Monday, December 31, 2018

End the Old Year Roackin' with the New Big Enchilada


Oh the weather outside is frightful, but this episode of The Big Enchilada is delightful. Warm up to some rocking tunes as Jack Frost nips at your toes ... the evil old pervert!

And remember, The Big Enchilada is officially listed in the iTunes store. So go subscribe, if you haven't already (and gimme a good rating and review if you're so inclined.) Thanks. 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Hoodoo by Johnny Dowd)
Old n Cold by A Pony Named Olga
Trouble Every Day by The Chocolate Watchband
Eyes on Me by Night Beats
Reckless Rider by The Thick Uns
Vicksburg by Johnny Dowd
Commit a Crime by Bad Mojos
That'll Be the Bloody Day by Hamell on Trial

(Background Music: Snow Surfin' Matador by Jan Davis)
Wild Man by Being Dead
Johnny's Quesst by Modular Sun
Chameleon by Sleeve Cannon
Nerve Disorder by The Vagoos
The Snake and Jake Snake by The Ghost Wolves

(Background Music: Winter Wonderland by Chet Baker)
Cold Night Blues by Dead Man's Tree
Girls on Bikes by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Time 2 Be Bad by Jon Spencer
T-R-A-S-H-B-O-N-E-S by Wild Evel & The Trashbones
Come on Lil' Dolly by The Ding Dongs
The Coldest Stuff in Town by Whistling Bob Howe & Frankie Griggs
(Background Music:  Baby, It's Cold Outside by The O'Neill Brothers Group

Play it HERE:

Sunday, December 30, 2018


Sunday, December 30, 2018
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
Happy New Year by Spike Jones & His City Slickers
There She Goes by The Night Beats
Chameleon by Sleeve Cannon
Trouble and Desire by The Callas with Lee Ranaldo
Monkey in My Head (I Gotta Move) by Mairano
The Youngest Profession by The Flesh Eaters
The Old Man's Soul by Henry Townsend

7 and 7 Is by The Ramones
Distemper by The Ar-Kaics
Call on Me by Cedric Burnside
Goin' Down South by R.L. Burnside (with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion)
Wilderness by Jon Spencer
Gut Feeling by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Riot City by Archie & The Bunkers
Dr. Benway by Mean Motor Scooter
Stay Away from the Crack by The Mighty Hannibal

Ghost Waves by The Vagoos
Jazz is Dead by Sloks
Humiliation by Mark Sultan
Wild Man by Being Dead
Angry Little Girl by Sons of Hercules
Little Jimmy by Johnny Dowd
Some Other Guy by The Hentchmen
You're on Top by Reverend Beat-Man
I've Got Five Dollars and It's Saturday Night by George Jones & Gene Pitney

Aggie & The DA by Hamell on Trial
Logic and Common Sense by Thought Gang
Are You Ready to Love Me by The War and Treaty
I Just Left Myself Today by Hickoids
Tingle by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Sweet Little Girl by Stevie Wonder
SUBSTITUTE CLOSING THEME: Auld Lang Syne by Guy Lombardo & His Royal Canadians

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Sunday, December 23, 2018


Sunday, December 23, 2018
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
Six Bullets for Christmas by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Hey Neanderfuck by Mudhoney
My Shadow by Jay Reatard
Beetle Boots by Jon Spencer
The Black Godfather by Andre Williams with The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
Straight Shooter by The Reigning Sound
NonToxicGreenCheapJellyBoy by The Vagoos
Face Like Tom Stone by A Pony Named Olga
Sunrise Through the Power Lines by The Reverend Horton Heat
Black Magic by Mark Sultan
Shameless by Johnny Dowd

Poor Until Payday by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damned Band
Death Bell Blues by Cedric Burnside
Freak Magnet by L7
The Garden by Modular Sun
Desolation Row by The Chocolate Watchband
The Snake and Jake Shake by The Ghost Wolves
Love at First Sight by Hamell on Trial

Springtime in Argentina by Billy Joe Winghead
Nailhouse Needle Boys by Thee Oh Sees
Cab it Up by The Fall
Jack Paints it Red by Thought Gang
In Hell I'll Be in Good Company by The Dead South
Miss Muerte by The Flesh Eaters

Too Much Love is Spoiling You by Bill Hearne
Galactic Chin by Dirk Geil
Jinglecide by The Rockin' Guys
Dirty White Shoes by Maiorano
Star of Wonder by The Roches
O Holy Night by Brian Wilson
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 20, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Something to Bother or Perhaps Even Frighten Everyone.

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Dec. 20, 2018

Here are three new albums that on the surface don’t really sound much like one another. But you can classify all as “uneasy listening” — music with something to bother or perhaps even frighten everyone.

* The Night Guy at the Apocalypse Profiles of a Rushing Midnight by Hamell on Trial. This basically is a song cycle by singer/songwriter Ed Hamell centered around a fictional hardcore dive called The Apocalypse, which is populated by drunks, drug addicts, backdoor beauties, angel-headed hipsters, small-time criminals, and tough guys.

Yes, other artists have covered similar ground, the most obvious being Tom Waits. But a major difference between Waits and Hamell is that none of Hamell’s hookers have hearts of gold. And all of his Romeos are bleeding.

One of the key themes running through Night Guy is vigilante justice. The denizens of the Apocalypse might be powerless in the traditional sense, but they’re perfectly capable of taking care of the occasional Nazi, child molester, wife beater, crooked politician, or other evil creep who makes the mistake of walking into the bar.

