Sunday, March 31, 2019


Sunday, March 31, 2019
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
Wonky by The Reverend Horton Heat
Moon by REQ'D
Some Conversations You Just Don't Need to Have by Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
Oogam Boogam by Alex Chilton
One Ugly Child by Thee Headcoats
My Life to Live by The Flesh Eaters
Evergreen by Alien Space Kitchen
No Place in Space by The Scaners
Rockabilly Fart by A Pony Named Olga

Election Day in Satchidananda by Unknown Instructors
Nowhere to Hide by The Fadeaways
Hey You by Simon Stokes & The Heathen Angels
Earn Your Heaven by The Yawpers
Come and Get it by Mean Motor Scooter
Cut Me Down by The Ar-Kaics
It Is or It Ain't by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band

(all songs by The Mekons except where noted)

Tom, Sally, Jon & Rico -- and those are just
the Mekons who sing!

The Sun / The Galaxy Explodes
You Lied to Us by Mekons 77
Flowers of Evil Part 2
Hard to Be Human Again
Come and Have a Go If You Think You're Hard Enough
In the Desert
Big Zombie by Chivalrous Amoekons
Beaten & Broken by Robbie Fulks and Mini-Mekons
If I Was a Mekon by Too Much Joy
Cast No Shadows

Hillbilly Bop by Martha Fields
Be Real by Freda & The Firedogs
The Old Man's Soul by Henry Townsend
Lucky Day by Tom Waits
Evening All by Mekons 77
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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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. And there's a brand new hillbilly episode posted just this morning.

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 28, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Mekons Unleashed!

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March 29, 2018

There aren’t many bands that I’d fly across the ocean to see. The Mekons is one of them.

And if the group’s various performances at the 2017 Mekonville Festival in Pettaugh, Suffolk County, England — a glorious three-day celebration of the band’s 40-year history — weren’t enough to prove that my love for The Mekons wasn’t misplaced, their new album, Deserted, is.

It’s their best album in more than a decade. Of course, a couple of years ago, I told anyone willing to listen the same thing about their previous album, Existentialism. But Deserted is even better. It’s probably their best in a couple of decades. It’s wild, somewhat cryptic, beautiful in spots — and it rocks like folks their age (or my age) aren’t supposed to rock.

Now begins the obligatory part of the column I’ll call “Mekons 101,” which is sadly necessary because so many people don’t know The Mekons from Alexander’s Ragtime Band. The Mekons, a brash, loose-knit art-school band in Leeds, U.K., sprang out of the world of punk in the late 1970s. But by the mid-’80s, they’d gone on to incorporate elements of folk and country music — and, at times, reggae, other world music, and flirtations with electronica and other sounds.

Though sometimes referred to as a collective, this band has had an amazingly consistent membership for decades. Singers/guitarists Jon Langford and Tom Greenhalgh have been there since the beginning. Singer Sally Timms, fiddler Susie Honeyman, accordion man Rico Bell, oud/saz player Lu Edmonds, and drummer Steve Goulding all were in place by the mid-’80s.

The only current member who hasn’t been around since the ’80s or before is “new guy” Dave Trumfio, the bass player, who joined just a few years ago after serving as a sound engineer for the group. He started that job more than 20 years ago.

Deserted was recorded at a studio near Joshua Tree National Park in Southern California. I’d like to think the studio is the lonesome little trailer shown on the album cover and in the video of “Lawrence of California.” I don’t know if that’s so, but whatever the case, like Edward Abbey, The Mekons found incredible inspiration in the American desert. It permeates the lyrics as well as the music.

And if you listen close, you can hear the ghost of Gram Parsons, which haunts Joshua Tree, wailing in the background. (I’m making that up, but years and years ago, The Mekons did record Parsons’ “Sleepless Nights” as well as “$1,000 Wedding.”)

I knew I was going to love this album just a few seconds into the thunderous first song. “Lawrence of California” sounds like a lunatic’s call to arms — but one that’s tempting to follow because it’s so joyful and powerful. The band sings like an angry mob seemingly driven by Honeyman’s demonic fiddle. The song’s refrain, “I will be the king,” sounds like a last-gasp proclamation by the leader of a ragtag army about to be mowed down. (For most of their 42 years together, all original songs are simply credited to “The Mekons,” not individual members.)

