Just For A Thrill . . . .

Posted: September 23, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Well, they say ‘if it’s good, it’s worth waiting for’ and I was feeling much better when the designated hour ticked around and we were back together again to go Through To Midnight. To take us all the way, there was plenty of the good stuff that you won’t hear on ‘ordinary radio’. But, to get the full benefit, you had to come suitably prepared, with your dancing shoes, the window blinds down and your rhythm receptors ready to go way into the red zone. . . . and if you needed a little extra cut in your strut then I brought an ample supply of Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic . . . . well, you just never know . . . .

Well, this week’s Under The Covers feature focused on a trio of songs made famous by American R&B group The 5 Royales. They were mighty successful in their day and their songs had influences of blues, gospel, jump/jive, soul and doo wop. The first of my trio of covers was a song that was successful for James Brown, ‘Think’. Then, we heard from Bitty McLean with one of the songs of The Five Royales that has appeared in the charts a number of times over the years ‘Dedicated To The One I Love’ and the final song has had a long list of covers, but I chose a version by celebrated UK soulman James Hunter ‘Baby Don’t Do It’ which he cut live on stage in American and with very funny intro from James.

So, to get you in the mood, I kicked off with Billy Ocean and a great little Latin flavoured track from his excellent new album . . . take a listen . . .

Best Of My Love
Mystery – Billy Ocean
I’m Feelin’ You – Michelle Branch & Carlos Santana
Best Of My Love – The Emotions
Least A Brother Can Do – Cass Clayton

Under The Covers
Think – James Brown
Dedicated To The One I Love – Bitty McLean
Baby Don’t Do It – James Hunter

Roll ‘Em
Hold You One More Time – JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters
The Way I Do – The Scott Weis Band
Who Do You – Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
High School Dropout – Roy C
Some Other Time – Ben Levin
Roll ‘Em – Jools Holland
Tore Up (From The Floor Up) – Ron Sunshine
Pour Another Bourbon Honey – The Kingbees
Same Thing – Ruby Ann

Wait No More
One Night – Roy Head
Prayin’ For Rain – Anthony Gomes
I’m In Love With You – Bobby Patterson
Wait No More – Nikki O’Neill
If You Don’t Know By Now – Casey James

Girls & Guitars
Down On My Knees – Cathy Grier & The Troublemakers

On The Giglist
How Long – Paul Carrack

Exception To The Rule
Money – Johnny Rawls
Letter To You – Bruce Springsteen
Exception To The Rule – Cary Morin

Mellow Mood
Just For A Thrill – Ray Charles
Sittin’ In The Park – Billy Stewart
I Get The Sweetest Feeling – Hiller & Higgs
Waltz Across Texas – Leon Russell
Sincerely – Johnnie Jenkins

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature focused on Cathy Grier, who started out as a subway busker in New York City. She eventually found her way to Wisconsin and formed a band there with some of the top local blues musicians. She called them The Troublemakers and they deliver some very nice work behind Cathy on her latest album ‘I’m All In’ . . . from which I chose . . . ‘Down On My Knees’.

Now, those, like me, who have been waiting on gigs by Paul Carrack will have seen these disappear into the far distance now. So, for this week’s On The Giglist, there was some small compensation, in the form of a track from Paul’s new EP with a jazz tinged reworking of a song of his from his days as a member of Ace . . ‘How Long’.

We found time to mark the birthday’s of Ray Charles and Bruce Springsteen and said sad farewells to Pamela Hutchinson, of successful vocal group, The Emotions, to R&B singer, Roy Head, and to soulman Roy C, all of whom left us to our own devices this past week. Then, with a glance down the road I could see tomorrow heading our way, so before we said goodbye to today, there was much encouragement to summon up your sweetest smile and cast a glance at that someone special . . . then, just leave the rest to Leon Russell. After that, there was just time to thank you for your good company on this week’s show and hope that we’ll meet again, same time, same place next week to go Through To Midnight. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5 fm on 23 September 2020

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 27 September 2020

Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, the sunshine came to cheer the week and it lasted longer than I thought it would. Indeed, there were plenty of excellent new blues releases to cheer us even more. There were new releases from Samantha Martin, Kim Wilson, Rebecca Downes & Alan Nimmo, Erja Lyttinen and more. My album of the week came from Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite, there was a rarity from Bobby Parker and we gave a birthday cheer to Tarheel Slim and Ray Charles too.

This week’s Back In Five feature took us back for a peek at what was on the playlist for this show, this week 5 years ago. This time around, there were plenty of real treats to choose from, bit in the end, I pulled out a simmering, sultry number from what was (then) the new album release by Deb Callahan. Her album was ‘Sweet Soul’ and I chose her excellent ‘Slow As Molasses, Sweet As Honey’.

My regular guest Arfa Pinetop, brought a memory of Champion Jack Dupree appearing at London’s famous 100 Club and not only playing some fine blues, but trying to sell some paintings between numbers. To bring back the spirit of the night, Pinetop’s Pick featured Champion Jack’s ‘Junkers Blues’.

Now, I opened last week’s show with The Billy Walton Band’s version of ‘A Cold Day In Hell’ and after a little social media messaging from friends of the show, I dug out Gary Moore’s version to open this week’s show . . . take a listen . . .

