Sunday, January 29, 2017


Sunday, Jan. 29, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Love is All Around by Husker Du
All the Nation's Airports by Archers of Loaf
America Goddamn by King Khan
Immigraniada by Gogol Bordello
West of the Wall by Toni Fisher
Evil is Going On by Howlin' Wolf
Let's Burn Down the Cornfield by John the Conquerer
What's the News by Motor City Crush
Legs by PJ Harvey
Melt Yourself Down by James Chance & The Contortions

A New Wave / Dig Me Out by Sleater-Kinney
Fall on You by The Plimsouls
I Love You So Much by Mark Sultan
Killing the Wolfman by The King Khan & BBQ Show
Earth Blues by The Sex Organs
Goin' Down by Dinosaur Jr
I Like it Small by Mudhoney
Not Me by The Orlons

Mazhott by Mazhott
Rag by Ras Al Ghul
Who's Your Buster, Dolly by Dicky B. Hardy
Lost Someone by James Brown
The Claw by Barrence  Whitfield & The Savages
So Much in Love by The Tymes
Celery Stalks at Midnight by Doris Day with The Les Brown Orchestra

Charlie Brown by The Dean Ween Band
Love Like a Man by The Fleshtones
Graveyard by  Sloaming Moops
Cold Feelings by Social Distortion
Slippin' Sideways by Drywall
I Believe in Tomorrow by Tiny Tim
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 27, 2017


Friday, Jan. 27, 2017
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
Take Me to the Fires by The Waco Brothers
I'm Just a Honky by The Ex-Husbands
Babe Be Mine by Butch Hancock
Long Walk by Mose McCormack
I Won't Go Huntin' With You Jake by The Marlettes
Let Me Go Home, Whiskey by Asleep at the Wheel
Yes Ma'am, He Found Me at a Honky Tonk by Miss Leslie & Her Juke Jointers
Keep the Home Fires Burnin' by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
The Cajun Queen by Jimmie Dean

Big Balls in Cowtown by Ike Johnson & His Roadhouse Ramblers
Haunted Honky Tonk by John Lilly
Ain't Got No Home by Sonny Burgess & The Legendary Pacers
Fangs by The Saucer Men
The Race is On by George Jones
Sweet Dreams by Janis Martin
Small Bouquet of Roses by Wayne Hancock
I Will Stay Wtth You by Emily Kaitz & Ray Hubbard

This Old Honky Tonk by Rosie Floses
Commandment 8 by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Fast Fuse Blues by Paul Burch
A Place to Hang My Hat by Porter Wagoner
Dump Road Yodel by Legendary Shack Shakers
Crawdad Song by Washboard Hank
Cheap Motels by Southern Culture on the Skids
Long Old Time by Scott H. Biram
Flora, the Lily of the West by Tim O'Brien

Be Real by Freda & The Firedogs
Marie by Leon Redbone
Give Chance a Chance by Vince Bell
Dreamin' My Dreams With You by John Prine & Kathy Matea
Satin Sheets by Jeannie Pruett
Love Me by Elvis Presley
Nobody's Darlin' But Mine by Hylo Brown
Treasure Untold by Doc & Merle Watson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, January 26, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Happy Birthday Apollo Theater!

Today, Thursday, Jan. 26, is the 83rd anniversary of The Apollo Theater in Harlem. That's the day that Sydney S. Cohen and Morris Sussman reopened the theater, which years before had been a Whites-Only burlesque house.

Cohen and Sussman had a whole new plan though. The Apollo would become a major venue for primarily black audiences and primarily black performers.

According to some accounts, the first actual star to play The Apollo was Broadway singer Adelaide Hall, who starred there in a stage production of a musical called Chocolate Soldiers in 1934. Here's a tune by Hall.

In the 30s, '40s and '50s all sorts of African-American jazz giants played the Apollo. Here's the mighty Cab Calloway performing his signature song there.

And here's the Count of Basie

I wish there was some actual footage of Buddy Holly & The Crickets playing the Apollo in the '50s. (They were part of a mostly black package show.) But there's not so we'll just have to settle for Gary Busey in The Buddy Holly  Story. Reportedly Buddy was the first white rock 'n' roller to play there, though white jazz artists like  Harry James and Woody Herman had played there before.

But for MY Generation, the first performer we associate with The Apollo was James Brown who recorded several live albums starting with the classic one in 1962. Here's a live tune from 1968.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Call Any Vegetable

It's winter and I miss going to the Santa Fe Farmer's Market on Saturdays and eating a glorious bounty of fresh, tasty area-grown vegetables and knowing that when I run out there's always next Saturday to look forward too. (I know it's open in the winter too, but the pickings just aren't that great this time of year.)

So to help bring solace to my soul, I'm offering up this crazy salad bar of songs, songs about vegetables.

This song frequently pops into my head when I'm at the Farmer's Market -- and sometimes even in the produce section of grocery stores.

Frank Zappa & The Mothers of Invention knew that vegetables are good for you. And he knew that a vegetable will respond to you

The Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" follow-up was a song about the iconic advertising mascot, "The Jolly Green Giant." Check out this weird tale about the song and the canned vegetable company. According to Kingsmen guitarist Mike Mitchell says that while some Green Giant executives wanted to sue the band for copyright infringement, the West Coast office of the corporation love the song and actually sent The Kingsmen cans of vegetables to hand to their fans. Mitchell also claims that FBI agents sent to investigate the band over the lyrics of  "Louie Louie". (I dunno ...)

