.

Here's a clip of KC giving William Shatner a run for his money

Updated 4-25-17. Original Youtube video deleted.

Monday, September 17, 2007


Sunday, September 16, 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
The Beat Goes On by The Pretty Things
Loaded Heart by The Gore Gore Girls
Johnny's Got a Gun by Dead Moon
Slime and Oxygen by The Black Lips
Jesus Loves a Jezebel by Goshen
You Better Believe by The Oblivians
When You Touch me by The Reigning Sound
Downtown by Petula's Joy Boys

Sodom & Gomorrah by The Village People
People Who Died by The Jim Carrol Band
Lover's Lane by The Dirty Novels
Carry Me Home by The Hentchmen
Roadhouse Blues by The Doors
Misinformed by Soul Coughing
Shakin' All Over by Lolita #18
Nothin' Shakin' by Linda Gail Lewis

(All songs by The Mekons)

Give Us Wine or Money
The Flame That Killed John Wayne
Whiskey Sex Shack
The Ballad of Sally
Perfect Mirror
Cast No Shadow (by The Mekons with Kelly Hogan, Neko Case & Edith Frost)

Chelsea Rodgers by Prince
Mr. Grieves by TV on the Radio
Patriot's Heart by American Music Club
The Phoenix by Judee Sill
The House Where Nobody Lives by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, September 16, 2007


It probably was only a matter of time, but it's official. I'm a roller derby fan!

We went Saturday to the Duke City Derby in Albuquerque, where the Doomsdames kept their perfect record for the season, defeating the Hobots (who, naturally I was rooting for.)

It's a fast-paced game that takes awhile to comprehend and keep track of the scoring, etc. But about halfway through the first period I started catching on.

Though the Hobots lost, their main jammer, Blastoff Betty seemed to be the best athlete there. (She was so fast I never got a decent photo of her. She's not in the picture above.)

Speaking of photos, check my FLICKR page.

After the roller derby, we went to the State Fair, where we discovered a new band: Petula's Joy Boys:

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Saturday, September 15, 2007


Legislative leaders, who met Friday to hear representatives of the National Conference of State Legislators talk about ethics reform bills, took a bold stand against pressure from special interest groups.

However, the only "special interests" they tackled were "citizen advocacy groups" and "the media," who have "stirred up cynicism" to pressure the Legislature to pass ethics bills.

Quote of the day was by Senate majority Leader Michael Sanchez: “Are we passing legislation because of demands of a certain interest group? Are we being ethical passing this ethics legislation if we’re passing these bills we don’t believe in because we’re being pressured by these special interest groups?”

For this and other philiosopical paradoxes, see my story in today's New Mexican.


Friday, September 14, 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
Chicken Plucker by Charlie Feathers
Way Out by Heavy Trash
Muleskinner Blues by Scott H. Biram
That's No Way to Get Along by Richard Johnston
One Man Against the World (Part 1) by John Schooley
Bad Habit ot Two by Ronnie Dawson
Polk Salad Annie by Tony Joe White
Parallel Bars by Robbie Fulks with Kelly Willis

Slide Me Some Sugar by Nancy Apple
Goodbye Marie by The Gear Daddies
Qualudes Again by Bobby Bare
Vagabond Motel by Trailer Bride
When the Whiskey Turns to Tears by Cornell Hurd
I'm Happy by Hasil Adkins
When The Hammer Came Down by House of Freaks
When Leon Spinx Moved Into Town by Califone
Take Me Back to Tulsa by Merle Haggard

Perfect Mirror by The Mekons
The Fame of Lofty Deeds by Jon Langford
Worried Mind by Johnny Dowd
The Great Hank by Robert Earl Keen
I Saw the Light by The The
Window Shopping by Hank Williams
Country Bumpkin by Cal Smith
Accidently on Purpose by Johnny Paycheck

Winning Again by Billy Joe Shaver with Marty Stuart
Payday Blues by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Hog of the Forsaken by Michael Hurley
Lonely Just Like Me by John Prine
Cheap Watch by Freakwater
I've Got a Tender Heart by Eleni Mandell
Broken Butterflies by Lucinda Williams
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, September 14, 2007


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

Natural, the new album by The Mekons, is a deceptively subdued effort marking the 30th anniversary of these punk-rock survivors. If the band was getting back to its roots with the previous effort, 2004’s Punk Rock — on which The Mekons covered old songs by The Mekons — on the new one, the band seems to be exploring even deeper roots.

