Monday, May 30, 2016

Suitable for any Memorial Day BBQ: the latest BIG ENCHILADA episode!


Greetings, out there in podland,  the 96th exciting episode of The Big Enchilada is here, so weep no more. We have wild new sounds from He Who Cannot Be Named, Alien Space Kitchen, Sex Hogs II,  San Antonio Kid, a couple of Swedish bands, Rattanson and Fezz, classic punk rock from The Germs, The Eyes and Skull Control, a strange ditty from rockin' Rod McKuen and to celebrate episode 96, some sweet sounds from the 9,696-year-old Perfect Master himself, Question Mark (and the Mysterians).


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Honey Rock by Barney Kessel)
96 Lagrimas by Los Shains
"8" Teen by Question Mark & The Mysterians
Losing My Mind by Alien Space Kitchen 
MDManne by San Antonio Kid
Wandering Black Hole by Rattanson
I Dig Her Wig by Rod McKuen

(Background Music: Banshee by The Derangers)
Lovedoll by He Who Cannot Be Named
Pigtails by Sex Hogs II 
Magma by The Scrams
Demolition Man by Skull Control
Ugly by SA90
I'm Your Witchdoctor by The Chants
Around and Around by The Germs

(Background Music: Straitjacket by Bill Haley & The Comets)
Fezzalized by Fezz
I Want You to Be My Baby by Grace Chang
Kill Your Parents by The Eyes
Hellbound by Sinners
There's a UFO Up There by Travis Wammack
Money Changes Everything by Ought
(Background Music: 96 Tears (en Espanol) by  Question Mark & The Mysterians)

Play it below:

Sunday, May 29, 2016


Sunday, May, 2016 
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
Losing My Mind by Alien Space Kitchen
Kill Your Parents by The Eyes
One More Time by He Who Cannot Be Named
Top Secret by KAOS
Family Fun Night by Figures of Light
Hoochie Coochie Man by New York Dolls
Ruby's Old Time by The Fleshtones
Wandering Black Hole by Rattanson
Prodigal Son by Rev. John Wilkins (Live at Scott's Pottery Gallery, Arroyo Seco, June 8)

MDManne by San Antonio Kid
War Going On by Sulphur City
Speed Freak by Stomachmouths
Hot Stumps by Skull Control
Fezzalized by Fezz
In Hell by The Monsters
I Dig Her Wig by Rod McKuen

Take Me to Our Place by Jonny Manak & The Depressives
Round and Round by The Germs
Pigtails by Sex Hogs II
My Shadow by Jay Reatard
Don't Send Me Flowers I Ain't Dead Yet by Reigning Sound
Boys in the Wood by Black Lips
Rockin' Bones by The Cramps
Shakin' All Over by Flamin' Groovies
96 Tears by Question Mark & The Mysterians

Money Changes Everything by Ought
Lemmy by The Come n' Go
Brother, My Cup is Empty by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
This One's from the Heart by Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, May 27, 2016


Friday May 27, 2016
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
He Ain't Right by Legendary Shack Shakers
Tryin' to Forget the Blues by Porter Wagoner
Shave 'em Dry by Asylum Street Spankers
Keep Your Mouth Shut by Beth Lee & The Breakups
The Government Road by Del McCoury Band
Soldier of the Cross by Ricky Skaggs
Ricky Skaggs Tonight by Will Rigsby
It's an Old Southern Custom by Ukulele Ike 
Transfusion by He Who Cannot Be Named

He'll Have to Go / Okie From Muskogee by Leon Russell (Live at Lensic June 4)
Vengeance Gonna Be Mine by Slackeye Slim 
Born in Jail by Scott H. Biram
All My Rowdy Friends Have Settled Down by The Supersuckers
Fist City by Loretta Lynn
I'm the Man Who Rode the Mule Around the World by Charlie Poole
Wrong John by Jim Stringer

Catch Me a Possum by The Watzloves
Daddy Got Bit by a Rapid Possum by Angry Johnny & GTO
Possum Man by The Brothers Covelle
Carve that Possum by Southern Culture on the Skids
Sarah Jane by Robbie Fulks
Skip a Rope by Dallas Wayne
Everybody Out by Al Scorch
Making Believe by Wanda Jackson
Ride by Wayne Hancock (Live at Skylight June 3)

My Idaho Home by Carolyn Mark
No Paddle Wheel by Jaime Michaels (Live at San Miguel Mission June 11)
I Just Can't You Say Goodbye by Willie Nelson
Sad Songs and Waltzes by Ernest Tubb
Crossing Muddy Waters by John Hiatt
Lonesome Whistle Blow by The Blues Against Youth
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNEUP: From the Current Crop of Garage-Punk Madness

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
May 27, 2016

Here are a bunch of albums in the garage, punk, crazy rock vein that I’ve been enjoying lately. What?
You’ve never heard of any of these bands? That’s why I included links. Click them. Educate yourselves. Broaden your horizons. Dare to explore ...

* My Degeneration by He Who Cannot Be Named. If Los Straitjackets are the golden, heroic, baby-faced luchadores of rock ’n’ roll, then He Who Cannot Be Named is the villainous, rule-breaking hair-pulling, eye-gouging heel.

