Sunday, November 30, 2008


Sunday, November 30, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Thanksgiving in Reno by Too Much Joy
Road by The Rockin' Guys
Mystery Trip by The Chesterfield Kings
Wreck My Flow by The Dirtbombs
Combination of the Two by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Bad News Travels Fast by The Fuzztones
Train in Vain by The Clash
Vanity Surfing by Jesus H. Christ & The Four Hornsmen 0f the Apocalypse

Jack Ruby by Camper Van Beethoven
Wasted by Pere Ubu
Cutester Patrol by The Grandmothers
Love of My Life by Ruben & The Jets
Ain't That Just Like Me by The Astronauts
Monkey See, Monkey Do by Untamed Youth
Somebody in My Home by John Schooley & His One Man Band
Your Dice Won't Pass by Edison Rocket Train
Cheaper to Keep Her by Johnny Taylor

Inside Out Over You by Mudhoney
Two Headed Sex Change by The Cramps
Midnight in Aspen by The Fall
Manimal by The Germs
This Bad Girl by The Golden Cups
Get Out of Here by Robert Cage
Chatterbox by New York Dolls
Funky Robot by Rufus Thomas
Sal Che Tornero by The Cocks
Hot Tamales by Bobby Hatfield

Your Monster by The Shondees
Shot in the Arm by Wilco
Belly Full of Fire by Giant Sand
Chillout Tent by The Hold Steady
Beekeeper's Daughter by The Residents
Cast No Shadows by The Mekons
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


State Senate Democrats, in the last hour or so, have selected Sen. Carlos Cisneros of Questa as their nominee for Senate President Pro-tem.

Cisneros, who has been in the Senate since 1985, defeated incumbent president Pro-tem Tim Jennings of Roswell. However, Jennings told me he might seek Republican support to stay on when the full Senate votes on the position in January.

Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez and Whip Mary Jane Garcia were re-elected to their posts without challenge.

Jennings angered some Democrats when he defended Republican Senate Whip Leonard Lee Rawson -- and recorded a "robo call" for Rawson -- in the recent election. Rawson, of Las Cruces, was defeated by Democrat Steve Fischmann.

More in tomorrow's New Mexican.

UPDATE: Monday 12:39 AM
As promised, here's my story in Monday's paper: CLICK HERE

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I just stumbled upon this video from the Lawrence Welk Show in 1971. At the end of the video, Lawrence himself calls it "a modern spiritual."

This is not a joke! Read about it on Brewer & Shipley's Web Site.

Notice the guy's name is "Dick Dale." Not that Dick Dale!

Friday, November 28, 2008


Friday, November 28, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live by The Del-Lords
Live Fast, Love Hard, Die Young by Faron Young
One Toke Over the Line by Brewer & Shipley
Bar Exam by The Derailers
Hadacol Boogie by James Luther Dickinson
Loudmouth Cowgirls by Kim & The Caballeros
I Ain't Never by Webb Pierce
That Mink on Her Back by Hank Penny
Sweet Kind of Love by The Pine Valley Cosmonauts

Engine Engine Number Nine by Southern Culture on the Skids
The Ballad of Roger Miller by Homer & Jethro
Guv'ment by Roger Miller
Got My Mojo Workin' by The Asylum Street Spankers
A Million Regrets by Cornell Hurd
Three Shades of Black by Hank Williams III
You'll Rue the Day by Spade Cooley
Blood on the Saddle by Tex Ritter
Pride Covered Ears by Johnny Paycheck

John Walker's Blues by Steve Earle
White Folk's Blood by House of Freaks
Worried Mind by Johnny Dowd
Single Girl, Married Girl by Levon Helm
Waiting For the Demons to Die by Boris McCutcheon & The Saltlicks
Fly Trap Liar by P.W. Long
Pure Religion by Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Marvel Group by Mother Earth
If I Could Only Fly by Blaze Foley
Marching to the CIty by Bob Dylan
Truly by Hundred Year Flood
Thanksgiving by Loudon Wainwright III
Pie in the Sky by Utah Phillips & Ani DiFranco
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
November 28, 2008

The reason I write this column, the reason I spend way too much time tracking down music — much of which most people will never hear and don’t care about — and the reason I do my own radio shows can be blamed on a disease I suffered in early 1962 — the measles.

I missed a week of school in third grade because of this ailment. And during that week, with the help of a transistor radio about the size of a pack of cigarettes, I discovered rock ’n’ roll radio. I’d listen religiously every night and sometimes during the day, enticed by the sounds of The Shirelles, Joey Dee & The Starliters, Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, and so many more, wafting in like the voices of sirens over that cheap little radio, each song introduced by a disembodied voice, some wizard of sound who seemed happy and excited — sometimes a little too excited — to spin his 45s and share his magical sonic gifts.

Everybody liked TV, of course. But television was for everyone. The radio, with its waxy little earplug, seemed like my private joy. But I wasn’t alone. Millions of young people throughout the land of the free were following the pied pipers of rock ’n’ roll radio. These messengers and their medium are the subject of Airplay: The Rise and Fall of Rock Radio, a documentary film by Chris Fox Gilson and Carolyn Travis, which shows during the Santa Fe Film Festival.

Alas, none of my heroes from WKY in Oklahoma are in this movie, but the film does tell the stories of many of the giants of rock radio — Rufus Thomas, Alan Freed, Cousin Brucie, Murray the K, and Wolfman Jack among them.

The basic story of Airplay, especially to longtime rock fans, is well known and oft-told: bored suburban white kids discovering black music on black radio stations and white radio getting in on the fun, with some white DJs blatantly imitating their African American counterparts. Then came Elvis, then the payola scandal. And by the time AM radio was getting corny and irrelevant in the late ’60s, along comes Tom Donahue, who pioneered “underground” free-form radio on the FM dial.

Though the tale is familiar, there’s enough tasty music and period news clips to keep Airplay lively. There’s a brief interview with Pat Boone, who downplays the element of racism in the opposition to rock. Talking about how rock ’n’ roll concerned “preachers, teachers, and legislators,” Boone says, “They thought it was going to be a terrible influence on young people not because it was black. Though that entered into it, I guess.” This is immediately followed by footage of some unnamed segregationist standing in front of a large “We Serve White Customers Only” sign, talking about setting up a “20-man committee to do away with this vulgar, animalistic rock ’n’ roll bop.”

Some of the old DJs interviewed tell wonderful stories of their youth. Dick Biondi, a Chicago radio giant who now resembles Harry Dean Stanton, tells a hilarious story of being irritated one day with his boss (“a pain in the butt, to be very honest”). Biondi described over the air what kind of car the guy drove (a gray Impala convertible) and told listeners to throw a rock through the window. One of Biondi’s fans followed through.

The strongest part of the documentary deals with payola. DJs were raked over the coals in the halls of Congress and in newspaper headlines for accepting “booze, broads, and bribes” from record promoters in exchange for airplay. The hearings were conducted by Rep. Oren Harris, who had previously tackled one of the other major devastating problems of that era — the fixing of television game shows. Payola destroyed the career of Freed as well as many other rock jocks.

The DJs speak candidly about payola. Cleveland’s Joe Finan, who lost a job over it, recalled a DJ convention in Miami in which Elvis Presley’s manager, Col. Tom Parker, brought in a hooker from Holland for the enjoyment of his favorite DJs. Philadelphia’s Jocko Henderson admits taking payola but says, “I would never take money for a record I didn’t like, ’cause if I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t play it.”

No, you can’t justify payola. Still, it’s pretty loathsome to see low-paid DJs persecuted by the very same type of self-righteous hypocrites who get all huffy when you suggest that campaign contributions might influence decisions they make in office.

The weakest part of Airplay is its discussion of the decline of rock radio. You go from the rise of disco to a brief tribute to KROQ in Los Angeles to MTV (with the obligatory playing of the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”). There’s a short nod to hip-hop; then finally comes the era of satellite radio. In fact, much of the last few minutes of Airplay almost seems like an ad for XM and Sirius, which have apparently become the latest refuge for several golden-era rock jocks, like New York’s Cousin Brucie.

But there’s no mention of college radio, which became a major “underground” force in the 1980s, attracting untold numbers of rock fans who didn’t give a flying hoot about corporate radio or MTV. There’s nothing about Internet radio or podcasting, which appeals to those of us who don’t want to shell out big bucks to pay some megacorporation for satellite radio.

The truth is, neither satellite radio nor podcasts are going to incite actual teenage riots, as Freed did in the ’50s. I just fantasize that those radio waves from those early years are still bouncing around the universe somewhere and that someday some of them will find their way into the transistor radio of some kid with the measles on some distant planet.

