Thursday, January 31, 2013

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: The Honky Tonk Lives!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Feb. 1, 2013

Honky-tonk music is alive.

Alive? It’s rarely sounded healthier, judging by Dale Watson’s latest album.

The record is called El Rancho Azul. There on the back cover you see Watson and his band, the Lone Stars, standing beside their tour bus in front of the Broken Spoke in Austin. That’s the famous old saloon where I last saw Watson play. (He did a solid three-hour-plus set without taking a break.) Even though this was a couple of years ago, I’m pretty sure I heard at least a couple of these songs that night.

This is no song cycle or rock opera, but El Rancho Azul does deal with certain recurring themes. Number one is drinking. Four of the album’s 14 songs have the word “drink” in the title. There’s “I Lie When I Drink” (“and I drink a lot,” Watson sings in the refrain), “Drink to Remember,” “I Hate to Drink Alone,” and “Drink Drink Drink.”) Then there’s a song called “Smokey Old Bar” (in which Watson enjoys drinking cold Lone Star) and one called “Thanks to Tequila” (in which Watson makes fun of the way cactus juice slurs his speech).

There are a couple minor themes at work on the album, as well. One is dancing and the other is weddings. Come to think of it, drinking, dancing, and weddings go together. On the dancing front, there are two similar songs that deal with a woman teaching a man how to survive on the dance floor. These are “Quick Quick Slow Slow,” followed by “Slow Quick Quick,” which is about waltzing. Then there’s “Cowboy Boots,” in which Watson sings of his love for women dancing in such footwear.

Watson’s wedding tunes are quite different. “We’re Gonna Get Married” is a fast song sung from the perspective of an enthusiastic groom. This is followed by “Daughter’s Wedding Song,” which is sung from the viewpoint of the bride’s father. “It’s hard to let go of that little girl whose whole body would sleep on my chest,” Watson says, starting off the second verse. It’s slow, pretty, heartfelt, and overtly sentimental. Merle Haggard fans will note similarities between this and Hag’s “The Farmer’s Daughter.”
Dale Watson at Broken Spoke 3-23-11
Watson at the Broken Spoke, March 2011

Watson finally got around to recording “Where Do You Want It,” his black-humor outlaw song celebrating the shooting incident near Waco that involved the mighty Billy Joe Shaver. Billy Joe was eventually acquitted of aggravated assault charges connected with the confrontation. (What Texas jury is going to convict Billy Joe Shaver when Willie Nelson is sitting right there in the courtroom?) Though Watson wrote this song, it was originally recorded by Whitey Morgan & The 78s about two years ago.

Watson’s on a real roll lately. I thought his previous album, The Sun Sessions — recorded at Sun Studio in Memphis with a stripped-down version of his band and an early Johnny Cash feel — was the best thing he’d done in years. But this one is even better.


Also recommended:

* Be Right Back! by Chris O’Connell. Even if you don’t recognize her name, chances are you’ve heard the voice of Chris O’Connell.

She was the original female with Asleep at the Wheel, before those latter-day saints of western swing moved to Texas.

Yes, she was the female singer on the early Wheel hit “The Letter That Johnny Walker Read.” And, from the same album, Texas Gold, she sang lead on “Bump Bounce Boogie,” which was one of the sexiest songs to come out of the Cosmic Cowboy era.

O’Connell worked with the Wheel on and off for a couple of decades. She has collaborated with a bunch of folks, including Wheel alums like Floyd Domino and Maryann Price (one of Dan Hicks’ most famous Lickettes). And she even took a 12-year break from the biz of show before coming back to record her first solo record.

There are plenty of tunes here — opener “A Little Mo’ Love,” “Everything Is Movin’ Too Fast,” and “One More Day” — that wouldn’t seem out of place on an Asleep at the Wheel record. “My Baby Don’t Love Me Any More,” written by Johnny Paycheck, is a fine country song that features two of country rock’s greatest guitarists, Bill Kirchen and Junior Brown, backing O’Connell.

She takes a bluegrass turn with “City Water,” with another former Wheel member, Cindy Cashdollar, on dobro. Cashdollar also plays on O’Connell’s nicely understated version of “Shenandoah.”

O’Connell ventures out of the country/western-swing realm, getting jazzy on some tracks and going to the cocktail lounge on others like “When Love Was New” and “Skid Row in My Mind.” She draws from a variety of sources including Rodgers and Hart (“Everything I’ve Got Belongs to You”), Irving Berlin (“It’ll Come to You”), and Elvis (a strong performance on “(Marie’s the Name) His Latest Flame.”

BLOG BONUS: Enjoy some videos

A Small Bit of Good News: There's a Johnny Cash Stamp

Johnny Cash joins Elvis Presley, Billie Holiday, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, The Gershwin Brothers  and other American music titans in being honored with his own U.S. postage stamp.