“Harar 1883” deals with a military deserter (the title refers to a famous photograph of poet Arthur Rimbaud in Ethiopia), and is somewhat slower but no less mighty. And the most intense song here is “Mirage,” which sounds like a meditation on post-apocalyptic gloom.

By far the strangest song on Deserted is “Weimar Vending Machine,” which starts off with an ominous slow-burning tempo and lyrics about Iggy Pop trying to buy a sandwich from a vending machine in Berlin. It includes a lyrical shout-out to playwright Bertholt Brecht’s Threepenny Opera: “Show me the way to the next whiskey bar.” Then the music makes a sudden shift to the boogie, with Bell pounding on piano like Leon Russell backed by falsetto voices that remind me of Frank Zappa’s Flo & Eddie era. The oft-repeated refrain in the last couple of minutes is, “The priest is gone, the priest is gone ...”

One of the real highlights here is sweet, melodic, and pretty. That’s “How Many Stars?” which has deep folk roots. “Captain, Captain, tell me true/Does my sweet William ride with you?” (Sweet William — wasn’t that the fallen lover of “Pretty Peggy-O”?). The captain tells the woman, “He’s lost out in the dark, my dear.” Then the song takes a classic “Butcher Boy” turn, with the heroine taking a pen to paper for what turns out to be a suicide note. “Father, father dig my grave ... show them all I died for love.” The story is ancient, but the melody could haunt you forever.

Also recommended:

* It Is Twice Blessed by Mekons 77: One of the highlights of Mekonville in 2017 was the set by the original Mekons lineup, which featured Langford (on drums!) and Greenhalgh, as well as singers Andy Corrigan and Mark “Chalkie” White, guitarist Kevin Lycett, and bassist Ros Allen. It was too good to be a one-off, so late last year this group released this album of new recordings.

Though most of these Mekons emeriti had long forsaken the music biz, this record is amazingly tight. And there are a number of standout tracks.

I’m not sure what “Bug Out Time” is about, but it’s a wild stomper with audio traces of dub reggae. Some songs are political in content, such as “Borders,” “You Lied to Us,” and “Still Waiting” (which could be an answer to the early Mekons showstopper, “Where Were You?” The big hint is “the girl with the yellow hair,” who appears in both tunes).

Though there are other songs here fueled by political rage — like that other team of Mekons — there is also plenty of wry humor, so the album doesn’t come off as just another angry screed.

Video Mekons

Here's "Lawrence of California."

This is the Mekonville version of "How Many Stars," featuring Tom Greenhalgh's kids on background vocals. (I was standing pretty close to the stage on Susie and Lu's side.)

And here is some Mekons 77



Wednesday, March 27, 2019

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Songs of the Puppets

I'm a few days late, but I'd like wish each and every one of you a happy World Day of Puppetry!

According to the Puppeteers of America website, March 21 is the day to honor the puppets among us.

Puppetry in America is older than the country itself, but until the beginning of the 20th century, puppet shows were rare. Puppeteers kept their art a closely guarded secret, certainly not shared with the public. In the first half of the 20th century, some puppeteers (most notably Tony Sarg) helped to lift the veil of secrecy, sharing information about their work, which led to the formation of the Puppeteers of America in 1937...

Today, almost three quarters of a century onward, puppets hold a place in the public’s heart that is rivaled by few other arts. They appear on stage, in movies, on television, and now, on the Internet. The Puppeteers of America is proud to present this National Day of Puppetry taking place all over North America and brought to you by the local Puppeteers of America guild in your area.

I'm not even sure there is a Puppeteers of America guild in my area. But that doesn't matter. Puppets and music go together like peanut butter and bacon.

Listen to the puppets sing!

