Monday, August 31, 2015

Summer's Almost Gone, But the Big Enchilada Lives On!


Welcome to the latest Big Enchilada Podcast episode. Those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer are fading fast. But the Big Enchilada is rocking on into that glorious decay that is the fall. We're going to get wild with Rudy Grayzell, Holly Golightly, The Dirtbombs, Simon Stokes Ty Segall, Churchwood, Social Distortion and more. Hang on!


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Summertime by Die Zorros)
Let's Get Wild by Rudy Grayzell
Sweet Poison Caladina by YVY
Stopped My Heart by Holly Golightly
La Pizza de Colera by Madhello Orchestra
Bikini Girl by Panty-Meltdown Aftermath
Julie Ouli by Peach Kelli Pop
Psychedelic Baby by Rodd & The Librettos 

(Background Music: In the Summertime by Buckwheat Zydeco)
Man With Soul by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales
Alone and Forsaken by Social Distortion
Motor City Baby by The Dirtbombs
Rusty Hook by Thee Headcoats 
Courtyard by No Waves
Dance Me to Death by The Hi-Liters
G-Man Hoover by Sir Lancelot

(Background Music: The Sheik of Araby by The Continental Five)
Rickshaw Rattletrap by Churchwood
Tell Me What's Inside Your Heart by Ty Segall Band
I'll Still Be Here by Geek Maggot Bingo
Have a Say by The Hussy
Summertime Blues by The Outsiders
One Night of Sin by Simon Stokes

Play it below

Sunday, August 30, 2015


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Sunday, August 30, 2015
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)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Police Call by Drywall

Henrietta by The A-Bones

Love Me Like Before by The Brood

Willow by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Mustang Ranch Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears

Black Snake by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales

The Devil's in the Swamp by The Slow Poisoner

Gett Off by Prince


Mi Saxophone / Reyes Ruiz / La Mula Bronca by Al Hurricane

Rattlesnakin' Daddy by Dave & Phil Alvin

Whtebread 'n' Beans by Left Lane Cruiser

The Wolfs are Coming by WolfWolf

Between Me and You, Kid by Mudhoney

Obviously 5 Believers by Big Foot Chester


Tupelo by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds

Shake it On Down by R.L. Burnside

Gimme Love by Sleater-Kinney

Heart Attack and Vine by Lydia Lunch

Whistlin' Past the Graveyard by Screamin' Jay Hawkins

Red Head Walking by Beat Happening

Come Back Lord by Reverend Beat-Man

Rat Fink by Bloodshot Bill

Holy Smoke by Thee Oh Sees

Frozen in Time by Holly Golightly

Lover's Curse by Bracey Everett

My Shadow by Jay Reatard

Bang Bang by Nancy Sinatra

Addicted by Amy Winehouse

Noble Experiment by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282

I've Got a Home by The Holy Wonders

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Viva Al Hurricane!

El Godfather in action
The Godfather of New Mexico music, Alberto Sanchez, better known as Al Hurricane, is hanging it up. At the age of 79, he's near the end of his "Farewell Tour." What's being billed as his last show will be Saturday, Sept. 5, during the Fiesta de Santa Fe’s Mariachi Extravaganza at the Fort Marcy Ballpark.

I was saddened to learn that Al is suffering from Stage 4 prostate cancer.

My New Mexican colleague Staci Matlock just wrote a wonderful profile of Hurricane's life and career in today's paper. You can find that HERE. You also should check out some more videos of Al's interviews, shot by Natalie Guillen, HERE.

And if you've really come down with Hurricane mania, you can even check out the 1998 profile I did.  I tacked it on a political column from a few years ago in which I'd mentioned Al. CLICK HERE (and scroll down for the profile.)

New Mexico loves you, Al!

Enjoy some of his music below.

Friday, August 28, 2015


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Friday, Aug. 28, 2015 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FMEmail me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Look at That Moon by Carl Mann

Mud by Legendary Shack Shakers

Riot in Cell Block # 9 by Wanda Jackson

New Deal of Love by Hank Thompson

Guacamole by Freddie Fender with Augie Meyers

He'll Have to Go by Ry Cooder

Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers

Liquored Up by Southern Culture on the Skids

Pappa's on the House Top by Dave & Phil Alvin

Stealth Cowboy by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy


Wreck of the Old 97 by Johnny Cash

Timebomb by The Old 97s

I'm Through Hurtin' by Dale Watson

The Ballad of Charles Whitman by Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys

White Dress by Anthony Leon & The Chain

If You Take Drugs You're Gonna Die by The Beaumonts

Old Chunk of Coal by Billy Joe Shaver

Small Ya'll by George Jones

Tight Like That by Asylum Street Spankers



Am I Still Country by Jim Ed Brown

Judas Iscariot by Joe West & The Sinners

I Can't Stop Loving You Now by Skeeter Davis & NRBQ

Ice Water by Peter Case

Wheels by Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen

Which One is to Blame by The Malpass Brothers

May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose by Little Jimmy Dickens

Darling Cora by Corbin Hayslett

Singing in the Bathtub by R. Crumb & The Cheap Suit Serenaders


Sittin' and Thinkin' by Charlie Rich

Poor Joe by Audrey Auld

Hallelujah Anyway by Slim Cessna's Auto Club

Touch Taven Elizabeth LaPrelle & Jadoo

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, August 27, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday Carter Stanley

Ralph (with banjo) and Carter Stanley (with guitar)

Carter Stanley, half of the seminal bluegrass band The Stanley Brothers, would have been 90 years old today.

