Wednesday, March 31, 2010


Here's a cool little feature on what for the past 14 years or so has been the opening theme song of my Sunday night radio show Terrell's Sound World on KSFR -- Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres. (Thanks, and a tip of the hat to T. Tex Edwards.)


I'd never realized before that Huey Meux, the infamous Crazy Cajun who also produced The Sir Douglas Quintet, was involved with The Hombres' greatest (and only) hit.

Some more Hombres trivia from the AllMusic Guide: "Hang Out" co-writer and Hombres organist B.B. Cunningham was the brother of Bill Cunningham, who was in The Box Tops with Alex Chilton.

And before they became The Hombres, they were the touring band for Ronnie & The Daytonas ("Little GTO")

Inspiration for"Let it All Hang Out"? "Cunningham admitted in a Goldmine interview that their original inspiration for the song had been Dylan's `Subterranean Homesick Blues,' which they regarded as a goof masquerading as something profound

This gives me an excuse to reprint Chuck Eddy's thoughts on this song:

"In 1967, The Hombres, a Memphis garage-frat foursome with blood-alcohol levels too high to drive, had a one-shot rap hit with "Let It Out (Let It All Hang Out)." It opens with what almost sounds like a digital sample, namely a preacher railing against, "John Barleycorn, nicotine, and the temptations of Eve." Then somebody farts, then a guitar riff taken from the Shadow of Knights' "Gloria" kicks in, and is repeated hip-hop style through the entire song. The singer anticipates what Beck would sound like in the distant future by drawling a ridiculous Dylan parody that compares Galileo with an Eagle Scout and warns against parking near sewer signs. ..."

Chuck Eddy from The Accidental Evolution of Rock 'n' Roll, (1997)

Here's a live 2009 version by B.B. Cunningham:

Monday, March 29, 2010


Here's a video of The Waco Brothers performing "Too Sweet to Die" at the recent Twangfest party at Jovitas during South by Southwest. (Thanks and a tip of the hat to Jason Baldwin.)

Wish I'd have been there, even though the last time I was at Jovita's (to see The Waco Brothers at the 2008 Twangfest party) we got cussed out by the manager because my friend Chuck dared to complain about the food arriving an hour and a half after we ordered it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Sunday, March 28, 2010
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
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart by J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound
Too Light to Fight by Andre Williams
I Want You Back by The Plimsouls
Primitive Rock by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers
Cheap Thrills by Ruben & The Jets
Found a Peanut by Thee Midnighters
Little Girl by John & Jackie
Wolf Call by The Dots
Mysterious Teenage by The Vels
Filhino Do Papei by Brazilian Bittles
Don't Mess With My Mind by The Stomachmouths

Buried Alive by Pearced Arrows
Last Time I Saw Cole by Deadbolt
Slow Dry by The Laundronauts
Bankrupt City by The Ultimatemost High
Sally Sensation by The Molting Vultures
When I Arrive by Los Peyotes
Come Back Bird by Manby's Head
Born to Be Wild by Petty Booka

Princess by The Del-Lords
Penny Instead by Charlie Pickett
Do the Wurst by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Boogie by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
King of the Jungle by King Khan & The Shrines
Diddley Bow by Seasick Steve
Mama Didn't Raise No Fool by Primus

Goodbye Sweet Dreams by Roky Erikson & Okerville River
Campesino by Pinata Protest
Cuca's Blues by Latin Playboys
In the Groove by Howlin' Wolf
Big Legged Woman by Jerry Lee Lewis
Standing in My Doorway Crying by Jessie Mae Hemphill
Love Enchanted by Daniel Johnston
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis




This month, after a rowdy free-form set, The Big Enchilada takes a rockin' musical trip to the Land of Enchantment, New Mexico -- and then a boat ride into the heart of the Rock 'n' Roll Jungle. So I call this episode Some Enchanted Jungle.

You'll hear a new tune by the Del-Lords, plus amazing sounds by Pinata Protest, The Stomachmouths, Organs, Si Si Si ... and a whole combination plate of New Mexico bands -- Manby's Head, The Scrams, The Dirty Novels, Monkeyshines and Hundred Year Flood.

And then .... The Jungle!

You can play it here:


The official Big Enchilada Web Site with my podcast jukebox and all the shows is HERE

Here's the play list:

(Background Music: Daktari Ooh Ah by Chaos, Inc.)
She's the One Who's Got It by Alex Chilton
Just Ain't It by Organs
Wild Trip by The Stomachmouths
Ghost Town by Si Si Si
Cantina by Pinata Protest
Me and The Lord Blues by The Del-Lords
I Am Trying to Break Your Heart by J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound

(Background Music: Jungle King by Chris Calloway)
Licking the Frog by Manby's Head
Audience Reaction by The Dirty Novels
Dram Shopper by The Scrams
Tremblin' White by Hundred Year Flood
Girl in the Miniskirt by Era of Sound
Battle Cry by Monkeyshines

(Background Music: Jungle by The Night Cats)
The Jungle by Diablito
Jungle Hop by Don & Dewey
Jungle Hop by The Cramps
Jungle Fever by Charlie Feathers
Jungle Stomp by Johnny Clark & The Four Playboys
Jungle Talk (I Want Some of That) by Shane Kai Ray
Jungle Music by Simon Stokes