Hey Hey We're The Muppets


One of the first ventriloquist dummies I ever saw as a kid was Jerry Mahoney. Here he is singing with his special friend, Paul Winchell


There was a real chemistry between Andy Gibb and Madam

Here's an Elvis puppet song that was a hit in the '60s


James & Bobby Purify soulfully embraced their puppethood

More music and puppetry: 

Salute to Chic-a-Go-Go

Little Marcy

Jackie "Teak" Lazar

Chip the Black Boy

Sunday, March 24, 2019


Sunday, March 24, 2019
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
Red Red Robin by Rosie Flores
Single Again by The Fiery Furnaces
Heart by REQ'D
Wade in Bloody Water by The Grannies
Flesh Eating Cocaine Blues by Daddy Longlegs
Too Bad by Lonesome Shack
Mojo Workout by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Ink by ET Explore Me
Collection of Regrets by Weird Omen
Vault by Sleeve Cannon

Call Me Lucky by Dale Watson
Polk Salad Annie by Big Twist & The Mellow Fellows
Baby Please Don't Go by Tony Joe White
House Among the Thickets by The Flesh Eaters
How Many Stars by The Mekons
Bug Out Time by Mekons 77
Believe Me by Mark Sultan

My Beer Waa Talking to You by The Polkaholics
Human Question by The Yawpers
Friendly Fellows by Pea & The Peas
Don't Run, We're Your Friends by The Scaners
By the River by Sloks
99 Things by Lynx Lynx
Macorina by Reverend Beat-Man & Izobel Garcia
I Wanna Be There by Blues Magoos
Banned in Boston by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs

Let it Shine by Leo "Bud" Welch
Walking the Floor by Johnny Dowd
Evil Will Prevail by Flaming Lips
It Feels So Good to Love Someone Like You by Terrence Trent D'Arby
That'll Be the Bloody Day by Hamell on Trial
Out of This World by Loudon Wainwright III
My Old Man by Jerry Jeff Walker
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, March 21, 2019


As everyone surely knows by now, Dick Dale, the longstanding King of the Surf Guitar, died last week.

And as everyone surely knows, his best-known song, "Misirlou" did not start with Pulp Fiction. Or even Dick Dale. Dale, whose grandparents were from Beirut, has said in interviews that he first heard the song being sung by some of his older relatives.

In her obit in The New Yorker, Amanda Petrusich wrote

Though it feels deeply American—it is so heavy with the energy of teen-agers, hot rods, and wide suburban boulevards—“Misirlou” is in fact an eastern Mediterranean folk song. The earliest recorded version is Greek, from 1927, and it was performed in a style known as rebetiko, itself a complex mélange of Orthodox chanting, indigenous Greek music, and the Ottoman songs that took root in Greek cities during the occupation. (A few years back, I spent some time travelling through Greece for a Times Magazine story about indigenous-Greek folk music; when I heard “Misirlou” playing from a 78-r.p.m. record on a gramophone on the outskirts of Athens—a later, slower version, recorded by an extraordinary oud player named Anton Abdelahad—I nearly choked on my cup of wine.)

So today, let's hear some "Misirlou" through the ages.

According to Wikipedia (which is always right, this 1927 recording by Greek singer Theodotos Demetriades is the first known recording of the song.

This is a late '40s Lebanese version by Maestro Clovis - Ya Amal that has been subtitled "Egyptian Girl."

Dick Dale wasn't the first American to record "Misirlou." Jazz xylophonist Jan August did this one in the mid 1940s.

"Miserlou" also became a klezmer standard. This version is by Klezmer Sefardi recorded in Madrid (Spain, not New Mexico) in 2011.

My friend Leslie just last night sent me a video version of the song by The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain. (She sent a Facebook video but I'm not sure how to embed that one on this blog. However, apparently the UOGB has recorded several versions.)

But there is not, and there will never be a version like the mighty Dick Dale's. R.I.P. Dick!


Sunday, March 17, 2019


Sunday, March 17, 2019
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 Sky is a Poisonous Garden by Concrete Blonde
That's Tough by Gabriel & The Angels
Bone Machine by The Pixies
Eyes on Me by The Night Beats
Some People by Ar-Kaics
Dancing on My Knees by The Yawpers
Who Do You Love by Patti Smith
Corn Foo Fighting by The Hickoids
All I Know by The Neon Brothers
Don 't Wanna Wash Off Last Night by The Gaunga Dyns

Let's Go Let's Go, Let's Go by Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
You Can't Steal My Shine by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
Hornet by Jon Spencer
Blue Haired Lady by The Polkaholics
Pony Dress by The Flesh Eaters
How It's Done by Unknown Instructors
I'm a No Count by Ty Wagner
Sweet Jane by Lou Reed