Doris Day sang the most psychedelic lyrics of her life in "Celery Stalks at Midnight."

Celery stalks at midnight
Lurking in the moonlight
What's this funny nightmare
All about
Celery stalks at midnight
Mounted on their broomsticks
Gliding through the treetops
In and out
It's like a bad dream
A crazy kind of mad dream

I've never successfully  grown tomatoes, but this classic from the late great Guy Clark makes me feel like I should start.

Only Johnny Cash could create a religious song about beans

Here's Susan Christie's pseudo jug-band song about onions

I've explained before, this group made me want to start a band.

Monday, January 23, 2017

New Big Enchilada Podcast Makes the Barnyard Boogie


It's the new year already and The Big Enchilada has headed out to the country to bring you some down home sounds -- rockabilly, bluegrass, hardcore honky tonk, western swing, country-rock, cowpunk and more. Kick up your boots, but watch where you step in the barnyard! 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Barnyard Beatniks by Big Sandy & The Fly-Rite Boys)
Daddy Was a Badass by Jesse Dayton
Long Walk by Mose McCormack
This Lonely Bed by The Garnet Hearts
Kitty Cat Scratch by Suzette Lawrence & The Neon Angels
Okie Boogie by Jack Guthrie & His Oklahomans
Merchants Lunch by The Austin Lounge Lizards

(Background Music: Busy City by Rhonda Vincent)
I Ain't Gonna Hang Around by Southern Culture on the Skids
Diesel Drinkin' Daddy by Jason Lee Wilson
Professional Feeder by Reverse Cowgirls
Country Cool by Shinyribs
We Gon' Boogaloo by C.W. Stoneking
Sputnik Monroe by Otis Gibbs

(Background Music: Progressive Country for a Hollywood Flapper by Hank Penny)
Everyday is Saturday to a Dog by Reach Around Rodeo Clowns
I Don't Know by Dex Romweber
Kentucky Blues by David Bromberg Band
Killed 'em Both by Wayne Hancock 
According to Law by Carol S. Johnson
Boxcars by Rosie Flores

Play it here:

Sunday, January 22, 2017


Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Girl (You Capitivate Me) by Question Mark & The Mysterians
Satan on Universe by Satan & Deciples
Roadrunner by Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers
Gunpowder by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Pacified by Soul Scratch
Crazy for Your Love by Charles Bradley
Parked Outside by Afghan Whigs
Hold on to Your Soul by Cheater Slicks

Love Is by Dinosaur Jr.
Little Electric Chair by Iggy & The Stooges
Keep Your Kitten Inside by Dirty Fences
Hypno Sex Ray by The Cramps
It's Suicide by Mark Sultan
Black Plague Blues by Figures of Light
Thousand Forgotten Dreams by The Routes
Power Child by The Night Beats

Where Were You by The Mekons
Hobo by Wet Blankets
Wax Dummy by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Dark Hair'd Rider by Heavy Trash
Jump and Shout by The Dirtbombs
Camel Toe Twist by The Sex Organs
Comb Your Hair by Lovestruck
Wolf by Rev. Tom Frost
It's OK by Dead Moon
Jesus' Chariot by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

Circus by Tom Waits
Bang Bang by Bernadette Seacrest & Kris Dale
What a Wonderful World by Joey Ramone
Land of Hope and Dreams by Bruce Springsteen
Down by the Riverside by Mahalia Jackson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 20, 2017


Friday, Jan. 20, 2017
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
My Dirty Life and Times by John McEuen
Welfare Music by The Bottle Rockets
Harper Valley PTA by Jeannie C. Riley
Burly Kind of Love by Reach Around Rodeo Clowns
Still Around by Scott H. Biram
Tiger by the Tail by The Waco Brothers
Ghost Train by The Saucer Men
Highway Queen by Nikki Lane
Dis Train Am Bound for Glory by The Delmore Brothers

Tell Me Why/That Nightmare is Me/Broke Broom Blues by Mose McCormack
Welcome to the Real World, Kid by Butch Hancock
The Bourgeois Blues by Ry Cooder
You Can't Break My Soul by Little Leslie & The Bloodshots
Knee Deep in the Wakurusa River by Chuck Meade & His Grassy Knoll Boys
Silver Threads and Golden Needles by Wanda Jackson

America is a Hard Religion by Robbie Fulks
The End of the World by Skeeter Davis
Common Man by The Blasters
Do They Dream of Hell in Heaven by Terry Allen
Your Father's Country Music by Jim Terr
Lonesome Wind Blues by Rhonda Vincent
Poison Love by Mac Wiseman
Blue Moon of Kentucky by Elvis Presley
Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning by Willie Nelson

Given to Me by Southern Culture on the Skids
Pastures of Plenty by Cedar Hill Refugees
One Time One Night by Los Lobos
I'll Think of Something by Hank Williams, Jr.
Don't Lie Buddy by Josh White
Wishing All These Old Things Were New by Merle Haggard
I'll See You in My Dreams by Asylum Street Spankers
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, January 19, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Pinecones, McEuen & Mose

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 20, 2017

Southern Culture on the Skids have carved out a niche for themselves as America’s premier rocking hillbilly/surf/hot-rod and sometimes exotica band. Their latest album, The Electric Pinecones, was advertised as the group’s venture into garage rock, folk rock, and psychedelia. Indeed, Rick Miller’s guitars are a little fuzzier on some songs, and there is a weird little keyboard riff on the opening song, “Freak Flag.” And it’s true that the song “Waiting On You” sounds like it could be a lost gem from a late ’60s Roger Corman movie.