With songs written following a retreat at an old farmhouse in the remote English countryside, the lyrics and much of the music suggest a primordial journey back to ancient, pastoral Britain — the days of pagan joy when country folk danced around old stone circles and talked to mysterious birds.

“The twisted trees sing/Dark, dark, dark/Broken branches hidden/Far down below,” Mekon Tom Greenhalgh moans on the dirgelike first song.
“We wait for fire/We used to dance/Around the stone head/It used to sing to us,” Jon Langford sings on “Perfect Mirror,” which, if you didn’t pay attention to the lyrics, would sound like a spooky cowboy song.

“Dance the toes right off your feet/Making up the story as you go/The dancers are all dead we know/Behind the white stone door,” Sally Timms sings in “White Stone Door,” a lilting tune featuring an African kalimba.

The Mekons’ Web site has a section of notes on the album, with references to The Golden Bough, Yeats, the I Ching, the Talmud, and Goya.

You can almost imagine getting lost in the soft, seductive, sometimes meandering sounds, gradually realizing that, all along, the members of the band have been busy constructing a giant wicker man — and you’re inside waiting for the burning.
Fewer, but bluer Mekons

“Ignore the human sacrifice/Burning, in the desert burning/Take no notice take no care/Burning, in the desert burning,” go the chantlike lyrics of “Burning in the Desert Burning.”

But the song isn’t really a description of some ancient druidic rite. There are references here that have modern implications. “Martyrs queuing up for heaven/Burning, in the desert burning/Children queuing up for hell/Burning, in the desert burning.”

Sometimes it seems that this record is set in some post-apocalyptic society populated by rural gangs of outlaws. Paste magazine quoted Timms describing Natural as “campfire recordings in the nuclear winter.”

“The children have been told to kill/And taught to pray for plenty/And on the earth where blood is spilt/The few must feed the many,” Greenhalgh and Langford sing on “Give Me Wine or Money.”

Natural may be hard to warm up to for Mekons fans longing for rousing rockers like “Thee Olde Trip to Jerusalem,” “Memphis, Egypt,” or “The Flame That Killed John Wayne.” But there are some great moments here.

With its plunking banjo and honking harmonica, “Give Me Wine or Money” shows that The Mekons, while dabbling in a wide variety of styles, remain the greatest punk-country band. And “The Hope and The Anchor,” thanks to Timms’ breathy, angelic vocals and Susie Honeyman’s fiddle, is one of the prettiest tunes The Mekons have ever done.

This is the perfect album when you feel like dancing with ghosts.

Also recommended:
* Going Way Out With Heavy Trash by Heavy Trash As founder and frontman for the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Jon Spencer was known for reducing the blues to its raunchy essential spark. Teamed up with Matt Verta-Ray, Spencer’s Heavy Trash does much the same with rockabilly. This is Heavy Trash’s second album and it’s even more fun than the (self-titled) first one.

Rockabilly is the basic building block here, but this is heavily mutated and mutilated rockabilly, beyond the “psychobilly” of decades past. Spencer sounds like a dangerous lunatic screaming through a megaphone at a riot.

On “That Ain’t Right” the Trash boys, backed by The Sadies, sound like nastier versions of Johnny Cash. “Crying Tramp” is a tremolo-heavy, ’50s-ish swamp ballad from Mars. But my favorite is the song “Way Out,” which shows the influences of Link Wray, Johnny Burnett, and The Yardbirds. There’s just a touch of organ and snarling shis might be trash, but it’s trash done right.