“Aggie and the D.A.” is about an elaborate plot to use a comely floozy to set up a drunken prosecutor who happens to be a pedophile. Of course, sometimes the vigilantism goes too far, like the arrogant lawyer (or was he a CEO? A politician?) who takes a brick to the head, fatally, in the opening song, “Slap.” Sings Hamell: “He didn’t do anything overtly bad/’twas just that fucking smirk he had ...”

This album is a lo-fi affair recorded in its entirety on Hamell’s iPhone in various locales. Some are recorded at Hamell shows with audiences singing along, others away from the stage — from inside his car in a Detroit parking lot to an airport restroom in Iceland.

Not for audiophiles, but I suspect the regulars at the Apocalypse don’t love audiophiles any more than they love corrupt politicians.

* Family Picnic by Johnny Dowd. Here’s another artist who embraces losers, down-and-outers, and pictures from life’s other side.

On his latest (soon-to-be-released) album, Dowd embraces his musical past. His last few records have found the moving company owner drifting into minimalist, sometimes menacing electronic weirdness as a backdrop to his Texas drawl. But Family Picnic is closer in sound to his classic turn-of-the-century output.

And more good news: Singer Kim Sherwood-Caso, who graced most of Dowd’s works until the dawn of this decade, is back. And she’s still delightful.

There are nods to the blues here — albeit the blues through a crazy Dowd filter. There’s the harmonica-driven shuffle of “Vicksburg,” in which the music suggests good times as Dowd sings about the carnage of the Civil War.

Likewise, the song “Conway Twitty” is a distorted blues tune about a rube soaking in the bright lights of New York City, dreaming of being a star “like Conway Twitty.”

Longtime Dowd fanatics will recognize “Dream On” as a version of a song that originally appeared on Chainsaw of Life by Hellwood — a short-lived band Dowd had with singer Jim White circa 2006. In the song, Dowd confesses a fear of burning out. “You called me a dreamer, but I’m all dreamed out/I’m just a whisper/I don’t know what I was shouting all about,” he sings.

“Thomas Dorsey,” the last song on Family Picnic — and another one from the Hellwood project — is a tribute to the greatest songwriter in the history of gospel music. While the Hellwood version is dark and minor-key, here Dowd turns it into what on the outside sounds like a happy cowboy song — though the fadeout, where Johnny and Kim repeat the refrain, “I wish that Satan would let me go,” is jarring in this context.

* Thought Gang by David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti. This album — full of avant-garde jazz, synthesized rumblings, and sinister beatnik-style poetry — is required listening for anyone who claims to be a fan of David Lynch and his musical henchman Angelo Badalamenti.

It was recorded in the early 1990s, somewhere around the time Lynch had finished his film Wild at Heart and the original Twin Peaks TV series and was working on the movie Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. In fact, a couple of the tracks here — “A Real Indication” and “The Black Dog Runs at Night” — appeared in that latter film and its soundtrack album.

Reportedly, a few stray Thought Gang snippets have been used in subsequent Lynch works. But the lion’s share of this music has sat in the proverbial vault — or maybe some nameless necromancer’s crypt — for nearly 30 years.

Badalamenti, who has worked with Lynch since the mid-’80s, has already proven himself a master in musically capturing and enhancing the strange moods and disturbing undercurrents of Lynch’s unique storytelling.

Sometimes it was lush strings, as heard on “Love Theme From Twin Peaks,” or the heartbreaking dream pop of Julee Cruise on “Mysteries of Love” (from Blue Velvet), or slinky jazz, like Twin Peaks’ “Dance of the Dream Man.”

But the music of Thought Gang is even crazier.

According to a recent Lynch interview in The Guardian, the director would tell the musicians to create soundscapes for strange scenarios, such as one featured on this record for the 16-minute epic “Frank 2000”:

“OK, there’s a bar downtown, not a great bar, and it’s 2:30 or 3 a.m., and there’s a lot of drunk and strung-out people coming out. There’s a shootout and there’s all this running and fear and guns going off. And these pick-up trucks start showing up because there’s a plan to take some of these people out to the desert.”

Sounds like Lynch may have had a couple of cocktails at the Apocalypse Lounge.

It's video time!

First some Hamell on Trial

This is a 2006 version of Johnny Dowd's "Thomas Dorsey."

Remember kids, stay away from gangs and drugs!

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Cherished Xmas Favorites

A sizable portion of the population is so sick of holiday music that they risk flying into a homicidal rage if they hear one more version of  "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" or "The First Noel." (No actual evidence of that, but many people are saying ...)

So, like the past couple of years, I won't be doing a Big Enchilada Christmas podcast this year.

But some things are sacred, so on this Wacky Wednesday before Christmas I'm bringing you just a few of the classics. So gather the kiddies around the old computer screen and let's start with the Ho Ho Ho ...

First, this beloved classic from Angry Johnny & The Killbillies:

Here's one from the Rev. Glen Armstrong

This one's for my youngest grandson, Clive, who I understand has become a Daniel Johnston fan:

Some Yuletide cheer from the great Johnny Dowd

And for all my friends from the Oklahoma hills where I was born, who know it's not Christmas without this song

So merry Christmas to all. And if you really need more crazy Christmas music, you'll find hours of entertainment HERE.

