Monday, June 29, 2009


Hey Baby, it's the Fourth of July! (Well, almost.)

This month The Big Enchilada is going to look at life in the USA, the wonders, the weirdness, the inspiration, the insanity. It's one firecracker of a show, featuring music by Chuck Berry, The Blasters, The Fleshtones, The Dictators, The Dick Nixons, Wayne Kramer, Drywall Jon Langford, Shane McGowan, Dave Van Ronk, Fred Waring & His Pennsylvanians and much more.

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

Or better yet, stop messing around and CLICK HERE to subscribe to my podcasts and HERE to directly subscribe on iTunes.

You can play it on the little feedplayer below:

My cool BIG feed player is HERE.

Here's the playlist:

An American is a Very Lucky Man by Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians
(Background Music: El Capitan by John Philip Sousa)
The Outcast by Dave Van Ronk
American Music by The Blasters
American Beat by The Fleshtones
The Patriot Song by The Dick Nixons
A. on Horseback by Charlie Pickett

(Background Music: Washington Post March by John Philip Sousa)
The Country is Young by Jon Langford
The Body of an American by Shane McGowan & The Popes
American History by Carey Swinney
America the Beautiful by The Dictators
Burn the Flag by The Starkweathers

(Background Music: El Capitan by John Philip Sousa)
200 Years by David Gowans
Something Broken in the Promised Land by Wayne Kramer
Big American Problem by Drywall

(Background Music: The Star Spangled Banner by Wendy Chambers)
Back in the USA by Chuck Berry
Coda by Little Jack Horton

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Sunday, June 29, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
Guest Co-host: Tom Trusnovic
101.1 FM
email me during the show!

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Tijuana Hit Squad by Deadbolt
Nice Try by The Sinners
Speed Racer by The Monsters
I Feel Like Giving In by The Delmonas
Working Men Are Pissed by The Minute Men
Here Come the Mushroom People by The Molting Vultures
Useless by The Cynics
The Hammerlock by Shrunken Heads
Ghoul au Go Go by The TexRays

Sour and Vicious Man by The Strawmen
Melville by Movie Star Junkies
T.V. Eye by Iggy Pop
It's a Lie by King Khan
Ain't That Lovin' You Baby by Link Wray
Black Beard by The Universals
Meat Man by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sky Saxon Tribute
All Songs by The Seeds unless otherwise noted

Pushin' Too Hard (Original demo)
Evil Hoodoo
Chocolate River
Can't Seem to Make You Mine by The Ramones
Lose Your Mind
Flower Lady and Her Assistant
Wild Blood
Seven Mystic Horsemen by Sky Saxon
A New Therom by The Blood-Drained Cows

Go Down Old Hannah by Scott H. Birham
Little Queenie by Chuck Berry
Harlem Nocturne by Kustomized
Mercury by Los Straitjackets
Venus in Furs by The Velvet Underground
Stranger in the House by Wayne Kramer
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


FANCY PICKIN' FROM DAN HICKS Dan Hicks put on a fine, fun show at the Santa Fe Brewing Company last night.

He's touring to promote his latest album Tangled Tales, (See My review of that HERE.) In fact he's taking that promotional aspect so seriously he's even written a song he performed last night about buying Tangled Tales for your baby. Like so much of Hicks' material, this shameless, ironic (or is it?) plug is both hilarious and lovely at the same time.

Hicks is playing with a new troupe of Hot Licks, except perhaps for bassist Paul Smith, I think it's an entirely different line-up than the band he brought to the Thirsty Ear Festival back in 2002. His latest Lickettes are Roberta Donnay and Daria, who are almost as impressive on percussion as they are on vocals.

Besides songs from Tangled Tales, such as "Blues My Naughty Baby Baby Gives to Me," "The Rounder," "The Diplomat" and the bosa-nova-like "Song For My Father," Hicks played a nice selection of his old favorites from the '60s and '70s.
These included "She Made Her Getaway" (a personal favorite that invoked personal flashbacks about a strange romantic situation in the mid '70s). "I Feel Like Singin'," "Milkshakin' Mama," "How Can I Miss You When You Won't Go Away," "The Buzzard Was Their Friend," and, of course, "I Scare Myself," which was performed far more light-heartedly than other times I've seen Hicks do this signature tune.

I was a little disappointed not to hear "Payday Blues." And I'd love someday to hear him do a live version of "It's Not My Time to Go." Elvis Costello sited this as his favorite Hicks song, besides "I Scare Myself" -- and he's right. But it's never appeared on any of his live albums and I've never heard it at a concert. So come on, Dan, revive it.

In case you missed Hicks & Licks last night, here's a link (sorry, no embed) of an April show, courtesy NPR. Several of the songs are the same, and he even tells some of the same jokes.

Dan's Bitchen Sneakers. Last night I reported on Twitter they were yellow. I was standing way back in the crowd at that point and had only caught a glance. As you can see the shoes are multi-colored. Never trust Twitter

Friday, June 26, 2009


Friday, June 27, 2009
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
I've Got $5 and It's Saturday Night by George Jones & Gene Pitney
Poor Litttle Critter on the Road by Trailer Bride
Come on Danger by Genuine Cowhide
I've Still Got My Mind by Cornell Hurd
You Wanna Give Me a Lift by Ruthie & The Wranglers
Down to the River by Rosie Flores
Mud Rasslin' at Pinky's by Trailer Park Troubadors
Rockabilly Hop by Bill Moss

Look What Thoughts Will Do by Lefty Frizzell
Don't You Want Me by Moonshine Willie
There Stands the Glass by Webb Pierce
Ben Dewberry's Final Run by Steve Forbert
Shake Rattle and Roll by Patsy Cline
Love Bug Crawl by Jimmy Edwards
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter by Willie Nelson
I'm Can't Get Used to Being Lonely by Amber Digby
Waitin' by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Funky Tonk by Moby Grape

Screwtopia by Patterson Hood
Puttin' People on the Moon by Drive-By Truckers
Lower 48 by The Gourds
Nanna and Jimi by Dave Alvin & The Gulity Women
Peach Blossom by Hundred Year Flood
Silent Partner by Big Sandy & Los Straightjackets
Slow Motion Daddy by Guy Davis

Slurf Song by Michael Hurley
Got the Jake Leg Too by The Ray Brothers
Do You Call That A Buddy? by Martin, Bogan & Armstrong
El Corrido de Johnny El Pachuco by Steve Jordan
Gonna Raise a Ruckus Tonight by Gus Cannon
In New Orleans by C.W. Stoneking
No Good For Me by Waylon Jennings
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
June 26, 2009

Remember those fabulous '90s? Nirvana, the dot-com boom, Monica Lewinsky, Tonya Harding, Kato Kaelin, cell phones as big as walkie-talkies, irrational (or were they?) fears of Y2K, those innocent days when you didn't have to have your shoes X-rayed before you got on a plane ... Yes, those were the daze!

There's definitely a '90s edge to Patterson Hood's new solo album, Murdering Oscar (and other love songs). Listen to the opening guitar riffs on the first track, the title song. If you didn't know better, you might think it's an outtake from some Neil Young & Crazy Horse album somewhere in the period between Ragged Glory and Sleeps With Angels.