Wave Them Goodbye
Cold Day In Hell – Gary Moore (After Hours – 1992)
Black Ocean – Erja Lyytinen (Lockdown Live – 2020)
If I Should Have Bad Luck – Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (100 Years Of Blues – 2020)
Wave Them Goodbye – Rebecca Downes (ft Alan Nimmo) (Wave Them Goodbye – 2020)

Back In Five
Slow As Molasses, Sweet As Honey – Deb Callanhan (Sweet Soul – 2015)

Been Goofin’
You’ve Been Goofin’ – Kim Wilson (Take Me Back – 2020)
Number 9 Train – Tarheel Slim (Wildcat Tamer – The Tarheel Slim Story 1950-1962 – 2020)

Pinetop’s Pick
Junker Blues – Champion Jack Dupree (Collection 1941-53 – 2018)

Steppin’ Out
Steppin’ Out – AJ Crawdaddy Band (Steppin’ Out – 2020)
Backyard Blues – Cathy Grier & The Troublemakers (I’m All In – 2020)
Help Me – Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (100 Years Of Blues – 2020)
Someone Else Is Slippin’ In – Z.Z. Hill (The Rhythm & The Blues – 1982)
What Kind Of Woman Is This – Buddy Guy (Bring ‘Em in – 2005)
B Shuffle – Fred Chapellier (The French Years – 2010)

Tell Me
Couldn’t Care – Earle & Coffin (Blues Under A Grey Nothern Sky – 2020)
Blues Is My Business – Heidi Newfield & Delbert McClinton (The Barfly Sessions Vol.1 – 2020)
Birds Of A Feather – Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (100 Years Of Blues – 2020)
Better To Have Never – Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar (Reckless One – 2020)
Tell Me – The Terraplanes Blues Band (Tell Me – 2020)
Hard Times – Ray Charles (The Genius Sings The Blues – 1961)

On The Giglist
Somebody To Love – Susan Santos (The LA Sessions – 2020)
Couldn’t Quit My Baby – Bobby Parker (Soul Of The Blues – 2020)

Austin Calling
Red House – Jimi Hendrix (Blues – 1994)

Blues Worry Me
Better Or You’re Gonna Get Burned – Kirsten Thien (Two Sides – 2020)
Blues Why Do You Worry Me – Elvin Bishop & Charlie Musselwhite (100 Years Of Blues – 2020)
Natural Born Luv’ah – Sam Joyden (When U Need A friend – 2019)
Orio Cookie Blues – Suzie Vinnick (Me & Mabel – 2011)
Navajo Blues – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters (Rise Up – 2020)

Susan Santos was On The Giglist with her new release ‘The LA Sessions’, which brought a reminder of past gigs where she showed off her high powered guitar playing and vocals.

My good friend, Texas music man, David Isaacs was back for our Austin Calling feature with a reminder that this week marked 50 years since Jimi Hendrix left us to our own devices. This week back in 1969, also happened to be when Jimi played at Woodstock and his setlist that day included, possibly, his most famous blues number . . . ‘Red House’.

By the time we got hear Suzie Vinnick’s ‘Orio Cookie Blues’, our blues time together was nearly run out, but there was just time for my last choice for the show, which was another dip into the new album from Ronnie Earl & the Broadcasters . . . ‘Rise Up’ . . . this was a lovely little instrumental featuring Ronnie’s guitarwork on ‘Navajo Blues. But, before that, there was a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and the hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 22 September 2020
Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 24 September 2020
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 26 September 2020
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 27 September 2020

The Man With The Hex . . .

Posted: September 22, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

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Well, it’s been a busy week here in the Grand Duchy, but we weren’t distracted from our weekly musical adventure. So, we rolled out the trusty Cruise Mobile and arrived right on time to let you jump aboard, where we’d saved a seat especially for you. Pausing just long enough to let you buckle up, we set off for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner with The Big Town Playboys setting the mood with ‘Come On’ and we got up to full cruising speed with some real R&B from Norway, delivered by Joakim Tinderholt & His Band. Indeed, we stayed in Europe a while longer for some more 50s flavoured R&B from Holland’s Mrs R&B & The Soulshakers with ‘Found Some Real Good Lovin’.

Cruising - where will you be

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Back in the 50s Pat Boone covered several of Fats Domino’s R&B hits, turning them into pop hits, and UK piano man Diz Watson gave us an example of what Fats might have done with a cover of a Pat Boone hit, ‘Love Letters In The Sand’. Then, we kept that Louisiana ‘feel’ with The Dukes of Rhythm and their 1960 release ‘Defeated’, featuring vocals by Joe Carl, for which big thanks are due to Neil Pellegrin who pointed us in the direction of Joe Carl recently. With a bit more rummaging in the Cruising Library, we came across a few more by Joe Carl, including his Zynn 45 release, ‘You’re Too Hot To Handle’ with some fine harp playing from the much missed Lazy Lester. Then, Maria Muldaur turned up to take us down in the alley . . . a place that seems to bring out the worst in Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes.

This week’s Cruising Connections started its trio of tracks with a great 60s R&B favourite that was always welcome in the 60s clubs around London, Derek Martin’s 1963 Crackerjack 45 ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’. We followed on with Dee Clark and little 1959 hit of his ‘Hey Little Girl’. For those who were still not sure of the link between those two, we pulled out another choice by Trini Lopez. This was a song Trini recorded in London in 1967, which was never released as 45 in the US or the UK, but it did get released as a single in Mexico and originals have since become real collectors items. The link between them was songwriter Otis Blackwell who wrote all those songs and more. He was no mean singer himself as he showed with his recording, ‘Fool That I Be’.