Airplay is showing at 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4, and at 8 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, in Tipton Hall at the College of Santa Fe, 1600 St. Michael’s Drive.

Blog Bonus: Here's a trailer for Airplay:

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 27, 2008

It’s been nearly a week since the leaks about Gov. Bill Richardson’s being the probable secretary of commerce in the Obama administration, and I don’t think it’s really sunk into most of us what a huge change in New Mexico politics this appointment would be.
We don’t have the official word yet — and the governor, the lieutenant governor and everyone else involved are being annoyingly, if understandably coy about the situation.

(My favorite quote of the week came from a spokeswoman for Lt. Gov. Diane Denish, asked in an Associated Press story early this week whether Denish and Richardson had discussed a transition of power: “It’s early to be talking about a transition because there hasn’t been any official announcement yet.” Holy mackerel! If there’s any truth to the Commerce leaks and they’re seriously waiting until an “official announcement” to discuss these critical matters, that’s the story.)

I guess I let myself get bothered by little stuff like that to distract myself from the obvious: Assuming the big announcement is coming, there’s going to be a giant crater in New Mexico politics where there once was Richardson.

“Put on your tennis shoes. You’ll be running to keep up,” was the advice that former Richardson staffer Butch Maki gave me shortly after Richardson was elected governor the first time in 2002.

He wasn’t joking. I realized the first week of his administration — when North Korean diplomats came to Santa Fe to discuss nuclear disarmament with the governor of New Mexico — that this wasn’t going to be like covering a regular state government.

For most of his first term, it seemed like everything he did was preparing his argument on why he should be president. I may be exaggerating a little, but in those early years, it seemed like he was having three press conferences a week, each one to announce some new “bold initiative,” and most of them beginning with remarks alluding to the historic nature of the occasion.

Some of those bold initiatives turned out to be big deals — the Rail Runner and the Spaceport, for instance.

Some seem pretty weird in retrospect. Statewide trials for Billy the Kid to see if the famous outlaw deserved a pardon? A pro football team for Albuquerque?

Then there was all the overt national political activity. In Richardson’s first few months in office, he arranged for the first debate of the 2004 Democratic candidates to take place in Albuquerque. He got himself elected chairman of the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. He twice was chairman of the Democratic Governors Association. And reporters joked the most unsafe place in the Capitol was in the hallway by the television studio if Richardson was late for an interview on CNN or Fox News. (Luckily, those times were rare. He was far more punctual for the national media than he was for us local yokels.)

I’m waxing a little nostalgic here because most of this truly was fun to cover.

There’s things I won’t miss though.

Trying to get information out of Richardson’s office was often a frustrating exercise for reporters working on a story that wasn’t part of his “message.” In recent weeks, for instance, Richardson’s office has seemed to have the attitude that it’s nobody’s business when the governor is out of state. He and some of his many press aides frequently were thinned-skinned if they didn’t like what a journalist was writing. Once last year, Richardson angrily told me I was the only one who said his performance in a recent debate had been sub-par.

I’m not the only one saying this: It’ll never be the same around here once Richardson leaves.

Interesting facts about the secretary of commerce: It’s no big secret the Commerce Department is a consolation prize for Richardson, who really wanted to be secretary of state. Some people have told me they believe this is a place-holding job for Richardson, who will move up when something else is available.

That might be true. But if history is any indication, there’s only so far a secretary of commerce can go.
President Herbert Hoover
Only one commerce secretary later became president. That was Herbert Hoover, who headed the department for more than several years under Presidents Warren Harding and Calvin Coolidge.

Another commerce secretary was a vice president. That was Henry A. Wallace, who was President Franklin Roosevelt’s veep during his third term. Roosevelt dumped Wallace from the ticket in 1944. Roosevelt appointed Wallace as commerce secretary — apparently as a consolation prize. Wallace was fired from that job in 1945 by President Harry Truman.

Richardson wouldn’t be the first Hispanic commerce secretary. That would be the current secretary, Carlos Miguel Gutierrez.

And he wouldn’t be the first Commerce Secretary Richardson. That honor goes to Elliot Richardson, who was appointed to that position by President Gerald Ford.
Elliot Richardson
Elliot Richardson, however, is better known as the attorney general who resigned rather than follow President Richard Nixon’s order to fire special Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox in what went on to be known as the “Saturday Night Massacre” in October 1973.

The secretary of commerce is a relatively low-key position, but some secretaries ended up in tragedies or scandals.

Ron Brown, President Bill Clinton’s first commerce secretary, died in a 1996 plane crash in Croatia, while on a trade mission.

Nixon’s first secretary of commerce, Maurice Stans, who also served as Nixon’s campaign finance chairman, was indicted in 1973 for Watergate-related charges of perjury and obstruction of justice. He was found not guilty.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


Sunday, November 23, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Momia Twist by Wau y Los Arrrghs!!!
Acton by Los Peyotes
Miniskirt Blues by The Cramps with Iggy Pop
Boomerang by The Black Lips
I'm Hurtin' by Thee Headcoats
Ward 81 by The Fuzztones
Exploder by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Mean and Evil by The Juke Joint Pimps
Granny's Little Chicken by The Dirtbombs
Do the Watusi by Cat

November/Weapon by The Rockin' Guys
Hurt Me by Lightning Beat Man
Mr. Link Wray by The Happy Happy Jihads
Rawhide by Link Wray
Monkey Run by Johnny Dowd
Hit the Road by Scott H. Birham
Make You Say Wow by Bob Log III
Warmth of the Sun by The Beach Boys

Mad Mike/Las Vegas Grind set
A La Carte by James "Red" Hollway
Mama Ubangi Bangi by The Four Sounds
The Whip by The Creeps
Snacky Poo by The Del-Mars
Surfin' in the China Sea by The Hong Kongs
For the Birds by The Charts
Rigor Mortis by The Gravestone Four
Strollie Bun by The Blonde Bomber
Little Girl by John & Jackie
Mysterious Teenage by The Vels
Cherry Juice by Marino Choice
Don't Sweat the Small Stuff by The Rhythm Kings

The Kukamong a Boogaloo by King Khan & The Shrines
Ain't It Hard by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Praise the Lord Everyone by Dante Harmon
Slinky by The Dynamites featuring Charles Walker
Waiting at the River by The Blind Boys of Mississippi
A Night at the House of Prayer by The Rev. Lonnie Farris
Don't You Ever Let Nobody Drag Your Spirit Down by Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir featuring Wilson Pickett & Eric Bibb
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


What better time to think about that amazing meeting between two powerful forces in American entertainment: Jack Benny and The Blues Magoos. (From the Kraft Music Hall, Nov. 1, 1967, assuming the Youtube information is correct.)

Hide your ears, Jack!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


RICHARDSON SPEAKS IN CONCORD So it looks as if Gov. Bill Richardson might soon be leaving the greatest job he;s ever had and going t work as Commerce secretary in the Obama administration.

Here's the stroeis that Miss Nash and I were working on Friday afternoon.


It's just starting to sink in to me that this job is not going to be anywhere near the same if Richardson really is leaving the state.

Friday, November 21, 2008


Friday, November 21, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Change in the Weather by John Fogerty
Sweet Sweet Girl by Warren Smith
I'll Sail My Ship Alone by Cornell Hurd with Tommy Alverson
Wake Up and Smell the Whiskey by Dean Miller
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
The Story of Mama Rosin by Mama Rosin
Girl Called Trouble by The Watzloves
That's My Rabbit, My Dog Caught It by The Walter Family

Long Hauls and Close Calls by Hank Williams III
Five Brothers by Marty Robbins
Goodbye Earle by The Dixie Chicks
The Taker by Waylon Jennings
Friday Night on a Dollar Bill by Huelyn Duvall
Black Cat by Tommy Collins
Dig Myself a Hole by Charlie Feathers
Things are Gettin' Rough All Over by Hank Penny
Squaws Along the Yukon by Hank Thompson
Don't Come Home a Drinkin' by Loretta Lynn

Everybody Wants a Cowboy by Skeeter Davis & NRBQ
Life Begins at 4 OClock by The Starline Rhythm Boys
Blue Sunshine by The Meteors
Thunder by Yuichi & The Hilltone Boys
Cowboy No. 77 by Charlie Pickett
Shout Out Loud by Eric Hisaw
Single Bar Love Song by Mike Neal
Waitin' Where She Hides by Dave Insley
Strangeness in Me by The Cramps

Lee Harvey by The Asylum Street Spankers
Whiskey Willie by Michael Hurley
I'll Be Fine When I Get Home to You by Gann Brewer
Bad Music (Is Better than No Music at All) by John Hartford
Neck of the Woods by Hundred Year Flood with Shannon McNally
Last Days of Tampa Red by Ronny Elliott
He Was a Friend of Mine by The Byrds
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Thursday, November 20, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 21, 2008

Writers, DJs, and hyperactive fans who champion music that’s obscure and out of the mainstream often have the desire to lift the wild geniuses and inspired outcasts they so love out of the shadows and give them at least a modest bit of the attention and acclaim they so richly deserve.