But basically this album sounds pretty close to rocking hillbilly/surf/hot-rod and sometimes exotica to me — which is a good thing. Miller, Mary Huff, and Dave Hartman are so good at what they do, it would be a shame to lose them to experimentation for experimentation’s sake.

I believe all these songs would fit in seamlessly in a live set with SCOTS’ classic material. “Rice and Beans,” for instance, would be a nice side for the band’s “8 Piece Box” (as long as you have their “Banana Pudding” for dessert).

Southern Culture on the Skids
SCOTS, all psychedelc in Portland, 2014
One of the standouts here is the song “Midnight Caller,” sung by Huff in the Southern-soul manner she does with songs like Shirley Ellis’ early ’60s hit “The Nitty Gritty.” And speaking of fuzz, on “Dirt Road,” Miller borrows The Yardbirds’ “Heart Full of Soul” guitar riff.

But my favorite ones here are simple country tunes like “Baby I Like You,” and “I Ain’t Gonna Hang Around,” both of which I could imagine Buck Owens singing.

And this band has rarely sounded prettier than they do on “Given to Me,” a country love song featuring irresistible harmonies by Miller and Huff.

This album is named after an old side project in which the SCOTS crew played what Miller describes as “West Coast psych, folk, and country.” Sometimes the Pinecones served as Southern Culture’s opening act.

I don’t care what they call themselves, this is a band that continues to delight.

Also recommended:

* Made in Brooklyn by John McEuen. He was the tall, dark, and usually silent banjo ace with The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. Even as that band drifted into light country pop, every so often a McEuen banjo lick would rise out of the background and remind you that this was the group responsible for Will the Circle Be Unbroken and Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy. 

McEuen has stayed true to his country/bluegrass roots, and his latest album, full of musical titan guest stars, sounds like a living room picking party you wish you’d been invited to.

David Bromberg adds his guitar and vocals all over the place here; John Cowan, formerly of New Grass Revival, sings, as does John Carter Cash ( Johnny and June’s boy). Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin) plays banjo while New York folkie Jay Ungar plays fiddle and Beat Generation jazzman David Amram plays flute and penny whistle.

The first tracks that grabbed me here are two songs written by the late, lamented Warren Zevon. One is a latter-day Zevon anthem, “My Dirty Life and Times,” which he wrote while dying of cancer (“Some days I feel like my shadow’s casting me/Some days the sun don’t shine”). The other is the wicked and wonderful “Excitable Boy” (“He took little Suzie to the junior prom, excitable boy, they all said/And he raped her and killed her, then he took her home”). With singer Matt Cartsonis and Bromberg sharing lead vocal duties, it’s amazing how well this works as a bluegrass tune.

Bromberg shines on a fresh acoustic recording of “Mr. Bojangles.” He played on the original Jerry Jeff Walker version, while McEuen, of course, played on the hit 1971 single by the Dirt Band. McEuen himself takes a rare lead vocal role on a laid-back version of a more unsung NGDB classic, “Travelin’ Mood,” which originally was recorded by New Orleans R&B man Wee Willie Wayne.

* Buried Treasures by Mose McCormack. This album is truly full of buried treasures. It’s a
collection of unearthed songs that go back to 1975, when McCormack, as he writes in the CD’s liner notes, “walked into John Wagner Productions [in Albuquerque] and made a deposit to record a demo tape for an LA record company.”

Thus began a decades-long (and ongoing) partnership between the singer and producer Wagner. The record company in California “didn’t take the bait, but John called me and said let’s search for gold.”

A year later, McCormack, an Alabama native who moved to New Mexico in the ’70s (he’s been living in Belen for the past few years), recorded his debut album Beans & Make Believe at Wagner’s studio. None of the Buried Treasures songs are on it. I’m pretty sure that Mose had forgotten about these early tunes; I’ve been following his music since the ’80s and I don’t think I’d heard any of these before.

But I’m glad he finally released them. Like most of his repertoire, Buried Treasures is mainly good, simple, and pure country music full of wit and hangdog humor. And these early tunes show more than a kernel of the talent that made listeners love McCormack’s music.

My favorites here are the fast-paced, Cajun-flavored “Long Walk,” with some impressive steel guitar (I suspect that’s AugĂ© Hayes) and sweet fiddle, and “Blue in the Ocean,” the story about “a cowboy gone to sea.”

The most rocking number is the last one, “Tell Me Why.” There’s a classic McCormack couplet here: “Everybody’s feeling paranoid/Psychopathologically a humanoid.” Hopefully these and some of the other nuggets on this record will become part of his stage repertoire.

UPDATE 1:30 pm Friday Mose had to cancel his appearance on the SF Opry tonight. We'll reschedule in the near future.

Let's have some videos!

Let's start with that real purdy Southern Culture on the Skids tune I keep mooning over

Here's some Excitable John

This is a sampler from Mose McCormack's Buried Treasures

And here is one of my favorite Mose songs from a few years ago

THROWBACK THURSDAY: This Train is Bound for Glory

When President Obama gave his farewell speech last week, I was impressed by the fact that the song that played onstage was one of the most powerful and inspirational Bruce Springsteen songs ever written: "The Land of Hope and Dreams."

Even though it was just a recording, it hit me far harder than Obama's speech.