* One Man Against the World by John Schooley and His One Man Band. Those who attended this year’s Thirsty Ear Festival were treated to the crash ’n’ bash one-man blues of Memphis street musician Richard Johnston. Well, here’s a Texas version of Johnston, an even crazier one-man blues machine named John Schooley.

Like Johnston, Schooley plays guitar (lotsa slide!), drums, and sometimes harmonica simultaneously. He sometimes drifts into country music, knowing full well the cultural and cosmic connections between country and the blues, creating a raw but joyful noise way beyond what you’d think a lone humanoid could produce.

Schooley covers R.L. Burnside, Howlin’ Wolf, the late Lee Hazlewood (“If you don’t like Lee Hazlewood, I don’t like you,” Schooley says in the liner notes), and the rockabilly classic “Wildcat Tamer.” And he’s even got an original murder ballad, “The Crooked Path,” based on a true story about the killing of four people in a house in Missouri in 1951, in which the killer confesses, “They were good neighbors, but they didn’t like me.”

Radio Mekons: It’s been a few years since I’ve done a full-fledged Mekons set on Terrell’s Sound World. So tune in this Sunday on KSFR-FM 90.7 (simulcast on 101.1 FM). The show starts at 10 p.m., and I’ll start playing The Mekons at 11

Thursday, September 13, 2007


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

Only weeks after the controversy that ensued after longtime Gov. Bill Richardson pal and campaign contributor Gerald Peters held a fundraiser for Richardson’s presidential campaign while negotiating a state contract, another longtime Richardson pal and campaign contributor is hosting a fundraiser for Richardson’s presidential campaign.

This time, the longtime pal is Paul Blanchard, whose business interests include racetracks in Albuquerque and Hobbs. The fundraiser is scheduled for Sept. 21 at Blanchard’s home in Albuquerque.

Blanchard, who leases The Downs at Albuquerque from the state, this year applied to move the operation to a 500-acre site in Moriarity. There he’d build a one-mile oval racetrack, 22 barns, horse-breeding farms with training facilities, a casino, a hotel, a food court and a truck stop. The estimated cost of the project is $65 million.

Julian Luna, executive director of the state Racing Commission, confirmed Wednesday that the proposal is still pending.

Asked about the fundraiser, Richardson campaign spokesman Tom Reynolds said, “At all times and without exception, Governor Richardson makes decisions and acts only in the best interest of New Mexico. Contributions or support of any kind have no effect on decisions made by state agencies or the Governor’s Office.”

That’s basically the same answer given by Richardson and other spokesmen last month when asked about the Peters fundraiser.

Blanchard couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday.

The Peters event was held at his home in Jackson Hole, Wyo., in August. At the time, a Peters company was negotiating with the state over a contract to build a new Department of Transportation headquarters in Santa Fe. After controversy erupted in the newspapers, Richardson’s office announced the state would re-bid the project.

Blanchard’s contributions: Richardson and Blanchard have been friends for years. Blanchard is included in the dedication of Richardson’s autobiography Between Worlds.

Richardson appointed Blanchard to the state Board of Finance during the governor’s first term and to the state Investment Council for the current term.

The racetrack owner served as Richardson’s finance chairman in his 2002 campaign. In addition to raising cash, Blanchard, according to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, donated $10,000. His wife, Kandace Blanchard, gave another $10,000 in 2002, while The Downs at Albuquerque contributed $100,000.

In 2006, Blanchard contributed $80,000 to Richardson’s re-election. His Zia Park operation in Hobbs gave $37,500, while The Downs at Albuquerque contributed $36,000.

In the presidential race, both Paul and Kandace Blanchard have donated $2,300, which is the maximum contribution allowed for the primary season under federal law. That’s also reportedly the suggested amount to contribute at next week’s fundraiser.

Not one, but two fundraisers: Political blogger Joe Monahan reported this week that in addition to the Blanchard event Sept. 21, Richardson also will be attending a less exclusive fundraiser in Albuquerque at which the admission cost is a mere $25.