There's a reason for that. Most of the 13 songs on the CD were written in the last decade of the last millennium. There's also a cover of an obscure Todd Rundgren song, "The Range War." I'm not sure when that was written.

But once Hood's vocals come in, you might think it's a new album from his regular band, Drive-By Truckers. (Actually, most of the Truckers are playing on the opening song and pop up in various combinations on other songs throughout, especially drummer Brad Morgan and steel guitarist John Neff.) So the origins of Murdering Oscar go back more than 15 years — but the recording of the album actually took place in January 2005. I'm not exactly sure what's behind the four-year delay in releasing it, but I'm glad it's finally here.

There's a real dark and violent spirit working through many of the album's songs. It starts right on the first tune.

"I killed Oscar, shot him in the head. Put the gun in his mouth, watched his brains fly out/Saw my worries fade as the hole got bigger. Solved all my problems with a trigger."

You never find out exactly what Oscar did to deserve this gruesome fate (except that "he was destroying me").

But Hood wickedly alludes to some New-Age pop psych, declaring "I killed Oscar and I forgave me." It's good to be your own best friend.

Though not overtly violent, "Screwtopia" is even more twisted. It'sabout a man proposing to a woman, apparently the girlfriend of a deceased buddy.

"Buy a house in the burbs, two-car garage, shrubberies, and a birdbath/Keep you safe warm and dry, keep the tears from your eyes/Keep you pregnant all the time. ... Keep you happy and sedated, who needs to be liberated?/ You've got me, you've got me/If you got something in your head that makes you think there's something else/Maybe the doctor can give you something to make you forget."

Is this an invitation to an empty stifling suburban existence? Or is this a deranged lunatic trying to lure some sex slave to be locked, "happy and sedated" in his basement?

And there's even a song about Kurt Cobain on the album. In "Heavy and Hanging," the narrator is an electrician who found Cobain's body on that awful day in April 1994. "On the morning I found you, I was fixing the alarm/Called the papers before 911/Now they're asking me questions 'bout this thing that I found

No, the story here is not all about Cobain. The protagonist has troubles of his own. "Like what to do tomorrow and the day after that/And where I left that ski mask."

The song that follows, "Walking Around Sense," could almost be about Cobain's infamous Mrs., Courtney Love.

"They caught your mama underneath the Jaguar/She was acting so mad, I never seen her so sad/I told her that I'd try to help her get treatment. ... Met her at the rock-and-roll induction/Liposuction/Another shot of headlines."

Not all the songs are so violent or tragic. One of the newer songs, "Granddaddy," inspired by the birth of Hood's daughter, is basically his "When I'm 64." With a sweet folky melody, Hood earnestly sings, "Someday when I'm a granddaddy/Be as sweet as pumpkin pie, just wait and see/We'll hide chocolate candy all around the house/So all the little ones will come and see me."

Of course, this is followed by a nasty little rocker, written in 1994, called “Belvedere,” which is a fantasy about picking up and having his way with a long-legged high-school girl.

("It almost didn't even make the record," Hood said in a recent interview in Nashville Scene. "Even though I liked the song a lot, I wasn't really comfortable with what it said and how it said it." Spoken like a true father, whose daughter will be in high school in 10 years or so.)

The best new song here is the wistful "Pride of the Yankees." Yes, it mentions Lou Gehrig, but it's not about baseball. The song deals with the terrible blows to the national soul that occurred starting with that awful day nearly eight years ago.

"Too many firemen and virgins in heaven/It's all been fucked-up since 9/11/ What we're all fighting and what we're defending/One big long story with two different endings today."

Hood wrote this in 2005. And again, he's talking to his daughter when he sings, "Problems so big and you're so tiny today."

Sometimes the album seems kind of long. It's not without some filler. (And the vinyl version apparently has three additional tunes not on the CD.) But generally, Murdering Oscar can stand proudly with some of my favorite DBT albums.


Upcoming concerts:

* Don't forget that Saturday night it's Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks at Santa Fe Brewing Co.

* The Process has announced its venue for the Rev. Beat-Man Trio on Monday July 13.

It'll be at Corazon on Guadalupe & Montezuma Street. Don't miss the Dark Prince of Voodoo Rhythm. Opening is Sean Healen's Goth Br├╝ks.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


This just in from Austin: Sky Saxon, lead singer of The Seeds, who was hospitalized this week, died this morning.

Losing Sky Saxon and Lux Interior in the space of a few months is a terrible blow.

Saxon's biggest hits with The Seeds were "You're Pushin' Too Hard" and "I Can't Seem to Make You Mine." I'll play those and more Sunday night in a proper tribute on Terrell's Sound World (101.1 FM in northern New Mexico, on your Internet dial.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Bad news. Sky Saxon of The Seeds has been hospitalized in Austin, where recently moved, and is in critical condition.

From the Austin Decider:

Saxon reportedly felt under the weather late last week, but still managed to perform a short set of Seeds songs at Antone's this past Saturday. He was admitted to the hospital on Monday and diagnosed with an undetermined infection of the internal organs.

There's a video of "Pushin' Too Hard" at The Decider. Here's The Seeds' second most famous tune:

Monday, June 22, 2009


While looking for alternatives to eMusic (in anticipation of their price increase I recently ranted about), I stumbled across a cool service called Amie Street.

Here's a list of good things about the service, followed by a list of drawbacks, followed by thumbnail reviews of some cool stuff I've bought from Amie Street in the last couple of weeks.

The Good:

* Bargains galore. The four albums, one EP and three stray tracks you see below cost me a total 0f $5.99. One of the albums, the one by J.P. McDermott & Western Bop was free. The tracks are priced according to popularity, which means the more obscure stuff is cheaper. Some of the music I've downloaded has gone up slightly in price, but only slightly.

* Some cool indie labels. I was very happy to see Voodoo Rhythm and Matador on Amie Street, not to mention Daptone, Bomp!, Fat Possum and Yep Roc. I don't think any of these offer their complete catalogues, but among them there's plenty of good stuff I don't already have.

*Easy payment plan. I found it very convenient that Amie Street allows you to pay through your account, so you don't even have to give Amie Street your credit card number. The minimum credit card charge is $3, which means after the $5.99 I spent, I still have a penny in credit at Amie Street. (It will be spent before long.)

The Drawbacks:

* Limited selection: While the above-named labels are great, the truth is Amie Street just doen't have as much as eMusic.

* The price of some tracks: Because of the pricing structure, the better known music can go up to 98 cents, same as iTunes or Amazon. (Message here, get stuff like Sonic Youth and Dirty Projectors quick when it first comes out.)

* Not that well known: You have to explain to your friends that Amie Street is not a contemporary gospel singer.

Oh well, here's what I got for my $5.99 on Amie Street.

* Surreal Folk Blues Gospel Trash Vol. 2 by Reverend Beat-Man. Getting fired up for Beat-Man's Santa Fe appearance with this accurately named collection of twisted roots rock, religious delusions and demonic tomfoolery.

Beat-Man's raucous guns a-blazin' take on Bill Monroe's "Blue Moon of Kentucky" should not be missed.

One of the coolest rockers here is the opening cut "Letter to Myself," which sounds a lot like Beat-Man's old group The Monsters. He actually did a radically different version of this song a few years ago with his Kraut rock experiment Rev. Beat-Man & The Church of Herpes.

Like Vol 1., this album ends with a crazed, profane seven-minute sermon. Like "The Beat-Man Way" on the first record "Swiss Army Knife" is a window to the soul of the founder of Voodoo Rhythm.

By the way, Vol. 1 is available on eMusic but not Amie Street. Vol. 2 is not available on eMusic. I wonder if they did this on purpose.

* Snake Pit by Hipbone Slim & The Knee-Tremblers. Like I said, I was happy to see Voodoo Rhythm on Amie Street. Here's another standby of that label.

This is a British pyschobilly unit led by one Sir Bald Diddley. (I guess he's called "Hipbone Slim" as well.)

This is a fine album without a single dud. Only problem is, there's nothing as instantly lovable as "What Do You Look Like" from the other Hipbone album I have, Have Knees, Will Tremble. Of course, that song featured the wonderful Holly Golightly, who tends to make things instantly lovable.

* Tales from the Crypt by Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crowns. The birth of Nuevo Wavo! A loving evocation of Sam the Sham and Doug the Sahm.

Joe and his Crowns recorded this even before the brilliant 1980 "debut" album on Hannibal Records, Joe "King" Carrasco & The Crowns.

Lots of the same songs are there -- "Bueno." "Caca la Vaca," "Federale," "Betty's World," "One More Time," "Let's Get Pretty." To be honest, the later Hannibal versions were a little punchier.

But these versions are bueno. And there's some tunes I'd never hear before such as "Monkey Got My Frisbee."

* Last Fool Here by J.P. McDermott & Western Bop. This one was free and worth every penny.

No, seriously, I enjoy this down-to-Earth rockabilly and back-to-basics honkytonk from this Washington, D.C.-area band. On this record McDermott saved his best for the first. "My Damned Baby" ought to be a rockabilly standard. I also like his country side. "Heartaches for a Time" is a fine cry-in-your-beer two-stepper.

* The Mystery Of... by Kustomized. Attention Mission of Burma fans: Kustomized was a spin-off group led by guitarist/singer Peter Prescott. They don't quite measure up to Mission, but Kustomized came close, carrying on the basic isea of guitar-centric sting.

If you like this EP, Amie Street also has a couple of full-length albums including The Battle for Space, which I've liked for years. I haven't heard At The Vanishing Point yet, but I'm about to download Kustomized's surfy version of the sleaze rock instrumental "Harlem Nocturn."


"How Great Though Art" by Billy Preston, "Pretty Thing" by Canned Heat, and "Love's the Only Thing That's Free" by Carl Perkins, all from a hodge-podge compilation called House of Blues.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Sunday, June 21, 2009
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
Take a Little Bit by King Khan & The Shrines
The House as a Giant Bong by The Dirtbombs
Humpin' by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Woo by Gibby Haynes & His Problem
Dogs Were Barking by Gogol Bordello
Meine Kleine Russian by Rev. Beat-Man
High Heels and Mini Skirt by The Monsters
Crazy Woman by Paul "Wine" Jones
It's a Gas by Alfred E. Newman

Jelly Bean by Don & Dewey
Directly from My Heart to You by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention with Don "Sugarcane" Harris
Murder in the Graveyard by Screamin' Lord Sutch
Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Bruce Springstone
Plastic Fantastic Lover by The Jefferson Airplane
Busted by The Black Keys
Down the Drain by Monkeyshines
That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine by The Everly Brothers

I Hate CDs by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Who Put de Pot on Mary by Poontang Perkins
99 Chicks by Ron Haydock
So Many Girls by The Hentchmen
Daddy Rollin' Stone by Andre Williams & The Eldorados
What a Way to Die by The Pleasure Seekers
The Witch by Stud Cole
Quarter to Four by Mad Mike & The Maniacs
Hello Lucille Are You a Lesbian? by T. Valentine
Little Girl Gone by Mogen David Wrath & The Grapes of Wrath
Fancy Dan by Gene Summers
Shortnin' Bread by The Readymen

Freakaholic by Willie Magee
Hurricane Edward by The Fall
Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso) by Sonic Youth
U Bug Me by Modey Lemon
As Good as You've Been to This World by Janis Joplin
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, June 19, 2009


Friday, June 19, 2009
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
River of Love by Jerry J. Nixon
Blue Days, Black Nights by J.P. McDermott & Western Bop
Poontang by Deke Dekerson with The Treniers
Sitar Pickin' Man by Bobby Zhem
Old Coyote by Genuine Cowhide
The Check's in The Mail by Johnny Dilks
Pass the Booze by Ernest Tubb
Take Me Back Again by Amber Digby
Sweet Jennie Lee by Willie Nelson & Asleep at The Wheel
I Guess I'm Crazy by Tommy Collins

Tangled Tales by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Run 'em Off by Lefty Frizzel
One Horse Town by Hank Williams III
Daddy Was a Preacher, Mama Was a Go-Go Girl by Southern Culture on the Skids
Driving My Young Life Away by Wayne Hancock
Artesia by Dave Alvin
I Cracked Up from Loneliness by Donald Rubenstein
Three Miles Out of Cash in Arkansas by Carolina Cotten

Follow Me Chicken by Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
Je Cherche Tot Partout by The Pinetop Boys
Biker Boys by Rosie Ledet
Reel Cajun/451 North St. Joseph St. by Beausoleil
All Her Lovin by Terrance Simien
Le Pistolet by Mama Rosin
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
Diggy Liggy Lo by John Forgerty

Drag Queens in Limousenes by Mary Gauthier
Murdering Oscar by Patterson Hood
Husbands and Wives by John Doe & The Sadies
Sweet Hannah by Guy Davis
My Eyes by Tony Gilkyson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Thursday, June 18, 2009


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 19, 2009

In recent months (years?) my musical tastes have become so retro it’s disgusting. Frequent readers of my column have surely noticed.

There are embarrassingly few new “modern” (whatever that is) rock acts that I really like — TV on the Radio, Animal Collective, and Dirty Projectors — but not a whole lot more. As far as new bands go, I relate far more to South American groups like Los Peyotes riffing on the old Question Mark and the Mysterians sound or to guys like King Khan and Black Joe Lewis rekindling the James Brown/Otis Redding fires than I relate to spoiled suburban alt-rock brats bellyaching about their empty lives.

But sometimes archaeology reaps rewards that ring truer and sound fresher than the news. The truth is, I get more exited about discovering long-forgotten or totally unknown music from the days when rock ’n’ roll and rhythm and blues were wild and truly subversive, when it was considered too risky to be mass marketed.

You can hear the secret-history-of-rock ’n’ roll stuff on the new I Still Hate CDs: Norton Records 45 RPM Singles Collection Vol. 2. It’s a collection of 45 songs that’s almost as uplifting as the first volume, I Hate CDs. I described that collection (which took its title from a song by the pride of Lubbock, Texas, the Legendary Stardust Cowboy) as “a grand tour of rock ’n’ roll’s glorious underbelly.” That works for this new collection also.
Nathaniel Mayer
There’s a smattering of fairly recent material here. You’ll find a new garage-rock growler called “It’s a Lie” from the mighty King Khan (without The Shrines and without his frequent collaborator Mark Sultan aka BBQ). And there’s “Stop and Think It Over” from Dangerous Games, the “comeback” album Mary Weiss of the ShangriLas made with the Reigning Sound a couple of years ago.

But most of the tunes on I Still Hate CDs are from the ’50s and ’60s, mainly by groups that are long forgotten. There are unrepentant R & B, rough-and-tough rockabilly, silly surf songs, garage-band goodies, drag-strip diamonds, some stray doo-wop, and punk-rock echoes. This could be the soundtrack of the best black-and-white teen-exploitation B movie never made. As I said of the first I Hate CDs collection, most of these songs are way too raw for “oldies” radio. Not that the lyrics are obscene; most of the musicians don’t need to use dirty words to sound outright filthy.

There are a few names you ought to recognize in this compilation. There are songs by rockabilly royalty Benny Joy and Charlie Feathers, as well as cuts by recently deceased R & B prophets Nathaniel Mayer and Rudy Ray Moore. In the ’70s, Moore was best known for his “party” albums and pimp-adelic character Dolemite. But here he sings a ’50s-style jumper called “Rally in the Valley.”

Some of the same acts from I Hate CDs are represented here — Weiss, the Hentchmen, the Dictators, and the Real Kids. But best of all, there is Andre Williams with an old recording of a song called “Daddy Rollin’ Stone,” backed by a vocal group called the Eldorados and someone playing an irresistibly nasty guitar hook.
Mary Weiss
I have a few of these tunes from previous Norton albums — such as the proto-punk “It’s Lame” by Figures of Light; Feathers’ “We’re Getting Closer to Being Apart”; “Camel Walk” by the Saxons from the equally amazing Mad Mike’s Monsters, Volume 2 collection; and the notorious (and criminally politically incorrect), “Hello Lucille, Are You a Lesbian” by T. Valentine.

Other favorites so far are “Put de Pot on Mary” by a soul shouter called Poontang Perkins (remember, we were told long ago by a vocal group called the Treniers that “poon” is a hug and “tang” is a kiss); “Little Girl Gone,” by Mogen David Wrath and the Grapes of Wrath, which puts the rage in “garage”; and “Surfin’ Crow,” a splendid rip-off of the Trashmen’s “Surfin’ Bird” by the Jades.

One of the most outrageous but most endearing songs on I Still Hate CDs is “What a Way to Die” by the Pleasure Seekers, a ’60s group that included none other than Suzi Quatro and her sisters. Talk about politically incorrect — this is a joyful ode to teen sex and alcohol consumption. Call the attorney general! What kind of message are we sending to the children?

This collection has the original version of “Rock-N-Bones” by Elroy Dietzel, which was covered by The Cramps. When rock ’n’ roll daddy Lux Interior passed on in February, all over the blogosphere, fans quoted one of the verses of this song:
“And when I die, don’t you bury me at all/Just hang these bones upon the wall/And beneath the bones let these words be seen/This is the bloody gears of a boppin’ machine.”
(Here’s a little Cramps trivia: Norton Records co-founder Miriam Linna was the original drummer of that band.)

Like its predecessor, I Still Hate CDs lives up to its name by not being available on compact disc. But you can download any or all tracks at iTunes,, and eMusic. And if you like this kind of stuff, get thyself to Norton Records. Bill and Miriam have a new blog at


I don't know how I missed this, but I didn't even realize until listening to the latest RadiOblivion yesterday that sax maniac Sam Butera had died earlier this month.

He was a driving force in Louis Prima's band. Butera, Prima and Keely Smith made some authentically crazy music. If I could travel back in time one of my first stops would be one of their shows in Vegas.

There's a decent obit HERE .

Monday, June 15, 2009


It's true, it's true: The most Reverend Beat-Man & The Blues Trash Trio is coming to Santa Fe on Monday, July 13, brought to you by The Process (not to be confused with that weird cult of the '70s.)

Beat-Man, as those who frequently read my column or listen to my radio shows should know, the founder and main force behind Voodoo Rhythm Records. One of his latest musical project has been the Surreal Folk Blues Gospel Trash series (two CDs and one DVD so far.) He's also partly responsible for a heck of a podcast, called Sonic Nightmares.

The exact venue and ticket cost for his Santa Fe show will be announced. Watch this blog for updates.

Meanwhile below is a song and below that a video of the Rev. in action.



My main discovery of the 2009 Thirsty Ear Festival was a local -- well, Albuquerque -- band Felix y Los Gatos. Like a younger, hungrier Los Lobos, they rock out on R&B, Mexican songs, a little country (wild version of Merle Haggard's "Working Man Blues"), a little zydeco. Felix plays guitar while his pal David Barclay plays accordion. Yesterday they also had a sax player and Santa Fe favorite Pete Amaral on drums.

And Felix's mom was in the audience! How cool is that?

The group had been scheduled for the main stage, but a late afternoon hail storm caused the set to be moved to the hotel. (A wise move by the festival honchos. There was another rain during the performance.)

What a party! My only criticism is that they don't really know how to end a song. Their finale, an improvised version of the Cajun classic "My Toot Toot" was loads of fun -- but I would have ended it like 15 minutes earlier.

Felix and the cats play in Santa Fe a lot. According to their MySpace (follow that link and check out their music), they will be doing Santa Fe Bandstand on July 7.

I also caught a couple of good local soul bands at Thirsty Ear Sunday - Soulman Sam & The Soul Explosion and Tone & Co. Both are good, but they both are basically cover bands. Surely among the musicians in these bands there are some songwriters.

One treat was seeing Jimmy Russell get up on stage with Tone & Co. Jimmy lived in Santa Fe in the 80s and (I think '90s) and he recently moved back. Dang, Jimmy's back in town, Terry Diers is back in town. Good omens!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Sunday, June 14, 2009
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell
with Special Co-host Tom Trusnovic
101.1 FM
email me during the show!

(Inebriated, uh, I mean abbreviated show tonight. First hour pre-empted by special Thirsty Ear Festival broadcast.)

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Make Up by Monkeyshines
I'm Fried by The Stooges
You Got it All ... Wrong by The Hives
Cave Girl by The Tex Reys
King Kong & Frankenstein by Monkeyshines
Black Cat Bone by Monkeyshines
Devil Inside by Rev. Beat-Man
Big Game Hunter by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers
Last Lost Fight by New Bomb Turks
Be My Queen by The Chantelles

Get Your Kicks on Route 666 by 27 Devils Joking
Going Away Baby by Grains of Sand
Caca de Vaca by Joe "King" Carrasco
Digging Up My Date by The Blood-Drained Cows
Crackhead Joe by Little Freddy King
What You Want by The Floors
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis


Terrell's Sound World is cut in half tonight because of the Thirsty Ear boradcast. So I won't be on until 11 p.m. and then for just an hour.

But it should be a good damn hour. I'll be joined by Tommy Trusnovic -- you should know him from Monkeyshines, The Blood Drained Cows, The Floors, 27 Devils Joking and who knows how many other bands. He says he has some brain new Monkeyshines tracks, so that'll be fun.

If you're in Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico tune in at 101.1 FM. For you in the outside world you can listen on the Web.


Mark Williams, Rubboard Man, Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas
The Thirsty Ear Festival snuck up on me this year. For the first time in its 10 year history, the festival was not held on Labor Day weekend. As I said before, I thought Mike Koster was crazy for changing the date, but yesterday shattered all previous attendance records, so that shows you what I know.

I wasn't able to make the Friday night show, but I was there for nearly all of yesterday. As always it was a good solid day of music from both local and national blues/country/folks acts at eaves Movie Ranch southeast of the city.

Most of the music through the day was nice and mellow. But for those of us who prefer it nice and rowdy as opposed to mellow, the show didn't really come alive until last night when Nathan & The Zydeco Cha Chas took the stage.

Nathan Williams and his band play good fast-paced traditional zydeco. Nathan dances around like a man half his age and his cousin, rubboard player Mark Williams, is even wilder. Great showmen and fun sounds.

Here's some thoughts about the rest of the day:
Bela Fleck & Toumani Diabate
* Definitely the strongest part of the afternoon was banjo man Bela Fleck's set with African kora playerToumani Diabate. That was downright celestial. Diabate's instrument, which is a cousin to the banjo, reminded me of Washington Phillips, the itinerant gospel singer of the 1920s who played a stringed instrument that nobody has positively identified.

Felecia, Sharon, Susan Hyde Holmes, Jono Manson
* The most stunning moment of the festival was during Felecia Ford's appearance with Sharon Gilchrist & band's late-night jam in the "hotel." It seemed that about half the musicians in town I know joined on stage at some point. But Felecia's performance of the Patsy Cline song, "So Wrong" would even put Patsy to shame.

* Watching Santa Fe's Alex Maryol in the hotel earlier in the day, I flashed back to the first time I'd seen him play in that building -- one of the very early -- maybe the first? -- Thirsty Ears when Alex was just a teenager. He was doing a solo acoustic set in the hotel -- if my memory serves me well because it was raining like crazy and the main stage act couldn't play. At one point songs, his cell phone went off. Alex answered and said "Hi Mom." He listened for a couple a couple of moments and very politely said something like, "OK, well, I'm on stage now .." I later told him that Elvis would have been proud of him.

* Sorry, Keb Mo fans -- and that includes about 99.6 percent of the people at Thirsty Ear yesterday -- I'm just not that big a fan. I just like my blues rougher and crazier.

* Early in the afternoon I ran into Otis Taylor wandering the grounds. He said he was just vacationing, not there to play. Dang! Would have loved to hear Otis!

Nathan & the Zydeco Cha Chas!!!!!!

The festival goes on today. It's "Community Day" which means local bands including Soulman Sam & Soul Explosion and Felix y Los Gatos. Admission is only $5 and two cans of food. ($10 if you don't bring the food.)

So get your cans out to Eaves Ranch!

Here's my FLICKR photos from Thirsty ear Saturday.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Friday, June 12, 2009
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
Pink Mountain Rag by John Doe & The Sadies
Your Love and His Blood by Wayne Hancock
Tired of Being Me by Dave Gonzales
Ladies Love Outlaws by Waylon Jennings
Thank God For the Road by The Flatlanders
Blue Moon of Kentucky by Rev. Beat-Man
When the Police Came by Mama Rosin
Country Playboy Special by The Pine Leaf Boys
Walk On By by Charlie Pride
Settin' the Woods on Fire by Bob Log III

Subterranean Homesick Blues by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Shake Shake Mama by Bob Dylan
Big Dog, Little Dog by Harvey Hunt
Rock-N-Bones by Elroy Dietzel
Rednecks, White Socks and Blue Ribbon Beer by Johnny Russell
Hillbilly Truckdriving Man by Bill Kirchen
Keep on Truckin' by Smokey Wood & The Wood Chips
Deisel Smoke, Dangerous Curves by The Last Mile Ramblers
Jug Rag by The Prarie Ramblers

Let's All Be Normal by Poor Yorick
You Had Me at Get Lost by The Olympic Ass-Kicking Team
CB Song by Th' Legendary Shack Shakers
LSD Made a Wreck Outta Me by T. Tex Edwards & Out on Parole
Wolverton Mountain by Claude King
Hot Tamale Pete by Bob Skyles & The Skyrockets
Pistol Packin' Mama by Al Dexter & His Troopers
Liza Pull Down the Shades by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys

You Took My Thing and Put it In Your Place by C.W. Stoneking
Flapping Your Broken Wings by The Handsome Family
Satan's Jeweled Crown by The Louvin Brothers
Still Drunk, Still Crazy & Still Blue by Scott H. Biram
We Live In Two Different Worlds by Hank Williams
Faded Love by Chris Darrow
I've Got a Tender Heart by Eleni Mandell
A Satisfied Mind by Porter Wagoner
Something to Think About by Willie Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 12, 2009

You can sweeten it with lush strings and horns. You can punk it up and strip it down. You can call in Hollywood golden throats or manufacture achy-breaky phony-baloney dance crazes. You can make it “alt” or “progressive” or “new traditionalist.” You can mock it with sarcastic “yeee-haws” or, even worse, take it oh so seriously.

But it’s hard to beat good old honky-tonk music, the kind made back before country music became so self-conscious. Though the originals are always the best, there are a couple of recent albums on which the artists honor the classic honky-tonk sound — plus one that represents the most ambitious case of hillbilly revisionism ever.

* Country Club by John Doe & The Sadies. This is a collection of (mostly) country classics — Willie Nelson’s “Night Life,” Bobby Bare’s “Detroit City,” Hank Williams’ “Take These Chains From My Heart,” etc. — along with some inspired obscurities and a smattering of originals.

Doe, of course, is the frontman for the Los Angeles punk band X, while The Sadies, led by Canadian brothers Dallas and Travis Good, are an ace utility band that has backed the likes of Neko Case, R & B lecher Andre Williams, Jon Langford, and others.

Even though he doesn’t have any Southern twang in his voice (and fortunately he doesn’t try to fake it), Doe’s husky vocals are just right for these songs. It’s obvious in every note that he and his band truly love this material. Of course we’ve known that ever since Doe and then-wife Exene Cervenka teamed up with Dave Alvin to form The Knitters all those years ago.

And while all the love is there, Doe and the Good brothers aren’t afraid to take some liberties with the tunes. The most obvious case is Merle Haggard’s “Are the Good Times Really Over for Good.” Hag’s version is slow and mournful, aching with nostalgia for those times before microwave ovens (“when a girl could still cook and still would”). But Doe & The Sadies (backed by Kathleen Edwards on harmony vocals) do it as an outright stomper. I’m torn here, because it does alter the mood of the song. But then again, it sounds so dang good.

One of my favorites here is the cover of Roger Miller’s “Husbands and Wives,” the late Tesuque resident’s lament about divorce. Then there’s “It Just Dawned on Me,” a bluegrassy stomper (with fiddle and mandolin by Travis Good) written by Doe and Cervenka.

But the very best is a forgotten little nugget by Whisperin’ Bill Anderson, “The Cold Hard Facts of Life.” It’s a twofer — a cheatin’ song and a murder ballad packed into one sad tale. And, shades of O.J., it’s a rare double murder in which the weapon is a knife.

* Viper of Melody by Wayne Hancock. Wayne the Train is perhaps the greatest living purveyor of ’50s-style roadhouse honky-tonk. His band — featuring an upright bass (Huckleberry Johnson), steel guitar (Anthony Locke), and guitar (Izak Zaidman) — is certainly retro, but it never sounds hokey. It’s Texas through and through, produced by Lloyd Maines and recorded in Dripping Strings.

All but one of the songs here are original, the exception being “Midnight Stars and You,” a jazzy little hillbilly torch song. There are some economic blues — “Working at Working” and a train song “Freight Train Boogie” (not the Delmore Brothers classic) — and some proto-rockabilly (“Dog House Blues”).

But once again, my favorite is a murder song. “Your Love and His Blood” contains a should-be-classic line: “The next time we’re together, you’ll be on the witness stand.”

One sad note: Viper of Melody is dedicated to guitarist Paul Skelton, an Austin picker whom Hancock describes as a mentor. Skelton, who played with the Cornell Hurd Band, died earlier this year. He apparently was slated to play on this album but was too ill to do so. Skelton would have made this record even better, but Hancock and the boys have made some music that would have made Paul proud.

* Naked Willie by Willie Nelson. Lots of casual fans believe that Willie sprang out of the Outlaw era of the 1970s, along with Waylon and Jerry Jeff and the boys. Many are unaware that he made a bunch of records in the 1960s.

And the sad part is that they probably wouldn’t recognize Willie even if they heard these early tracks. That’s because, like so many Nashville artists of that era, his music was overproduced, oversweetened, and over-country-politaned by the lords of 16th Avenue. Nelson was produced by Chet Atkins himself, and while Chet was an amazing guitarist, some of his Nashville Sound recordings are crimes against nature.

So Willie’s longtime harmonica player, Mickey Raphael, took it upon himself to rescue some of these great old Willie songs. He appointed himself “un-producer” and went about scraping off all the horns and strings, all the Anita Kerr Singers choruses.

This is similar, in concept at least, to Let It Be ... Naked, which was a de-Spectored version of Let It Be, the final Beatles album, which many believe was Phil Spector’s first murder victim.

While Naked Willie doesn’t sound nearly as sterile as Let It Be ... Naked, there is a hollow feeling to many of the tunes. This isn’t Raphael’s fault as much as it is the fault of the original arrangements. Even without Anita Kerr, these tunes are a lot stiffer and poppier than the 1970s records — Shotgun Willie, Phases and Stages, Red Headed Stranger — that most of us Willie fans first came to love. Even without the horns and strings, most of the songs here still sound overproduced.

If you really want a glimpse of 1960s Willie in the raw, seek out Crazy: The Demo Sessions, which features Willie and his lonely guitar singing “Permanently Lonely,” “I’ve Just Destroyed the World,” “Opportunity to Cry,” and other haunting tunes.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Asper Kourt, an Albuquerque band that won a University of New Mexico competition, is now in a neck-to-neck struggle with a Pennsylvania group in the Song Joust Battle of the Bands.

At this writing, So Long Pluto, representing Pennsylvania State University, is leading with 3076 plays. Asper Kourt is in second place with 2,490 plays.

You can play their song "Rain Before Shine" and help Asper Kourt HERE.

The winner of the contest gets a recording contract with Song Joust Records. (In today's music industry, I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not, but don't mind my cynicism.)

The contest ends June 20.

Asper Kourt members are Kevin Herig (lead vocals, rhythm guitar); Mat Beston (bass); Nate Boitano (lead guitar); Kurt Sorenson (piano) and Heath Warren (drums). Boitano is the son of state Sen. Mark Boitano, R-Albuquerque.

Sunday, June 07, 2009


Sunday, June 7, 2009
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
What Came First, The Egg or The Hen/Insane Asylum by Koko Taylor & Willie Dixon
Killer Diller by King Khan & The Shrines
Terry Got a Muffin by NRBQ
Sylvia Plath by The Rockin' Guys
I've Got the Devil Inside by Rev. Beat-Man
She's a Snake by Deadbolt
Howlin' at the Moon by Nekromantix
Fiery Eyes by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers
I Got What it Takes by Koko Taylor

Egg Cream by Lou Reed
Useless by The Cynics
Teenage Head by The Flamin' Groovies
Crows by Modey Lemon
Scalping Party by Jackie & The Cedrics
Put de Pot on Mary by Poontang Perkins
Wasn't That Good by Wynonie Harris
Pearl Time by Andre Williams
Hot Fingers by Little Freddie King

My Damned Baby by J.P. McDermott & Western Bop
Time Flies by Scott H. Biram
Goin' on Down to the BBQ by Drywall
Hot by Big Ugly Guys
I'm Broke by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
My Shark by King Automatic
Hash House Pallor by Ross Johnson & The Young Seniors
El Circo by Los Tigres del Norte

Cheap Thrills by Ruben & The Jets
Monkey Tongue by The Moaners
Whiskey Sex Shack by The Mekons
Malibu Gas Station by Sonic Youth
Joko Homo by Devo
Goin' Ape by The Texreys
I'll Take the Long Road by Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, June 06, 2009


*I Still Hate CDs by Various Artists. I've already ranted about my problems with eMusic with several tracks on this otherwise terrific Norton compilation. But the good news is that by the end of the week, all the bad tracks had been repaired and eMusic even gave me a fistful of credits for extra tracks to ease some of the angst. So all's well.

Except it still sucks that eMusic is raising its prices. So right now, I still hate eMusic.

But now I want to concentrate on the crazy, joy secret-history-of-rock 'n' roll that this collection represents.

This collection of 45 songs is Norton Records' second installation of 45 rpm singles. I described the first volume as "a grand tour of rock ’n’ roll’s glorious underbelly." That works for the new collection also. There's a smattering of fairly recent material here -- including a new tune from the mighty King Khan (no Shrines, no BBQ), a garage growler called "It's a Lie."

There's a few names you ought to recognize here -- rockabilly royalty Benny Joy and Charlie Feathers, as well as recently-decreased R&B prophets Rudy Ray Moore and Nathaniel Mayer.

But most the tunes are from the '50s and '60s, mainly by groups you've likely never heard of. Unfettered R&B, dangerous rockabilly, surf, garage, some stray doo-wop, punk-rock echoes. It's like the soundtrack of the best teen exploitation B -movie never made.

Some of the same artists from I Hate CDs are represented here. There's Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las, The Hentchmen of Detroit, The Dictators and The Real Kids. But best of all, there's Andre Williams is back with an old recording of a song called "Daddy Rollin' Stone," backed by a vocal group called The Eldorados and someone playing a nasty guitar hook.

A few of these I had from previous Norton albums -- such as the proto-punk "It's Lame" by Figures of Light," Feathers' "We're Getting Closer to Being Apart" and the notorious (and criminally politically incorrect), "Hello Lucille ... Are You a Lesbian" by T. Valentine

Other favorites so far are "Put De Pot on Mary" by a soul shouter called Poontang Perkins; "Little Girl Gone," which puts the "rage" in garage, by Mogen David Wrath & The Grapes of Wrath; and, best of all, "What a Way to Die" by The Pleasure Seekers, a '60s group that included none other than Suzi Quatro and her sisters. Talk about politically incorrect, this is a joyous ode to teenage sex and drinking! Call the attorney general! What kind of message are we sending to the children?

(For my Tuneup review of I Hate CDs CLICK HERE.)

* Hiram & Huddie Vol. 1 and Vol. 2. How could so many of my favorite obscure/unknown primitive blues and country artists be on one collection? This is like some unholy alliance between Voodoo Rhythm (Possessed by Paul James, C.W. Stoneking, Bob Logg III) and Bloodshot Records (Wayne "The Train" Hancock, Scott H. Biram and cover art by none other than Jon Langford.)

But no, this is from a new record company Hillgrass Bluebilly, which hopefully will be conquering the world pretty soon (or have a lot of fun trying.)

This is a double-album tribute to Hank Williams and Leadbelly, performed with plenty of respect if not that much reverence. Liberties are taken, but Hank and Leadbelly are beacons of liberty. There's straightforward honky tonk from Hancock, lo-fi backwoods moans from Possessed by Paul James, crazy stripped down blues stomping from Logg. And Birham's version of "Lost Highway" sounds like a 1950s car radio re-mixed on Jupiter.

A nice surprise for me here was a tune by Flathead -- an Arizona band I interviewed for No Depression about 10 years ago. (Another Bloodshot connection here. They had a song on the great Straight Outta Boone County compilation.) They do a jumping version of "Pick a Bale of Cotton" on the Leadbelly disc. (There's a hidden track on this track -- Wayne Hancock and his wife Gina doing "Goodnight Irene")

* Stop Arguing Over Me by Paul "Wine" Jones" Remember when Fat Possum was the world's coolest blues label? R.L. Burnside, Junior Kimbrough, T-Model Ford, Paul "Wine" Jones ...

For a few brief moment in the '90s, Fat Possum reminded the world what it was about Mississippi blues we all loved in the first place.

All but T-Model are gone now. Jones was the most recent to pass, dying of cancer at the age of 59 in 2005, not long after Burnside's death.

I was fortunate enough to meet Jones and see him play at a couple of the early Thirsty Ear Festivals. He was a house rocker!

* What Have You Done My Brother? by Naomi Shelton & The Gospel Queens. Here's the latest offering from the glorious Daptone label.

This is a solid gospel record by an Alabama-born singer who has gone back and forth between sanctified songs and secular soul.

Hey, I just reviewed this in Terrell's Tuneup yesterday! Check it HERE


* "Animal Party" b/w "God of Raisins" by The King Khan & BBQ Show. This was released earlier this year by Fat Possum Records as a 7-inch vinyl "single," as us old folks used to call 'em.

This ain't nothin' but good double-sided insanity from my favorite Canadian blues/do-wop/trash duo.

* A bunch of tracks from Cool Cats. This is a compilation of unknown rockabillies -- you ever heard of Johnny Jay, Jimmy Edwards or Curly Coldiron? Me neither. But this stuff is tough. Lo-fi, but the sound is true. My favorite so far is Danny Verne's "Red Hot Car." I'll be getting the rest of these tracks next month for sure.

* "The Big Enchilada" by Bud Kurtz. I discovered this the day after posting my latest podcast of the same name. The music sounds more fake-Cajun than fake Mexican. But I can't help liking a song that starts out, "She's my sopapilla ..."

Friday, June 05, 2009


Friday, June 5, 2009
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
It Just Dawned on Me by John Doe & The Sadies
Country Woman by The Cals
21 Days in Jail by The Blasters
Ramblin' Man by Soda
Memphis Yodel by Jimmie Rodgers
Yodelin' Rhythm and Blues by Halden Wofford & The Hibeams
Rebel Rock Armageddon by The Riptones
Let it Simmer by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Cool and Dark Inside by Kell Robertson

Working at Working by Wayne Hanock
I'm Sending Daffydills by The Maddox Brothers & Rose
Rockin' Spot by Cody Coldiron
I'm Mad by Rev. Horton Heat
I Hung it Up by Junior Brown
Let Me Be the Judge by Amber Digby
Hold My Feet to the Fire by Ha Ha Tonka
Lost Highway by Scott H. Biram
Bonapart's Retreat by Holy Modal Rounders

One Toke Over the Line by Brewer & Shipley
Red Hot Gal of Mine by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys
What Makes Bob Holler by Tom Morrell & The Time Warp Tophands
Trouble in Mind by Jon Langford & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Roly Poly by Merle Haggard
Jenna by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Surftango by Ruthie & The Wranglers
O Rings by The Gourds

The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald by Laura Cantrell
Free the Wind by The Flatlanders
Unorganized Crime by Todd Snyder
Nana and Jimi by Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women
Angels Rejoiced Lat Night by Gram Parsons & Emmylou Harris
Beautiful William by The Handsome Family
I'm So Proud by Dan Penn
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

Thursday, June 04, 2009


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
June 5, 2009

One of the healthiest retro trends lately is the ongoing neo-soul revival.

I’m talking about Sharon Jones, Lee Fields, and their colleagues at Daptone Records. I’m talking about King Khan & The Shrines. I’m talking about the continued adventures of inspired old timers like Bettye LaVette, Howard Tate, and Solomon Burke. And now I’m talking about a wild little band from Austin, Texas, called Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears.

Young Black Joe and his group just released their first major label (Lost Highway) album, Tell ’em What Your Name Is. And it just might be the debut of the year.

This band — led by 20-something singer Lewis, who, according to a recent account in Spin, still has a day job delivering seafood — falls somewhere between the tight-but-gritty Daptone sound and the crazy, horny punk-funk of King Khan.

Lewis and the Bears don’t see soul music as some fragile museum exhibit to be reverently emulated. It’s a Saturday night fish fry that never ends. The horn section is loud, the guitar has a bite, and the organist sounds as if he’s been force-fed a steady diet of Jimmy Smith and The Animals. And Lewis shouts like Otis Redding’s long-lost grandson.

The opening song, a stomper called “Gunpowder” sets the pace for the album. It clocks in just over two minutes (the longest one here is barely over four minutes) and goes right into another hard-charger called “Sugarfoot.”

“Big Booty Woman” comes closest to being a blues song. It’s followed by “Boogie,” which sounds like Slim Harpo on trucker’s crank. (In fact, Lewis borrows from Harpo’s “Shake Your Hips.”)

My favorite has to be the funky and delightfully obscene “Get Yo Shit."

It starts out when the singer comes home to all find his, uh, belongings scattered on the front lawn. He knows it has to be the work of “that crazy ass girl of mine.” A confrontation ensues. She’s feeling unloved. “You don’t even buy me presents,” she says. The narrator retorts, “I bought you a box of chicken, but I ate it on the way home.” The unimpressed paramour continues: “You don’t even know my name.” Black Joe answers, “Yeah, it’s ‘Melissa.’” To which she replies, “No, dumb ass, it’s ‘Roxanne.”

Uh oh.

Incredibly the singer is about to weasel some make-up sex out of this bad situation. But a surprise visit from the police ruins the mood.

One song that’s completely different from the rest is the haunting “Master Sold My Baby.” It’s a swampy chant over drums suggesting a New Orleans march.

Probably the most intense song on Tell ’em is the closing track, “Please Pt. Two” (There’s no “Pt. One.”) The song fades in to what sounds like a crisis in progress. The Honeybears are playing full blast and Lewis is “down on my knees, begging you please.” It doesn’t matter what the song is about. This is the sound of music at its toughest. It sounds like it might have come from a live show. My only regret is that I wasn’t there.

If I’ve got one complaint about Tell ’em What Your Name Is, it’s the brevity. The whole thing is just over a half hour long.

When I wrote this column last week, was offering the MP3 version of the album for only $5. In the meantime, it's gone up to $6.99.

If you explore around Amazon, you’ll find Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears’ self-titled EP, released earlier this year, which has two songs (The blues-fed “Bitch, I Love You” and the acoustic shaggy-dog hoodoo tale called “Cousin Randy,” featuring slide guitar) that aren’t on the Tell ’em album. I’m not sure why they didn’t make the CD, but through the miracle of technology, you can put ’em there yourself.

And you can find Black Joe’s earlier work at CD Baby, HERE and HERE.

Also recommended:

* What Have You Done, My Brother? by Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens. Speaking of Daptone, the latest offering from this influential New York label is a gospel record by an Alabama-born singer who has gone back and forth between sanctified songs and secular soul.

This is a solid, old-school gospel record — in other words, none of the synthy glitz overkill of contemporary gospel — in which Shelton is backed by a small band featuring organ, piano, guitar, bass, and drums. There’s also a female chorus, which, at least on some tracks, includes the mighty Sharon Jones (who proved her gospel music skills on the unheralded soundtrack album for the movie The Great Debaters, which also featured bluesman Alvin Youngblod Hart and traditionalists The Carolina Chocolate Drops).

Though never achieving real fame, Shelton knocked around the music biz since the 1960s. She’s got a rich, throaty voice that’s held up well through the years.

My current favorite tracks here include “What Have You Done?,” an accusatory song aimed at some unnamed sinner (”You’re twisted, you thought you were clever/But your wicked tongue can’t twist forever, “ Shelton sings sternly) and “I’ll Take the Long Road,” a slow Southern-fried soul-gospel ballad in which guitarist Bosco Mann sounds as if he’s paying tribute to Steve Cropper.

Shelton does a decent version of Sam Cooke’s overcovered “A Change Is Gonna Come.” But for me the real climax of the album is the preceding song, “Lift Up My Burdens,” which has echoes of The Impressions’ “People Get Ready” — as well as Howard Tate’s’ “Get it While You Can.”

KOKO TAYLOR 1928-2009

Koko Taylor, the Queen of the Chicago Blues died yesterday at the age of 80.

Here's a story in the L.A. Times.

And below is a video of her performing with Little Walter. And below that is a blip of her duet with Willie Dixon, "Insane Asylum."

Rest in peace, Koko.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Painting by Jon Langford
There's a cool little movement afloat in Tulsa, Okla. -- the Bob Wills Revolt.

A Tulsa printer named Lee Roy Chapman says the area of town -- where the famed Cain Ballroom is -- now called The Brady Arts District, should be re-named the Bob Wills District.

The district is named after an early 20th Century civic leader named Tate Brady. According to a story in today's Urban Tulsa Weekly:

Brady--one of the original incorporators of Tulsa after moving here from Missouri in 1890 to open a mercantile store--eventually built the Hotel Brady, a favored gathering spot of oil men and Democratic politicians, according to the state Historical Society. He married a prominent Cherokee woman and later was adopted into the nation, becoming one of its strongest advocates in Washington, D.C.

But Chapman sees a much darker side to Brady's personality, one that isn't often acknowledged in discussions of his role as one of the city's early boosters. Chapman charges that Brady led a land grab in the Greenwood area in the aftermath of the 1921 race riot, supported segregation as a leader of the state Democratic Party during the Constitutional Convention and served as a member of the Ku Klux Klan.
Brady's involvement in the KKK is disputed, the article points out.

The Bob Wills Revolt has a Web site HERE. There;s a Facebook group HERE.

By the way, the article in the Tulsa Urban Weekly is written by Mike Easterling, formerly of The Journal North and the Santa Fe band The Couch Burners.


As longtime readers of this blog know, I've been a rabid defender of the music download subscription service eMusic. I faithfully post each month's downloads in hopes that readers can appreciate, and maybe even try out some of the cool obscure and forgotten stuff I find. A lot of the stuff you hear on my radio shows and my podcasts came from eMusic.

Heck I even put up with their weird typos, their blockheaded way they assign genres to selections (For the record, Rufus Thomas is NOT "hip hop"!) and even mixing up track names -- all because there's so much good stuff there at such a great price.

For the record, my current plan gives me 90 downloads a month for $19.99. It's a plan that was grandfathered in after their rate hike a couple of years ago.

I saw this week's announcement that eMusic had struck a deal with Sony -- a major label that swallowed up Columbia as well as BMG (which I stubbornly still refer to as RCA, praise Elvis) and other labels -- as a mixed blessing.

No, I don't give a flying darn about some of the old Sony acts -- Billy Joel, Journey, Whitney Houston. And most the coolhipindiepunk acts they're touting like The Sex Pistols and The Clash is stuff I already have.

But there are a lot of cool old blues, jazz and hillbilly acts going back to the '20s -- that's 1920s, kids, that were on Columbia (which swallowed up Okeh Records way back when). So, assuming they offer this as well as Michael Jackson and Eddie Money, that's a good thing.

But one little detail the press release kind of forgot to mention.

Along with the massive Sony back catalog, there's also a little matter of a price increase.

For my plan, I'll be going from 90 downloads to 50 downloads every 30 days. Doing the math, my price for a download goes up from about 22 cents to about 40 cents.

Granted, 40 cents still is a lot cheaper than Amazon, iTunes or any place else I know. So I might swallow my pride and stick around, even though it's really tempting to tell them to stick it. One thing for certain -- there will be a lot less experimenting on my part, making it a lot less likely I stumble across and take a chance on acts like Impala, Ross Johnson and Isaiah Owens, and albums like Rarities from The Bob Hite Vaults or Slide Guitar Gospel (1944-1964).

For the record , eMusic claims the price increase was in the works before the Sony deal. You still have to wonder.

Here's a couple of articles about the eMusic changes from the Los Angeles Times and Business Week.


I've been excited about the new Norton compilation I Still Hate CDs for a couple of months now. It was released Tuesday, so I happily downloaded the 38 (of 45) tracks I didn't already have.

So imagine my disappointment when I discovered that seven of the tracks I downloaded are marred by an obnoxious scratchy digital distortion. (Apparently another track, "Camel Walk" by The Saxons is the same way. I didn't download that one because I already had it on one of the Mad Mike's Monsters collection on Norton.

I'm sure eMusic will credit my account. I just hope they replace those those lousy tracks pronto. (Miriam at Norton says she's contacted their download company about the problem.)

An honest mistake I'm sure. But happening today sure didn't make me feel any better about eMusic.


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