The Storm is Over . . .

Posted: April 15, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, the days come and go, but one thing I know, when The Blues Come Calling, I’ve got more blues to share than I have time for. So, this week, I tried to chat less and play more . . . and I nearly succeeded . . . but old habits die hard! Still, there was the welcome return of Chris Cain and Linda Imperial, along with plenty of ‘newies’ to share from Dexter Allen, Patti Parks, Pat Travers, Thorbjorn Risager, Kent Overaker, Bob Corritore, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band and Russian band, The Blues Cousins.

Now, The Blues Cousins demonstrated that blues is an international language that crosses frontiers and boundaries with ease, as they prove with their album ‘Poison’ with some blues delivered in fine style, indeed. My album of the week was a superb new release from Eddie 9v, who is no stranger to our playlists and was back with his first album for Ruf records and showing off just how well he’s soaked up the spirit and style of the blues masters that he much admires.

I kicked off this week’s show with Mississippi soul and bluesman Dexter Allen, who many may know as a member of Bobby Rush’s band . . . but he’s out on his own now with a new album titled ‘Keep Moving On’ and I featured a little gem called ‘Pack Up My Bags’. Then, from Mississippi, we headed for Baton Rouge in Louisiana, which is where Patti Parks recorded her latest album, ‘Whole Nother World’. It has plenty to recommend it and to show off her talents, I chose Patti’s track, ‘Stickin’ To My Guns’.

I Got Off Cheap
Pack Up My Bags – Dexter Allen (Keep Moving On – 2021)
Stickin’ To My Guns – Patti Parks (Whole Nother World – 2021)
You Can’t Get That Stuff No More – Pat Travers (Blues On Fire – 2021)
She Got Some Money – Eddie 9v (Little Black Flies – 2021)
I Believe I Got Off Cheap – Chris Cain (Raisin’ Cain – 2021)
It Ain’t Right – Thorbjorn Risager & Emil Balsgaard (Taking The Good With The Bad – 2021)
The Storm Is Over – Linda Imperial (Heart Rock – 2021)
Kind Hearted Woman – The Blues Cousins (Poison – 2021)

Pinetop’s Pick
The Letter – BB King (BB King – 1963)

Still Got The Blues
Don’t Dog Me Around – Eddie 9v (Little Black Flies – 2021)
Still Got The Blues – Kent Overaker (Mr Bluesman – 2021)
Big Mama’s Soul Food – Bo Corritore & Sugaray Rayford (Big Mama’s Soul Food – 2021)
Wave Them Goodbye – Rebecca Downes (Stripped Back – 2021)
‘Til We Die – The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Dance Songs For Hard Times – 2021)
Don’t Come Round This House – Eddie 9v (Little Black Flies – 2021)

Not for the first time, I noted that the new releases were picking up pace and we were starting to see a fair few notable artists releasing albums and it gives a promising, if hesitant, start to the return of live gigs and concerts. So, the spirits were on the rise here and the first few live gigs booked, in the hope of ‘normal service’ being resumed.

Our regular guest Arfa Pinetop was back again this week with another bluesy sample from the catalogue of the UK Sue Record Label. This time around it was a lesser know track by BB King called ‘The Letter’, which got issued as a single on the label back in the 60s and featured on more than one of Sue Records compilation albums.

Far too soon, I came to my last choice for this week’s show and, before our blues time together ran right out, I returned to my album of the week from Russian band The Blues Cousins. They were back with ‘I Can Feel Your Heart’, 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 . . .have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 15 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 17 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 18 April 2021

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

Cruising #4015

Well, with precision timing, we all arrived just as the trusty Cruise Mobile came rolling to a stop with its windows wound down and its radio cranked up. As always, that’s a sure sign that it’s time to jump aboard, as we head off down the road, Cruising with The Commissioner. We arrived with Boots Brown on the radio and then we headed for the wild blue yonder with the great Jesse Belvin & His Space Riders and ‘My Satellite’

Now, back in 1960 Jimmy Bell wrote and recorded a song for Hickory records in Nashville, Tennessee with the celebrated Hank Garland providing some driving guitar on ‘Going Down To The River’. It got high activity from the rhythm pulses and there was more from The Realtones, with a song dedicated to an intellectually challenged individual called Dora. The Cruise Mobile was easily tempted to New Orleans for something from local singer and saxophonist James Martin with a track from his debut album, ‘Blue’ which features that James Booker classic ‘So Swell When You’re Well’. Then, we couldn’t resist the temptation to play something from Mr Booker himself.