I wonder which party attracts more people who have or who want state contracts.

Cover Boy: Guess whose smiling face graces the cover of the September issue of Accent Albuquerque magazine. None other than former state Senate juggernaut Manny Aragon.

This is surprising because Aragon has been lying low in recent months, following his indictment on federal corruption charges in the Albuquerque Metropolitan Courthouse scandal.

Aragon apparently talked with the magazine, going a little beyond the brusque statement he gave reporters the last time I saw him, in April at the federal courthouse in Albuquerque.

“Those of you who were in the courtroom know that I have pleaded not guilty,” he said then. “I have only one further statement. I am completely innocent.”

In Accent Albuquerque, Aragon refers to the fact his case was the investigation that last year spurred Sen. Pete Domenici and U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, both Republicans from New Mexico to call U.S. Attorney David Iglesias. Iglesias later said he felt pressured to file charges against Aragon and others before last November’s election. This, many say, would have helped Wilson’s tight re-election race.

But the charges weren’t filed until this year, several months after Iglesias was fired by Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Iglesias was one of eight U.S. attorneys fired allegedly for political reasons.

“I’m somewhat disheartened that the FBI took the unheard of step of saying that they had completed their investigation in the news media shortly before U.S. Attorney David Iglesias was pressured by Republican political figures to indict me,” Aragon told the magazine. “I think the U.S. attorney wasn’t acting earlier because they had no case. I believe the FBI and U.S. attorney may have received political pressure.”

Aragon also was quoted saying, “Every single billing at metro court had been justified as far as I can tell. They should have looked at this case a lot closer.”

Aragon and others indicted are accused of skimming more than $4 million from the state by padding invoices.

Monday, September 10, 2007


As a reporter, I've written my share of obits. But I've never written one as direct, honest and strangely moving as this one, which appeared Sunday in my old hometown paper The Daily Oklahoman.

Here's some of it:

Robert Harlin Beasley Whether the glass was half full or half empty, Harlin drank it anyway during the 86 years he roamed the planet-up and down. A less-than-secure childhood punctuated by a split in the nuclear family that took him from Oklahoma City to Hydro at the age of nine and took his father away, created a life-long struggle with depression. He was a bright kid and despite being a city slicker, he got along with the farm boys of Hydro and was a pretty good Judge of livestock. His real passion was music, the clarinet and sax, and placing them in his western-swing band at dances in the southwest, at one of which, he met a certain Helen Swanda of the famed Swanda girls of Carnegie. Another passion was alcohol, the muse that almost works. Booze and a band, what could be better? ... We will cherish the memories, even the scary ones, so in !ieu of flowers, buy another round.
This man was loved.

God's western-swing band just got rowdier!


Sunday, September 9, 2007
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-host: Stanley "Rosebud" Rosen

email me during the show!

Now Simulcasting 90.7 FM, and out new, stronger signal, 101.1 FM
Stan earlier in the day campaigning for Richardson in the Fiesta parade
OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Plenty Tough and Union Made by The Waco Brothers
There is Power in the Union by The Solidarity Singers
Joe Hill by Paul Robeson
Winds of Change by Doc Metzger
Ship Gonna Sail by Utah Phillips
Sweetheart's on the Barricade by Richard Thompson & Danny Thompson

Oh Freedom/No More Auction Block by Kim & Reggie Harris
Big Boss Man by Jimmy Reed
Men With Broken Hearts by Hank Williams
Let it Ride by Bill Hearne
Dark As a Dungeon by The Maddox Brothers & Rose
By the Sweat of My Brow by Hazel Dickens
Empty Pocket Blues by Ronnie Gilbert with Robin Flower & Libby McLarren

The Death of Mother Jones by Gene Autry
Brother Can You Spare a Dime by Bing Crosby
I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister/Rebel Girl by Bucky Halker
Bread and Roses by Healy & Jurvavich
Bread and Roses by Utah Phillips & Ani DiFranco
Your Flag Decal Won't Get You Into Heaven Anyore by John Prine
Mr. President Have Pity on the Working Man by Randy Newman

Babes in the Mill by Dorsey Dixon
This Land is Your Land by Woody Guthrie
Port of Amsterdam by Dave Van Ronk
Bush War Blues by Billy Bragg
DeColores by Brooklyn Women's Chorus
We Shall Not Be Moved/Roll the Union On by Joe Glazer
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, September 08, 2007


I know I'm probably pretty slow, but I just figured out how to add music to this here blog.

