Sunday, February 27, 2011


Sunday, February 27, 2011
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
Don't Let Me Down by The Pornostuntman
Miniskirt Blues by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Trick Bag by The Gories 
Danger Zone by Groovy Uncle
At The Fight by by Gotham City Mashers  
Hey Luciani by The Fall
Lee, Bob & Lula by LoveStruck 
40 Miles of Bad Road by Dead Moon 
I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter by Dean Martin 

Boomerang by The Black Lips
Grieving Man Blues by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies 
Blood, Sweat and Murder by Scott H. Birham
Do the Romp by Richard Johnston
Pass The Biscuits Please by Andre Williams With The Gino Parks Quartet 
Help Me by Junior Wells
Cool, Cool Blues by Sonny Boy Williamson 
Howlin' for You by The Black Keys 
Nervous by Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim 

Rhapsody in Pink by Pere Ubu
Lick My Decals Off , Baby by Captain Beefheart
Qiyamat by Old Time Relijun
The O Men by The Butthole Surfers
Hit the Road, Jack by The Residents
Sports Car by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Plen Yuk Owakard by The Viking Combo Band

Fever in My Mind by Joecephus and The George Jonestown Massacre featuring Jim Dandy
Cornbread by The Blackbyrds
Scavenger Hunt by Stan Ridgway 
Mannish Boy by Electric Mudkats, Chuck D & Common
England by PJ Harvey 
No Woman's Flesh But Her's by Johnny Dowd
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, February 25, 2011


Friday, February 25, 2011
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
Plenty Tuff, Union Made by The Waco Brothers
Ray's Automatic Weapon by Drive-By Truckers
Louisiana Blues by Wayne Hancock
We're Still Here by Peter Stampfel & The Worm All-Stars
I Feel So Good by Scott H. Biram
Huntsville by Merle Haggard
Dreamin' My Dreams by Waylon Jennings
I Ain't a Bit Drunk by George "Shortbuckle" Roark

One Night With You by Wanda Jackson
Just Blow in His Ear by David Wilkens
Polk Salad Annie by Tony Joe White
What I Used to Do All Night by Rev. Billy C. Wirtz
How Come You Do Me by Junior Thompson
You're Humbuggin' Me by Lefty Frizzell
Love's Made a Fool of You by Bobby Fuller Four
Didn't Mean To Be Mean by Ray Campi 
Corn Dog by Roy D. Mercer
Minnie the Mermaid by Bernie Cummins & The Hotel New York Orchestra 

Thunderball by Johnny Cash
Thunderball by Tom Jones
Six White Horses by Tommy Cash 
Hello, I'm Johnny Credit by Johnny Credit 
Restless Kid/ The Frozen Logger by Johnny Cash
Gonna Romp & Stomp by Slim Rhodes
No Goodwill Store in Waikiki by Gurf Morlix
Henry Lee by Dick Justice 

Jimmy Brown the Newsboy by Flatt & Scruggs
Last Train from Poor Valley by Norman Blake
Bootlegger's Blues by South Memphis String Band
When Jesus Comes by Uncle Sinner 
Old Gospel Ship by Ruby Vass
Sweet Desert Rose by Bil Hearne Trio
Tiny Island by Leo Kottke
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP:Johnny Cash Saves the World From Nuclear Blackmail

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
February 25, 2011

Johnny Cash was no stranger to gunfighter ballads, but I only recently learned that at one point, fairly early in his career, he also took a stab at the spy-music genre.

That’s right. And a James Bond movie theme to boot. “Thunderball,” by Johnny Cash, is one of the many delights to be found on the brand new rarities collection Bootleg, Volume II: From Memphis to Hollywood.

Cash’s “Thunderball,” never before released in these United States, was rejected by the producers of the Bond movie by the same name. Instead, they chose another song with the same name by Tom Jones, which, to be blunt, is superior to Cash’s tune. Jones’ “Thunderball” is my favorite Bond theme of all time, right up there with Shirley Bassey’s “Goldfinger” and Nancy Sinatra’s “You Only Live Twice.”

Even though Cash’s trademark chunka-chunka beat isn’t really suited for the debonair 007, the Man in Black’s “Thunderball” is an interesting little tune. And at least it doesn’t have the weird grammatical gymnastics of Paul McCartney’s “Live and Let Die” (”... in this ever-changing world in which we live in ...”) Cash sings, “Thunderball your fiery breath can burn the coldest man/ And who is going to suffer from the power in your hands?

Cash seems far more at home with a song like “Restless Kid.” It’s an outlaw tune that should have been a classic — also recorded by Ricky Nelson (an underrated singer of cowboy songs) and Waylon Jennings. The version here is a demo by Cash, featuring only his voice and acoustic guitar. Cash seems natural as he takes the persona of a desperado: “None of your business where I’ve been, don’t ask me what I’ve done/Run your ranch and punch your cows and stay behind my gun. ... They got a man locked in a cell that’s a freer man than I/He’s gonna laugh right in their face when they lead him out to die and/He’s gonna leave this bad land and ride off in the sky.”

From Memphis to Hollywood is a worthy successor to Personal File, the excellent first Sony Legacy Cash "bootleg" in 2006. There are 57 tracks, including a radio performance, demos of Cash songs — both famous and obscure — a smattering of old Sun records, and tunes that, for whatever reason, never saw the light of day.

Although the sound quality isn’t great, the radio show — on station KWEM in West Memphis, Arkansas — is a real kick. I especially like the commercials in which Cash plugs aluminum screens and awnings.