Sunday, December 16, 2018


Sunday, December 16, 2018
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
TV Eye / Dirt by The Stooges
We Made It by Cedric Burnside
C by Thee Oh Sees
Alien Humidity by Jon Spencer
You're Telling Me Lies by Question Mark & The Mysterians
The Man of Your Dreams by Johnny Dowd

Hanging by a Thread by Cowbell
Reckless Rider by The Thick 'uns
Baby I'm Doomed by Bad Mojos
Valium Queen by The Vagoos
Beautiful Gardens by The Cramps
We're Gonna Crash by The Electric Mess
Hemmin' and Hawin' by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
That's What I Want by Muck & The Mires
Jeep Cherokee Laredo by The War and Treaty
Love at First Sight by Hamell on Trial

Trouble Everyday by The Chocolate Watchband
Heed This Message by Mark Sultan
I'm Wise (Slippin' and Slidin') by Eddie Bo
Baby Fang Thang by Ghost Wolves
I Had a Dream by Charlie Pickett
Go Fritz Go bt Dirk Geil
Night and Fog by Mudhoney
Storied by Harlan T. Bobo

I Dreamed I Had to Take a Test / Sharkey's Night by Laurie Anderson
A Meaningless Conversation by Thought Gang
Mysteries of Love by Julee Cruise
Down the Dirt Road Blues by Tony Joe White
Turn it On by Lindsey Buckingham
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Thursday, December 13, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Some Kind Words for the Ghost of Geeshie

I'm not sure what led me recently to go seek out different versions of one of the most mysterious blues songs ever recorded.

But diving into Geeshie Wiley's "Last Kind Words has its own rewards.

Who is this Lillie Mae "Geeshie" Wiley?

The New York Times Magazine in 2014 published a lengthy story John Jeremiah Sullivan, who was obsessed with Geeshie's "Last Kind Words" and another song recorded in 1930, Elvie Thomas' "Motherless Child Blues."

I have been fascinated by this music since first experiencing it, like a lot of other people in my generation, in Terry Zwigoff’s 1994 documentary Crumb, on the life of the artist Robert Crumb, which used “Last Kind Words” for a particularly vivid montage sequence....

... Geeshie’s “Last Kind Words,” a kind of pre-blues or not-yet-blues, a doomy, minor-key lament that calls up droning banjo songs from long before the cheap-guitar era, with a strange thumping rhythm on the bass string.

"Last Kind Words" reminds me of a Dadaist exhibition I saw at the Smithsonian a few years ago. It's
full of death and dread with that "German war" looming in the background. All sorts of references to corpses and deathbed wishes: If I get killed, please don't bury my soul /
Just leave me out, let the buzzards eat me whole."

Here's how Geeshie sang it:

Former New York Doll David Johansen sang the song in Searching for Wrong-Eyed Jesus.

Former Carolina Chocolate Drop Rhiannon Giddens does a moving version

The Dex Romweber Duo teamed up with Jack White for this one

Meanwhile "Last Kind Words" inspired The Mekons to record this song called "Geeshie" on their Ancient & Modern album a few years ago. A wise critic once wrote that Sally Timms "sings it sultry, like a temptress in a speakeasy near the gates of Hell."

Sunday, December 09, 2018


Sunday, December 9, 2018
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
The Holygram's Song (Back from the Shadows Again) by The Firesign Theatre
Nerve Attack by Mudhoney
Trash Can by Jon Spencer
Negative Girls by Wayne Kramer
Whatever It Takes by The Fleshtones

Far Out by The Vagoos
Got it In My Pocket by Reverend Horton Heat
White Lily by The Ghost Wolves
The Other Two by Mark Sultan
Chicago Seven by Memphis Slim

So Long Johnny by Charlie Pickett
Sabrina by Dirk Geil
The Law by A Pony Named Olga
Trouble and Desire by The Callas with Lee Ranaldo
Wild Man by Being Dead
Johnny's Quest by Modular Sun
Conway Twitty by Johnny Dowd
Mr. Slater's Parrot by Bonzo Dog Band

Show Stopper by Deen Ween Group
Suit or Soul by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Gravy for My Mashed Potatoes by Dee Dee Sharp
South Street by The Orlons
That Old Black Magic by Louie Prima
Give Me a Fix by Maiorano
Let's Go to Mars by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Till the Daylight Comes by The Chocolate Watchband
Velcro by Hamell on Trial

Done Got Old by Junior Kimbrough
Stay All Night by Buddy Guy
The Truth Shall Make You Free by The Mighty Hannibal
Factory Girl by The Rolling Stones
Streets of Laredo by Buck Owens
Zoysia by The Bottle Rockets
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Friday, December 07, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Jon Spencer's New Hits

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Dec. 7,  2018

Jon Spencer has been on a roll the past six years or so. After an eight-year hiatus, in 2012 the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion crashed back onto the stage with Meat + Bone, an exuberant blast of twisted blues- and soul-tinged raw and crazy clunk-punk, which was their best work since the mid-’90s. That was followed in 2015 by another mighty album called Freedom Tower - No Wave Dance Party 2015. Last year, one of Spencer’s other bands, Boss Hog, released a cool album, Brood X, but Spencer’s wife Cristina Martinez is the real star of that group.

And now, Spencer is back, this time with a solo album called Spencer Sings the Hits! Don’t let the “solo album” thing scare you away. Spencer ain’t singing sensitive, introspective acoustic songs or recording with the London Philharmonic or stinking up the place with usual-suspect guest vocalists. And despite the title, none of the dozen songs here have ever been hits for Spencer or anyone else.