I'm not sure of the release date, but it'll be at post offices everywhere later this year as a part of a new "American Icon" series.

From Beyond the Perf, a stamp collector site ("online extension of the USA Philatelic catalog" to be exact):

Resembling the appearance of a 45 rpm record sleeve, the square stamp features a photograph taken by Frank Bez during the photo session for Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash (1963). In the photo, Cash stares out at the viewer through a veil of shadow, his brooding expression fitting for an artist known to so many people simply as “the Man in Black.”

Let's celebrate with a great old song from the early '60s by JC himself

Sunday, January 27, 2013


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, Jan. 27, 2013 
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
A. on Horseback by Charlie Pickett
Putty in Your Hand by Detroit Cobras
New Rocket Train Boogie by Edison Rocket Train
Land of a Thousand Dances by Little Richard
You're the Doctor by Ty Segall
Take it Like a Man by Mudhoney
Hnaky Panky by The Cramps
Eviction Blues by Poison Gardner & His All Stars
Willie Meehan by Manby's Head
I Feel Good by Lee & Shirley

Sister Midnight by Iggy Pop
Fried Neckbones by King Khan & The Shrines
Jim Dandy Got Married by Lavern Baker
Goin' to the River by The Gories
Til the End of the Day by The Kinks
Just Want Your Love by Big Maybelle
Dirty Blue Gene by Captain Beefheart
The Monkey by The Great Gaylord
Two Wings by Alvin Youngblood Hart

Entrance Song (Rain Dance Version) by The Black Angels
The Other Side of This Life by Jefferson Airplane
Little War in the Midwest by The Nighbeats
Teen-age Prostitute by Frank Zappa
Carrion Crawler by Thee Oh Sees
Skid Row Wine by Maggie Estep & The Spitters

Cry Me a River Blues by Little Esther Phillips with Johnny Otis
Realm of the Pirate Kings by Wayne Kramer
Fever by Elvis Presley
It's All Over Now Baby Blue by Chocolate Watch Band
Night Shift by The Commodores
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 25, 2013


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, Jan. 25, 2013 
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
Honky Tonk Merry Go Round by Patsy Cline & Lonesome Spurs
:Mama Hated Diesels by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Let's Jump the Broomstick by The 99ers
Hello Walls by Jason & The Scorchers
Pigfork by The Imperial Rooster
I Hate to Drink Alone by Dale Watson
Oklahoma Bound by Joe West
Hole in the Ground by Iggy Yoakam & His Famous Pogo Ponies
The Night That Porter Wagoner Came to Town by Tabby Crabb

New Lee Highway Blues by David Bromberg
Convoy by New Duncan Imperials
White House Blues by Loudon Wainwright III
Glendale Train by New Riders of the Purple Sage
Tank by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Voodoo Queen by Country Blues Revue
Rejected Television Theme Song by Shooter Jennings

Ode to Billy Joe by Susan Voelz
The Clothesline Saga by Bob Dylan
Manhattan Hotel by Joe Buck (the band)
13 Roses by Beth Lee & The Breakups
Sadie Was a Lady by Johnny Bond
Sage Advice by Paul Burch
American Trash by Betty Dylan

Going Down That Road Feeling Bad by Habib Koite & Eric Bibb
Battle of Love by Mose McCormack
It Won't Be Long (and I'll Be Hating You) by Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
3 Rounds Left by Pearls Mahone
Lackin' in Nothin by Amanda Pearcy
Sweet Rosie Jones by Buck Owens
Sweet Thang! by Michael Combs
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP: Dance, Puppet Dance!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 25, 2013

When I first heard that Pere Ubu’s new album was called Lady From Shanghai, I figured it might have some weird connection with the 1947 Orson Welles and Rita Hayworth film with a similar title. Ubu has already saluted the shadowy world of noir with its 2006 album Why I Hate Women, which Ubu’s singer David Thomas described at the time as “my idea of the Jim Thompson novel he never wrote.”

However, if there is a connection between the new Ubu album and Orson Welles, I’ve yet to unravel that thread. Instead, Thomas and crew, this time around, are apparently obsessed with dance music.

I’m not kidding.

“Smash the hegemony of dance. Stand still. The dancer is puppet to the dance. It’s past time somebody put an end to this abomination. Lady From Shanghai is an album of dance music fixed.” Cryptic as it is, this quotation from Ubu’s website just about says it all.

Just about.

Pere Ubu has some strange parallels with “dance music.” The band arose from the Cleveland rock ’n’ roll scene, recording its first album, The Modern Dance, in 1977, around the same time that disco music began to sweep the world.

Of course, even back in the hazy ’70s, nobody in his right mind would confuse The Modern Dance with disco. (It wasn’t really punk rock either — Ubu was more complex — though that’s how the group was tagged in its early days.)