To get the little grey cells bouncing around, this week’s Cruising Connections, brought a trio of tracks that all had a common link . . . and we started with something from Gene Allison, followed by the ebullient Rufus Thomas and closed with a little gem from Ellas McDaniel, otherwise known as Bo Diddley. The music aficionados probably spotted that all three of our choices were artists who had songs of theirs covered by The Rolling Stones on their debut album back in April 1964. Bobby Troupe was another artist who got one of his songs covered on that album . . . the song was ‘Route 66’, but he also earned a bob or two from another song he wrote, although I don’t think he ever recorded his own version of ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’.

Dynamite – Boots Brown
My Satellite – Jesse Belvin & His Space Riders
Going Down To The River – Jimmy Bell
Dumb Dora – The Realtones
So Swell When You’re Well – James Martin

Cruising Connections
Reap What You Sow – Gene Allison
All Night Worker – Rufus Thomas
Hey Pretty Baby – Bo Diddley
The Girl Can’t Help It – Little Richard

Girls & Guitars
Too Close To You – Hannah Wicklund & The Steppin’ Stones

Doo Wop Delights
Darling Please – The Bees
Little Mama – The Jivers

Rhythm With My Blues
Everybody’s Carried Away – Earl King
Struttin’ Kind – Eugene Church
Jump, Jive & Shake – Dr Zoot
Rhythm With My Blues – Kit Packham & One Jump Ahead
I Gotta Get Myself A Woman – The Drifters
Out Of My Mind – The Velvet Candles
Heading Home – The Jive Aces

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature took us to South Carolina, which is where Hannah Wicklund grew up and later moved on to Nashville. She credits her interest in music to her father, who gave her her first guitar as a present, after he got rid of her backyard trampoline. She was a quick learner, and formed her first band at the age of eight. At age 21 she now fronts her band the Steppin Stones and together they released their self-titled album in 2018. That’s where we found her little upbeat rocker . . . ‘Too Close To You’.

Now, the fan of 50s and 60s vocal groups, may well have been patiently
waiting for this week’s Doo Wop Delights and their quiet anticipation was rewarded with our first choice from The Bees whose membership included Billy Bland ( who would go onto solo success) and they recorded our choice, ‘Darling Please’ for Imperial Records on 9 April 1954 . . . although for some reason, it never got released at the time. We followed up with The Jivers and ‘Little Mama’, a number they recorded for Aladdin records in June 1956 at Capitol Studios in Los Angeles.

There was a tip of the hat in the direction of our good pal Neil Pellegrin, who pointed us to Earl King’s, ‘Everybody’s Carried Away’, which made way for Eugene Church’s Class 45 from 1960, ‘Struttin’ Kind’. Then, for those who wanted to join Dr Zoot to jump jive and shake, we suggested finding a good space before The Cruisettes arrived.Kit Packham & One Jum Ahead kept things lively with an order of ‘rhythm with my blues’ and The Drifters did the same with a 1956 releases that is seldom heard these days, so we did our bit here to remedy that.

We confirmed our international credentials, when the Cruise Mobile took us across the Atlantic to hear some great R&B from Finnish group The Velvet Candles and while attentions were elsewhere, The Jive Aces helped us change direction as, like us, they were ‘Heading Home’. Then, all too soon, we were parking up the trusty Cruise Mobile, giving it a quick polish and offering a big wave and a smile to all who joined us for this week’s musical adventure. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 13 April 2021

Feed My Soul . . .

Posted: April 9, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic:

Well, I glanced up and there you were, looking mighty fine and just in time to call by at the sonic surgery, where I was preparing a heady mix of Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic. Perhaps, not surprisingly for regular visitors, it was brimming with the ‘good stuff’ that you won’t hear on ‘ordinary radio’. To prove the point, we kicked off doing a little ‘Walking on Starlight’ with the excellent Shakatak . . . and followed very quickly by the first of our ‘newies’ from Nigel Hall. There were plenty of other new releases too, from Jesse Malin, Mr Sipp, Linda Imperial, The Weeklings, Rebecca Downes, Patti Parks, The Kingbees and The Hitman Blues Band.