Friday, March 26, 2010


Friday, March x, 2010
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
The Moon is High by Roger Miller
She Took a Lot of Pills and Died by Robbie Fulks
Highway Patrol by Junior Brown
Oil in My Lamp by The Byrds
Rub a Dub Dub by Hank Thompson
Broken Engagement by Webb Pierce
Shake a Leg by Kim Lenz & Her Jaguars
Whistle Bait by Larry Collins
Let's Elope by Janis Martin
Move Along Train by Levon Helm
Old Corn Likker by The Carolina Chocolate Drops

T-Model Theme Song by T-Model Ford
Picture of You by Dex Romweber Duo
Diddey Wah-Diddey by Taj Mahall
This Ain't a Good Time by Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys
Blood on the Saddle by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
High Noon by Tex Ritter
Take Me Back by Billy Kaundart
Country Boy by Little Jimmy Dickens
Night Spots of the Town by Roy Acuff

The Wig He Made Her Wear/Get Downtown by Drive-By Truckers
Rebel by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Pour Hank on the Pain by Mike Cullison
My Bucket's Got a Hole in It by Hank Williams
When Sin Stops by Waylon Jennings & Buddy Holly
Mud Flap Boogie by The World Famous Blue Jays
Your Squaw is on the Warpath by Loretta Lynn
Star Motel Blues by Kell Robertson

Wade in the Water by Asylum Street Spankers
The Ballad of Jack Dolan by Moloney, Keane & O'Donnell
Bad Man Napper by Lee Green
Ballad of Hell's Half Acre by The Bootleg Prophets
Don't Go by Hundred Year Flood
That's When It Hits Me by Nancy Apple
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

Thursday, March 25, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 26, 2010

With The Big To-Do, The Drive-By Truckers continue their run as probably the most consistently strong, consistently good band working today.

They sound as tough as ever, with three fine singers and loud guitars. They tell riveting stories and are not afraid to be funny or get sentimental when it’s called for. They’ve even stuck with artist Wes Freed, whose colorful, magical mystery Southern Gothic style makes him my favorite album-cover artist working today.

In the liner notes, Trucker Patterson Hood says that unlike other Trucker albums, there wasn’t supposed to be an overall theme or story line on this record. “Yet as we sit down to sequence, it somehow seems to imply otherwise.” (I love a band that’s not afraid to honestly comment on its own work.)

The first tune that grabbed me was “Drag the Lake, Charlie.” It’s a loose and funky upbeat song sung from the perspective of a small-town law enforcement officer (think Andy or Barney in Mayberry). The song is funny at first, with the narrator worried about the wrath of Wanda, the wife of philandering ne’er-do-well Lester, who’s missing. “Better keep your fingers crossed and hope we find him drowned/Wanda’s gonna come and kill us all if he shows up in town.”

But as the song progresses, so does the darkness. “Remember what happened last time Lester went on the make?/I heard it took the cleaning crew two weeks to clean the bar/They never found that teenage girl/They never found the car.”

The Truckers have always excelled at crime songs, and it’s a real double punch when “Drag the Lake” is followed by “The Wig He Made Her Wear.” This one is ripped straight from the headlines; it’s the story of Mary Winkler, who was found guilty of voluntary manslaughter for killing her husband, the Rev. Matthew Winkler, in 2006. As reported by the Associated Press, “Jurors were shown a pair of tall platform shoes and a black wig Winkler said that she was pressured to wear during sex.”

Hood sings:

“Said that he berated about everything/Make her do things that made her feel so ashamed/Nobody at church would ever suspect/Made her dress up slutty before they had sex ... She’s already out of jail/And it was them high-heeled shoes and that wig he made her wear.”

Mike Cooley is responsible for “Birthday Boy,” the tale of a world-weary small-town stripper/hooker. “You got a girlfriend, don’t you, boy?/Nervous hands can’t lie/Married men don’t ask how much, single ones ain’t buying.”

“Get Downtown” is a funny rocker that starts off, “Kim said ‘Jimmy you better get yourself up off of that raggedy couch/I’m too pretty to work and I’m tired of you uglying up my house.’ ” The crunchy, fuzzy production adds to the pleasure.

Probably the most sonically stunning track on To-Do is Shonna Tucker’s “You Got Another.” The subject matter is hardly original — “You got another and you’ll go to her” — but Tucker sings with an ache and rage that makes it sound as if she’s the world’s first victim of sexual infidelity (which of course is just how it feels if it happens to you). The songs starts off slow and spare, with Tucker singing over piano and Hood coming in for harmony in the refrain.

At first, it reminded me of Lucinda Williams’ “Broken Butterflies,” sad and somewhat otherworldly. But then the rest of the band comes in and the music builds — the sob of the opening verse becomes a growl and then a roar. And Tucker’s voice remains the most powerful element of this song.

And, by golly, there’s even a song called “Santa Fe,” (hey, I live there!) which Hood says he wrote here (“before and after sound check”) while in town for a show in June 2008.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t really say anything about Santa Fe: “You said that you’d be waiting for me here in Santa Fe.” It could be about any town with three syllables for its name. In fact, if I had to pick the weakest song on the record, I’d have to set aside hometown pride — though John Neff deserves some credit for a tasty steel-guitar solo.