That wasn’t the case with “Mad” Mike Metrovich, a Pittsburgh disc jockey who became a broadcast institution on WZUM (AM, of course) in the mid-’60s. Mad Mike was infamous for going to dusty, old, out-of-the-way warehouses, buying thousands of 45s for pennies on the dollar, finding the craziest R & B, the greasiest doo-wop, and the most delinquency-inducing rock ’n’ roll for his radio show and the local teen dances he played — and for scraping off the labels so other DJs and fans weren’t able to find out what he was playing.

Lucky for us that Norton Records didn’t hide the artist and song-title information on Mad Mike Monsters: A Tribute to Mad Mike Metrovich, a three-disc collection (you have to buy the CDs separately) filled with dozens of the mad one’s favorites.

Not that anyone will recognize many — or perhaps any — of the names here. Except for Johnny Otis, who has a couple of 10-second radio plugs included in this compilation, the only group I recognize is The Sonics, whose garage hit “Psycho” is the first song on Volume 1.

Otherwise, the roster of artists reflects an alternate universe — Wild Child Gipson, the Grand Prees, Baby Huey & The Babysitters, Calvin Cool, Big Danny Oliver, Big Syl Barnes, and Little Ike. And no, the Marquis Chimps weren’t the actual apes who used to appear on television back in the ’60s, and Mad Mike & The Maniacs wasn’t led by Metrovich.

Just like radio listeners in Pittsburgh in 1965, you can enjoy the yackety saxes, the Reefer Madness-style piano, the piercing guitars, and the screaming Little Richard wannabes over dozens of tasty tracks with a certain sense of wonder. Who are these anonymous maniacs producing such intense sounds? Where did this stuff come from?

Some of the song titles in the collection sound familiar. “Goo Goo Muck” by Ronnie Cook & The Gaylads is a bizarre little ditty that was later covered by The Cramps. But “Camel Walk” by The Saxons, though similar to the one done by Southern Culture on the Skids, isn’t the same tune. And “The Hunch” by Mad Mike & The Maniacs has nothing to do with Hasil Adkins.

The songs are all from the days well before political sensitivity, so there’s some ethnic stereotyping not for the easily offended — like that in “Mama Ubangi Bangi” by The Four Sounds, complete with physical descriptions of a “Watusi Lucy” and jungle animal sounds, or “Chop Suey Rock” by The Instrumentals, a saxed-out, surfy instrumental introduced by a phony saying from Confucius. There’s a similar track called “Surfin’ in the China Sea” by The Hong Kongs. Then there are “Geronimo” by The Renegades, which includes sound effects of rifle fire and Indian war cries, and “Firewater” by The Premieres, another instrumental, which has someone trying to imitate a Native American.

There are songs that will bring to mind better-known tunes. “Uncle John” by Wild Child Gipson is basically an “answer song” to Little Richard’s “Long Tall Sally.” James “Red” Holloway’s “A La Carte,” with its shouts of “fried elephant lips,” “spider giblets,” and “baboon eyeballs,” sounds like a rewrite of Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ “Feast of the Mau Mau” and “Alligator Wine” — although I can’t say for certain whether Holloway’s song came before or after Screamin’ Jay’s.

And some songs just sound dirty. There’s “Strollie Bun” by Blonde Bomber, for instance (“Where did you get that strut?” asks the singer, who sure doesn’t sound like a blonde). Even though “Cherry Juice” by Marino Choice doesn’t contain any overt obscenities, it sounds as if it could be from a lost “party” album by Jackie Wilson. Similarly, “Snacky Poo” by The Del Mars is even more suggestive (“Some people like it, some people don’t/Some people do it, some people won’t”). This sounds like the song Otis Day & The Knights would have been playing in the juke joint in Animal House right before the guys from Delta House walked in.

Mad Mike died on Oct. 31, 2000, just hours after doing his annual Halloween show. If not for Norton Records, most of this music probably would have died along with him. Listen and be amazed.
Let's grind!
Grind it!: For those wanting to dig deeper beneath the underbelly of rock ’n’ roll: Mad Mike’s Monsters reminds me of another collection of crazy, obscure R & B and rock. That’s the Las Vegas Grind series, which came out in the mid-’90s on the tiny Crypt label. (Faithful readers of my blog might recall that I patriotically spent part of my $600 federal income-tax rebate check on a couple of volumes of Las Vegas Grind. I’ve since bought the other two CDs.)

It’s the same type of music you’ll find on the Mad Mike CDs. (In fact, one song is in both collections — Holloway’s “A La Carte.”) Supposedly, the music in the Grind series is what live bands used to play in Las Vegas strip joints in the late ’50s and early ’60s. There’s no evidence that any of the acts on the albums actually played Vegas or at topless bars anywhere. But it sounds like they should have. Most of these tunes could serve as the soundtrack for a yet-to-be-made movie version of James Ellroy’s American Tabloid.

I found my copies, which by the way, have some of the greatest cover art in the history of recorded music, on Amazon. (Hint: there are only four CDs, parts 1, 2, 3, and ... 6! Although there apparently were LPs of parts 4 and 5, the fourth CD is Part 6. Let the mystery be.)

You know I love playing stuff like this on the radio: tune into Terrell’s Sound World, free-form weirdo radio, starting at 10 p.m. on Sunday on KSFR-FM 101.1. And don’t forget The Santa Fe Opry, the country music Nashville does not want you to hear, same time, same channel on Friday.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 20, 2008

Minnie Gallegos, who has chaired the Santa Fe County Democratic Party for the past seven years, won’t seek re-election next year.
photo by Barbara Wold
“I’m not quite ready to quit yet,” she told me earlier this week, “but I won’t be seeking re-election.”

She’s been county chairwoman since November 2001, after then-chairman Bill Sisneros stepped down to join Bill Richardson’s gubernatorial exploratory committee. In 2003, Gallegos was elected in her own right, becoming the first woman elected to the county party post. She won re-election in 2005 and again in 2007.

Gallegos has held the position longer than anyone else in recent history. In the seven years before Gallegos became chairwoman, the position was held by four men — Sisneros, Art Bonal, Fernando Rivera and Domingo Martinez.

In the last election there had been some grumbling from the rank-and-file about Gallegos. No major controversy. Most of the gripes seemed to be about the way Gallegos runs meetings. After covering the meeting at which she was re-elected last year, I wrote that the proceedings “reminded some attendees of the old Will Rogers quote — ‘I am not a member of any organized political party. I am a Democrat.’ ” It took more than an hour that night just for all the county central committee members to get through the door, register and get their credentials.

Gallegos did have a challenger last year: party activist Ricardo Campos. But once he realized he didn’t have the votes, Campos withdrew and moved to elect Gallegos by acclamation. Campos then was elected vice chairman by acclamation. If there’s been any dissatisfaction with Gallegos since then, it has not been made public.

Having a unified party obviously didn’t hurt. As expected, Santa Fe Dems, who have a 3-to-1 registration advantage over Republicans in the county, did more than OK in the general election two weeks ago. According to unofficial returns in Santa Fe County, President-elect Barack Obama took 76.9 percent of the vote in the presidential race, and Senator-elect Tom Udall won 79.3 percent. The only countywide race in which a Democrat lost here was the Public Regulation Commission race, in which controversy-prone Jerome Block Jr. came in second to Green Party candidate Rick Lass, who got a 62.5 percent to Block’s 37.5 percent. (Block won the total vote in PRC District 3, however.)

Election trivia: A couple of incumbent Republican legislators actually beat Democratic challengers in this county by 2-to-1 margins.

State Sen. Sue Beffort Wilson beat Democrat Jason Michael Burnett here while Rep. Kathy McCoy defeated Janice Saxton. Both of these legislative districts are mostly in Bernalillo County but each contains a small pocket of precincts in the more conservative southern part of Santa Fe County.

Richardson watch: Most of the recent national chatter about our governor’s chances of being appointed U.S. secretary of state has been in the context of Richardson being a alternate to Hillary Clinton for that job.
The New York Times has been profiling potential Obama appointees in a series called “The New Team.”

