Adventures on the Tunetravelling Highway
With chugging accordeons and wailing, sailing fiddles, Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie present a vibrant collection of vintage and modern tunes and songs in French, Spanish and English, as learned from old master musicians and friends in the Southwest, USA.  They are joined on some tracks by long time loyal Bayou Seco members Paul and Benny Rangell, Emily Abbink, Scott Mathis and Linda Askew, Michael Combs, and Terry Bluhm.



Adventures on the Tunetravelling Highway
With chugging accordions and wailing, sailing fiddles, Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie present a vibrant collection of vintage and modern tunes and songs in French, Spanish and English, as learned from old master musicians and friends in the Southwest, USA.  They are joined on some tracks by long time loyal Bayou Seco members Paul and Benny Rangell, Emily Abbink, Scott Mathis and Linda Askew, Michael Combs, and Terry Bluhm.

Listen to Chile Verde:

(Notes in French at end of English notes – Les notes en Français apres les notes en Anglais)

1 Keep On The Sunnyside of Life – © (A.P.Carter)Ralph Peer Int./ASCAP
2 Valse de 30 Ans/Cactus 2 Step – Words J.McLerie/ trad/Bayou Seco.
3 Flor de Dahlia – © Antonia Apodaca 1991
4 The Rio Grande – Michael Combs © 1986
5 The Bunkhouse Orchestra/George Booker – Words – Charles Badger Clark/trad.
6 The Fat Doctor/Rattlesnake Jig – from Pete and JP Lewis
7 Chile Verde – Trad/words Keppeler/McLerie/Rangell/Abbink
8 Quelle Etoille – L. Levergne and S. Bergeron, Flat Town Music
9 Red Shoes/St.Rose of Lima Mazurka – trad. Tohono O odham- from Elliott Johnson
10 Coplas/Cleo Three-O – Arellano Eseqiuel/Cleofes Ortiz
11 The Old Cowman (The Wire) – Charles Badger Clark/ver from Archie West
12 F & C Chotis – from Pete Lewis
13 Ma Petite Mignonne – from Edius Naquin
14 La Valse Qui Finit Dans Le Coin de la Maison – Dennis McGee
15 Tecolotito/ Campanas Doradas – Ricardo Archeluta/Cleofes Ortiz
16 La Camila/La Cadena – trad/Cleofes Ortiz
17 Brand New Day – © 1991 Jeanie McLerie – Buvette Music – BMI
18 Bonus track – George Booker

Late winter, early spring, is an exciting time in New Mexico. It is a stay-at-home/recording time of year for us, before we begin the summer travels to points far and wide. The winds bluster, and the big clouds skitter from west to east. Corn snow showers down between brilliant sunny spells.

We race to beat the arrival of juniper pollen which has a different release time each year depending on the year’s moisture level, and we save the instrumentals to be recorded for last. The juniper trees look like they are on fire when the smokey, dusty pollen poofs off the branches, and causes our vocal chords and nasal passages to suffer. So on this our 12th album, entering our 4th decade of making music together, we have enjoyed our homemade frontroom music studio on Fiddle Hill in Silver City. Out the windows are lovely vistas of dormant winter xeriscape gardens, birds enjoying the bird feeder and baths, ravens and hawks swooping in the vast sky and, the old silver mines and Gila Mountains in the distance. Life is good, mais yeah!!!!!

The spirit and soul of a region is held forever in its music. We want to acknowledge all the great musicians who have been our friends and mentors over the years. Even though we were born near the east (Jeanie) and west (Ken) coasts, we have found our home for the past 28 years in the high deserts and mountains of New Mexico. Many of Ken’s family had migrated to this area (from Germany and Ireland) a long time ago, and some of Jeanie’s in more recent years. Well, you can’t pick where you are born, but you sure can go and find your spiritual home base, and we’re glad we did. All of these tunes and songs have a strong visual and olfactory part to them, and we are sorry we cannot give that to the listeners. You can only imagine the beauty of the landscape, and the delicious chile and beans, freshly rolled tortillas, gumbo, or beef stew that accompanied our first acquaintance with the music. So go and cook up something tasty, and start dancing. Here’s to the continued life of this monumental music.
Jeanie McLerie and Ken Keppeler