Here are some more highlights from From Memphis to Hollywood:

* “I Walk the Line.” This is a demo of one of Cash’s best-known songs. It’s not as good as the hit version. It’s interesting that the song started out as a slower, almost mournful tune — not the punchy masterpiece we know and love.

* “New Mexico.” It’s a tale of a young cowpoke who signs on to work on a cattle drive one summer in the Land of Enchantment. He faces terrible weather, thorns and thistles, and a boss who rips him off. “Go back to your friends and loved ones/Tell others not to go/To the God-forsaken country they call New Mexico.” I don’t know why the state Tourism Department has never picked up on this one.

* “On the Line.” This war song reminds me of John McCutcheon’s “Christmas in the Trenches.” Backed by a sweet mandolin, Cash sings of a battle in some unnamed war. An officer on one side calls for a ceasefire. “You can go ahead and kill me, enemy, but I’m taking my wounded from the creek.” His counterpart on the other side agrees and follows suit. And just like the World War I “Christmas truce” McCutcheon sings of, the two sides come together when the gunfire stops and somehow can’t see fit to start shooting one another when their task is finished.

* “Six White Horses.” This was a hit for Johnny’s brother Tommy Cash in the late ’60s. It’s basically a country version of “Abraham, Martin & John,” but I’ve always liked it better than Dion’s more popular song. In the verse about Martin Luther King, Johnny sings, “Some preach black and some preach white/Which is wrong and which is right?/Takes every kind to make the world go round/Only takes one to gun you down.” Such thoughts might not seem that daring today. But back when it was written, there were undoubtedly millions of segregationist country radio fans who took personal offense.

* “Come Along and Ride This Train.” Here is a demo of what became the theme song of a popular segment on Johnny Cash’s ABC variety show in the late ’60s and early ’70s. It’s amazing that the song does not appear on Cash’s 1960 concept album Ride This Train.

* “One Too Many Mornings.” Unlike most Nashville stars of his day, Cash palled around with New York folkies, most famously Bob Dylan. Cash covered Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice.” I like this one even better, though it’s not as much fun as the Dylan-Cash collaboration “Wanted Man.”

* “Hardin Wouldn’t Run.” Speaking of Dylan songs and outlaw songs, here’s a tune about the infamous Old West gunfighter (1853-1895). I don’t know about you, but I like this one better than Dylan’s “John Wesley Harding.” (Dylan misspelled the man’s name.) In Cash’s tune, Hardin is killed by Sheriff John Selman because Hardin’s girlfriend pistol-whipped Selman’s deputy. Not sure how historically accurate that is, but it makes a great murder ballad.

Here's a song from the collection I probably should have mentioned:

Sunday, February 20, 2011


Sunday, February 20 , 2011
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
Rats in My Kitchen by The Fleshtones
On a Monday by Detroit Cobras
Alleys of Your Mind by The Dirtbombs
Wild About You by The Offhooks
The Egyptian Thing by The Syndicate 
Little Miss Tee-N-Tee by The Mummies 
I'm a Mummy by The Fall
Mummy by Kilimanjaro Yak Attack 
Big Man with a Gun by Gotham City Mashers
Got Any Mantras by Groovy Uncle 

Eegah by The Stomachmouths 
Raunch City by Texas Terri Bomb
Monkey Trick by The Jesus Lizard
Ashes Over Idaho by The Necronauts
Motorhead with Me by Nobunny 
Scotch and Water and You by Monkeyshines 
Pack Your Pistols by The Dirty Novels 
Sylvia Plath by The Rockin' Guys 
Ding Ding Dong by Waipod Phetsuphan

All songs by Simon except where noted
100 Naked Kangaroos in Blue Canoes by Timothy Leary &  Simon Stokes
Apocalypse Girl
The Black Whip Thrill Band by Simon Stokes & The Black Whip Thrill Band
Hey You
Miniskirt Blues by The Cramps with Iggy Pop
Hard Travelin' 

So Much in Love by The Thymes
Run Run Run by The Velvet Underground
Georgia Slop by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Convict Man by Deadbolt
Walk Along by Sky Saxon
Nudist Camp by Ross Johnson
Out of the Bushes by The Treniers
Hang On Sloopy by The Remains
Closing Theme: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

The Big Enchilada Podcast: Kitchen Grease


Steve Terrell cooks up some hot and greasy sounds this month  in his bitchen Kitchen of Doom. Too many cooks won't ruin this musical stew. Contributing their magic ingredients are Simon Stokes, Nobunny, Dan Melchior, Don Covay, The Mekons, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Sleepy John Estes, The Persian Claws, The Purple Merkins, Key Frances and so many more. If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen. But don't slip on the grease.

Play it here:


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Greeazzy by The Greasers)
Switchin' in the Kitchen by Don "Pretty Boy" Covay
Hey You by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
We Want the Lot by The Movements
Shuffling Spector by Dan Melchior und Das Menace
Bubba's Truck by Key Frances
Never Been Kissed by Nobunny *

(Background Music: Kitchen Sink Boogie by Hound Doug Taylor)
Grease Monkey Go by The X-Rays
Clever Way to Crawl by Persian Claws
Melvin by The Belles
Polaroid (I Don't Own, I Only Dote) by The Mekons
Two Girls and One Cup by Zhod/ Zentralheizung of Death
R'n'R Rocket by The Micragirls
Chop Top Bop by The Legendary Hucklebucks

(Background Music:Out in the Kitchen by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282)
Rats in My Kirchen by Sleepy John Estes
Bite of My Soul by The Fleshtones
Higgle-Di Piggle-Di by The Purple Merkins
'31 Coup by Angie & The Car Wrecks
Meet Me By The Garbage Can by Waylon Thornton & The Heavy Hands
Standing in a Trashcan (Thinking of You) by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
(Background Music: Hot Skillet Mama by Sun Ra with Yochanan)

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* Nobunny is playing

Nobunny Hops to Santa Fe

Here's a show I hope I'm not too burned out after covering the Legislature to catch.