He didn't make. Although his younger brother Ralph still is touring, the hard-drinking Carter died of cirrhosis more than 50 years ago.

As pointed out painfully in a 2004 article by Eddie Dean in The Washington Post, ever since the movie O Brother Where Art Thou? Ralph Stanley has won all sorts of accolades and respect and generally is considered the grand living patriarch of bluegrass. But Carter, outside of bluegrass and folk circles, has been all but forgotten.

Few would argue that [Ralph] Stanley has long since earned every penny of his career-capping cash-in, which a few years ago seemed as likely as his winning the Virginia Lottery. Yet there is a nagging sense that this Appalachian fairy tale is missing its crucial character, if not the leading man.  ... Without Carter, there would have been no Stanley Brothers, perhaps the most revered brother act in country music history. Carter was the founding member and the driving force, while kid brother Ralph, at least in the early years, mostly tagged along for the ride.

So today on his birthday we celebrate Carter Stanley with some of the music he left behind.

First, here's an audio clip of Carter sharing the stage with bluegrass originator Bill Monroe. The Stanley Brothers broke up for a couple of years in the early '50s. During part of that time, Carter joined Monroe's Bluegrass Boys. Check out the dis of Flatt & Scruggs in this song's introduction.

Here the Stanleys, with their band The Clinch Mountain Boys perform on Pete Seeger's mid-60s television show.

I'm including this simply because it's my favorite Stanley Brothers song of all time.

And here, the Stanleys cover a Hank song. Not Hank Williams, Hank Ballard! Some bluegrass purists hate this! I like it, even though it would have been far more bitchen had they done "Work With Me Annie" instead.

Happy birthday. Carter

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: An Ode to Trailer Trash

from Alpha's Flickr page
Here are a bunch of tunes that just kind of tickle me -- except one, which you'll see below. They all appeal to my inner Okie redneck.

I just stumbled across this stupid tune by a singer named Colt Ford and immediately liked it. You'll see why. Or not.

I knew there had to be more like this, so I searched Youtube for "Trailer Trash" and up popped this one from a band called  Powder Mill.

Of course, I couldn't leave out Southern Culture on the Skids and this early tune of theirs. I like this fan-produced video:

All the above songs were written and sung in good fun. This next one wasn't. (Don't let the "cover photo" fool you.)

 This one, uploaded in 2013, was "written after idiot judge limited the amount of time I could have with my sons and hooked me up for half my income for child support while they all lived with my ex's meth head boyfriend."

Man, as the veteran of two divorces,both of which induced some pretty bitter moments, I can feel this guy's pain. I left him a note saying "It gets better," because if you can eventually rise above the bitterness, it will get better. I just pray this guy and his sons are doing much better.

But let's not leave Wacky Wednesday on a downer note. Here's another silly "Trailer Trash" tune -- and a fan-made video -- from a group called Rebel Son.

Sunday, August 23, 2015


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Sunday, Aug. 23, 2015
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)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Dames, Booze,Chains and Boots by The Cramps

Journey to the Center of Your Mind by The Ramones

Do the Clam by Elvis Presley

Thunder Kiss '65 by White Zombie

I Can't Stand It by Velvet Underground

As You Go Down by Holly Golightly

The Musical Rogues by Wild Billy Chyldish

Beaver Patrol by Wild Knights

G-Man Hoover by Sir Lancelot


Crystal Ball by The King Khan & BBQ Show

Katy Didn't by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Wonderful Girl by Jack Mack & The Heart Attack

Black Snake by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales

You're the Dog by Irma Thomas

Second Cousin by Flamin' Groovies

Manny's Bones by Los Lobos

Love Your Money by Lolita #18


Shadow World by Undercover Bonobos

Hit Me by The Fleshtones

Hospitals by Acid Baby Jesus

Graveyard by Dead Moon

Voodoo Music by J.B. Lenoir

Suicide Chump / Jumbo / If Only She Woulda by Frank Zappa

Devil With the Blue Dress by Shorty Long

Medley: Buke E Kripe Ne Vater Tone/Kalaxhojne by 3 Mustaphas 3


Sea of Love by Iggy Pop

Let's Burn Down the Cornfield by John The Conqueror

My Ding a Ling by Dave Bartholomew

Come in the Morning by Moby Grape

Forty Dollars by Twilight Singers

Ballad of Dwight Fry by Alice Cooper

Wang Dang Doodle by P.J. Harvey

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, August 21, 2015


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Friday, August 21, 2015
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)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Ringo by Lorne Greene