Black Velvet Band by The Dubliners
Captain Kelly's Kitchen by Dropkick Murpheys
The Captain's Dead by Paddy & The Rats
The Likes of You Again by Flogging Molly
Donegal Express by Shane McGowan
Some Say the Divil is Dead by The Wolfe Tones
Forty Deuce by Black 47
Molly Malone by Sinead O'Connor

Oklahoma on my Mind by Martha Fields
Don't Let Nobody Drag Yo' Spirit Down by Linda Tillery & The Cultural Heritage Choir with Wilson Pickett & Eric Bibb
Jeep Cherokee Laredo by The War & Treaty
How Many Stars by The Mekons
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, March 14, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: Neverland Aftershocks

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March 15, 2018

I almost feel bad for fans of Michael Jackson following the revelations of Leaving Neverland, the recent HBO documentary detailing the agonizing allegations of sexual abuse, by Jackson, of two of his former kiddie pals, now grown men.


Like most living Americans my age, I became aware of Michael Jackson back in my late high school days, when The Jackson 5 began dominating pop charts.

I didn’t like them.

To me they were bubblegum soul, a black version of the Osmonds, who I also couldn’t stand. Both the Osmonds and the Jacksons were out there back then, each doing their best to damage AM radio beyond repair. (Now there’s a good thesis for a Ph.D. in pop culture: How Michael and Donny paved the way for Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity.)

Michael Jackson rarely crossed my mind for years after the demise of The Jackson 5. But around 1979, I started hearing songs from Jackson’s album Off the Wall on the radio — and I thought they didn’t stink too bad for disco-laden pop, going well beyond the pipsqueak pop of his early career.

And soon came Thriller, and with that, Michael Jackson basically became the ’80s in the eyes of his rapidly expanding fan base. As for me, after the initial thrill of Thriller was gone, Jackson once again just seemed cheesy to this old cynic.

At first, it was just that the glitz and excess of both his sound and his image seemed to epitomize everything about the ’80s that I hated.

But it ultimately wasn’t a question of musical taste that bothered me about Jackson and his worldwide legions of true believers. Whispers of pedophilia about Jackson and his seemingly endless parade of boy companions abounded for years.

I myself made a snarky innuendo in this very column back on Jan. 5, 1990. Reviewing a record by Terence Trent D’Arby (Neither Fish Nor Flesh, an album I still love), I wrote, “He can sound as angelic as Michael Jackson crooning lullabies to Webster or as wild as James Brown in a high-speed chase along a southern highway.” (Webster was a 1980s TV sitcom starring child actor Emmanuel Lewis, who was a frequent Jackson boy pal and houseguest in the ’80s.)

In 1993, the parents of one of his constant kiddie companions filed a civil lawsuit against Jackson, alleging he’d molested his son. Jackson settled the case, reportedly for more than $20 million. Jackson loyalists knew that it was just a case of money-grubbing parents trying to besmirch the honor of a wholesome entertainer who just happened to love children.

Yeah, that’s the ticket.

Then in 2003, British journalist Martin Bashir made a documentary called Living with Michael Jackson, in which the singer talked openly about sleeping with the little boys who were guests at his Neverland Ranch.

“It’s not sexual. We’re going to sleep. I tuck them in,” he said. “It’s very charming, it’s very sweet.”

And millions of his fans were charmed. Not so much the district attorney of Santa Barbara. Jackson would be charged with molesting another boy. This case went to trial, but the King of Pop beat the rap — with the help of testimony by Wade Robson, an Australian kid whose family had moved from their home country to California so he could be closer to Jackson, who he’d idolized.

Robson is one of the alleged victims at the center of Leaving Neverland, who in the documentary describes in excruciating detail his story of being raped by Jackson as a young boy.

Some of his fans still — and will always — defend Jackson. But not all. On social media, I’ve seen many Jackson fans who, after seeing the documentary, no longer care to defend him, despite growing up on his music and loving him for most of their lives. While it’s tempting to feel morally superior for never having been a Michael Jackson fan and for pegging him as a child molester years and years ago, I know how it is to have musicians you like transform into monsters.

For instance, I’ve always liked Western-swing pioneer Spade Cooley, even though he murdered his wife. I’ve even made sardonic jokes about that fact when playing Cooley on the radio.