1 Keep On The Sunnyside of Life – An old time solar energy song, always a favorite of ours from the Carter Family. A life mantra. Dear friends Scott and Linda came to visit one evening and added their special touches.
2 Valse de 30 Ans/ Cactus 2 Step -The tune is la Valse de Mêches, but as usual the words were miserable, so I wrote something happy to commemorate our 30th anniversary of togetherness. Hey babe, this waltz of life started 30 years ago. Each day is a treasure and you fill my soul. We are living the life of our dreams, and each day is better than the day before. The second tune is known as the Camel One Step. Dennis McGee played it, but Ken added a 3rd part – a polka from his childhood in east LA. Attention les Cactus!
3 Flor de Dahlia – We learned this from our old friend Antonia Apodaca, and we love the sentiment. She has a large collection of Dahlias which winter over in a 5 foot deep hole in her front yard in Rociada, NM. We still wish we could get her a week of gigs in Europe so that she could share her music there.
4 The Rio Grande – Miguel wrote this beautiful song about our famous river. It is a classic in the great family of river songs.
5 The Bunkhouse Orchestra/George Booker – We love this Charles Badger Clark poem, and figured this was the right tune for it. The second tune is a funky, swingy one we have always loved. It books. For anyone who has a White/Keppeler violin, Jeanie has most likely programmed this tune into the instrument.
Tracks 6-8 were recorded live in Santa Fe, August 24-25, 2007 at the 33rd Traditional Music and Bluegrass Festival with Bayou Seco Grande – – Paul and Emily, Terry, Scott, Linda, and 17 year old Benny Rangell on Jeanie’s 65th birthday, and the Bayou Seco’s 26th birthday (Ken, Jeanie and Paul first played there together in 1981, and named the band that day.)
6 The Fat Doctor/Rattlesnake Jig – from Pete and JP Lewis down in Crow Flats, NM. The Lewis family has been fiddling and cowboying in Southern Otero County for more than 100 years. They have a wonderful bunch of tunes and we love jamming with them.
7 Chile Verde – This is a very popular song of ours. We used the tune, Besos y Cerezas (Fresno Chiles) that Kenny Hall in Fresno sings. We came up with the N.M. words with Paul and Emily a long time ago.
8 Quelle Etoille – What a star!! We send this out to our wonderful community of Silver City, NM where we have lived for the past 11 years.
9 Red Shoes/St.Rose of Lima Mazurka – Two lovely Tohono O odham tunes from Elliott Johnson that we learned when we used to visit him in Cababi, Arizona in the early 90’s.
Put on your little old red shoes and let s go dancing.
10 Coplas/Cleo Three-O – Arellano Eseqiuel sang this for the Juan B. Rael collection in 1940, up in Arroyo Hondo, NM. These verses would have been sung at any celebration or función to honor a guest. The following three tunes, a redondo, a cuadrilla and a cutillio, we learned from el maestro violinista, Cleofes Ortiz from Bernal, NM.
11 The Old Cowman (The Wire) – Ken learned this Charles Badger Clark song from Archie West up in Cerrillos, NM and he wrote some additional verses. See below.
12 F & C Chotis – from Pete Lewis in Crow Flats. The Lewis family know more chotis’s than any other fiddlers we have ever met. This one has such an unusual syncopation.
13 Ma Petite Mignonne – from Edius Naquin. A cajun version of a shape shifting/metamorphis song. It is related to the British ballads like ‘The Twa Magicians’ and ‘Tam Lin’. Ken wrote the nice translation to make it all more understandable.
14 La Valse Qui Finit Dans Le Coin de la Maison (The Waltz That Finishes in the Corner Of the House) – We used to play this wonderful mischievous tune on our back porch at the Buvette with the great Dennis McGee back in the late 70s in Eunice, Louisiana. Ken plays the melody on the 1st and 3rd times through, while Jeanie seconds on the low strings. On the 2nd time through, they switch.
15 Tecolotito/Campanas Doradas – Ricardo Archeluta sang this for the Juan B. Rael collection in 1940 up in Antonito, 1940. Little Owl where have you come from? Have you brought sad news of a love gone missing? Let’s have an owl party, little bird hoohoohoo. Poor little animal who is hungry. Little brave owl that sings in January and April.
Cleofes Ortiz taught us the spooky Talien (Italien tune) – which he called Campanas Doradas (Golden Bells).
16 La Camila/La Cadena – two Spanish Colonial dance tunes we learned from Cleofes Ortiz. Miguel added the nice rhythm guitar part. Look on our website for the instructions for these and other NM dances.
17 Brand New Day – Jeanie wrote this lullaby a long time ago, and wanted to share it with the children and parents of the world.
18 Bonus track – George Booker – Just in case you think we always play everything the same.

THE WORDS – Words that didn’t make it onto the actual CD notes are at the end.
There are also instructions to some New Mexican Spanish Colonial Dances at the very end.

LA VALSE DE TRENTE ANS © Jeanie McLerie 2008

Hey Bebé, c est la valse de la vie
Qu’on a commencé il’y a longtemps dans la Louisiane.
Chaque jour avec toi est un tresor special,
Et tu connais cherie, tu remplie mon ame.

Et ‘tit monde, tu m’as promis ton ‘tit coeur
Il y a trente ans qu’on a fait les serments.
Et asteur nous vivons la vie de nos rêves,
Plus jolie at manifique que le jour avant.

FLOR DE DAHLIA – from Antonia Apodaca of Rociada, NM .

Que bonito huerto tienes, flor de dahlia
Seria mi amor, el que le hacen de regando
Dame un besito, un abrazo y cuando y cuando,
Me traes ingrido por tu ingrato corazón.

De tu jardin, me diras una rosita
Que se llame Blanco Flor de Amapolita.
Me decia, la vida mia, estoy solita.
Me traes ingrido por tu ingrato corazón.

Oh what a garden, my pretty little flower
It’s my love that really makes you grow.
Oh my darling, my pretty little dahlia
I’m going crazy for your love.

In winter I put you underground,
In the summer I plant you all around
Oh my darling, my pretty little dahlia
I’m going crazy for your love.

De tu jardin, me diras una semilla
Que se llame Blanca Rosa de Castilla.
Que te olvides es imposible, vida mia,
Me traes engrido por tu ingrata corazón

Oh you garden, I want a little flower.
Oh you garden, I want a little love.
Oh my darling, my pretty little dahlia
I’m going crazy for your love.

COPLAS – from Esquiel Arellano, Arroyo Hondo, NM. – Juan B. Rael collection 7/30/40

Señor Lee tiene por nombre, y Rael por más grandesa.
Que lo conozcan por hombre, y también por delicadeza.

Señor Lee is his name, and Rael for more greatness.
May they know him as a man, and also for his thoughtfulness.

Señor don Leandro Rael, ahora que está aquí presente.
Junto con su amada esposa, esa estrella, reluciente.

Señor don Leandro Rael, he has travelled very far.
Along with his beloved wife, she is such a shining star.