This week’s Tell It Like It Is focused on a song with a story about Merry Clayton. Back in 1962, when she was 14-years old, she turned up for her first big recording session at the famous Capitol Studios in Hollywood. She took her place among the other backup singers for a Bobby Darin record. But, soon after they started to sing their part of the song, Bobby Darin stopped the session and said “There’s somebody really loud in there and Merry said “they asked me to back up a bit from the microphone”. They started again and Bobby Darin stopped the recording and said, ‘That voice is still so loud!’ So, Merry got asked to back up even more. Finally, Bobby called Merry over and told her he was so impressed that he moved her up front to duet with him on this week’s featured number, “Who Can I Count On?”

Gonna Be Alright
Walking On Starlight – Shakatak
Never Gonna Let You Go – Nigel Hall
Harder Than It Has To Be – Renee Austin
Time Robber – Jesse Malin
Gonna Be Alright – Mr Sipp
I Found Me – Linda Imperial

Tell It Like It Is
Who Can I Count On – Bobby Darin & Merry Clayton

April’s Fool
April’s Fool – The Weeklings
Hello I Am Your Heart – Dennis Linde
Tangled Up In Blue – Bob Malone

Mellow Moment
Feed My Soul – The Holmes Brothers

Walk With You
Washing Over My Heart – Rebecca Downes
I Can’t Think – Patti Parks
Walk With You – The Hitman Blues Band
Lucy Diamonds – The Kingbees

For our Mellow Moment, I brought you something to soothe you, smooth you and make you relax . . . . and this time around, it was a favourite from The Holmes Brothers. The track is a longtime favourite . . . the excellent ‘Feed My Soul’ and I gave my permission to smooch with someone special, if you so wished.

Then, I added to our heady mix, a special something from The Hitman Blues Band and I can tell you they’re well worth catching on stage, which you will quickly realise with a listen to their latest release, ‘Walk With You’. That, then, sadly, brought us to the last of my tasty treats for this week’s mix. It came from Swedish band The Kingbees and it was their latest single, titled ‘Lucy Diamond’, 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 soon for another dose of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 9 April 2021

Well, there was a big bluesy welcome to one and all . . . . and as ever, I arrived with a jam-packed edition of The Blues Come Calling. I brought plenty of new releases from A.J. Fullerton, Mr Sipp, Mike Ross, The Reverend Shawn Amos, Tom Craig, Sunday Wilde, Richard Koechli, The Halley DeVestern Band, John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas. There were a fistful of ‘seasoned’ favourites and it all kicked off with Chris Cain and the first of my choices from his latest album ‘Raising Cain’ which happened to be my album of the week.

Among the ‘seasoned’ favourites was a 1953 song hear from Little Junior Parker & The Blue Flames. It was a Sun Records original and appeared as the flipside of his single ‘Mystery Train’. The song was ‘ Love My Baby’ and it’s one of 25 Blues originals that’s included on the latest compilation ‘The Sun Records Sound of Howlin’ Wolf & Little Junior’s Blue Flames’ . . .and well worth checking out. There was another favourite, which came with a big nudge from Jamie Dell’Apa, down in New Orleans. He gave me a timely reminder of the piano work of Alex Moore and, in particular, a little gem called ‘Lillie Mae Boogie’. I’m sure there’s a story to go with that one . . . but it hasn’t reached my ears . . . yet!

Our regular guest, Arfa Pinetop, did his bit for the deep dyed bluesers out there. He brought along a story about the famed UK Sue Records label and a Willie Dixon song that got recorded by Willie Mabon and got released in the UK on Sue Records . . . ‘Just Got Some’.

Say You’ll Stay
You Wont Have A Problem When I’m Gone – Chris Cain (Raisin’ Cain – 2021)
Love My Baby · Little Junior’s Blue Flames (The Sun Records Sound of Howlin’ Wolf & Little Junior’s Blue Flames – 2021)
Say You’ll Stay – A.J. Fullerton (The Forgiver & The Runaway – 2021)
Shake ‘Em On Down – Mike Ross (The Clovis Limit – Tennessee Transition – 2021)
I’m Ready – The Reverand Shawn Amos (The Cause Of It All – 2021)
Working Too Hard – Tom Craig (Good Man Gone Bad – 2021)
Shake That Man – Sunday Wilde (Eleven – 2021)
Lillie Mae Boogie – Alex Moore (Jook Joint Blues: Good Time Rhythm & Blues – 2007)

Pinetop’s Pick
Just Got Some – Willie Mabon (Mr Dixon’s Workshop – 2006)