The Amazing Nobunny is scheduled to play Corazon tomorrow night. (Monday Feb. 21.)

Also on the bill are Monkeyshines and a New Mexico Cramps tribute outfit called Teenage Werewolf. I love this description of them. " ... action-packed, sexy-freak-out show unfolds with bikini show-girls, go-go dancing, voodoo beats, Lucha-Libre moves, costume changes, mistakes, attitude may be more than you bargained for...."

There's a Nobunny tune on the upcoming Big Enchilada episode (to be posted tonight.) And I'll play a song or two tonight on Terrell's Sound World (starts 10 p.m. Mountain Time on KSFR.)

Until then, check this Youtube by Sam Atakra of Nobunny's previous show at Corazon last year:

Friday, February 18, 2011


Friday, February 18, 2011
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
Help Me From My Brain by Legendary Shack Shakers
Honey You Had Me Fooled by The Defibulators
Rockin' Bandit by Ray Smith
You Might Get Hurt by Suzette & The Neon Angels
Switch Blade Sam by Jeff Daniels
New Delhi Freight Train by Terry Allen
Fraulein by Bobby Helms
How Mountain Girls Can Love by Peter Stampfel & The Worm All-Stars
Whispering Shifting Sands by Johnny Cash & Lorne Green 

You Asked Me To by Waylon Jennings
Hair of the Dog by Shooter Jennings 
Movin' In by Morty Shann & The Morticians
I Need A Man by Barbara Pittman
Dancin' Ricky by Drive-By Truckers
Goodbye Booze by Loudon Wainwright III
Caffeine, Nicotine and Gasoline by Bill Royal
Slide Off Of Your Satin Sheets by DM Bob And The Deficits 
The Ballad of Lightnin' Bill Jasper by The Imperial Rooster 
99 Chicks by Ron Haydock & The Boppers

Journey to the Old Weird America
The Devil's Dream by Sid Hemphill & Lucius Smith 
I Got Drunk for Jesus/Train Is Moving On by The Rev. Johnny L. Jones 
Queen of the South Sea Isles by Hawaiian Beach Combers
It's a Shame to Beat Your Wife on a Sunday by Fiddlin' John Carson & His Virginia Reelers 
Black Woman (Wild Ox) by Vera Ward Hall 
Pussy by Harry Roy & His Bat Club Boys 
Did You Ever See the Devil, Uncle Joe, by Wade Ward & Charlie Higgins 
Don't Leave Me Here by Henry "Texas Ragtime" Thomas 

Where The Soul of a Man Never Dies by Luther Dickinson & The Sons of Mudboy 
Someday We'll Look Back by Merle Haggard
The Vigilante by Judee Sill 
Ruby Ridge by Peter Rowan
Hidin' In The Hills by Butch Hancock  
Federal Pen by Jaime Michaels
Blow The Man Down by Roger McGuinn  
 Pie In The Sky by Utah Philips & Ani DiFranco
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP:The Ragged Old Flag of The Old Weird America

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
February 18, 2011

The ragged old flag of Old Weird America has been waving high in recent months. There have been a rash of new compilations of old recordings of tobacco-spitting hillbillies, roughneck bluesmen, gospel shouters, jug bands, and chain-gang chanters.

You might even say that the past is so bright, you gotta wear shades.

I’m referring to recent releases from two fine companies — the Georgia-based Dust-to-Digital, founded by music collector Lance Ledbetter, and the Global Jukebox, a new label of the Alan Lomax Archive.

Here’s a look at some of this music.

*  The Hurricane That Hit Atlanta by Rev. Johnny L. Jones. This double-disc Dust-to-Digital compilation is one of the most intense, most powerful, and most satisfying gospel collections I’ve ever heard. It’s a collection of church and radio performances, going back to 1957, by Jones, a 70-something preacher/singer who’s still preaching and singing every second Sunday at Second Mount Olive Baptist Church in Atlanta. It’s mostly music, though it also has a little preaching, some conversation with a radio caller, and even a couple of radio ads.

Thankfully someone, perhaps Jones himself, thought of taping his services. The sound quality isn’t exactly professional. But it doesn’t take long to forget that — the spirit comes through loud and clear. Jones sings most of the material, although a few others — Lula Pearl Jones and Valerie Mathis, among them — are featured on some tracks.

Many of the songs aren’t the typical verse-chorus-verse structures. Some sound improvised, as if Jones is moaning when the spirit says “moan,” shouting when the spirit says “shout.” The track “Devil Don’t Understand Moaning,” for instance, is part of a sermon — a traditional black sermon in which you don’t realize when the music subtly takes over from the preaching. At one point, Jones’ guttural shouts sound as if he’s in the midst of a struggle deep inside his soul.

The screams of a female parishioner whose soul is obviously on fire give a real edge to “Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Almost Gone.” Obviously, the word “almost” wasn’t necessary for some of those who felt the spirit while this was being recorded.

* Baby, How Can It Be? Songs of Love, Lust, and Contempt From the 1920s and 1930s. While the other discs I’m reviewing this week are field recordings (with some tracks recorded in actual fields), this three-disc set from Dust-to-Digital consists of commercial 78-rpm records.