After all, he’s a founding member of the Dwarves, veteran spunk-rockers best known for album covers featuring images with naked women crucifying a midget, and for getting kicked off Sub Pop Records at the peak of the great grunge scare for creating a hoax in which they claimed He Who had been killed in a knife fight. You know, my kind of band.

So on He Who’s latest solo record, the veteran guitarist (who never has revealed his real name) sings sweet praises to a blow-up rubber sex partner (“Lovedoll”) and a touching 1950s-edged ode to necrophilia (“One More Time”). Santa Fe’s own Gregg Turner has also explored this theme.

One of my favorites is a song that doesn’t contain any overt perversity. It’s the album opener, a rousing tune in which the singer declares he’s better than you, smarter than you, richer than you. It’s almost certainly a jab at snobs. But it’s more fun if you assume He Who Cannot Be Named really means it and expects you to bow to his superiority.

Like his mothership band, He Who has plenty of good old-fashioned rowdy punk songs, several of which are addictively melodic. But he also branches out musically. “Transfusion” and “Beautiful Disease” feature a banjo, reminding me a little of the late Tommy Ramone’s “bluegrass” band, Uncle Monk. And on “Our Sacred Hate,” there is a screechy fiddle that suggests Celt-punk. Dropkick Murphys or The Tossers would do good versions of this.

* Part I  by Sex Hogs II. Just a few years ago there was a bitchen little garage band in Albuquerque The Scrams. I never got to see them live — and in fact, I hadn’t even heard of them until several years ago when I was listening to a podcast by a crony, in which he played a Scrams song, called me out by name, and basically ordered me to love them. That wasn’t hard. They were great.

Unfortunately The Scrams are no more. But just a few weeks ago, former Scramster Nate Daly, who contacted me to tell me about his new band Sex Hogs II. (I’m not sure what happened to Sex Hogs I.) These feral Hogs sound a lot like the long-lost Scrams.

It’s raw straightforward garage-rock fun — “Blood in the Dirt,” “Want Some,” and “I Object” being fine high-octane boppers. But these guys are capable of pulling off slower tunes as well, such as “Sacrifice.”

I actually was surprised to learn that Sex Hogs II is a duo. They produce a pretty full sound for just two guys. The members are identified only as “Guitar Hog” and “Drum Hog” (Daly, I presume. He was the drummer for The Scrams.). “Bass Hog” joins them on one tune and, even better, “Sax Hog” plays on two others.

One of those, “Pigtails,” is, for the moment at least, my favorite tune on this record. It sounds like some kind of early ’60s rock ballad — or maybe a powerful Reigning Sound tune. I’m not sure which Hog is singing, but he pours his guts into it. And Sax Hog earns his slop on this one. (I’m a sucker for a sax on punk songs, so let’s have a moment of silence for former Stooge Steve Mackay, who died last October.)

And speaking of Reigning Sound, the only nonoriginal song here is an inspired cover of the Greg Cartwright-penned “Drowning,” which first appeared on RS’s album Too Much Guitar! Like they do on “Pigtails,” the Hogs give this one a lot of heart and soul.

* Apprentice by The Blues Against Youth. This is a one-man band from Italy, that one-man being a Roman guy named Gianni TBAY. (TBAY. Think about it.)  He sings and plays guitar (lots of slide!) and drums. His sound is reminiscent of American one-man bands like Scott H. Biram and John Schooley, with both country and blues roots and a D.I.Y. punk-rock sensibility.

This album starts off with a slow and purdy blues instrumental called “Keep It Goin’.” At just over a minute long, however, this really is just an invocation to the blues spirits.

The faster-paced “Medium Size Star Bound” is the real opener. It features some tasty picking and lyrics about career frustration (“Medium size star bound/They can make you drown/Turn you upside down/But they can’t take your heart.” And in the middle, where you might expect a guitar solo, Gianni gives us a whistle solo. No, it’s not played on a whistle instrument — he actually whistles a melody. Truly whistling is a lost art in rock ’n’ roll.

One of my favorites here is “Got Blood in My Rhythm,” a jaunty number that would work for either the Rolling Stones (Exile on Main St.-era) as well as Dinosaur Jr. And did I say something about country roots? There’s a stunning cover here of one of Hank Williams’ saddest songs, “I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow.”

The album’s most impressive number is the title song, a seven-minute hard, gritty blues. Coming from out of nowhere, there’s an electric organ solo that’s nothing short of spooky. I’m not sure if this is Gianni or another musician. All I know is that it works.

It's video time"

HeWho goes country

And here's another mellow song

Here is some live Blues Against Youth

And when I searched for "Sex Hogs" on Youtube, I only found animal husbandry videos. But here is one of their songs you can listen to:

Thursday, May 26, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Covering Bob, From Buck Owens to Ministry

He's been singing, writing and recording songs for more than 50 years, And now Bob Dylan has turned 75, That happened just this week, on Tuesday, May 24.

Happy Birthday, dear Zimmy.

So in honor of one of the most covered songwriters in modern history, here's a wide variety of artists singing songs of Bob.

While most of the musical acts below are not obscure by any means, these Dylan covers aren't that well known. (Except maybe one. But you'll have to read on.)

Dylan has been covered by rock bands, soul singers, blues belters, country musicians, lounge crooners, traditional Irish bands and probably Tuvan throat singers and  Norwegian marching bands.

