Friday, September 30, 2011


Friday, September 30, 2011
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Born in Jail by Scott H. Biram
Rhythm & Booze by Corky Jones
Diesel Smoke (Dangerous Curves) by Doye O'Dell
Truck Driver's Blues by Merle Haggard
Widow Maker by Jimmy Martin
Bent by The Calamity Cubes
I'm Not Drinking More by DM Bob & The Deficits
Heart Over Mind by Johnny Paycheck
The Other Shoe by Waylon Jennings & The Old 97s (Click this and the other links below link to get the latest Southern Independent XXX compilation for free!)

Thunder on the Mountain by Wanda Jackson
Country Girl With Hot Pants On by Leona Williams
Swingin' from Your Crystal Chandeliers by The Austin Lounge Lizards
Officer Guerro by Lucky Tubb
Whatever Kills Me First by Joey Allcorn
Fred the Rabbit by Rick Brousard
White Lightning Cherokee by Onie Wheeler
My Baby Makes Me Gravy by Dale Watson
Whiskey, Women And Wild Living by Tommy Pedigo

Shotgun by Anthony Leon & The Chain
Bayou Beauty by Ronnie Dawson
More Like Them by Lydia Loveless
Walk You Home by Marlee MacLeod
Texas Rose by Possessed by Paul James
River of Misery by Delaney Davidson
Everything I Ever Wanted To Do by Th' Legendary Shack Shakers

The Vintage by The Imperial Rooster
There is Evil by The Waco Brothers
El Corrido de Jesse James by Ry Cooder
Bottles and Bibles by Tyler Childers
What Happened Last Night? by Amanda Shires
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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
September 30, 2011

Who’d have thunk it? One of my favorite “new” songs this year is a remixed 11-year-old slow, somber six-minute track from a Grateful Dead tribute album.

Smirk away, little hipster. I don’t care what you say, “Ship of Fools” as performed by The Persuasions on the new double-CD set Persuasions of the Dead, is soulful and stunning. Bass singer Jimmy Hayes is the lead vocalist on this one. He’s backed by singers Jackie LaBranch and Gloria Jones (who used to do backup vocals for the Jerry Garcia Band) and some understated, gospel-tinged piano by the late Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick.

“Ship of Fools,” originally released on the Dead’s Watergate-era From the Mars Hotel album, is a song of bitterness and betrayal. “I won’t slave for beggar’s pay, likewise gold and jewels/But I would slave to learn the way to sink your ship of fools.”

Back then I thought that “the captain” mentioned in the first verse might be poor old Tricky Dick and that the song was an extended symbol for the government. “Don’t lend your hand to raise no flag atop no ship of fools.” The words still resonate, more powerfully than ever, as sung by Hayes.

You don’t have to be a Deadhead to enjoy Persuasions of the Dead. It’s very possible to listen to both CDs in the package and never once think of tie-dye or LSD. That’s because many Dead songs, mostly the ones written by Garcia and lyricist Robert Hunter, were based on blues, gospel soul, and other roots music. You might even argue that some of these songs — “He’s Gone,” “Black Muddy River,” “Brokedown Palace,” “Lazy River Road,” and, of course, “Ship of Fools” — were screaming for an interpretation by an African-American vocal group.

But hasn’t this been done before? Well, yes, it has — by a group called The Persuasions. If you’re a fan of this band, chances are you’ve heard versions of some these songs before — from an album, released in 2000, called Might as Well: The Persuasions Sing Grateful Dead.

But that tribute album didn’t get very far. It was one of a string of Persuasions tribute albums in which the group did a cappella (well, mostly a cappella) covers of songs by classic rock acts. That gimmick started getting old. For awhile I was afraid there were going to be Persuasions tributes to Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Jethro Tull.

(Even so, I still love Frankly A Cappella, the band’s Frank Zappa tribute — partly because few groups, a cappella or not, would be crazy enough to do an entire album of Zappa songs. But remember, Zappa began his career in doo-wop, writing songs for The Penguins. In 1969, Zappa’s Bizarre-Straight Records signed The Persuasions for the group’s first album, the live A Cappella.)

Rip Rense, who was executive producer of both the Zappa and Grateful Dead tributes, says he was dissatisfied with Might as Well. In a recent email, Rense said, “It was a pleasant album, but I didn’t like the blending, the reverb, the too-long songs and excessively repetitious verses, and some of the instrumental accompaniment. I also thought the thing lacked brightness and energy. This bothered me for years.”

So he basically got a mulligan on that album. He talked to the group — including former lead singer Jerry Lawson, who left The Persuasions several years ago and moved to Arizona — and the musicians agreed to help with remixing and re-imagining the album, adding and subtracting vocal and instrumental tracks and, in some cases, creating entire new arrangements. Six songs not on Might as Well were added. Though there’s a small army of guest musicians here (from the old sessions and new) thankfully, they don’t dominate. (The album is officially credited to “The Persuasions & Friends.”)

Among the songs here is a “drums and space” track — just like the improvisational weirdness the Dead used to do in concert — that starts out with the group singing the phrase “Here comes sunshine,” and then segues into a few minutes of what Rense calls “body percussion,” transforming into some free-form a cappella doo-woppery. It’s pretty weird and kind of dumb, but I bet it was fun to record. It fits in with the new “concept” of Persuasions of the Dead, symbolically recreating the structure of a Dead show.

Though The Persuasions excel on the slow tunes, some of my favorites are the more upbeat numbers. There’s “Loose Lucy,” which sounds more like The Coasters than the Dead (all vocal except a crazy baritone sax solo by James King); “Might as Well,” which sounds like it was written for doo-wop; and the group’s joyful take on “Don’t Ease Me In.”

There’s a completely new recording for this album of “Stella Blue,” which has never been one of my favorite Dead songs. Their version is too long and plodding. But Lawson, singing with the other Persuasions for the first time in years, does a wonderful job of capturing the sweetness of the melody and the forlorn spirit of the lyrics.

I’m not wild about tribute albums in general, and I still like The Persuasions best when they work their a cappella mojo on songs from a variety of sources. But there are a lot of good times on Persuasions of the Dead.

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Sunday, September 25, 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! terrell(at)

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
More You Talk, Less I Hear You by The Monsters
She Starts My Motor by The Sinister Six
Spin the Bottle by The King Khan & BBQ Show
I'd Rather Go to Jail by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels
It's Mighty Crazy by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Jack on Fire by The Gun Club
Eyeball In My Martini by The Cramps
Barbed Wire Love by Stiff Little Fingers
Hasil Adkins in My Head by The Vibes

The Devil Dance by The A-Bones
I Must Be the Devil by Glambilly
Deep Jungle Safari by The Infoiatis
We Move in Waves by Modey Lemon
Piss Bottle Man by Mike Watt
Talking Man by Stinky Lou & The Goon Mat With Lord Bernad
Don't Ease Me In by The Persuasions

I Am Trying to Break Your Heart by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
Ring Dang Do by Lyres
Hard to Get Along by L.C. Ulmer
Officer Touchy by The Scrams
You Make Me Die by Mudhoney
The Day I Beat My Father Up by Thee Headcoats
Geeshie by The Mekons
Last Kind Words by Geeshie Wiley
Racehorse by Wild Flag

Rockin' Renegades Roll by The Frontier Circus
Don't Ditch Me by Thee Butchers' Orchestra
Kidnapper by Jack Oblivian
Tome Bomb High School by The Reigning Sound
No Pussy Blues by Grinderman
Wang Dang Doodle by P.J. Harvey
Perfidia by 3 Mustaphas 3
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

The Big Four-Oh For The Big Enchilada!


We've reached the Big Four-Oh here at The Big  Enchilada. Welcome to the magical 40th episode. This month I'm going to clobber you with some crazy rock ' n' rhythm 'n blues and just enough cowpunk to get you mooing. And, yes, by the end you'll be slobberin'.


Here's the playlist:
(Background Music: El Mitote by Eddie Dimas)
Crime of Love by Jack Oblivian
Ain't Crawlin' Back by The Monsters
Bursting Love by The Bloody Tomahawks
Killed a Chicken Last Night by Scott H. Biram
San Quinten Bait by Charles "Boogie Woogie" Davis & His Orchestra
Psychodrama City by The Frontier Circus
Knockout by Ron Haydock & The Boppers

(Background Music: Dance of the Dream Man by Angelo Badalamenti)
My Slobbering Decline by Ross Johnson & OFB
Hey Suzette by The Bon
Likkered Up by The Tombstones
Everbody's Whalin' by Huey "Piano" Smith
Black Train by The Gun Club
Psychedelic Woman by The Vibes
Last Kind Words by Geeshie Wiley

(Background Music: The Bumble Beat by Orchester Charles Blackwell)
He Knocks Me Out by The Del Moroccos
Rough Treatment by Little Hudson
Your Secret Face by Scott "Deluxe" Drake
The Best Liquor Store by The Hickoids
I'm a Lover Not a Fighter by John Schooley
Stay a Little Longer by Glambilly

Play it here:

Friday, September 23, 2011


Friday,  September 23 2011
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Lotta Lotta Women by Robbie Fulks
Sweet Sarah Blues by Jimmie Tarlton & Tom Darby
Wreck of the Old 97 by Johnny Cash
Pistol Blues by Ray Cashman
Funnel of Love by T. Tex Edwards & The Swingin' Kornflake Killers
Have You Ever Loved A Woman? by Scott H Biram
Carlene by Robert Earl Reed
Bella Donna by Goshen
I Hate Your Goddamned Trains by Kell Robertson

Placebo Love by The Broadway Elks
FBI Top 10 by DM Bob & The Deficits
Mental Cruelty by Buck Owens & Rose Maddox
Heavy Breathin' by Cornell Hurd
The Gravy Shake by The Defibulators
DWI Marijuana Blues by The Imperial Rooster
Wabash Blues by The Delmore Brothers
Samson & Delilah by Devil in the Woodpile
Guacamole by Freddy Fender with Augie Meyers
Chpadero by Feliz y Los Gatos

Waitin' on the Sky by Steve Earle
She's Acting Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles) by Gary Stewart
Breaking Up Party by Arty Hill
Wait Until I Get My Hands On You by Joe Swank & The Zen Pirates
Head to Toe by Pokey LaFarge & The South City Three
Deisel Smoke, Dangerous Curves by The Last Mile Ramblers
Marginalized by The Gourds
Hootchie Kootchie Man by Jerry Mc Gill

Do Right by Lydia Loveless
Alota Guns by Ugly Valley Boys
You Turned Your Back by Toni Brown
Lonely Road by Eric Hisaw
I'd Rather Be Gone by Merle Haggard
Lonesome for You by Rachel Brook
I Was the One by Elvis Presley
Turtle Dove by Grey DeLisle
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Hoist the Wild Flag plus Ancient Mekon Culture

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 24, 2011

When Sleater-Kinney folded its proverbial tent five years ago, the Olympia, Washington, trio pretty much was at the top of its game. (My favorite S-K album, One Beat, came out in 2002, but the ladies’ last album, 2005’s The Woods, was excellent as well.)