What gives the song its power how it draws from an old American spiritual. Well not that old. It had had to come after the coming of the railroad. The entire second part of the song is a re-write of the song "This Train."

It's generally agreed that the first recorded version was made in 1922 under the title of "Dis Train" by the Florida Normal And Industrial Institute Quartette.

Sister Roseta Tharpe had something of a hit with "This Train in the 1930s. But it the '50s, she recorded it with an electric guitar. Here's a live version from 1964 with blues pianist Otis Spann. (Unfortunately, she's not playing guitar.)

It's one of those songs that found devotees among white hillbillies as well as Black gospel singers. Here are the Delmore Brothers:

The train pulled into Jamaica where Bunny Wailer got on board. This was the closing song on Bunny's Blackheart Man, (still the greatest reggae album ever recorded.)

Jazz priestess Alice Coltrane took the train into the cosmos. To the moon, Alice!


But getting back to Springsteen ...

The original song seems to be about who is excluded from the Gospel Train.  Depending on who's singing it, this train don't carry no gamblers or midnight ramblers or liars or crap-shooters or whiskey drinkers. Even Bunny Wailer's train -- while surely having at least one car reserved for ganja smokers -- "only carries the children of Jah."

But Springsteen turns it around and lifts these severe restrictions. The train  in his song is for the rest of us:

This train carries saints and sinners
This train carries losers and winners
This train carries whores and gamblers
This train carries lost souls
I said, this train dreams will not be thwarted
This train faith will be rewarded
This train hear the steel wheels singin'
This train bells of freedom ringin'

This is a message we all may need to hear in the not so distant future. We're all in this together.

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: The Circus is Leaving Town

It's been about 20 years since I've been to a circus, so I can't really say I'm a huge aficionado.

Still, I felt ad last week when I read that The Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus was calling it quits. The final show will be in May.

Now I don't want to get into any arguments with animal-rights advocates. You guys won this one. Go preach on another soap box. Shoo!

I have fond memories of the circus. On the night when President Kennedy gave his televised speech about the Cuban missile crisis, Oct. 22, 1962, my grandmother was very upset and to a lesser extenr so was my mom. Pending Doomsday does that to people. I was only 9 years old and wasn't sure what was going on. But the family had tickets to the circus -- probably Ringling Brothers -- and dammit, we were going! So we did. And somehow, watching the spectacular that night I had a feeling that things were going to be OK.

I love circus posters, surreal circus imagery. Yes I love clowns. I love women in skimpy sequined dresses flying through the air with the greatest of ease. even though the circus showed a world of colorful wonderment, there always seemed to be an undercurrent of sadness surrounding the circus -- clowns who secretly wept, acrobats who might be hiding secrets, ringmasters running a circus of crime ...

So here's a musical tribute to a strange and seedy American art form (though the circus didn't originate in these United States and a high number of performers are from other countries.)

Goodbye Greatest Show on Earth!

Here's a pop song from the early '60s, "Goodbye Cruel World" by James Darren

Here's a goofy jug-band circus by Jim Kweskin's and crew

Bruce Springsteen told a cool circus story in his early years.

"When the Circus Comes to Town" is a sad tune tune by Los Lobos

And I would have loved to have seen the circus Tom Waits talks about here,

Finally, Graham Parker sings a classic circus tune called "The Man on the Flying Trapeze."

Goodbye Ringling Brothers ...

Sunday, January 15, 2017


Sunday, Jan. 15, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Goin' Down by Dinosaur Jr.
Goo Goo Muck by The Cramps
Orgasms by The Sex Organs
How to Fake a Lunar Landing by Alien Space KItchen
Too Much of You by Thee Fine Lines
War Going On by Sulphur City
Little Miss Hard of Hearing by The Mobbs
Hard Working Man by Jonah Gold & His Silver Apples
Broken Arms by Mark Sultan

Book of Alpha by Satan & The Deciples 
Starry Eyes by Roky Erikson with Lou Ann Barton
Kremlin Dogs by Gregg Turner
Froggy by The A-Bones
Sunglasses After Dark by Archie & The Bunkers
Tip Toe Through the Tulips by Bernadette Seacrest & Kris Dale
Dragnet for Jesus by Sister Wynona Carr

Cheap Thrills by Ruben & The Jets
You Don't Love Me by The Dustaphonics
Red Sun by Jerry J. Nixon
Let Me Spend the Night by The Devils
Problematic by Hank Haint
Too Much at Steak by Wet Blankets
Whiskey Wagon by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Cock in Pocket by The Stooges
Big Road by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Big Green and Yeller by Seasick Steve

Heaven on Their Minds by Murray Head
Back When Dogs Could Talk by Wayne Kramer
Disciplinary Action by James Chance & The Distortions
Mighty Man by James Legg
(All You Have to Do is) Die by Rev. Tom Frost
Pennyroyal Tea by Nirvana
Before the Next Teardrop Falls by Big John Hamilton
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 13, 2017


Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
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
Bears in Them Woods by Nancy Apple
Georgia on a Fast Train by Billy Joe Shaver
I Have a Ball by The Ex-Husbands
Be My Ball and Chain by Brennen Leigh & Noel McKay
I Like You by Southern Culture on the Skids
You Make My Heart Beat Too Fast by Buddy & Julie Miller
Love Must Have Psssed Me By by Rosie Flores with Bobby Vee
To Sam by Mose McCormack
Sputnik Monroe by Otis Gibbs