Let’s Have A Good Time
Too Many Problems – Chris Cain (Raisin’ Cain – 2021)
Easy Road – Richard Koechli (The Real Chill, Remembering J.J. Cale – 2021)
I’m Ready – The Halley DeVestern Band (Money Ain’t Time – 2021)
Mississippi Phone Booth – John Hiatt & Jerry Douglas (Leftover Feelings – 2021)
I Dont Know Exactly What’s Wrong With My Baby – Chris Cain (Raisin’ Cain – 2021)
Let’s Have A Good Time – Mr Sipp (Sippnotized – 2021)
Just One More Time – Ghalia Volt (One Woman Band – 2021)

I commented that the number of new releases seemed to be picking up pace now that the prospect of gigs and concerts are getting more real. There were ‘newies’ from The Reverend Shawn Amos and The Halley DeVestern Band, which both featured the same song, each in a different style. So, making no apology, I played them both . . . because when the spirits move you . . . you know what to do!

There were big smiles here, because Mr Sipp was back with a cracking new album, titled ‘Sippnotized’, which included an early favourite of mine . . . ‘Let’s Have A Good Time’ . . . which just about sums up the good spirits it has produced here. Then, sadly, our blues time together was nearly all gone, but I just about managed to squeeze in my promised preview of another of this year’s Blues Caravan artists. So, we played out with this week’s choice, Ghalia Volt and her aptly titled ‘Just One More Time’. But, before that, I gave 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 . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 8 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 10 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 11 April 2021

Mind Over Matter . . .

Posted: April 6, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Cruising - prepare for the unexpected

Well, with re-assuring predictability, the Cruise Mobile arrived right on time and ready to take us on another musical adventure to ‘who knows where’ with ‘you know who’, or, as we say in the Grand Duchy, going Cruising with The Commissioner. There was a bit of a theme for this week’s Cruising playlist too . . . as we salute the many Swedish artists who have been keeping alive the early sounds of American music that we love here, starting with the sound of Sweden’s own Knock-Out Greg with a little something to get us in the right mood ‘Rock Bottom’ and, followed fast by Cherry Tess & Her Rhythm Sparks.
We enjoyed some swinging R&B from Swedish band, Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers, who are familiar faces around the clubs of Sweden, as are The Kingbees, delivering some excellent Louisiana flavoured R&B and rockabilly. There was more rockabilly too from Harmonica Sam backed by another Swedish band . . . The Domestic Bumblebees, who turned up in their own right with ‘Rocket Room’.

This week’s Cruising Connections came with a suitably Swedish trio of tracks that started with the great Mike Sanchez. He was followed by late Sven Zetterberg, one of Sweden´s most versatile blues and soul artists and our last choice came from James King & Anders Lewen. They shared the link that they were all backed by Swedish band, ‘The Beat From Palookavile’ . . . and they turned up again in their own with ‘Is It True’.

Gotta Lotta That
Rock Bottom – Knock-Out Greg
Gotta Lotta That – Cherry Tess & Her Rhythm Sparks
Lost On Los Olas – Sweet Emma & The Mood Swingers
You Better Believe It – The Kingbees
No More Mr Lonely – Harmonica Sam & The Domestic Bumblebees
Rocket Room – The Domestic Bumblebees

Cruising Connections
Knockin’ On The Backside – Mike Sanchez
Soon You’ll Be Gone – Sven Zetterberg
Money – James King & Anders Lewen
Is It True – The Beat From Palookavile

Girls & Guitars
Mind Over Matter – Sahara Hotnights

Doo Wop Delights
You & I – The Northern Lights
Two Fools In Love – The Boppers

Whatcha Gonna Do
Let’s Go Boppin’ Again – Blue Weather
Whatcha Gonna Do – Interstate 40 Rhythm Kings
Oh Baby, Me Too – The Hightones
It Don’t Take But A Few Minutes – The Refreshments

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature, also had a Swedish theme with singer and guitarist, Maria Elisabeth Andersson, who hails from Robertsfors in Sweden and was one of the founders of all girl rock group Sahara Hotnights. She started the band in 1992 and co-wrote much of the original material for their six studio albums. She’s since become a solo recording artist, but our choice was ‘Mind Over Matter’ from her time with Sahara Hotnights and their 2004 ‘Kiss & Tell’ album.

This week’s Doo Wop Delights brought some doubts about finding a rich vein of Swedish doo wop, but that was until we discovered vocal group, The Northern Lights, and their most excellent ‘You& I’. Then, we heard more Swedish doo wop from The Boppers, who have been around since 1977 and proved to be a surprise and a delight with ‘Two Fools In Love’.