No, this is just Jon Spencer as we love him. As a matter of fact, had I not already known it was a solo album, you could have fooled me into thinking it was a new one by the Blues Explosion. However, for reasons I don’t know, Explosion members Judah Bauer (guitar) and Russell Simins (drums) are absent here. They’re replaced by keyboardist Sam Coomes (from Quasi) and drummer M. Sord, with Spencer’s guitar and shouted vocals as crazed as ever.

Jon Spencer
Spencer in DC, 2015
From the opening drumbeats of “Trash Can” — soon joined by Spencer singing, “Do the Wobble, Do the Wiggle … Kick that can/Do the Trash Can ...”— through the last song, “Cape” (which has a similar guitar hook as The Cramps’ version of Charlie Feathers’ “Can’t Hardly Stand It”), Spencer fans will immediately know that they’ve come to the right party.

Among the highlights are “Love Handle,” slower than most of the tunes here, in which the guitar licks of the verses have echoes of Memphis soul. “Time 2 Be Bad” features keyboards that sound like Devo on a skid-row bender, and “I Got the Hits,” the closest thing to a title song here, is a tongue-in-cheek brag: “I got the hits ... I got corruption, malice, I got deceit, I got lies, I got it all baby, and it’s all for you ...”

But it ain’t all fun and games. While Spencer usually sounds as if he’s bemused by the world, in a couple of songs he sounds downright angry. I don’t know the “counterfeit punk” Spencer is eviscerating in the song “Fake” (“Your ideas are wrong/You’re lukewarm/Washed-up and bland …”) but I’m glad it’s not me.

Maybe it’s the same target he unloads on in “Beetle Boots.” He starts that song growling about some poser in “imitation leather and plastic zipper.” Then later in the song, Spencer seems like he’s taking personal offense at this jerk. “You think it’s easy being in a band?/Wrong priorities/Misguided intentions/Ironic distance just reinforces convention ...”

It’s a cruel world, and the plastic-zipper phonies are way more likely than Spencer to get the hits. But as long as he keeps raging and playing his goofball Frankenstein blues, Spencer’s call of the wild will continue to resonate with those of us who love to wobble and wiggle.

Also recommended:
* Digital Garbage by Mudhoney. Speaking of angry lyrics, this album is basically Mudhoney’s state of the union address, and they aren’t very happy about what’s going on here during the Trump era.

Among the topics of disgust on this album by these Seattle grunge survivors are white supremacists (“Listen to the footsteps/Echoing in the streets/Here come the footsteps/Echoing in the hall/These are the footsteps/That echo through history,” Mark Arm sings in “Night and Fog”); conspiracy loons (“Vaccines, chemtrails, false flag plots/Government camps, Sharia law,” from “Paranoid Core”); mass shooters (“We’d rather die in church,” the narrator of “Please Mr. Gunman” pleads); and the religious right. Lordy, how Mudhoney loathes the religious right. “21st Century Pharisees” lambastes evangelicals’ loyalty to the current chief executive. “He doesn’t give a fuck about your Jesus,” Arm wails.

Topical songs might be a turn-off to a lot of rockers. But don’t worry. This ain’t Joan Baez. Mudhoney rocks just as ferociously as they did when they unleashed the song “Touch Me, I’m Sick” back in the late ’80s. With his garage-psychedelic licks, guitarist Steve Turner is every bit the monster he was in the early days. So if it’s politics that’s getting them charged up these days, then so be it.

* Trouble and Desire by The Callas, with Lee Ranaldo. A former guitarist with Sonic Youth,
Ranaldo is more than sixty years old, but on this record he shows he’s still got some “Teenage Riot” in him.

I admit that I was a little apprehensive when I heard he was teaming up with a Greek art-rock band I’d never heard of. After all, as much as I loved most of Sonic Youth’s impressive three-decade catalog, I tended to avoid most of their forays into artsiness — and much of the post-breakup output of Sonic Youth members falls into that category.

Fortunately, however, Trouble and Desire sounds a lot more like Daydream Nation than Sonic Youth’s journeys into artistic pretentiousness like Koncertas Stan Brakhage prisiminimui.

You can hear echoes of the Sonic Youth spirit in “The Magic Fruit of Strangeness,” the first real song on the album. It’s a hard-driving, minor-key rocker with a little bolero in its urgent rhythm. “Μελανιά” (which in English means “bruise”) reminds me a lot of the bass-heavy verses in Nirvana’s version of “Love Buzz.”

Meanwhile, the pounding “Acid Books,” featuring the women of The Callas providing shout-along vocals in the choruses, is some of the wildest rock ’n’ roll you’ll hear all year. I don’t know what they’re shouting, but I’m not about to argue about it.

Here are songs from each of these albums. First Spencer:

Now Mudhoney

Now, The Callas with Ranaldo

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Walt Disney!

 NOTICE: 9-4-19 Just a few months after i posted this, all but one of the videos I'd posted had been yanked down. I've posted other versions. Please let me know if these -- or videos on other posts -- get pulled off and I'll try to fix

On this day in 1901, Walter Elias Disney was born in Chicago. You probably know him better as "Walt."

I don't know whether he has internet access in his frozen cryonic chamber, but if so, happy bithday, Walt!

He brought us movies, cartoons, laughter, amusement parks ... and music. So here's a musical tribute to Mr. Disney,

Tom Waits performed a classic tune from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs -- in his own peculiar way -- for a 1988 tribute album called Stay Awake produced by Hal Willner.