Here's a little tune called "I Wanna Come Back From the World of LSD" by The Fe-Fi-Four Plus Two, a Santa Fe band from the '60s. Enjoy!

UPDATE 7-7-08: eSnips eliminated this song from my collection. I don't own the rights to it, so I can't really complain. Hope you got to enjoy it while it was here. But you can hear it on The FF4P2's MySpace page.


Friday, September 7, 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
Who Knows Right From Wrong by Porter Wagoner
Sink Hole by Drive-By Truckers
Kicks in the Sun by The Gourds
Played the Game Too Long by Billy Joe Shaver with Tanya Tucker
The Moon is High by Neko Case
Hard-Headed Me by Roger Miller
I Wanna Be Your Mama by The Damnations
Give Me Wine or Money by The Mekons
See You In My Dreams by Jerry Lee Lewis


The Shaggy Hound by Richard Johnston
Down South Blues by John Schooley
Hit the Road by Scott H. Biram
Honey Babe by The Tarbox Ramblers
Road Hawg by Joe Ely
The Devil in Us All by Butch Hancock
Pay the Alligator by The Flatlanders

Barefoot Baby by Janis Martin
Blues Keep Callin' by Rosie Flores with Janis Martin
I Guess I'm Crazy by Charlie Feathers
Let Go of Louie by Ray Campi
Real Cool Ride by The Hillbilly Hellcats
Flying Saucer Rock 'n' Roll by Billy Lee Riley
Outside Chance by Heavy Trash
Rockin' Country Cat by Ronnie Dawson
Jive After Five by Carl Perkins
Cruisin' by Gene Vincent
Whistle Bait by Larry Collins
Drugstore Rock 'n' Roll by Janis Martin

Gooseball Brown by Michael Hurley
Rosalie's Good Eats Cafe by Bobby Bare
I Wonder If They Ever Think of Me by Merle Haggard
The Cowboy & The Lady by John Egenes
Ramblin' Man by The Blue Velvet Band
Banks of The Guadalupe by Jimmie Dale Gilmore
The Inca Princess by Richard Buckner & Jon Langford
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Friday, September 07, 2007



Jacques DeMolay, thou art avenged!


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 7, 2007

I’m one of a lot of people — middle-aged white people, to be exact — who don’t really like a lot of hip-hop music but love Public Enemy.
Part of it has to be PE’s lyrics and themes, which are socially conscious, politically charged, and free of gangsta idiocy. But an important part of it that’s not as obvious is the actual music. Public Enemy's music is laced with good old-fashioned soul. No, you’re not going to mistake a PE song for one by Wilson Pickett. But listen closely, and you’ll realize that without Wicked Pickett or James Brown or Sly or George Clinton, there wouldn’t be a Public Enemy.

This became especially obvious to me when I saw the group last month at the Santa Fe Muzik Festival (with its excellent band, called The baNNed, which includes Santa Fe resident Brian Hardgroove on bass). And it’s obvious on PE’s new album, How You Sell Soul to a Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul??? Public Enemy isn’t just a rap group. It’s a part of the soul-music tradition.

You hear it in the Memphis-style horns that punctuate the cool, funky “Harder Than You Think.” You hear it in the steady beat and the chants of “Soul power!” in the title song. And you feel it in one of the recurring themes of this album — that mainstream, corporate music and pop culture are turning us into an empty, soulless people or at least a grim reflection of a heartless era. As Chuck D says in “Black Is Back”: “It started with your baby on Similac/Don’t get me started/Get it up to speed/Gettin’ back your soul/Is what you need.”