We may only have skimmed the surface of ‘real’ R&B from Sweden, but our time was running out and, with style and ease, the trusty Cruise Mobile brought us home safe and sound. We were just in time to park it up and give it a quick polish, so it’s all ready for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 6 April 2021

Better Days . . . .

Posted: April 2, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic:

Well, I was back with a big cheery smile and a warm welcome to one and all . . . and just in time to deliver this week’s big dose of Dr Roberts Sonic Tonic. It’s special ingredients have been expertly blended to bring you plenty of the ‘good stuff’ and a refreshing distraction from what you’ll hear on ‘ordinary radio’. To get things started with some real pzazz, we kicked off with a much underrated band called Button Up and ‘It’s A Trip. Then, helping us on our way was a little gem that got suggested by the most excellent Larry Grogan . . . he mentioned a 1967 version by Bob Marshall and the Crystals, but I invited a little controversy by playing, what in my humble opinion, is the best version by Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band.

Now for this week’s Tell It Like It Is, I brought a song with a story, which took us back to 30th March 1963, when a 16 year old girl entered the Bell Studios in New York City for her first recording session. She recorded three songs and then went back to her ordinary life. Later that day the producer of the session, Quincy Jones, ran into Phil Spector, who told him about a great song he was planning to record with his group The Crystals. Quincy didn’t mention that he had recorded that same song earlier that day, but quickly went back to the recording studio and had 100 copies pressed, which he sent to the top 100 radio stations in America. The song was rush-released and quickly climbed the charts. The singer was Lesley Gore and the song was ‘It’s My Party’.

It’s A Trip
It’s A Trip – Button Up
She Shot A Hole In My Soul – Geno Washington
I, Oh! – Paul Stanley’s Soul Station
Xanadu – Sharleen Spiteri
Better Days – Josh Hoyer & The Soul Collossal

Tell It Like It Is
It’s My Party – Lesley Gore

Just Right
Love Letters – Frankie Miller
Brown Eyed Handsome Man – Molly O’Brien
Just Right – Linda Imperial

Mellow Moment
Up & Down World – The California Honeydrops

Doncha Wanna
Doncha Wanna – Gabriel Kelley
I Don’t Want To Go Home – Little Steven
Only A Song – Van Morrison
Charlene – The Jets
Have You Seen My Baby – A.J. Croce

Just when I thought the time for this week’s Mellow Moment, I slipped something into the sonic tonic to soothe you smooth you and make you relax. This time around it was the new single, ‘U p & Down World’ from the California Honeydrops and just in case it tempted folks to cast a smile at that someone special nearby . . . I turned down the lights and closed the window blinds

As time was running out, I was intent on squeezing in a little treat for the smiling faces of Armstrong Towers. It was AJ. Croce with a favourite of mine from his latest album ‘By Request’ and it came with a rumoured promise that if I dedicated it to Jools, his Lordship would wash my socks for a month. I’m still not sure I want to follow up on ‘that promise’. But, all too soon though, it was that time when I had to gather up the music, tidy up the studio and head on out, but not before giving a cheery wave and a big thanks for your good company for this week’s show. As ever, I was hoping that we’d meet again soon for another dose of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic. Until then, . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 2 April 2021

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to one and all and however you got here, be ready to kick back and relax as I share with you an armful of the best blues around. To get things moving in the right direction, I kicked off the show with The Hitman Blues Band with a fiery number called ‘Go Down Fighting’ from their latest album ‘Not My Circus, Not My Monkey’ which just happens to be my album of the week. Then, for those who missed the Ruf Records Blues Caravan last year, there’s re-assuring news that UK dates are now fixed for this year’s tour. This time around, the Caravan features Micke Bjorklof, Eliana Cargnelutti & Ghalia Volt. So, I thought over the next few weeks, I might bring you a taster of what to expect, starting this week with Micke Bjorklof and ‘Blame It On The Bright Lights’.

Now, you can’t say I don’t listen to your feedback, because (however charmingly phrased) I’ve had some enthused encouragement to play more piano blues. So, I pulled out two choices that I hoped would get me off the naughty step. I started with something from the great Professor Longhair. It was a track from the latest double album release ‘The Bach of Rock’. It’s been causing a flurry of activity amongst his fans with its mix of live tracks, and some rare and unreleased tracks. Among them was a favourite of mine . . . . the Prof’s take on the blues classic . . . ‘How Long’. That got followed fast by some frenetic boogie from Gene Taylor and Chris Ruest with the rocking ‘Torpedo Boogie.

