Friday, March 31, 2017


Friday, March 31, 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
Back from the Shadows Again by Firesign Theatre
700,000 Rednecks by Nikki Lane
Cowboy in Flames by The Waco Brothers
Still Sober After All these Beers by The Banditos
Solitary Confinement by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Battle of Love by Mose McCormack
Beans & Make Believe by John Wagner 
This Town Gets Around by Margo Price
Fuck This Town by Robbie Fulks
I'm Fixin' to Have a Breakdown by Dale Watson
Y'all Come by Minnie Pearl

Hands on Your Hips by Shinyribs
My House Has Wheels by Southern Culture on the Skids
The Ballad of Thunder Road by Jim & Jesse
Flora, The Lily of the West by Tim O'Brien
Hey Little Darlin' by The Wilders
I Believe in Spring by Eleni Mandell
Sold and Stolen by Stephanie Hatfield
Big Bad John by Jimmy Dean

She Even Woke Me Up to Say Goodbye by Jerry Lee Lewis
Who's Heart Are You Breaking Now? by Don Walser
Cajun Joe (Bully of the Bayou by Doug & Rusty Kershaw
North to Alaska by Johnny Horton
I'd Like to Know by Jo-El Sonnier
Dim Lights, Thick Smoke and Loud Loud Music by John Prine & Amanda Shires
One Bad Shoe by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Wasp's Nest by Ray Wylie Hubbard
Crippled and Crazy by Scott H. Biram

Mercy and Loving Kindness by Jessi Colter
Commandment 3 by Slim Cessna's Auto Club
The Selfishness of Man by George Jones
You Don't Know Me by Willie Nelson
Crazy Moon by Merle Haggard
April Fool's Day Morn by Loudon Wainwright III
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, March 30, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Here's to Seward's Folly!

One hundred and fifty years ago today, U.S. Secretary of State William H. Seward signed a treaty with Russia to purchase what later would become the 49th state for $24 in beads.

Ooops. That was another land deal. Seward agreed to buy Alaska for $7 million -- which was about 2 cents per acre.

But while this still was a huge bargain, opponents mocked the deal as "Seward's Folly" or "Seward's Ice Box" or "Seward's Ice Capades" (Ok, I just made that one up.)

The U.S. Senate on April 7, 1867 ratified the treaty by a one-vote margin.

To celebrate, here's a musical tribute to the Last Frontier.

This is Alaska's official state song.

Here's what ought to be Alaska's damn state song:

Johnny Horton had a knack for Alaska songs

And finally some old fashioned Alaska-centric political incorrectness from Hank Thompson

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday, Eric Idle

Eric Idle, probably the most musical member of Monty Python, turns 74 today.

Let's honor him by presenting some of his greatest songs.

Here's one called "Eric the Half-a-Bee" from Monty Python's Previous Record, their third album released in 1972.

Eric got cosmic in this classic number from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.

The Carter Family's "Keep on the Sunny Side" might have sounded like this had the Carters sung it while being crucified. (From The Life of Brian.)

And we can't forget Eric's contributions to The Rutles, in his guise as Dirk McQuickly.

Here's a sentimental little gem from the George W. Bush era.

And here's a happy little meditation on mortality performed on the Craig Ferguson show in 2009

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BIG ENCHILADA 106: And Their Hearts Were Full of Spring


It's springtime at the Big Enchilada. Birds are singing, bells are ringing and bitchen tunes are sprouting up like poisonous mushrooms awaiting their victims! Plus an inspired tribute to the recently ascended master Chuck Berry. So don't fall back, spring forward to the glorious sounds. 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Garbage City by The Street Sweepers)
Tailgate Party by The Gay Sportscasters with Evan Johns
Fate of a Gambler by Laino & The Broken Seeds
It's Not Easy by Alcoholic Helltones
Kill Zone by James Arthur's Manhunt
Mean Evil Child by The Raunch Hands
(Background Music: Midnight by Hank Levine & The Blazers)

Roll Over Beethoven by The Sonics
Let it Rock by The Animals
Sweet Little Rock 'n' Roller by The Flamin' Groovies
Rock and Roll Music by The Red Elvises
Reelin' and a Rockin' by The Astronauts
The Promised Land by Dale Hawkins
Johnny B. Goode by Lolita #18
(Background Music: My Mustang Ford by Chuck Berry)

Crazy to the Bone by Dead Moon
Apes Live a Life by The Blind Shake
Mojo by Blind Butcher
You Can Be a Fascist Too by Playboy Manbaby
(Background Music: Holiness Dance by The Rev. Louis Overstreet)

Play it below:

Sunday, March 26, 2017


Sunday, March 26. 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
Nutbush City Limits by New Diamond Heavies
Boogie Tale by Laino & The Broken Seeds
The Stranger Rides Tonight by Daddy Long Legs
Funeral by Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Heart Attack and Vine by Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Big Black Mariah by John Hammond
No Pussy Blues by Grinderman
Johnny B. Goode by Lolita No. 18