English translations by Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie

Ma petite mignonne si tu voudrais m’aimer
Je te donnerais cent livres de mon argent .
Ça te mettrait le cœur cent fois plus content que tu l’as.

My dear if you’d love me, I’d give you all my gold,
I’d give to you a hundred pounds of gold,
Your happiness would grow by a hundred fold.

Je me mettrais anguille, anguille dans ce vivier
Pour pas que t’aies aucun de mes amitiés.

If you became an eel, an eel out in the pond
I’d become a fisherman of eels,
I’d fish for you and find the one that I love.

Mais si tu te mets pêcheur, pêcheur pour me pêcher
Je me mettrais caille dans le bois
Pour pas que t’aies aucun de mes amitiés.

Well if you turned into a quail, a quail in the dark wood
Well I’d become a hunter of Quail,
I’d hunt the quail and find the one I love.

Mais si tu te mets chasseur, chasseur pour me chasser
Je me mettrais soleil dans le ciel
Pour pas que t’aies aucun de mes amitiés.

Well if you could be the sun, the sun up in the sky,
I’d become a cloud to cover you o’er
My lovely cloud would gather the light of your love

Mais si tu te mets nueage, nueage pour me cacher
Je me mettrais rose dessus le rosier
Pour pas que t’aies aucun de mes amitiés.

Well, if you became a rose, love blooming in the bush
I surely would become a wasp,
And a thousand kisses I’d give to the one that I love.

Mais si tu te mets guêpe, ô guêpe pour m’embrasser
Je me mettrais fille morte pour enterrer
Pour pas que t’aies aucun de mes amitiés.

But if you were a maiden in death, and buried in the ground
I’d become the earth to bury you,
That hole in the earth would be covered with all of my love

Mais si tu mets terre, ô terre pour m’enterrer
Desend sur la terre, je t’epouserai
On restera le reste de nos jours ensemble.

If you became the earth, the earth that would bury me
Descend to the earth and marry me.
We’ll joyfully spend the rest of our days in love.


Ma petite mignonne si tu voudrais m’aimer
Je te donnerais cent livres de mon argent
Ca te mettrait le coeur cent fois plus content que tu l’as.

Je me mettrais anguille, anguille dans ce vivier
Pour pas que t’aies aucune de mes amitiés.

Mais si tu te mets anguille, anguille dans ce vivier
Je me mettrais pecheur d’anguille
Je pecherais l’anguille que je voudrais.

Mais si tu te mets pecheur, pecheur pour me pecher
Je me mettrais caille dans le bois
Pour pas que t’aies aucune de mes amitiés.

Mais si tu te mets caille, caille dans ce beau bois
Je me mettrais chasseur de caille
Je chasserais la caille que je voudrais.

Mais si tu te mets chasseur, chasseur pour me chasser
Je me mettrais soleil dans le ciel
Pour pas que t’aies aucune de mes amitiés.

Mais si tu te mets soleil, soleil dedans le ciel
Je me mettrais nueage pour te cacher
Je cacherais le soleil que je voudrais.

Mais si tu te mets nueage, nueage pour me cacher
Je me mettrais rose dessus le rosier
Pour pas que t’aies aucune de mes amitiés.

Mais si tu te mets rose, rose dessus le rosier
Je me mettrais guepe pour t’embrasser Je’embrasserais la rose que je voudrais.

Mais si tu te mets guepe, o guepe pour m’embrasser
Je me mettrais fille morte pour enterrer
Pour pas que t’aies aucune de mes amitiés.

Mais si tu te mets fille morte, fille morte pour enterrer
Je me mettrais terre pour enterrer J’enterrerais la fille que je voudrais.

Mais si tu mets terre, o terre pour m’enterrer
Desend sur la terre, je t’epouserai
On restera le reste de nos jours ensemble.

TECOLOTITO – sung by Ricardo Archuleta, Antonito, Co. 8/4/40 – from the Juan B. Rael collection

Tecolote ¿de dónde vienes?, tecolote ¿de dónde vienes?
Del pueblo de Colorido, del pueblo del Colorido, ju.

Vengo a traerte la noticia, vengo a traerte la noticia
Que tu amor esta perdido, que tu amor esta perdido, ju.

Pajaro pu, pu, pu, pobrecito animalito
Tiene hambre el tecolotito, ju.

Tecolotito valiente, tecolotito valiente
Que cantates en Enero, que cantates en Enero, ju.

¿Porqué no sé juntan todos, porqué no sé juntan todos
Y hacen un tecolotero, y hacen un tecolotero, ju?

Pajaro pu, pu, pu, pobrecito animalito
Tiene hambre el tecolotito, ju.

Tecolotito valiente, tecolotito valiente
Que cantates en Abril, que cantates en Abril ju.

BRAND NEW DAY – © Jeanie McLerie – Buvette Music 1991

The day is done, the sun is set, now it’s time to take your rest
Crawl into bed, pull the covers up under your chin.
Kiss your mom and dad goodnight, pet the cat, turn out the light,
Relax your mind, now it’s time to let dreams begin.

Fold your hands beneath your chin, forgive the bullies and bless
your friends and remember, tomorrow’s a brand new day.

Le jour est fini, soleil couché, c’est l’heure de se reposer
Saute dans le lit, tire la couette dessus ton menton.
Embrasse ton papa et ta maman, caresse le chat, deteint la lampe,
C’est le moment ou les réves peut commencer.

THE WIRE -Additional verses by Ken Keppeler

I wish to Hell we had DSL
Instead of dial up
Downloading all our messages
We dare not interrupt
We start out when the sun says, “Hi”
Off in the eastern sky
And finish when the coyotes howl
And in our beds we lie.