Go Down Fighting
Go Down Fighting – The Hitman Blues Band (Not My Circus, Not My Monkey – 2021)
Blame It On The Bright Lights – Micke Bjorklof (25 Live – 2018)
Thirty Hearts High – Bill Fillipiak (Thirty Hearts High – 2021)
How Long Has That Train Been Gone – Professor Longhair (The Bach of Rock – 2021)
Torpedo Boogie – Chris Ruest & Gene Taylor (It’s Too Late Now – 2017)
It’s My Own Fault – Antonio Gambacorta (Norah – 2021)

Pinetop’s Pick
Bring A Little Water Sylvie – Lonnie Donegan (My Midnight Special – 2021)

World’s Got The Blues
Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Hitman Blues Band (Not My Circus, Not My Monkey – 2021)
Ain’t About The Money – Chris Shaw (The Blue Lights – 2021)
Whole World’s Got The Blues – Eric Bibb & Eric Gales
You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone – Lightnin’ Hopkins (King Of Dowling Street – 2021)
John The Revelator – Hitman Blues Band (Not My Circus, Not My Monkey – 2021)
Ali Shuffle – Chris Bell 100% Blues (Baptized By The Blues – 2017)

My regular guest, Arfa Pinetop, was back with a follow up to his recent tip of the hat to Chris Barber. This time around Pinetop’s Pick focused on Chris’s one time band member, Lonnie Donegan and his take on Leadbelly’s ‘Bring A Little Water Sylvie’.

The lovers of Texas blues will have had big smiles, with the release of the new Lightnin’ Hopkins’ compilation, King Of Dowling Street. It has 57 tracks with 12 previously unreleased performances, and all remastered from analog tapes. Now, it is still mighty impressive to me that he performed live for six decades and recorded for over 30 years. By way of example, there was a little something from this latest compilation . . . the aptly titled ‘You’re Gonna Miss Me When I’m Gone’.

When The Hitman Blues Band turned up with their superb take on that old gospel number ‘John The Revelator’, I knew our blues time together was nearly all gone. But, there was just time to squeeze in a great piece of swinging blues from Chris Bell 100% Blues called ‘Ali Shuffle’, as I said my big thanks for your good company on this week’s show, and hoped we meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 1 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 3 April 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 4 April 2021

Open The Door . . .

Posted: March 30, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Cruising #4017

Well, with re-assuring predictability, the Cruise Mobile arrived right on time and all ready to whisk us off on another musical adventure to ‘who knows where’ with ‘you know who’. So, with the customary invitation to jump aboard, throw caution to the four winds and join us as we go Cruising with The Commissioner. To set the mood right, the Cruise Mobile arrived to the sound of much celebrated saxman Red Prysock with ‘Fruit Boots’ and followed fast by a 1958 Ace 45 credited to Little Booker, but we know we know him as the excellent James Booker.

After some prompting from Mr Merlot this past week, we went examining the towering contents of the Cruising pending tray and found a number of soulful ballads. So, we lined up a few that really did deserve a play, like Chuck Jackson & Mark Knopfler doing their superb tribute to the great Arthur Alexander with ‘You Better Move On’. Staying in that soulful mood, we also pulled out a 1966 Chess 45 by Texan, Billy Young with his cover of Tommy Roe’s ‘Have Pity On Me’. We also came across an old favourite from Jean Du Shon, who recorded for Chess records and 1966 was the first to record ‘For Once In My Life’, the song that would later become a big hit for Stevie Wonder. But, on hearing Jean’s version, Berry Gordy asked Chess not to promote it and, for some reason, they agreed . . . . as a result, it was a local but not a national hit. She was so disappointed, that she gave up her singing career, but she did leave us her original of that song and her great take on Little Willie John’s classic ‘Talk To Me’.

Well, this week’s Cruising Connections, brought a trio of tracks that all have a common link and to get you started, we heard from Rick Vito with ‘Hungry Man’. Up next we had the pleasure of the company of Jim Stringer & The Austin Music Band with the story of yet another American railway line . . . the ‘Texas & Pacific’. Then, for those still wondering about the link, our third choice came from Californian band, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy with their take on ‘Jack You’re Dead’. As a bonus, especially for long time Cruising Crew member, The Vikster, Louis Jordan re-introduced us to Fat Sam From Birmingham.