A Fix on You by Dead Moon
Pizza by Double Date with Death
Circus Freak by The Electric Prunes
Complication by The Monks
Higgle-Dy Piggle-Dy by The Fall
Become A Monk by Modey Lemon
Ways to Get Along with You by Lynx Lynx
All My Lovin' by The Beatles
I Can't Dance by Singing Sadie

The Cuckoo by Big Brother & The Holding Company
Police Call by Drywall
Weakling by TAD
Lava by Brothers of the Sonic Cloth
Down on the Street by The Stooges
I Shot All the Birds by The Blind Shake
How to Fake a Lunar Landing by Alien Space Kitchen
The Other Two by Mark Sultan
Bounce Your Boobies by Rusty Warren

Don't Worry About Me (Opus 17) by The Four Seasons
Stay Lover Strong by Stephanie Hatfield
Up in Flames by Julee Cruise
Still Around by Scott H. Biram
Changes by Charles Bradley
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Thursday, March 23, 2017

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP Scott H. Biram and The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March. 24 , 2017

“I’m here to tell you about something that just might save your life..” 

Those are the first intelligible words you hear on The Bad Testament, the new album by Scott H. Biram — that dirty old one-man band from Austin — right after a few seconds of ambient radio noise and when the first song, “Set Me Free” actually begins. 

I can’t honestly say this album saved my life or will save yours. But it sure won’t hurt. The important thing is, this might be the best Biram album yet.

While it boasts the basic Biram sound — his rough-edged voice over acoustic guitar and foot-stomping — as a songwriter, Biram just keeps improving. He can still rock hard and crazy, the best examples here being “TrainWrecker” and “Hit the River,” a wild instrumental. He’s not afraid to get obscene if the spirit says so, as he proves on “Swift Driftin’.” 

And he has always had a way with good-time drinking songs like “Red Wine.” (One can easily imagine Texas honky-tonker Dale Watson singing this one.) But what Biram really has going for him is a knack for writing downright pretty blues-soaked country songs, and The Bad Testament has plenty of those.

“Still Around” is a minor-key song of a scorned lover, proud and defiant: “Go ahead and throw me down, I might be broke, I’m still around,” he sings. “I’m the weapon in your hand/I’m the stone that drags you down/I am the rock on which you stand/I am the one who hangs around.” The lyrics provide few clues as to what led to the singer’s angry words (“I have never been your friend/I’m just worn down by wind”), but the pain is audible. Plus there’s some pretty fancy near-flamenco fingerpicking in a couple of places here.
Scott H. Biram

“Crippled & Crazy” could very well be autobiographical. Nearly 15 years ago Biram survived an auto accident — a head-on collision with a pickup truck — that basically broke every bone in his body. Those wounds apparently still haunt him, as do others.

 With a sad electric organ adding a little texture, Biram sings of being “crippled and crazy and out of control” as well as being “sober and stupid” and “sold down the river.” On the heart-wrenching bridge he cries, “Calling all angels, all heartaches and demons, calling all lovers that left for no reason, down through the chamber that echoed the screamin’; twisted and turnin’ I just quit believin’ in love.’’

“Righteous Ways,” with its own sweet fingerpicking, sounds as if Biram has been listening to some Mississippi John Hurt. It’s an introspective number on which he yearns for a spirituality he knows he may never achieve. “I struggle all the time in my mind and in my heart,” he sings. “There’s just never enough time for righteous ways.”

But later on the album he makes a stab at righteousness, with “True Religion,” an a cappella tune that goes back at least as far as Leadbelly (and I suspect further). Biram’s probably being tongue-in-cheek here, seeing how the song is sandwiched between crazy religious radio samples. But in light of “Righteous Ways,” I suspect there’s a grain of earnestness too. 

Biram may seem a little bit touched at times, but I think the angels are among those who touched him. 

Also recommended:

 Front Porch Sessions by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band. This “big damn band” consists of exactly three people: Josh Peyton on vocals and guitar; his wife, Breezy Peyton, on washboard and background vocals; and drummer Maxwell Senteney — three people and no more. So it might seem odd to describe this album as more stripped-down than previous albums, but that’s what it is. 

The record wasn’t really recorded on Peyton’s front porch. But it sounds as if it might have been. It could be the soundtrack of a great summer barbecue, where the music is as tasty as the ribs.

There are not as many hard-chugging songs as on most of the albums by this Indiana trio. In some ways, Front Porch resembles the 2011 album Peyton on Patton, which was a solo album in which the Reverend played songs by blues pioneer Charley Patton. 

The new album has several covers of blues greats as well: Furry Lewis’ “When My Baby Left Me,” Blind Willie Johnson’s gospel stomper “Let Your Light Shine,” and “When You Lose Your Money,” which is based on Lewis’ version of the classic bad-man ballad “Billy Lyons & Stack O’ Lee.”