Oh, it’s beep! beep! beep!
The phone line does conspire
To slowly download all our files
Ten kilobytes an hour
All your photos come wrapped up
In a form called JPG
And by the time I see your kids
They’ll be older than me.

Oh, it’s squeak! squeak! squeak!
Email squeezes through the wire
I hope I’ll get a love poem
To set my heart a-fire
But when it finally reaches me
I find it’s only spam
I think it’s time to cash it in
And find another land.

Ken Keppeler – 1 and 3 row diatonic accordeons, Keppeler fiddle, harmonica, guitar, vocals and triangle
Jeanie McLerie – 5 string Keppeler/White fiddles-(CGDAE,CFCGD), J-45 Gibson guitar,vocals
Michael Combs – Vocal and guitar on #4, guitar on # 9,12,16
Paul Rangel – guitar #6, guitarron/vocals on #7,8
Emily Abbink – vocals #7, 8
Terry Bluhm – Acoustic bass #6
Scott Mathis – Mandolin/vocal/guitarron on #1, mandolin/vocal on # 7, triangle on # 8
Linda Askew – Guitar on # 1,7,8
Benny Rangell – Peter White Fiddle on # 7,8

Cover Art by Ken Keppeler Cover Design
and graphics by Laura Howell at
Sunflower photo by Philippe Pierson
Recorded by Ken Keppeler on our Edirol Flash drive recorder, Røde mics, a Sony Stereo mic, an M-Box and our trusty iBook and iMac using Pro-Tools at Fiddle Hill Studio. Jan – Feb 2008 in Silver City, NM.
Tracks 6-8 recorded live in Santa Fe, NM, Aug 24 & 25, 2007 at the 33rd Traditional Music and Bluegrass Festival
Mixed & mastered by Joe Doyle, BareFoot Studio Silver City, NM
Produced by Bayou Seco for Zerxrecords ZERX 076
All Rights Reserved © BAYOU SECO 2008 – PO Box 1393, Silver City, NM 88062, USA 575-534-0298

Words not on CD notes

The RIO GRANDE – Words and Music by Michael Combs © 1986

1. From Aspen covered meadows, a trickle of a stream
Runs down through piney forests, to the Valle San Luis
Alfalfas, beans, and taters, the produce in that land
Are watered by the river you call the Rio Grande.

2. She tumbles through a canyon, where never the sun does shine
Past ‘bandoned stage coach stations, and the old Chile Line
Runs past hot springs and peaches and the buttes of Perdenal
San Juan to Ildefonso she waters one and all.

CHORUS: So render up your waters, tall mountains one and all
Send forth your sparkling daughters, and heed the ocean call
The Chama is her mistress, the Pecos is her bride
She’ll bring ‘em bound together at the foamy ocean’s tide.

3. She drops through La Bajada, she’s happy at her work
Cochiti, Algodones, Bernalillo and Albuquerq’
She’s dammed and she’s diverted, she does a million tasks
Relentlessly pursuing her destiny at last.

4. Los Lunas to Las Cruces, Socorro in between,
And Truth or Consequencias, what used to be Hot Springs
Her water changes color, it’s red and blue and green
She’ll gather on her journey home a hundred orphan streams.

5. She runs beneath the desert there, the people say she’s dry
Scorn is in their voices, the river’s dead they cry
But when their cities vanished, and back below the sand
No one may speak her name but she’ll still be the Rio Grande

6. They call her Rio Bravo down in Old Mexico,
Where brown skinned men bring hungry dreams across to El Paso.
But when their dreams are broken, their mouths are full of sand,
And bled of all their passion, they’ll recross the Rio Grande.

CHORUS: So render up your waters, tall mountains one and all
Send forth your sparkling daughters, and heed the ocean call
The Chama is her mistress, the Pecos is her bride
She’ll bring ‘em bound together at the foamy ocean’s tide.

7. For eighteen hundred miles, she’ll roll across this land
Through wild and barren places, a desert no-man’s land
Laredo down to Brownsville, where limes and lemons grow
Awaits the steel grey waters, of the Gulf of Mexico.

CODA in 3/4
She’s home, she’s home, my Rio she’s home
No more must you scramble, no more must you roam
Like a daughter who’s faithful, you’ve done your work well
Forget your high homeland, lie peaceful and still.

She don’t carry water to California
She doesn’t drive turbines of steam
She don’t float no flat boats, nor stretch a mile wide
But to me she’s a lovelier stream.

You can have your Mississippi and your Ohio
Your great rivers so useful to man
She’s muddy and small but to me above all
I’m in love with the Rio Grande.

CHILE VERDE – trad/words © 1989 Ken Keppeler, Jeanie McLerie, Paul Rangell, Emily Abbink

1. Oh how I love that Chile Verde,
That Chile Verde, that Chile Verde,
Me gusta mucho Chile Rojo,
Oh Chile Rojo, oh Chile Rojo. Chorus – same words

2. Oh how I love that Chile Verde,
It grows in Gila, and in Chímayo,
Hatch, Polvadera, y Socorro
Y Algodones, y Bernilillo.

3. Oh how I’d love a big burrito,
A nice taquito, chile rellenos,
How ’bout a bowl of menudo
Some hot posole, some guacamole.

The Bunk-House Orchestra – by Charles Badger Clark

Wrangle up your mouth-harps, drag your banjo out,
Tune your old guitarra till she twangs right stout,
For the snow is on the mountains and the wind is on the plain,
But we’ll cut the chimney’s moanin’ with a livelier refrain.

Shinin’ ‘dobe fireplace, shadows on the wall–
See old Shorty’s friv’lous toes a-twitchin’ at the call
It’s the best grand high that there is within the law
When seven jolly punchers tackle “Turkey in the Straw.”