I actually didn't find any of the latter. If I ever do, you know I'll post them.

Here is Nick Cave mutating a song Dylan wrote for Johnny Cash, "Wanted Man."

In 1974 Tina Turner changed "She Belongs to Me" into "He Belongs to Me" on her first solo album, Tina Turns the Country On. She also did another song on that album, "Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You."

The industrial rock group Ministry also went country -- well, not really -- with this tune from Dylan's Nashville Skyline. 

Buck Owens stumbled over the line about "ceremonies of the horsemen," but he sings it straight from the heart.

Dylan is a favorite of the Golden Throats -- Telly Savalas singing "I Shall Be Released," Eddie Albert blowing "Blowing in the Wind" and of course William Shatner's game-changing take on "Mr. Tambourine Man." But my favorite is "It Ain't Me Babe" as performed as a spoken word piece by Sebastian Cabot's (He was "Mr. French,' the butler in the '60s sitcom Family Affair.)

Sebastian starts off as if he's nursing the hangover of his life ("Go away from my window!") and ends up sounding like a third rate villain taunting some poor hostage. Enjoy.

Unlike the others here, this song actually was a minor hit of sorts -- at least I remember WKY in Oklahoma City playing it -- by a vocal group calling itself "The Wonder Who." But nobody wondered very long. Everyone figured out that it was The Four Seasons with Frankie Valli in hyper-drive falsetto. Many say Frankie did it as a joke. If so, it was a cruel joke ...

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday, Wesley Willis

It's just a few days until Wesley Willis' birthday. He would have been 53 next Tuesday.

Willis was a large man from Chicago who suffered from schizophrenia. He was one of the monsters of outsider music. He was not talented in the conventional way but his songs were direct, sincere, often hilarious and frequently touching.

He'd recite his lyrics over tacky, pre-programmed Casio-type electronic keyboard riffs.

Jello Biafra, the former Dead Kennedys singer who released his work on his Alternative Tentacles records label, published this eulogy when Willis died in 2003:

As I got to know Wesley, what really struck me was his sheer will power, his unrelenting drive to succeed and over come a horrifically poor background, child abuse, racism, chronic schizophrenia and obesity among other things. He was the most courageous person I have ever known. Yet through it all he had such a deep, all-encompassing love of life. Little things, big things. He loved bus rides. He loved watching trains. He loved writing songs about how much he loved his friends. He loved travelling to new towns so he could headbutt new friends. Is there any band he saw that escaped being in their own song about how much he loved their show? He was so warm, so sweet, so giving. He could be a handful when he came to visit; but as soon as he left, we'd miss him immediately.

Let's honor Wesley with a few of his songs. One the first couple, he talks about his mental condition.

Many of his songs were set on buses.

Some of his themes were pure fantasy.

Before he confined himself to Casio accompaniment, Willis had a punk band, The Wesley Willis Fiasco.

Many of Willis' songs were tributes to musicians and/or celebrities he liked. Kurt Cobain and Oprah Winfrey were among those to receive the Wesley treatment. So was Jello Biafra,  In this song, Willis declares: "You are a good punk rocker / You are a singing maniac / You can really sing your ass off to the max / You are a good person  ..."

Though Willis might have whipped Spiderman's ass, Gingerman knocked him out.

Rock over London, rock on Chicago ... Winston tastes good like a cigarette should ...

Sunday, May 22, 2016


Sunday, May 22, 2016 
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 
It's Not My Way by The Monsters
Lovedoll by HehoCannotBeNamed
I'm a Spaz / Fuck the World by The Spastics
Don't Talk to Me by The Eyes
Wandering Black Hole by Raatanson
Cosmic Debris by Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention
Monster Stomp by Cool Jerks
Four on the Floor by The Gears
Blasting Through by Alien Space Kitchen
Booted by Rosco Gordon

Who Stole the Kiska by The Polkaholics 
Today Sometime by The Come n' Go
Dimples by The Animals
Who Do I Have to Kill to Get Out of Here by The Bonnevilles 
I Object by Sex Hogs II
Blew My Speakers by The Angel Babies
Ballad of Jimmy Tanks by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
You're Not Blank by The Dils
Bad Boy by Larry Williams

Apprentice by The Blues Against Youth
Smells Like Bad Nirvana by Skull Control
Smells Like Nirvana by Weird Al Yankovic
Round and Round by The Germs
Hellhound by Sinners
Make You Mine by Black Lips
I'm a Trash Man by Deke Dickerson & The Trashmen
Poor Dog (Who Can't Wag His Own Tail) by Little Richard
Do the Clam by The Cramps

Gypsy Son by Javier Escovedo
Do You Love Me by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Big Legged Mamas Are Back in Style by Taj Mahal
Meet Me in the Graveyard by Andre Williams
Brick by Brick by Iggy Pop
Curtain Falls by Bobby Darin
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Sunday, May 22, 2016
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
8 am to 10 am  Sundays Mountain Time
Substitute  Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's the playlist :

Welcome Table and Prayer by Alice Wine
Run to Jesus for Refuge by Charles Barnett
My Wonderful Counselor by The Davis Sisters
Woke Up This Morning with Jesus on My Mind by Roosevelt Graves & Brother
He's a Mighty Rock by The Joy Harmonizers
Old Gospel Ship by Ruby Vass
Do You Call That Religion by Rev. A. Johnson
The Very Same God by The Silver Leaf Quartet
I'm a Soldier by The Original Blind Boys of Mississippi