Peyton’s originals are worthy as well. The sweet opening cut, “We Deserve a Happy Ending,” sung with Breezy, is a moderate tempo blues, accented by the Reverend’s slide, about marital joy. “Even when we’re losing, it feels like we are winning,” the couple sing. 
The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band at Low Spirits
The mood shifts with “What You Did to the Boy Ain’t Right,” on which the singer scolds, “I don’t want to fight, but what you did to the boy ain’t right.” It’s never spelled out what exactly was done to whom. We just know the Reverend don’t like it. 

Then there is the slow “One Bad Shoe,” which works an existential metaphor about traveling unprepared, knowing there’s a good chance you won’t make it to your destination.

In the tradition of previous Reverend Peyton food songs — like “Pot Roast and Kisses,” “Born Bred Corn Fed,” and “Mama’s Fried Potatoes” — the final track on Front Porch Sessions is “Cornbread and Butterbeans.” Here Peyton celebrates “eatin’ beans and makin’ love as long as I am able.” It’s a well-deserved feast.

Let's see some videos

First, a couple from The Bad Testament

And now, Rev. Peyton

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Remembering Cindy Walker

One of country music's finest songwriters from the 1940s through the 1950s died on this date in 2006.

I'm talking of course about Cindy Walker.

This little lady from Mart, Texas wrote so many classics it's uncanny.

And still today I'm frequently surprised when I realize that a song I love was one of Cindy's.

And actually it's unfair to pigeon hole her as only a country songwriter. Her songs have been covered by pop, rock and jazz stars as well.

In fact she got a recording contract after pitching a song -- "Lone Star Trail" to none other than Bing Crosby.

As a gutsy 22-year-old on a trip to Los Angeles with her parents, she walked into Crosby's office determined to get the song to Der Bingle. And she did.

Below are several Cindy Walker songs, some well-known, some not so much. Each one is a jewel.

Woody Guthrie's not the only one who wrote Dustbowl ballads. This is an early song by Cindy, ritten in the 1930s when she was a teenager. Bob Wills & The Texas Playboys recorded it in 1941.

Some of Wills' most famous songs were written by Cindy, including this one:

She wrote this singing cowboy tune for Gene Autry. I first heard the version by The Byrds on Sweetheart of the Rodeo.

This Vietnam era recording by Jim Reeves is as moving now as it was in 1966. This is one that was loved by doves as well as hawks. Cindy's lyrics cut to the heart.

Ernest Tubb did "Warm Red Wine"

I recently posted a video of Webb Pierce doing this song, which was a hit for him the '60s. Here's a more recent version by Ricky Skaggs.

She even wrote a song for Spike Jones, "Barstool Cowboy from Barstow."

Finally, this last song probably is my favorite Cindy Walker songs -- and one of my favorite songs in general. I'm still partial to Ray Charles' version from Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music. But Cindy's own version is wonderful as well. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Rusty !

Monday was the 87th birthday of Ilene Goldman, better known in the Free World as Rusty Warren.

She was a comedian and a nightclub singer. And even though she graduated from the New England Conservatory of Music, this brassy broad became the undisputed Queen Mother of what they used call "party records."

Or as she puts it, "I was one of the first loud-mouthed women who would admit we liked sex."

Rusty's off-color, sex-obsessed act managed to sell tons of records--  even though radio wouldn't touch albums with titles like Songs of Sin, Bottoms Up, Sin-Sational, Banned in Boston and -- her most famous -- Knockers Up! 

Here is a trailer for a DVD Rusty was hawking a few years ago:

This one probably is her best-known song. Liberal talk-show host Randi Rhodes used to play it every Friday on her show.

I'm not sure why this video features a photo of busty Asian woman, but who am I to argue?

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Sunday, March 19. 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
Leave the Capitol by The Fall
Who Will Save Rock 'n' Roll by The Dictators
You're Gonna Miss Me by Dog Sahm & Sons
Staubsauger Baby by Blind Butcher
Fate of a Gambler by Laino & Broken Seeds
What They Tell Me by Mission of Burma
I Wanted Everything by The Ramones
On Broadway by Esquerita

Trainwrecker by Scott H. Biram
Corpse on a Roof by The Blind Shake
It's Fun by Lynx Lynx
Coyote Conundrum by Kid Congo Powers & The Pink Monkeybirds
Don't Look in the Basement by The Devils
We Repel Each Other by Reigning Sound
Pony Tail and a Black Cadillac by King Automatic
Hollywood Swinging by Kool & The Gang

R.I.P. Chuck Berry

Hail Hail Chuck Berry!