Freezy was the day’s ride, lengthy was the trail,
Ev’ry steer was haughty with a high arched tail,
But we held ’em and we shoved ’em forour longin’ hearts were tried,
By a yearnin’ for tobacker and our dear fireside.

Swing ‘er into stop-time, don’t you let’er droop!
You’re about as tuneful as a coyote with the croup!
Ay, the cold wind bit when we drifted down the draw,
But we drifted on to comfort and to “Turkey in the Straw.”

Snarlin’ when the rain whipped, cussin’ at the ford–
Ev’ry mile of twenty was a long discord,
But the night is brimmin’ music and its glory is complete
When the eye is razzle-dazzled by the flip o’ Shorty’s feet!

Snappy for the dance, now, till she up and shoots!
Don’t he beat the devil’s wife for jiggin’ in ‘is boots?
Shorty got throwed high and we laughed till he was raw
But tonight he’s done forgot it prancin’ “Turkey in the Straw.”

Rainy dark or firelight, bacon rind or pie,
Livin’ is a luxury that don’t come high:
Oh, be happy and onruly while our years and luck allow,
For we all must die or marry less than forty years from now!

Lively on the last turn! lope ‘er to the death
Reddy’s soul is willin’ but he’s gettin’ short o’ breath.
Ay, the storm wind sings and old trouble sucks his paw
When we have an hour of firelight set to “Turkey in the Straw.”

The Old Cow Man (The Wire) – by Charles Badger Clark – version from Archie West

I rode across a valley range
I hadn’t seen for years.
The trail was all so spoilt and strange
It nearly fetched the tears.
I had to let ten fences down
(The fussy lanes ran wrong)
And each new line would make me frown
And hum a mournin’ song.

Oh, it’s squeak! squeak! squeak!
Hear ’em stretchin’ of the wire!
The nester brand is on the land;
I reckon I’ll retire,
While progress toots her brassy horn
And makes her motor buzz,
I thank the Lord I wasn’t born
No later than I was.

‘Twas good to live when all the land,
Without no fence or fuss,
Belonged in partnership to God,
The Indians and us.
With skyline bounds from east to west
And room to go and come,
I loved my fellow man the best
When he was scattered some.

Oh, it’s squeak! squeak! squeak!
Close and closer cramps the wire.
There’s hardly any place to back away
And call a man a liar.
Their house has locks on every door;
Their land is in a crate.
These ain’t the plains of God no more,
They’re only real estate.

There’s land yet where no ditchers dig
Nor cranks experiment;
It’s only lonely, free and big
And isn’t worth a cent.
I hope that them who come to spoil
Will wait till I am dead
Before they foul that blessed soil
With fence and cabbage head.

Yet it’s squeak! squeak! squeak!
Far and farther crawls the wire.
To crowd and pinch another inch
Is all their heart’s desire.
The world is overstocked with men
And some will see the day
When each must keep his little pen,
But I’ll be far away.

When my old soul craves range and rest
Beyond the last divide,
Just plant me in some stretch of West
That’s sunny, lone and wide.
Let cattle rub my tombstone down
And coyotes mourn their kin,
Let hawses paw and tromp the moun’
But don’t you fence it in!

Oh it’s squeak! squeak! squeak!
And they pen the land with wire.
They figure fence and copper cents
Where we laughed ’round the fire.
Job cussed his birthday, night and morn,
In his old land of Uz,
But I’m just glad I wasn’t born
No later than I was!

Some New Mexican Spanish Colonial Dances
All these dances were collected in New Mexico since 1980 by Ken Keppeler and Jeanie McLerie.
You can hear some of the tunes to some of these dances on Orquesta Cleofonica and Violinista de Nuevo Mexico. Both of these CDs are available on this website.

1. Valse Cadena (Chain Waltz)
Traditional first dance of the night, and a way of greeting everyone. This usually starts out the first and last time through in a large circle which includes everyone, in between, people dance in smaller circles.
(A) Two to four couples join hands and circle to the left in a swivelling waltz-step (right foot first on the one beat, then the left) until the last four beats of this part, whereupon they all go into the center with a “1,2,3,4”; stomping the floor loudly and raising their hands and greeting each other in the middle.
(B) Couples break off and waltz around the room until the end of this part, whereupon they circle up with different couples.

2. La Cadena – This dance resembles the opening and closing of a flower.
A section: Any number of couples form a circle, with the man on the left of his partner. The man and woman face each other and hold hands or assume a ballroom position. They sashay four steps into the center during the first 4 measures of the tune, then quickly sashay 8 quick steps back to their original positions during the second 4 measures. The A part of the tune repeats and the dancers repeat the above steps.
B section: The dancers do a polka or two step, staying in their place in the circle for the sixteen measures of the B section.
Repeat the steps to the appropriate parts until the dance is over.

3. Valse de los Paños (Handkerchief Dance)
(A) The man stands holding a handkerchief in each hand, with a lady on either side, each holding the opposite corner of the handkerchief, arms slightly upraised. The threesome faces another threesome, and starting on the right foot, they waltz forward for four measures, then back for four measures. Repeat once.
(B) The man raises his right arm and sends the lady on his left under his raised arm and follows her through, continuing to dance the waltz step. The right-hand lady then has a turn to go under the man’s left raised arm. Repeat once.
This part can also be done with both women going forward at once, the lady on the left going under first, requiring the man to turn to the right with the right arm up and then back the the left with the left arm up, so that he ends up swivelling back and forth as opposed to following one lady through.
With a large amount of people, this can be danced with all the groups of three in a large circle, all facing the center and walking towards the center and back during the (A) part.