Mrs R&B & The Soulshakers

Come On
Come On – The Big Town Playboys
Stumble’ & Fumble – Joakim Tinderholt & His Band
Found Some Real Good Lovin’ – Mrs R&B & The Soulshakers
Love Letters In The Sand – Diz & The Doormen
Defeated – The Dukes Of Rhythm (featuring Joe Carl)
You’re Too Hot To Handle – Joe Carl
Now You’re Down In The Alley – Maria Mulduar

Cruising Connections
Daddy Rolling Stone – Derek Martin
Hey Little Girl – Dee Clark

Rosie Flores

Fever – Trini Lopez
Fool That I Be – Otis Blackwell

Cruising Connections
Daddy Rolling Stone – Derek Martin
Hey Little Girl – Dee Clark
Fever – Trini Lopez
Fool That I Be – Otis Blackwell

Girls & Guitars
Drive Drive Drive – Rosie Flores

Girls & Guitars
Drive Drive Drive – Rosie Flores

Louisiana Medicine Man – Coco Robicheaux

Doo Wop Delight
My Song – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Walking Along – The Solitaires

Seven Nights To Rock
Louisiana Medicine Man – Coco Robicheaux
The Man With The Hex – The Atomic Fireballs
Seven Nights To Rock – Gene Taylor
Have Mercy Miss Percy – Long Tall Marvin

For this week’s Girls & Guitars, the Cruise Mobile took us to California, which is where we find this week’s featured artist, Rosie Flores. While she was still in high school in the 1970s, she played the San Diego nightclub circuit as the leader of the band Rosie and the Screamers. But , we know her best as a solo artist and she just happens to have a new album out currently which includes our choice from her, ‘Drive Drive Drive’.

While Mr Merlot was off in search of refreshments, we got into our Doo Wop Delights and first up this week was Hank Ballard & The Midnighters . . . a band better known for their up tempo numbers, but hidden away in their vast catalogue we found a doo wop ballad that got released on Wildcat records, titled ‘My Song’. So, we couldn’t resist playing it and we followed on with a late 1950s Harlem vocal group, The Solitaires. We featured their 1957 Old Town single ‘Walking Along’, which proved to be their best selling record in a long career.

Now, when I met up with Jamie Dell’Apa in New Orleans, I forgot to ask him if there was still evidence of Coco Robicheaux’s famous escapade with a chicken, live on air in the studios at WWOZ, but whether there is or isn’t, we still played Mr Robicheaux’s unnerving mystic tale of the ‘Louisiana Medicine Man’. Meanwhile, that voodoo theme carried on with The Atomic Fireballs and one of those characters you hope not to meet on a dark lonely street ‘The Man With The Hex’. Having inspired some uninhibited dancing by The Cruisettes, they needed no additional encouragement when they heard Gene Taylor’s ‘Seven Nights To Rock’. Then, sadly, we had to turn the trusty Cruise Mobile for home in the company of Long Tall Marvin and his little rocker ‘Mercy Miss Percy’, which to the surprise of many got us back where we started safe and sound and on time. So, until next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 22 September 2020

Keep Doin’ My Thing . . .

Posted: September 16, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of Through To Midnight:

Well, wherever you were, whatever you were doing . . . somehow, with immaculate timing, we virtually arrived together. Of course, doing it virtually meant there was no need for face masks, sanitiser or a tape measure . . . and to ensure we’re doing it right . . . I was all ready with another dose of Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic . . . and there’s plenty to go round!

Kicking off the proceedings were The Funkin’ Groovers with a taster of the ‘good stuff’ to come . . . and with barely a moment of hesitation there was another essential in our quarantiny’s fitness programme . . . so time to push back the furniture, pull down the blinds and follow Dr Roberts in some free form groovy moves . . .

How Sweet It Is
Blame It On The Boogie – The Funkin’ Groovers
Got To Give It Up – West Street Mob
Keep Doin’ My Thing – Johnny Rawls
Beverley – Stone Foundation
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Captain & Tenille

Under The Covers
Sailing Shoes – Sazerac
Dixie Chicken – Clarence Gatemouth Brown
Rad Gumbo – The River Rascals

Nobody Gotta Know
What Have You Got To Lose – The Balham Alligators
You Know What I Mean – Mickey Jupp
Nobody Gotta Know – Cary Morin
Where’s My Phone – Lloyd Jones

On The Giglist
Never Gonna Give You Up – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Everybody’s Dancing
Always Get Your Own Way – The Scoundrels
The Way I Do – Scott Weis Band
She’s Got Something About Her – Danny Toeman
Everyday People – Max Mutzke & Leslie Clio
Everybody’s Dancing – Cindy Blackman Santana
Say What You Will – Eric Clapton

Girls & Guitars
That’s How You Lose Her – Nikki O’Neill

Missing You
Can’t Love No One – Billy Walton Band
You Made Me So Very Happy – Blood Sweat & Tears
Sweet Child – Simply Red
Missing You Everyday – Billy Ocean
Old Girl- Lisa Mann

Mellow Mood
When I Close My Eyes – G.E. Smith & LeRoy Bell
A Hundred & Ten In The Shade – Suzie Vinnick
Lookin’ For The Heart Of Saturday Night – Gwyneth Herbert
Sincerely – Johnny Jenkins

Our Under The Covers feature this week focused on the band Little Feat, which will please Wendel Willams and David Isaacs who are big fans of the band. So, I turned up with three songs of theirs, heard again through the covers of others. I had great fun playing through the covers of their songs, and with a good deal of difficulty, managed to get it down to three . . . starting with a very fine version of Sailing Shoes by Sazerac. It was followed by one of those songs with a great story line. We know well by Little Feat, but it was given a bluesy flavour by Clarence Gatemouth Brown with his take on ‘Dixie Chicken’. Then, the last choice in this trio of tracks came from The River Rascals with what I happen to know is a big favourite of The Vikster . . . ‘Rad Gumbo’.