Wildwood Flower by Mike Ness

Everybody's Doing It by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

Jesse James by Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber

Dog by The Bottle Rockets

Cowboy No. 77 by Charlie Pickett

Hogs on the Highway by Bad Livers

Are You Still My Girl by Joe West & The Sinners

Fuck Off by Audrey Auld


Sheik of Araby by Martin, Bogan & The Armstrongs

When I Was a Cowboy by Jim Kweskin Jug Band

Double A Daddy by Wayne Hancock

Big Time by The Howlin' Brothers

San Antonio Romeo Cathy Faber's Swingin' Country Band

Who Shot Sam by George Jones

Tiger Man by John Schooley

The Way of the Fallen by Ray Wylie Hubbard

You've Got Some Cheating To Do by Rex Hobart And The Misery Boys


Good Ship Venus by Loudon Wainwright III

Ruby Are You Mad at Your Man by Carolina Chocolate Drops

Trucks, Tractors and Trains by The Dirt Daubers

Shake It and Break It by Devil in a Woodpile

Put Down the Gun by Joe Ely

A Death in the Family by The Malpass Brothers

Greasy Love by Pearls Mahone

Dance Me to Death by The Hi-Liters

My Heart's Been Cheatin' on Me by James Hand


The Car Hank Died In by The Austin Lounge Lizards

A World of Blue by Dwight Yoakam

Payphone by Eric Hisaw

Moanin' at the Midnight Train by Butch Hancock

I Forgot More Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs

8:05 by Moby Grape

Iowa City by Eleni Mandell

A Girl Named Johnny Cash by Harry Hayward

CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Calypso Biographical Sketches

Sir Lancelot Sings for The Zombie
I've always found calypso music from the 1930s and '40s to be a real treat In these songs, by artists with names like Growling Tiger, Lord Executor, King Radio, Lord Invader etc., you'll hear songs of social protest, songs about news of the day, political commentary, songs insulting other calypso singers. And ever so often there are mini-bios of world leaders and celebrities of the day.

Below are some of my favorites.

Trinidad-born Lancelot Victor Edward Pinard (1902 –  2001) recorded under the name of Sir Lancelot. Roky Erikson fans should note that Sir Lancelot, who appeared in several American movies. including a 1943 classic called I Walked With a Zombie, in which he portrayed a calypso singer. His politics were left-leaning. Lancelot was a fan of Henry Wallace. But he also apparently as a fan of J. Edgar Hoover, who probably had the songer's phone tapped. Here's "G-Man Hoover."

You might have heard this song performed by Ry Cooder. Van Dyke Parks also recorded it on Discover America (which also had a cover of G-Man Hoover.) But "Roosevelt in Trinidad" was first performed by Raymond Quevedo (1892-1962) better known as Atilla the Hun. This song commemorates FDR's 1936 trip to Trinidad, "the land of the hummingbird."

Of course, not all calypso bios praise their subjects. Clifford Morris, aka The Mighty Destroyer in this 1941 hit had a few thoughts about Der Fuehrer. This is a cover, I believe from the 1990s, by a singer named Phillip Murray.

Except for the Hitler ditty, this post seems to have turned into "Songs Van Dyke Taught Us." The following, sung by "The Lion," also known as "Roaring Lion" aka Hubert Raphael Charles aka Raphael de Leon 1908-1999). Lion's most famous song is "Ugly Woman," which was turned into a hit called :If You Want to Be Happy" by Jimmy Soul in the 1960s.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


Next Sunday, Aug. 23, marks the 89th anniversary of the death of Rudolph Valentino, perhaps the most popular silent film star the world has ever known.

Unfortunately I couldn't find
Eddie Cantor's version of "Sheik."
To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of silent films. But today I'm going to honor Valentino not for his own achievements but for inspiring a wonderfully wacky American song: "The Sheik of Araby."

Trying to cash in on the wild popularity of Valentino's 1921 feature film The Sheik, Tin Pan Alley songwriters Harry B. Smith and Francis Wheeler wrote the lyrics to music by Ted Snyder. Snyder had written the melody of a similar tune called "That Night in Araby,"

But it was "The Sheik of Araby" that folks remember. It was one of those songs that made the '20s roar, that made the flappers flap. Even F. Scott Fitzgerald included some lyrics from the song in The Great Gatsby.

The Club Royal Orchestra, directed by Clyde Doerr, may have been the first to record it in 1921. But I prefer this version by a group called The California Ramblers recorded the same year. Like Doerr's it's an instrumental. But it's a little peppier (and the sound quality of the YouTube is better.)