4. La Cuna (The Cradle)
This is a dance that we have not found in Europe in the present day. It is a favorite when we play at the Grand Bal de l’Europe in Central France.
(A) Two couples face each other; ladies on the right. Ladies shake the opposite man’s left hand with their left hand and walk around the man, left hands raised above their heads. Men don’t move. When the ladies are facing their partners, they take his right hand, raising it as they walk through the arch (passing next to their partner) made by the raised left hands, turning to the left to make the cradle formation of everyone’s hands in the center. Relax the grip so that everyone is comfortable, and balance in and out while maintaining La Cuna (the cradle hand position.)
(B) Partners break off and polka together until the next (A) part. They couples can then either dance again with the same couple or with another couple. As a circle dance, the A couples could advance clockwise and the B couple counter clockwise around the ring.
You can call the A part by giving the women instructions thus: “Left to your opposite, walk around the outside, right to your partner and go through the arch.”
In northern New Mexico, the polka is done with small steps and in a very relaxed manner, almost rocking back and forth, unlike the more galumpfing, fast, twirling polka common in the upper midwest of the United States.

5. La Vaquera (The Cowgirl)
(A) Couples line up; each lady on the right, shaking her partner’s right hand and clasping left hands under the right. Starting on the right foot, couples step-hop in schottishe step for 16 measures.
(B) The couple lifts all four hands up while the lady first turns to the right and then the man to the left; all the while step-hoppin forward and being careful not to twist their partners hand by holding too tightly, like a windmill or an egg beater. There should be eight turns for each person in the (B) part of the tune.
The (B) part can also be done using only the hands between the partners, the lady going forward turning around to the right and then under the arms and back to her place and then the man begins his turn to the left, turning around and under, carrying on in this manner until the end of the B part (16 measures). It looks like horns of a Bighorn Sheep.

6. The Broom Dance -Baile de la Escoba
This is a wonderful thing. With origins in Europe,(we found they also do it in Bretagne) it is sill danced in Northern NM and in parts of Mexico. We do it as a waltz but I’ve heard it can be a polka. It is a mixer. Two lines of people across from each other, men on one side, ladies on the other (this is optional as it dosn’t really matter) and one extra person dances with the broom down the middle till the end of the A part of the tune. He/she then drops the broom and grabs a partner of choice to dance with. Then everyone else rushes to find a partner and whoever dosen’t find one gets the, you guessed it, BROOM. At the end of the B part, all line up and the one with the broom dances up and down the middle until the end of the A part. And so it goes. It is a great dance at weddings and comunity dances. Kids love it.
Incidently, it is important culturally here because in the old days, young men had to get permission from a girl’s parents to dance with her. This was the only dance of the night when perhaps he could have a few moments with a lady without permission. The broom dancer is quite often animated and silly/ serious/ or inventive. It is always fun to dance, and fun for the band to play for. Sometimes it goes on for 15 minutes or more. If there are a lot of people, we do two sets. We always bring along brooms to our dances, nice handcrafted ones with short sticks so the kids can handle them easily. If you do the dance tell people they have to join as a couple or drop out as a couple. Otherwise it gets messed up. And if there are 2 sets, keep people in their original sets. Otherwise you wind up with 2 brooms on the floor.

7. La Indita ( The Indian Lady)
We learned this from Rudy Ulibarri, who learned as a youth in the area around Roy, NM. He said that it seemed to be a rather serious dance, perhaps indicating a joining of both Hispanic/European steps and Native American steps and, at one time, may have been somewhat cermonial.
(A) Two couples line up; ladies on the right holding their partners’ right hand with their left. Each person steps on their outside foot and turns away from their partner in a “step-step-step-pause’ on the whole flat of the foot in time with the music. They then turn towards each other for the second set of these steps. For seven measures, they continue swivelling away and towards each other, while moving forward at the same time; then bowing towards each other on the eighth. They then face the other direction and go back that way in the same manner.
(B) Each couple dances ballroom style in the same three-beat step.

8. The New Mexican Wedding March
You can use any march for the dance though we usually play one of the New Mexican wedding marches.
It is usually best, if possible, to either find someone who knows the dance or to teach it to a couple first, normally an older couple leads it (parents, distinguished elders), with the bride or groom behind them and everyone follows, though the bride and groom can lead it if they know it.
1. Starting at the bottom of the room, everyone lines up as couples, ladies on the right and mens on the left.
2. Circle the room or area, as in a promenade, one full time in a clockwise direction.
3. When the lead couple reach the the bottom of the room again, they lead everyone up the center of the room, and, when they reach the top of the room, the ladies go to the right the the mens go to the left. This makes like the top of a heart.
4. When everyone meets at the bottom of the room, each line passes through the other, a person at time (it should be their partner they pass, but, the way these things go, it may not be and is not important), and continues up the opposite of the room. This makes a double heart, one for the bride and one for the groom, intertwined.
5. When the lines meet at the top, the lead couple joins hands to form an arch (the tunnel of love) and the wedding couple pass through and also make an arch. This continues until everyone has passed under and made an arch and the lead couple starts through the wedding couples arch and the wedding couple follow and the next couple until everyone has gone back through the all arches.
6. When the lead couple comes out through the arch at the end of the tunnel, they will join hands with the wedding couple (men leading out to the right), the wedding couple with the next, and so on, until everyone is in a big circle, holding hands and facing the center. (This represents the wedding ring) Then the band switches from the march to a waltz (Flor de las Flores is good) and the wedding couple waltz inside the ring a number of times and then everyone joins them in the waltz.
There is another figure called the tree of life that can also be done but we have found that it is usually too complicated unless many people in the wedding party have done it before.