Well, the lockdown seems to ebb and flow and there’s been little relief for those of us who had tickets for some tasty upcoming gigs. Most of these have either been cancelled or postponed to late next year and for me, one of those was a concert with Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. So, to keep me from sobbing and looking sad, this week’s On The Giglist feature had a tantalising sample of joys hopefully still in store . . . ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’.

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature turned its spotlight on Americana singer, guitarist and songwriter, Nikki O’Neill, whose latest album ‘World Is Waiting’ got recorded at various studios in Los Angeles and Memphis. She had a love of soul music from an early age and when her album gets released in October . . . you’ll it includes my choice, ‘That’s How You Lose Her.

As we drifted into our Mellow Mood, there were some delights from G.E. Smith & LeRoy Bell, a little sizzler from Suzie Vinnick and a Tom waits song from Gwyneth Herbert. Then, it was all over, with just enough time to say a big thanks for your very good company through this week’s show and the hope that there were sufficient delights and surprises to entice you back again same time same place next week. to go Through To Midnight. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun.

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 16 September 2020

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 21 September 2020

Don’t Say A Word . . .

Posted: September 15, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

The sun came shining to make it all the more joyful to go listening to the new blues releases and rummaging in the blues library for some ‘seasoned’ favourites. There were plenty of excellent ‘newies’ and a few birthdays to celebrate. Our album of the week was the latest release from Johnny Rawls and there was a debut release from Cheshire songstress, Amanda Jane Heywood and a special, unreleased number by the late Julian Piper.

But, before all that, kicking off the show was The Billy Walton Band with some excellent blues from their brand new album ‘Dark Hour’. Now, I may not be alone in being eager to see the band back on tour here . . . hopefully in the not too distant future . . . but who knows!

Strike A Light
Cold Day In Hell – The Billy Walton Band (Dark Hour – 2020)
Gangster Of Love – Johnny Winter (Texas ’63 -’69 – 2020)
Strike A Light – Dr Helander & Third Ward (Traffic Jam On The Back Street – 2020)
Hadacol Bounce – Ben Levin (Carryout or Delivery – 2020)
Paying The Cost To Be The Boss – B.B. King (Blues On Top Of Blues – 1968)
Honey Bee, Sail On – Bobby Rush (Rawer Than Raw – 2020)

Back In Five
Vida’s Place – Roy Rogers (Rhythm & Groove – 1996)

Don’t Say A Word
Baby, Baby, Baby – Johnny Rawls (Where Have All The Soulmen Gone – 2020)
Fighting A Losing Battle – Sonny Terry & Brownie McGhee (Blues – The Devil’s Music – 2014)
Don’t Say A Word – Mike Ross (The Clovis Limit Pt 2 – 2020)

Pinetop’s Pick
Five Long Years – Frank Frost (Harpin’ On It – 1966)

I Dont Wanna Be Saved
I Dont Wanna Be Saved – The Private Dicks Band (Private Eye – 2020)
Big Town Playboy – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters (Rise Up – 2020)
Whiskeytown – Heidi Newfield (The Bar Fly Sessions Vol.1 – 2020)
I’m In Love With You Baby – Silas Hogan (Trouble – 1995)
Love Love Love – Johnny Rawls (Where Have All The Soulmen Gone – 2020)
Shake Your Moneymaker – The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Shake |Your Moneymaker – 2020)
Open Water – David E White (Open Water – 2020)
If You Want me – Amanda Jane Heywood (Spirit – 2020)

On The Giglist
That’s Alright – Connor Selby (Made Up My Mind – 2018)

When The Blues Begins
Keyhole In Your Door – Snooky Pryor (Too Cool To Move – 1992)
Everyday I Have The Blues – Simon Kinny-Lewis (A Day In San Jose – 2020)
That’s When The Blues Begins – Julian Piper (That’s When The Blues Begins – 2020)

Austin Calling
Now It’s Time (To Sing The Blues) – Hiram Bullock (Late Night Talk – 2011)

Still Got The Blues
Oh Baby – Herbert Hunter (Northern Soul Legend – 2011)
Still Got The Blues – Laura Tate (Live From El Paso – 2020)
Calling On Jesus – Johnny Rawls (Where Have All The Soul Men Gone – 2020)

There was some rocking slide guitar in my Back In Five feature from Roy Rogers and this week Pinetop’s Pick brought us a memory of a visit to Frank Frost’s Juke Joint in Mississippi and featured Frank with his take on ‘Five Long Years’. Texas music man, David Isaacs brought us a reminder of the birthday of guitar ace Hiram Bullock this week and our Austin Calling feature celebrated with his ‘Now Is the Time (To Sing The Blues)’.

My last choice for this week’s playlist was another from our album of the week and the new release from Johnny Rawls. This time around, Johnny was drifting decidedly into the realm of gospel. But, before that, there was time to say a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 15 September 2020

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 17 September 2020

Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 19 September 2020

Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 20 September 2020

Tell Me The Truth . . .