Of course, this talk of no substance and soulless culture brings up the question of Flavor Flav and his insipid TV reality shows. There was a lot of eye-rolling among old-time PE fans at the Santa Fe performance when Flav was on stage plugging his Comedy Central roast.
Two of Flav’s solo tunes on this album don’t have much going for them. But Flav redeems himself nobly with “Bridge of Pain,” a cold-eyed account of a lonely ride on a corrections-systems bus to a jail on Rikers Island in New York. This might be the best thing he’s done since “911 Is a Joke.”

PE’s got little good to say about gangsta rap. “Damn, our interviews were better than some of them acts,” Chuck D boasts on “The Long and Whining Road,” and then he laments, “Seen a nation reduce ‘Fight the Power’ to ‘Gin and Juice.’”

In “Sex, Drugs, and Violence,” PE is joined by a children’s chorus (singing, “We like those gangsta rhymes/Just make sure they don’t corrupt our minds”) and old-schooler KRS-One to tell the stories of the murders of Tupac and Jam Master Jay, laying the blame at the door of hard gangster attitudes. Meanwhile “See Something, Say Something” is an argument against the self-destructive “anti-snitch” movement, which advocates black people never cooperate with police.

But there’s a little surprise in the song “Amerikan Gangster.” The folks Chuck D is talking about here aren’t the Bloods and Crips but the people running the government.

There are a couple of fun diversions on the album.
“The Long and Whining Road” is a clever history of Public Enemy told largely using Bob Dylan song and album titles (it also name-checks Prince, Tom Petty, and Johnny Cash — not to mention the Beatles tune that inspired this song’s title). Employing the chords of “All Along the Watchtower,” Chuck D subtly pleads the case that he’s up there in the Hall of Immortals with Mr. Zimmerman. He also talks about his love of protest songs, so it only makes sense that a classic protest tune, P.F. Sloan’s “Eve of Destruction,” would get the Public Enemy treatment.
The folk-rock trappings are shorn, leaving only the harsh apocalyptic core of the song.

The production of How You Sell Soul is not nearly as urgent as PE’s early works. “The Enemy Battle Hymn of the Public,” for example, with its slick background chorus, seems a little overproduced. But this album still has a lot for us to chew on, musically and intellectually.

Twenty years strong, and Public Enemy still has lots of soul to sell to those with ears to hear.

Also noted:

* Planet Earth by Prince. Back in the ’80s, a Prince song got Tipper Gore so upset she started an organization that Frank Zappa dubbed “The Mothers of Prevention,” resulting in congressional hearings and a national scare about “porn rock.” But the title song of Prince’s latest album sounds like he’s auditioning for the soundtrack to the next Al Gore movie.

Planet Earth isn’t a bad album, but it definitely lacks the sense of danger of Prince’s classic stuff and isn’t even as strong as his recent albums 3121 and Musicology.

Basically, there are too many “quiet-storm” ballads and not nearly enough James Brown/P-Funk soul workouts here. Where’s Maceo Parker and Candy Dulfer, who have graced his last couple of albums? Is there even a sax on Planet Earth?

There should be more tracks like “Chelsea Rodgers,” which features Sheila E. on percussion. And there aren’t nearly enough crazy guitar showcases. The song “Guitar,” a tasty little stomper that’s easily the highlight of this record, comes closest; and “Lion of Judah” and the song “Planet Earth” end with worthy but too-short guitar solos.

You can’t give up on Prince. I just hope his next album isn’t as Earthbound.

Workin’ Man’s Blues. Stan Rosen joins me at 10 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 9, for Terrell’s Sound World’s annual post-Labor Day show, on KSFR-FM 90.7 and simulcasting on KSFQ-FM 101.1 FM. Songs about workers and the labor movement.

Thursday, September 06, 2007



I went to see the Tom Trusnovic triple band reunon tonight at CKs -- The Floors, The Blood Drained Cows and Monkeyshies.