Down by The Riverside by Snooks Eaglin
On the Rock Where Moses Stood by The Carter Family
What a Mother Can Do by Rev. Lonnie Farris
I Wish I Was in Heaven by Mississippi Fred McDowell, Denise Gardner & Mattie Gardner
You Ought to Been There by The BC Harmonizers
Two Little Fishes by Rev. Louis Overstreet
Milky White Way by The Trumpeteers
He Won't Deny Me by The Swan Silvertones
Jesus on the Mainline by James Shoter & Viola James

I Wish I Could Shimmy Like My Sister Kate by Hoosier Hotshots
Tired Chicken Blues by Cannon's Jug Stompers
Bye Bye Policeman by Jim Jackson
Johnny Goodwin by Bull Mountain Moonshiners
Nine Pound Hammer is Too Heavy by The Monroe Brothers
How Can You Have the Blues by Georgia Tom & Kansas City Kitty
Mississippi Bollweevil Blues by The Masked Marvel
Dope Head Blues by Victoria Spivey
Bed Bug Blues by Gov. Jimmie Davis

Sounder Medley by Taj Mahal
The Bum Hotel by Uncle Dave Macon
Cocaine by Dick Justice
Jimbo Jambo Land by Shorty Godwin
My Little Bimbo Down on the Bamboo Isle by Frank Crumit
She's in the Graveyard Now by Earl McDonald's Original Louisville Jug Band
That Nasty Swing by Cliff Carlisle
Keep it Clean by Charley Jordan

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Friday, May 20, 2016


Friday, May 20, 2016
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
The Fool by Zeno Torado & The Boney Google Brothers
Rocket in Your Pocket by Jenny & The Steady-Gos
How Cold Hearted Can You Get by Hank Thompson
Johnson to Jones by The Waco Brothers
I Don't Know How This Story Ends by Dave Insley
Much Too Young For Love by Barney Burchum
Wouldya Wanna by Beth Lee & The Breakups
Jump in the River by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Billy the Kid by Ry Cooder
Katy Kay by Robbie Fulks

Frankie & Albert by Taj Mahal with the Pointer Sisters
Wasted Mind by Danny Barnes
Hey Bartender by Dan Hicks & The Hot LIcks
Rose Connoly by Peter Case
Me and Rose Connoly by Rachel Brooke
Whispering Sea by Loretta Lynn
Sweet Sweet Young 'un by Al Duvall

All songs by GC except where noted

Cold Dog Soup
Randall Knife
Baton Rouge by Bill Hearne
Homegrown Tomoatos
Tornado Time in Texas
The Cape by Asleep at the Wheel
Heartbroke by Ricky Skaggs
Bunkhouse Blues

Queenie's Song by Terry Allen
Baby Took a Limo to Memphis
Talk is Cheap by Don Williams
L.A. Freeway by Jerry Jeff Walker
Out in the Parking Lot 
One Hell of a Guy by Chip Taylor with Guy Clark

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, May 19, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Blood on the Old Banjo

I'm in the mood for some musical bloodlust ... in the folk tradition.

Here's a handful of proud old traditional songs that deal in senseless violence, mayhem, misogyny and murder.

Songs that make you proud to be an American.

Let's start out with "Wild Bill Jones" as performed by a gent named Frank Proffitt, a Tennessee banjo picker who is credited with popularizing another great murder ballad, "Tom Dooley."

Bluesman King Solomon Hill sings "Whoopee Blues," a grim little threat to a woman who done him wrong.

"Tell me you been gone all day, that you may make whoopee all night; / I'm gonna take my razor and cut your late hours / You wouldn't think I'd be servin' you right ..."Devil's got 90,000 women, he just need one more..."

"Delia's Gone" is normally associated with Johnny Cash. But the song goes back at least to 1900, when 14-year-old Delia Green was murdered by her 15-year-old boyfriend in Savannah, Georgia. This is a calypso version by Bahama-born Blake Alphonso Higgs, also known as "Bind Blake' (Not to be confused with the American Arthur "Blind" Blake.)

And this is one that I know best by The Everly Brothers and, later, Peter Case. But like the others here, "Down in the Willow Garden" goes back much further. One weird little "folk process" things about this song: In many versions, including the one below by Charlie Monroe, the singer says he had a bottle of burgandy wine. But in others, like The Everlys' it's "burglar's wine." Somehow that seems more evil and mysterious.

This next one goes back centuries to the British Isles. It's the tale of a psyhotic killer, a baby murder infact. This grim little tale sometimes is called "Lamkin" sometimes Lambkin' and numerous variations thereof. Sometimes the villain is a stone mason who was stiffed for payment by some nobel. Lankin takes revenge on helpless members of the rich guy's family, aided by a "false nurse." The most memorable lyrics; "We will pinch him, we will break him, we will stab him with a pin ..."
When I first heard back in the '70s, it was "Long Lankin" and was performed by the British folk rock band Steeleye Span. This is a 2004 performance by Steeleye.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Rock the White House

Tired of all those usual politicians running for presidents?