The late Sun Ra was such a big Disney fan, he did an entire album of songs from Disney movies called Second Star to the Right in 1989. Here's one from the movie Dumbo.

Also from the Stay Awake compilation, Los Lobos covered this Jungle Book song.

Speaking of monkeys, those of us who grew up in the '60s know that Disney didn't only deal in cartoons. He made some pretty lame comedies too, such as The Monkey's Uncle. I remember that one mostly for the opening scene, where The Beach Boys teamed up with Annette Funicello.

I don't think the Disney empire ever approved of this song by Timbuk 3. In fact they may have been the force that had the previous version I'd posted here yanked down.

But I approve.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Merle Travis Brought Light Into the Coal Mine

Today would have been the 101st birthday of one of country music's greatest guitar pickers, singer and songwriters of his generation -- and, in my book, any generation -- Merle Travis.

Happy birthday, Merle!

Born in Rosewood, Kentucky (that's Muhlenberg County, John Prine fans) in 1917, He performed the song "Tiger Rag" on an Indiana radio show when he was 18 and soon began playing professionally. And he kept at it until his death in 1983.

In 1946 he recorded a "folk" album for Capitol records, Folk Songs of the Hills. But Travis himself wrote several of the "folk songs" here, including several of the songs for which he's best known. One of them, "Sixteen Tons" would become a huge crossover hit for Tennessee Ernie Ford nearly a decade later.

Here's a version by Merle.

Here's Travis' other famous coal-mining song.

Travis on TV in the mid '60s doing a hillbilly gospel blues tune.

And here he is in the '70s showing off his fancy picking. (Sorry, I'm not sure who the other folks are.)

Check out more coal-mining songs, including different versions of "Sixteen Tons" and "Dark as a Dungeon," HERE

Hey Cowboy, Here's the New Big Enchilada!


It's time for another rootin' tootin' Big Enchilada hillbilly episode. And this one is a salute to the American Cowboy

And remember, The Big Enchilada is officially listed in the iTunes store. So go subscribe, if you haven't already (and gimme a good rating and review if you're so inclined.) Thanks. 


Here's the playlist:

(Background Music: Peacock Rag by Lester Flatt & The Nashville Grass)
Montana Cowboy by Hazel & Alice
Dirty Dirty Feeling by Denny Ezba
Boogie Woogie Country Gal by Robbie Fulks & Linda Gail Lewis
Black Roux Gumbo Time by Bayou Seco
Manchester Hose by Dirk Geil
Rice and Beans by Southern Culture on the Skids
Ruby Don't Take Your Love to Town by Walter Brennan
(Background Music: Feuding Banjos by Don Reno)

Pinto Pony by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Chug-a-Lug by Asleep at the Wheel with Huey Lewis
When Two Worlds Collide by Flatt Lonesome Shooter Jennings
Blaze Foley's 113th Wet Dream by Gurf Morlix
Wouldn't That Be Nice by Blaze Foley
Out on the Western Plains by Lead Belly
(Background Music: Cow Bell Polka by Spade Cooley)

Dreaming Cowboy by Sally Timms
Bring the Noise by The Unholy Trio
Gin and Juice by The Gourds
Streets of Laredo by Webb Wilder
(Background Music: Powerhouse by Jon Raumhouse)

Play it below:

Friday, November 23, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: You Think Rock's Dead? Listen to These New Albums

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Nov. 23, 2018

Recently, a music critic and Facebook friend of mine posted something stupid. No, he wasn’t agreeing with President Trump that the solution to forest fires was better raking. “Rock is dead. Who killed it?” he asked, then listed a few suspects, mainly bands he doesn’t care for.

My first reaction: “Oh no, not again.” The whole “rock is dead” debate has popped up again and again throughout the years, ever since the days when Elvis enlisted in the Army, and Buddy, Bopper, and Ritchie fell from the sky. Then there was wimp warrior Don McLean (whom Rolling Stone once dubbed “Nixon’s Dylan”) whimpering about “the day the music died.” Then there was the rise of disco — then hip-hop, then boy bands, then electronica. Then the demise of decent commercial radio, the birth of smartphones and streaming, then — who knows — some impending Bobby Goldsboro revival?

Rock is dead? Not on my watch.

Maybe you do need a metaphorical rake to get rid of some of the rotting foliage on the proverbial floor. But I’m firmly in the Neil Young camp here: “Hey hey. My my/Rock ’n’ roll can never die ...”

But, one might argue, today’s youth care a lot more about dumbed-down pop dreck and other non-rock sounds than actual rock ’n’ roll. Can’t deny that. But I’ll always remember the words of this crusty old guy who worked in The New Mexican’s backshop years ago talking about our beloved wild and primitive sounds: “This stuff is better when it’s coming from the underground.”

And in support of that contention, I offer two recent hard-charging, rocking guitar-centric albums with strong roots in the blues and creative recycling, both of which I’ve been loving a lot lately.

Black Joe Lewis in Santa Fe
Black Joe Lewis in Santa Fe, Oct. 2012

* The Difference Between Me & You by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears. Longtime fans of young Black Joe should immediately realize that this record, released in September, is a back-to-basics move for this Austin band.

It’s true: The Honeybears still have their excellent funky horn section, and a handful of songs here are closer to sweet soul ballads than rump-rousing rock.

And at least one track, the tasty “Suit or Soul?,” sounds so much like some long-lost blaxploitation soundtrack, I wouldn’t be surprised if it showed up on some episode of The Deuce. But the overall sound of Difference is raw and rowdy, with roots stretching back to Bo Diddley and Howlin’ Wolf.

