Friday, August 22, 2014


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Friday, August 22, 2014 
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 below:

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page 

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Mustache on the Cabbage: A Music History Lesson

The album where I first heard "Cabbage Head" in the '80s

Here's the tale about a funny little song that has bounced across the ocean, across the centuries and across musical genres.

Back in the early 80s, when I first started getting into the iconic New Orleans piano man, Professor Longhair, I came across a song that sounded familiar. The name of the tune was "Cabbage Head." It was a funny story of a man who comes home "as tired as I can be" several nights in a row. And each night he sees something suspicious and out of place. Each time, his wife Sally has an explanation, but it doesn't quite add up.

Hear for yourself on the video below:

The thing is, I'd heard the song years before, albeit, with a different melody and slightly different lyrics. The British folk-rock band Steeleye Span had recorded it on one of their early albums, Ten Man Mop under the name "Four Nights Drunk."

Notice here that the cuckolded narrator is "so drunk I couldn't see" rather than "tired as a man can be."

Sung by Martin Carthy, backed by fiddler Peter Knight, "Four Nights Drunk" listed "Traditional" under the songwriter credits.

And traditional it is. According to several sources it was known in London in the 1760s under the name "The Merry Cuckold and the Kind Wife." It's one the 300-plus Child Ballads (traditional ballads from the British Isles collected by Francis James Child during the 1800s) under the rather boring title "Our Goodman." And reportedly, it was popular in other European countries

The versions collected by Child have lyrics are slightly different than Fess 'or Steeleye's or any of the modern verses I've come across. But despite the archaic dalect, you get the same basic idea. Here's the first verse of the first version:

 Hame came our goodman,
And hame came he,
And then he saw a saddle-horse,
Where nae horse should be.
‘What’s this now, goodwife?
What’s this I see?
How came this horse here,
Without the leave o me?’
‘A horse?’ quo she.
‘Ay, a horse,’ quo he.
‘Shame fa your cuckold face,
Ill mat ye see!
’Tis naething but a broad sow,
My minnie sent to me.’
‘A broad sow?’ quo he.
‘Ay, a sow,’ quo shee.
‘Far hae I ridden,
And farrer hae I gane,
 But a sadle on a sow’s back
 I never saw nane.’

And some of the lyrics were actually raunchy, as the drunken or "tired" narrator discovers other strange things in his bed. ("Who owns that thing in your thing where my old thing should be?") Most of those verses didn't make it to recordings, however -- though years ago I remember hearing a version by English folksinger Ewan MacColl that was downright nasty. Unfortunately, I can't find that online.

So how did this song get from the misty moisty British Isle to Roy Byrd's piano in New Orleans?

Apparently, like so many old British, Scottish and Irish folk songs, it  came over with immigrants from those parts and found a home in the American South. Harry Smith's Anthology of American Folk Music has a version titled "Drunkard's Special" by a singer named Coley Jones. J.E. Mainer did a dandy version called "Three Nights Drunk," that was recorded by Alan Lomax and included in the Southern Journey series. Riley Puckett, backed by Gid Tanner on fiddle did a similar version.

There's a more modern version from 1958 called "Mustache on the Cabbage Head" by Luke Gordon that skirts the borders of country and rockabilly:

Blues and R&B artists discovered the song also. Blind Lemon Jefferson did a version called  "Laboring Man Away from Home" (which, sadly I've never heard and can't find online). Ruth Brown did a slow, jazzy "Cabbage Head." And Sonny Boy Williamson did a great version called "Wake Up Baby" in 1958, that has the same basic melody as Professor Longhair's. He also was "as tired as a man can be."

Meanwhile, back across the Atlantic, the Irish folk band known as The Dubliners had a hit with their version called "Seven Drunken Nights." (Decades later the Chicago Celt-Punk band called The Tossers did a similar, if more rocked-out, version with the same title.)

And why am I not surprised that the song found its way to the late great Rudy Ray Moore, who recorded it not once, but twice. He called it "Old Cabbage Head" on his 1994 Return of Dolemite - "Superstar" album and, a truly filthy version on 21st Century Dolemite. The earlier one is a country spoof featuring "the world's first black country & western female singer, Jeannie Marie." The latter is harder-edged and funkier.

The song has appeared under titles such as  "Three Nights in a Barroom," "The Blind Fool,"  "Five Nights' Experience," "Coming Home Late," "Shickered As He Could Be" and others.

And somehow, just about all these versions make me grin when I hear these poor drunk, or "tired" people tell of the saddles on the sows and the mustaches on the cabbages they find in their homes.

Here's a Spotify playlist of many of the versions mentioned here and a few that weren't. (Unfortunately, they don't have Professor Longhair.)

Monday, August 18, 2014

New Big Enchilada Podcast: Another Fine Showcase of American Hillbilly Music


Welcome to the latest Big Enchilada podcast, Varmint Symphony. It's a hillbilly spectacular featuring raw animal country, rockabilly, bluesgrass, blues, country swing, cowpunk and other sounds to tickle your innards .Have fun, but don't let the possums get in your underwear drawer.


Here's the playlist
(Background Music: Greasy String by The West Virginia Coon Hunters)
Animal Hoedown by Harry Hayward
Johnny Law by Wayne Hancock
Someone Like You by Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys
Can't Pretend by Holly Golightly & The Brokeoffs
When That Helicopter Comes by The Handsome Family
Carve Dat Possum by Harry C. Brown & The Peerless Quartet

(Background Music: White Heat by Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys)
Devil Ain't No Quitter by James Hand
Sucker for a Cheap Guitar by Ronnie Dawson
The Pequot Dance Floor by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Him No Mo' by Crumb Catcher
Big T by Dale Watson
Where Do Ya Want It by Whitey Morgan & The 78s
Long in the Tooth by Billy Joe Shaver

(Background Music: Fiesta Alegre by Flaco Jimenez y Max Baca)
The Weasel, Bean, Frog and Dog by Splitlip Rayfield
21 Days in Jail by Magic Sam
Truckin' Little Woman by Dave & Phil Alvin
Big Bad Wolf by Clinton O'Neal & The Country Drifters
Set Up Another Drink by Carl Phillips
Coffee Grinder Blues by Asylum Street Spankers

Play it here:

Sunday, August 17, 2014


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Sunday, August 17, 2014 
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M. 
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time 
Host: Steve Terrell
101.1 FM
email me during the show! terrell(at)

Here's the playlist below;
OPENING THEME: Let it Out, Let it All Hang Out by The Hombres
God is a Bullet by Concrete Blonde
Go-Go Girls by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
Just a Little Bit of You by The A-Bones
On My Way to Houston by Powell St. John & The Aliens
Living in Squalor by Chump
Stukas Over Disneyland by The Dickies
Devil Drag Strip by The Fumes
Staring Down by New Mystery Girl
Skinny Mama by Floyd Jones

Stuff They Call Money by Dave & Phil Alvin
Buzz Buzz Buzz by The Blasters
21 Days in Jail by Magic Sam
Black Cadillac by Figures of Light
Sharknado by The Barbaraellatones 
Linda's Gone by The Black Angels
Epopeya by Doctor Simio
Cockroach Crawl by the Del-Gators

Everybody Got a Little Devil in Their Soul by Bobby Patterson
Big Bad John by Big John Hamilton 
Escape by Night by King Shark
Stop Breakin' Down Black Joe Lewis & The Honeybears
One More Try by Barrence Whitfield & The Savages
Ain't No Sunshine by Freddie King
Maybe Your Baby by The Dirtbombs
Your Love Belongs Under a Rock by Bobby Patterson

All Tomorrow's Parties by Frontier Circus
Black Girls by Violent Femmes
I Dig Black Girls by Charlie Whitehead
Saved by The Mighty Clouds of Joy
That's Life by Big Maybelle
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Like the Terrell's Sound World Facebook page

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE

Friday, August 15, 2014


Santa Fe Opry Facebook Banner

Friday, August 15, 2014 
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 below:
OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens 
Sick Rick by Misery Jackals
Monroe by Howlin' Brothers
Highway Cafe by Kinky Friedman
Lug Nut Larry by Dale Watson
The King's Shilling by Del McCoury
Jezebelle by Steve Train & His Bad Habits
Side by Side Doublewides by The Hickoids
The Spasm by Daddy Stovepipe & Mississippi Sarah

Just Let Go/ It Ain't All Flowers by Sturgill Simpson
Yankee Taste by Jayke Orvis
Highway 41 by Husky Burnette
Gotta Get to Heaven by Scott H. Biram
Baby Let Me Follow You Down by Bob Dylan & The Band
Can You Blame the Colored Man by South Memphis String Band
The Cockfight by Sam the Sham & The Pharoahs
I Wear the Scars by James Hand

Dave & Phil Alvin set
How You Want it Done by Dave & Phil
Never No More Blues by The Blasters
Collins Cave by Phil Alvin
So Long Baby by Jo-el Sonnier
Goodbye Again by Dave Alvin with Rosie Flores
Just a Dream by Dave & Phil
House aren't Stomp/Crawdad Hole by Big Bill Broonzy
Long White Cadillac by Janis Martin
Big Bill Blues by Dave & Phil

A Girl Named Johnny Cash by Harry Hayward
Checkers and Chess by Billy Joe Shaver
Down to Seeds and Stems Again by Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen
One Last Look by Angry Johnny & The Killbillies
Epitaph (Black and Blue) by Kris Kristofferson 

Like the Santa Fe Opry Facebook page 

Subscribe to The Big Enchilada Podcast! CLICK HERE
Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list