Do you find yourself wishing that the current crop of candidates just had a little more rock 'n' roll in them?

Well here's a look back at some campaigns that never were -- but maybe should have been -- involving rock stars who in reality chose not to run.

I mean really, Lou Monte, why would a King run for president?

The Young World Singers back in 1964 didn't care that Richard Starkey, as a British citizen, could not serve as president.

Back in 2008 a DJ called DJ Kool Kid mashed up some Marvin Gaye and created a campaign theme for Snoop Dogg.

There have been several attempts to draft Willie Nelson for a White House run. Here's a 2012 effort by the Peter Dawson Band

I've seen this somewhere before ...

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Sunday, May 15, 2016 
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
Rock a Go Go by Alien Space Kitchen
My Family by Jay Reatard
Want Some by Sex Hogs II
Pedigree Scum by Demented Are Go
Mama Look at Sis by The Oblivians
Baby Let's Play House by Arthur Gunter
Erotica Laguna Lagurna by The Bonnevilles
Can't Find Pleasure by Thee Mighty Caesars
The Land of Milk and Pony/ Move Your Arse by A Pony Named Olga
Facebook Troll / No Xmas for John Quay by The Fall 

Treat Her Right by The Bluebonnets
Around and Around by The Flamin' Groovies
Rat's Nest by The Gories
Pockets by Sulphur City
Yes I'm Down by Coachwhips
Burn to Breath by Night Beats
Lexicon Devil by The Germs
Hang On by The Gears

Duct Tape Love by HeWhoCannotBeNamed
The Got the Rock in My Underpants by Lightning Beat Man
She's My Witch by The Monsters
Rambling Man by San Antonio Kid
Dirty Traveler by Lonesome Shack
You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover by The Sonics
Red Riding Hood by Bunker Hill with Link Wray
Got Blood in My Rhythm by The Blues Against Youth
It Came From Beyond by The Barbarellatones

When Doves Cry by Patti Smith
Gett Off by Prince
I Wanna Go Back to Detroit City by Andre Williams
Sean Gibley by King Khan & The Shrines
Enigma by Bettye Stuy
Innocent When You Dream by Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, May 13, 2016


Friday, May 13, 2016
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
I Can't Help It If I'm Still in Love with You by Hank Williams
Guacamole by Augie Meyers with Freddy Fender
East Bound and Down by Jerry Reed
Building Our Own Prison by The Waco Brothers
Everything Must Go by Dave Insley
Want One by Al Scorch
Two Roads by Butch Hancock & Jimmie Dale Gilmore
Call to Arms by Sturgill Simpson

Too Many Rivers by Webb Wilder
Big Train From Memphis by Mary & Mars
Have You Heard the Gossip by Charlie Brown, Jr.
Note to Self by Jim Stringer
Runner by The Yawpers
A Picture from Life's Other Side by Johnny Dowd
Double A Daddy by Wayne Hancock
Catch Me a Possum by The Watzloves
Fishin' Blues by Taj Mahal

Never Come Home by Robbie Fulks
I Hit the Road and the Road Hit Back by Dallas Wayne
I Push Right Over by Rosie Flores
Where I Fell by Hiss Golden Messenger
Baby Rocked Her Dolly by Robbie Fulks
Loser's Gumbo by Michael Hearne & Shake Russell
Roses by Alice Wallace 

How the West was Won by Anthony Leon & The Chain
You Don't Get Me High by Beth Lee & The Breakups
The Bad Wind by Tony Joe White
Downey Girl by Dave Alvin & The Guilty Women
Painting Box by Incredible String Band
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Let Us Now Praise Robbie Fulks (and Sturgill Too)

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
May 13, 2016

Once again Robbie Fulks has graced this troubled land with a seemingly subdued, but actually powerful acoustic album.

Like 2013’s Gone Away Backward, Fulks’ new Upland Stories took me a few plays and more than a couple of weeks before the full impact whacked me over the head. Both albums sound nice and pretty from the get-go — Fulks’ voice has never sounded sweeter and his guitar-picking keeps getting better. But it’s the lyrics that, at least in my case, had to sit with me awhile before they sneaked up on me.

Several of the songs here were inspired by James Agee, who documented the lives of Depression-era Southern sharecroppers in Let Us Now Praise Famous Men (1941). The opening song, “Alabama at Night,” for instance, is about Agee’s trip to the South in 1936. (“The old men at the roadhouse weren’t too polite to stare. ...The camera ’round my neck drew suspicious eyes to me/We were not there to talk, we were only there to see.”)

More pointed is the stark “America Is a Hard Religion,” on which Fulks is accompanied only by banjo and, in the refrain, a fiddle. “Sent to a savage land, mother knows not why/Plant a seed in rocky soil and perhaps to die,” he sings.

In a recent interview with The Bluegrass Situation, Fulks cautioned against drawing exact comparisons between modern poverty and the lives of 1930s sharecroppers. But still, he explains, the song “articulates the harsh life and mind-set of a resourceless person whose body hurts from work, who sacrifices children to war, who can’t hope to change his or her prospects, who takes pleasure in a fantasy of being happier after death, and whose stoic complaints are a sort of art form.”

As he sings in the song, “America is a hard religion. Not just anyone can enter/America is a hard religion. Some never do surrender.”