You Can't Catch Me by Chuck Berry
Around and Around by The Animals
Too Much Monkey Business by Chuck Berry
Roll Over Beethoven by The Beatles
The Promised Land by Chuck Berry
Johnny B. Goode by Jimi Hendrix
Sweet Little Rock and Roller by Chuck Berry
Berry Rides Again by Steppenwolf
C.C. Rider by Chuck Berry with the Steve Miller Band
Carol by The Rolling Stones
You Never Can Tell by Chuck Berry
Brown Eyed Handsome Man by Jerry Lee Lewis
Havana Moon by Chuck Berry
Whatever Happened to Jesus (and Maybellene) by Terry Allen
School Days by Chuck Berry

Something's Broken in the Promised Land by Wayne Kramer
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Thursday, March 16, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Questionable Spawn of Big Bad John

Back before he became known mostly for his sausage, Jimmy Dean was a country / pop singer famous mostly for creating a modern legend in the form of a mysterious coal miner named Big John.

Every mornin' at the mine you could see him arrive
He stood six-foot-six and weighed two-forty-five
Kinda broad at the shoulder and narrow at the hip
And everybody knew ya didn't give no lip to big John

Released in September, 1961 at the height  of country music's "faux-folksong" craze (think Marty Robbins' "El Paso," Johnny Horton's "The Battle of New Orleans," Lefty Frizzell's "Long Black Veil," Bobby Bare's "Miller's Cave," etc.) Dean became the ultimate white rapper with his hip, finger poppin' delivery on "Big Bad John."  The subject of the song was a bigge-than-life Paul Bunyan / John Henry style hero who captured the nation's imagination by selflessly sacrifcing his own life to save his fellow workers in a mining disaster.

Then came the day at the bottom of the mine
When a timber cracked and men started cryin'
Miners were prayin' and hearts beat fast
And everybody thought that they'd breathed their last, 'cept John
Through the dust and the smoke of this man-made hell
Walked a giant of a man that the miners knew well
Grabbed a saggin' timber, gave out with a groan
And like a giant oak tree he just stood there alone, big John ...

Here is Jimmy performing the song on his own TV show a couple of years after it became his biggest hit.

But Jimmy couldn't just leave Big John at the bottom of that pit. A few months later, in January, 1962, he released a sequel about Big John's long lost lover, the Cajun Queen.

But this song just didn't have the same magic. In fact, in 2013, the Cracked website used "The Cajun Queen" to lead off its list of "4 Songs You Didn't Know Had Sequels (That Ruin The Original)."

All that gritty realism from the original is tossed out the window. In its place we get a bullshit tall tale that, if you told it to your grandchildren, they would immediately ask your doctors to up your meds. And they'd be right; clearly you need it.

Basically Queenie has so much magical sex appeal she has the power to raise the dead with her kiss.

Listen for yourself ...

Cracked concludes that "Jimmy Dean should have left poor John to rot alone in the mines, instead of artificially resurrecting him for the sake of a happy-dappy-sappy ending."

Maybe Jimmy agreed. In June 1962 he released a second sequel about the bastard spawn of Big John and the Cajun Queen, "Little Bitty Big John." And it was as if the magical resurrection that took place in "The Cajun Queen" never happened.

But Big John also made a gratuitous cameo appearance in another Jimmy Dean hit, "PT-109" which mythologized the World Wart II exploits of John F. Kennedy, who was president at the time. Check the very end of this song (which actually was released a couple of months before "Little Bitty Big John.")

But that's not the last we heard of Big Bad John or his woman.  Dottie West released this "answer song" in 1964. It's a re-imaging of the Cajun Queen story.

Fortunately the next place the legend of Big Bad John played out in the tacky world of homophobic parody. A guy named Steve Greenberg turned the legendary coal miner into a swishy hairdresser named "Big Bruce"

Similarly, Ben Colder -- the comic persona of Sheb Wooley who was best known for the novelty tune "The Purple People Eater" -- turned the heroic coal miner into "Big Sweet John." Colder's hero not only was gay, but a hippie also well. A real knee-slapper.

A more worthy successor is Hank Penny's 1970 "Big Bad John" inspired song of racial understanding called "The Strong Black Man," who not only saves his fellow minors from a cave-in, but makes the narrator see the errors of his racist thinking.

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

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Rev. Swaggart!

Today is my oldest grandson's birthday. Happy birthday, Gideon!

And he shares that birthday with one of the greatest religious leaders of this era, the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart. Today he's 82 years young. Happy birthday, Reverend!

A few things to know about Rev. Jimmy in case you haven't seen the light:

He's the cousin of Jerry Lee Lewis (also a cousin of country singer Mickey Gilley.)

In the mid '80s he was a leading voice in condemning rock 'n' roll, even Christian rock, as "the voice of the Dragon," a tool of Satan.

In 1988 he made a tearful televised apology for his sins after a rival preacher who had staked out Swaggart's favorite No-Tell Motel and found him in the company of a prostitute who told investigators that Swaggart was a regular customer.