“Our album begins with a song about a little boy missing his dad and ends with a father missing his children,” Hood writes in the liner notes, referring to his song “Daddy Learned to Fly” and Cooley’s “Eyes Like Glue” — a sweet and sad one.

But the true climax of the album is “The Flying Wallendas.” Yes, it’s the story of the famous circus family of acrobats, who provide a classic symbol for showbiz. The Wallendas were amazing performers, but sadly they’re probably best known for the tragic incident of Jan. 30, 1962, when two members of the act were killed and another paralyzed after they fell while performing in Detroit.

“And they fell to the ground with the greatest of ease/And three didn’t get up from the blood in the breeze,” Hood sings. And yet the Wallendas kept going. They performed the very next night. I saw them as a child a few months later. Patriarch Karl Wallenda kept performing until 1978, when he fell to his death from a high wire in Puerto Rico at the age of 73. “They never would stop and they never surrendered/And they lived like they died, The Flying Wallendas,” Hood sings.

Let’s hope the Drive-By Truckers keep flying too.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Sunday, March, 2010
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
Get it On by Grinderman
The Beat Goes On by The Pretty Things
Around the World by Delaney Davidson
Cigarettes and My Old Lady by Andre Williams
I Need Somebody by Manby's Head
Box-o-Wine by Dirtbag Surfers
'Sup by The Fuzzy Set
Action Packed by The Del Moroccos
Dig That Grave by Hipbone Slim & The Knee Tremblers

Jungle Hop by Don & Dewey
Jungle King by Cab Calloway
Jane in the Jungle by The
Jungle Rock by The Fall
Jungle by The Nite Cats
Stranded in the Jungle by Frank Zappa
Tiger Man (King of the Jungle) by Rufus Thomas
Guitarzan by Ray Stevens

The Letter by The Box Tops
Like Flies on Sherbert by Alex Chilton
Alex Chilton's Guitar by The Rockin' Guys
September Gurls by Big Star
The Mad Daddy by The Cramps
Baron of Love Part II by Ross Johnson & Alex Chilton
Alex Chilton by The Replacements
Rock Hard by Alex Chilton

Murder in My Heart for the Judge by Moby Grape
Death Cab For Cutie by Bonzo Dog Band
Snow Blind Friend by Steppenwolf
Peg and Pete and Me by Stan Ridgway
Deathletter in the Mail by Bernadette Seacrest & Her Provocateurs
Zero Hour by The Plimsouls
Rambling Rose by The Persuasions
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, March 19, 2010


Friday, March 19, 2010
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
Drag the Lake, Charlie by Drive-By Truckers
I've Done Everything I Could Do Wrong by Reckless Kelly
Black Wings by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Family Man by Zeno Tornado & The Boney Google Brothers
Even If It's Wrong by BR549
Married Man Blues by The Nite Owls
My Baby's Gone by Marti Brom
In the Pines by Delaney Davidson
World Renown by The Riptones

Paper Crosses by Philip Gibbs
Lulu's Back in Town by Dan Hicks
He Calls That Religion by Maria Muldaur
By and By by Asylum Street Spankers
If Yous a Viper by Jim Kweskin Jug Band
Cancion Mixteca by The Chieftains by Los Tigres del Norte

Johnny Gimble Set
(All songs by Johnny Gimble or from songs on which JG played)
Hey Mr. Cowboy by Johnny Gimble with Jesse Dayton
Ida Red by Merle Haggard
You Win Again by Mother Earth
Divorce Me C.O.D. by Don Walser
I Needed You by Johnny Gimble with Dale Watson
(How Will I Know) I'm Falling in Love Again by Willie Nelson
Going Away Party by Asleep at the Wheel & The Manhatten Transfer & Willie Nelson
Sweet Georgia Brown by Johnny Gimble with Merle Haggard

Waltz Across Texas by Alex Chilton
A Satisfied Mind by Marty Stuart
Murder in My Mind by Holly Golighty & The Brokeoffs
Sneaky Pete by Sonny Fisher
Mamma's Fried Potatoes by Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Bloody Bill Anderson by South Memphis String Band
Go Ring the Bells by Johnny Paycheck
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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


Please tune in Sunday on KSFR. The show starts at 10 p.m. Mountain Time. I'll probably do the Chilton segment about 11 p.m.

Meanwhile, here's some videos. Some folks on YouTube say the first one is NOT from 120 Minutes, but an older show that was called The Cutting Edge. That's Peter Zaremba of The Fleshtones introducing him.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 19, 2010

He fiddled with Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. He fiddled with Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Dolly Parton, and Merle Haggard — and also on TV with Hee Haw’s Million Dollar Band. His fiddling won him a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 1994, presented to him by then first lady Hillary Clinton. And he fiddled on the campaign trail for Louisiana Gov. Jimmie Davis. (Oops! He actually played banjo for the singing governor.)

Johnny Gimble turns 84 in a couple of months, and he’s still fiddling. He has a new album out, Celebrating With Friends, on which he’s joined by friends like Nelson, Haggard, Ray Benson from Asleep at the Wheel, Vince Gill, Jesse Dayton, and Prairie Home Companion’s Garrison Keillor. And the album’s cover art is by Mekon/Waco Brother/western-swing lover Jon Langford.