Not everything on Upland Stories is so heavy. There is sweet, if understated, humor in “Aunt Peg’s New Old Man,” a celebration of an elderly relative finding a new beau. “Katy Kay” is a devilish hillbilly love song that probably would have fit in on earlier, funnier Fulks albums. Here he confesses, “When I see a pretty girl weeping, I run to her and fix it. When I see a pretty girl smiling, I run for the nearest exit.” The song “Sarah Jane” is another love song, this one featuring a melody and fingerpicking evocation of Mississippi John Hurt.

But let’s get back to the heaviness. One of the saddest songs here is Fulks’ cover of Merle Kilgore’s nostalgic “Baby Rocked Her Dolly,” the story of an elderly man in an “old folks” home who spends his time reliving sweet memories of his children, who he rarely hears from these days, as youngsters.

There is nothing sweet or nostalgic about “Never Come Home,” inspired by an Anton Chekhov story, which tells of a dying man who returns to his old family home and immediately regrets it.

“I had scarcely laid my bag down when my misjudgment hit me square/I was welcomed like a guilty prisoner, old grievances fouled the air.” He feels nothing but contempt for a bunch of religious relatives who come to visit, and he silently seethes as he hears family members getting drunk and bad-mouthing him. It’s clear he’s going to die in helpless bitterness. “This land is run down and ragged. I should have never come home.”

Hard religion and hard truths. Upland Stories is bursting with both. It’s heartening how Robbie Fulks continues to grow as an artist.

Also recommended

* A Sailor’s Guide to Earth by Sturgill Simpson. After his breakthrough album, Metamodern Sounds in Country Music, Simpson had to have been under incredible pressure to produce another equally amazing CD. I’m not quite sure whether he’s done that. Metamodern Sounds took traditional honky-tonk/outlaw country and put it through a psychedelic filter. And it worked, thanks mostly to Simpson’s sincere delivery.

Wisely, he didn’t attempt to create "Metamodern Sounds Volume II". While there are scattered psychedelic touches on A Sailor’s Guide, this is a whole new animal. It’s a concept album, a collection of songs dealing with being a new father — that would be Simpson — advising his newborn son on how to navigate the metaphorical stormy seas of this planet.

Sturgill saved the worst for the first.

The first couple of songs on the album prevent me from giving A Sailor’s Guide an unqualified squeal of approval. The first half of “Welcome to Earth (Pollywog)” goes for baroque, sweetened with strings that come off pretentious in a Moody Blues kind of way.

The good news is that on the second half, Simpson’s new pals, the Dap-Kings (yes, Sharon Jones’ band) turn the song into a soul workout. But the strings slither back on the next song, “Breaker’s Roar,” and that initially made me wonder if the whole project was going to be a Kentucky-fried Days of Future Past.

Fortunately not. On the next track, “Keep It Between the Lines,” not only do the Dap-Kings’ horns sound funky, the steel guitar solo is downright cosmic. This song might be one of the finest fusions of country and soul since Al Green sang Kris Kristofferson’s “For the Good Times.”

And there are plenty of tasty tracks here. “Oh Sarah” is a fervent love song that’s perfect for Simpson’s voice; there’s a cover of Nirvana’s “In Bloom” that’s closer to Muscle Shoals than Seattle; and a rocking five-minute “Ball of Confusion”-type protest song, called “Call to Arms,” decrying endless war and idiocy. (“Nobody is lookin’ up to care about a drone/All too busy lookin’ down at our phone.”)

Hopefully Sturgill will continue his experimentation, keeping his feet on the ground and his head in what Patti Smith called the “sea of possibilities.”

Enjoy some videos! First a couple of live versions of Upland Stories songs from Fulks

And here are a couple of new Sturgil videos

(10-15-16 I just noticed that the original Sturgill video I posted here got zapped, probably by Russian hackers. So I'll try this one.)

Thursday, May 12, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Celebrating Hank Snow

Monday, May 9 would have been the 102nd birthday of the greatest country singer to ever come down from the Great White North.

I''m talking of course about Nova Scotia-born clarence Eugene Snow, better known as Hank Snow, whose love for Jimmie Rodgers and early country music helped him escape a life of poverty and an abusive childhood home.

Snow by the mid 1930s established himself as a country radio star and recording artist in Canada, signing up with RCA Canada.

He started being noticed by American country fans. In 1945 he took the plunge and moved to Nashville and eventually joined the Grand Old Opry.

And it didn't take long before he became recognized as one of country music's great.

Snow died in 1999. But his music lives on, so let's enjoy some of Snow's classic tunes, starting with his first single, "The Prisoned Cowboy," released in Canada in 1936.

Here's a song that Elvis later recorded. (Early in Elvis' career he was managed by Snow and Col. Parker. The evil colonel would squeeze Snow out of that picture. Ain't show biz grand?)

Here's the hit:

This song, along with "I'm Movin' On," became Snow's signature songs.

Finally, here's the greatest song about squids in the history of country music. Snow didn't write "The Squid Jiggin' Ground" -- a Canadian named Arthur Scammell did back in the late '20s. But snow was no stranger to this world. He actually worked on fishing boats for several years in his youth.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: More Karaoke Nightmares

Amanda, light of my life

Believe it or not, karaoke is still legal in many states and municipalities. What can you do?