Synthesizers have been a key part of Pere Ubu’s sound, as they had been in disco and the electronic dance music that followed. However, Ubu’s synths — otherworldly, post-apocalyptic soundscapes provided by Allen Ravenstine (who eventually quit the band to become an airlinepilot) — were a lot different from the clean, corporate sounds heard in disco.

On the new album, synth man Robert Wheeler goes for those Ravenstinesque effects, all the screeches, beeps, bleeps, buzzes, gurgles, and whooshes. Those, along with Thomas’ wounded warble and oblique lyrics, reassure listeners that this is indeed a Pere Ubu album. But the band also incorporates elements of dance electronica — a throbbing bass line and industrial drum sounds.

Lady From Shanghai sounds as if the Huns have laid siege to the dance floor, with frightened club kids fleeing for their lives as the beat goes on. It’s New Year’s Eve in the nuthouse, and the party is beginning to get dangerous.

Thomas decided to record this album as a game of “Chinese whispers,” another name for the game also known as “telephone” and “town gossip,” in which the first player whispers something to the next; that person whispers what he heard, or thinks he heard, to the next person; and so on down the line. Usually, by the time the message reaches the last person, it has changed dramatically.

Doing this in a musical context means that the band did not rehearse, and each member recorded his or her part in isolation from the others. Lyrics were improvised with no vocal retakes.

“The musician should not be allowed to see the Big Picture until the composition exists in a near-finished form, and, ideally, only after he has contributed to it,” Thomas writes in Chinese Whispers, a recently released book about the making of Lady From Shanghai.

“The goal should be to capture the unique and distinctive voice of the individual as he struggles to cobble Meaning together out of a soup of confusions, contradictions, hopes, and fears, information, and misinformation. Such is the nature of real life. Real life is the only worthwhile ambition for art.”

Don’t ask me to explain the exact logistics of how this worked. But considering all these strange self-imposed rules, it’s a wonder the album is as cohesive as it is. Somehow, it hangs together in its own peculiar way.

The album kicks off with a song called “Thanks,” but gratitude doesn’t seem to be the major theme. It’s a bizarre regurgitation of the old disco hit “Ring My Bell.” But Thomas changes the refrain to “Go to hell.”

This isn’t the only song with strong echoes of an old pop hit. Fans of The Chambers Brothers will recognize that group’s late-’60s hit “Time Has Come Today” coming through the fog in Ubu’s song “Musicians Are Scum.” This cut also has my favorite lyric on the album: “Why don’t you get in line with all those others whose lives I have ruined?”

The beginning of “Free White,” which starts with Thomas crooning, “It’s a wonderful world, it’s a beautiful thing,” reminds me a little bit of another Ohio band that started out about the same time as Ubu. I’m talking, of course, about Devo and the song “Beautiful World.” But while Devo was obviously being ironic, with singer Mark Mothersbaugh sounding purposefully smarmy, Thomas, as he sobs the lyrics, sounds like some nuclear-winter survivor trying to convince himself that all is well.

The drums turn fierce on “Feuksley Ma’am, the Hearing.” There are no vocals here except some spoken-word mumbling and some wind sounds that make this track sound like winter in hell. Meanwhile the song “And Nothing Happened at All” starts out urgent, like some forgotten Pearl Jam song. But about a minute and a half into it, the whole thing seems to dissolve into a sound collage.

Another standout is “Lampshade Man,” a sturdy tune that starts out with Thomas moaning, “They say the truth hurts.” Actually there’s not much more to the lyrics. The beat intensifies as the song goes on. “The Road Trip of Bipasha Ahmed” sounds like variations on a horror-movie theme. Thomas sings, “She calls me Johnny Rocket, but I don’t know why.”

Unfortunately Lady From Shanghai ends not with a bang but a thud. “The Carpenter Sun” features Thomas singing a ploddingly slow tune (“She is a curtain” is one of the few lines I can make out) over what comes off as spare Wheeler sound effects that didn’t fit anywhere else. It’s a pretty safe bet that nobody will dance to this one.

But even though the band doesn’t leave its best for the last, the latest offering makes me happy to share a planet with Pere Ubu.


Here's a song from the album

You can also hear another song from Lady From Shanghai HERE

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Ode to Ode to Billy Joe

One song from the 1960s that has never lost its power and mystery for me is Bobbie Gentry's oddball 1967 hit "Ode to Billy Joe."
Bobbie on the Tallahatchie Bridge

If you weren't around back then, it's the story of a young girl who learns about the apparent suicide of her friend (boyfriend?) in a casual dinner conversation as her family passes around the black-eyed peas. Details of the death emerge between bits and pieces of other increasingly oppressive small talk.

One tidbit seems especially ominous. The narrator's mother said that a preacher had mentioned that he thought he saw Billy Joe and the girl throwing something off the Tallahatchie Bridge -- the same bridge from which Billy Joe lept to his death the next day.