Open The Door
Fruit Boots – Red Prysock
Open The Door – Little Booker
I Ain’t Mad At You – Bobby Merrill
You Better Move On – Chuck Jackson & Mark Knopfler
Have Pity On Me – Billy Young
Talk To Me – Jean Du Shon

Cruising Connections
Hungry Man – Rick Vito
Texas & Pacific – Jim Stringer & The Austin Music Band
Jack You’re Dead – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Fat Sam From Birmingham – Louis Jordan

Girls & Guitars
Where Is The Love – Michelle Malone

Doo Wop Delights
I Love You – The Dukes
45 Men In A Telephone Booth – The Four Tophatters

Oh Yeah
Can’t Sit Down – The Bim Bam Boos
It’s Not The First Boat I’ve Missed – The Mystic Knights
Don’t Leave Me Baby – Dean Barlow
Oh Yeah – Rex Garvin & Band

Now our Girls & Guitars feature took us to Atlanta to meet American singer/songwriter and guitarist Michelle Malone, who was raised there and joined her first band at the age of 12, having learnt to play guitar, saxophone and drums. Her music career has since spanned over 20 years, so far, with stints in various bands and a solo career. If you catch her on tour, you might just hear something like our choice, ‘Where Is The Love’ from her 2006 album ‘Sugar Foot’.

Fans of 50s and 60s vocal groups may have been waiting for this week’s Doo Wop Delights which started this week with a 1959 Flip 45 from California Doo Wop Group, The Dukes and followed by a 1955 release by The Four Tophatters, ‘45 Men In A Telephone Booth’. Since those days, telephone booths have almost disappeared which must be a very worrying development for Clark Kent and Dr Who.

‘You Can’t Sit Down’ is a number we know well by The Phil Upchurch Combo and The Dovells, but it’s rare to hear the 1959 original by the Bim Bam Boos. So, we put that right this week by digging out their Dasher 45, featuring Phil Upchurch on guitar. Then, came a group that we would know like to know more about . . . The Mystic Knights . . . with their great number ‘It’s Not The First Boat I’ve Missed’. Meanwhile, their was a name, familiar to fans of Northern Soul , Dean Barlow, with a song very much in that earlier 50s R&B style that we love here . . . ‘Don’t Leave Me Baby’. . . . for which The Cruisettes turned up to offer some unsolicited dangerous dancing. While attentions were diverted, we turned the trusty Cruise Mobile for home in the company of the wonderful Rex Garvin. Then, it was all over for another week. We parked up the Cruise Mobile, gave it a quick polish and a cheery wave to one and all, ever hopeful that we’ll meet again the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 30 March 2021

Well All Right . . .

Posted: March 26, 2021 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s edition of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic:

Well, I arrived for this week’s show with a big smile and a cheery wave. I also brought an invitation to break free of the mundane and predictable, and join me for another dose of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic with its carefully selected armful of the ‘good stuff’, designed to raise the spirits and excite the senses. If that was enough of an enticement, for everyone who turned up on time and wearing their dancing shoes, there was the excellent James Taylor to kick start proceedings with ‘ Some Days You Gotta Dance’ . . .

There were new releases to keep us on our toes, from Pat Smillie, Peter’s Deal, Bill Toms & Hard Rain, Lady D and West Side Joe & The Men Of Soul. There was also this week’s Tell It Like It Is, with a song with a story. It featured a little number written by Jeff Barry & Bert Burns. It was first recorded by The McCoys back in 1967, and it became their 7th single. The song was ‘I Got To Go Back (And Watch That Little Girl Dance)’. Now it only ever reached number 62 on the charts back then and apart from a solo re-recording by The McCoys frontman Rick Derringer, you’ll find only one other version of the song . . . by a Hong Kong covers band. But, that’s not the whole story, because in 1969 Otis Redding recorded a song titled ‘Look At That Girl’ with the record label showing Otis as the song’s writer . . . but it is ‘that same song’ . . .

Good Way To Stay
Some Days You Gotta Dance – James Taylor
Move On Up – Con Funk Shun
Nae Nae (Month Of Sundays) – Pat Smillie
I Got The Will – Laverne Brown with Red Beans & Rice
Good Way To Stay – Peter’s Deal
Come To Me – Bill Toms and Hard Rain

Tell It Like It Is
Look at That Girl – Otis Redding

Supernatural – Lulu
Marrakesh Express – Goldrush

Mellow Moment
Holding Back The Years – Etta James

Set Me Free
Set Me Free – Lady D
Found You – West Side Joe & The Men Of Soul
Real Real Gone – Van Morrison
The Boys Are Back In Town – The Bus Boys
Well All Right – Little Richard

Our Sonic Tonic was getting plenty of flavours from around the world and there are a few exotic spices that came courtesy of Goldrush with a Graham Nash song that you’ll know well . . . ‘Marrakesh Express’. Then, in introducing our Mellow Moment, I acknowledged that I’d been receiving reports that our choices had been inspiring some sensual smooching out there in listening land. So, I issued a warning to all concerned to close the blinds on the windows, especially for this week’s soulful groove from Etta James.