The themes of love, lust, and contempt each get their own disc. The 66 songs are taken from the collection of old-timey musician John Heneghan (he has a band in New York called Eden & John’s East River String Band). The songs include hillbilly, blues, jazz, jug band, string band, and even a few Hawaiian tunes. The collection spills over with sex and humor.

There are some famous people in this compilation — Cab Calloway, Mississippi John Hurt, and Blind Lemon Jefferson. But some of the obscure artists steal the show, like screechy-voiced Mississippi Matilda, George “Shortbuckle” Roark (who is “I Ain’t a Bit Drunk”), and Laura Smith, who kicks off the Contempt disc with a funny ditty called “I’m Gonna Kill Myself.”

Grateful Deadheads will recognize “Don’t Leave Me Here” by Henry Thomas. The Dead turned it into “Don’t Ease Me In” — coffee, tea, and jailhouse key included. R. Crumb’s Cheap Suit Serenaders covered “Pussy,” a song about a special feline by Harry Roy and His Bat Club Boys on the Lust disc.

Meanwhile, Tiny Tim fans will be happy to find the original “Tiptoe Through the Tulips With Me” by Eddie Peabody.

* Wave The Ocean, Wave The Sea; 
* Worried Now, Won’t Be Worried Long; 
*I’ll Meet You On That Other Shore; 
* I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down
* I’m Gonna Live Anyhow Until I Die. These five albums feature selections from Alan Lomax’s Southern Journey, which he recorded on trips in 1959 and 1960 to the rural South.

Lomax captured performances on front porches and in living rooms, town squares, churches, and prisons. Some of the locales were those he visited on similar trips with his father, John Lomax, decades before, and some of the musicians were those he met on those previous trips. The original Southern Journey, albums released in the early ’60s, were the first field recordings of American roots material presented in stereo. Periodically, these recordings reemerge in various configurations. In the late 1990s, for instance, Rounder rereleased 13 CDs worth of Southern Journey recordings.

I’m not really an audiophile, but I have to comment on how crisp and clear these newly remastered tracks sound. I’m ignorant of what kind of electronic voodoo went into this process, but the results are remarkable.

Many of Lomax’s usual suspects are scattered about the albums — Mississippi Fred McDowell, Bessie Jones, Hobart Smith, the Georgia Sea Island Singers, Vera Ward Hall, Sid Hemphill, and Almeda Riddle, among others.

Various styles of traditional Southern music can be found on each of the five albums including sacred harp, Cajun, gospel quartet, some proto-bluegrass, and the sound of the men working on the chain gang. The title song of  I’ll Be So Glad When the Sun Goes Down is by Ed Lewis and other prisoners at the infamous Parchman Farm prison in Mississippi. It’s an a cappella call-and-response accompanied only by the clanging of the men’s axes and hoes.

Probably the most surreal, Captain Beefheartean recording here is “Devil’s Dream” by Hemphill and Lucias Smith (on I’m Gonna Live). It’s a fife-and-drum tune with incomprehensible lyrics.

“Dark Day,” a spiritual by the Silver Leaf Quartet (on Wave the Ocean), is apocalyptic and spooky. And speaking of songs of contempt, “Levee Camp Holler” by Johnny Lee Moore (on Worried Now) is an a cappella put-down of a “downtown money-waster” whom Moore threatens with physical violence.

Who said folk music had to be pretty?

Blog Bonus:

Enjoy some videos:

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Sunday, February 13, 2011
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
Valentine by Concrete Blonde
Steppin' Out by Paul Revere & The Radiers
The Trip by Donovan
Nasty Women by Andre Williams
Wogs Will Walk by Cornershop
So What!! by The Lyrics
Mannish Boy by Jimi Hendrix

Isan Klab Tin by Thapporn Petchubon, Noknoi Uraiporn, & Thongthai Tin Isan
Ghostified by Persian Claws
Here Come The Mushroom People by The Molting Vultures
Monkey Song (You Made a Monkey Out of Me) by The Big Bopper
Justine by The Mummies
Hearse With A Curse by Mr. Gasser & The Weirdos
Bo Diddley is Crazy by Bo Diddley
Jack Of Diamonds by The Daily Flash  
Valentine by The Replacements
Ukulele Lady by Jim Kweskin's Jug Band

Make it Funky by James Brown (with Rev. Al Sharpton)
Sugarfoot by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears 
Look at Granny Run by Howard Tate 
Ma Juju Girl by King Salami & the Cumberland 3  
Truck Turner by Isaac Hayes 
Whiskey Wagon by Barrence Whitfield & the Savages 
Rockin' on a Sunday Night by The Treniers 

Packed by Gotham City Mashers
Manticore/Lion Tamer by Old Time Relijun
Crane's Cafe by TAD
Visitation by Manby's Head
She's My Moonglow by The Qualities
That Ain't My Wife by Swamp Dogg
Ride Captain Ride by The Blues Image
Blue Valentines by Tom Waits

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Friday, February 11, 2011


Friday, February 11, 2011
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
Go-go Boots by Drive-By Truckers
Too Sweet To Die by The Waco Brothers
L:eave That Junk Alone by Johnny Cash
Rednecks, White Socks And Blue Ribbon Beer by Johnny Russell
Ain't Got a Clue by Josie Kreuzer
Lone Star Blues by Delbert McClinton
She Likes to Boogie Real Low by Ray Condo & The Ricochets
Dixie Fried by Carl Perkins
There's More Pretty Girls Than One by Rutherford & Foster