Personal digression: Despite his lengthy western-swing/country music résumé, I didn’t become aware of Johnny Gimble until the late 1960s. It was on a record called Make a Joyful Noise by a wild tribe of hippies called Mother Earth, led by a rich-throated blues belter named Tracy Nelson and a warbling poet named R.P. St. John.

Gimble was one of several country-music veterans to appear on this record. There was also another veteran fiddler — Grover C. “Shorty” Lavender — as well as steel-guitar master Pete Drake. One of the best moments on Joyful Noise was Gimble’s jaw-dropping solo on Hank Williams’ “You Win Again.” Shamefully, this album was out of print for decades until it was reissued on the Wounded Bird label about six years ago.

Back to the present: Celebrating With Friends almost seems like a tribute album. Indeed, on a couple of tunes Gimble doesn’t actually play. A younger fiddler, Jason Roberts, an impressive musician who is part of the house band that forms the backbone of the record, fills in for the master on the Gimble-penned instrumental “Gardenia Waltz.” He also plays and recites the lyrics of Gimble’s “Fiddlin’ Around.”

And then there’s the final track, “Owed to Johnny Gimble,” which is from a 1994 Prairie Home Companion show recorded shortly after Gimble won the NEA award. This is an actual tribute song by Keillor, who sings, “There was a fiddler named Gimble/Whose fingers were nimble.” (Keillor also rhymes “Darling Nelly” with Stephane Grapelli, but at least he doesn’t end any line with “Nantucket.”)

But the best tributes here are the classy jams featuring Gimble, who plays electric mandolin on some tracks and even sings a few songs. He swaps verses with Gill on “Somewhere South of San Antone,” showing that time has been kind to his vocal chords. Gimble’s granddaughter Emily Gimble sings “If I Had You” while grandpa proudly plays in the background.

Jesse Dayton takes time off his duties as Rob Zombie’s resident country singer to do a fun little number called “Hey Mr. Cowboy.” It’s nice to hear Dayton, whose last album was the Zombie-produced Captain Clegg and the Night Creatures, sing a song that has nothing to do with flesh-eating ghouls or demonic forces.

Of course, I’m partial to Willie and Merle. Nelson’s “Lady Be Good” is a snazzy, jazzy take on this Gershwin number, with a standout piano solo by Danny Levin. But I think my favorite tune on this album is Haggard’s spot, a hot version of “Sweet Georgia Brown.” It’s so good I can make it almost all the way through without thinking of the Harlem Globetrotters.

If you’re a fan at all of western swing, there’s no way Celebrating With Friends isn’t going to make you smile.

Also recommended:

* Somewhere in Time by Reckless Kelly. This is an album that Reckless Kelly has been threatening to make for years.

It’s a collection of songs written by the band’s country-music mentor, one Pinto Bennett. Never heard of Pinto Bennett? Neither had I before this album. Apparently he’s a honky-tonk hero up in Idaho, where he led a band called the Famous Motel Cowboys during the Outlaw Era of the ’70s.

Bennett was friends with the father of Cody and Willie Braun, the brothers at the core of Reckless Kelly, who grew up in Idaho before moving to Austin, Texas. Pinto, a burly bearded guy who looks like a healthier version of Blaze Foley, is not well-known outside of the potato capital, but judging from this album, he’s a heck of a songwriter.

And this sounds as if it were a fun album to make. Texas luminaries like Joe Ely, Lloyd Maines, Mickey Raphael (Willie Nelson’s harp man), and Bukka Allen (Terry and Jo Harvey’s boy) show up. And so does Pinto Bennett. The old Idaho Cowboy himself is here to sing lead on “Thelma,” a sad waltz about a doomed love.

While RK is known for its powerful roots-rock — and there’s plenty of that here, such as in the opening track, “Little Blossom” — my favorite songs are the more traditional honky-tonkers like “I’ve Done Everything I Could Do Wrong,” “You Cared Enough to Lie,” and “I’ll Hold the Bottle, You Hold the Wheel.” I can imagine Ray Price singing that one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010


Sunday, March 14, 2010
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
Just Like Me by Paul Revere & The Raiders
Maid of Sugar Made of Spice by Mouse & The Traps
The Snake by Johnny Rivers
Valley of Neptune by Jimi Hendrix
Stain by The Laundronauts
Sick by The Ultimatemost High
Wig Wag by Manby's Head
Cysco Sanchez Has a Drink by Cysco Sanchez Supergroup
Super Hero by Electricoolade

My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama by Frank Zappa
Don't Bogue My High by The Dirtbombs
Come Down With Me by The Organs
Stolen Love by Thee Headcoatees
Get Ready, I'm Gonna Move in the Room Upstairs by The Rev. Louis Overstreet
Shortnin' Bread by Neal Pattman
Goin' Manic by The Rev. Horton Heat
Fissure of Rolando by The Cramps


March to Battle by The Chieftains with Liam Neeson
The Fairy Hills by The Wolfe Tones
The Likes of You Again by Flogging Molly
The Rocky Road to Dublin by The Young Dubliners
Donnegal Express by Shane MacGowan & The Popes
Captain Kelly's Kitchen by The Dropkick Murpheys
Whiskey in a Jar by The Dubliners
Wild Rover by The Dropkick Murpheys with Shane MacGowan
Irish Rover by The Dubliners with The Pogues

Long Lost Tapes of Hendrix by Black 47
A Bang on the Ear by The Waterboys
Yer Drunk Again/Polka del Diablo by The Mollys
Carrickfergus by Van Morrison The Chieftains

Friday, March 12, 2010


Because of transmitter problems at KSFR, there will be no Santa Fe Opry tonight.