An overdue glance at the clock signalled that it was time to collect up all the music, tidy up the studio and get ready to head on out. But not before bringing you a fitting finale with a big spoonful of high octane ingredients to the mix from the Georgia Peach, Little Richard, with a song written for him by Sam Cooke. Before he let loose, I was giving everyone a big smile and waving a cheery farewell and hoping that we’ll meet again soon for another dose of Doctor Roberts Sonic Tonic. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio on 2 April 2021

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

Well, I arrive in the right place, at the right time and with a big bluesy welcome to one and all. I came armed with a big smile and an armful of the best blues around . . .and there’s been a good deal of catching up going on this week, because the new releases have been piling up waiting for some attention. Now, those waiting on the new Gary Moore album ‘How Blue Can You Get’, probably know that it opens with Gary doing a live version of that Freddie King classic, ‘Tore Down’ . . . and so did we! Then, there was another blues classic, revisited this time by Jimmie Bratcher. It was his take on ‘Grits Ain’t Groceries’ and it came from his new album ‘I’m Hungry’, which happened to be my album of the week.

Among the new releases on this week’s playlist, were ‘newies’ from Jim Kirkpatrick, Shakin’ Woods, Clare Free, Arne Skage, Tony Caster & Black Mouth Dog, West Side Joe & The Men of Soul, Tomislav Goluban, David Place and Lady D. There were some seasoned favourites, with our regular guest Arfa Pinetop bringing a little Piedmont blues from Blind Boy Fuller and for the fans of Slim Harpo, who like their blues on vinyl, there was the welcome news of a new vinyl collection of his Excello recordings, titled ‘Baby Scratch My Back’.

Where You Gonna Stop
Tore Down – Gary Moore (Essential Montreaux – 2009)
Grits Ain’t Groceries – Jimmie Bratcher (I’m Hungry – 2021)
61 & 49 – Jim Kirkpatrick (61 & 49 – 2021)
Enemy – Shakin’ Woods (The Blues Proper Sessions Vol.2 – 2021)
Call Trade Descriptions – Clare Free (Call Trade Descriptions – 2021)
Soulfood Mama – Skage (Procrastnation Blues – 2021)
Where You Gonna Stop – Jimmie Bratcher (I’m Hungry – 2021)

Pinetop’s Pick
My Brown Skin Sugar Plum – Blind Boy Fuller (East Coast Piedmont Style – 2015)

Shake Your Hips
Don’t Be Ashamed – Tony Caster & Black Mouth Dog (Tony Caster & Black Mouth Dog – 2021)
Colorado Mama – West Side Joe & The Men of Soul (Keep On Climbin’ – 2021)
Express Connection – Tomislav Goluban (Express Connection – 2021)
One Rainy Day In Memphis – David Place (Pandora’s Box – 2020)
Shake Your Hips – Slim Harpo (Baby Scratch My Back – 2021)
Bacon Is On My Mind – Jimmie Bratcher (I’m Hungry – 2021)
Somebody’s Gotta Move – Lady D (Disturbing My Peace – 2021)

There was some international travelling with the blues this week, and to prove that blues music is truly an international language and there was a warm welcome for Croatian bluesman Tomislav Goluban with the title track of his 12th album, “ Express Connection” and good stuff it is too! Those international links were also evident with the latest album by Australian musician, David Place. He says his love for the guitar was born in 2002, as a result of his move to London, where he found an acoustic guitar left behind by the previous tenant of his flat. It inspired him to try his luck playing on the streets and clubs of London, during which he soaked up the sounds of the city. His latest album, Pandora’s Box, brings all those influences together in a laid back collection songs that included my choice . . . ‘One Rainy Day In Memphis’.

A sideways glance at the studio clock, reminded me that our blues time together was fast running out, but I wasn’t leaving without playing a favourite of mine from West Virginia’s own Lady D. It came from her new album ‘Disturbing My Peace’ and titled . . . ‘Somebody’s Gotta Move’. That somebody was me, but not before I said a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show, and ever hopeful that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 27 March 2021
Broadcast by Blues at Rock Radio on 28 March 2021