Fast forward to 1936 and The Sheik's still shakin' Don Albert & His Orchestra has the distinction of being the first band to add the line "with no pants on" after every line in the verse.

Spike Jones kept his pants on, but he did a wild version with a nice 'n' crazy video ... I mean "soundie."

Louis Prima & Keely Smith did a wonderful medley of "Sheik of Araby" and "When You're Smilin'. They also keep their pants on in the "Sheik" section, instead singing "With no turban on."

UPDATED 5-8-16

The Fats Domino and Beatles videos I originally embedded has been removed from YouTube, but now they're at the top of my Spotify list below, where you'll find more Sheiks than you can shake a stick at.

Happy tent-creeping.

For more deep dives into songs, check out The Stephen W. Terrell Web Log Songbook

Sunday, August 16, 2015


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Sunday, August 16, 2015
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)

Here's the playlist
OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
The Claw by Barrence Whitfield
Nightclub by Andre Williams & The Goldstars
Misunderstood by Sons of Hercules
Double O Bum by Gas Huffer
Rimbaud Diddley by Churchwood
I Found Out by Nathaniel Mayer
Fall on You by The Plimsouls
Lucy Baines by The A-Bones
Bittersweet Candy by The Barbarellatones
Vegetables by The Beach Boys

Me and Mr. Jones by Amy Winehouse
Miss Beehive by Howard Tate
No No No by Die Zorros
Blindness by The Fall
The Hink-a-Dink by Chuck E. Weiss
Strobe Light by The B-52s
South Street by The Orlons
Shake Me by Motobunny
It's a Gas by Alfred E. Neuman

Conjuring the King
Heartbreak Hotel by The Cramps
Marie's the Name by Elvis Presley
En El Barrio by El Vez
One Night of Sin by Simon Stokes
Baby Let's Play House by Elvis Presley
Trouble by Danzig
You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet by Lisa Marie Presley
Rockabilly Rebel by Orion
Promised Land by Elvis Presley

Queenie Wahine's Papaya by Elvis Presley
Mystery Train by The Band
Jailhouse Rock by Patti Smith
Suspicious Minds by Dwight Yoakam
Little Sister by Elvis Presley
Hound Dog by Big Mama Thornton
Crying in the Chapel by Elvis Presley
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis
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Friday, August 14, 2015


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Friday, Aug. 14, 2015 
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM 
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell 
101.1 FM
 me during the show! terrel(at)
Here's my playlist :
OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens
Gettin' High for Jesus by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Keep on Truckin' by Hot Tuna
Meat Man by D.M. Bob & The Deficits
Yes Ma'am, He Found Me in a Honky Tonk by Miss Leslie
Have You Heard the Gossip by Charlie Brown Jr.
Banana Puddin' by Southern Culture on the Skids
Knock Off Your Naggin' by Stonewall Jackson
Dixie Flyer by Mose McCormack
Robot Drone by Holly Wood

Losing Faith/ Hey Warden/ Bound for Glory by Audrey Auld
Rock-a-bye Baby Rock by Connie Dycus
My Old Man Boogie by The Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band
Let's Get Wild by Rudy Grayzell
Owls by The Handsome Family
The Other Side of Nowhere by John Prine & Mac Wiseman

$2,000 Navajo Rug by Joe West & The Sinners
The Cat Never Sleeps by Mama Rosin with Hipbone Slim & The Knee-Tremblers
Mr. Garfield by Johnny Cash
White House Blues by Merle Travis
White House Blues by Jadoo
Marie Laveau by Bobby Bare
Monkey on a String by Charlie Poole
Still I'm Travelin' On by The Mississippi Sheiks
LSD by T. Tex Edwards

A Death in the Family by The Malpass Brothers
I Need Somebody Bad Tonight by Rhonda Vincent
My Reasons Why by Blaze Foley
Sin City by Chris Hillman & Herb Pedersen
Good Time Charlie's Got the Blues by Elvis Presley
Bury Me at Walmart by Audrey Auld
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets
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Thursday, August 13, 2015

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Savages and Sinners

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
August 14, 2015

A few years ago, when rock ’n’ soul shouter Barrence Whitfield first reunited with guitarist Peter Greenberg and bassman Phil Lenker — all original members of The Savages, who tore up the East Coast back in the mid-1980s — my biggest concern was that their excellent comeback album, Savage Kings, might be a one-shot deal.

But since then, Whitfield and his Savages have faithfully released an album every two years, Dig Thy Savage Soul (2013) and now Under a Savage Sky (official release date Aug. 21).

Once again, Whitfield and crew have laid down a record full of high-charged, hopped-up, rough, rowdy and raw tunes that should make you remember why you loved rock ’n’ roll in the first place.

There’s no mistaking this album for anything but a Barrence Whitfield record. It’s got your basic rocking guitar, screaming sax, and soulful shouts from Whitfield. There are musical nods to Little Richard, The Sonics (the immortal Washington state garage giants, with whom Barrence & The Savages toured earlier this year) and soulsters like Don Covay and Otis Redding.