Greil Marcus wrote in Invisible Republic:  

The singer is like the woman who walks the hills in "Long Black Veil": she knows why Billie Joe went to his death, she knows what they threw into the black water, but not only will she not tell, no one around the table even thinks to ask. There is a meal to get over with, there is work to be done. So not a voice is raised or even inflected. Billie Joe’s suicide rests on the same moral; plane as the black-eyed peas on the table. Everything is flat. Everything is quiet. Outside the kitchen window camped an entire country, listening in. ,

The question "What did they throw off the bridge?" haunted America for months to come. Gentry herself once said:

 "The song is sort of a study in unconscious cruelty. But everybody seems more concerned with what was thrown off the bridge than they are with the thoughtlessness of the people expressed in the song. What was thrown off the bridge really isn’t that important."

"Ode to Billy Joe" was covered by a wide range singers in a variety of styles. I'll start with a version by Bobbie and follow with some of my favorites.

King Curtis made it funky

The song is a natural for Sinead.

Here's a twangy instrumental take from a band called Nashville West, which included Clarence White and Gene Parsons (both would later become Byrds) and Gib Gilbeau.

(It looks like you might need to have Spotify to listen to the next two)

I saw Joe Tex lipsynch his version of "Ode" on American Bandstand in the late '60s. As much as I love the atmospherics of the original, Tex's irreverent take is priceless. As a wise-ass kid myself, it made me want to spit watermelon seeds off the Tallahatchie Bridge myself.

And speaking of irreverent, Bob Dylan wrote a parody of sorts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

eMusic January

Here's a month's worth of downloads on my eMusic account.

* Daddy Rockin' Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & The Diablos.  Never heard of Nolan Strong or The Diablos? Don't feel bad. I didn't either. I downloaded this because it has songs by The Dirtbombs, The Reigning Sound, The A-Bones, Andre Williams,  Lenny Kaye and many more greats.

And I wasn't disappointed.

A little historical backtracking here. After enjoying the various interpretations of songs by this mystery man, I learned that Strong, who died in 1977, was a Detroit doo-wop and R&B lord, who was on Fortune Records, the same label as Williams and the late Nathaniel Mayer.

 Strong was known mainly for a minor hit called "The Wind." This is one of those spooky quasi-mystical doo-wop ballads where the singer seemingly pours out his soul from some distant, barren edge of reality.

Mark Sultan covers it here as the opening number. He gives it a dramatic instrumental intro before slowing down to a crawl and delivering the song in a sad falsetto.

The Dirtbombs take on "Daddy Rockin' Strong," which basically is a fairly faithful rewrite of "Daddy Rolling Stone." This version is a tough garage-band take that makes me look forward to some new material from The Dirtbombs.

The Reigning Sound does a fine job on "Mind Over Matter." This one reminds me of Bob Seger's  classic "Ramblin', Gamblin' Man." Meawhile, The Hentchmen's take on "Mambo of Love" is nothing short of a hoot. Is this the birth of punk mambo?

Kaye, Patti Smith's longtime guitarist, does a slow, soulful and reverent interpretation of "I Wanna Know." Williams, backed by The A-Bones practically loves to death the song "The Way You Dog Me Around."

Honestly, there isn't a bad cut on this tribute. Hopefully someone will make available some of Strong's own music sometime soon.

* Crash the Party by Benny Joy. This is just the first of the multi-volume retrospective of this Florida rockabilly who never made it to the same stratosphere as Elvis, Jerry Lee and Gene Vincent.

But this joyful noise sounds like he had a lot of fun trying.

This 15-song set includes some of Joy's best-known songs -- "Spin the Bottle," "Crash the Party," and "Button Nose," (which seems based around the basic "Peter Gunn" riff). There are several demos of Joy alone with his guitar, and some soulful ballads like "I Remember Darling" and "We'll Meet Again."

Several teenage lust tunes here will take you straight to Riverdale High circa 1959. I'm talking about "Miss Bobbie Sox," "Steady With Betty" and especially "In Study Hall," which contains the immortal rhyme, "Her eyes were blue / Her hair was pretty too."

* Slaughterhouse by Ty Segall Band. This is one of three (!) albums the prolific Californian released this year. I like Slaughterhouse best because it’s the noisiest and the most relentlessly rocked out, though there’s enough melody to keep it interesting. It’s a wild and thrilling show from the first cut, and blah blah blah ...

Sound familiar? I wrote a little more about this album in Terrell's Tuneup not long ago.  Indeed, this was one of my top 10 albums of 2012. Check that out HERE. (And seriously, it gets better with each listen.)