It's been more than a year since my last Wacky Wednesday excursion into the karaoke netherworld. So brace yourself, Bridget, we're going back in.

Trouble ahead, lady in ... orange! This John Legend song never stood a chance against the power that is Amanda:

I understand this guy is banned from Boston Red Sox games. He should call this "Sour Caroline."

[Update, Sept. 2020: Looks like this one has been yanked from Youtube. Here's a substitute:]

Here's Bob & Bev covering A System of the Down. They've got a couple of hundred of these karaoke clips on their YouTube Channel. where their motto is "it's all about having fun, not perfection!!!" And by God, they do look like they're having fun!

Finally, here's a bad "Bad to the Bone" performed by ... The Hamburglar?

Sunday, May 08, 2016


Sunday, May 8, 2016 
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

Motherly Love by The Mothers of Invention
Mother by John Lennon
Automatic Schmuck by The Hives
Today Sometimes by The Come n' Go
Black Sheep by The Woggles
Down in the Basement by The Gears
Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child by Prince

Six Long Weeks by The A-Bones
Zombie Outbreak by Alien Space Kitchen
Rainbow Jackson by Bayou City Beach Party
I Like it Small by Mudhoney
Nowheria by Bungalow Bums
Psych-Out With Me by The Monsters
12 Steps by The Gobshites
Out of This World by Detroit Cobras
Mama's Baby, Daddy's Maybe by Swamp Dogg

White Trash Girl / Throw it In the Trash Can of Love / You Need a Great Big Woman by Candye Kane
Raise the Hammer by Sulphur City
The Tracks by Becky Lee & Drunkfoot
My Dark Heart by The Bonnevilles
How High the Moon by Dex & Crash
California Tuffy by Geraldine Fibbers
Please Don't Go Topless Mother by Troy Hess

Easy Rider by Big Brother & The Holding Company
The Hand Don't Fit the Glove by Miriam
The Community of Hope by PJ Harvey
I Am Fire/ These Sticks by Afghan Whigs
Muriel by Eleni Mandell
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, May 06, 2016


Santa Fe Opry Facebook Banner
Friday, May 6, 2016
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
May the Bird of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose by Little Jimmy Dickens
Sister's Coming Home/ Down at the Corner Beer Joint by Willie Nelson
Do What I Can to Get By by The Supersuckers
Coricidin Bottle by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Somebody Settles Down by The Blues Against Youth
Take Me Back to Tulsa by Pine Valley Cosmonauts with The Meat Purveyors
Her Love Rubbed Off by Carl Perkins
Bears in Them Woods by Nancy Apple
Hesitation Blues by Old Crow Medicine Show

Brace for Impact (Live a Little) by Sturgil Simpson
Time Heals by The Gear Daddies
Wish I Didn't Like Whiskey by Mike Cullison
Luck, Texas by Alice Wallace
Only a Dream by Beth Lee & The Breakups
If I Should Fall from the Grace of God by Deertick
Ridin' with O'Hanlon by R.B. Morris

I Got News for You by Michael Hearne & Shake Russell
It's Not My Baby and I Ain't Gonna Rock It by Rudy Grayzell
Rushing Around by Roy Acuff
Gunter Hotel Blues by Paul Burch
I Am, Therefore I Drink by Jim Stringer
Lonesome Low by Al Scorch
I Just Lost My Mind by Rex Hobart & The Misery Boys
Rain Crow by Tony Joe White

Alabama by Night by Robbie Fulks
Sold American by Kinky Friedman & The Texas Jewboys
If I Go Crazy by Peter Case
Love in Ruins by Jim Lauderdale
Are the Good Times Really Over by John Doe & The Sadies
United Brethren by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, May 05, 2016

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child

Mothers Day is next Sunday. So here's one for those of us whose mothers are gone.

"Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" is a stirring song, a "Negro spiritual"  going back to the days to the days of slavery, the days when babies would be taken from their mothers to be sold to different plantations.

In his book Wade in the Water: The Wisdom of the Spirituals, author A.C. Jones, begins a section about this song, with a quote from a former slave named Harriet Jacobs talking about this horrifying practice:

One of these sale days, I saw a mother and seven children on the auction block. She knew that some of them would be taken from her; but they took all. The children were sold to a slave trader, and their mother was bought by [another] man in her own town. Before night her children were all far away. She begged the slave trader to tell here where he intended to take them; this he refused to do….[for] he would sell them one by one whenever he could command the highest price. I met that mother on the street and her wild haggard face lives today in my mind. She wrung her hands in anguish and exclaimed, “Gone! All Gone! Why don’t God kill me?” I had no words wherewith to comfort her.  Instances of this kind are of daily, yea, of hourly occurrence.

Jones wrote, "To announce in a song that a life event made one feel `like a motherless child' was to equate the pain associated with that event with the extreme torment occasioned by the `daily, yea, hourly' occurrence of mother-child separation."

Jones also argued that "Motherless Child" is the most important songs passed on by the slaves. "... it is probably not coincidental that it is one of a handful of African American folksongs that has survived sufficiently well to make itself known to those with little or no familiarity with specific songs in the spirituals tradition."

The earliest known performances of "Motherless Child" were in the 1870s  by the Fisk Jubilee Singers of Nashville, Tenn. I couldn't find any of those on Youtube (video cameras were plain crappy back then) but here are some of my favorite versions of this song.