Then in 1991, a cop in Indio, Calif.  pulled him over driving down the wrong side of the road. He was in an unregistered vehicle and (gasp!) not wearing a seat belt. And yes, with another prostitute.

This time there were no tearful apologies. "The Lord told me it's flat none of your business," he said from the pulpit of his Family Worship Center the next week.

We haven't heard much from Swaggart since then. But here is some of his music available on YouTube.

Happy birthday, Jimmy. And many more

Here's one called "There is a River"

Yes, officer, He touched me.

On this one, with the help of his choir and band, Jimmy rocks. Kind of.

Here Jimmy sings a classic by Thomas A. Dorsey. "Precious Lord, Take My Hand." Like Dorsey, Swaggart has a little Georgia Tom in him too.

Sunday, March 12, 2017


Sunday, March. 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
Dizzy Miss Lizzy by The Beatles
Judgement Day by The Pretty Things
Baby Doll by The A-Bones
I Smoke Dope by The Gears
He's Making a Tape by Wild Billy Chyldish & The Musicians of the British Empire
Ded End Street by Urban Junior
Judy in Disguise by Jello Biafra & The Raunch & Soul All Stars
Pinon Lurker by The Gluey Brothers
The House of the Rising Sun by Nina Simone

You Can Count on Me by Deke Dickerson with Los Straitjackets
I Walk for Miles by Dinosaur Jr.
Teenage Thunder by The Chesterfield Kings
She Don't by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Fix That Broken Halo by The Ruiners
Go-Getter by KO & The Knockouts
Price Tag by Sleater-Kinney
Wowie Zowie by The Mothers of Invention

Arrington set
Reog Doom by Arrington de Dionyso & Gal Lazer Shiloach
Witchcraft Rebellion by Old Time Relijun
Mani Malaikat by Arrington de Dionyso
Urge and Urge and Urge by Old Time Relijun
Manticore/Lion Tamer by Arrington de Dionyso & Old Time Relijun
I Create in a Broken System by Arrington de Dionyso'a Malaikat Dan Singa
Arrington de Dionyso will be playing 7:30 pm Monday 7 p.m. Monday, March 13, at Fresh Santa Fe (2855-A Cooks Road; $10). 

Ellegua by Dr. John
Papa Legba by Pops Staples with The Talking Heads
Legba by Malcolm McLaren
The Love We Got Ain't Worth Two Dead Flies by Swamp Dogg with Esther Phillips
Sexual Tension by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Hey Hey by Pat Burns with Cynthia Becker
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, March 10, 2017


Friday, March 10, 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
I'm Home Gettin' Hammered While She's Out Gettin' Nailed by Jesse Dayton
Long Long Time by Guy Forsyth
Piss Up a Rope by Ween
Heal Me by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Bus Breakdown by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Glendale Train by New Riders of the Purple Sage
I've Got the Railroad Blues by The Delmore Brothers
When You Lose Your Monry by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
A Certain Girl by Shinyribs

The Christian Thing by Jono Manson
Sold and Stolen by Stephanie Hatfield
Dog by The Bottle Rockets
Talk to Me Lonesome Heart by Miss Leslie & The Juke Jointers
Wild Side of Life by Charlie Feathers
Cajun Stripper by Doug Kershaw
Righteous Ways by Scott H. Biram
Hard Core Troubadour by Steve Earle
Chords of Fame by Neil Mooney
Sister Kate by Oh Lazarus

Honky Tonk Girl by Eilen Jewell
Lose That Woman Blues by Johnny Dilks
Mama Hated Diesels by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Look at Us by John Prine & Morgane Stapleton
The Ballad of Jesse James by Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan & Chris Barber
Big Iron by Marty Robbins
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence by Gene Pitney
Any Old Time by Steve Forbert

Wasteland of the Free by Iris Dement
West Texas Waltz by Butch Hancock & Jimme Dale Gilmore
Muddy Waters by Nikki Lane
What Does the Deep Sea Say by The Handsome Family
Angel Flying Too Close to the Ground by Willie Nelson
One Dyin' and a Buryin' by Roger Miller
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

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Arrington de Dionyso Comes to NM

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March 10, 2017

Perhaps the most iconic images of folksinger Woody Guthrie are from the early 1940s, showing the celebrated Dust Bowl balladeer with a hand-painted message on his guitar: “This machine kills fascists.”

Avant-garde musician, visual artist, and all-around visionary Arrington de Dionyso doesn’t sound anything like Guthrie. But he’s channeling the spirit of the Okie bard for the current tour he’s dubbed “This Saxophone Kills Fascists.” 

And he’s bringing his show to New Mexico, including a Monday, March 13, performance at Fresh Santa Fe.

What kind of music does this Olympia, Washington, musician play? 

In a recent phone interview, de Dionyso told me he’ll be doing “protest music.” 