* "I Can't Get No Nookie" and "I Am the Japanese Sandman" from The Complete Deity Recordings by The Masked Marauders. No that's not Mick Jagger growling "I Can't Get No Nookie" here. And none of The Beatles really took part in "Japanese Sandman." This entire album, originally released in 1969, is based on a joke review by Greil Marcus (using the nom de spoof T.M. Christian) in Rolling Stone about a supposed bootleg of a supposed "supergroup" session that included Bob Dylan and various Beatles and Stones. Amazingly, many readers took the review serious. Marcus and Rolling Stone crony Landon Winner couldn't resist recruiting a Berkeley band,  Cleanliness and Godliness Skiffle Band (which sounds more fake than "The Masked Marauders") to record some of the songs mentioned in the review. Most people just forgot about this silly lark, but whispers of the fabled supergroup apparently survived into the new millennium. The Masked Marauders actually got the Snopes treatment in 2007.

* And, (tipping my hand that the downloads listed my January eMusic post weren't really downloaded in January)  ... several Christmas songs! It seems like forever ago, but I nabbed "Christmas Tree on Fire" by Holly Golightly and "City of Christmas Ghosts" by Poly Styrene & Goldblade (both from A Damaged Christmas Gift for You) and "Papa Ain't No Santa Claus, Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree" by Butterbeans & Susie and "Santa's Helper" by Joe Poovey (both from a compilation called Papa Ain't No Santa Claus, Mama Ain't No Christmas Tree). I used all of these on the 2012 Big Enchilada Christmas Special.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

In the Spirit of Porter, The Marty Stuart Show

Reading an article about Marty Stuart in Saving Country Music last night I learned that Marty has his own variety show on RFD-TV. (He's only had it since 2009, so I can't blame you if you say "Duh!")

Apparently the show is modeled after those great syndicated country music shows I grew up watching -- The Buck Owens Ranch, The Wilburn Brothers Show and of course The Porter Wagoner Show.

I checked Marty's list of guests and there are some impressive names from the world of classic country music -- Dolly Parton, Merle Haggard, Charlie Daniels, Del McCoury, Earl Scruggs  and of course Marty's wife, Connie Smith -- plus lesser-known greats who never cracked the Nashville Country Industrial Complex like Deke Dickerson, Kentucky Headhunters,  Old Crow Medicine Show and Carolina Chocolate Drops.

I have Comcast cable these days. Comcast carries RFD-TV, but apparently it's a premium channel.
Fortunately, there's the magic of YouTube.

Check these out:

Sunday, January 20, 2013


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, Jan. 20, 2013 
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
Body Combat by The Black Lips
I Need Lunch by The Dead Boys
Ghostified by Persian Claws
Juicy Lucy by Lovestruck
Packed by Gotham City Mashers
She's Hit by The Birthday Party
Hang a Picture by Thee Oh Sees
Sometimes Good Guys Don't Wear White by Marshmallow Overcoat

Satisfaction by Devo
Musicians Are Scum by Pere Ubu
Can Your Pussy Do The Dog by The Rockin' Guys
The Girl With the Exploding Dress by The Electric Mess
No Confidence by Simon Stokes
Love Fuzz by Ty Segall
Life on the Dole by The Molting Vultures
Pink Slip by Unband
Charlie Laine Ate by Brain by The Ruiners

Rock 'n' Soul Music by Country Joe & The Fish
Everything by Public Enemy featuring Gerald Albright and Sheila Brody
Body Snatcher by The Dynamites with Charles Walker
Snatch it Back and Hold it by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Tryin' to Get Next to You by Wiley & The Checkmates
Frog Man by King Khan & The Shrines
I Got High by JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound
You Don't Know What You Mean to a Lover Like Me by Lee Fields & The Sugarman 3
Bad Girl by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Mama Don't Like My Man by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings

It's a Good Day Today by David Lynch
The Eraser by Night Beats
Hey Mr. Rain by The Velvet Undergruund
Mind Over Matter by Reigning Sound
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 18, 2013


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, Jan. 18 , 2013 
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
I Lie When I Drink by Dale Watson
From a Jack to a King by Cornell Hurd
Day Dreaming by Wanda Jackson
Corn Liquor Made a Fool of Me by The Bad Livers
Skip a Rope by The Kentucky Headhunters
In Your Wildest Dreams by The Reverend Horton Heat
The Deadening by Legendary Shack Shakers
Ding Dong by The World Famous Headliners
The Wreck of the Old 97 by Rhett Miller

Ring of Fire by Ronnie Dunn (with members of Mariachi Buenaventura)
Stay Away from the Cociane Train by Johnny Paycheck
The Savior by The Imperial Rooster
Hog-Tied Over You by Tennessee Ernie Ford & Ella Mae Morse
Man with the Gallows Eyes by The Chatham Singers
Little But I'm Loud by Rosie Flores
Southern Cannonball by Hank Snow
Dumb Blonde by Dolly Parton
Whoa Boy by Luke McDaniel