Though frequently linked to the “riot grrrls” scene, S-K quickly and seemingly easily transcended the limits of that subgenre. The best Sleater-Kinney material is wild and timeless rock ’n’ roll with brawn and brains.

I’ve missed the band. I was hopeful at first, because the breakup was initially announced as a “hiatus.” Then, as I realized the hiatus was appearing to be more and more permanent, I feared the group might be using such weasel language in preparation for careers as political campaign flaks.

Sleater-Kinney isn’t doing a reunion. But the new band Wild Flag could be considered two-thirds of one. Guitarist/singer Carrie Brownstein and drummer Janet Weiss from the original band are together again.

But wait, as the late-night TV ads say, there’s more!

This band also includes singer/guitarist Mary Timony, who fronted a 1990s indie band called Helium. (Reviewing Helium’s album The Dirt of Luck back in 1995, I wrote, “Like the band name implies, this is light, bouncy music. And yet it’s got a powerful undertow.” I’ll stand by that.) Timony and Brownstein have worked together on various projects through the years, and it shows on this album.

I’m not familiar with the life and career of the fourth Flag, keyboard player Rebecca Cole. But who cares? She was in a band called The Minders. She adds a lot to Wild Flag’s self-named first album.

To answer the first obvious question, no, Wild Flag doesn’t quite measure up to Sleater-Kinney’s best work. But still, it’s good stuff, especially the songs that Brownstein sings. (I like the album much better than former S-K singer Corin Tucker’s surprisingly mellow solo album last year. Tucker herself described it as “middle-aged mom” music. I’m starting the approach to senior citizenship, but I’m not ready for “middle-aged mom” stuff.)

Wild Flag starts off with a big bang — an upbeat, catchy tune called “Romance.” Brownstein sings it like she’s excited to be there, and the rest of the group complies. Things slow down a little bit for Timony’s “Something Came Over Me.” But Wild Flag comes back with a fierce little Brownstein rocker appropriately called “Boom.” It’s colored by Cole’s garagey organ.

And this is followed by one of the album’s high points, “Glass Tambourine,” a Timony song that starts off slow and sturdy but explodes with psychedelia and echoes of New Wave goofery. It’s five and a half minutes long, and these gals jam shamelessly and gloriously on it.

But even better is “Racehorse.” The song starts out with guitar riffs that sound almost bluesy. “I’m a race horse, yeah, I’m a race horse,” Brownstein sings. It sounds like lines from some old forgotten blues tune from the 1930s. And again the jamming commences, Brownstein and Timony on guitars, Cole on electric piano (and later organ).

This isn’t the rebirth of Sleater-Kinney. But it’s definitely some of the most satisfying rock ’n’ roll you’ll hear this year.

Also noted:
* Ancient & Modern by The Mekons. This album, the Mekons’ first in four years, is for the most part somber and pensive. Much of the music could be called “mellow.” But you can’t call it “easy listening.”

Take the first song, a foreboding little tune called “Warm Summer Sun,” which starts off with the narrator coming home from a game of cricket. He’s describing “soft green grass” and thinking in terms of “firelight and toast.” But something happens: “Great furnace doors are open.” And by the end of the song, he’s repeating these lines: “I look out on corpses / Skeleton trees / An unimaginable hell in front of my eyes.”

Ancient & Modern, subtitled 1911-2011, is a strange concept album dealing with the Edwardian period (did I mention the Mekons are British?) in the years leading up to the beginning of World War I. It’s a world that’s about to change for the worse.

It took me a couple of listens to start appreciating this album. It’s the Mekons, so I figured the effort was probably worth it.

My first reaction was that it was too slow, with only a couple of real rockers (“Space in Your Face” and “Honey Bear”).

But soon the charms of Ancient & Modern started sinking in — the off-kilter blues of “Calling All Demons,” which Jon Langford sings in a strained falsetto; the sad dreaminess of “I Fall Asleep,” which Tom Greenhalgh sings like a cracked hymn (“I fall asleep when I should pray”), first over a simple piano, and later joined by Sally Timms’ vocal harmonies and Susie Honeyman’s sweet violin.

But the real treat here is Timms’ minor-key music-hall blues “Geeshie.” (Langford has said that the melody of this came from a song called “Last Kind Words,” by an obscure Mississippi blues queen named Geeshie Wiley.) Timms sings it sultry, like a temptress in a speakeasy near the gates of hell.

At the end of their historical excursion, the Mekons cast doubt on history itself. In “Arthur’s Angel” with a melody that in a subtle way reminds me of The Band, Langford sings, “We named the guns, the manufacturer / The towns and countries they are made / Deep in the mud historical footprints / The national treasures of their age.”

But by the end, Langford and Timms repeat the line, “But it’s really just a story that’s been sold.”
Once again, the Mekons have me sold.

This album is set for release Tuesday, Sept. 27.

Sunday, September 18, 2011


Sunday, September 18, 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! terrell(at)

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Rat City by Jack Oblivian
Jungle Drums by Dex Romweber Duo
Secret Agent Man by Frontier Circus
Boom by Wild Flag
Baby Vampire Made Me by Helium
Rollercoaster by Sleater-Kinney
Bompa My Bones by The Del-Gators
Sex Beat by The Gun Club

I Want My Mojo Back by Scott H. Biram
You, or You and You, and Me by Bob Log III
Boogie 65 by The Juke Joint Pimps
Give it up by Joe Buck Yourself
You Are Not Your Job by Gas Huffer
Miss Monster by Modie Bones
Shanky Puddin' by Soledad Brothers
The Past Is Tense by The Jack And Jim Show

She Wolf by Jessie Mae Hemphill
Kitchen Sink Boogie by Hound Dog Taylor
There Go All My Dough by L.C. Ulmer
Gone Dead Train by King Solomon Hill
Kissing in the Dark by Memphis Minnie
Sporting Life Blues by Champion Jack Dupree
Goin' Mad Blues by John Lee Hooker
Skinny Mama by Floyd Jones

Run Conejo Run by Dave Alvin
The Car She Used to Drive by Robyn Hitchcock & The Egyptians
Honey Bear by The Mekons
Ship of Fools by The Persuasions
Stuck on a Hatcheck Girl by Al Duval
Sight For Sore Eyes by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Happy Birthday, Hank!!!!!!!!

Hiram King Williams: September 17, 1923 – January 1, 1953.

The guy wrote some songs.

Friday, September 16, 2011


Friday, Sept. 16, 2011
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Crazy as a Junebug by Paula Rhea McDonald
Clickity Clack by Ugly Valley Boys
Poor Man's Blood by Rick Brousard
Traveling Free by Jerry J. Nixon
It Pays to Advertise by The Farmer Boys
Truck Driver's Woman by Nancy Apple
Oklahoma Girl by Susan Herndon
Stump Grinder by Sanctified Grumblers
Five Foot High and Rising by Johnny Cash

The Bottle Left Me Down by Frontier Circus
How Many Women by Lydia Loveless
49 Women by Jerry Irby & His Texas Rangers
Delia by Robert Earl Reed
Honkytonk Hardwood Floor by Jess Willard
Quittin' Time by Jocephus & The George Jonestown Massacre
Lovin' Ducky Daddy by Carolina Cotton
Love Me by Elvis Presley
Mamma Possums by Mojo Nixon
Throwing Stones by Poor Boy's Soul

Outlaw You by Shooter Jennings
Fuck This Town by Robbie Fulks
The Grand Old Opry Ain’t So Grand Any More by Hank Williams III
Murder on Music Row by Larry Cordell & Country Standard Time
Oh Brother, Where’s the Hits? by Jim Terr
Nashville Rash by Dale Watson
Let's Go Burn Ole Nashville Down by Mojo Nixon & Jello Biafra
Nashville Radio/The Death of Country Music by Jon Langford’s Hillbilly Lovechild
Put the O Back in Country by Shooter Jennings

Big Drops of Trouble by Arty Hill
You Don't Know Me by Chris Thomas King
That's How It Goes by The Meat Puppets
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Outlawing Nashville

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 16, 2011

As Waylon Jennings put it back in the late ’70s, “Don’t y’all think this outlaw bit’s done got out of hand?”

A current odious trend in modern country music is the rise of the pre-fab “outlaw.” Chet Flippo lamented this a few months ago in his column on the Country Music Television website:

“Nowadays, country music seems to have recently gotten outlaws again. Gotten outlaws in the same way that some people have gotten ants or bedbugs or cockroaches. We have a new infestation. To be sure, they’re small outlaws, but they are insistent that they are here.”

Who is he talking about? New Nashville hats like Josh Thompson, Eric Church, and a guy named Justin Moore, of whom Flippo says, “If he’s a true outlaw, then Miss Piggy is Dolly Parton.”

Flippo continues: “What’s a bit alarming is that we seem to have cultivated a generation of young, male country performers who are preoccupied with displaying Outlaw attitude and Outlaw posturing, as opposed to developing real Outlaw musical content.”

What would Waylon think? Well, he’s gone to the honky-tonk in the sky, so we’ll never really know.

 But his son Shooter Jennings has weighed in on these would-be honky-tonk heroes namechecking his dad and other outlaw icons. He’s creating a nifty little controversy with a new song and video called “Outlaw You.”

He makes fun of the “perfect boots you got from your record label’s image group,” and he tells the story of his dad, perhaps overstating it a bit when he says that Waylon and Willie and the boys “freed the slaves.”

He’s talking about singers who wanted to record their own songs with their own bands instead of the songs and studio musicians assigned by producers. “Hey, pretty boy in the baseball hat / You couldn’t hit country with a baseball bat,” Shooter sings in the chorus. His conclusion: “They should outlaw you.”

The cool thing is that Shooter was able to get the song played on CMT, where it rose to the top three. He had at least one ally over there — Flippo CMT’s editorial director. Check out the comments on the CMT site — Shooter succeeded in stirring up the hornet’s nest. He’s got his defenders who say, “About time!” while fans of the Mini-Me outlaws say that Shooter is the real poser.

But in reality, the younger Jennings is following a country and alt-country tradition of songs about sticking it to Nashville’s Music Industrial Complex that’s been going on at least since the ’90s. His 2005 debut album was called Put the O Back in Country. The title song, set to the tune of Neil Young’s “Are You Ready for the Country,” had lyrics like “You know that ain’t country music you been listenin’ to. ... There ain’t no soul on the radio.”

Below are some of my favorite Nashville-bashing tunes of this ilk.

* “Fuck This Town” by Robbie Fulks. The song was written out of frustration after Fulks’ unsuccessful attempt to make it as a Nashville songwriter in the mid-’90s. Says Fulks, “This ain’t country-western, it’s just soft-rock feminist crap / And I thought things had hit bottom in the days of Ronnie Milsap.”

* “The Grand Old Opry Ain’t So Grand Any More” by Hank Williams III. The grandson of Hank Williams talks about how “real rebels” like Waylon, Johnny Paycheck, and Jimmy Martin, as well as Hanks Sr. and Jr. were never really welcomed by the uptight country establishment. Hank III plows some of the same ground on his song “Dick in Dixie” released around the same time as Shooter’s “O Back in Country” (which was a cause of friction between the two).

* “Murder on Music Row.” This lament started out as a bluegrass song by Larry Cordell & Country Standard Time. But then it got recorded as a duet by mainstream country traditionalists George Strait and Alan Jackson and received the Country Music Association’s Vocal Event of the Year award in 2000, even though it had lyrics like “Someone killed country music/Cut out its heart and soul / They got away with murder down on Music Row.”
Jim Terr in his guise as "Buddy"

* “Oh Brother, Where’s the Hits?” by Jim Terr. The Santa Fe satirist thumbed his nose at Nashville back when the the bluegrass-heavy O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack — for a couple of minutes at least — seemed to overshadow all the sappy dribble Music Row was churning out. “We’ll learn to fake sincerity, of all the details that’s the key / To pullin’ on your heartstrings and your goldurn MasterCard.”

Dale Watson at Broken Spoke 3-23-11
Dale Watson and his fiddler
* “Nashville Rash” by Dale Watson. The little giant of Texas honky-tonk has done several songs talking about how commercial country music sucks. This one, from his 1995 album Cheatin’ Heart Attack is my favorite. “I’m too country now for country, just like Johnny Cash.”

* “Long Time Gone” by Dixie Chicks. Even before the Chicks became traitors in the eyes of many right-wingers because Natalie Maines said that she was ashamed to be from the same state as George W. Bush, they were biting the hand of the industry that fed them. Dumping on the country radio of the day, Maines sang “The music ain’t got no soul / They sound tired but they don’t sound Haggard / They have money but they don't have Cash."

* "Let's Go Burn  Ole Nashville Down” by Mojo Nixon & Jello Biafra. Set to the tune of “Old Joe Clark,” this is a classic country/punk romp. This song took on the sad state of country music in the '90s while boldly declaring "Country don't have flutes!"
Jon Langford

* “Nashville Radio/The Death of Country Music” by Jon Langford’s Hillbilly Lovechild. Here’s an elegant 11-minute dreamlike medley complete with electric sitar. “Nashville Radio” is a moving account of Hank Williams Sr.’s demise: “I gave my life to country music, I took my pills and lost / Now they don’t play my songs on the radio / Feels like I never was.” This turns into “The Death of Country Music” — originally recorded by the Waco Brothers, another Langford band, it’s a sneer at people “picking the flesh off the bones” of country music. “We spill some blood on the ashes of the bones of the Jones and the Cashes / Skulls in false eyelashes / Ghost riders in the sky.”

 I will play all these songs on the Santa Fe Opry on Friday night  on KSFR-FM 101.1 or

Check out the “Outlaw You” video  below:

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Free Biram, SCOTS MP3s

Scott H. Biram
Scott H. Biram is giving away a free MP3 of his song "Don'tcha Lie to Me, baby" from his upcoming album Bad Ingredients.

Hear it and download it HERE

The release date is Oct. 11.

And coming up Sept, 27, in plenty of time for Halloween season, there's Zombified by Southern Culture on the Skids. Check that out below. (More info HERE )

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Sunday, September 11, 2011
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Special Post Labor Day Songs For the Workin' Man
Guest co-host Stan Rosen

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Plenty Tuff and Union Made by The Waco Brothers
Joe Hill by Paul Robeson
Boiling Frog by Pat Wynne
We Shall Not Be Moved/ I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister by The Union City Criers
The Death Of Mother Jones by Gene Autry
Yo Estoy Con Chavez by Ramon "Tigre" Rodriguez with Los Lobos
Gary Indiana 1959 by Dave Alvin

Corrido de Doleres Huerta #39 by Carmen Moreno with Los Lobos
Pie In The Sky by Utah Philips & Ani DiFranco
Corporate Welfare Song by Anne Feeney
Union Song by Carter Falco
Do Re Mi by John Mellencamp
How Can A Poor Man Stand Such Times And Live by The Del-Lords
Talking Union by Pete Seeger

September 11 Set
Let's Roll by Neil Young
It's the Day of Atonement, 2001 by Dayna Kurtz
Far Away by Sleater-Kinney

You Ain't Done Nothin' If You Ain't Been Called a Red by Faith Petric
Big Boss Man by Jimmy Reed
We Were There by Brooklyn Women's Chorus

Working for the Man by Roy Orbison
Working Man by Bo Diddley
Working at Working by Wayne Hancock
Damned Right I Got the Blues by Buddy Guy
Standing on the Shoulders by Charles Bernhardt
May the Work That I Have Done by Bruce Thomas
Working At The Gas Station by Scruff with Go Freddy Go
(Substitute) CLOSING THEME: This Land is Your Land by Pete  Seeger, Sweet Honey in the Rock and Doc Watson

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, September 09, 2011

No SF Opry Tonight, Special Sound World on Sunday

I won't be doing my regular Friday night Santa Fe tonight because I'll be attending festivities for my 40th (!) high school reunion. On Demons, down that field ...

But please tune in anyway The lovely Laurell Reynolds will be substituting for me -- probably the last time she ever ewill because, sadly, she's leaving town. My other frequent SF Opry sub, Tom Adler, also one of the revolving Acoustic Explorations hosts, will be taking over Laurell's Sunday morning show, Folk Remedies.

On Sunday I'll be joined by my pal and labor historian Stan "Rosebud" Rosen for out annual, well almost (we missed last year) "Songs for the Working Man" post-Labor Day special.

KSFR is 101.FM in the Santa Fe/Northern New Mexico area and streams online HERE

Here's a preview of the kind of stuff we'll be playing Sunday night.


A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 09, 2011

The Oblivians were a crazy little garage/punk trio from Memphis in the mid-’90s who earned a rabid national following though barely a peep of recognition from the mainstream. (That’s the story of about 95 percent of the musical acts I love, but what can you do?)

They were ferocious. They were funny. They were obscene and politically incorrect. They were beautiful.

One member, Greg Oblivian (Cartwright) went on to form another bitchen band called Reigning Sound, while Eric Oblivian (Friedl) is best known these days for running Goner Records, a Memphis music store and label.

That leaves Jack Oblivian (Yarber), who never hung up his rock ’n’ roll shoes. Since The Oblivians dismantled, he’s done solo records; he’s led bands, including The Tennessee Tearjerkers; and, for a while with Cartwright, he reformed The Compulsive Gamblers, a band that was around before The Oblivians.

And next week, he’s releasing a new solo album called Rat City. It’s sweet, sweaty rock, some of which is graced with understated pop sensibility.

It starts off with the title song, a crunchy blues-punk workout introduced with a mournful harmonica. And speaking of blues, a subsequent tune, “Old Folks Boogie,” sounds like John Lee Hooker filtered through a meat grinder. Between the two is “Mass Confusion,” a hard-driving tune with touches of funk plus — surprise, surprise — hammering drums that suggest disco. (Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. A previous Jack O album was called The Disco Outlaw.)

But a more melodious side of Yarber comes out in “Dark Eyes.” This one sounds like an early Strokes song with just a touch of Billy J. Kramer & The Dakotas. The following song, “Kidnapper,” has a Motown edge to it, while “Girl With the Bruises,” a song about an abused woman, could almost be a lost Paul Westerberg song.

You might hear echoes of “Tumblin’ Dice” in the song “Caboose Jump.” And Oblivian fans might hate me for saying this, but I hear a little Tom Petty and even — don’t hit me! — Springsteen in “Jealous Heart.”

Most of the songs here are originals, but there are some fine covers. There’s a fairly faithful version of Billy Swan’s “Lover Please” (my favorite cover still being Clyde McPhatter’s). And there’s an obscure Tommy James tune called “Moses and Me,” complete with warbly, distorted “Crimson and Clover”-style vocals.
Basically this is just excellent, gut-level rock ’n’ roll.

Do yourself a favor and take a little trip to Rat City. You might find yourself seeking out music from the Gamblers and the Tearjerkers and, of course, The Oblivians.

Also recommended:
* White BBQ Sauce by Glambilly. Somewhere there’s an alternative universe, a parallel world in which New York Dolls arose from Texas instead of New York. In that world, those Dolls sounded a whole lot like Glambilly, which specializes in hard-hitting, pre-punk style, blues-informed and booze-fueled rock ’n’ roll full of humor, tales of sex and substance abuse, and wry commentary on the decadence and decay they see around them.

With just a hint of Lone Star twang.

This San Antonio power trio, originally known as Hans Frank & The Auslanders, reportedly got its name from an unfriendly heckler. Though meant as an insult, singer-bassist Frank embraced the name and the whole concept it implied.

There are some outstanding tunes here: “I Must Be the Devil” is a spoken-word boogie in which Frank boasts of his similarities with the prince of darkness, including a fondness for Plymouth Valiants and 18-year-old blondes.

“Bite the Bed,” a Zep-like tune featuring a nasty slide guitar, is the tale of a guy who spends 11 years in prison then gets out and informs his lover that she has gained weight. But he’s not complaining. “That’s the way I like it,” the narrator says. Most of the tunes are original, but a cover tune nearly steals the show.

Glambilly does a menacing, minor-key version of Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys’ “Stay All Night.” Ol’ Bob didn’t do it this way, but Glambilly makes it howl.

While many of the songs seem to be smirking at the hapless, deeply flawed characters who inhabit the Glambilly mythos, on the final song, “Firefly,” Frank proves he can write a truly moving, poignant musical tale. It’s about a homeless girl who comes to a tragic end. This tune sounds like a sad update of the title song, which dealt with various young women with “faraway looks” in their eyes, such as the girl being “passed around” by guys in a pickup truck.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Sunday, September 4, 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! terrell(at)

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Scotch and Water and You by Monkeyshines
Threw My Girl a Party by BBQ
Best Napkin I Ever Had by Black Lips
Dark as a Dungeon by The Tombstones
The Dealer, The Peeler And The Stealer by Andre Williams With The Compulsive Gamblers
Rat City by Jack Oblivian
Do The Milkshake by The Oblivians
Move Mr. Man by The Del-Gators
Boggie 65 by Juke Joint Pimps

White Rabbit by The Frontier Circus
Just Dropped In To See What Condition My Condition Was In by Mojo Nixon
Samson and Delilah by Edison Rocket Train
She's Like Heroin to Me by The Gun Club
Stay a Little Longer by Glambilly
Johnny Voodoo by Empress of Fur
Death of Mighty Joe by The Devil Dogs
Bottle Of Wine by The Fireballs

Bad Whiskey and Cocaine by David "Honeyboy" Edwards
Hip Shake by L.C. Ulmer
It Hurts Me Too by Hound Dog Taylor
Bad Dog by Boogie Bill Webb
Fox Hunt by Little Freddie King
Here Comes Papa by T-Model Ford
Hoodoo Man Blues by Junior Wells
Riding the Rails by David "Honeyboy" Edwards

Zozobra by A Hawk And A Hacksaw and The Hun Hangár Ensemble
Burn The Flames by Roky Erickson
Wang Dang Doodle by PJ Harvey
Infected by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Weeping Song by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Stormy Weather by Reigning Sound
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

eMusic September

* Wasted Life by Stiff Little Fingers. I got to see this veteran Belfast punk band last month when I
went to Austin. It was a mighty show.

Led by Clash-inspired singer/guitarist Jake Burns, SLF has been plugging away since 1978 or so. Burns has been the group's constant since the beginning. For the past five years or so, original bassist Ali McMordie has been back with the band.

This is a 28-track, 100-minute compilation of mostly live material with some stray studio versions of various songs thrown in. Lots of the songs they did at Emo's last month -- "Tin Soldier," "Straw Dogs," and of course "Alernative Ulster" are  here, some twice. Some tunes are raw and desperate ("Forensic Evidence," "At the Edge,") while some are surprisingly poppy. Am I a heretic to say "Shake It Off" reminds me of The Partridge Family? Though it's an enjoyable listen, the album doesn't come close to matching the intensity of SLF's live show.

Here's a sad but true story: I was right up front when SLF started. A couple of songs in and the youngsters started moshing, as youngsters will. I got knocked around something fierce and at one point my upper plate got knocked loose in my mouth.

But I didn't let it happen. To lose my false teeth at a punk rock show is just too much of an ironic metaphor. I wouldn't allow myself to be part of it.

Joe Buck Yourself
* Remember the Alimony by Joe Buck and Gory Gory Hallelujah by Joe Buck Yourself.  Here's something that left me feeling stupid. I downloaded this EP by the artist known as Joe Buck Yourself (a former member of Hank III's band and Tha' Legendary Shack Shakers).

And then I downloaded the album by "Joe Buck," thinking it was the same guy in an earlier phase of his career.

Besides the name, some of the song titles --  "She's a Dick" and the feedback fury and slide guitar mayhem of "Hillbilly Thunder"-- led me to think it was that Joe Buck.

Well, I was wrong. This "Joe Buck" is not the Evil Motherfucker from Tennessee. In fact it's not a guy, it's a band, led by a singer called "Swayback Dave." And they're from San Francisco, not Tennessee.

And I found out even sooner that the basic sound of these two acts are very different. Joe Buck Yourself is a one-man band who plays harsh metallic blues riffs over his guttural voice. Kind of like a malevolent Bob Logg III.

The band Joe Buck basically is a country rock band with strong rockabilly overtones. They aren't as crazed and threatening as JBY, but they sure ain't bad.  Hell, most the songs would fit in just fine with Shooter Jennings' Southern Independent XXX compilations. And the first song, "Easy Street," reminds me of The Gear Daddies.

I'm not sure whatever happened to Swayback Dave and the boys. I hope they're making country musiuc somewhere.

* Pound Down! by The Del-Gators. Here's another band from the early part of the century. Unfortunately, I don't believe they made any albums after this -- at least none you can find on the world wide web.

The DGs were a good-time Montreal garage band with heavy R&B influences. They were fronted by a singer named Jenna Roker, who also sang in another group called The Sunday Sinners. Another Gator was a electric pianist named Cocobutter Khan, who happens to be the sister of Arish "King" Khan.

If you like The Detroit Cobras you'll probably love The Del-Gators. My favorite tune here is "Car Trouble," which also appeared on one of the Voodoo Rhythm samplers. Jenna even makes auto repair sound sexy.


* The first six tracks of Fire of Love by The Gun Club. How could I have missed out on The Gun Club all these years. I was familiar with the name, always saw the band and Jeffrey Lee Pearce listed as a punk-blues/cowpunk originator, and I've liked the song "Sex Beat" for years. (It was among the Nothin' But Trash compilation tracks I downloaded a couple of months ago. Also I heard Kid Congo Powers do a blazing live version when I saw him in New York last year.) And yet somehow ...

When writing about roots punk in my column about the new releases by DM Bob & The Deficits and The Juke Joint Pimps, I took the opportunity to take a good hard isten to The Gun Club on Spotify (which really is turning out to be the rock critic's friend). After just a couple of songs, I knew I had to repair this gaping hole in my knowledge.

I only had enough tracks last month to get these six. I'll get the rest when my account refreshes.

Friday, September 02, 2011


Friday, September 2, 2011
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrel(at)

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Hard Times by Jon Langford
Gambling Preacher and His Daughter by Whiskey Folk Ramblers
Broken Man by The Goddamn Gallows
Sleepy Time Blues by Jess Hooper
Asthma Inhaler by Joe Buck
Detour by Sleepy LaBeef
Preaching the Blues by The Gun Club
Mae Dawn by Artie Hill
Pine Box Rotten by Crankshaft & The Geargrinders

Rainmaker by Eliza Gilkyson
Tonight I'm Going to Jail by Felix y Los Gatos
Back in Your World by Billy Kaundart
Anything Goes at a Rooster Show by The Imperial Rooster
Lookin' For Someone to Kill by Kell Robertson
Keeper of the Light by Joe West
Sinfull Paradise by Stephanie Hatfield
A Hundred Dollars by John Egenes

Another Bender Might Break Me by Hellbound Glory
Canteen Full of Dreams by Roger Alan Wade
Old Moon by Bloodshot Bill
Happy Hour In Hell by Cornell Hurd
If I Could Take You Home by The Karl Shiflett & Big Country Show
Favorite Waste of Time by J.B. Beverley &The-Wayward-Drifters
Sparkling Brown Eyes by Webb Pierce
Little Bells by Rosie Flores & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts

Redemption by Dex Romweber Duo
Ain't Comin' Back No More by Poor Boy's Soul
Bob Dylan's 49th Beard by Wilco
Ten Lonely Years by Stevie Tombstone
Seven-Mile Island by Jason Isbell by The 400 Unit
A Smashing Indictment of Character by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Weakness In A Man by Waylon Jennings
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

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

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Joe West Goes Back to Aberdeen

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
September 2, 2011

Joe West is the only person I know, besides myself, who admits to having consumed Buckhorn beer. He’s not old enough to remember buying it for 79 cents a six-pack at the old Safeway on St. Michael’s Drive, but he’s familiar with the product, which was discontinued long ago — like any brain cells that stood in its path.

“Sixteen gallons and a case of Buckhorn / I never felt so alive since the day I was born,” West recites in the song “Keg Party at the Muldoon Farm,” which appears in two different versions on his new album, Aberdeen, S.D. The song is about a high-school senior driving a Trans-Am and ready to party. It sounds like a sweet and authentic memory.

You almost can smell the teenage puke by the barn.

West, whose mother still lives in South Dakota, spent his teenage years in Aberdeen. West told the Aberdeen News a couple of months ago that the record is “an ode to Aberdeen and the time I spent in Aberdeen — a town I really love.” The paper noted that West mentions several Aberdeen landmarks — Lager’s bar, Kessler’s supermarket — in the album.

“Goin’ Down to Kessler’s,” the opening track, is a funny little tune about a guy going to pick up some milk and cigarettes (and perhaps some Buckhorn beer?) in preparation for taking the day off work to begin the healing process for a broken heart. The lilting beat and happy fiddle belie any inner pain.

A listener is pretty sure that the narrator is going to pull through. But then, about halfway through, the song changes. The beat slows and minor-key clouds roll in. There’s a heavy cello and desperate blues licks from a guitar. The last minute or so features a repeated tape loop of some guy talking about local Lutheran churches. I’m not sure what it means, but it doesn’t sound healthy.

“Kessler’s” and other songs and sequences on Aberdeen, S.D. remind me a lot of West’s KSFR radio show, Intergalactic Honky-Tonk Machine, an almost surreal mix of music, interviews, and humorous and frequently poignant storytelling built upon the rock of West’s appreciation and respect for the people he encounters.

Joe WestThe music on the album has a cool, lo-fi, junkyard sound — think Tom Waits’ Frank’s Wild Years. According to the liner notes, it was “recorded on an old analog 4-track, using borrowed instruments and thrift-store tape decks, microphones, and toys.” (I’m pretty sure that’s a kid’s chord organ on the “original mix” of “Keg Party.” At least it sounds that way.) It was recorded in Aberdeen early this year with some later recordings in Santa Fe.

Some of the songs seem like high-school flashbacks. Others, like “Old Friends” are about a prodigal Joe returning to his old hometown. One of my favorites, “Johnny’s Not Here,” is a bluesy number with a good sleazy sax. It’s about some barroom regulars concerned that the most regular of the regulars is missing. “He’s part of the landscape, part of the atmosphere / But it’s 4:30, and Johnny’s not here.” We never find out what happened to the guy, but there’s definitely a disturbance in the Force.

Then there’s “Keeper of the Light,” a long (six-minute-plus) shaggy-dog tale told over a stand-up-bass-driven blues backdrop, about a guy who collects all sorts of junk:

“I don’t necessarily dumpster dive, but I do like to look into dumpsters,” West explains at the outset of song. He sounds like a kid on Christmas morning as the treasures are unveiled: a 1983-era keyboard/guitar; a CB radio box with the likeness of singer C.W. McCall (remember “Convoy”?); and best of all, display crates of old cassettes — Kenny Rogers, Toto, The Cars’ Candy-O, a Bing Crosby Christmas collection. West realizes he’s made a faux pas by offering to buy the tapes. This stuff isn’t for sale. This guy is a keeper of the light.

And, it almost goes without saying, so is Joe West.

Check out  Intergalactic Honky-Tonk Machine, 1 a.m. Fridays on KSFR-101.1 FM or You can hear all of them on Joe’s website.


Sunday, April 14, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terre...