But it’s not going to sound like the music of Joan Baez or Pete Seeger or even Rage Against the Machine. 

Singing words that tell stories of injustice and strife in a linear, logical manner, de Dionyso said, is inadequate in a new era in which “the whole idea of objective truth can be manipulated.” Instead, he said the best way to counter this is “when you get into raw emotion connected to a spiritual place.”

He said his music on this tour is inspired by the “free jazz” movement — think Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman — of the late 1960s. It was a wild style of expressive discordant jazz that rose with the Black Liberation movement, a music that de Dionyso said became more focused on “politics and deep spiritual experiences. I’m finding that this is the most appropriate form of protest music,” he said. It’s his way to “confront the current fascist regime.”

On a personal level, part of what sparked “This Saxophone Kills Fascists” was de Dionyso’s own brush with followers of what is euphemistically known these days as the “alt-right,” which sounds so much more hip than an unpleasant label like “white nationalists.” 

Late last year he was “implicated” in the so-called Pizzagate scandal because one of his murals had been on display at Comet Ping Pong in Washington, D.C. — which, according to the conspiracy clowns, is the epicenter of a child sex ring involving some of the most powerful people in the nation’s capital. 

Even though that mural has long been painted over, the frothing conspiracy faithful claimed that de Dionyso’s colorful primitive art — inspired by dreams and mythology, and bursting with sexual energy — is full of symbols of pedophilia and Satanism. Some accused him of making “degenerate art” — a term the artist noted was used by the Nazi Party in Germany in its fight against modern art in the 1930s.

Arrington with the mural not loved by Pepe the Frog
“Pizzagate was a huge trigger for me,” he said. Some of the Pizzagate crusaders not only smeared him as a devil-worshipping pervert, but they also posted information about his family and pictures of his friends and in general did their best to make his life miserable.

At the height of that craziness late last year, de Dionyso posted on Facebook: “I know none of this is about me personally in even the slightest. Right now there are lines being drawn. There is a war being waged against EVERY form of free expression and I think you all know exactly what side of that line I will be standing on. Will you stand with me?”

Born in 1975 to parents who were both Methodist military chaplains, de Dionyso said his was a “100 percent non-musical” family. But it wasn’t an art-free family. His mother, he said, loved to paint and had a “folk-art style” that inspired him. Starting at the age of three or four, he began drawing pictures of dinosaurs, dragons, and wild animals his mom painted.

For de Dionyso, music came later. Beginning in junior high, when his parents moved to Spokane, he became interested in non-Western music from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. “I wanted to hear everything,” he said, which included traditional Japanese sounds, Indonesian gamelan music, and the Master Musicians of Joujouka from Morocco (who were “discovered” decades earlier by Brian Jones of The Rolling Stones).

Of course, most kids his age didn’t share this musical passion. But he found a musical community in the hardcore punk rock scene. Mosh pits seemed like an ecstatic tribal ritual to him.

After moving to Olympia in the early ’90s to attend Evergreen State College, he started a band called Old Time Relijun, which began releasing its music — frequently compared with Captain Beefheart, but less bluesy — on homemade cassette tapes. This group later released nine albums on the Olympia-based-label K Records, which was a leading light back when “alternative” rock truly was alternative. Old Time Relijun lasted well into the 21st century. 

But de Dionyso took a different turn in 2009, releasing an album called Malaikat dan Singa (later the name of his backing band), on which he sang, in the Indonesian language, songs inspired by William Blake and the Zohar.

On his current tour he’ll be playing sax, bass clarinet, and an instrument of his own creation, the bromiophone, a contrabass clarinet made from PVC pipes. At most of his gigs he’ll be collaborating with local musicians. “I’ll have a drummer and maybe another saxophone player in Santa Fe,” he said.

“We have to change ourselves as artists and musicians. We have no choice. It’s a fascist takeover. But there are more of us than there are of them. We need to stop all the infighting as much as possible. All our energy needs to be put to stopping this regime,” he said.

Arrington de Dionyso in New Mexico: He's playing 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 11, in Albuquerque at CFA Downtown Studio (113 4th St., NW; $5 suggested donation); 4 p.m. Sunday, March 12, at Ennui Gallery in Taos (134 Bent St.; $5-$10 suggested donation), and 7 p.m. Monday, March 13, at Fresh Santa Fe (2855-A Cooks Road; $10). 

You can find tons of de Dionyso’s music at
Also, check his visual art at

Enjoy some videos.

Here's Arrington rehearsing for the tour

Here is Malaikat dan Singa live on the radio in 2011

Gimme dat Old Time Relijun

And finally, here is a poem Arrington wrote for the tour


Thursday, March 09, 2017

THROWBACK THURSDAY: The Week My Life Was Saved by Rock 'n' Roll

Bruce Channel, third from right, with some band he met in England in 1962
Fifty five years ago this month, when I was in third grade, I got the measles. That's not a painful memory, I fact the main things I remember about it is the fact that I got to miss a week of school and that I became obsessed with my little transistor radio, which I believe I'd received as a Christmas gift a couple of months before.

No, it wasn't the radio itself, which was about the size of an iPhone, but thicker. It was the strange wild sounds that came out of it at night.

I wanted to know more about these singers who promised a mysterious, magical -- and sometimes a little dangerous world. I wanted to hear what other songs they'd sung and the musicians who'd inspired them, to find out where they came from. I might have been sick in bed with the lights out, but every night there was a party in my head coming in through that little ear plug attached to my radio

That was the week I became obsessed by rock 'n' roll.

And, as anyone familiar with this blog knows, that's an obsession that has lasted a lifetime. Well after the measles left me, the rock 'n' roll fever persisted.

A decade later when I first heard The Velvet Underground's "Rock n' Roll," about a little girl named Jenny who discovered a New York station and her life was saved by rock 'n' roll, I completely identified with her -- though I would have been eight years old and mine was an Oklahoma City station, WKY.

I don't know the exact date of my measles bout, but I  remember the song that was number one on WKY at the time. It was "Hey Baby" by Bruce Channel, who was backed up by a harmonica player named Delbert McClinton. I can't find any WKY Top 50 (yes, 50, not 40!) lists, but according to Billboard, that song was number one nationally for three weeks beginning March 10, 1962.

Here's that song, followed by a handful of others that shaped the soul of a young, measles-stricken rocker in March of 1962.

Here's another tune that was popular in March, 1962, "Let Me In" by The Sensations. I could identify with what the singer, Yvonne Baker, was saying. I could hear the music, I could hear the party. And I demanded to be let in!

Sue Thompson was already pushing 40 when she had this hit, but she still sounded cool and sexy beyond words to my young ears

Speaking of Lou Reed, this song still is my favorite "Walk on the Wild Side."

Back then I thought the Peppermint Lounge in New York had to be the coolest place in the world thanks to Joey Dee.

I still get chills when I hear this song late at night, just like the first time I heard it on my transistor radio that week in 1962. The organ solo is downright other-dimensional!

Finally, don't you be a good neighbor to her. Or I'll send you a love letter. Straight from my heart

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: She Was Only a Ventriloquist's Daughter ...

What can you say about a lady whose siblings are Jerry Mahoney and Knucklehead Smiff?

April Winchell is an actress, comedian, voice-over artist (the voice of Baby Herman's mom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit and Clarabelle Cow in recent Mickey Mouse cartoons), former radio host, and, yes, daughter of famed ventriloquist Paul Winchell.

And -- best of all for Wacky Wednesday purposes -- she's a collector and disseminator of bizarre music.

For years she's maintained a website  full of MP3s of crazy music -- Golden Throat celebrity covers, corporate pep songs, chicken songs, TV themes, commercial jingles, "terrifying Christian music," "Crazy Jew Rap," German covers of show tunes, ...

A woman after my own heart!

April's MP3 library has been online  years before YouTube was even invented. But many of these have found their way to YouTube, which make it easier to share with you here.

Here are some of my favorites from the April Winchell collection

First there's this song of faded love. It took both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand  to sing the original, but only one Liberace to send it over the top.

If The B-52s covered "Stairway to Heaven," it would sound like The Rock Lobsters

A question I ask God every day: "What is This Thing called Amway?"

A little yodeling for Jesus by Princess Ramona

A classic Barbra stage outburst remixed ... like butter!

April says this one is "An extremely strange recording."

Sunday, March 05, 2017


Sunday, March 5, 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
Dirty Boulevard by Lou Reed
Banned in Boston by Sam the Sham & The Pharaohs
Love/Hate (Eat Me Alive) by The Ruiners
Stay Away Joe by Elvis Presley
Hey Sailor by The Detroit Cobras
Get Off the Road by Herschell Gordon Lewis (She Devils on Wheels)
Shadow People by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Black Feather by Lynx Lynx
Start Together by Sleater-Kinney

Baby, You're My Drug by The Monsters
The Future is Now (and it Stinks) by JJ & The Real Jerks
Bums by Dean Ween Group
La Coulevurve by Thee Verduns
I Don't Care If Tomorrow Never Comes by Meet Your Death
It's OK by Dead Moon
The Store That Cannot Be Named by Deadbolt
Livin' in Chaos by The Sonics
It's Suicide by Mark Sultan

An Extraordinary Woman by Psychedelic Aliens
Me Kple Dogbekpo by Lokomon Andre & Les Volcans
Macumba for You by O Lendario Chucrobillyman
Mencerminkan Makota Kotor by Arrington de Dionyso
Less of Me by Teenage Jesus & The Jerks
An Older Lover by The Fall
Caspar the Friendly Ghost by Daniel Johnson & Jad Fair
Can't Get Enough of You Baby by Question Mark & The Mysterians
Mumbles by Jack Ross

California Tuffy by Geraldine Fibbers
I've Been Falling by Nathaniel Rateliff & The Night Sweats
We Come in the Sunshine by The Dirtbombs
Slow Love by Charles Bradley
To Know Him is to Love Him by Amy Winehouse
Into My Arms by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
In That Great Gettin' Up Morning by The Golden Gate Quartet
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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Friday, March 03, 2017


Friday, March 3, 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
The Ballad of Thunder Road by Robert Mitchum
All You Fascists by Billy Bragg & Wilco
Tupelo County Jail by The Old 97s
Take Me to the Fire by The Waco Brothers
Hard Times by Jon Langford
Eatin' Crow and Drinkin' Sand by Jesse Dayton
Make it Up to Mama by Sarah Shook & The Disarmers
Loser's Lounge by Ringo Starr
Cukoo Cocoon by Hazeldine
Cryin' to Cryin' Time Again by Dale Watson & Ray Benson
Play Together Again Again by Buck Owens & Emmylou Harris

Changed the Locks by Lucinda Williams
Hands on Your Hips by Shinyribs
The Ghosts of Hallelujah by The Gourds
Every Tuesday Night by Miss Leslie
Bad Girl She Used to Be by Paul Burch
I Ain't Living Long Like This by Waylon Jennings

True Religion by Scott H. Biram
You Must Have That Religion, Hallyloo by Lead Belly
What You Did to the Boy Ain't Right by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
I Ain't Gonna Hang Around by Southern Culture on the Skids
Sea of Tears by Eilen Jewell
Jean Arthur by Robbie Fulks
That's All it Took by Gram Parsons with Emmylou Harris
Dancing With the Women at the Bar by Whiskeytown
Jambalaya by Phoebe Legere

Lost from Me by Stephanie Hatfield
When Two Worlds Collide by Roger Miller
I Never Go Around Mirrors by Lefty Frizzell
That's the Way Love Goes by The Harmony Sisters
Take Me by George Jones
What Made Milwaukee Famous by Johnny Bush
My Happiness by John Prine & Fiona Prine
My Rifle, My Pony and Me by Dean Martin & Ricky Nelson
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

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Thursday, March 02, 2017


Scott H. Biram
I shot this picture at Scott H. Biram's 2011 performance at Corazon in Santa Fe.

One of the real delights from Scott H. Biram's latest album, The Bad Testament, is Track 10, a crazy little gospel tune he calls "True Religion."

It's a song the dirty old one-man band from Austin, Texas been playing for years, sometimes as an a Capella medley with an old prison song "Go Down Old Hannah."

The new studio version starts with some fuzzy, slightly distorted recording of what sounds like some religious broadcast ("If the Holy Family cannot come in with the child Jesus and watch it with me, I don't watch it ...") Biram starts with the actual song.

"Oh you must have that true religion, hallelu, hallelu ... true religion and a soal converted ..."

It's catchy and infectious. Check it out on Spotify below:

But, as you probably guessed by now, Biram wasn't the first to find "True Religion." Lots of people have sung it, and no two takes are alike.

Below is a live version by another contemporary Austin musician, Shineyribs (aka Kev Russell.)

Back in 2005, Mavis Staples recorded her version for a 2005 various-artists project produced by Joe Henry.

And back in 1972, Hot Tuna -- Jefferson Airplane brothers Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady -- did a slop blues-rock version on their album Burgers featuring Papa John Creach on fiddle.

Kaukonen is listed as the songwriter in the Burgers credits. But it sounds amazing like this old Leadbelly song -- the earliest version I could find. (I'm pretty sure it's from the early '40s.)

Despite the title, I' not sure the following songs are directly related to the previous songs. There are several version of gospel choirs doing "You Must Have That True Religion." The best I heard was by Atlanta's Chorale New Creation, performed in 2008.

Finally here's a fott-stompin' version by the St. John Church of God in Christ Choir of Los Angeles. It doesn't sound much Scott H. Biram or Hot Tuna or Lead Belly. But it still sounds good to me

Wednesday, March 01, 2017

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy (Belated) Birthday Cindy Wilson. You ain't no Limburger!

If I could hire a house band for Wacky Wednesday, it would be The B52s, that Athens, Ga. "New Wave" group that embodied wackiness, tackiness and infectious fun.

Yesterday, Feb. 28th was the 60th birthday of Cindy Wilson, who along with Kate Pierson were the B52s' lovely and lovable female front women.

So here is a little tribute to the lady, some songs in which she sang or shared lead vocals.

I'd dance with you, Cindy!

Fish? Candy? I'll take it

This one's a lesser-known tune, sung by Cindy and Kate, about the joys of counterfeiting.


  Sunday, March 3, 2024 KSFR, Santa Fe, NM, 101.1 FM  Webcasting! 10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time Host: Steve Ter...