But while the album retains all those elements that Whitfield fans expect, Under the Savage Sky has a harder edge — faster rhythms, louder drums, crunchier guitar — than the group’s previous efforts. As a band, The Savages are still extremely tight. Here they just seem more ferocious.

Barrence live in Santa Fe a few years ago
The core of the album consists of tunes written by Greenberg and fellow New Mexico resident Michael Mooney. (The two played together in a Taos garage band called Manby’s Head, which I haven’t seen in a couple of years.)

Among these are “Angry Hands,” which has a melody similar to Alice Cooper’s “I’m Eighteen” and — like “Willie Meehan” on Savage Kings — is about a washed-up boxer; “Incarceration Casserole,” which is about a guy whose wife is locked up in jail — causing him to obsess over who’s going to fix his dinner; and “Adjunct Street,” a slow, minor-key blues that Whitfield sings the hell out of.

Then there’s “Katy Didn’t,” written by Greenberg, Mooney, and Whitfield himself. Starting off with a guitar hook that reminds me of “Kicks” by Paul Revere & The Raiders, the song begins, “She had a hollow leg/Knew how to make me beg/She drank me under the table.”

As usual, Whitfield includes some inspired covers from deep in the bowels of Greenberg’s fabled record collection. “I’m a Full Grown Man,” which was originally called “I’m a Man” when soulman Timmy Willis recorded it decades ago, has sweet echoes of the Stax/Volt sound; “The Wolf Pack” goes all the way back to Kid Thomas (Louis Thomas Watts), who recorded it in 1955; and “I’m a Good Man,” an Eddie Snow song from the ’50s, which sounds like a rewrite of “Shake, Rattle and Roll.”

Under the Savage Sky ends with “Full Moon in the Daylight Sky,” an intense minor-key workout written by Whitfield and Lenker. It is scheduled for release on Aug. 21 but is ready for pre-order on all your favorite online shops.

Also recommended:

* Jamie Was a Boozer: Special Edition by Joe West & The Sinners. Back in 1998, Joe West was living in Austin. I hadn’t met the guy at the time, but I was starting to get familiar with his music. He’d sent me his first album, Trip to Roswell, N.M., which had some good songs on it. But I didn’t officially become a West fan until he sent me his second album, Jamie Was a Boozer.

Backed by a snappy little saloon band called The Sinners (and on some cuts, former True Believer Jon Dee Graham on lap steel), Jamie Was a Boozer was no sophomore slump. The album has been out of print for years, but last month a company called Baby Black Panda released a new version, featuring all 15 of the original songs, plus three previously unreleased live tunes.

I looked up my old review of the original version, which was in a column about several local releases. Enjoy some recycling:

OK, officially Joe lives and works in Austin but his Santa Fe ties are legit. His dad, artist Jerry West lives here. And Joe frequently pays tribute to Santa Fe in song, such as “$2000 Navajo Rug,” a sarcastic toast (with an authentic Santa Fe $5 cerveza) to the ricos who keep our cost of living so high.

Jpe West in Santa Fe Railyard Plaza a few weeks ago
Joe has a knack for writing funny tunes — Jim Terr would have killed to have written “Trailer Park Liberal” — but the main strength of this album is a core of songs, some funny, some not, related to alcohol and the abuse thereof.

The title song is an unflinching tribute to a friend who drowned in liquor. “The Ballad of Terri McGovern,” about a woman who got drunk and froze to death, is even more startling. “Rehab Girl,” about a guy with a crush on a lady who works at a rehab center, is lighter but it’s got an edge.

I’ll stand by what I wrote, adding that the songs have passed the proverbial test of time.

Well, maybe some of those Santa Fe places that sold “$5 cervezas” are no longer so cheap. Otherwise it doesn’t sound dated at all. And the live bonus tunes, while not on the same level as “Rehab Girl,” fit in well.

So even if you haven’t heard the original album — and in fact, if you’ve never heard Joe West, my advice is to dive in.

Video time!

Here's an Barrence set recorded last November at the Jazz Cafe in London

And here's the title song of Jamie was a Boozer.

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Brutal Jocularity and Assassination Blues

An editorial cartoon about McKinley's murder, apparently
from some old newspaper in The Republic of Toads
Yesterday for Wacky Wednesday, I featured songs about Watergate in a slightly belated celebration of the anniversary of Nixon's resignation. One of those songs was Tom T. Hall's "Watergate Blues," which I noted has a melody lifted from an old folk song called "White House Blues," which was about the assassination of President William McKinley in 1901,

So why the heck not, for this Throwback Thursday, let's have some variations of that song by some of the cooler artists who have performed it .. plus a couple of tunes about the other more obscure presidential assassination.

McKinley was shot while on vacation in Buffalo, N.Y. by a self-described anarchist named Leon Czolgosz.