Les NOTES EN FRANÇAIS traduites par Philippe Pierson

« Aventures sur l’autoroute de la musique »
Avec des accordéons essoufflés et des violons qui gémissent en voguant, Ken Keppeler et Jeanie McLerie présentent une collection trépidante de morceaux anciens et plus modernes ainsi que des chansons en français, espagnol et anglais, tels qu’ils les ont appris par leurs vieux maîtres musiciens et amis dans le sud-ouest américain.
Ils sont rejoints sur certaines pistes par des membres du groupe, fidèles depuis longtemps, comme Paul et Benny Rangell, Emily Abbink, Scott Mathis et Linda Askew, Michael Combs, et Terry Bluhm.

La fin de l’hiver, le début du printemps sont un moment passionnant au Nouveau Mexique. C’est pour nous le temps où l’on reste à la maison pour enregistrer, avant de démarrer la tournée d’été dans des contrées vastes et éloignées. Les vents soufflent en rafales et de lourds nuages filent dans le ciel d’ouest en est. De craquants flocons de neige tombent en averses entre des périodes d’un soleil éblouissant.
On s’est dépêchés pour devancer l’arrivée du pollen de genévrier qui se dégage à un moment qui dépend du taux d’humidité de l’année, et nous réservons l’enregistrement des instrumentaux pour la fin. Les genévriers semblent être en feu quand la poussière fumante du pollen se détache des branches et nous pollue les cordes vocales et les voies respiratoires. Donc, sur ce 12ème album qui débute la 4ème décade de musique ensemble, nous avons bien profité de notre pièce de devant transformée en studio musical par nos soins à Fiddle Hill (colline aux violons) à Silver City. Par la fenêtre, s’étend la vue sur des jardins hivernaux, les oiseaux qui profitent bien des mangeoires et de la fontaine, corbeaux et faucons qui tournoient dans l‘immensité du ciel, les anciennes mines d’argent et les Gila Mountains ne sont pas loin. La vie est bonne, mais…
L’âme et l’esprit d’un pays sont contenus pour toujours dans sa musique. Nous tenons à témoigner notre reconnaissance à tous les grands musiciens qui ont été nos amis et mentors tout au long de ces années. Et bien que nous soyons natifs de près des côtes (est pour Jeanie et ouest pour Ken) c’est dans les hauts déserts et montagnes du Nouveau Mexique que nous avons trouvé notre chez nous pendant ces 28 années passées. Il y a longtemps, beaucoup de famille de Ken a émigré dans cette région, (venant d’Allemagne et d’Irlande) et quelques membres de celle de Jeanie plus récemment.
Vous savez, vous ne pouvez pas choisir votre lieu de naissance mais à coup sûr, vous pouvez vous mettre en recherche pour trouver votre terre spirituelle, et nous sommes satisfaits de l’avoir fait. Tous ces airs et chansons sont chargés d’un sens olfactif et visuel puissant et nous sommes navrés de ne pouvoir le partager avec les auditeurs. Vous pouvez seulement imaginer la beauté des paysages, les délicieux piments et haricots, les tortillas fraîchement roulées, le gumbo ou le bœuf en daube qui ont accompagné notre première approche de la musique.
Alors, allez vous faire cuire un morceau goûteux et mettez vous à danser. A la vie permanente de cette musique prodigieuse !


1.Keep on the Sunnyside of Life. Une chanson old time sur l’énergie du soleil, qui reste une de nos préférées de la Carter Family : « Restez du bon côté, du côté ensoleillé, Toujours du bon côté de la Vie, Ca vous tiendra par la main, ça vous guidera sur le chemin, Toujours du bon côté de la Vie. » Un mantra pour guider dans la vie. Nos chers amis, Scott et Linda nous ont rendu visite un soir et y ont mis leur touche personnelle.

2.Valse de 30 ans /Cactus 2 Step- l’air est celui de la valse de Mèches, mais comme d’habitude, les paroles étaient nulles, alors, j’ai écrit quelque chose de joyeux pour commémorer nos trente ans de vie commune. « Chéri, cette valse de la vie a débuté il y a 30 années. Chaque jour qui passe est un trésor qui comble mon âme. Nous vivons une vie rêvée et les jours qui se succèdent sont toujours meilleurs. » L’air qui suit est connu sous le titre du Camel One Step. Denis McGee le jouait mais Ken y a ajouté une troisième partie-une polka de son enfance dans la banlieue est de Los Angeles.

3.Flor de Dahlia- ce morceau nous vient de notre vielle amie Antonia Apodaca, dont nous partageons les sentiments. Elle possède une grande collection de dahlias qui hivernent dans un trou profond de 1m50 dans son jardin à Rociada, Nouveau Mexique. On espère toujours lui trouver une tournée d’une semaine en Europe, afin qu’elle puisse y faire partager sa musique.

4.The Rio Grande- Miguel a composé cette belle chanson sur notre célèbre fleuve. C’est un grand classique dans la tradition des chansons de ce genre.

5.The Bunkhouse Orchestra/George Booker-nous aimons bien ce poème de Charles Badger Clark et on a pensé que c’était la bonne tonalité. Le deuxième air que l’on aime depuis toujours est plutôt funky et swingue bien. Ca déménage ! Si on possède un violon fait par White/Keppeler, Jeanie a probablement programmé cette tonalité à l’intérieur pour cet instrument.