The first song, a mid-tempo gem called “Nothing but a Cliché,” starts off with a guitar lick that evokes memories of classic Muscle Shoals soul. Wilson Pickett should return from the dead to cover this one.

Then there are tunes like “She Came Onto Me,” which has menacing echoes of ascended Fat Possum masters like R.L. Burnside, T-Model Ford, and Junior Kimbrough; “Hemmin’ & Hawin’,” which owes its lead hook to ZZ Top; and “Girls on Bikes,” which justifies the Diddley comparison above.

And in the category of strange cover songs that are better than the originals, Lewis and band do a version of Wilco’s “Handshake Drugs.” Wilco’s original, on the album A Ghost Is Born, is a lilting, pleasant little tune built around acoustic guitar and piano, colored by psychedelic electro-squiggles. Black Joe’s version is a ferocious ride into paranoia and insanity.

Lewis, by the way, is the second African-American singer (that I know of) who’s covered a Wilco song. A few years ago J.C. Brooks & The Uptown Sound did a rough-hewn, soulful version of “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.” What can I say? Jeff Tweedy is a soul man.

* See You in Miami by Charlie Pickett. Charlie Pickett & The Eggs was one of the coolest bands of the 1980s who I never heard until 20 years after they’d broken up. It wasn’t until Bloodshot Records released an amazing Pickett compilation called Bar Band Americanus in 2008. That one ended up on my Top 10 list that year.

But those of us who haven’t been able to catch the occasional Pickett gig in Florida have never heard another peep out of Pickett — who jettisoned his musical career to become a lawyer all those years ago — since that greatest non-hits collection 10 years ago.

Until now.

The good news is that See You in Miami picks right up from Pickett’s music when he went off to law school. He still does songs that sound like ZZ Top (them again!) trying to rewrite Exile on Main Street. (Pickett has said in interviews that his favorite period in rock was the Stones’ Mick Taylor era.) R.E.M.’s Peter Buck, who produced an Eggs album in the ’80s, supplies the lead guitar on several songs.

Starting off with “What I Like About Miami,” the joyful ode to his adopted hometown and its beaches, nightlife, empanadas, and Cuban girls, which could be a candidate for some future Miami tourism commercial, the album is full of south Florida references.

But not everything here is pretty girls and Cuban delicacies. “Bullshit Is Goin On” is a slow, menacing, and soulful protest against political skulduggery, while “So Long Johnny,” written by Buck, is a lament for Johnny Salton, a former Eggs guitarist who died of liver cancer in 2010. The “Spirit of Johnny Salton” is credited for “inspiration guitar” on the song.

The longest song here, the near-seven-minute “Four Chambered Heart,” is fortunately one of the strongest on Miami. Inspired by The Dream Syndicate, a neo-psychedelic 1980s band from California, after the four-minute mark it morphs into an instrumental version of Television’s “Marquee Moon.”

Like other Charlie-come-lately fans, I wish I could have seen Pickett & The Eggs tear up the stage in some Florida dive back in the day. But See You in Miami is so strong it’ll make you want to see him this weekend.

Here are some videos:

 Black Joe doing "Culture Vulture"

"Girls on Bikes"

Here's some live Pickett

"Four Chambered Heart"

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: In Praise of Allan Sherman

One of my very first Wacky Wednesday posts, back in late November 2014, was about a song by the late great song parodist Allan Sherman, "Pop Hates The Beatles." (I just fixed some broken YouTube links on that four-year-old post.)

Just last week Sherman (1934-1973) came up in conversation on a Facebook thread. It started out in a discussion of another foot soldier in the British Invasion, Petula Clark (who's currently touring the US at the age of 86!)

So I figured it's well past time to salute Camp Grenada's best-known camper again. Besides, his birthday is coming up on Nov. 30.. He would have been 84 -- two years younger than Petula Clark.)

Here is Sherman's Petula parody:

Sherman was a pioneer in body acceptance.

Fans of the new Coen Brothers movie should appreciate this song. (For more on the original song, CLICK HERE.)

And even if Pop hated The Beatles, that didn't stop Sherman from at least one more Beatlemania Bonanza with his spoof on this Lorne Greene classic.

Sunday, November 18, 2018


Sunday, November 18, 2018
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
Gone to Texas by Terry Allen
Frenchmen Street by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Girls on Bikes by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Voodoo Walking by Mama Rosin with Hipbone Slim
Let's Turkey Trot by Little Eva
Hainted by Churchwood
Speedy Quick by Dirk Geil
The Corner of Fuck and You by The Grannies

Secret Rendezvous by The Chocolate Watchband
David Cassidy by Betty & The Werewolves
Nerve Disorder by The Vagoos
Bad Day by He Who Cannot Be Named
Miami Interlude by Charlie Pickett
Buzz Buzz Buzz by The Blasters
Work for a Jerk by A Pony Named Olga
Guv'ment by John Goodman
God Damn USA by Trixie & The Trainwrecks
Turkey Jive by The Hormonauts

Vicksburg by Johnny Dowd
When the Hammer Came Down by House of Freaks
Two Daughters and a Beautiful Wife by Drive-By Truckers
Death Row by Mike Zito
Turkey and the Rabbit by T-Model Ford
Part of the Deal by Western Star
I Loved Her So by Me & Them Guys
November by The Rockin' Guys
Lee Harvey by T. Tex Edwards & The Hickoids

Two White Horses by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
Garbage Patch by Ramblin' Deano
Aggie and the DA by Hamell on Trial
Wreck on the Highway by Stevie Tombstone
Unsatisfied by The Replacements
Thanksgiving by Loudon Wainwright III
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday DJ Davis

Steve Zahn with Kermit Ruffins and Wendell Pierce on Treme
Today, Nov. 14, is the 51st birthday of actor Steve Zahn.