Never Cold Again by The Imperial Rooster
Scratch Said by Angry Johnny 
Wolverton Mountain by Claude King
Let's Do Wrong Tonight by Simon Stokes & Annette Zilinskas,
From This Outlaw To You by Simon Stokes & Texas Terri
Like a Baby by Wanda Jackson
The Iliad  by Ed Sanders and the Hemptones
Hippie in a Blunder by Johnny Buckett

Jug Band Set
That Good Ol' Mountain Dew by Gamala Beat
Patent Medicine by Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band
Spasm by Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sara
Beedle Um Bum by Jim Kweskin Jug Band
Tanner's Boarding House by Gid Tanner & Riley Puckett
Viola Lee Blues by Cannon's Jug Stompers
Insane Crazy Blues by Charlie Burse with The Memhis Jug Band
Deep Fried Gators by Sloppy Joe
Casey Bill by Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band

I Got Drunk for the Lord/Train is Moving On by The Rev. Johnny Jones
Matty Groves by ThaMuseMeant
Fan It by The Great Recession Orchesta
A Mighty Wind by A Mighty Wind cast
Danny Boy by Shane MacGowan & The Popes

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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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
February 11, 2011

One of the lonely things about being a music critic and a lover of off-the-beaten-wall music is that you tend to get very excited about songs and albums and artists that nobody you know, not even your hipper friends, not even most of your hipper online friends, has ever heard of. You’re the one person in the forest when the tree falls and you scream, “Yes! There was a sound!” But even those who believe you don’t really care.

That’s basically how I felt when the self-titled new album by Simon Stokes and The Heathen Angels came out. It made my day when I got a review/airplay copy in the mail (in an envelope I suspect was addressed by Stokes himself with actual Kate Smith postage stamps. God bless America!). But the few people with whom I shared my excitement only seemed puzzled.

I don’t care. This album is everything I like about Stokes — boozy biker rock, some credible honky-tonk, even some mad folk-inspired ballads that would make your typical folkie wet his pants in fear. I might just crank up my iPod and blast it in my car when I stop at red lights and inflict it upon other drivers and hapless pedestrians. Those with ears to hear will know the weird joy that is Simon Stokes.

What you should know about Simon Stokes: He was born in Michigan, the grandson of a big-band leader, and moved to Los Angeles in the mid-’60s to dive into the rock ’n’ roll biz. He had a band called The Flower Children — though it’s hard to imagine that this tough old bird was ever a flower child. The group had a song called “Miniskirt Blues.” However, I never heard this song until the ’90s when it appeared on The Cramps’ album Look Ma, No Head, with guest vocals by Iggy Pop. (There’s a powerful new version on Heathen Angels.)

In the late ’60s, Stokes formed another band called The Nighthawks, which reportedly signed to Elektra Records on the same day as The Stooges and The MC5. In 1973, he released The Incredible Simon Stokes & The Black Whip Thrill Band, which unfortunately became more notorious for its S/M themes than for its bruising blues rock (and a pretty outlaw-country tune called “The Devil Just Called My Name”).

Stokes seemed to disappear after his 1977 album Buzzard of Love, resurfacing in the ’90s to team up with Dr. Timothy Leary on an album, Right to Fly — also known as LSD (Leary Stokes Duets); the best song from that collaboration is “100 Naked Kangaroos in Blue Canoes.” Stokes also helped produce The Radical, a cool album by American Indian Movement leader Russell Means.

My favorite Stokes work of all time is his 2002 album Honky. There were guest spots by Wayne Kramer and The Bell-Rays’ Lisa Kekaula, but this definitely was Stokes’ show. Songs like “Amazons and Coyotes,” “Johnny Gillette,” “Ride on, Angel” (a Black Whip remake that’s even better than the original version), and “No Confidence” represent Stokes at his rough-riding strongest.

Look Homeward, Heathen Angels: The new album is definitely Stokes’ greatest since Honky, but that just means I like it better than the one album between the two, Head, which was a good record with some great tunes, though more homemade and lo-fi. Most of the songs on Heathen Angels feature a full band — a solid group of rockers who perfectly complement the old master.

The opening song, “Hey You,” is an instant Stokes classic. With the Heathen Angels playing a thumping beat behind him, Stokes sings about a confrontation between a man on edge who basically is irate with the world and someone who looks at him wrong. “Don’t need no lawyer tryin’ to steal my dough/Don’t need that crap they’re playin’ on the radio. ... Hey you, are you looking at me/Hey you, I don’t like what I see.”

Brantley Kearns’ fiddle is out front on the song “Infected,” a minor-key rocker with the refrain, “Everybody’s infected, ’fected ... everybody’s gonna die!”

Another happy little tune here is “Down For Death.” This almost-seven-minute dirge is what Fairport Convention would have sounded like had Fairport Convention been fronted by a homicidal biker. Actually might be “The Black Angel’s Death Song” by The Velvet Underground. A man’s wife and children have been slaughtered by evildoers. It never says exactly why; there’s just the understatement, “a deal gone bad.”

But that’s the last understatement here. As Kearns goes nuts on his fiddle and Michael Starr’s guitar snarls menacingly, Stokes describes in bloody detail how the bad guys get theirs.

It’s definitely not for the squeamish. But that’s OK. The squeamish have their own music.

Besides “Miniskirt Blues,” another old Stokes tune revived here is “A Boa Constrictor Ate My Wife Last Night.” Originally appearing on Black Whip Thrill Band, it’s a dumb ditty, but it’s a fun little tune with a melody similar to that of “Honky Tonk Women.”

Stokes proves he’s got country in his soul on the song “Let’s Do Wrong Tonight.” It’s a duet with Annette Zilinskas, former bassist for The Bangles who also sang with the country-rock group Blood on the Saddle. This is a 100-proof honky-tonker that wouldn’t have sounded out of place on country radio in the ’70s.