According to the Old Weird America blog, which examines songs from Harry Smith's Anthology of AmericanFolk Music:  

It seems that the ballad originated with Afro-American “songsters” and, like “Stackalee”, was a kind of proto-Blues with a melody and a verse structure very alike another murder Blues ballad, “Delia’s gone” ... in his book Long Steel Rail, Norm Cohen tells about the writer D.H Lawrence, who used to sing a version of “White House Blues.” A friend of Lawrence recalled that in 1915, as he was singing several Negro Spirituals, he also “…set our brains jingling with an American ballad on the murder of president McKinley with words of brutal jocularity sung to an air of of lilting sweetness …

Brutal jocularity will do it every time.

It's been known by many names. Bascom Lamar Lunsford called his version “Zolgotz.' Ernest Stoneman called it  “Road to Whashington”  (sic) or  “Unlucky Road to Whashington” (double sic)

One of, if not the earliest recorded versions of the song was by North Carolina singer/banjo man Charlie Poole. He did it like this:

Bill Monroe brought "White House Blues" to the world of bluegrass. He did a wondrous version, but this more recent version by Del McCoury may be my favorite.

Did I mention another assassination? President James Garfield was shot and fatally wounded in June 1882. His murder at the hands of Charles Guiteau -- who felt The president owed him some patronage job.

The Field Trip South blog, dedicated to the Southern Folklife Collection has two (sadly way too short) sound clips by  Bascom Lamar Lunsford singing two different Garfield assassination songs.

YouTube has one of the songs, "Mr. Garfield," which Lunsford says he first heard in 1903. It's an eight minute murder ballad odyssey.

But I first heard the report of the report of Guiteau's pistol done by Johnny Cash, probably on his TV show in the late '60s.

The second Garfield song also appears on Harry Smith's magical Anthology, recorded in 1927 by Kelly Harrell & The Virginia String Band  "Charles Guiteau" is from the jailed assassin's perspective as he awaits his date with the hangman.

According to Bob Waltz in an article in Inside Bluegrass , this song is a "touch-up" song.

... the unknown author simply took the earlier ballad "James A. Rogers" (executed in New York in 1858) and "zipped in" the details of the Garfield case. This is no surprise; the same tune carried at least two other murder/confession ballads, "John T. Williams" and "Ewing Brooks."

Here's Harrell's version:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Watergate in Song

One of Ralph Steadman's many Nixon drawings
This past Sunday was the 41st anniversary of the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon.

I was but a lad ...

Nixon was driven from power by what became known as the Watergate scandal.

Watergate, as it turns out, inspired a number of songs in the realms of blues, soul, country and rock, several of which are included here. Some were bitchen tunes by great artists. Some aren't. You decide which is which.

Let's start out with the great Howlin' Wolf. His "Watergate Blues" celebrated Frank Wills, the security guard at the Watergate who discovered the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters.

Another "Watergate Blues" is a wry little country tune by Tom T. Hall. But by the last verse the Storyteller gets pretty serious. The melody is lifted from the song "White House Blues" (performed by Charlie Poole, Bill Monroe and others), which was about the assassination of President McKinley

Fred Wesley, best known for his work with James Brown did "Rockin' Funky Watergate" with The New J.B.s


 Even better is proto-rapper Gil Scott Heron's caustic "H2O-gate Blues."

I'm not really familiar with bluesman Bobo Jenkins, but his "Watergate Blues" is pretty spooky. Listen closely and at the 1:03 mark you can hear a phone ringing.

Here's an obscure country singer named Les Waldroop applying some Cash-style Chunka chunka to the Watergate saga. It's called "Watergate Bugs." (Update 8-9-2017: The only version currently on Youtube has a second Waldroop song  attached.)

This one, by someone called "The Creep" is just plain tacky.

And here is some incisive commentary from sampling pioneer Dicky Goodman.

Do you ever get Dick Nixon mixed up with Billy Jack? Me neither. But this band, appropriately called The Dick Nixons, did.

So now if there were some scandal taking place here they'd call it "Watergate-gate"
They say that on a full moon night you can see Nixon's ghost
 peering out of a sixth foot window of the Watergate

Monday, August 10, 2015

Tony Gilkyson & Friends at Skylight Tuesday

Gilkyson at Railyard in June
A few weeks ago former Santa Fe musician Tony Gilkyson made a rare local appearance at the Make Music Santa Fe show at the Railyard Plaza.

Well he's back.

Tony -- who has been a member of Lone Justice, X and Chuck E. Weiss's G-d Damn Liars-- is playing at Skylight Tuesday night.

He'll be playing with a band made up of Santa Fe all-star cronies including  David Gilliland, Arlen Johnson, Mark Clark, and Steve Lindsay, who is visiting Santa Fe after several years in exile.

Lindsay told me, "We'll be unrehearsed and winging it, but they are all great players and it's a one-off occasion so it might even be OK. "

I bet he's right. Show starts 7:30 pm Tuesday.