Marian Anderson gave it an operatic treatment. This might be her 1945 version.

Mahalia Jackson did a medley of "Motherless Child" with "Summertime."

Skip ahead to 1969 where Richie Havens kicked off the Woodstock festival with this, which he re-titled "Freedom."

El Chicano did it as a jazzy instrumental in 1970.

And just last week my daughter alerted me to this version by the late Prince (with Larry Graham on bass!) As much as I love Mahalia and Richie, this will be be the version I'll always remember.

Note from Oct. 11, 2018: This keeps getting yanked off of YouTube. It'll probably get taken off again, but it always seems to rise again.

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

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy (Belated) Birthday, Napoleon XIV


Yesterday, May 3, was Napoleon's birthday.

Napoleon XIV, that is.

Producer, songwriter and extremely wondrous one-hit wonder Jerry Samuels turned 78 yesterday. Happy birthday Napoleon!

Samuels amazed and delighted a whole generation of misfit kids like me back in 1966 when -- under his nom de goon -- he released his greatest (and of course only) hit "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haa!"

It was a tuneless dirge, a proto-hip-hop number if there eve was one, featuring an instrumental track consisting only of pounding drums and sirens (more than 20 years before Public Enemy!)

We were too young and guileless back then to realize that the 'funny farm" wasn't actually funny in rel life, so we just embraced the craziness.

Though Napoleon seems to be retired, Samuels is still kicking. He runs a talent agency in the Philadelphia area, where you can book magicians, clowns, hula dancers, one-man bands, ventriloquists, bagpipers and more.

Most people who know Napoleon XIV for "They're Coming to Take Me Away." But he made an entire album of loony bin classics. Here are some of them.

I have this strange vision of Napoleon XIV abducting an entire high school marching band and forcing them to perform "Marching Off to Bedlam."

One of his finest, "The Nuts in My Family Tree"

I hear a little "96 Tears" in this one.

"I Live in a Split Level Head" is even crazier than "Take Me Away."

And just for those who missed out on the song that touched a touched generation ...

I did a Wacky Wednesday earlier this year featuring songs about insanity (including  "Aaaaah-aah Yawa em Ekat ot Gnimoc Re'yeht," a backwards version of the above song.) You can find that HERE

UPDATE: 5-5-16 10:31 pm

I got a nice email today from Tom Wilk, a reader and music writer in New Jersey. He actually interviewed Jerry Samuels, I paste Tom's email here with his permission:

Hi Steve,
 Saw your post on Napoleon XIV and it prompted some memories. I was 10 when I purchased "They're Coming to Take Me Away" as a single in 1966. I always remember it sounded great on an AM radio and that the flip side was the song played backwards.

 Around 1982, I got to interview Jerry at his home in Northeast Philadelphia. At the time, I was a reporter at The Gloucester County Times in Woodbury, N.J. It's now the South Jersey Times. I had interviewed Dr. Demento the year in Santa Monica and he told me that Napoleon XIV was actually Jerry Samuels.

 One of Jerry's side businesses at the time was he made roach clips in the shape of a G clef. I remember him telling me that the cops confiscated one of his roach clips but couldn't figure out how it worked so he wasn't charged. He also told me of a formula of how to weigh an ounce of a pot. It was the same as a combination of coins (quarters and dimes, I think. I have forgotten the exact number). Jerry also gave me a copy of a privately produced single he recorded called "I Owe a Lot to Iowa Pot" b/w "Who Are You to Tell Me Not to Smoke Marijuana."

 Jerry also was a songwriter. He wrote "The Shelter of Your Arms," a Top 20 hit for Sammy Davis Jr. in 1964.

 I wrote a feature story about him but the paper decided not to run it because of the marijuana references. I may have still have a copy of the story in my basement. I know I still have the "I Owe a Lot to Iowa Pot." That song is also on YouTube.

Indeed it is, Tom. And now it's on this blog too. Thanks for your email.

Sunday, May 01, 2016


Sunday, May 1, 2016 
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
May Day by Jack Hardy
Keep Movin' by Freddy Cannon & The Gears
No Fun by Iggy Pop
Destino Venus by Horror Deluxe
Alien Agenda by Alien Space Kitchen
Conjure Child by Tony Joe White
Poor Poor Pitiful Me by Waren Zevon
Venice with Girls by The Fall

Ride a White Swan by T Rex
How are USA by Peelander-Z
Bitch Slap Attack by Lovestruck
Funeral in These Streets by Scratch Buffalo
No Cops by The Night Beats
Sticky Hulks by Thee Oh Sees
Diamond Man by Lonesome Shack
The Strip Polka by The Andrews Sisters

Black Dog Blues by Bette Stuy
Incarceration Casarole by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
What Now? By Andre Williams
Voodoo Music by J.B. Lenoir
Every Woman Needs a Working Man by Johnny Rawls
Don't Mess with My Toot Toot by Jello Biafra & The New Orleans Raunch and Soul All-Stars
King's Highway by Sulphur City
Black Shiny Beast by Buick MacKane

Wave Goodbye by Ty Segall 
Isabelle by San Antonio Kid
Way Down in the Hole by Compulsive Gamblers
Time by Prince
Volare by Drifting Mines
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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