Posted: September 14, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !
Cruising #4001

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

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Well, with impeccable timing the trusty Cruise Mobile rolled by with the windows down, the radio turned right up and a seat saved especially for you. So, all you had to do was jump aboard and buckle up as we set off on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We arrived to the sound of Chuck Wiggins & His Mellowtones with ‘Chuck’s Wig’, followed fast with a little Champion 45 from Larry Birdsong, ‘Every Night Of the Week’. We stayed in the US for a sample of what Screamin’ Jay Hawkins sounded like back in 1966, before the Cruise Mobile took us to Holland to meet Mrs R&B and The Soulshakers with plenty of those essential rhythms!
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From Holland, we were quickly heading for Torino in Italy to join three piece band, The Uppertones, for a song with a topical flavour, ‘Tell Me The Truth’. Then we were into a little Northern Soul, courtesy of Herbert Hunter, although that’s not the name on this US Hit Records budget label release. As well as recording in his own right, Herbert Hunter recorded a string of cover versions of current day hits for Hit Records, including his take on the then Ray Charles hit ‘Hide Nor Hair’, under the name Leroy Jones.

This week, our Cruising Connections provided a trio of tracks where the common link was a well known song that each of our three artists have recorded at some time or other. First up was the great Louis Jordan with ‘Fat Sam From Birmingham’, followed by a song from The Everly Brothers that is probably better known by The Spencer Davis Group, ‘Somebody Help Me’. Then, there was another clue, our mystery song, which was also recorded by Doug Sahm, although this time around he was giving us a Lloyd Price favourite, ‘The Chicken & the Bop’. For those waving their hands in the air and shouting . . . ‘Little Richard’ . . . there were extra points . . . because all three of those artists recorded the song we know well by Mr Penniman, ‘Keep A Knockin’ . . . and we happily played it again!

The Uppertones

Tell Me The Truth
Chuck’s Wig – Chuck Wiggins & His Mellowtones
Every Night Of the Week – Larry Birdsong
I’m So Glad – Screaming Jay Hawkins
Closer To The Bone – Mrs R&B and The Soulshakers
Tell Me The Truth – The Uppertones
Hide Nor Hair – Herbert Hunter

Cruising Connections
Fat Sam From Birmingham – Louis Jordan
Somebody Help Me – Everly Brothers
The Chicken & the Bop – Doug Sahm
Keep A Knockin’ – Little Richard
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Girls & Guitars

Vanesa Harbek


If You Love Me Like You Say – Vanesa Harbek Blues Band

Doo Wop Delights
A Love For Only You – The Stereos
Never Let You Go – The Five Discs

While I Can
While I Can – Roomful of Blues
Little Girl Don’t You Understand – Bobby Freeman
Mighty Mighty Man – Bobby Darin & The Rinky Dinks
Mickey Mouse Boarding House – Virginia Brown & The Shameless

Virginia Brown & The Shameless


Who’s That Under My Bed – Rich McQueen & The Rhythm Rockers
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For this week’s Girls & Guitars feature, we shone our spotlight on Argentinian singer and guitarist, Vanesa Harbek. She hails from Buenos Aires and has since made Berlin her home. She says she fell in love with the blues at the age of 12 listening to Eric Clapton’s ‘Slowhand’ album. It inspired her to check out some of the great blues artists and in recent years, she’s been leading her own band and touring across South America and Europe. For a taste of her style, we pulled out her version of Albert Collins ‘If You Love Me Like You Say’.

Our Doo Wop Delights kicked off with something from Ohio vocal group, The Stereos who started out as The Buckeyes in 1955 and released two singles on the Cincinnati label Deluxe Records. But, by 1959 they had changed their name to the Stereos and recorded our choice, ‘A Love For Only You’ for the New Jersey label Gibralter. Then, in a more up tempo mood, we heard from Brooklyn doo-wop group,The Five Discs who first formed in 1954 as the Lovebirds, and after changing their name in 1958, they went on to have several regional hits in America’s northeast, including their 1962 Cheer 45 ‘Never Let You Go’.

During some rummaging in the Cruising Library, we found an excellent Roomful of Blues original, ‘While I Can’ and along the way we also turned up one of Bobby Freeman’s lesser known releases on the Josie label, ‘Little Girl Don’t You Understand’. In his day, Bobby Darin had plenty of hits, but we found a little 1958 Atco release that didn’t even brush the charts back then, but ‘Mighty Mighty Man’ sounded pretty good to us. Then it was time give a respectful nod to our good pals, Neil Pellegrin and Jamie Dell’Apa for pointing us to the last two choices on our playlist . . . a Big Boy Myles song, ‘Mickey Mouse Boarding House’, which we played by a band called Virginia Brown & The Shameless . . . and, finally, Rich McQueen & The Rhythm Rockers with their 1952 gem, ‘Who’s That Under My Bed’. While those were playing, to the surprise of many, the trusty Cruise Mobile got us back where we started safe and sound and on time. So, until next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 15 September 2020

Betcha Don’t Know . . .

Posted: September 9, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Now, they say that a secret is something you tell one person at a time, so keep it to yourself, but I discovered that after midnight Maggie Bell was planning to chug-a-lug and shout, which may have been a timely warning for all those within ear-shot. But, before then, the regular listeners will not be surprised to hear that I was all geared up, ready to bring you plenty of the ‘good stuff’ that you won’t hear on ordinary radio. The playlist looked pretty varied, with a little of this, a little of that and a little of who knows what. But you had to be tuned in to find out what was in Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic and there was plenty to go around!

This week’s ‘Under The Covers‘ feature focused on one of the songwriters who frequented the famous Brill building that turned out so many hits in the 60s and 70s. He became more famous as a record producer for his ‘wall of sound’, which means it could only be Phil Spector. The first of his songs, was originally recorded by Ben E King in 1961 and has since been covered by folks like Wilson Pickett, Elvis Costello and others, but I chose The Honeydrippers’ version of ‘Young Boy Blues’. Then, I pulled out
Neil Diamond’s take on a Phil Spector penned song that gave Tina Turner an international hit . . . ‘River Deep, Mountain High’. My last choice was a song that was a huge hit for the Righteous Brothers, but I was guessing you’ll not have heard the version of ‘You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ by Creme D’Cocoa.