Sunday, August 09, 2015


Terrell's Sound World Facebook Banner

Sunday, Aug. 9, 2015
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)

Here's the playlist

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres

Better Off by The Routes

Putty in Your Hands by The Detroit Cobras

Andres by L7

House on Fire by The Electric Mess

Rogue Planet by Thee Oh Sees

Man With Soul by Alex Maiorano & The Black Tales

I Wanna Be a Girl by King Khan & The Shrines

Dog Tired by Wiley & The Checkmates

Want More by J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound

Katy Didn't by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages

Little Girl by John & Jackie


Duende by Churchwood

Chupacabra Rock 'n' Roll by The Blood-Drained Cows

Little Electric Chair by Iggy & The Stooges

Heart Attack and Vine by Tom Waits

Shy Guy by Juke Joint Pimps

Diddy Wah Diddy by Ty Segall

Shout Bama Lama by The Detroit Cobras

Sucker Punch by New Bomb Turks


Drug Through the Mud by Joe "King" Carrasco

Snake Drive by R.L. Burnside

Wax Dummy by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion

Saved by Boss Hog

Fire on the Moon by The Bell-Rays

My Baby's Comin' Home by Big Clyde Allen & His Movin' Masters

Sugar on Top by The Dirtbombs

Doug the Thug by The 99ers

Funny by The Black Lips


The Other Side of This Life by Jefferson Airplane

Crazy West Virginia Mutant Water Woman Blues by The Slow Poisoner

Broken Bones & Pocket Change by St. Paul & The Broken Bones

Magic Touch by Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs

CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, August 07, 2015


Santa Fe Opry Facebook Banner

Friday, August 8, 2015
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)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens

Maybelle by Jackie Cray

Out All Night by The Riptones

The Holygram's Song (Back From The Shadows Again) by The Firesign Theatre

A Day at a Time by Dale Watson

Maybe Little Baby by George Jones

I'll Be There if Ever You Want Me by The Rizdales

Rated X by Loretta Lynn

Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers

Thank You Lord by James Hand

Ballad of Waterhole #3 by Roger Miller


Alone And Forsaken Social Distortion

Another Great Dream Of You by Eric Hisaw

Sleep With A Stranger by Nikki Lane

Choctaw Bingo by James McMurtry & The Heartless Bastards

One Road More by Butch Hancock & Jimmie Dale Gilmore

Big Fat Nuthin by The Bottle Rockets

I Want to Be a Cowgirl's Sweetheart by Lynn Anderson


The Breeze by Banditos

Lampshade On by Dustbowl Revival

Bad Man by The Appleseed Collective

Back in the Goodle Days by John Hartford

Cool Arrow by The Hickoids

The Great Joe Bob by Terry Allen

Jamie Was a Boozer by Joe West & The Sinners


There Must Be Someone by The Byrds

Where the Wind Will Let Me Go by Slackeye Slim

(Give Me) One More Mile by Peter Case

Donna on My Mind by Robbie Fulks

Left Hand Cigarette Blues by Trailer Bride

Storms Never Last by Waylon Jennings & Jessie Colter

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


Thursday, August 06, 2015

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Strange Allure of Moonlight Bay

This is one of those great songs that I used to assume was part of every American's DNA. I'm talking about tunes like "The Man on the Flying Trapeze," "I'll See You in My Dreams,"  "Shine on Harvest Moon" or "I'm in the Mood For Love."

Notice I said "used to assume." Maybe I'm getting old and cynical, but these days I wonder if many people under the age of, say, 40 would even recognize those songs.

Kids these days ...

But I didn't come here to grumble. I came to celebrate one of those great old songs, one that pops in and out of my skull when I least expect it:

"Moonlight Bay"

The song, originally published in 1912, features lyrics written by Edward Madden and music by Percy Wenrich.

So where is Moonlight Bay? I found a Moonlight Bay Resort & Campground in Minnesotta. And there is a Moonlight Bay Resort on Spider Lake in Traverse, Mich. Somehow I think these were named for the song, not the other way around. And why didn't anyone ever write, "We were sailing along on Spider Lake ..." ??

The lyrics to "Moonlight Bay" are below. You probably won't recognize the verse. I suspect most people who know the song are familiar only with the chorus.

Voices hum, crooning over Moonlight Bay
Banjos strum, tuning while the moonbeams play

All alone, unknown they find me
Memories like these remind me
Of the girl I left behind me
Down on Moonlight Bay

We were sailing along
On Moonlight Bay
We could hear the voices ringing
They seemed to say:
"You have stolen her heart"
"Now don't go 'way!"
As we sang love's old sweet song
On Moonlight Bay

Candle lights gleaming on the silent shore
Lonely nights, dreaming till we meet once more
Far apart, her heart, is yearning
With a sigh for my returning
With the light of love still burning
As in of days of yore

I'm not 100 percent sure this is the earliest version on record, but the American Quartet, featuring Billy Murray, a huge star in his day, recorded it in 1913.