Zahn became famous in 1994 for his role in Reality Bites, After that, according to the all-knowing Wikipedia, "Zahn quickly gained a reputation for playing amiable stoners, slackers, and sidekicks in films such as That Thing You Do! (1996), You've Got Mail (1998), and Out of Sight (1998).

But I didn't become a Zahn fan until Treme, the HBO series (2010-2013) about post-Katrina New Orleans created by David Simon and Eric Overmyer. 

Music was a major undercurrent in Treme, and Zahn portrayed Davis McAlary, a DJ on a public radio station, a frustrated musician and basically an amiable stoner and slacker.

Naturally, DJ Davis was one of my favorite characters on the show.

So here's a DJ Davis birthday/Treme salute to Mr. Zahn.

Here he is on stage, with his band The Brassy Knoll, singing James Brown's "Sex Machine."

Here's D.J. Davis doing "Shame Shame Shame" during band rehearsal.

D.J. Davis raps!

Besides his singing "career," DJ Davis had a lot of Louisiana greats on his radio show. The late Coco Robicheaux has to be the coolest who ever walked into that studio. (Too bad I couldn't find the clip of Coco sacrificing a chicken in the studio -- which got Davis in a lot of trouble with his boss.)

Friday, November 09, 2018

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Peter Case Comes to Town plus Tony Joe White's Last Album

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
Nov. 9 , 2018
Peter Case 2010

The last time I saw Peter Case was in the summer of 2010 at one of Russ Gordon’s free shows at the Pajarito Mountain Ski Area. Case was touring for his album Wig, a punchy, bare-boned, blues-infused record that rocked harder than anything he’d done since his tenure with The Plimsouls in the early ’80s. (And, as far as I’m concerned, it’s still one of my favorite Case solo albums.) At the Los Alamos concert, he was backed only by longtime Santa Fe drummer Baird Banner. It was a terrific show, probably the best live Case set I’ve ever witnessed. Eight years later, I’m still jabbering on about it.

But maybe after next week, I’ll have something else to jabber about. Case is playing a show at Gig Performance Space (1808 Second St.), on Sunday, Nov. 11. (He’s also playing tonight,  Friday, Nov. 9 at The Cooperage in Albuquerque.)

So who is this guy?

Born in Buffalo, New York, in 1954, Case grew up in a nearby small town called Hamburg. Inspired by the record collections of his older sisters, he found himself playing in local rock ’n’ roll bands. His love for folk music took a quantum leap after he found a Mississippi John Hurt record in his local library. Soon he was playing in coffeehouses and on the streets of Buffalo.

By the mid-’70s, he was busking on the streets of the North Beach district of San Francisco. “That period was really the last explosion of the 1960s,” he told me in an interview in 2000. “It was great. Allen Ginsberg might walk up while you’re playing and start making up new verses.”

It was there where Case met songwriter Jack Lee. Leaving the folk scene, the two started the Nerves, one of the first California punk bands. When they split up, Case formed The Plimsouls, a roots-conscious power pop band.

Although The Plimsouls achieved national acclaim — Case’s “A Million Miles Away” became an early-’80s rock classic — Case just wasn’t satisfied. And one night in 1983, on a stage in Lubbock, it hit Case. “I longed to do the type of music I used to do,” he said. Soon after, The Plimsouls broke up and Case, at least in a metaphorical sense, was on his way back to the street corner.

Case at SXSW 1996
Case’s self-titled 1986 solo debut album and, even more so, its successor, The Man with the Blue Postmodern Fragmented Neo-Traditionalist Guitar, were so raw, so connected to musical, literary, and cultural undercurrents that had been repressed during the first half of the ’80s, they were downright jarring.

By the mid-’90s, Case was taking a dive into the deep end of folk music, signing to the venerated folkie label, Vanguard Records, which released Peter Case Sings Like Hell in 1993. It consisted of traditional roots songs on which he cut his proverbial teeth. Then came a string of strong records.

Case’s latest, On the Way Downtown, consists of live radio performances on FolkScene, a syndicated radio show from KPFK in Los Angeles. He played two performances there during his Vanguard years — one in 1998, the other in 2000.

The album features many of his best songs, including “Blue Distance,” “Icewater,” “Honey Child,” “Beyond the Blues,” “Still Playin’,” and the quirky “Coulda Shoulda Woulda,” which contains the immortal lyrics, “Coulda shoulda woulda stayed in school/James Brown was right/I was a fool.”

So here’s the deal: The chance to see Peter Case play in an intimate performing space like Gig is an opportunity not to be missed. Tickets to Case’s 7:30 p.m. gig are $22 in advance, $27 the day of show, at or 505-886-1251. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Also recommended:

* Bad Mouthin’ by Tony Joe White. I never got to meet Tony Joe White. But just from his deep drawl, his music straight out of the swamp, the hat, the sunglasses — I naturally assumed that the man who brought us “Polk Salad Annie” was the coolest guy alive.