Giving It All I Got
After Midnight – Maggie Bell
Supernatural – Lulu
Dancing In The Street – California Raisins (ft Buddy Miles)
Giving It All I Got – Lynne White
Can’t Get Enough Of Your Love – Big James

Under The Covers
Young Boy Blues – The Honeydrippers
River Deep Mountain High – Neil Diamond
You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling – Creme D’Cocoa

More Days Like This
Just Don’t Want To Be Lonely – Freddie McGregor
Don’t Throw Your Love Away – Len Barry
More Days Like This – Gary Nicholson (as Whitey Johnson)
Louisiana – Marcia Ball (ft Doyle Bramlett)
For The Money – The Cole Patenaude Band
Where Have All The Soulmen Gone – Johnny Rawls
Tupelo Honey – Wayne Toups
Cuddly Toy – Beverley Knight
Southbound Blues – JT Lauritsen & The Buckshot Hunters
Betcha Don’t Know – Billy Ocean
Nobody But You – Jade McRae

On The Giglist
Anytime You Want Me – Eli “Paperboy” Reed

Settle Down Easy
Settle Down Easy – Malaya Blue
I Don’t Want Anything To Change – Vanessa Collier
Copy Cat – Lynne Jackaman
Love Enough – Julian Taylor

Girls & Guitars
Living For The City – Sandi Thom

Mellow Mood
Marrakesh Express – Talon
Do Nothing Until You Hear From Me – Dr John
Sincerely – Johnny Jenkins

Now, my On The Giglist feature this week came as a reminder of some memorable moments seeing Eli Paperboy Reed on stage during his past UK visits. It so happens that he has a new release due out shortly, so I thought it would be good to give it a spin on the show this week. It’s one of two songs recorded at Sam Phillips studios with some of the best of Memphis musicians . . . . soulful ‘Anytime You Want Me’.

Just as you thought I’d forgotten it . . . I turned up with this week’s Girls and Guitars feature, with its spotlight on Scotland’s singer and songwriter, Sandi Thom. She’s probably best known for her debut single, ‘I Wish I Was a Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair)’, which became an international hit for her. But, I went delving into her 2006 album, ‘Smile… It Confuses People’ and found her version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Living In the City’.

All too soon, we were heading for our Mellow Mood with an inventive version of ‘Marrakesh Express’ and followed by the much missed Dr John, asking you to ‘Do Nothing Until You Hear From Me’. With a little inside knowledge about the habits of some listeners, there was a dispensation for anyone who was mellow enough to do a little smooch with someone special. Then it was time to give a little nod of the head in the direction of Johnny Jenkins to play us out, but not before saying a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and hoping that we meet again, same time, same place, next week to go Through To Midnight. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 9 September 2020
Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 14 September 2020

What’s Going On . . .

Posted: September 8, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, September arrived with plenty of new blues releases and this week’s show has ‘newies’ from Sugar Ray & the Bluetones, Bobby Rush, Ben Levin, Big Joe Shelton, Vanessa Collier and more. There was my album of the week from Andy Watts and a preview of Paul Cox’s latest recording, together with some ‘seasoned’ favourites.

This week’s Back in Five feature it was Katie Bradley who was on the playlist for this show, this week, five years ago. It was a track from her ‘Anchor Baby Sessions’ album and a number you’ll know well . . .
Little By Little. Then, Pinetop’s Pick brought us a story of a trip to Mississippi and meeting up with Alvin Youngblood Hart, which prompted a choice of Alvin’s take on ‘Pony Blues’.

Ain’t Giving Up Nothing
Ain’t Giving Up Nothing – Al King (Together – 2011)
Living Hand To Mouth – Andy Watts (Super Groove – 2020)
Don’t Start Me Talking – Bobby Rush (Rawer Than Raw – 2020)
Mississippi Suitcase (Slight Return) – Peter Parcek (Mississippi Suitcase – 2020)
Frog’s Hair – Big Joe Shelton (I’d Never Let Her Down – 2020)

Back in Five
Little By Little – Katie Bradley (Anchor Baby Sessions – 2015)

Have You Lost Your Mind
It Hurts Me Too – Simon Kinny-Lewis (Another Day In San Jose – 2020)
Have You Lost Your Mind – Ben Levin (Carryout or Delivery – 2020)
Sittin’ On A Log – Texas Alexander (ft Lonnie Johnson) (Texas Alexander 1927-1951 – 2017)

Pinetop’s Pick
Pony Blues – Alvin Youngblood Hart

Too Far From The Bar
Too Far From The Bar – Sugar Ray & the Bluetones (ft Little Charlie Baty) (
Don’t Try To Explain – Paul Cox (ft Dave Moore) (Don’t Try To Explain – 2020)
Rooster Blues – Mark Flanigin (West Texas Blues – 2020)
The Supernatural – Andy Watts (Super Groove – 2020)
Cheap Tequila – Paul Val (Steady Rock and Roller – 2020)
She’s Just Old Fashioned – Goree Carter & His Rocking Rhythm Orchestra (Goree Carter His Guitar, Hepcats & Rocking Rhythm Orchestra – 2020)
Heartland – Walter Trout (Ordinary Madness – 2020)
What’s Going On – Taste (The Best Of Rory Gallagher – 2020)
A Losing Battle – Eli Paperboy Reed (At the Blues Kitchen – 2019)
Voodoo Woman – Chick Willis (Things I Used To Do – 2020)