Skip ahead a little more than 30 years, and we find Bing Crosby singing it with a vocal quartet called
The Charioteers -- a group that started out singing gospel but later branching out in to pop and jazz.
The Charioteers was the studio chorus from on der Bingle's Kraft Music Hall between 1942 and 1946. (A few years later Crosby recorded it with his son Gary in a faux Dixieland style.)

In the 1951 Doris Day vehicle called On Moonlight Bay, leading man Gordon MacRae, following a smug tirade against baseball, gives a harsh review of the song that gave the movie its title. My favorite line is when Bow-tie Daddy tells popcorn muching Doris, "That must have been written by a man with a glass of beer in one hand and a rhyming dictionary in the other."

Speaking of beer, often, epecially in cartoons, "Moonlight Bay" is associated with sentimental drunks. In this Porky Pig clip a bunch of drunken cats serenade. (UPDATE: The original video posted featured drunken fish. That one disappeared from YouTube.)

And in this early '60s British variety show, the comedy team of Morecambe & Wise team up with the Fab Moptops to sing ... you guessed it!

And now we have this guy:

For more deep dives into songs, check out The Stephen W. Terrell Web Log Songbook

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Bye Bye Beware of the Blog

For more than 10 years, WFMU's Beware of the Blog has served as a wellspring of  the weird, the wild and the quirky. It didn't have to be Wednesday for Beware of the Blog to get wacky.

It's part of the New Jersey-based independent public radio station WFMU's web of craziness, and many of the station's DJs have contributed blog posts though through the years. But during its time the blog has taken a life of its own.

But here's the bad news: On July 30, station manager Ken Freedman officially posted that the party is over.

You No Longer Need to Beware of the Blog

After ten fun-filled years, we're packing up shop here at WFMU's Beware of the Blog. Many thanks to the dozens of volunteer authors who put in so much time and love into their posts and articles, and thanks to the commenters and trolls who almost feel like part of our dysfunctional family. 

Damn! Another good thing has done gone on. Freedman doesn't really say why the station is ending the blog, though he mentions the thing hasn't had an administrator in several years.

Also, a recent post on WFMU's Facebook page said, "Social micro posts have killed blogs, more or less, but there is great reading and strange truth to be found on the blog archives. Also lots and lots of links to great audio."

So, thanks Twitter! Perhaps WFMU should start a new feed called "Beware the Tweet."

To commemorate the passing of Beware, I'm just going to post a few links to some of my favorite music posts.

* One of coolest was a post about "Country Fuzz" -- the use of fuzz-tone guitars in the 1960s and '70s. Some of the best-known country stars of that era -- Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Waylon Jennings, (who sounds outright grungy on this one),  Wanda Jackson -- all went fuzzy for a while back then. Greg G, who posted this credits Nashville cat Grady Martin for inventing fuzztone -- with the help of a malfunctioning channel on the control board --  during a Marty Robbins recording session in 1960.

Here's one of the later examples of country fuzz featuring Webb Pierce:

* Speaking of country music, Greg G. also had a post about songs about them women's libbers burning their bras. I've played "Burn Your Bra, Baby" by Benny Johnson many times on the Santa Fe Opry. But there actually are TWO songs by that title, the other being the one by a ventriloquist named Alex Houston and his dummy, Elmer. It'll be worth your while to read the post, which unveils a woman's bizarre conspiracy claim that Alex Houston hypnotized her into becoming part of a government cocaine smuggling ring. It's not clear what role Elmer played in the conspiracy.

* Beware the Blog regular Bob Purse (a musician I wrote about in my very first Wacky Wednesday last year)  is fond of "vanity records" -- self-financed recordings by amateur singers. This is a recent one by a guy named Scotty Scott. Purse posted both the A-side,  "Chattanooga, Nashville, Battlecreek Trek" (my favorite) and the B-side  "Antique Hunter's Craze." The first song includes some real poetry: "One man gets a job, then his brother gets one, too / Then his Uncle Bob, with or without a shoe."

* Back in 2008 Beware had an entire series of posts about Fake Beatles bands. One of my favorites was the one about The Beagles, a short-lived Saturday morning cartoon about a group of rock 'n' roll canines.

Another post in the Fake Beatles series featured a bunch of advertising jingles for Hoagiefest -- a convenience store's big sale sale on hoagie sandwiches.

So the bad news is that there will be no new posts -- no fake Beatles or weird vanity records or anti-feminist rants -- on Beware of the Blog.

But the good news is that Freedman promised: We will keep every single post up here for all of eternity, and someday, WFMU may resume online publishing. 

And you can still find plenty of crazy sounds over at WFMU's Rock & Soul Ichiban (which has its own 24-hour online stream for rockabilly, soul, R&B, garage, surf and hillbilly music.)


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