It was a fun time, even though I was disappointed that all three bands didn't get up on stage for a grand finale, singing "This Land is Your Land" or "Proud Mary" something.

Check out my photos on FLICKR


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

Supporters of Attorney General Gary King are hosting a fundraiser next week to help King pay off some of his $430,000 debt from the 2006 campaign. For a suggested $1,000 contribution, those attending will get a Mexican buffet, mariachi music and a chance to meet lawyers who recently won a contract to perform legal work for the AG’s office.

Two of the co-hosts of the Tuesday event at the Albuquerque Country Club, Turner and Margaret Branch, are members of the Branch Law Firm of Albuquerque, which recently won a contract through King’s office for a case involving unpaid royalties to the state Land Office.

The Branch firm also is working with another firm through another AG’s contract on a securities fraud case, King confirmed. That contract was issued in 2004, three years before King took office.

Under the terms of both contracts, the law firm gets a percentage of any money the state is awarded. King said Wednesday the percentage is somewhere in the 12 to 16 percent range in each contract.

It seems lately these kind of stories are becoming more frequent. The news of this fundraiser comes on the heels of the news that Santa Fe businessman Gerald Peters hosted a fundraiser in Wyoming for Gov. Bill Richardson, while a Peters business was negotiating with the state over a contract to build a new Department of Transportation headquarters in Santa Fe. Richardson’s office announced last week the state would rebid the DOT project.

King on Wednesday told me he didn’t see any impropriety or even appearance of impropriety with having the Branches co-host a fundraising event for him.

“Turner has been a friend of my family’s for years,” King said of the former Republican legislator. “I don’t see why he should be precluded as a supporter because he has contracts.”

Previous contributions: The Branches last year contributed a total of $7,838 to King’s campaign, according to, the online database of the Institute of Money in State Politics. However, they also contributed $5,500 to one of King’s primary opponents, lawyer Geno Zamora.

The Branches also contributed to other state candidates, including $23,300 to Gov. Bill Richardson and $15,000 to State Land Commissioner Pat Lyons.

This isn’t the first time the Branch firm’s name has come up regarding state contracts, campaign contributions and the Attorney General’s Office. In 2002, then Attorney General Patricia Madrid was criticized for awarding a contract to the firm after receiving tens of thousands of dollars in contributions from the Branches.

King on Wednesday noted he supports doing away with the current campaign finance system and going to a publicly funded system.

“But this is the system we have now, and the law doesn’t prohibit this,” King added. He said he didn’t take any contributions from any contractor during a bidding process — which would be prohibited under state law.

The other co-hosts: The other couple whose name appears on the invitation to the King fundraiser are Ambassador Ed Romero and his wife, Tanna.

King said he worked for Ed Romero — also known as a longtime supporter of Richardson — between 1990 and 1998.

Viva la Fiesta!: If you need to go to a state office Friday afternoon, good luck.
As has been the case for the better part of who knows how many decades, state employees are allowed to take half a day off to enjoy the Santa Fe Fiesta.

“In recognition of upcoming fall season events here in New Mexico, Governor Richardson has authorized four hours of administrative leave for executive branch state employees to participate in local community events,” Richardson spokeswoman Caitlin Kelleher said Wednesday.
Employees don’t have to take this Friday off, however. They can use the time anytime between Friday and Oct. 14, Kelleher said. That way, they could choose to go to the state fair or the balloon fiesta in Albuquerque or the Whole Enchilada Festival in Las Cruces.

So how much will this whole enchilada cost taxpayers?

According to state personnel statistics, classified state employees make an average salary of $40,233. That translates to about $77.12 for four hours. Multiply that by 19,402 classified employees in the state and you get nearly $1.5 million.

That seems like a lot, but it still isn’t as much as the $2 million figure used in the 1990s by Gov. Gary Johnson’s administration, which suspended the half-day-off practice for several years.

Besides, if state employees spend a lot of cash on Navajo tacos, burritos, corn on the cob and funnel cakes at these events during their four-hour break — and all those vendors pay their taxes — the state just might break even.


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