But my perception of Donnell Clyde Cooley changed a couple of years ago when I heard an episode about him on the Cocaine & Rhinestones podcast. Host Tyler Mahan Coe described in brutal detail how Cooley not only killed but tortured Ella Mae Cooley and forced their fourteen-year-old daughter to watch.

“This was not a domestic argument that got out of hand,” Coe said in the podcast. “Not an accident with a dangerous weapon. Not a so-called crime of passion. This wasn’t even an isolated incident. It was a savage and deliberate execution which many people had to have seen coming.”

And while I haven’t thought much of or about the music of Ryan Adams in recent years, during the great alt-country scare in the mid-to-late ’90s, I was a huge fan of his old band Whiskeytown. For years I’ve thought of Adams, who’s always been known for his “bad boy” antics, as a guy who’s just too full of himself.

But a recent article in the New York Times contained serious accusations about his treatment of women, including one allegation that’s caught the interest of the FBI: that he engaged in “graphic texting” and phone sex on Skype with a female musician who was fifteen and sixteen at the time.

How do you separate a horrible man from his art that you love? No easy answer here. Last week comedian Bill Maher said he’ll still go on listening to Thriller — though he might have problems with one of the songs, the one subtitled “Pretty Young Thing.”

So before you start idolizing musicians — or other entertainers or politicians — realize they are not gods but humans. And some humans are just plain evil.

No Michael Jackson videos on this blog.

But here's some TTD:

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

WACKY WEDNESDAY: Happy Birthday Charo!

Charo in 2013
It's a cuchi cuchi Wacky Wednesday!

68 years ago in Murcia Spain -- that's the official story but there is dispute about the year of her birth -- María del Rosario Mercedes Pilar Martínez Molina Baeza was born, But that name was way too long for Las Vegas billboards or Tonight Show credits, so the singer/dancer/comedian/flamenco guitarists became known simply as Charo.

If you watched more than five minutes of television in the '70s you couldn't have missed her. She was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's show, though she first got national TV exposure on the Ed Sullivan Show in the '60s singing with her then-husband Xavier Cugat's band.

Despite her many talents, Charo in her heyday probably was known best for her sex appeal. She was quoted in Billboard saying, "Around the world I am known as a great musician. But in America I am known as the cuchi-cuchi girl. That’s okay because cuchi-cuchi has taken me all the way to the bank."

Here are some videos of Charo at work. Have a cuchi cuchi birthday, Charo!

Let's start with Charo on a Dean Martin special with Dino and Danny Thomas.

Here's Charo with Cher-o

But yes, she did have real musical talent having reportedly studied flamenco guitar at a school for unprivileged children founded by Andre Segovia. She shows her stuff on this 1977 video:

Cuchi cuchi forever!


Sunday, March 10, 2019


Sunday, March 10, 2019
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
Jungle Drums by The Dexter Romweber Duo
I Need You by the Rationals
Someone Else is in Control by Mystery Lights
Suburban Junky Lady by Royal Trux
Child of Mercy by The Yawpers
Cinderella by The Flesh Eaters
She Don't by Pussycat & The Dirty Johnsons
Lost in the Dunes by The Vagoos
Rootie Tootie Baby by King Salami & The Cumberland 3
Hobo Bill's Last Ride by Jason Ringenberg
Hey There Stranger by The Compressions

The Hippies Killed the Polka Star by The Polkaholics
Hit It and Quit It by Ty Segall
A Nod by Ty Segall & White Fence
Are You a Boy or Are You a Girl by The Barbarians
Only One by Lonesome Shack
Mirage by The Mekons

Tchoupitoulas Street by The Reverend Horton Heat
Frenchmen Street by The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band
My Name is Reverend Beat-Man by Reverend Beat-Man & Izobel Garcia
Elvis (We Have to Do That Little Thing) by Dirk Geil
Dream On by Johnny Dowd
Shirts Off by Armitage Shanks
Cold Cabin by The Thick 'Uns
Spin Like a Record by The Scaners

I It Were Me by Homer Henderson
Primitive by The Groupies
Pyscho by The Sonics
From the Estate of John Denver by DBUK
Circumstance by Eleni Mandell
I Ain't Got Nobody by Fats Waller
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, March 07, 2019

TERRELL'S TUNE-UP: 3 Rock 'n' Roll Holy Men

A version of this was published in The Santa Fe New Mexican 
March 8, 2018

I’m not sure how religious you gentle readers are, but I’m going to spotlight the latest albums by three righteous rock ’n’ roll reverends — the Reverend Horton Heat, Reverend Peyton, and Reverend Beat-Man. (Sorry, Reverend Gary Davis, but you’re, uh, dead.) All of these hell-raising holy men preach wild gospels that, to those with ears to hear, can lead to sweet salvation.

Let’s start with Rev. Heat, aka Jim Heath, the longest running member of this trinity, and his new record, Whole New Life. The Dallas native’s debut album, Smoke ’Em If You Got ’Em, was released by Sub Pop Records around the height of that influential label’s heyday, back in 1992.

Heath didn’t invent the term “psychobilly,” which was sometimes used to describe The Cramps in the late ’70s and early ’80s and was picked up by a bunch of British bands like The Meteors and Demented Are Go later in the ’80s.

But the term has been applied to Heath and his band, and they helped popularize it via an instrumental on their first album called “Psychobilly Freakout” — which, judging by the couple of times I’ve seen him perform, remains perhaps his most requested number.

Nobody would call Reverend Horton Heat “psychobilly” anymore. Like most of us who were around in the early ’90s, he’s mellowed and his songs aren’t quite as frenzied as they used to be. But he’s still got a rockabilly heart and the new album has plenty of high-powered rump-shakers. “Perfect” is a perfect example, as is “Got It in My Pocket.” (No, it’s not a rocket, like that old 1958 rockabilly classic by Jimmy Lloyd goes. It’s a diamond ring for a woman to whom he’s going to propose.)

Other standout tracks on Whole New Life include the bluesy “Hog Tyin’ Woman”; the jaunty Professor Longhair/Fats Domino-style New Orleans romp called “Tchoupitoulas Street,” which shows off the talents of the band’s new piano player Matt Jordan; and an uptempo slice of craziness called “Wonky.” (I’m still trying to wrap my mind around a rockabilly song titled “Wonky.”)

Late last year, the prolific Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (as fans know, a trio from rural Indiana headed by singer/slide guitarist Josh Peyton), released its latest album, Poor Until Payday.

The Big Damn Band — which includes the reverend’s wife, Breezy Peyton, on washboard and background vocals, and drummer Maxwell Senteney — doesn’t break a lot of new musical ground. Basically, if you liked any of their blues-infused, touched-by-gospel albums in the past 15 years or so, or if you’ve enjoyed any of their live shows (they’ve played in Santa Fe and Albuquerque several times in recent years), chances are you’ll like this record.

While Peyton has yet to top his greatest song (“Your Cousin’s on Cops,” from 2008’s The Whole Fam Damnily), there are some fine new tunes in this latest batch. The rousing title song is a soulful rocker about a guy promising to show his woman a good time once his next check comes.

“Get the Family Together” is a rowdy but sweet little tune with some good advice: “Don’t wait for a funeral to get the family together.” And, speaking of funerals, “Church Clothes” is an acoustic song about a guy who needs decent threads because “you know we got the worst kind of call/and I can’t go to town in these dirty overalls.”

And just like Reverend Heat’s latest, Reverend Peyton’s new one has a song about a street in New Orleans. Unlike “Tchoupitoulas Street,” “Frenchmen Street” doesn’t have a lot of Professor Longhair in it. (No piano, for one thing.) And there isn’t a hint of brass either, but every time I hear it, in my mind’s eye I see and hear the impromptu brass band I saw forming one night on Frenchmen Street a few years ago.

And then there’s Reverend Beat-Man, aka Beat Zeller, a Bern, Switzerland, wild man who is more than just a “reverend” when it comes to primitive, trashy rock. He’s the high priest — naw, he’s the dang pope — of “Blues Trash Folk Noir,” the name he gives to the music on Baile Bruja Muerto, his latest album, which is co-credited to Izobel Garcia, a honey-voiced singer (who also plays drums and keyboards) from Los Angeles. Garcia collaborated with Beat-Man on last year’s dandy album, Blues Trash.

Dedicated Beat-Man fans will recognize that the first two songs on this record are ones he’s recorded before. “Pero Te Amo” (But I Love You), sung in Spanish by Garcia, who also performed it on Blues Trash. The Baile Bruja Muerto version is more hard-edged, but Garcia’s voice is equally stunning.

Meanwhile, “Come Back Lord” is a Beat-Man rewrite of an obscure old ’60s garage-rock tune (“Come Back Bird” by an Abilene, Texas, band called Chevelle V), with lyrics about God, sex, and the devil.

At the moment, my favorite tracks are the fuzzed-out rocker “I Never Told You,” sung by Garcia; a cover of a Venom song, “Black Metal,” which has lyrics that seem personally tailored for Beat-Man (“Lay down your soul to the gods of rock ’n’ roll ...”); and Garcia’s take on the Costa Rica-born Chavela Vargas’ “Macorina,” another song she sings in Spanish.

The album ends with a trademark Beat-Man seven-minute spoken-word, sometimes obscene psychosexual religious rant/sermon called "My Name Reverend Beat-Man." Nobody does it like the Rev.

Let's do some videos!

Here's Rev. Heath

Rev. Peyton

And Rev. Beat-Man with Izobel Garcia


Last week I regaled and delighted you readers with a deep dive into the song "Just a Gigolo."

But to fans of Louis Prima & Keely Smith -- and David Lee Roth and The Village People, "Just a Gigolo" is just a half a song -- the other half being "I Ain't Got Nobody."

"I Ain't Got Nobody" was copyrighted in 1915 by lyricist Roger A. Graham and composer Spencer Williams. But authorship is disputed. The late St. Louis pianist Charles Warfield claimed that he'd actually written it with lyrics by Dave Peyton.

Whoever wrote it, the song had legs.

A singer named Marion Harris might have been the first to record it back in 1916,

A decade later Bessie Smith turned it into a blues song.

Louis Armstrong recorded the tune in 1929. (On a later, separate record, he also did a version of "Just a Gigolo.")

Fats Waller picked up the tempo on his mid '30s version. He'd also recorded instrumental versions of the song back in the '20s including one featuring Fats on pipe organ.

In the 40s, Bob Wills swung the song to Texas.

And just a few years ago, Patti Smith sang a retro take, probably closest to the one by fellow Smith Bessie, for the closing credits of HBO's Prohibition-era crime drama Boardwalk Empire.

To conclude, here is Louis Prima's first recording of the "Just a Gigolo/I Ain't Got Nobody" medley in 1945. I still prefer the one we know and love from the '50s, but this is where it started:

In case you missed the link for my look at "Just a Gigolo," CLICK HERE
And for the Stephen W. Web Log Songbook, CLICK HERE

For Wavy Gravy

Sunday, March 03, 2019


Sunday, March 3, 2019
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
Journey to the Center of the Mind by The Amboy Dukes
Cramp Stomp by The Cramps
Cosmonaut by Mean Motor Scooter
Death of a Rockstar by Echocentrics
Good Good Crack by The Fleshtones
Lonely by Lonesome Shack
Surrealistic Feast by Weird Omen
Little Girl by John & Jackie

I'm a Man by Ty Segall
RATFINK by Balzac
Twice Thrice by Alien Space Kitchen
My Life to Live by The Flesheaters
Moon by REQ'D
Hand in Hand by Unknown Instructors
Looking by Archie & The Bunkers

In the Desert by The Mekons
Stuck in a Static in Camber by Mekons 77
It's All About the Money by The Standells
Don't Bother Me by Mark Sultan
Desert Mile by King Khan
Demona by Martha Fields
Many Happy Hangovers to You by Jason Ringenberg
Butterfly by Charlie Gracie

The Man of Your Dreams by Johnny Dowd
Don't Let the Devil Ride by Leo "Bud" Welch
Lass Uns Liebe Machen by Reverend Beat-Man & Izobel Garcia
Thirty-nine and Holding by Jerry Lee Lewis
Nostalgia by Full Speed Veronica
Gotta Lotta Love by The Cactus Blossoms
Just a Gigolo / I Ain't Got Nobody by Louis Prima & Keely Smith with San Butera & The Witnesses
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

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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.

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