On The Giglist
Choo Ma Gum – The Cinelli Brothers (Choo Ma Gum – 2019)
Those Old Winter Blues – Martyn Roper (Songs Of Love & Death – 2020)

Austin Calling
Boogie Woogie Prayer – Mead Lux Lewis

Don’t Take My Blues Away
Strait Shooting Woman – Andy Watts (Super Groove – 2020)
Bloodhound – Vanessa Collier (Heart On the Line – 2020)
I Wish I Could – Snowy White & The White Flames (Something On Me – 2020)
Gambina Wine – Dr Helander & Third Ward (Traffic Jam On The Back Street – 2020)
Don’t Take My Blues Away – Andy Watts (Super Groove – 2020)

Now, the prospect of an upcoming gig has been long overdue. But, this week’s On The Giglist feature turned it’s spotlight on The Cinelli Brothers, who like a few other adventurous musicians are stepping back on stage and encouraging a few of us to try some socially distanced audience participation. So, with a respectful nod in their direction, there was a choice from the brothers, which just might pop up on their setlist . . . ‘Choo Ma Gum’.

Meanwhile, our Austin Calling feature, had our regular guest Texas music-man, David Isaacs, reminding us that it was the birthday of Meade Lux Lewis this week. David went digging in the dusty boxes for a track that certainly deserved another play. It was not the usual ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’ but an enthusiastic boogie number which I think dates back to 1939. So, a big thanks to David Isaacs for the excellent ‘Boogie Woogie Prayer’.

All too soon, we ran out of our blues-time together. But, before we said our fond farewells, there was a big thanks from me for your good company on this week’s show and the hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 8 September 2020

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 10 September 2020

Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio UK on 12 September 2020

Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio UK on 13 September 2020

Don’t Do It . . .

Posted: September 8, 2020 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

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Well, this week, plenty of folks must have heard us coming down the road. The Cruise Mobile had its windows down and its radio turned right up, as it rolled by to pick up the faithful off for another adventure, Cruising with The Commissioner. We saved a seat especially for you and we arrived to the sound of Mickey Baker and his ‘Honky Tonk Caboose’. Then, in no time at all, we were heading off for the horizon with the wonderful Ricky Cool & The Hoola Boola Boys.

Cruising #4006

In search of a brief interlude of peace and serenity this week, we sent Mr Merlot into the Cruising Library on a rummaging expedition and he came back with a handful of most excellent items, including that one with a real Louisiana flavour by an Oregon band, Gumbo. We kept that flavour too, as we crossed the Atlantic to the UK for The Balham Alligators, led by keyboard ace, Geraint Watkins and big favourites here from their album ‘Bayou-Degradable’.

Now long time Cruising Crew members will know, that we’re not above a little light fingered lifting of great tunes from other shows, so, with a respectful tip of the hat to Neil Pellegrin down there in New Orleans we followed his lead with one by Ivory Joe Hunter. Then, we had a trio of tracks in our Cruising Connections starting with a 45 titled ‘It Moves Me’ by Eddie Holland, who started out as a singer, but did even better later as one of the most successful 60s songwriters. His track had a link to our next choice from 50s vocal group, The Satintones, with their début single ‘Going To The Hop’ and the Northern Soul floor filler from Gino Parks ‘Same Thing’. The link between all three choices was that they were early record releases for Berry Gordy’s Tamla label and helped to establish Motown.

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Fine Fine Fine

Honky Tonk Caboose – Mickey Baker
Come On – Ricky Cool & The Hoola Boola Boys
Dancin’ Shoes – Gumbo
Fine Fine Fine – The Balham Alligators
I Want Somebody – Ivory Joe Hunter

Cruising Connections
It Moves Me – Eddie Holland
Going To The Hop – The Satintones
Same Thing – Gino Parks

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Girls & Guitars
Voodoo Woman – Crystal Shawanda

Talk That Talk
Clothes Line – Knock Out Greg & Blue Weather
Cadillac Baby – Mike Sanchez & Blue Weather
Little Red Rooster – Carol Jarvis
Dimples – Felton Jarvis

Doo Wop Delights
Lost In Dreams – The Wisdoms
Don’t Do It – the Penguins

Max Merrit & The Meteors

Dig It
Dixieland Rock – Max Merrit & The Meteors
Topsy Turvy – Ben Joe Zeppa
You Better Dig It – Bill Johnson

Our Girls & Guitars feature focused on Crystal Shawanda, who grew up in Ontario, Canada and got taught to play guitar by her parents. She was raised on country music, but her oldest brother later introduced her to the blues. She moved to Nashville when she was 16 and after singing and playing around town, she got signed by RCA records. She released a few country music albums, but she recently rediscovered her love of the blues with her latest album ‘Voodoo Woman’ and we played the title track.

This week, our Doo Wop Delights started with a pretty rare little 45 on the Gaity label from Minnesota vocal group, The Wisdoms. They recorded ‘Lost In Dreams’ in 1959 and original copies now change hands amongst collectors for big money.  We followed them with Los Angeles group, The Penguins. who are best remembered for their big hit ‘Earth Angel’, but they recorded plenty more including our choice, their 1955 Mercury single ‘Don’t Do It’.