Alligator Chomp by Shooter Jennings with Tony Joe White
Ain't Living Long Like This by Waylon Jennings
Five Brothers by Marty Robbins
Riley's Got a Woman by Dr. Ruth & The Pleasure Seekers
Long Gone Lonesome Blues by The Grievous Angels
Jackson by Carolina Chocolate Drops
How Did the Young Man Lose His Leg by The Perch Creek Family Jug Band
Cotton Fields by Creedence Clearwater Revival
How Cold Hearted Can You Get by Hank Thompson & His Brazos Valley Boys

Precious Time by Broomdust Caravan
A Little Mo' Love by Chris O'Connell
California Cottonfields by Merle Haggard
Feeling Mortal by Kris Kristofferson
Dollar Dress by Jon Langford
Old Faded Memory by Rachel Brooke with Lonesome Wyatt
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

TERRELL'S TUNEUP: The Ones That Got Away (Almost)

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 18, 2013

Here’s a stack of albums released during 2012 that deserve notice — though I didn’t get around to reviewing them last year. Call these the ones that got away — almost. Some are several months old, but they aren’t quite ready for the proverbial dustbin of history.

* We Walk the Line: A Celebration of the Music of Johnny Cash. On April 20 last year, a small star-studded army of country and “Americana” (I still hate that label) musicians descended upon Austin to pay tribute to the late Man in Black in honor of his 80th year. This package includes a concert DVD and a CD of most of the performances. As is typical for all-star flusterclucks, this show had a few misfires. There’s an overly MOR take of “It Ain’t Me, Babe” by Shelby Lynne and Pat Monahan and a too-fragile “I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry” by Amy Lee. And while Johnny Cash could make Nine Inch Nails’ “Hurt” his own, Lucinda Williams falls way short.

Fortunately, there are many delights here. When I first read the credits I wondered about the wisdom of having Seattle singer Brandi Carlile do “Folsom Prison Blues,” but just a few seconds into it, it became obvious that she nailed it. The Carolina Chocolate Drops turn “Jackson” into a fiddle-and-banjo romp. Rhett Miller rocks “The Wreck of the Old 97,” the song that gave his band its name. Shooter Jennings, son of Waylon, sings with Amy Nelson, daughter of Willie, for a version of “Cocaine Blues” that is worthy of Cash’s own interpretation. Kris Kristofferson sounds like the tough old outlaw he is on “Big River.”

I was never a big fan of Brooks & Dunn, but Ronnie Dunn does a fine version of “Ring of Fire” here, backed by “friends from New Mexico,” a couple of trumpeters from Santa Fe’s favorite all-female mariachi band Mariachi Buenaventura. (The group backed Dunn a couple of years ago on his video for “How Far to Waco.”)

* World Famous Headliners. Former NRBQ guitarist and part-time Santa Fe resident Big Al Anderson has got himself a new band. Nobody who has followed Big Al’s work with NRBQ (dang, it’s been nearly 20 years since he left them) or his solo work will be surprised that the Headliners’ sound is nice and rootsy, with tasteful pop sensibilities. There are three guitarists in this outfit — Anderson, Shawn Camp (who co-wrote all the songs with Anderson), and Pat McLaughlin. All three sing. The album is loaded with good-time songs. One of my favorites is “Jukin’” — a funky, bluesy, countryish tune. The Headliners get shamelessly pretty on the soulful “Take Me Back,” which would have fit in on Anderson’s smoky After Hours album, while “I Bleed” sounds like a tune from Pet Sounds remade by Southerners. Anderson and company aren’t afraid to get just a little bit goofy on tunes like “Ding Dong” and “Party ‘Til the Money’s Gone.”

* Blues Funeral by Mark Lanegan. Even before the Screaming Trees broke up around the turn of the century, Ellensburg, Washington, singer Mark Lanegan had established himself as a solo artist known for moody, often morose songs. The ache in Lanegan’s weary voice is almost tangible. At his best, he can make Leonard Cohen sound like Bobby Sherman. Listening to a Lanegan album is like walking into a dark house at 4 a.m. that you think is empty — until you see the ominous glow of a cigarette on the other side of the room. “The Grave Digger’s Song” and “St. Louis Elegy” (featuring background vocals from his Gutter Twins colleague Greg Dulli) show Lanegan doing what he does best. But undoubtedly the biggest surprise on Blues Funeral is “Ode to Sad Disco.” With the loud relentless electronic drums and dark textured synths, Lanegan makes it sound like — you guessed it — a sad disco.

* The Backward Path by Dan Melchior. Melchior is an Englishman who was a major player in the Medway garage/punk scene that produced Billy Childish and Holly Golightly. (He’s worked with both of those artists.) In recent years he’s played with a hard-punching, blues-influenced band called Das Menace. There’s not much Menace in this low-key album. On most songs here he sounds more like Robyn Hitchcock than Childish. The best song is “I Have Known the Emptiness,” which features an acoustic guitar over a dreamlike electronic backdrop. “I have known the emptiness and I tried to love it/But it nearly bored me half to death,” Melchior deadpans. As much as I like it, I think it would sound even better with some Das Menace crunch and fire.

* Tall Tales by The Perch Creek Family Jug Band. Here are some Australian family values for you. This group isn’t lying by calling itself a family band. All but one member has the surname Hodgkins. Some of the band’s songs don’t really sound like jug-band music — sometimes they sound more like they were made by a bluegrass group or lightweight blues band. And sometimes the band reminds me of one of those goofy British skiffle groups of the 1950s with its earnest covers of American folk, jazz, blues, and country songs — everything from “Oh, Susanna” to “Minnie the Moocher.” But Perch Creek does have a jug player, not to mention “Australia’s top one-legged saw player.” That’s Christi Hodgkins, who is the subject of the original song “How Did the Young Man Lose His Leg.”

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Insane Music to Keep You Sane During the Legislature

Today is opening day for the New Mexico Legislature. As the session progresses during the next 60 days, insane music is one of the few things that will help keep me sane. I'll try to post as much of that as I can during the session.

In that spirit, here's one of the things my old podcasting pal Michael Kaiser (late of RadiOblivian) is up to these days. You also can hear him on Tune-in Radio -- (and all sorts of other places.)


Sunday, January 13, 2013


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, Jan. 13 , 2013 
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
Spin that Girl by LoveStruck
Squat with Me Baby by The A-Bones with The Great Gaylord
Trollin' by The Stooges
Todos Queremos A Lupe by The Fleshtones
El Ten de la Costa by The Del Moroccos
Bankrupt City by The Ultimatemost High
Do You Understand by The Sinister Six
Black Mud by The Black Keys
The Midnight Creep by The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Gremmie Out of Control by The Silly Surfers

Rockin' Bones by The Flat Duo Jets
Bad Luck by Social Distortion
The Bag I'm in by Ty Segall Band
She Lives (in a Time of Her Own) by The 13th Floor Elevators
The Clown of the Town by Reverend Beat-Man
Don't Burn the With by The Monsters
In My Brain by Pierced Arrows
New Kind of Kick by The Cramps
I Am the Japanese Sandman by The Masked Marauders

Superbird/Tricky Dick by Country Joe & The Fish
Nixon's Dead Ass by Russell Means
Watergate Blues by Tom T. Hall
Watergate Blues by Howlin' Wolf
H2O-gate Blues by Gil Scott Heron\One Tin Soldier by The Dick Nixons
Are the Good Times Really Over by Merle Haggard

We're All Water by Yoko Ono & John Lennon
She Ain't a Child No More by Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings
Party Til the Money's Gone by The World Famous Headliners
Sharkey's Night by Laurie Anderson
It's a Shame by BBQ
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 11, 2013


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, Jan. 11, 2013 
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
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Rosie Flores
Wild Wild Lover by Legendary Shack Shakers
Boxcars by Joe Ely
Walk Hard by Dewey Cox
The Prison Blues by Curley Ray Benson
Don't Forget About Me by Benny Joy
Make Him Behave by The Collins Kids
The Stalker Song by Pearls Mahone
Your Husband, My Wife by Bobby Bare & Skeeter Davis
Settin' the Woods on Fire by Hank Williams

The Man Comes Around by Johnny Cash
Lou's Got the Flu by Roger Miller
Late Night Lover by Rachel Brooke
Chevy Beretta by Johnny Corndawg
The Week of Living Dangerously by Steve Earle
Oh These Troubled Times by The Corn Sisters
Pardon Me I've Got Someone to Kill by Lonesome Bob
Keeping Up With the Joneses by The Austin Lounge Lizards

Jack's Red Cheetah by Cathy Faber's Swingin' Country Band
Tupelo County Jail by Webb Pierce
Train Yard by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Marie's the Name of His Latest Flame by Chris O'Connell
Mustang Kid by Andy Anderson
Tijuana Jail by Johnny Bond
Farmer Had Him Rats by Black Jake & The Carnies
Buffalo Gals by J. Michael Combs
Evil Hearted Me by Jody Reynolds
Delilah by Jon Langford & Sally Timms

Green Green Grass of Home by Kelly Hogan
I Love You So Much It Hurts Me by Merle Haggard
I Drink by Mary Gauthier
Doghouse House by Seasick Steve
All the Pretty Girls Leave Town by Ed Pettersen
Faithless Street by Whiskeytown
Still Drunk, Still Crazy, Still Blue by Scott H. Biram.
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Sunday, January 06, 2013


Terrell's Sound World Facebook BannerSunday, Jan. 6 , 2013 
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
Jack Pepsi by TAD
English Civil War by The Clash
Hey Hey We're The Gories by The Gories
Pancakes by Mark Sultan
Don't Slander Me by Roky Erikson
You Turn Slick on Me by Howlin' Wolf
Wang Dang Doodle by P.J. Harvey
Living Proof by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Baby Please Don't Go by Them

Please Jesus, Don't Let Me Go to Jail Tonight by The Stout City Luchadors
Better Days by The Fleshtones
The Idiot Bastard Son by The Mothers of Invention
Girl (You Captivate Me) by ? & The Mysterians
Johanna by Iggy Pop & James Williamson
She Said Yeah by The Rip Offs
Inside Looking Out by The Chesterfield Kings
Call My Name by Gravelroad
I Dig Them Little Green Men by The Uglies with JD
I Wish You Would by The Yardbirds

Walkin' the Dog by The Soledad Brothers
Widow's Delight by Dennis Most
Rumble in Brighton by The Stray Cats
The Sky is a Poisonous Garden by Concrete Blonde
Return of the Mantis by The Hydes
Pills by The New York Dolls
Hoodoo Party by Tabby Thomas
Oh Girl by The Copper Gamins
Three Cool Chicks by The

Nervous by Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim
The Snake by Johnny Rivers
Black Rider by Frank Black & The Catholics
After You Die by Tom Waits
Rock Minuet by Lou Reed
Blue Angel by Hundred Year Flood
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, January 04, 2013


Santa Fe Opry Facebook BannerFriday, Jan. 4, 2013 
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
Brain Damaged by The Austin Lounge Lizards
Forbidden Fruit by Marti Brom
A Wild Cat Woman and a Tom Cat Man by Cliff Carlisle
Kiss Me Like Crazy by Rose Maddox
Swampblood by Legendary Shack Shakers
Cocaine Cowboy by Terry Allen
This Town's a Riot by Bill Kirchen
Hell Came to Killville by Angry Johnny
Don't Make Me Pregnant by Miss Tammy Faye Starlite

Sac of Religion by 16 Horsepower
Knoxville Girl by Brett Sparks
Widow Maker by Jimmy Martin
Whiskey River by Willie Nelson
You're the Reason Our Kids are Ugly by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn
Black Rose by Waylon Jennings
The Never Ain't Lazy by Asleep at the Wheel with The 5 Blind Boys of Alabama
City Water by Chris O'Connell

Ramblin' Man by Hank Williams
No Place to Fall by Townes Van Zandt
Bring it on Home to Me by Ted Hawkins
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive by Rosie Flores
Invitation to the Blues by Bill & Bonnie Hearne
Cracklins by The Gourds
The Phantom of the Opry by Junior Brown
Honky Tonk Kind by Charlie Feathers

Whatever Happened to You by The Ex Husbands
Life Sentence Blues by Rachel Brooke
Rock Chalk by Calamity Cubes
Banjo Song by Seasick Steve
Deep Blue Sea by Otis Taylor with Alvin Youngblood Hart
Roving Gambler by The Everly Brothers
Nobody Eats at Linebaugh's Anymore by John Hartford
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

See the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page 

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy Honky Tonk New Year from The Big Enchilada!


Happy New Year, podlubbers! I'm kicking off 2013 with some wild hillbilly sounds both old and new. You'll hear rockabilly, bluegrass, hardcore honkytonk and podunk madness from the sticks.

Here's the playlist:

(Background music: Auld Lang Syne by Big Daddy Bluegrass Band)
The Phantom of the Opry by Junior Brown
Free Born Man by Jimmy Martin
We Wanna Boogie by Sonny Burgess
Henry by The Jet Tones
Now Not Later by James Hand
The Hoover Farm Exorcism by The Imperial Rooster

(Background Music: Auld Lang Syne by The Radiators)
Restless Man Blues by The .357 String Band
Dixieland Boogie by Hardrock Gunter
Rhinestone Cowboy by The Frontier Circus
He'll Never Cheat No More by Ann Clark
Down Past the Bottom by Wanda Jackson
The Bug by Gene Maltais
Hard to Be Humble by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

(Background Music: Old Lang Syne by Big Smith)
St. James Infirmary by Ray Condo & His Hardrock Goners
Dying Crapshooter's Blues by Blind Willie McTell
Streets of Laredo by Webb Wilder   
(Homework! For more info on the above 3 songs, CHECK THIS OUT)

Dried Out River by The Dad Horse Experience
6 Packs and Cigarettes by Pearls Mahone & The One-Eyed Jacks
Only for You by Rachel Brooke

Play it below:

 For more Big Enchilada hillbilly music episodes CLICK HERE


Sunday, July 7, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell Email...