There are a couple of cover tunes here including a wild take on “One Night of Sin.” Stokes doesn’t have the vocal talent of Elvis (who did the best-known version of this Smiley Lewis song). But it’s a spirited rendition that works on its own rag-tag terms.

Then there’s “Moth and the Flame,” an obscure song written by the late Sky Saxon of The Seeds.

Whenever you get discouraged and start to believe that most so-called rock music has become too artsy, too foo-foo, too slick, too poppy, too politically correct ... seek out Simon Stokes. He’ll restore your faith.

Who else would play Simon Stokes on Santa Fe radio? Hear songs from The Heathen Angels on The Santa Fe Opry on Friday night and Terrell’s Sound World on Sunday. Both shows start at 10 p.m. on KSFR-FM 101.1

Blog Bonus: CHeck out "Hey You!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

eMusic February

* Rock N' Roll '50s Blues Essentials This is a generous helping of blues and R&B. and one of those bargains you can find on eMusic that keep me coming back.

Just one problem. Many of the tracks were mislabeled. It looks as if there are duplicates of several songs, 11 in all. It's not eMusic's fault. The same album is listed on Amazon and iTunes with the same mistakes. It's probably the fault of the digital distributor.

This points to one of the problems with the digital age. Without an actual physical product in hand, it's way too easy to spread the wrong information about an album. And with obscure tracks, who'll know but the fanatics?

Using several internet sources, I was able to identify 6 of the mislabled songs. But 5 of them still stump me. I'm not sure of the artists on any of them. They are Track 2 (It might be called "Tommy T"), Track 6, which I'm pretty sure is called "Take the Hint"; Tracks 27, 28 and 37.If anyone has a clue, please let me know.

I stumbled across this while searching for some early stuff by Guitar Shorty, who played a benefit in Santa Fe last month for our mutual friend Kenny Delgado. In this collection I found an early tune by Shorty called "Ways of a Man." It's a funny little tune about all men basically being scumbags.

Among my other favorites here are "The Hunt" by Sonny Boy Williamson, which is a humorous novelty tune about coon dogs, the two (!) Ligntnin' Hopkins rockers and Jesse Knight's "Nothing But Money." If Big Joe Turner was the Boss of the Blues, Jesse sounds like his thug enforcer.

But the compilers might have saved their best for the first here. "Get Your Clothes and Let's Go" by Crown Prince Waterford probably sounded pretty risque back in the '50s. Now it's just crazy fun. (Unfortunately this opening song is one of the mislabled tracks.)

* Calypsos From Trinidad: Politics, Intrigue and Violence in the 1930's  by Various Artists. Another great Arhoolie compilation.

What is it about calypso that can even make a song about injustice, poverty and murder sound almost ...  happy? You hear very little outrage or despair in these songs. The singers -- who have cool stage names like Growling Tiger, Roaring Lion, Tiger, Atilla the Hun and The Executor -- skewer their politicians with a wise, sly smile and wicked lyrics.

Somehow these singers pull off political protest without the self-righteousness of so many American folkies or the pre-fab poser rage of second-rate rappers.

Wouldn't it have been great if we'd had Lord Executor around here in New Mexico to sing "Treasury Scandal" during the whole Robert Vigil /Michael Montoya mess.

Of course, politicians in Trinidad often were not amused. In fact "Sedition Law" by King Radio deals with censorship of the calypso menace.

(Beware! There's lots of mislabeling on this album too. Among other thins, they took the "growling" and "Roaring" from the Tiger and the Lion. Get it together, e-Music!)

* Sanders' Truckstop by Ed Sanders. Here's further proof that I have unhealthy obsessions about music.

Back in my early years of college, I remember KUNM playing this funny faux-country song called "Jimmy Joe, The Hippybilly Boy." Sung by Ed Sanders, a founding member of The Fugs, it's about a long-haired country boy who meets a tragic end.

I'd looked for this for years but was unable to find it. I'm not sure what made me think of  "Jimmy Joe" recently, but I looked up Sanders on eMusic and lo and behold ...

I probably should have just downloaded that song. It's still funny to me. There may be a couple of others -- For instance, "The Iliad," which is the tale of the legendary shit-kicking homophobe Johnny Pissoff. And maybe "Banshee," which is about one of Satan's demon lovers.

But most of the rest of the album doesn't hold up. The hippie humor is dated and Sander's fake hick accent gets annoying. If you want to hear really funny, really warped music about rednecks and hippies, check out Twisted Tales from the Vinyl Wastelands Volume 4: Hippie in a Blunder.

In Ed's defense though, you could argue that his work was a precursor to Mojo Nixon, Angry Johnny & The Killbillies and maybe even Southern Culture on the Skids (though none of the Hemptones can pick a guitar anything like SCOTS' Rick Miller can.)


* The 16 tracks I didn't get last month from Soundway Records Presents The Sound of Siam : Leftfield Luk Thung, Jazz and Molam from Thailand 1964 - 1975. The Soundways label never ceases to amaze me. It's best known for its compilations of amazing African rock, funk and soul. Now they've turned their ears to Asia.

There's some cross-cultural hijinx that would make 3 Mustaphas 3's heads spin. For instnace "Diew Sor Diew Caan" by Thong Huad & Kunpan basically is an Irish fiddle reel gone Siamese.

You can find direct influences from Western rock and pop in these grooves. Because none of the songs on this Soundways collection are sung in English, it's not as obvious as the Thai Beat a Go-Go collections where you find Siamese versions of songs like "Hit the Road Jack," "Lady Madonna" and Hank Williams' Kaw-Liga.

But on "Sao Lam Plearn," The Petch Phin Thong Band draws straight from "Jumping Jack Flash, " And in the middle of "Kai Tom Yum" by Kawaw Siang Thong, the melody seems to change to that of Leo Sayer's 1970s AM Radiio sap hit "More Than I Can Say." (But since Leo didn't release that song until the late '70s, Thong probably got the tune from the earlier version by Bobby Vee.)

For those who don't speak the language, the rueful laughter and dialog toward the end of "Kai Tom Yum" by Kawaw Siang Thong might sound sinister, like foreign mobsters about to commit some atrocity.

But it doesn't get anywhere as sinister as The Viking Combo Band's "Pleng Yuk Owakard" The title means "Space Age Music," but with its Dirty Dog bass, shouted lyrics, machine-gun drums and weirdo organ, it sounds like a murder after hours at a roller rink. (This song was included on Thai Beat a Go-Go Volume 1. Except there it's called "Phom Rak Khoon Tching Thing (I Really Do Love You)")

* Two songs from Battle of the Jug Bands. I'd never heard of any of these groups on this album, released in 2000. But who cares? The beauty of jug band music is that anyone with the proper spirit (and in some cases, proper spirits) can play it. The album is connected with an actual annual event, the "Battle of the Jug Bands," which takes place in Minneapolis every weekend after the Superbowl.

I picked up jug band versions of "Kung Fu Fighting" by a group called Girls on Top and the Rolling Stones classic "Sweet Virginia" -- a natural for a jug band treatment -- by Hoakim Yoakim & The Eggwhites. More on this album next month.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Meditations on The Green Weenie

Rachel Maddow tonight did a segment about former Sen. Allen Simpson's interview on CNN. Simpson, now co-chairman of President Obama's debt commission, told Candy Crowley that one way to deal with critics is "stick your finger down your throat and give them the green weenie."

Rachel went into all sorts of explanations about what "The Green Weenie" is. Some of them can be found in the comment section of her blog

But here's one she missed:

(And yes, that's the late, great Jimmy Carl Black, the Indian of the group, on drums.)

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Sunday, February , 2011
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
Dropkick Me, Jesus by Bobby Bare
The Great Joe Bob by Terry Allen
Coney Island Baby by Lou Reed
Penny Instead by Charlie Pickett
Miniskirt Blues by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Penny Instead by Charlie Pickett
Mummy by The Kilimanjaro Yak Attack
Sooprize Package For Mr. Mineo by The Mummies 
Love Hates Me by Texas Terri Bomb

Rock 'n' Roll Rocket by The Micragirls
People Look Away by Death
Born With Two Heads by Waylon Thornton and the Heavy Hands
Scorpion Accordion by Old Time Relijun
Dum Du by Butthole Surfers
Son of Sam by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Big Belly Giant by The Tandoori Knights
Mojo Workout by King Salami & the Cumberland 3 
Found a Peanut by Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds
Happy Wanderer by The Polkaholics 

In Memory of Lux Interior 
All Songs by The Cramps except where noted

The Most Exalted Potentate of Love
Garbage Man
Shortnin' Bread
Rockin' Bones by Ronnie Dawson
Do the Clam
Get Off the Road
Love Me by The Phantom 
You Got Good Taste (for Mr. A the Barber
The Strangeness in Me by The Runabouts
Bikini Girls with Machine Guns
Mad Daddy

Now You Blame Me by Carlos Rodriguez
Theme from The Psycho Playboys by The Desperate Twisters
Ritalin by Sonic Reverends
I Worn My Body For So Long by T-Model Ford & GravelRoad
Don't You Ever Let Nobody Drag Yo' Spirit Down by Wilson Picket Picket with Linda Tillery Cultural Heritage Choir
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis 

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Friday, February 04, 2011


Friday, February 4, 2011 
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
Kung Fu Fighting by Girls on Top
Pigfork Jamboree by The Imperial Rooster
Nothin' Shakin' by Linda Gail Lewis
Appleton by Webb Pearce
My Go-Go Girl by Bozo Darnell
Let's Do Wrong Tonight by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels with Annette Zilinskas
The Wrong Kind Of Girl by Roger Miller
Play It Cool by Ray Campi
One Too Many Mornings by Johnny Cash
Strangeness in Me by The Cramps

Chicken and Gravy by Richard Johnston with Jessie Mae Hemphill
Coulda Shoulda Woulda by J.P. McDermott & Western Bop
Precious Memories (The Only Hell My Mama Ever Raised) by The Blasters
Plastic Love by The Riptones
I Dig Dangling Participals by The Harper Valley PTA
The Maple Court Tragedy by Ed Sanders and the Hemptones
(If I Go to Heaven) Give Me a Brunette by Deke Dekerson
Lets Fall In Love Again Tonight by  Hundred Year Flood

All songs by Wanda except where noted
Thunder on the Mountain
Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad
Funnel of Love by Wanda Jackson & The Cramps
Rock Your Baby by Candye Kane
Wild Side of Life/Honky Tonk Angels
Money Honey
His Rockin' Little Angel by Rosie Flores with Wanda Jackson
Honey Bop
Let's Have a Party by Wayne Hancock
Rip It Up

Riot in Cell Block #9 by Wanda Jackson & The Cramps
My Walking Stick by Leon Redbone
Honky Tonk Heroes by Billy Joe Shaver
Two Different Worlds by Hank Williams
I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven by Eddie Dean wth the Frontiersmen 
In the Jailhouse Now by Jimmie Rodgers
Mother Earth by Mother Earth

MORE TO COME (Keep refreshing your browser until midnight)

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Wanda Doesn't Need Jack White to Party

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
February 4, 2011

Dag nabbit! I’m about to write an album review that’s going to make me sound like a boring old purist. And in general, I hate boring old purists.