Among the governor’s strong points, the profile says, “He earned a reputation as a tough and inventive negotiator, especially when dealing with America’s most entrenched adversaries, among them Iraq, Sudan, North Korea and Cuba. In the 1990s, he negotiated the release of a downed American pilot imprisoned in North Korea, some Red Cross workers held in Sudan and two American contractors detained by Saddam Hussein in Iraq. ... By most accounts, he is the country’s most influential Latino politician. Hispanic groups are pushing hard for him to become secretary of state.”

But, as it does for other Obama administration prospects, the Times notes “baggage” for Richardson. “He has no landmark achievement as a diplomat and has said, in hindsight, that he was wrong on several important issues ... and the North American Free Trade Agreement (which he helped pass). In the late 1990s, he also was secretary of the Department of Energy during the disastrous security breaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the widely criticized prosecution of scientist Wen Ho Lee.”

But that’s not nearly as nasty as the comment by former George H.W. Bush Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger who, when asked in an MSNBC interview about the possibility of Richardson as secretary of state, said “I don’t want to beat everybody to death, but I have very little respect for his intelligence and his knowledge of foreign affairs.”

Radio daze: After last week’s column about the elimination of Christmas lights for Human Service Department employees in an effort to save money, one state worker called to say that employees in her office were told they can’t even play radios at their desk.

I didn’t immediately mount an investigation of this. But it is true that a memo from the governor on Oct. 23 about conservation in the state workplace says, “Personal space heaters and individual appliances (refrigerators, microwaves, etc.) are no longer allowed in staff offices or cubicles.” It’s quite possible that some supervisors have interpreted “individual appliances” to include radios.

(By the way, this memo is titled “Good Governance: Tips for Conservation and Efficiency.” But these “tips” aren’t just friendly suggestions. The first paragraph makes clear the “tips” are to be implemented and enforced by all agencies.)

I suppose workers could bring in iPods — as long as they didn’t plug the devices into state computers to recharge them.

Or maybe HSD and other state employees could take a tip from the Cultural Affairs Department’s proposal to have a private foundation augment the pay of state museum curators and directors. Perhaps they could get New Mexico broadcasters to set up a foundation to help pay the state’s electric bill so that workers can play a radio now and then.

The photo of Minnie Gallegos near the top of this post is by Barb Wold, used under Creative Commons license and found on FLICKR.

UPDATE: I just corrected a spelling mistake in the "Richardson Watch" section above. As a reader pointed out, "security breeches" sounds like some sort of new uniform at LANL. That'll teach me to cut-and-paste from a rag like The New York Times.

Monday, November 17, 2008


Listen to my dadgum podcasts!I've just unleashed my third podcast, Terrell's Sound World Favorites, Vol. 1, more than an hour's worth of tunes I like playing on my Sunday night KSFR radio show.

CLICK HERE to download the podcast. (To save it, right click on the link and select "Save Target As.")

CLICK HERE to subscribe to my podcasts (there will be more in the future) and HERE to subscribe on iTunes.

My cool BIG feed player is HERE.

Here's the play list:

I Wanna Come Back from the World of LSD by The Fe-Fi-Four plus Two
Let Loose the Kracken by The Bald Guys
No Confidence by Simon Stokes
Red Riding Hood and The Wolf by Bunker Hill with Link Wray
96 Tears by Big Maybelle
Mi Saxophone by Al Hurricane

Folly of Youth by Pere Ubu
Police Call by Drywall
We Tried It, Try It by The Movin' Morfo Men

The Criminal Beside Me by R.L. Burnside with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Freezer Burn by Edison Rocket Train
Treat Her Right by Los Straightjackets with Mark Lindsay
What Do You Look Like? by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers with Holly Golightly
Jungle Rock by The Fall
Devil Dance by The A-Bones

Moonbeam by King Richard & The Knights
Lord, Don't Let Me Fail by Mahalia Jackson

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Sunday, November 16, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Chantilly Lace by Jerry Lee Lewis
Here Comes Sickness by Mudhoney
Run Paint Run Run by Captain Beefheart
3E by Mars
Drunk Guy on the Train by Deadbolt
Water by The Moaners
Designed to Kill by The Contortions
Justine by The Righteous Brothers

Coocoo by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Ball and Chain by Big Mama Thorton
That's Life by Big Maybelle
Them Eyes by The Black Keys
Sting-A-Ree by Edison Rocket Train
Space Ghost Theme II by Pavement
Red Rose Tea by The Marquis Chimps
Jonestown by Concrete Blonde

I Want to Ta-Ta You Baby by Johnny "Guitar" Watson
Got a Thing on My Mind by Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings
Live Like a Millionaire by Howard Tate
Plenty Nasty by The Diplomats of Solid Sound
Madhouse by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Tune Up by Junior Walker & The All Stars
Woodrat by King Ernest
Skinny Legs and All by Joe Tex

Jill Used to Be Normal by Jesus H. Christ & The Four Hornsmen of The Apocalypse
Hiding in My Hole by Jay Reatard
Wiked by Greg Dulli
Liked It a Lot by Charlie Pickett
When We Were Young and We Were Freaks by Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog
Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye by The Casinos
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, November 14, 2008


Friday, November 14, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
El Corrido de Emilio Naranjo by Angel Espinoza
Johnny Law by Wayne Hancock
13 Nights by Paul Burch
Kiss Me Quick and Go by The Maddox Brothers & Rose
The Grand Ol' Opry (Ain't So Grand) by Hank Williams III
100 % Pure Fool by The Derailers
Seven Nights to Rock by Cornell Hurd
Sweet Sweet Girl by Warren Smith
When a House is Not a Home by Dugg Collins

Jubilee Train/Do Re Mi/The Promised Land by Dave Alvin
Puddin' Truck by NRBQ
Overtown by Charlie Pickett
Crazy Shoes by Ronnie Dawson
Out There a Ways by The Waco Brothers
Wavin' My Heart Goodbye by The Flatlanders
One Foot in the Honky Tonk by The Starline Rhythm Boys

Bob Dylan's Tell Tale Signs Set
All Songs by Bob, except where noted
Mississippi (Version 2)
Red River Shore
The Lonsesome River by Bob Dylan & Ralph Stanley
Dignity (version 1)
Ain't Talkin'

How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Don't Make Me Pregnant by Tammy Faye Starlite
Box Cars by Rosie Flores
Rosalie by Bobby Neuwirth
Where in the World by Johnny Paycheck
Grinding Wheel by Hundred Year Flood
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


Emilio Naranjo, the controversial strongman of Rio Arriba County politics for 46 years, is dead.

Some called him "the last of the patrons," although he hated that term. Some say he ruled Rio Arriba with an iron fist, especially during his time as sheriff. Others say he was one of the most generous leaders the state's ever seen.

When I interviewed back in 1984 for a Santa Fe Reporter cover story, he was clear: He helped people and he expected them to vote for him and his chosen slate in return. That was the system he knew and he made no apologies for it.

You can read my story in today's New Mexican about his life and death HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 14, 2008

Bob Dylan has thrown away more great music than most will ever make in a lifetime. He’s been making records for more than 45 years, and he still has untold treasures to be mined.

Tell Tale Signs: The Bootleg Series, Vol. 8 is an inspired scavenger hunt through his outtakes, demos, unreleased live recordings, soundtrack contributions, alternate versions of songs familiar and otherwise, and other obscurities from the period between 1989 and 2006. In Dylan-album terms, that’s between Oh Mercy and Modern Times.

(Although Columbia calls this Vol. 8, their numbering is screwy. Volumes one, two, and three were released as a three-disc package in 1991. But the subsequent volumes, including Tell Tale Signs, have all been single volumes of two-disc sets. And the series doesn’t include the legal version of Dylan’s most famous bootleg of all, The Basement Tapes, which Columbia released in 1975. I don’t know why, but this kind of stuff drives me nuts.)

Most of this collection is culled from the sessions for Oh Mercy and Time Out of Mind (1997). There’s a song from 2001’s Love and Theft that appears twice here. I was surprised to learn that “Mississippi” was originally meant for Time Out of Mind but surfaced, in a much different version, four years later. The first take here, my favorite, opens disc one. It features Dylan backed only by the guitar of Daniel Lanois. But the second version, which opens disc two, isn’t bad. It’s got a full band, a slightly different melody, and a slow blues groove.

And don’t mistake this song for “Miss the Mississippi,” a Jimmie Rodgers classic that Dylan recorded in the early ’90s with David Bromberg (who plays guitar and produces.) This is a gorgeous little number with mandolins, fiddles, and a horn section mixed so subtly you almost think that you’re imagining it.