Carny Folk by The Saucer Men
Sweet Baby of Mine by The Satellites
Railroad of Sin by Sturgil Simpson
Four Years of Chances by Margo Price
It'll Be Me by Janis Martin
This Lonely Bed by The Garnet Hearts
Diesel Drinkin' Daddy by Jason Lee Williams
I Don't Know by Dex Romweber
Inside View by Dale Watson

Stephen Foster Tribute
Nelly Bly by Grandpa Jones
Camptown Races by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
Oh Susana by Ronny Elliott
Hard Times Come Around No More by Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Wildebeest by The Handsome Family

Hard Times by Martha Fields
Get on the Floor by C.W. Stoneking
I Used to Love Her by Washboard Hank
Dancing With the Women at the Bar by Whiskeytown
I'll Stand in Line by Miss Leslie
Deliah by David Bromberg
My Eyes by Tony Gilkyson
Last Thing I Needed First Thing This Morning by Willie Nelson
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, January 12, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Celebrating Stephen Foster

One of this nation's greatest songwriters, Stephen Foster, died 153 years ago tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 13, 1864).

His contributions to American song are almost too many to mention.

"Old Kentucky Home"
"Beautiful Dreamer"
"Camptown Races."

If you don't know these songs ... well, just keep reading,

Quoting myself here from  a 2004 Tune-up reviewing a disappointing Foster tribute album, fortified by a couple of other sources:

Though many of Foster’s best-known songs deal with the antebellum South, Foster was born near Pittsburgh, Pa. In 1826. 

He is recognized as America’s first professional songwriter. But despite writing some songs still being sung 150 years later, his final days were spent in poverty, alcoholism and despair. At the age of 37 he committed suicide by slashing his own throat. 

So that would make him the Kurt Cobain of his era. But before that, he was Elvis Presley. 

Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and those who loved them were drawn to the wild and mysterious music called rhythm & blues and mutated it in a new style called rock ‘n’ roll. Likewise, many white musicians in Foster’s era were drawn to the African-American music of their era, turning it into blackface minstrel music. [the tribute album] Beautiful Dreamer’s liner notes describes this music as “the rowdy, racist and first uniquely American form of popular entertainment.” 

Several music historians have noted the sociological similarities between rock and minstrelsy. 

Writer/historian Ken Emerson noted in a PBS documentary on Foster "... it goes all the way back to blackface and minstrelsy before the Civil War. And so in a way rock and roll led me to a long, tortuous path to Stephen Foster because that's where really this interplay and intermix of black and white culture that so defines American music to this day really began."

... Foster as a youth ate up the minstrel songs. While his songs were grounded in European styles, the minstrel element is what made Foster’s music unique and powerful. 

Despite his minstrel-show roots and demeaning racial slurs in some of the songs, Foster had the respect of black abolition leader Frederick Douglass. Said Fred:

"Considering the use that has been made of them, that we have allies in the Ethiopian songs... `Old Kentucky Home, and `Uncle Ned,' can make the heart sad as well as merry, and can call forth a tear as well as a smile. They awaken the sympathies for the slave, in which anti-slavery principles take root and flourish."

And later, W.C. Handy, the “Father of the Blues,” would write, “The well of sorrow from which Negro music is drawn is also a well of mystery....I suspect that Stephen Foster owed something to this well, this mystery, this sorrow.” 

Perhaps Roger Miller said it best in this long out-of-print song. "I think Stephen ws ahead of his time, that's all I've got to say."

And in their song "Wildebeest,” The Handsome Family sang of Foster's lonesome death in a flop-house on the Bowery. (“He smashed his head on the sink in the bitter fever of gin/A wildebeest gone crazy with thirst pulled down as he tried to drink”).

"And the oceans they feed the sky and the sky feeds the earth
And Stephen Foster’s beautiful ghost lay down to feed a song
To feed ten thousand songs echoing cross the wild plains ..."
And finally, The Squirrel Nut Zippers' wonderful tribute "Ghost of Stephen Foster." (Thanks John W. on Google Plus!)

And here's a Spotify list with Foster songs performed by some of my favorite artists, plus a couple of songs about the songwriter.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Satan & Deciples

Perhaps demonic forces led me to this Louisiana band I stumbled across while screwing around on YouTube a couple of weeks ago.

But if that's true, I'm glad they did.

The name of the group is "Satan & Deciples." Apparently they released only one album, 1969's Underground. At first I thought this was just some screwball pyschedelic era psuedo-cosmic garage music, some Dixie-fried version of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown. The "Satanism" here is purely jive, despite some heavy theology in their song "Satan's First Theme."

"Now there's a book they call The Bible.
I ought to sue the writers for slander and liable ..."

Then I learned that there was a secret celebrity among the Deciples. The back cover of the 2012 CD release says:
Too bad Doug Sahm didn't join his pal Freddy Fender in Satan & Desciples

"This cult 1969 release is thought to have been masterminded by hip Latino rockabilly guitarist Freddy Fender. Despite their best efforts to sound sinister , and the sleeve's claim that the band [is] "unbelievable, individual, idealistic," their sole album stands as one of the goofiest garage releases of the period."
And I actually found a little more information from a folklore blog, the University of North Carolina's Field Trip South, which is dedicated to exploring the university's Southern Folklore Collection. (pretty highfalutin for a bunch of dumb-ass Devil songs, no?)  From the Halloween Eve 2013 post:

Just this morning, preservation audio engineer Brian Paulson digitized the Goldband Records master tape of Satan and the Deciples ... in the Goldband Recording Corporation Collection... , as part of our current digitization project, "From the Piedmont to the Swamplands: Preserving Southern Traditional Music."  ...
Not much is known about Satan and the Deciples (aka Satan and Satin’s Roses, aka Satin and the Deciples). The theory we agreed upon in the Rivers Studio accepts that the band rose out of the swamps around Lake Charles, called from eternal slumber to terrorize the honky-tonks of East Texas like so many of the undead. Other more likely theories suggest the band was a novelty project made up of a crew of local bar band musicians that liked scary movies. Considering the Deciples featured one Baldemar Huerta (aka Freddy Fender who co-wrote both tracks on this tape) on lead guitar, the latter theory is more plausible. 
And I found this review on the Bad Cat Records site

1969’s “Underground” is one of those album’s most folks will find thoroughly appalling.  Lyrically, musically, thematically, and sonically it’s hard to argue the point.  To be honest, a bunch of 5th graders could have probably come up with something at least as good.  ... Overlooking the obvious characteristics, this is one strange effort.  About half of the collection recalled Sam the Sham and Pharohs-styled garage rock (had they been forced to play with one arm behind their backs).  With his sing/song vocals on tracks like the crazed ‘Devil Time‘ and ‘Satan On Universe’ the anonymous lead singer sounded like Sam Samudio, or Root Boy Slim after soaking in warm Budweiser for a week. Exemplified by material like ‘Satan’s First Theme’, ‘Ensane’ (sic) and the seemingly endless ‘Book of Alpha’ (and you thought high school science class dragged on), the predominant satanic theme was about as ominous and threatening as a teletubby. Maybe it was just me, but backing vocals that included the phrase ‘he’s the booger man’ didn’t really serve to frighten the listener. 

So have fun, Booger Man. Here are a few songs, and if you want this music for your own, get it on on Amazon (I did!)

This one must be the Deciples'  "Hey Hey, We're the Monkees." It's called "Satan's First Theme"

Here's the "Mummy's Curse," (Mummies are like that, yeah they are!)

And what the heck, here's the whole album!

Sunday, January 08, 2017


Sunday, Jan. 8, 2017
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell 101.1 FM
Email me during the show! terrel(at)

Here's my playlist :

OPENING THEME: Let It Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Big Beat Strong by The Woggles
Madhouse by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Ain't Gobba Save Me by Mad Pilot
Black by The Sex Organs
Wigs Wigs by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Something Better by The Turncoats
Evil Hoodoo by The Seeds
Johnny Voodoo by Empress of Fur
Don't Fuck Around With Love by Bernadette Seacrest & Kris Dale

You Can Be a Fascist by Playboy Manbaby
Repo Man by Iggy Pop
Boom Boom by The Animals
Trudie Trudie by The Gears
Dirty Li'l Dog by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Kicked Out Kicked In by Dead Moon
Ensane by Satan & Deciples
Mask Search by The Fall

Trouble of the World by Dex Romweber
Last Kind Words by Dex Romweber Duo with Jack White
Skylab by The Grannies
Commandment 5 by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
Hallelujah by Churchwood
Mess in Your Mind by Becky Lee & Drunkfoot
You Better Run by Roy & The Devil's Motorcycle
One Ugly Child by Thee Headcoats
Ocean of Love by The King Khan & BBQ Show

The Gypsy by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Campanas del Mission by De Los Muertos
Shotgun John by Hundred Year Flood
I Have Always Been Here Before by Hickoids
Burn the Flames by Roky Erikson
Silver Moon by Rev. Tom Frost
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, January 06, 2017


Friday, Jan. 6, 2017
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
Winterlude by Bob Dylan
Shakn' All Over by Eilen Jewell
The Guitar by Sierra Hull & Justin Moses (with Mac Wiseman)
Good Luck Charm by C.W. Stoneking
Fools Fall in Love by Katy Moffatt
Open Up You Heart by Buck Owens
I Am Therefore I Drink by Jim Stringer
Hoochie Woman by Tony Joe White
Polk Salad Annie by Sleepy LaBeef

I Push Right Over by Rosie Flores
Little Bells by Rosie Flores & The Pine Valley Cosmonauts
Southern White Lies by Martha Fields
Kitty Kat Scratch by Suzette Lawrence
Dog Day Blues by Wayne Hancock
I'm Gonna Miss You by Mose McCormack
Grandma's Behind the Wheel by Rev. Billy C. Wirtz

Commandment 10 by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
John Hardy by Cedar Hill Refugees
Rough and Tumble Guy by Webb Wilder
True Religion by Scott H. Biram
Tall Tall Trees by Roger Miller
Garden of Joy by Maria Muldaur
Big Rock Candy Mountain by Chris Thomas King
Evenin' Breeze by Dan Hicks & The Hot Licks
Banjo Picking Girl by Hazel & Alice

Snowflake by Jim Reeves
Cold, Cold World by Blaze Foley
I Had a Dream by Dex Romweber
Two Angels by Pdter Case with David Perales
Once in a Very Blue Moon by Nanci Griffith
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, January 05, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: The Ones That Got Away Last Year

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Jan. 6, 2017

As is the case every year, there was a lot more noteworthy music released in 2016 than I was able to write about in this column. Here are a few worthwhile albums released last year:

* The Commandments According to SCAC by Slim Cessna’s Auto Club. I’m a relative newcomer to the Slim Cessna cult. I didn’t get indoctrinated into the laws and customs of this Denver band until 2010, when I received the blessings of their stunning album Unentitled. I’ve been waiting five years for a follow-up and was beginning to lose faith. But then, like a thief in the night, a new album appeared in September — and it didn’t reach my ears until a few weeks ago.