There’s plenty of great R&B coming out of Sweden and we pulled out two by Blue Weather who appeared behind Knock-Out Greg on ‘Clothes Line’ and then behind the excellent Mike Sanchez with his take on Roy Brown’s classic ‘Cadillac Baby’. Then, with more than a hint of enthusiasm we slipped in through the back door for another rummage in the music collection of our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa, which produced a couple namesakes . . . Carol Jarvis with her 1959 version of ‘Little Red Rooster’ and Felton Jarvis with his 1960 cover of Mr Hooker’s ‘Dimples’.

The Cruise Mobile took us to New Zealand to join Max Merrit & The Meteors with a song that did pretty good for Mrs Presley’s lad, ‘Dixieland Rock’. Then, under cover of some more rocking R&B, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. As the familiar faces and places came into view, we heard from Ben Joe Zeppa and Bill Johnson, who got us home safe and sound. Indeed, we were just in time to park up the trusty Cruise Mobile, give it a quick polish, ready for our next adventure. So, with a cheery wave, we said our farewells, ever hopeful that we’ll have the pleasure of your company the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 8 September 2020

Listen here to this week’s edition of Through To Midnight:

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Well, knowing you were coming, I had the airwaves deep cleaned and there were plenty of tasty treats lined up for this week’s dose of Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic. So, relief was at hand, if you had been suffering from too much ‘ordinary radio’. There was plenty here to restore you to full funky fitness and we started with an hors d’oeuvre from James Taylor with ‘Some Days You Gotta Dance’ and if today is one of those, then this is just what you need . . .

Now, I’m always ready, if you’d like to add a little something to the mix for Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic and this past week The Vikster came whispering in my ear to suggest an Under The Covers feature focusing on the songs of Johnny CasTTM (Square logo) different it ish. So, no sooner the word, than the deed . . . and my first choice was a song written and recorded by Johnny Cash as his 1956 single “I Walk the Line” . . . but this version was memorable for a different reason. This was a swinging version of the song from Bobby Darin, who recorded it for Motown records in 1970, as part of an album that didn’t get released for 10 years or more after Bobby’s demise. Then, we heard the unmistakeable voice of Ray Charles with his soulful take on another Johnny Cash song, ‘Ring Of Fire’ and I rounded off this trio of tracks with a rocking cover of the song that was on the B-side of Johnny Cash’s single “I Walk the Line” . . . the song was “Get Rhythm” and this version came from Little Richard.

Now, the giglist here was looking promising with some Autumn gigs, but they all seem to be getting shift into next year. One of those is a much awaited gig by Paul Carrack and I happen to know I’m not alone among the goodly listeners to the show in looking forward to seeing Paul Carrack on stage. So, this week’s On The Giglist feature brought a small compensation from Paul himself.

You Gotta DanceTTM (02.09.20) wordpress
Some Days You Gotta Dance – James Taylor
Keep On Dancing – Kikki Gyan
It’s Time To Put A Little Love In Your Heart – James Brown
Everyone’s Dancing – Cindy Blackman Santana
These Four Walls – Malaya Blue

Under The Covers
I Walk The Line – Bobby Darin
Ring Of Fire – Ray Charles
Get Rhythm – Little Richard

Don’t Have To Be
Soul Like A Flower – Park 88
Don’t Have To Be – Samantha Martin & Delta Sugar
What Makes You Beautiful – Vanessa Collier

On The Giglist
You Make Me Feel Good – Paul Carrack

All For You
Sexual Healing – Eddie Lovette
You Make Me Want To Dance – Robert Finley
All For You – Earl Vandyke & The Soul Brothers
Whatcha Think About That – Casey Van Beek & The Tulsa Groove
Roomin’ House Boogie – Ben Waters
They Don’t Make Them Like You Anymore – Rory Gallagher
Come The Rain – Cary Morin
Some Other Time – Ben Levin
You Got It – Tad Robinson
I Could Get Used To This – Al Basile

Girls & Guitars
She Wants To Know – Carolyn Wonderland

Listen To The Music
Listen To The Music – Candi Staton
Give Me One Reason – Robi Kahakalau
Where Have All The Songbirds Gone – The Wentus Blues Band
Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever – Full Flava
I Looked Away – Kevin Roth
Sincerely – Johnny Jenkins

Now, those in the know, will be well aware that the Hall of Fame winner of the Austin Music Awards 2020 was Carolyn Wonderland, who happened to be the focus of this week’s Girls & Guitars feature. She grew up in Houston Texas and having learnt to play guitar in her teens, decided to pursue her musical career when she left school. By 1999 she was heading for more than 300 days a year out on the road performing. Along the way, she played with plenty of notable names, including becoming a member of John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. To date, she’s released 11 albums, including her most recent, ‘Moon Goes Missing’ which is where I found this week’s choice . . . ‘She Wants To Know’.

Now, for those in the mood for a smooch with someone special, our Mellow Mood brought a little gem which was a 60s hit for Motown group, The Four Tops. The song was ‘Lovin’ You Is Sweeter Than Ever’ and I found a version that had been revisited and reimagined by Full Flava. Then, there was written by Eric Clapton and recorded by him for his classic Derek & the Dominos album. In my view, it’s a lovely song which doesn’t get the plays that it deserves, but I did my bit to change that by playing the charming acoustic version of ‘I Looked Away’ by Kevin Roth.

Then, it was time to gather up the music, tidy up the studio and say a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show. I gave a cheery wave and very much hoped we’d meet again, same time same place next week to go Through To Midnight. Until then, remember . . . keep safe . . . keep well . . . and have fun!

Broadcast by Maritime Radio 96.5fm on 2 September 2020
Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 7 September 2020