This is one of a handful of cover numbers included in the set. Dylan sings a jaunty take on Robert Johnson’s “32-20 Blues” (an outtake from World Gone Wrong, one of those folk-song albums Dylan made in the mid-’90s). From that same period, there’s a live solo version of an old folk tune called “The Girl on the Greenbriar Shore.” And there’s Reverend Gary Davis’ “Cocaine Blues,” recorded live in 1997 with a band that includes guitarist Larry Campbell and steel guitarist Bucky Baxter. It’s a decent rendition (with uncredited background harmonies that sound like a long-lost recording of The Band), though my favorite version is the one by Dave Van Ronk, which I first heard in the early ’70s).

One forgotten jewel uncovered here is “The Lonesome River,” which originally appeared on a duets album, Clinch Mountain Country, by bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. When he and Dylan harmonize on the chorus, they sound like the world’s coolest geezers.

Then there’s a dignified version of “Dignity,” with Dylan accompanied only by a piano. The more familiar, more upbeat version with a full band (including a banjo that comes out of nowhere) was one of the greatest Dylan songs of the ’90s, even though it didn’t appear on any of his regular studio albums). But in the “piano demo” on Tell Tale Signs, the lyrics come out more. Of course, there are some lyrics on this version that most of us haven’t heard before, such as this: “Soul of a nation is under the knife/Death is standing in the doorway of life/In the next room a man fightin’ with his wife over dignity.”

There are actually two versions of “Dignity” here. The second one has a definitive rockabilly feel. It’s my least favorite of all the versions I know, but it’s still fun hearing how Dylan messes with his songs.

Some songs undergo even more radical transformations, which shouldn’t be shocking news for Dylan fans. “High Water (For Charlie Patton)” is a muscular blues stomper on Love and Theft, but the live version here is downright ominous, a rollicking battle royal between the guitars of Campbell and Freddy Koella.

Another live Love and Theft rocker is “Lonesome Day Blues.” Dylan is definitely one of the world’s most twisted blues singers, and this track helpowerful tune here is “Marchin’ to the City,” a gospelish song that builds in momentum. Augie Meyers (Sir Douglas Quintet, Texas Tornados) shines on organ.

I like some of the alternate versions better than the originals — for instance, “Everything Is Broken,” from Oh Mercy. The version here is raw swamp rock.

But one of the alternate takes on Tell Tale Signs unfortunately pales in comparison with the “official” version. The newly released “Someday Baby” sounds like an attempt to sound like a Daniel Lanois production without Lanois himself. It’s interesting, but I’ll take the sizzling blues version that was on Modern Times any day.

One surprise is how much soundtrack work Dylan has done in recent years. This collection includes songs from Gods and Generals (the eight-minute “’Cross the Green Mountain”), North Country (“Tell Ol’ Bill”), and Lucky You (“Huck’s Tune”). It’s too bad that Dylan’s roaring “Band of the Hand (It’s Hell Time Man)” from the 1986 movie Band of the Hand came out before the period covered by Tell Tale Signs. Maybe that song will be on a future volume of the Bootleg Series.

Nobody’s going to argue that 1989 to 2006 was Dylan’s greatest period. But musically speaking, it was a darn fine time for the old boy.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 13, 2008

If nothing else, you have to admire their fighting spirit.

Every week, the state Republican Party sends out an e-mail newsletter called The Weekly Stampede, which normally consists of party news, announcements from GOP officials, news stories about dumb things Democrats have done or said in the past week. Stuff like that.

Last week, there was a general-election stampede. But it was the Republicans who got trampled — in this state more than many others.

Barack Obama won the state’s five presidential electors by a wide enough margin that we don’t have to hear the political Right moan that ACORN had torn the fabric of democracy (or listen to the Left whine that Haliburton secretly programmed all the ballot scanners.) The GOP also lost the U.S. Senate seat held for 36 years by Pete Domenici, all three Congressional seats (including two that have been held for years by Republicans), and, assuming no last-minute vote-canvass surprises, a net loss of six seats in the state Legislature.

Nobody, not even the most cynical reporter, would have held it against the state Republican Party if they didn’t publish the Weekly Stampede after a week like that.

But they did.

Friday’s Stampede doesn’t mention anything about losing the U.S. Senate seat, U.S. House seats or any of the legislative races. No mention of any fallen GOP candidates like Steve Pearce, Darren White, Ed Tinsley, Leonard Lee Rawson or Justine Fox-Young.

Besides some routine announcements about various upcoming county party meetings, there’s no news about New Mexico Republicans at all — just three national news stories. There’s a CNN article about a study that shows “voter turnout in Tuesday’s election was the same in percentage terms as it was four years ago — or at most has risen by less than 1 percent.” There’s a piece from Politico that basically poo-poos the idea that the youth vote was a major factor in the election, as some had predicted. And there’s a Fox News report about U.S. Senate Republican leaders making overtures to U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman, the former Democratic vice presidential nominee who campaigned hard for Sen. John McCain.

A small ray of light for Republicans: Nobody can deny that Lea County, down in the southeastern New Mexico oil patch, is a Republican stronghold.

Last week, according to unofficial returns, McCain beat Obama by a margin of 71.6 percent to 27.4 percent. McCain’s margin over Obama was more than 2,700 votes larger than George W. Bush’s margin over John Kerry in the county in 2004.

Indeed, in Lea County, McCain last week got more than 5,600 votes above Bush’s total in 2004.

Only trouble is, Obama got well over twice the votes Kerry did in that county four years ago. His loss to McCain there was a landslide by any measure. But it was less of a landslide than in the Bush/Kerry race, in which the Republican got about 77 percent of the vote there while the Democrat received only about 22 percent.

The Obama campaign never claimed it would take Lea or other hard-Republican counties. Their goal was to cut into the Republican advantage. That strategy seemed to pay off. For instance, in conservative Chaves County, Obama got nearly 1,500 more votes than Kerry did there in 2004, while McCain received about 1,100 fewer votes than Bush did four years ago. McCain got nearly 62 percent of the vote in Chaves, compared with Obama’s 37 percent.

Merry Christmas, turn out the lights: We might get a white Christmas, but over at the state Human Services Department, it might not be a bright Christmas.

HSD offices have been instructed by Secretary Pam Hyde to not use any blinking lights, electric candles or other plug-in decorations to bring holiday cheer to the workplace.

It’s part of the state budget squeeze, a spokeswoman for the department confirmed. It goes along with an Oct. 23 memo from Gov. Bill Richardson to state workers calling for the conservation of energy. Richardson’s memo said the energy conservation effort is part of a plan to save $2 million in state operating costs.

As one HSD manager told employees in an e-mail last month, “You will have to stick with mechanial/non-electric (decorations) or paper or other materials that do not use electricity or create a hazard. ... things like this could mean the difference between whether we can prevent additional hiring reductions.”

In other words, red and green lights could result in pink slips.

Maybe some taxpayers will feel so bad about this they’ll donate those $25 and $50 rebate checks that the state sent out a few weeks ago, back when the state budget seemed less critical, so HSD workers can enjoy some Christmas lights.
Hauntingly familiar? The Anchorage Daily News this week published an article about challenges that unsuccessful Republican vice presidential candidate Gov. Sarah Palin will face in her state, especially if she’s going to run for president in 2012.

“For the rest of her career in Alaska, every move Palin makes will be second-guessed for ulterior motives,” reporter Tom Kizzia wrote. “Is she taking on this or that priority because it’s good for the state or because it looks good on her résumé?

“If she travels to New Hampshire to meet with Republicans, is the state paying for her long-distance calls home?” Kizzia wrote. “Who decided to put the governor’s photo on that tourism brochure? Imagine the snarkiness that will erupt if she flies off to meet industrialists in China or oil ministers in Geneva ...”

Luckily such a situation never could happen in New Mexico.

Monday, November 10, 2008


Monday, November 10, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Webcasting!10 p.m. to midnight Mondays Mountain Time
Guest Host: Steve Terrell (subbing for Susan Ohori)
101.1 FM
email me during the show!

Babulu Music by Desi Arnaz (Weird Al remix)
Not a Crime by Gogol Bordello
Siki Siki Baba by Kocani Orkestar
Zinabu by Bunzu Sounds
Tu VeuxVeux Pas by Brigitte Bardot
Si Me Vas a Dejar by Los Tigres del Norte
Chatma by Tinarawin

Emabhanaceni by Miriam Makeba
In Your Garden Twenty Fecund Fruit Trees by Frank London's Klezmer Brass Allstars
Ganges a Go Go by Anandji & Kalyanji Shah
The Ugly Side of the Face by Hang in the Box
Sal Che Torneo by The Cocks
Tuvu Groove by Ondar
Traffic Policeman by Zvuki Mu
I Wanna Break Through by The Hykers
Comet Samba by Caberet Diosa

Five Long Years by Nightlosers
Fourty Four by Istanbul Blues Kumpanyasi
Telephone call From Istanbul by The Red Elvises
Innocent When You Dream by Kazik Staszewski
Yogi Man by The Skatallites
Pink Water by Ketchup Mania
Maramures Zydeco by 3 Mustaphas 3

Bat Macumba by Os Mutantes
Honey Baby by Alemayehu Eshete
Trust in Me by The Dead Brothers
Romano Dance by DJ Click vs. Mahal Rai Banda
No Puedo Amar by The Yorks
Caffe-In by Mario & Peaches
The Israelites by Desmond Dekker
Ramino Kolo by Kalesijski Zvuci
Some Say The Divil is Dead by The Wolfe Tones

Coffin for Head of State (Part 1) by Fela Kuti
Hold My Hips by Dengue Fever

Im Nin'alu by Ofra Haza
Foqt Foqt by Rachid Taha
C'est Pas la Mer a Boire by Les Negresses Vertes
Rastaman by Bunny Wailer
Terra by Caetano Veloso
We Bid You Goodnight by Joseph Spence

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Sunday, November 9, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
People Have the Power by Patti Smith
Ask the Dragon by Yoko Ono/IMA
In My Brain by Pierced Arrows
Serial Killer by Los Peyotes
Any Way You Want It by The Ramones
96 Tears by Big Maybelle
Don't Slander Me by Lou Ann Barton
Hey Little Girl by The Thunderbirds
She Can Rock by Little Ike
Alcoholics In My Town by Jesus H. Christ & The Four Hornsmen of The Apocalypse

Sara & Jane by Hundred Year Flood
Hey Sailor by The Detroit Cobras
Credit Card Blues by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
In the Wilderness by Charlie Pickett
The Eternal Question by The Grandmothers
Salt Peanuts by The Jim & Jack Show
The Indian of the Group by Farrell & Black Band

You Gotta Work by Nathaniel Mayer
The Girl From Outer Space by Barrett Whitfied & The Savages
Good Times Are Coming by Eddie "The Chief" Clearwater with Los Straightjackets
Call the Plumber by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Uncle John by Wild Child Gipson
Land of the Freak by King Khan & The Shrines
Jungle Fever by The Grand Prees
God Don't Like It by Sister Rosetta Tharpe
If God Brought You to It by Howard Tate

Talking Main Event Magazine Blues by Mike Edison & The Rocket Train Delta Science Arkestra
Tongue-Tied by Simon Stokes
Why by Lonnie Mack
Pinch by Marc Ribot's Ceramic Dog
Where or When by Dion & The Belmonts
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


Listen to my dadgum podcasts!
I've decided to make a permanent home for the new decent feed player for my podcasts I've found. It's from Big Contact, the same service used by my pals at The feed player should update with each new show I add.

You still can find info on my individual podcast shows HERE

I'm working on a new podcast show, by the way, a "Terrell's Sound World Favorites," kind of like my "Santa Fe Opry Favorites" I unleashed last week.

Meanwhile, here's the small version of my feedplayer:

Saturday, November 08, 2008


The Terrell Tribune in Terrell, Texas sparked a protest from some of its readers after the paper's Wednesday headline dealt with a county commission race, not the presidential race. In fact the front page had no mention of the presidential results at all.

In response to readers who said they were disappointed because they wanted to keep a copy of the Tribune for the future, the publisher, whose name isn't Terrell replied, ""We run a newspaper, not a memory book service."

Sometimes The New Mexican is criticized for not having enough world and national news. But at least we generally make mention of the presidential race the morning after the election.

Here's the story about the Terrell Tribune. CLICK HERE.


Here's my 90 eMusic downloads for this month:
* Slide Guitar Gospel (1944-1964) by various artists (Actually only The Rev. Utah Smith and The Rev. Lonnie Farris.) Only recently was I turned on to The Rev. Utah Smith (sometimes called "Elder Utah Smith".) It was on the recent Sonic Nightmares podcast with Gringo Starr and Rev. Beat-Man. (Listen yourself HERE.) which featured Smith's song "Take a Trip." Gringo describes Smith, who started out as a traveling, electric-guitar slinging evangelist, donning "wings" and flying over his congregation (with the help of ropes and pulleys.)

So I sought him out on eMusic and found this great compilation on Document Records -- six Utah Smith tracks (including the one I heard on Sonic Nightmares) and 16 of the Rev. Lonnie Farris.

The Smith songs live up to the romise of "Take a Trip." The guy sang like Blind Willie Johnson and played guitar like a hopped up Sister Rosetta Tharpe. There's three versions of his song "Two Wings" here, but all are worthy. These songs were recorded in the '40s and '50s.

I came for Elder Smith, but I stayed for Rev. Farris. These are more recent recordings than Smith's -- from the 1960s I believe. His music sounds like a direct precursor of the Sacred Steel records we've come to know and love from Arhoolie.

But on some songs, Rev. Farris has a sax player. These are some of the grittiest recordings to ever come out of a church.

* Hey Mom! the Garage is on My Foot by various artists. Yes, one reason I downloaded this is because I like the cover.

This is a 1996 collection from Damaged Goods Records, Billy Childish's label. Billy's here, kicking off the album with Thee Headcoats, doing a song called "Deer Stalking Man" a tune lampooning hunting, done with a Bo Diddley beat.

Billy's pal Holly Golightly is represented with a hard-thumping fuzzbuster called "In You."

My favorite track here is "Haywire Hodaddy" by The Hodads. It's surf gone wrong, making The Trashmen look like The Lennon Sisters.

And hell, it's the closest thing eMusic has to "Hodad Makin' the Scene With a Six Pack" by The Silly Surfers. When is someone going to re-release the Silly Surfers/Weird-ohs album?

*The Wham of That Memphis Man by Lonnie Mack. Here's a classic 1963 debut album from an influential rock 'n' blues guitarist and underrated soul shouter.

It's from that post rockabilly/pre-Beatles period when rock 'n' roll supposedly had died. Maybe the teen idols ruled the charts, but the underground was alive with the likes of Lonnie Mack.

This album has plenty of Lonnie's best known instrumentals like "Memphis," "Susie Q" and "Wham," plus a generous helping of sweet greasy ballads, where Lonnie goes from a sob to a shout in nothing flat.

*America's Queen Mother of Soul Got a Brand New Bag by Big Maybelle. You got your ridiculous -- "The Eggplant That Ate Chicago" -- and you got the sublime -- "That's Life," yes, the Frank Sinatra tune. And both with "Mellow Yellow." This is a collection of mid '60s hits that some producer almost certainbly forced this blues shouter to sing. It wouldn;t surprise me if she hated it. And it's sure not Maybelle's best.

But it's a hell of a lot of fun. She turns "96 Tears" into a soul workout." Same with The Troggs' "I Can't Control Myself." And she pours her guts into the soggy, middlebrow Eddy Arnold hit "Turn the World Around the Other Way."

Had I been the producer of this record (instead of being 14 years old or whatever I was at the time, I wouldn't have let Big Maybelle touch the wimp-rock whiner "There Has to Be a Word That Means More than Love." She sounds as if she's trying to imitate Eartha Kitt here, but she ends up sounding more like Claudine Longet here. But she makes up for it with the electrifying "Black is Black."

*Canten En Espanol by Wau Y Los Arrrghs!!!
There are some bitchen sounds coming out of Spain these days.
The Hollywood Sinners commemorated these guys, their fellow countrymen in song, and I gave them another listen when I was writing about Spanish-language rock in my recent review of Los Peyotes. The group's members include Juanito Wau, Satu Arrrgh!!!, Molongui Arrrgh!!!, Isidro Arrrgh!!! and Fletan Arrrgh!!!

This is their 2005 album from Voodoo Rhythm. About time for a new album, no?

* Yes! Yes!! Yes!!! by Edison Rocket Train. I discovered this right after I got I Have Fun Everywhere I Go, the recent spoken-word CD by Mike Edison, a former editor of High Times, Screw, and some pro wrestling rag. Backed by a band including Jon Spencer, it's some of the craziest stuff I've heard all year. It was love at first listen (and you'll hear more about it in Terrell's Tune-up in the near future.)

This album isn't quite up to that level. But it's got a lot going for it. Just good crunching punk-ass blues with vocals (Mr. Edison I assume?) that sound like Captain Beefheart's criminal little brother. Spencer plays theremin on a couple of songs, but this is a blues explosion in its own right.

*THE BLACK ANGELS PLUS ... Four tracks from Passover by The Black Angels. I've been meaning to get this one for awhile. I saw these guys at The Roky Erikson Ice Cream Social in Austin during SXSW and I loved their latest album, Directions to See a Ghost. (It's on eMusic HERE.) Passover, the tracks I've heard at least, is the same kind of psychedelic guitar space rock. It seems to be full of anti-war songs -- "The First Vietnam War," "Sniper at the Gates of Heaven" "Young Men Dead," etc. Intense fare all around. I'll nab the remaining tracks when my eMusic account refreshes next week.

Friday, November 07, 2008


Friday, November 7, 2008
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Cherokee Boogie by Cornell Hurd
You're the Reason by Nancy Apple
Lover of the Bayou by The Byrds
Sixpack of Beer by Hank Williams III
Get Off on Your Porch by Charlie Pickett
Hell or High Water by Hundred Year Flood
Cuckoo Rock by The Collins Kids
Big Dwarf Rodeo by Rev. Horton Heat
I'm Happy by Rev. Beat-Man

Truckload of Art by Terry Allen
Honky Tonk Song by Webb Pierce
Worried, Unhappy, Lonesome and Sorry by Merle Haggard
Big Mamou by Waylon Jennings
Prisoner's Birthday by John Lilly
Think About Your Troubles by Asylum Street Spankers
A Summer Love Song by Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band
The Eggplant That Ate Chicago by Big Maybelle

Harder Than Your Husband/Lonesome Cowboy Burt by Frank Zappa with Jimmy Carl Black
Death Don't Have No Mercy by Hot Tuna
Miss the Mississippi by Bob Dylan
Satisfied by Lonnie Mack
Hot Dog Baby by Hasil Adkins
Get My Mind Together by Greezy Wheels

Ain't I Right by Marty Robbins
Single Women by Dolly Parton
A Satisfied Mind by Porter Wagoner
Ballad of Dead Men's Hollow by Dead Men's Hollow
The Cold Hard Truth by George Jones
Stand by Fred Eaglesmith
Eyes on the Prize by Mavis Staples
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


While indulging in the sin of vanity -- specifically, Googling to see how easy it is to locate my podcasts -- I stumbled across yet another Steve Terrell -- another podcasting Steve Terrell.

He's Brother Steve Terrell and he's associated with the First Baptist Church in Lepanto, Arkansas. You can find his most recent "Godcast" HERE.

So please, don't get confused. If you're looking for stories of Jesus dealing with the Pharisees to describe how Jesus came to fulfil the law, not to destroy it, you're probably looking for Brother Steve. If you're looking for weird music shows with Angry Johnny & The Killbillies, you're probably looking for me.


Remember Barack Obama's victory speech Wednesday night, how heartwarming it was when he told his little girls, " ... you have earned the new puppy that's coming with us to the White House."

It truly was sweet and I'm sure it means a lot to Obama and his family. But it sounded kind of familiar to me. I suddenly realized Obama isn't the president to charm the nation by talking about his cute little daughters and their dog.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 7, 2008

I’m not sure why anyone would be interested in a Florida bar band that most people outside of Florida have never heard of — a group that rose in the early ’80s and then sputtered to a stop well before the end of the decade, leaving behind no real hits and no MTV videos to get nostalgic over. Why would anyone care about a beer-drenched band led by a singer who called it quits, left showbiz for law school, and never looked back?

Because they sound so dang good!

You have to wonder why you never heard of them, and you wish you had been there for at least a few of those nights in some sweaty Fort Lauderdale saloon.

This is the story of Charlie Pickett, attorney at law, whose studio work from the crazy ’80s was recently released in an irresistible retrospective from Bloodshot Records.

The album Bar Band Americanus is credited to Charlie Pickett And — which first made me think that some guy was ripping off Johnny Winters. That’s not the case. Charlie’s first band was called The Eggs. Later, after the original Eggs cracked up and Pickett moved to Minneapolis, his band became known as The MC3.

Whatever he was calling his group, Pickett played a high-charged brand of roots rock. Like any self-respecting bar band of that period — or, I’d argue any period — his debt to Exile on Main St.-era Rolling Stones is proudly displayed.

Nearly all the songs here are original, though there are rocking covers of The Flamin’ Groovies’ “Shake Some Action” and a stomping take on Son House’s “Death Letter.” I have to agree with the liner notes that The White Stripes’ version sounds like it owes more to Pickett’s take than to Mr. House’s. (This reminds me — at this year’s Thirsty Ear Festival, young bluesman Samuel James argued that “Death Letter” is the greatest song ever written. Talk amongst yourselves.)

Among the highlights here are “Liked It a Lot,” a bluesy slow burner with a feedbacking guitar screaming in the background. It’s a song of sexual jealousy with lyrics I won’t even try to sneak in here. Let’s just say this could be considered a male version of Marianne Faithfull’s infamous “Why’d Ya Do It?”

On the other end of the spectrum is the upbeat “Penny Instead,” in which Charlie sings about his unabashed love for a woman, happily comparing Penny to less desirable girls in his past (“I could have had crazy, but I got Penny instead”) while his slide guitar squeals with delight.

One of my favorites here is “A. on Horseback” — the “A” is short for “America.” It’s a nostalgic look at this great nation of ours (“There were giants in those days”), featuring a cool ongoing duel between Pickett’s slide and Jim Duckworth’s burning guitar. Then there’s “Marlboro Country,” which shows The Eggs could handle the “Louie Louie”/“Hang On Sloopy” riff with the best of ’em.

Also recommended:

* Poison
by Hundred Year Flood. Speaking of great American bar bands, Hundred Year Flood is one group whose members I hope never go to law school. Their long-awaited fifth album is ng short of a jewel — and a polished jewel at that. Poison is definitely slicker than most of the group’s previous releases. But it works.
HYF at the 2008 Thirsty Ear Festival
Several tunes stand out here. Some of them are ones the band has been playing live for some time now.

The opening cut, “Hell or High Water,” has received much attention because Taj Mahal plays harmonica on it. Taj sounds great, but I’d be hooked on the tune even without him. It’s a slow swamp-stomper that starts off with Bill Palmer singing, “Last night I heard the coyotes howl and moan.” It’s like an omen that sets an uneasy mood. Felecia Ford sings the next verse. Flood’s repertoire is roughly divided between “Bill songs” and “Felecia songs,” but some of the band’s best are the ones on which they both sing lead.

The title song is one of the catchiest rockers on the album. It features a “Peter Gunn” bass line and a garage-rock guitar riff that will poison your brain.

The lyrics of “Sara & Jane” sound a little bit like an early Bruce Springsteen song, though the music, with a whining electric guitar, sounds a lot like classic Fleetwood Mac.

The song “Electricity” broods in the darkness, slow and spooky (“This is how death must feel, helpless and unwanted,” Ford sings). Don’t listen with the lights out. Meanwhile, “Grinding Wheel,” also sung by Ford, has a nice country feel. It’s an emotional little song with great imagery of an angry man who “left a mark out on the gravel when you drove away.”

“Neck of the Woods,” which features vocals by Flood pal Shannon McNally, is awfully purdy, but the most gorgeous song on this album (and perhaps in HYF history) is “Truly.” Sung by Ford, it’s nothing but a sweet declaration of love and fidelity (those of us who were at the band’s performance on the Plaza last summer, the day that bass player Kendra Palmer and drummer Jim Palmer had their baby, will always remember “Truly” as the song that opened that show).

After a few listens, my surprise favorite on Poison is “Down Thru the Holler,” a minor-key folk-rocker with some fine acoustic guitar work by Bill Palmer and haunted harmonies between him and Ford.

I’ve said it before. This town is lucky to have a band like Hundred Year Flood. This album reinforces that notion.

Thursday, November 06, 2008



A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
November 6, 2008

Final results of several New Mexico legislative races won’t be known until county clerks count provisional ballots, a process that could take several days.

Meanwhile, with the likelihood of several new Democratic faces in the state Senate, Gov. Bill Richardson said Wednesday there’s a better chance he’ll be able to get along with the Legislature’s upper chamber. The Senate in the past has been a major stumbling block for Richardson initiatives, such as health care reform.

While insisting that he never interferes in legislative leadership battles, Richardson at a news conference blasted one of his chief critics in the Legislature, Senate President pro tem Tim Jennings, D-Roswell.
Senate President pro tem Tim Jennings
Unofficial returns posted by the secretary of state show three Republican incumbents in the Senate were trailing Democratic challengers. Republican Whip Leonard Lee Rawson of Las Cruces was more than 500 votes behind Democrat Steve Fischmann. Sen. Steve Komadina, R-Corrales, had 55 fewer votes than Democrat John Sapien.

And, in a race that turned out not so close, incumbent Sen. Diane Snyder, R-Albuquerque, was defeated by Democrat Tim Eichenberg by a margin of nearly 13 percentage points.

On the House side, three incumbent Albuquerque conservatives were trailing Democrats:

Challenger Bill O’Neill was ahead of Rep. Teresa Zanetti by four percentage points. Benjamin Rodefe was beating Rep. Eric Youngberg by 413 votes. The closest House race was in District 30, where Rep. Justine Fox-Young was 155 votes behind Democrat Karen Giannini.

While the unofficial results include all polling places plus early and absentee ballots, James Flores, a spokesman for the secretary of state, warned that the unofficial results do not include provisional ballots, so the results in closer races are uncertain. “Those will be counted during the canvass,” Flores said. “We won’t know until then.”

Provisional ballots are cast by people who show up at the polls and find their names aren’t listed on the rolls, or by those casting votes away from their home precincts. It is up to county clerks to determine which provisional ballots will be counted, and traditionally about half eventually are thrown out.

Flores didn’t have any totals of the provisional ballots in the close legislative districts. On Tuesday, Secretary of State Mary Herrera said there were “tons” of provisional ballots cast statewide on Election Day.

Provisional ballots caused a major problem in February’s Democratic Party presidential caucus. In the extremely close race between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, it took about two weeks for a final vote count. The caucus was run by the party, but voter rolls were provided by the state.

But even though the latest vote count isn’t final, Senate Majority Leader Michael Sanchez, D-Belen, on Wednesday issued a news release in which he welcomed Eichenberg, Fischmann and Sapien to the Senate. “I met with and offered my support and assistance to all of the candidates immediately following the primary election. It is difficult to unseat an incumbent and I am gratified to see that we were successful in those races,” Sanchez said.
Gov. Bill Richardson
Richardson on Wednesday told reporters he hopes newly elected Democratic legislators tend to be progressives, “and this will allow the Legislature to push for new progressive initiatives and new opportunities for change.”

Speaking of the Senate, the governor said, “With these new Democrats likely coming to the Senate, I expect we also may see a number of positive changes in legislation, and with that I see an opportunity to engage in honest dialogue. I see an opportunity to break the gridlock that has plagued our progress on a lot of important issues.”

In addition to new senators who won or may have won Tuesday, some other new progressive Democrats claimed seats in the primary, including Eric Griego and Tim Keller of Albuquerque. Also, Peter Wirth of Santa Fe, who has been a House member for four years, won an unopposed Senate seat.

Asked whether he was hoping for a change in Senate leadership, Richardson demurred, then added, “But I think Sen. Jennings is going to have to answer to his caucus on how he interfered against a Democrat in a race, a Democrat who happened to win.”

He was referring to the Rawson/Fischmann race. Jennings recorded a “robo call” on behalf of Republican Rawson’s campaign in which he took “a stand against the character assassination” of Rawson by Fischmann.

The Democrat had pounded Rawson on several issues, including his use of more than $100,000 in public money to pave a road adjacent to a commercial development he owns. Jennings has said a group supporting Fischmann called his home Roswell one day and suggested that Rawson is a “crook.”

Richardson also criticized Jennings for sending a letter to school superintendents across the state, which warned that because of budget shortfalls some school districts might have to lay off personnel — even though Richardson has said his budget won’t call for layoffs. The letter, the governor said, was “irresponsible and premature.”

Regarding the recorded-phone-call issue, Jennings said Wednesday that while he didn’t endorse Rawson, “If someone is spreading lies about someone, I’m not going to sit and say, ‘Go ahead.’ ”

On the school letter, Jennings said he was only trying to warn school officials to start looking for ways to trim their budgets so they won’t have to lay off anyone. He said he sent the letter because he was chairman of the Senate Education Committee in the early ’80s, when the state had similar budget problems.

“Obviously when the governor is mad, he lashes out at you and goes into attack mode,” Jennings said. “I don’t have to run every letter I send by the governor. He never runs his letters by me.”

Wirth said Wednesday he’s not aware of any leadership challenges in the Senate. “I’ll be watching and listening to see what develops.”


I was inspired while getting my photos for my column in previous post.



It’s over.

The longest election cycle in the history of the galaxy is over.

Hopefully, the volume of new messages in my e-mail in-boxes, both work and personal, will be reduced to humane levels.
My cell phone won’t be constantly buzzing with new text messages from the Obama campaign. (I just signed up last summer to get the news of his vice-presidential pick and suddenly they wanted me to work for them.)

I won’t feel compelled to start off each day looking at the electoral college map.
Indeed, it’s been a long election. For me it actually started in June 2005, when I followed Gov. Bill Richardson to the great state of New Hampshire. He hadn’t yet declared his candidacy. In fact, it was still more than a year away from his gubernatorial re-election campaign. Though he wouldn’t admit it at the time, Richardson was clearly testing the waters back in 2005 in the first primary state, making speeches, doing interviews and making contacts who could help him in the 2008 primary.

The real campaign, at least for most New Mexico political reporters, didn’t start until January 2007, when Richardson formally declared he was running for president. By the next month I was traveling to Carson City, Nev., for the first Democratic presidential forum. Richardson was there, as was Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Joe Biden, Chris Dodd, Dennis Kucinich, “Mad” Mike Gravel (who brought some much-needed laughter to the rather dull affair) and Tom Vilsack. (Remember him? He dropped out of the race not long after the Carson City forum.)
The only no-show in Carson City that day was Barack Obama. A year later I wondered if that contributed to his defeat in the Nevada caucus.
The presidential race was pretty nonstop after that. There seemed to be a debate every couple of weeks. But things didn’t really get serious in New Mexico until several months later when Pete Domenici announced he wouldn’t seek re-election. Reporters had to scramble to see who was and wasn’t running for Domenici’s seat, then all three of the state’s Congressional seats. Six Democrats and two Republicans ended up on the 3rd Congressional District primary ballot, not to mention two independents early in the race, plus a small army of Democratic politicians who were considering or rumored to be considering the congressional race.
Normally I bellyache every two years about the number of state legislators who get a free ride on election day. But this year I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved that there wasn’t any competition in the Roundhouse races in the Santa Fe area.

I’d also be lying if I said it wasn’t fun.
I’ll have lots of fond memories from this election — the freezing cold of New Year’s Day in Iowa, which made January in New Hampshire seem like a tropical paradise; the Democratic cigar party in Denver, plus running in to the likes of Jimmy Carter, Madelyn Albright, The Daily Show fake-news team and Captain Morgan; Obama in Española; John McCain in Albuquerque; Mitt Romney at an Airport Road tire store, just down the street from the restaurant where Caroline Kennedy spoke a few days before; strolling the farmer’s market with Tom Udall; eating tamales with Steve Pearce on a sunny day in Mora County; watching Richardson campaign among New Hampshire Hispanics at a Manchester barbershop; Richardson’s “job interview” ads, Udall’s “parrot” ads, Pearce’s “hippie” ad.
Yes, it was a heck of an election, Brownie. Now I’d better get busy deleting e-mail before my computer goes catatonic.

’60s Flashback: At the risk of mixing my roles as political columnist and music columnist, prompted by the first victory of a black presidential candidate, and the image of tears streaming down the face of the Rev. Jesse Jackson on television after Obama had been declared the winner, I spent a good chunk of Wednesday morning listening to Mavis Staples’ excellent We’ll Never Turn Back. This album, produced by Ry Cooder, consists mainly of civil rights-era songs — spirituals, civil-rights anthems, union songs and even blues, such as J.B. Lenoir’s “Down in Mississippi.” In the middle of the latter tune, Staples does a lengthy spoken part during which she remembers the Mississippi of her youth, when she was forbidden to drink out of certain water fountains.
“My gran’ma said, ‘Young ’un, you can’t drink that water,’ She said, ‘You drink from that fountain over there.’ And that fountain had a sign, said ‘For Colored Only.’ ”

I’m not black, and I didn’t grow up in Mississippi. But I clearly remember back in the mid-’60s, when I was a grade-school kid in Oklahoma. Our class had a field trip in which we rode in an old bus — apparently an old city bus — that had a sign saying: “Back for Colored Only.”

I don’t even remember where our class went that day. All that stands out from that day is that sign. I’m not even sure whether the back-of-the-bus rules still were being enforced in Oklahoma City by that point. But it was still close enough in time that nobody had bothered to remove that weird oppressive message from that bus.

So it’s easy to see why Rev. Jackson shed a tear, and why U.S. Rep. John Lewis, himself a civil rights activist, was speaking so emotionally in television interviews on Tuesday night and why, as blogger Joe Monahan reported, Lenton Malry, the first black state legislator in New Mexico, had tears in his eyes at the KNAW-FM studios when Obama’s victory was announced.

BLOG BONUS: Here's Mavis singing "Eyes on the Prize" from We'll Never Turn Back"


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