This album — 10 rocking, roots-driven songs titled “Commandment 1,” “Commandment 2,” etc. — like their best work, is a deep dive into the myth and spirituality of Cessna and band. As Slim sings on “Commandment 1, “I have earned, earned the privilege/The privilege of complaint/My indignant voice is maturing/From a percussive cough/Thanks to you and the death’s-head moths/Into a maturing rage.”

It’s not exactly clear what this means, but like the other “commandments,” it suggests inner struggles unfolding in an inhospitable world. In “Commandment 6,” the narrator is a horse, forced to jump off a diving board at some carnival sideshow. But in the Cessna universe, even a horse has spiritual yearnings: “I will be a new Greek myth/Archimedes’ Pegasus /Could a horse be a saint?”

My favorite track here, at least for the moment, is “Commandment 5,” which opens to the beat of tom-toms and what sounds almost, but not quite, like Native American chants, and then turns into an urgent rhythm with lyrics about a frantic car ride and gunplay. “Cock your arms and blindly throw the spent shell,” is the oft-repeated refrain.

In all honesty, I’m just beginning to digest the mysteries of Commandments. This could take years.

Carrboro by Dex Romweber. Sturdy and dependable, Romweber has once again has made a top-
rate album with memorable songs that rock and delight.

Recording this time as a solo artist (as opposed to The Dex Romweber Duo, as he did on his previous three albums with Bloodshot Records), Romweber proves his versatility with pretty ballads that show off his crooner chops (the gorgeous opening song, “I Had a Dream,” is probably the best example); piano blues (“Tomorrow’s Taking Baby Away” and “Tell Me Why I Do”); crazy surfy instrumentals (“Midnight at Vic’s,” “Nightride”); and country/rockabilly romps (“Lonesome Train,”  “Knock Knock (Who’s That Knockin’ on My Coffin Lid Door),” and “I Don’t Know”). Meanwhile, the intense, minor-key “Where Do You Roam” could almost be mistaken for a Nick Cave dirge.

And, as he’s prone to do, Romweber plays a couple of standards in nonstandard ways. “My Funny Valentine” becomes an electric organ-led rocker with surf drums. And, accompanied by what almost sounds like a player piano, he performs Charlie Chaplin’s “Smile” like a mad scientist would. I can’t help but smile.

* Rain Crow by Tony Joe White. To hijack a Game of Thrones catchphrase, the swamp is dark and full of terrors. And few, if any, musicians tell these tales as convincingly as Tony Joe does.

“Tell me a swamp story, not like the ones on TV,” White sings in his wizened baritone. “I want to hear about the old saw mill, where the woman went crazy.”

This album is full of stories of bad winds, children of the hoodoo, hoochie women, backwoods bayou crossroads, love gone wrong, and hungry gators. Just about every song here has a laid-back — and swampy — groove embellished with subtle psychedelic guitars.

Since his late-’60s “Polk Salad Annie” heyday, Tony Joe has only grown leaner, meaner, and spookier.

* Gon’ Boogaloo  by C.W. Stoneking. Sometimes I think Stoneking is the Australian reincarnation of Emmett Miller, that great yodeling American minstrel-show/hokum master who recorded “Lovesick Blues” years before Hank Williams did. His latest album does nothing to dispel that suspicion.

Armed with his National guitar, bow tie, and a hot little band, Stoneking conjures up images of secret after-hours vaudeville shows. The lo-fi recording adds to Stoneking’s antiquated aura.

Besides the title song, which sounds like Hank Ballard fronting a rockabilly band, the best tracks here are “The Zombie,” a calypso-flavored dance tune, and the simply lovely “On a Desert Isle.”

* Lords & Ladies by The Upper Crust and The Grannies. This is a split album by a hard-rocking Boston band that dress up like 18th-century powdered-wigged fops and an insane San Francisco punk group that costume themselves like a nightmare version of your grandmother’s bridge club. The two groups toured together last year, which must have been quite a spectacle.

I’ll admit upfront that I’m biased — I’ve been a Grannies fan for a few years now — so when I got this CD I went straight to the Grannies’ section.

Those last five songs are five strong kicks in the teeth, which I mean in the nicest possible way. It’s furious filth that makes you want to joyfully smash things. That’s especially true for the last track, “Skylab," the musical equivalent of being struck by a hunk of burning debris falling from space.

The only disappointing thing about the Grannies here is that there are only five songs. The Upper Crust play a more ragged version of an AC/DC inspired sound on their allotted songs — all live recordings. They ain’t bad. but they ain’t The Grannies. I’d trade the Crusts’ five songs for five more Grannies tunes any day.

The gators won't get these Grannies

Video Time!

Though this live on the radio SCAC video is labeled "4th Commandment," it's actually the 5th.

Here's Dex Romweber singing "Trouble of the World."

Tony Joe White singing "Hoochie Woman" live on the radio

Here's C.W. Stoneking doing my favorite tune from the new album

Make way for The Grannies. Watch out for flying space debris!

And here is The Upper Crust

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Still Clutching her Poor Frozen Shears

As a rock 'n' roller in the 1950s, Bobby Darin wasn't quite convincing. And his "folk-rock" period of the mid '60s was pretty useless as well, as far as I'm concerned.