Hopefully the station will be back up by Sunday. I'm planning an hour or so of Irish music -- Celt Rock, traditional and everything between -- on Terrell's Sound World. Show starts at 10 p.m. Mountain Time on 101.1 FM in Northern New Mexico and streaming at

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
March 12, 2010

If you get an emotional surge of patriotism in your soul when you hear the phrase “Remember the Alamo,” chances are you might not care for the new album by The Chieftains and Ry Cooder.

Or at least the subject matter. While some might not like the idea of celebrating those who fought hard against this country, it’s difficult to imagine that anyone could be unmoved by at least some of the wondrous collaboration that is San Patricio. Once you get swept into chief Chieftain Paddy Moloney’s magic, you might come dangerously close to forgetting the Alamo.

The inspiration behind this album is the story of the San Patricio Brigade, a band of predominantly Irish (although there also were a good number of German) immigrants, many of whom deserted the U.S. Army and joined the Mexican army to fight during the Mexican-American War.

Moloney and Cooder recruited their own brigade of musicians including Mexican band Los Tigres del Norte and Mexican American songbirds Lila Downs and Linda Ronstadt, as well as Irish actor Liam Neeson to record this tale. And there are lesser-known groups including Los Folkloristas and Los Cenzontles.

“If the Mexicans were there, there must have been music. I know for myself, if the Irish were there, there most certainly would have been music.” That’s what Moloney writes in the liner note of San Patricio. And he and his collaborators show what a sweet mix traditional Irish and Mexican music can be. Uilleann pipes and tin whistles play Mexican melodies. Mariachi mixes with Celtic themes. At one point, the "Mexican Hat Dance " becomes a jig.

Not all of the tunes deal directly with the San Patricios. In fact, “Persecución de Villa,” in which The Chieftains are joined by Mariachi Santa Fe de Jesus (Chuy) Guzman, is about Pancho Villa and the Mexican Revolution, which occurred more than 60 years after the Mexican-American War.

History lesson: In this country, the San Patricios were known as traitors. In Mexico, they are considered heroes who fought an invading Army. The war, derisively called “Mr. Polk’s War” (after President James K.), was controversial. Even Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, who served as an Army lieutenant during the conflict, sounded almost like Dennis Kucinich when he wrote in his memoirs, “To this day [I] regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation.” The American Army suffered a desertion rate of more than 8 percent — more than for any other American war.

According to historian Martin Paredes, “Although the American Army was composed of recent immigrants, discrimination permeated through the ranks. Catholic prejudice and harsh treatment by Anglo-American superiors and the use of extreme disciplinary measures such as flogging added to the reasons for the desertions from Taylor’s ranks. ‘Potato heads,’ as the Irish were commonly called, were particularly singled out for harsh treatment.”

In a song called “Sands of Mexico,” Cooder sings, “ Now the Army used us harshly, we were but trash to them/Conscripted Irish farmers/Not first class soldier men/They beat us and they banged us/Mistreated us, you know.”

No, this was no picnic time for potato heads.

According to an article presented online by the Texas State Historical Association, “The Mexican government, aware of prejudice against immigrants to the United States, started a campaign after the Mexican War broke out to win the foreigners and Catholics to its cause. ... Mexican propaganda insinuated that the United States intended to destroy Catholicism in Mexico, and if Catholic soldiers fought on the side of the Americans, they would be warring against their own religion.”

Narrating “March to Battle (Across the Río Grande)” on San Patricio, Neeson recites, “We are the San Patricios, a brave and gallant band/There’ll be no white flag flying within this green command/We are the San Patricios, we have but one demand/To see the Yankees safely home across the Río Grande.”
Photo by Judith Burrows
The San Patricios were led by Sgt. John Riley, an Irish immigrant who had deserted the U.S. Army and fought hard for Mexico. But they made their last stand at the Battle of Churubusco (a name that came from the Aztec word meaning “Place of the War God”) in August 1847. Out of 260, only 75 survived. They killed at least 137 American soldiers and wounded nearly 900.

“We went down to Churubusco, but the devil got there first,” Cooder sings in “Sands of Mexico.” Many of the deserters were hung. “As I stand upon the gallows, it cheers the soul to know/History will absolve us on the sands of Mexico,” Cooder sings.

But Riley was in for a fate some might think worse than death. He was forced to dig the graves of some of his compatriots. He also received 50 lashes and was branded with the letter "D" (for "deserter") on his face — twice, actually. According to, “Since the letter was seared on upside down the first time, it was righted in a second branding.” Two years later, Riley would sue over this punishment, but a jury in Cincinnati ruled in favor of the government.

Again from Neeson in “March to Battle”: “We’ve disappeared from history like footprints in the sand/But our song is in the tumbleweeds and our love is in this land/But if in the desert moonlight you see a ghostly band/We are the men who died for freedom across the Río Grande.”

On a lighter note: My favorite Irish tune in recent weeks can be found on Black 47’s new album Bankers & Gangsters.

It’s a funny, upbeat song called “The Long Lost Tapes of Hendrix.” And yes, it’s about Jimi.

Leader Larry Kirwin sings, “One evening while out strollin’ a friend I chanced to see/He was begging behind a bottle on Spring and Bowery/He said ‘I got some news for you, only cost a couple of bob/About a buried treasure back home in Ballydehob.’ ”

But the treasure is as elusive as the wee folks’ pot of gold. To find the tapes, Kirwin has to confront a BBW bank teller — “200 pounds of sweet Maggie McGuire” — as well as an ominous “apparition in tie-dye.”

I’ll say no more, except “Purple Haze” never sounded so good on uilleann pipes.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

eMusic March

* Animal God Of The Streets by Kim Fowley. I met Kim Fowley -- producer, songwriter, Rock 'n' Roll Svengali, Sultan of Sunset Strip -- at one of the first South by Southwest festivals I attended back in the mid 90s. He was in the Austin Convention Center wearing a fairly psychedelic coat of many colors and was in the company of a sexy young singer he claimed to be "The Next Janis Joplin." (I listened to her cassette tape when I got back home. She was not the next Janis Joplin.) I don't even remember how our conversation started, but he was pitching this singer to me so intently you'd have thought I was some major producer. A film crew approached us and Fowley focused his pitch on the camera. Fowley ranted, the Next Janis Joplin slinked around looking sexy. I decided, what the hell, I held up the tape with a stern expression, nodding my head, as if I were the muscle in the entourage. I don't know where that camera crew was from, but what I'd give to have that footage!

So that's my Kim Fowley story. It has nothing to do with this album. Or maybe it has everything to do with it. His inspired quasi-political babblings of "Is America Dead?" definitely is the same voice I remember ranting about that singer at the convention hall.

Animal God was released in 1975, shortly before he was recruiting The Runaways. But it was recorded a few years before. (In "Is America Dead?" he mentions the fact that Woodstock was the year before., and he's not afraid to use the word "groovy.") The music is good stripped-down blues rock informed by psychedelia.

The first track "Night of the Hunter" sounds almost like Steppenwolf. And "Swamp Dance" is sweet and swampy. I'm not sure why Fowley attempted a cover of Link Wray's "Rumble." But "Hobo Wine" -- a pretty close relative of " Drinkin' Wine-Spo-Dee-Oo-Dee" sounds like something from a jukebox on skid row. I mean that in a good way, of course.

* 1950s Gospel Classics by Various Artists. Here's another happy find. This 25-song collection is a treasure chest of some great, if very obscure, gospel belters and guitar pickers.

There's Professor Johnson, who's got a Henry Green, Rev, Robert Ballinger, Deacon Leroy Shinault and the Rev. Anderson Johnson, who does a tune called "Death in the Morning," which either is a precursor to or a crazy bastard son of "O Death."

Sister Rosetta Tharpe's fans will immediately recognize a couple of her tunes here. Green does a version of "Strange Things" (though he does it as a dirge, not upbeat like Tharpe) and "God Don't Like It," which is done twice here by Anderson Johnson. If anything, his version, featuring his slide guitar, is even more jaunty than Sister Rosetta's. On one take, Johnson ends it with a disclaimer: "Now I wasn't talking about anyone, I was just singing my song." So despite the hell-fire lyrics, he's letting us know he's not really judging anyone. He sings it with a smile on his face and love in his heart.

* Bankers and Gangsters by Black 47. Just in time for St. Patrick's Day, a new Black 47 album. Sometimes Larry Kirwin gets a little heavy-handed when he gets going on the politics. The title track here for instance isn't all that inspired. And nothing here matches my favorite 47 song, "Forty Deuce" -- the story of real gangsters.

But there are a few standouts here. "Izzy's Irish Rose" is a fun look at a Hebrew/Celtic romance (and has a tasty little Irishfied blast of "Hava Nagila.") "Celtic Rocker" is a light-hearted look at the subculture that has grown around bands like The Dropkick Murphys, Flogging , The Young Dubliners, and, yes, Black 47.

And then there's "Long Lost Tapes of Hendrix." Check my Terrell's Tune-up column this Friday for more on that.

* Descending Shadows by Pierced Arrows Even though Dead Moon is gone, two-thirds of the band — Fred Cole and his bass player and wife of 40-plus years, Toody Cole — are back with another fine group, Pierced Arrows. The Arrows released an album called Straight to the Heart a couple of years ago on Tombstone.

And now comes their sophomore effort — and it's no slump,

The good news for Dead Moon fans is that the new trio sounds like a continuation of Moon's basic guitar/bass/drums sound. I suppose hard-core followers could argue over which drummer is better, Loomis or new guy Kelly Halliburton (no relation to Dick Cheney), but I don't see a major difference. The important thing is there was no cheesy attempt to update or "modernize" the sound. And Fred is still writing some memorable songs.

See my full review in Terrell's Tune-up a couple of weeks ago.

* The Second Stop Is Jupiter by Sun Ra. Herman Poole "Sonny" Blount, better known in this solar system as Sun Ra (1914-1993), not only played cosmic jazz but also dabbled in doo-wop and R & B in the 1950s and a little funky soul in the '60s and '70s. And danged if Ra didn't make that sound cosmic too!

Norton Records recently released three CDs of his material. Interplanetary Melodies and The Second Stop Is Jupiter feature recordings from the mid-1950s, while Rocket Ship Rock spans the late '50s through early '70s. I picked up the two of the three a couple of months ago, but just got my hands on Jupiter lately. I reviewed the whole shebang a few weeks ago in my Tuneup column. Read it HERE.


* "New Mexico" by Johnny Cash. A few weeks back Leslie Lithicum of The Albuquerque Journal had a fun column about songs about New Mexico. I was ashamed to realized that I had never heard this one. Luckily, eMusic had it on a Sun Records collection. It's a classic chunka chunka Cash tune about a young cowboy who is recruited for a job here, has a miserable time and gets ripped off.

No, this is one the Tourism Department never will use in ads: "Go back to your friends and loved ones, tell others not to go/To the God-forsaken country they call New Mexico."

* The tracks from The Sheik Said Shake by Hipbone Slim & The Knee-Tremblers that I didn't get last month. It's just good British psychobilly blues from the Dark Dimension.

My favorite in this batch is "Buried Next to You," a slow-grooving meditation on eternal love. I don't know whether this is an original or otherwise, but I can easily imagine Charlie Feathers singing this one. And there's "One-Legged Rock," which takes up where Terry Allen's "Peggy Leg" left off.

Now I've got to get my hands on the new one by Hipbone -- The Kneeanderthal Sound of…

Monday, March 08, 2010

New Delaney Davidson: Self Decapitation

Delaney Davidson

Delaney Davidson, the New Zealan singer and multi-instrument ace who played in Santa Fe last year opening for Rev. Beat-Man (and playing in the Rev's band) has just released a solo album called Self Decapitation on Voodoo Rhythm Records.

In addition to his musical talent, he's a fine photographer. He took this picture in Santa Fe:
Check out the video below.

R.I.P. Mark Linkous

Mark Linkous, aka Sparklehorse, is dead. He committed suicide in Knoxville, Tenn. Shot himself in an alley near a friend's house. Here's the New York Times account.

In honor of his music, here's his yet-to-be-released collaboration with Danger Mouse and David Lynch, Dark Night of the Soul. (It's been up at NPR for nearly 9 months.)

Here's a grim little note. Linkous is the second musician on this album who has committed suicide. Vic Chestnut, who killed himself in December, sings the song "Grim Augury."

01 Revenge (w/ The Flaming Lips)
02 Just War (w/ Gruff Rhys)
03 Jaykub (w/ Jason Lytle)
04 Little Girl (w/ Julian Casablancas)
05 Angel’s Harp (w/ Frank Black)
06 Pain (w/ Iggy Pop)
07 Star Eyes (I Can’t Catch It) (w/ David Lynch)
08 Everytime I’m With You (w/ Jason Lytle)
09 Insane Lullaby (w/ James Mercer of The Shins)
10 Daddy’s Gone (w/ Nina Persson)
11 The Man Who Played God (w/ Suzanne Vega)
12 Grim Augury (w/ Vic Chestnutt)
13 Dark Night Of The Soul (w/ David Lynch)

Sunday, March 07, 2010


Sunday, March 7, 2010
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
Celluloid Heroes by The Kinks
New Age by The Velvet Underground
My Beloved Movie Star by Stan Ridgway
Tiffany Anastasia Lowe by June Carter Cash
Martin Scorsese by King Missile
Shout Bama Lama by The Detroit Cobras
Beyond the Sound of Time by The Bomboras
Psycho Daiseys by The Hentchmen

Spin Cycle by The Laundronauts
Make You Sorry by The Routes
Crazy Pills by Quan & The Chinese Takeouts
Seersucker Suit by J.J. & The Real Jerks
The Mollasses by The Scrams
Melt My Mind by The Tex Reys
Medusa by The Hydes
The Orange Shadows by The Molting Vultures
(We're the) Knights of Fuzz by Marshmallow Overcoat
Sour and Vicious Man by The Strawmen

Hush, Hush/12 O'Clock Midnight/Dizzy Miss Lizzy by The Plimsouls
Bad Boy by The Backbeat Band
Slow Down by The Beatles
You Bug Me Badly by Larry Williams
Wiggling Fool by Jack Hammer
Honey I Need by The Pretty Things
Daddy You Lied to Me by The Del Moroccos
Hell of a Woman by Impala

Shivers Down My Spine by King Khan & The Shrines
Down on the Riverbed by Los Lobos
Death in the Morning by Rev. Anderson Johnson
Jungle Music by Simon Stokes
My Yoke is Heavy/It's a Wonderful Life by Sparklehorse
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, March 05, 2010


Friday, March 5, 2010
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
Harm's Way by The Waco Brothers
Guacamole by The Texas Tornados
Buzz, Buzz, Buzz by The Blasters
Miss Froggy by Warren Smith
Drunk by Noon by Sally Timms
Juke Joint Jumpin' by Wayne Hancock & Hank Williams III
Shake, Rattle & Roll by Doc Watson
I Fall to Pieces by Patsy Cline
My Own Kind of Hat by Merle Haggard
Flowers on the Wall by The Statler Brothers
In-a Gadda da Vida by Mojo Nixon

Entella Hotel by Peter Case
Monday Morning Blues by Peter Case & Dave Alvin
Raymond Martinez by Kell Robertson
Can't Pay the Bill by Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band
Palenque by Felix y Los Gatos
New Mexico by Johnny Cash
A Human Coyote Stole My Girl by Rex Allen

Sands of Mexico by Ry Cooder with The Chieftains
Long Lost Tapes by Black 47
Wild Irish Rose by George Jones
Danny Boy by Shane MacGowan
Going Up the Country by Mike Cullison
Country Girl by Dale Hawkins
Smoke, Smoke, Smoke That Cigarette by Johnny Bond & His Red River Valley Boys

That Nightmare is Me by Mose McCormack
Satin Sheets by Jeannie Pruett
Cherokee Fiddle by Michael Martin Murphey
I Just Dropped in to Say Goodbye by Carl Smith
16th Avenue by Lacy J. Dalton
Waltzing's For Dreamers by Carrie Rodriguez
I Believe in You by Don Williams
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
March 5, 2010

The Plimsouls are one of those rock ’n’ roll bands that never quite achieved mega-success at the commercial level. But nearly 30 years after they broke up, their adherents claim that they were one of the most vital groups of all time.

Those who believe that — and I’m one who has slowly been drifting to that conclusion — have some fresh new evidence for that argument, a newly released concert album titled Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal. Recorded Halloween night in 1981 at the Whiskey a Go Go in Los Angeles, it captures the band at the height of their considerable powers.

So who were these guys?

The Plimsouls were a quartet led by singer Peter Case, who had previously played with a punk-rock unit called The Nerves. (And before that, he was a street busker in San Francisco, where, Case told me several years ago, none other than Dan Hicks used to harass and harangue him as he tried to sing for tips on the streets of North Beach.) Case has since gone on to establish himself as a respected singer/songwriter and contemporary folk singer.

In the fertile L.A. punk/New Wave scene of the late ’70s and early ’80s, The Plimsouls became major contenders. With Eddie Muñoz on guitar, Dave Pahoa on bass, and drummer Louie Ramirez, the Plims created a sound with the chaotic energy of punk rock but featuring hook-heavy melodies with nods to mid-’60s folk-rock and soul (their first EP, 1980’s Zero Hour, had a cover of Otis Reddings’ “I Can’t Turn You Loose”). Rodney Bingenheimer championed their signature tune “A Million Miles Away” on his KROQ radio show (the song was later included in the cinematic classic Valley Girl). And somehow it got tagged with the label “power pop” — which might put off some potential listeners wary of anything pop.

After their maiden album on the independent Planet Records, the Plimsouls got snatched up by Geffen Records. Their one-and-only major-label outing, Everywhere at Once, contained some of their classic songs. But I found it way overproduced in a glitzy, ’80s kind of way.

The band broke up soon after the release of Everywhere at Once. Case was becoming more and more interested in his folk and blues roots and less and less enthralled at the prospect of leading a rock band.

Every decade or so, The Plimsouls reunite. They recorded an album of new songs in the mid-1990s — the criminally neglected Kool Trash. Though I never got to see them in the ’80s, I’ve been fortunate to see them in 1996 and 2006 at the South by Southwest Festival. The latter show was held in perhaps the most jam-packed bar I’ve ever been in. Both shows are among the most high-charged and energetic I’ve ever seen.

For my money, the best Plimsouls albums are the live ones — this new record, and 1988’s excellent One Night in America. While listening to their albums is not the same as seeing them live, you still can hear the sweat.

If you’re a Plimfan, chances are your favorite song by the group is on Live! Beg, Borrow & Steal. “Million Miles” is here, of course, as well as perhaps the finest version of “Zero Hour” I’ve ever heard and a not-too-shabby “Lost Time.” The set starts out with “Hush Hush” and moves straight to “Shaky City,” which sounds like some unknown old Yardbirds tune mutated with some unexpected chord changes.
One of the standouts is “I Want You Back.” No, it’s not the Jackson 5 hit. It’s a Case original and perhaps as closes to rockabilly as the Plimsouls ever sounded.

In addition to their original tunes, the Plimsouls honor their forefathers with several hopped-up covers of early rock ’n’ roll classics. Bo Diddley’s “Who Do You Love” sneaks in on a medley. The group pays tribute to the early L.A. Chicano rockers Thee Midnighters with a frenzied take on “Jump, Jive, and Harmonize.” There’s Larry Williams’ “Dizzy Miss Lizzy,” which was most famously done by the Beatles (this one also appeared on One Night in America).

And there’s a real treat. The Plimsouls are joined by The Fleshtones, who apparently were the opening act that night, on spirited covers of Gary “U.S.” Bonds’ “New Orleans” and Little Richards’ “Hey Hey Hey.” There’s an uncredited sax player who seems to come out of nowhere on “New Orleans.” Is it the late Gordon Spaeth, who frequently played with The Fleshtones? I hope this live album will spark enough interest to bring about a new Plimsouls reunion. This music is timeless and welcome in any decade.

Check out The Plimsouls at Alive Records. And there are songs and videos at their MySpace page, even though nobody’s updated the site in two or three years.


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