It’s like that joke told in music circles: How many bluegrass fans does it take to change a light bulb? The answer: Four — one to screw in the bulb, three to sit around and talk about how the old bulb was better. But this bulb — Wanda Jackson’s new Jack White-produced album, The Party Ain’t Over — has brought out my crotchety purist. ( And, as Luke told Laura — a few days after he raped her — “That’s a side of me I don’t like.”)

Brief history lesson: For those unfamiliar with Jackson, she’s a rockabilly fireball from Oklahoma who started out as a country singer — discovered by the great Hank Thompson, no less. She wrote the country classic “Right or Wrong.” But she heard the call of the wild. Her high-charged “Let’s Have a Party,” originally recorded by Elvis Presley, was a rock ’n’ roll hit in the late ’50s. Others followed, including “Fujiyama Mama” (which actually became huge in Japan) and my favorite, “Hot Dog! That Made Him Mad.”

In the mid-’60s, when rockabilly became unhip in the wake of the British Invasion (which was stupid, because The Beatles and other Brit rockers loved the ’billies), Jackson, like Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and others, turned back to the world of country. But with the rockabilly revival of the ’80s and ’90s, Jackson started rocking again. She appeared on Rosie Flores’ album Rockabilly Filly in 1995 (along with fellow early rockabilly gal Janis Martin). And — hot dog! — she’s been rocking ever since.

Back to the Party: White Stripe Jack White must have a thing for older women. In 2004, he produced an amazing “comeback” album, Van Lear Rose, for Loretta Lynn. I noted at the time in this column that some of the tracks had “about 10 times the drum sound of any previous Loretta effort” and described the song “Little Red Shoes” as “honky-tonk trip-hop.”

But Van Lear is a superior effort, because White stifled himself more on that album. On Party, he frequently goes overboard, doing something I previously assumed was impossible — overwhelming Wanda Jackson.

It’s obvious from the opening moments of the first song — a cover of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates’ “Shakin’ All Over” — that White’s going nuts, turning the knobs up to 11 when a seven would do. The horn section sounds machine-made, and worst of all, White uses some weird effect to distort Jackson’s voice.

But this isn’t even the worst of it. Little Richard’s “Rip It Up,” a natural song for Jackson, seems to have cold techno overtones. And “Busted” (a Harlan Howard tune recorded by Johnny Cash and Ray Charles) starts out with Jackson singing it straight but then turns into a jackhammer waltz or perhaps a mad polka. It sounds like some funny mash-up song created by a bored kid for YouTube giggles. And then there’s The Andrews Sisters’ “Rum and Coca-Cola.” Under White’s direction it sounds like a rejected commercial for Captain Morgan.

Sure ain’t like the Wanda we knew in the ’50s — grouse grouse, grumble grumble.

But seriously, folks, I don’t mind hearing Jackson in a more modern context. Back on her 2003 album, Heart Trouble, she played with The Cramps on a couple of tracks. “Riot in Cell Block #9” was a joyous kick, but even more successful was the remake of her old hit “Funnel of Love.” The fuzzy guitar didn’t sound like it did in the original version, but Lux and Ivy basically stayed in the background, letting Jackson carry the song.

That’s the trouble with The Party Ain’t Over. Too often it seems that White is trying to upstage Jackson with his gee-whiz studio gimmicks.

To be sure, sometimes White’s production works. And when it does, it’s wonderful. By far the best song here is “Thunder on the Mountain.” It’s a not-very-well-known Bob Dylan song from his 2006 album Modern Times — Dylan in his raging Old Testament prophet mode. It’s a hard-driving romp. Jackson sings it with undisguised glee backed by White’s screaming guitar, a horn section that sounds fueled by pep pills, and a madhouse Jerry Lee-style piano. It was a wise choice to pick this for the first video from the album.

Another song that stands out in a good way is Jackson’s cover of Amy Winehouse’s noir-soul “You Know I’m No Good.” Jackson captures the smoky, sleazy spirit of Miss Beehive’s song. True, it’s not a little disturbing to hear her sing, “I’m in the tub, you on the seat/Lick your lips as I soap my feet/Then you notice little carpet burn.” But sometimes disturbing is good.

The sexy Dinah Washington classic “Teach Me Tonight” almost works. It’s a perfect tune for Jackson. The steel guitar sounds sweet, but the twinkly keyboards get annoying: it seems White turns everything up — the horns, the guitar — during the instrumental. It’s not as bad as it could have been, but a lighter touch would have sounded so much better.

And then there’s Jimmie Rodgers’ “Blue Yodel #6,” which ends the album. It’s a low-production, unplugged version. No great revelation, just a good country song that Jackson does so well without all the weird studio distractions that mar many of the songs.

If this album gets more people interested in Wanda Jackson, then yippee. But take some advice from this stuffy old purist and seek out her wild sounds of yesteryear.

Wanda, yesterday and today: I’ll play some Jackson cuts from her long career on The Santa Fe Opry, the country music Nashville does not want you to hear, 10 p.m. on Friday. And don’t forget Terrell’s Sound World, free-form weirdo radio, same time on Sunday, both on KSFR-FM 101.1. It’s streaming and screaming on the web at

Here's Wanda back in the '50s


Sunday, June 9, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell Email...