But in the late '50s and early '60s, Bobby Darrin was a mighty mighty man when he threw himself into the world of big band swing and Sinatra-style pop.

"Mack the Knife," recorded in 1959, of course is the the greatest Bobby Darin song of all time. How could you not love a snazzy, jazzy song about a serial killer co-written by a blacklisted playwrite? (The original German lyrics were by Bertolt Brech with music by Kurt Weill for their musical, Three Penny Opera.)

But the second greatest Bobby Darin song was another one he took from the theater: "Artifical Flowers."

It was from from a Broadway musical called Tenderloin by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick -- who would become famous for another musical, Fiddler on the Roof.

Tenderloin, which debuted in 1960 was about a crusading minister in 1890s New York, and this song tells of the need for some serious crusading. Poor Little Annie, an orphan like that other little Annie, makes a pretty crummy living making pathetic fake flowers to sell on the street.

With paper and shears, with some wire and wax/She made up each tulip and mum/As snowflakes drifted into her tenement room/Her baby little fingers grew numb. ... They found little Annie all covered in ice/Still clutching her poor frozen shears/Amidst all the blossoms she had fashioned by hand/And watered with all her young tears. 

But like "Mack the Knife," Darin turned "Flowers" into an upbeat swing that belied the horrible, melodramatic story and the hideous fate of poor little Annie.

Let Bobby tell this story:

Here is how the song sounded in the actual musical. Actor Ron Husmann sings it. But it don't mean a thing because it ain't got no swing!

Tenderloin was based on a book by muckraking journalist Samuel Hopkins Adam -- a fictionalized story of the battles in the 1890s between the Rev. Charles H. Parkhurst and New York's corrupt Tammany Hall.

But the story of "Artificial Flowers" came from a much older source. It's based on a Hans Christian Anderson short story from 1845: "The Little Match Girl."

Like Little Annie, the impoverished match girl has to sell her product -- matches -- out in the cold streets. And like our sad heroine of "Artificial Flowers," she ends up freezing to death. But unlike Annie, the Little Match Girl is not an orphan. She has a cruel father who forces her to sell the stupid matches and a kindly, but dead, grandmother who comes to her in visions.

Here's a modern re-telling of this heart-wrenching tale:

Surprisingly "Artificial Flowers" has scarely been covered. Austin country singer Cornell Hurd does a great western-swing influenced version on his 2003 album, Live at Jovita's: Don't Quit Your Night Job(Which unfortunately I can't find on YouTube, Spotify or anywhere else on the Weird Wide Web.)

And a British synth-pop group from the 1990s called The Beautiful South did a mopey version. Look for that HERE -- if you feel you must.

But here's a song that represents the natural evolution of "Artificial Flowers," sure to bring you to tears.

Actually, besides the similar title, I don't think this song has anything to do with poor little Annie. But the video is pretty bitchen.

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

Wednesday, January 04, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Korla Pandit's Universal Language of Music

Kolorized Korla
I stumbled on this unique musician via Phil Hendrie's Twitter feed on Christmas Eve tweet:

"Was on @KTLA in the late forties, Saturday nights. Whoever got stoned in those days tuned in religiously"

And there was a cover of a Christmas album that Phil re-tweeted featuring a blue background and black-and-white photo of a mysterious turbanned man sitting at an organ looking as if he were lost on some astral plane.

The artist's name was  Korla Pandit and a quick round of Googling made it obvious why stoners in the '40s and '50s must have loved this guy.

From the Korla Pandit website:
Korla Pandit was TV's first "talking head", except, per mentor Klaus Landsberg's direction, he didn't even talk! Instead he just gazed dreamily into the camera, and into the hearts and imaginations of millions upon millions of viewers over the years, when television was in its infancy and people were captivated by this Mesmerist and his "Universal Language of Music".
Orchids & moonlight, unchained melodies, worshippers from under the water, India's One & Only Song, themes magnetic, played a thousand different ways, all embodied the spiritual and spirited performances of a handsome young man in a turban, a music-box Sabu, he of Indian origin, foreign to American music audiences, foreign to American TV audiences, foreign and yet not foreign at all.

But Korla wasn't from India at all. He hailed from St. Louis, where he was born John Roland Redd. After a frustrating time trying to start a music career, he moved to Los Angeles in 1939 where he began performng as a "Latin" artist called "Juan Rolando."

With the encouragement of his wife, he changed into Korla Pundit, a musical mystic from New Delhi. And by 1949 he got his own program, Korla Pandit's Adventures In Music on KTLA TV.

Korla played his "music of the Exotic East" along with a blend of waltzes, tangos, cha-cha-cha's and other tunes of the 40's and 50's, with even an occasional classic such as "Claire de Lune" or "The Swan" thrown in for good measure. Korla was known for playing both his favorite instruments - the Hammond organ and piano - simultaneously, working the piano with his right hand and the organ on his left. 

Korla died in 1998 at the age of 77. But through the magic of YouTube, his "musical gems from near and far" live on.

Contemplate this:

More than a decade before Dick Dale made "Miserlou" his signature song, Pandit was basking in its mysteries.

Here's one called "Trance Dance."

And here's a sexy Turkish Dance.

And what do you know? There's a documentary on Korla. It aired in October on KOCE, the PBS station in Los Angeles. Supposedly it's suppose to air on other PBS stations early this year.

Korla - Trailer from Appleberry Pictures on Vimeo.

The Cramps dug Korla. Maybe he inspired the introdiction to this classic video


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