And I still believe that, except for the “alive” part. American music lost a giant on Oct. 24, the day that Tony Joe died at the age of seventy-five. If Tony Joe’s death wasn’t sad enough, the swamp reaper came for him just after he’d released what would be his final album.

Bad Mouthin’ is a collection of Tony Joe literally singing the blues — blues filtered through White’s Louisiana soul and backed only by a drummer and White’s guitar.

There are several standards here that any casual fan of the blues should recognize, including Jimmy Reed’s “Big Boss Man,” Muddy Waters’ “Baby Please Don’t Go,” and John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom” and “Heartbreak Hotel” — made famous by a man called Elvis, who did probably the second-greatest version of “Polk Salad Annie.”

And there are more obscure songs, like Charley Patton’s “Down the Dirt Road Blues” and several Tony Joe originals, including the title tune, “Cool Town Woman,” in which you can hear Hooker’s influence. “I dreamed about you baby and the dog just howled all night” may be the best line in the whole album.

But at the moment, my favorite track here is the longest: A six-minute-plus version of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ “Awful Dreams.” Like Hopkins, Tony Joe does “Awful Dreams” low and slow. But long as it is, the song never drags. “I don’t know if I’m goin’ to heaven or hell,” he moans near the end of the song.

I don’t know, but it seems to me any heaven without Tony Joe White wouldn’t be heaven at all.

It's video time!

Here's Peter Case singing one of my favorites, "Entella Hotel"

Here's a rocker, "New Old Blue Car." (Warning: long introduction. You can skip ahead to about the 1:15 mark)

And here is Tony Joe live ... about a month before he died

Thursday, November 08, 2018

THROWBACK THURSDAY: Rock 'n' Roll Loves The Ripper

From the true-crime website Casebook
It was 130 years ago this Saturday -- Nov. 10, 1888 -- in the Spitalfields district in London that Thomas Bowyer, who was helping his boss collect back rent from a tenant, Irish-born Mary Jane Kelly, a 25-year-old prostitute, came upon a ghastly scene.

Kelly wouldn't be paying any back rent. She is believed to be the fifth and final victim of the serial killer known as Jack the Ripper.

From the website White Chapel Jack, which is all about the Ripper:

When Bowyer arrived at #13 Miller’s Court, he knocked on the door twice. Receiving no answer, he rounded the corner of the yard to see that a couple of glass windowpanes were broken. He reached in through the knocked-out glass and moved the curtain to see whether Mary Kelly was at home or not. The first thing he saw were what looked like two lumps of meat sitting on the bedside table.

The autopsy by Dr. Thomas Bond describes what the killer had done to Kelly

"The body was lying naked in the middle of the bed, the shoulders flat but the axis of the body inclined to the left side of the bed. The head was turned on the left cheek. The left arm was close to the body with the forearm flexed at a right angle and lying across the abdomen.

The right arm was slightly abducted from the body and rested on the mattress. The elbow was bent, the forearm supine with the fingers clenched. The legs were wide apart, the left thigh at right angles to the trunk and the right forming an obtuse angle with the pubes.

The whole of the surface of the abdomen and thighs was removed and the abdominal cavity emptied of its viscera. The breasts were cut off, the arms mutilated by several jagged wounds and the face hacked beyond recognition of the features. The tissues of the neck were severed all round down to the bone.

There are more gruesome details. You can read them all HERE.

If you must.

It's probably pretty twisted, but somehow Kelly's killer became a rock 'n' roll hero -- or at least the subject of a lot of songs.

Guitar hero Link Wray led the way with this rumbling instrumental in 1961. Below is a latter-day live performance.

A few years later, Screaming Lord Sutch was possessed by the spirit of the Ripper, at least during this performance:

Skip ahead a few decades to the early '90s and Nick Cave came up with this terrifying tune

Also in the '90s, another Jack did this version of Sutch's song

Finally, I'm not crazy about this next song by Danish pop-metal group Volbeat. But it's the only one I could find about Kelly herself .

Sunday, November 04, 2018


Sunday, November 4, 2018
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
House Rent Jump by Peter Case
Go Loco by Gogo Loco
Hemmin' and Hawin' by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
The Wild Ride of Ichabod Crane by The Blue Giant Zeta Puppies
Marijuana Hell by The Rockin' Guys
We're Gonna Crash by The Electric Mess
Shirts Off by Armitage Shanks
My Love is a Monster by Compulsive Gamblers
Slap by Hamell on Trial

Bosco Stomp / Papa's on the Housetop by Bayou Seco
Peter Case
Hey You by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Bullshit is Going On by Charlie Pickett
Shallow Grave by The Nevermores
I'd Kill For Her by Black Angels
Bloodlines by Full Speed Veronica

Pretty Jane LeBeaux by Cedar Hill Refugees
Wirt by LaBrassBanda
Rockabilly Fart by A Pony Named Olga
Abysmal Urn by Thee Oh Sees
Riot City by Archie & The Bunkers
Step Aside by Sleater-Kinney
She Said by The Cramps
Pero Te Amo by Reverend Beat-Man & Izobel Garcia

Slowly Losing My Mind by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Cool Town Woman by Tony Joe White
Awful Dreams by Lightnin' Hopkins
One Dog Bark by Thought Gang
Cold Trail Blues/HW 62 by Peter Case
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Peter Case is playing at GIG Performing Space, Sunday, Nov. 11. Bayou Seco is playing there the night before. Details on both shows are HERE

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Want to keep the party going after I sign off at midnight?
Go to The Big Enchilada Podcast which has hours and hours of music like this.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE


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