Les pistes 6 à 8 ont été enregistrées en concert à Santa Fe les 24 et 25 août 2007 au 33rd Traditional Music and Bluegrass Festival avec la formation Bayou Seco Grande. Paul et Emily, Terry, Scott, Linda et Benny Rangell, 17 ans, à l’occasion des 65 ans de Jeanie et du 26ème anniversaire de Bayou Seco (Ken, Jeanie et Paul jouaient ensemble là pour la première fois et on trouvé le nom du groupe ce même jour )

6. The Fat Doctor/Rattlesnake Gig, De Pete et JPLewis de Crow Flats, NM. La famille Lewis joue du violon et sont des cow-boys depuis plus d’un siècle. Ils ont un répertoire très joli et on aime bien faire le bœuf avec eux.

7.Chile Verde- c’est une de nos chansons très populaire. Nous avons pris l’air de Besos y Cerezas (Fresco Chiles) que chante Kenny Hall à Fresno. On a trouvé les paroles du Nouveau Mexique il y a longtemps, avec Paul et Emily.

8.Quelle étoile- nous dédions cette chanson à notre communauté bien aimée de Silver City, NM, où nous vivons depuis 11 ans.

9. Red Shoes/St.Rose of Lima Mazurka-deux airs sympas de Tohono O’odham de Elliott Johnson qu’il nous a appris lors d’une de nos visites à Cababi, dans l’Arizona au début des années 90. « Mets tes petites chaussures rouges et allons danser. »

10.Coplas/Cleo Three-O- Arellano Eseqiuel chantait ceci dans la Collection Juan B. Rael en 1940, à Arroyo Hondo, NM. Ces couplets auraient été entonnés à quelque célébration pour honorer un invité. Les trois airs qui suivent, un redondo, un quadrille et un cutillio, nous les tenons du grand maître violoneux Cleofes Ortiz qui habitait Bernal, NM.

11.The Old Cowman (The Wire)- Ken a appris cette chanson de Charles Badger Clark
de Archie West, dans les Cerrillos, NM et y a ajouté quelques couplets.

12.F&C Chotis- de Pete Lewis à Crow Flats. La famille Lewis connaît davantage de scottish que personne au monde. Celle là a un rythme syncopé inhabituel.

13.Ma Petite Mignonne- de Edius Naquin. Une version cajun d’une chanson « transformiste ». Elle est en relation avec les ballades anglaises comme « The Twa Magicians » et « Tam Lin ». Ken en a fait une bonne traduction pour la rendre plus compréhensible.

14.La Valse qui Finit Dans le Coin de la Maison- nous jouions cet air merveilleux et plein de malice sur le porche derrière La Buvette, notre habitation à Eunice en Louisiane, avec le grand Dennis McGee, à la fin des années 70. Ken joue la mélodie sur la 1ère et 3ème fois, tandis que Jeanie soutient sur les cordes basses. La deuxième fois, ils inversent.

15.Tecolito/Campanas Doradas- Ricardo Archeluta chantait cette chanson pour la collection Juan B.Rael à Antonio, Colorado, en 1940. « D’où viens-tu, petite chouette ? As-tu de tristes nouvelles d’un amour perdu ? Faisons une fête de chouette, petit oiseau, hoohoohoo. Pauvre petit animal affamé. Petite chouette courageuse qui chante en janvier et avril ». Cleofes Ortiz nous a appris l’air italien, qu’il nommait Campanas Doradas, les cloches dorées.

16.La Camila/La Cadena- deux airs de danse de la colonisation espagnole que nous tenons de Cleofes Ortiz. Miguel a ajouté une partie agréable à la guitare rythmique. Pour les instructions de ces danses et d’autres du Nouveau Mexique, référez vous à notre website.

17.Brand New Day- Jeanie a écrit cette berceuse il y a longtemps, et voulait la partager avec les enfants et les parents du monde entier.

18.Bonus Track- George Booker- juste pour si vous imaginiez qu’on joue toujours tout de la même façon.
PAROLES : voir notice en anglais
(d’autres sont disponibles sur notre website :

The Wire- couplets ajoutés par Ken Keppeler
Combien j’aimerais avoir l’ADSL !
Au lieu de composer un numéro
Pour télécharger tous nos messages
Nous n’osons pas nous déconnecter
On démarre quand le soleil dit « salut »
Et on quitte quand les coyotes hurlent
Pour aller dans notre lit.
Tiens, bip, bip !
La ligne téléphonique conspire
Pour télécharger lentement tous nos fichiers
A dix kilobits à l’heure
Toutes vos photos arrivent bien emballées
Dans un format JPG
Et le temps que je voie vos enfants
Ils seront plus vieux que moi-même.
Couine, couine,
L’E Mail est coincé dans le fil
J’attends un poème d’amour
Pour mettre le feu à mon coeur
Mais quand il me parvient enfin
Je vois que c’est qu’un spam
Il est temps d’en finir
Et trouver un autre pays.

Ken Keppeler : accordéon diatonique à 1 et 3 rangées, violon Keppeler, harmonica, guitare chant et triangle.
Jeanie McLerie : violons 5 cordes Keppeler/White (CGDAE, CFCGD), guitare Gibson J-45, chant.
Michael Combs, chant et guitare #4, guitare #9,12,16
Paul Rangell, guitare #6, guitarron et voix #7 et 8
Emily Abbink, chant #7 et 8
Terry Bluhm, basse acoustique #6
Scott Mathis, mandoline, voix, guitarron #1, mandoline et voix #7, triangle # 8
Linda Askew, guitare # 1, 7, 8
Benny Rangell- Violon Peter White #7 et 8.
Couverture par Ken Keppeler
Crédit Photo tournesols : Philippe Pierson
Tous droits réservés Bayou Seco 2008, PO box 1393, Silver City, NM, 88062, USA
Traduction française et contact en France : Philippe Pierson,


There are no reviews yet.

Be the first to review “SUNNYSIDE”

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *