Let me know . . . . 

Posted: March 23, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, here we are with March ebbing away and the searing heat of endless summer days still an enticing prospect. At present the Grand Duchy appears to be getting better weather than the recent experience of those in and around New York, so we should not complain. But, we were saddened by the news this week of the departure of Chuck Berry to the Promised Land. We tried to keep our spirits high with Bob Seger’s rocking tribute to Chuck with ‘You Never Can Tell’ (or as Bob calls it ‘C’est La Vie’). But, we kicked of the show with a most frantic welcome to one and all from Little Richard, providing a timely reminder to go Cruising with the Commissioner.Cruising #3007

Now this week, there have been quite a few communiques with our Ambassador to the Islands, one of which was about a recent playlist choice here by Hal Glatzer. It turns out he is well known to our Ambassador and so, to ingratiate ourselves a little more, we dug out another track by Mr Glatzer called ‘Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again’ . . . . and many happy returns we say.

If we told you that many fruitful hours had been spent rummaging in the Cruising Library for obscurities this week, it would be a stretch of the truth (a practice which seems very popular of late, beyond the Grand Duchy). But, yours truly has been laid low with some virus, so, if the chatter on this week’s show sounds a little strained on occasions, that’s the excuse! However, the pile of records that are still waiting to be put away helped with easy access to the original of ‘Wondrous Place’ by the ‘Good Timin’ man, Jimmy Jones. It’s a song covered by Billy Fury in the UK and so to soothe their feelings of the Billy Fury fans, we found his take on the Ray Charles number ‘Tell Me How Do You Feel’.

C’est La VieLittle Richard - Hey Hey Hey Hey
Hey Hey Hey Hey – Little Richard
C’est La Vie – Bob Seger
Come On Home – Louis ‘Blues Boy’ Jones
Trickle Trickle – The Videos
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
Fever – Patti Drew
What’s Wrong – James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford
Wondrous Place – Jimmy Jones
Tell Me How Do You Feel – Billy Fury

Girls & Guitars
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Francesca De Fazifrancescadefazi

I’m Coming Back Again
Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – Hal Glatzer
My Boy Lollipop – Barbie Gaye
Hey – Barbara Mercer
Michael (The Lover) – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Pink Champagne – Georgie Fame
You Can’t Sit Down – The Phil Upchurch Combo
Shock To The System – Eli Paperboy Reed
Let Me Know – Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker

This week our Girls & Guitars spotlight fell on Italian, FrancescaShock To The System – Eli Paperboy Reed De Fazi. Who has performed across Europe and America in some notable company along the way. She can boast an appearance in the “International Jimi Hendrix Festival” in Vienna and Budapest, but our choice was a track from her 2002 live album Blues Dues and her rather excellent take on ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’. 

And for those of you who care about such things, I can tell you that this next song was written in the mid-1950s by Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, and it was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye. The song became a bigger success in the mid 60s when it was covered by Millie Small . . . . becoming one of the top selling ska songs of all time. . . . And if you haven’t guessed by now . . . . This is “My Boy Lollipop”

There were plenty of juicy gems in our playlist this week, including a few old favourites, but taking us all the way home on this week’s cruise was Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker with their 1958 Class recording ‘Let Me Know’. . . . by the end of which, we were indeed home safe and sound. We parked up the Cruise Mobile and waved our cheery farewells, sure in the knowledge that in another seven days we will swing by for you in the Cruise Mobile, same time same place next week to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . .have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 22 March 2017


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

Well, we were back again with this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling and some mixed emotions. The forthcoming tours and new releases all look good and suggest that blues music is thriving in the UK. But, the good news was tempered with the sadness of losing James Cotton and Chuck Berry this past week. So, our playlist included a respectful taste of James Cotton with ‘The Creeper’ and Chuck Berry with ‘Confessin’ The Blues’.

But the new releases keep coming and this week’s playlist included the welcome return of Mr Sipp with his new album, ‘Knock A Hole In It’. We also heard from one of the very familiar names on the UK blues scene, Mick Clarke, with his cover of a Howlin’ Wolf favourite on his latest album, ‘Digging Down’. A big thanks went out to Blind Racoon Records for the new opus from Hurricane Ruth ‘Ain’t Ready For The Grave’ and the very talented Malaya Blue, who happens to have a new single out now, also made an appearance. Now, after waiting on the new album, ‘Live from The Fox, Oakland’ by The Tedeschi Trucks Band, it got released this week and we chose a taster track ftitled ‘Just In Time’.

I Am The BluesJames Cotton
The Creeper – James Cotton (Dealin’ With the Devil – 2016)
Gotta Let Her Go – Mr Sipp (Knock A Hole In It – 2017)
Smokestack Lightning – Mick Clarke (Digging Down – 2017)
Let Me Be the One – Hurricane Ruth (Ain’t Ready For The Grave – 2017)
Hunny Little Day Dream – Malaya Blues (Heartsick – 2016)
I Am The Blues – Debbie Bond (Enjoy The Ride – 2016)
Goin’ To New Orleans – Little Sam Davis (Roots of Americana – 2013)

Pinetop’s Pick
Parchman Farm – Johnny Winter (Suicide Won’t Satisfy – 1998)

Just In TimeMr Sipp - Knock a hole in it
Just In Time – The Tedeschi Trucks Band (Live from The Fox Oakland – 2017)
Confessin’ The Blues – Chuck Berry (Rockin’ At The Hops – 1960)
Honky Tonk Train Blues – Claude Bolling (Original Boogie Woogie – 1998)
Ain’t Goin’ Down This Time – Don Baker (No Regrets – 1995)
Kentucky Blues – Little Hat Jones (Early Rural Blues – 2007)
Keep It To Yourself – Billy Price (East End Avenue – 2006)
Rolling With Thunder – Big Wolf Band (A Rebel’s Story – 2017)

I guessed that Texas bluesman, George “Little Hat” Live from The Fox OaklandJones would bring a smile of contentment to the faces of the scratchy blues fans. He only cut a few sides for Okeh Records back in 1929, including our choice, ‘Kentucky Blues’. Now every once in while I think we have a duty to relive the joy of that classic piano ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’, first recorded in 1927 by Meade Lux Lewis and performed this week’s playlist by French jazz pianist Claude Bolling. Another cover came from Irish bluesman, Don Baker, with a well known song written by Tony Joe White, ‘Ain’t Goin’ Down This Time’ from Don’s 1995 album ‘No Regrets’.

As time started catching up with us, we pulled out something by Pittsburg’s own Billy Price and a song from his 2006 album ‘East End Avenue’, called ‘ Keep It To Yourself’ and we played out with Birmingham’s Big Wolf Band and a taster of their forthcoming album ‘A Rebel’s Story’. Then, it was time to tidy up and head for the door, but not before thanking you for your good company this week and hoping we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 19 March 2017

Back to back . . .

Posted: March 15, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, around the Grand Duchy, there are some encouraging signs of Spring and the sunny days come with increasing frequency to tempt the adventurous to wind down the windows of their cars, turn up the volume on their radios and get themselves properly prepared to go, who knows where with you know who! Of course, they’re not alone, because, at the appointed hour, the familiar sight of the Cruise Mobile comes into view and they know they’re going Cruising with The Commissioner.

This week’s playlist comes with its fair share of ‘toons’ shamelessly plunder from others, including Jamie Dell’Apa and the Saturday Night crew who suggested Little Willie Joe and his one stringed Unitar, which can be heard on our opening instrumental ‘Twitchy’ by The Rene Hall Orchestra and also Bob ‘Froggie’ Landers’ number ‘Cherokee Dance‘. Then we tipped our hat to Larry Grogan and his Funky 16 Corners  show for pointing us to a 1964 RCA 45 by Jimmy Elledge, ‘Gonna Turn My Voodoo On’, which is fetching a nice price among collectors these days.

Our thanks also went to Thom Hickey for the latest edition of his excellent blog the Immortal Jukebox . It had a fine feature on Ella Mae Morse and we couldn’t resist the temptation to play her 1946 Capitol hit, ‘House Of Blue Light’. The well informed musicos know that Chuck Berry was one of many who also recorded that song and with Matt the Cat’s Chuck Berry feature on his Juke In the Back Show, we were inspired to play Chuck’s version of another Don Raye composition, ‘Down the Road Apiece’.

Twitchy – Rene Hall Orchestra with Willie Joe & His Unitar
Cherokee Dance – Bob ‘Froggy’ Landers & The Coughdrops with Willie Joe & His Unitar
Gonna Turn My Voodoo On – Jimmy Elledge
House of Blue Light – Ella Mae Morse
Down The Road Apiece – Chuck Berry
It’s All Over Now – The Valentinos
Junker Blues – Champion Jack Dupree

Girls & Guitars
Black To Blue – Gaelle Buswel

Do Your Best
Oh Julie – Shakin’ Stevens
A Lover Of The Orchid Isle – Hal Glatzer
Back To Back (Jumbie Jamberee) – Duke Errol & The Lords
Be Mine – The Jordan Brothers
Satellite – Jesse Belvin
Hum De Dum – The Gassers
Do Your Best – Vince Maloy
Going Down To The River – Jimmy Bell
Got The Water Boiling – The Regals
How About Rocking With Me – Piney Brown

For this week’s Girls & Guitars feature, our spotlight fell on Gaelle Buswel, who hails from across the channel in France and grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker Janis Joplin and more. She’s gigged across Europe and America and has a new album coming out shortly, but for our choice, we’ve picked the title track of her second album, ‘Black To Blue’. 

Now if you happen to be a fan of Bobby Womack and find yourself in Austin, Texas there’s a chance you’ll bump into our good pal Wendel Williams. If you do, tell him you heard us play a Bobby Womack song that Bobby wrote with his sister, Shirley Womack, and was recorded in 1964 him and the rest of The Womack Brothers as members of The Valentinos. It got to No 94 in the billboard charts, but it earned a lot more royalties for Bobby when The Rolling Stones hit No 1 with ‘It’s All Over Now’.

Mr Merlot arrived with The Cruisettes all bedecked in colourful Hawaiian garb, clutching their ukeleles, and nodding respectfully in the direction of our Ambassador to the islands, who might just hear the name check for her favoured hula party spot in a Hal Glatzer’s number, ‘A Lover Of The Orchid Isle’.

There was plenty more in our playlist, including a trio of tracks featuring the great Jessie Belvin (with The Space Riders, The Hollywood Saxons and The Gassers). Soon after, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home and did it in great style with The Regals and their 1955 Atlantic side ‘Got The Water Boiling’, followed fast by Piney Brown and ‘How About Rocking With Me’. Then, we were saying our fond farewells and looking forward to the next time we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 15 March 2017



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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another edition of The Blues Come Calling and there was plenty of good blues to cram into our time together. With so many great new releases heading your way, it would be easy to forget some of those ‘seasoned’ favourites, but, certainly not this week.

This week’s rummaging in the archives delivered a little number called ‘Little Walter’s Jump’, which I don’t think Little Walter ever released on record, but fortunately it was captured when he played it live on European TV as part of the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival tour. Then, there was some very fine New Orleans boogie piano from Joe Krown, a veteran of Clarence Gatemouth Brown’s band, but now a familiar face around the Crescent City as a solo pianist and with his funky organ trio. He was showing off his solo talents with ‘Midnight Boogie’. The lovers of scratchy blues were not forgotten either, with a 1949 Mercury release by Monroe Moe Jackson and a song that’s cited as one of the origins of rock & roll . . . ‘Move It On Over’.

Among the new releases, there was Elvin Bishop with a very nice reworking of ‘It’s All Over Now’ from his latest album ‘Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio’. There was a taster of a forthcoming release by two big names of the blues, Taj Mahal & Keb Mo, with a single from that album titled ‘Don’t Leave Me Here’. Danny Bryant, also appeared with his Big Band and his new single release, ‘Prisoner of The Blues’. But, before all that we kicked off our playlist with Andrew ‘Jr Boy’ Jones and a little something he recorded in 2009 at the 13th Annual Fargo Blues Festival, called ‘I Got Stick’ 

Hidden CharmsTaj & Keb
I Got Stick – Andrew ‘Jr Boy’ Jones (Bootleggin’ The Blues – 2009)
Keepin’ It All Alive – Lights Out By Nine (Make Your Own Luck – 2004)
Hidden Charms – The Big Head Blues Club (Ft Billy Branch) (Way Down Inside – 2016)
Don’t Leave Me Here – Taj Mahal & Keb Mo (Don’t Leave Me Here (single – 2017)
Midnight Boogie – Joe Krown (Just The Piano . . . Just the Blues – 1997)
Little Walter’s Jump – Little Walter (Live on The American Folk Blues Festival tour – 1967)
It’s All Over Now – Elvin Bishop (Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – 2017)

Pinetop’s PickJoe Krown 2
Howlin’ Wolf Boogie – Colin James & Hubert Sumlin (A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf – 1998)

Prisoner of The Blues
Get You Back – Joanne Shaw Taylor (Wild – 2016)
Prisoner of The Blues – Danny Bryant (Prisoner of The Blues (single) – 2017)
Blues Is My Medicine – Lisa Mann (Move On – 2014)
Move It On Over – Monroe Moe Jackson (Rural Blues Vol.1 – 1934-1956)
Hammer Down – Hitman Blues Band (The World Moves On – 2016)
Sugar Babe – Buster Brown (Fire single – 1962)joanne_shaw_taylor_hb_051016

There were some welcome returns in this week’s choices, including Scottish band Lights Out By Nine, with ‘Keepin’ It All Alive’, The Big Head Blues Club with another of their tributes to blues icon Willie Dixon, ‘Hidden Charms’ and one of the UK’s great female blues artists (in my humble opinion), Joanne Shaw Taylor who’s gigging around the UK, with a setlist featuring a few tracks from her latest album, like ‘Get You Back’. Another lady of the blues, Lisa Mann, returned with her song ‘Blues Is My Medicine’ from her ‘Move On’ album and The Hitman Blues Band also made an appearance with ‘Hammer Down’ to remind us of their stunning set at last year’s Blues On The Farm festival.

Just before collecting up the records and CDs, ready to head to the door this week, there was just enough time to play Buster Brown’s 1962 Fire 45 ‘Sugar Babe’, bringing back memories of of the much missed Mike Raven and his very popular R&B radio show. As it faded away, there was time to say thanks for your good company on this week’s show and look forward to our next meeting, the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 12 March 2017

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

Well, the Cruise Mobile has seen its fair share of traveling this week, taking in some very enjoyable social events and meeting up with some friendly faces. Our travels included a visit to our Gallic friends to sample their excellent wine and provender. Of course, in a comradely gesture, we felt obliged to demonstrate our respect and appreciation by taking away with us some of these consumables!

Cruising #3004Rest assured, there was still plenty of time to prepare for our musical journeying with the Cruising Crew. Inspired by some positive feedback on our
previous Cruising adventures, we dug a little deeper in the Cruising Library for something from Big Bo & The Arrows, who’ve been providing our opening theme music for the show since we started Cruising back in 2011. Our Ambassador to the islands, Susan Bowman, also reported in this week, suggesting something from Ray Kinney for our playlist. So, Mr Merlot and yours truly donned our Hawaiian shorts and shirts for the occasion, hoping our worthy Ambassador was also suitably bedecked in her grass skirt for this one.

At the appointed time and place, the Cruise Mobile came rolling to a stop tor pick-up the faithful and embark on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We kicked off down the road with Mickey & Sylvia and their 1954 Cat Records single ‘Speedy Life’, followed by the wonderful Big Mama Thornton with her take on ‘Wade In the Water’.

Speedy LifeBig Mama Thornton
Speedy Life – Mickey & Sylvia
Wade In The Water – Big Mama Thornton
It Keeps Raining – Big Bo & The Arrows
Swanee River Hop – Fats Domino
Splish Splash – Freddie Cannon
Priscilla – Eddie Cooley & The Dimples
Woo Woo Train – The Valentines
Little Brown Gal – Ray Kinney
Don’t Look Back In Anger – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Girls & Guitars
You Don’t Move Me No More – Heather Crosseheather crosse

How Come
Mr Big Wheel – Christine Kittrell
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
Air Travel – Ray & Bob
How Come – Mario Cobo & Help Me Devil
Dynamo – Si Cranstoun
Rock-A-Boogie – Jeanette Baker
Hubba Hubba Ding Ding – Vince Maloy
Rita – Floyd Dixon
I Get The Blues When It Rains – Alonzo StewartMario Cobo

For those who were waiting for our Girls & Guitars feature, saw our spotlight fall on Heather Crosse, who hails from Louisiana and now lives in Clarksdale. She’s been fronting her own band for some 8 years now and they have the delightful title of Heavy Suga’ & the SweeTones. They were all present on our choice from Heather Crosse, ‘You Don’t Move Me No More’.

Now, this week, there was every reason to expect Mrs TC’s appearance as a generous hostess, wafting by with provender and fizz. Sparing no expense, we took her off to France to sample their wines and produce, much of which followed us back to Cruise Control. Indeed, the Cruise Mobile went crossing many frontiers and time zones this week. One of the many trans Atlantic stops was for some rockabilly from Vince Malloy, who, when he left the music business back around 1979, went on to become the Chief of Police with the North Beach Maryland Police Department. (Now, there’s a gem for the next trivia quiz!)

The great Floyd Dixon (or as his dubbed himself ‘Mr Magnificent’) was telling us the story of Rita, when we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. We passed plenty of familiar faces and places along the way and, despite the antics of The Cruisettes, we arrived back safe and sound. As the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stop, we parked it conveniently, ready for our next adventure. So, with a cheery wave, we said our farewell to all, ever hopeful that we’ll all meet again the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 8 March 2017


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

Well, as ever, a big bluesy welcome to another edition of The Blues Come Calling and if you are a regular listener, you will have heard me say before that there are some excellent new blues releases coming out over the next month or so and with some fine blues acts on tour too. Some of those new releases show up on our playlist this week, along with ‘seasoned’ favourites that deserved another listen.

The show kicked off this week with Germany’s Jan Fischer Bluesband doing a little ‘Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’ and stepping out into the daylight behind them came Elvin Bishop with a track from his new album ‘Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio’ and with a title like you just know it will get plenty of interest.

Inspired, we dug out the signature number, ‘Born In Chicago’ by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which included the aforementioned Elvin Bishop . . . and that particular song happened to be in the set list for local band ‘Hard To Handle’ this past week, with a guesting appearance on vocals and harp by the talented Brian Cushion, so we pulled out Brian’s excellent version of ‘Good Morning Blues’.

Samantha Fish has a new album called ‘Chills & Fever’ due out on 17 March, with some fine covers of rocking R&B songs of the 60s & 70s and chose to preview her take on that old Skip James number ‘Jane Crow’. We also chose the title track from Sean Chambers’ news album ‘Trouble & Whiskey’, along with Vanessa Collier’s version of ‘When Love Comes To Town’ from her new album “Meeting My Shadow”.

Good Morning Blues elvin-bishop
Walking In The Shadow of The Blues – Jan Fischer Bluesband (Roadside Boogie – 2008)
It’s You Baby – Elvin Bishop (Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – 2017)
Born In Chicago – Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Paul Butterfield Blues Band – 1965)
Good Morning Blues – Brian Cushion (Good Morning Blues – 2010)
Jane Crow – Samantha Fish (Chills & Fever – 2017)
Trouble & Whiskey – Sean Chambers (Trouble & Whiskey – 2017)
Good Boy Blues – Arthur Pettis (Lonesome Road Blues – 1997)
When Love Comes To Town – Vanessa Collier (Meeting My Shadow – 2017)

Pinetop’s Picksamantha-fish-chills-fever
Baby, You Got What It Takes – Buddy Guy & Joss Stone (Born To Play The Guitar – 2016)

That Spoonful
All Night Long – Krissy Matthews (Live At Freak Valley – 2017)
Boogie In the Boiler Room – Eddie Bo (New Orleans Solo Piano – 2017)
Can’t Nobody – Dawn Tyler Watson (Jawbreaker – 2016)
Spoonful – Vika Bull (At Last the Etta James Story – 2013)
Bring It Back – Levi Cuss (Night Thief – 2017)
The Hustler – Joe Jonas (Texas Bluesmen – 1993)levicuss

We were well into the show and still lining up more new releases than even the fittest could shake a stick at, including a sample of a high energy new release by Krissy Matthews, titled ‘Live at Freak Valley’, recorded one night on stage in Germany. We continued our international flavour with Montreal’s own Dawn Tyler Watson and a track from her latest album ‘Jawbreaker’, featuring some great guitar there from fellow Canadian Paul DesLauriers. Then we welcomed back Australian Vika Bull with another fine track from her Etta James tribute album, ‘At Last’, with Vika doing a cover of Etta, doing a cover of Howlin’ Wolf on ‘Spoonful’.

As if that was not enough, we also featured Canadian bluesman Levi Cuss, who’s due to tour the UK soon to promote his latest album, called night Thief and we chose to play ‘Bring It Back’. Then with some scratchy blues from Arthur Pettis and some boogie piano from Eddie Bo, we were running out of time, so we played out with Texas bluesman, Joe Jonas with ‘The Hustler’ . . . but before that, there was just time to say a big thanks for your good company on the show this week and hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 5 March 2017

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

Well, this week we arrived at the appointed hour with a big cheer and a timely invitation to escape from the everyday humdrum and embark on a real adventure to who knows where, with you know who. For this Cruising with Commissioner, we came clutching some juicy gems from the archives suggested by soundtracks from a couple of 50s films, featuring Big Joe Turner, Fats Domino and Roy Hamilton.cruising-3002
Now, Fats Domino happened to be celebrating a birthday this past week. So, our best wishes went to him, along with big thanks to Thom Hickey’s for a great piece about Fats on his Immortal Jukebox blog.  Big thanks also went to Russ & Gary’s and their The Best Years of Music blog for pointing us to the clip of Roy Hamilton doing ‘Here Comes Love’ from the 1958 film ‘Let’s Rock’.

Our playlist boasted ‘Jump Jive & Harmonise’, a 1967 Whittier 45 from East LA band Thee Midnighters (not the Hank Ballard band . . . this band spell ‘The’ with two Es) and if you see a good copy in some dusty box somewhere, snap it up and tell the guru of the grooves, Larry Grogan at his Funky 16 Corners , because he may make you an offer! But, before that, we set off on our cruise in the company of King Curtis with ‘Blowing Of Steam’ . . .

Blowing Off Steamfats-domino-here-comes-fats-v-550502
Blowing Off Steam – King Curtis
Get High – La Melle Prince
Lipstick Powder & Paint – Big Joe Turner
Honey Child – Fats Domino
Here Comes Love – Roy Hamilton
Something Else – Chet ‘Poison’ Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers
Jump, Jive & Harmonise – Thee Midnighters

Girls & Guitars
Don’t Doubt My Love – Liz Mandeville
Crazy With Youthee-midnighters
Walking The Dog – Rufus Thomas
Roll With Me Henry – Vika Bull
Please Say You Want Me – The Schoolboys
The Big Bounce – Shirley Caddell
L&N Special – Christine Kittrell
Johnny B. Goode – Big Daddy ‘O’
Still Got The Blues – Chuck Berry
About That Girl Called Lou – The Cadillacs
Crazy With You – Jeanette & Decky

This week, our Girls & Guitars spotlight fell on Liz Mandeville, vika_bull_-_at_last_the_etta_james_story_cd__01665_1478656910_400_400who hails from Wisconsin, but later gravitated to Chicago, where she established her reputation with her band The Blue Points. To show off her talents, we chose ‘Don’t Doubt My Love’ from her 2014 album, ‘Heart ‘o’ Chicago’.

Now, back in 2013 an album appeared titled ‘At Last’ and it was a very fine tribute to the great Etta James by Australian chanteuse, Vika Bull. Now it’s an adventurous project to cover well known songs by one of the great R&B voices of our time, but Vika excelled at it and we played her version of Etta James’ ‘Roll With Me Henry’.

Now, we are shameless about following others in pursuit of good sounds for our Cruising playlists and this week was no exception! We pulled out a couple of Chuck Berry songs after listening to the first of a multi-part feature on Mr Berry by Matt The Cat on his excellent Juke in the Back Show. Soon after those choices, we found ourselves heading, full tilt, for home with a 1958 Aladdin 45 from Jeanette Baker and Johnny Flamingo, as Jeanette & Decky, with ‘Crazy For You’. Then it was all over for another week. We parked up the Cruise Mobile, ever hopeful that you will waiting eagerly the next time it rolls by to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 1 March 2017




the-blues-come-calling-header-blogsize (Revised)

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

Well, a very bluesy welcome to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling and a very busy week it’s been too. Along with some enjoyable social events, there’s been a flurry of new blues releases and news of upcoming shows and tours to keep my interest. In the end, there were too many great choices to fit into this week’s playlist, so next week’s listening is already looking good.

Our sample of the new releases included, the forthcoming album by The Chris Bergson Band, demonstrating some mighty fine playing on their first studio album, titled ‘Bitter Midnight’. For those who have a passion for ‘swampy’ blues, we featured a track from a forthcoming album ‘Long Lie’ by London band Two 5, founded by Rob McElroy and Andy Burke and delivering what they describe as 21st Century Whiskey Barrel Blues. There was a big shout out to Dave Thomas for sharing tracks like ‘Sitting On Top Of The World’ from the new album, ‘Big Blue’, by Dave and Hugh Gregory as Shortstuff. Then, there was the welcome return of Guy Verlinde & the Houserockers, with their new album titled ‘How How How’, featuring some high-energy blues with a mix of old school Chicago style and contemporary sounds.

But, before all that, we kicked off the show with some rocking blues courtesy of Brighton’s Lenna & The Snakemen with ‘Leave It To Lee’ from their latest album ‘Black & Blue’ and we stuck with the girls for two more, each from a Lisa. First was Lisa Mann with ‘My Father’s House’ and then Lisa Lystam, leading The Lisa Lystam Family Band on a track from their latest album ‘Give You Everything’ . . . and they pretty much did just that on ‘Lately’.
Leave It To Lee – Lenna & The Snakemen (Black & Blue – 2016)
My Father’s House – Lisa Mann (Hard Times & Bad Decisions – 2016)
Lately – The Lisa Lystam Family Band (Give You Everything – 2016)
Bitter Midnight – The Chris Bergson Band (Bitter Midnight – 2017)
Little Boy Blue – Robert Lockwood Jr (Trouble Hearted Blues – 2003)
Honest Man – Matt Andersen (Honest Man – 2016)
Loved Another Woman – Mike Ross (Jenny’s Place – 2016)
That’s Cold – The Texas Topcats (Hot Rhythm & Cool Blues – Texas Style – 1992)

Pinetop’s Pickthe-chris-bergson-band
Bottle Up & Go – Alfred ‘Snuff’ Johnson (Black Cowboys Blues & Church Songs – 1988)

I Gotta Sang The Blues – Thornetta Davis & Kim Wilson (Honest Woman – 2016)
Waiting For So Long – Two 5 (Long Lie – 2017)
Wine Woogie – Marvin Phillips
Sitting On Top Of The World – Shortstuff (Big Blue – 2017)
Fool That I Am – Vika Bull & The Essential R&B Band (At Last – 2013)
Snap! – Guy Verlinde  & The Houserockers (How How How – 2017)two-5-long-lie
Poor Man’s Blues – Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings (Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings – 1999)

There was something to savor for those who like a little ‘scratchy blues’ in their listening diet, with ‘Little Boy Blue’ by Robert Lockwood Jr (or as some prefer to have it, Robert Jr Lockwood). Then Arfa Pinetop turned up with something from a more obscure bluesman, Alfred ‘Snuff’ Johnson, who didn’t record anything until his latter years and we heard his take on ‘Bottle Up & Go’ from his 1988 album ‘Black Cowboys Blues & Church Songs’.

This past week included a thoroughly enjoyable visit to the Rye Delta in Kent, with some rummaging in the town’s most excellent record shop and one of gems in the racks was a compilation called ‘Juice Head Baby’, which boasted something from Marvin Phillips called ‘Wine Woogie’. Our rummaging didn’t stop there either, because our rummaging in the archives here turned up a fine compilation of Texas blues called ‘Hot Rhythm & Cool Blues’ which features a track by The Texas Topcats, who happen to include our good pal Wendel Williams, so with not a second thought, we played The Texas Topcats with ‘That’s Cold’.

Now, back in 2013 Australian chanteuse, Vika Bull released a very fine tribute album to the great Etta James. An adventurous project, to cover well known songs by one of the great soul and R&B voices of our time, Vika Bull excelled at it and for those as impressed as me, you can catch her live, because she’s coming to the UK soon with her whole band.

With plenty more of the ‘good stuff’ still in the pending tray, time was running out as we cued up the rocking ‘Poor Man’s Blues’ by The Chicago Rhythm & Blues Kings. So, there were some quick farewells and the hope that we can all meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 26 February 2017


Time on my side . . .

Posted: February 23, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, it’s been a pretty hectic week here and the trusty Cruise Mobile has served us very well as we picked up on some very sociable visits. There were many laughs and some fine dining along the way, as well as a very fruitful visit to one of our favourite records shops in the sleepy town of Rye. We didn’t come away empty handed . . . but more of that another time.
There were a couple of birthday’s this week that caught our eyes and with little persuasion we found time to celebrate them in sound here. First up was Dodie Stevens, who was celebrating her 71st birthday this past week. . . . and some 58 years ago, at the age of 13, she cut a little number called ‘Pink Shoe Laces’ for Crystalette records, which proved to be her only chart success. Then there was the great singer/songwriter Otis Blackwell, who would also have been celebrating his birthday this past week, if he was still with us. It was a good excuse to feature a few of his songs, including his own version of his own song ‘Daddy Rollin’ Stone’.

We also featured a little gem by Australian singer & TV presenter Johnny Chester, which was unearthed by our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa and we know a good thing when we hear it, so we played it again. But, before that, we set off on our cruise in the company of Mighty Joe Houston & His Orchestra with ‘Chicano Hop’ and with Mickey Baker & Sylvia Vanderpool following up with their 1956 Groove 45 ‘No Good Lover’

Daddy Rollin’ Stonems_groove_no_good_lover_78
Chicano Hop – Joe Houston
No Good Lover – Mickey & Sylvia
Uh Huh – Big Boy Groves
Can Can Ladies – Johnny Chester & The Thunderbirds
Pink Shoe Laces – Dodie Stevens
Daddy Rollin’ Stone – Otis Blackwell
Don’t Be Cruel – The Upsetters
Fever – Patti Drew
Great Balls Of Fire – Georgia Gibbs

Girls & Guitars
You Were On My Mind – Susanna Hoffsr-3173840-1319076569_jpeg

Goin’ Round In Circles
Lonesome Tears In My Eyes – The Beatles
Hot Biscuits & Sweet Marie – Eddie Cooley & The Dimples
I Don’t Love You No More – Jimmy Norman
Time On My Side – Beverley Knight
River’s Invitation – Zoot Money & His Bog Roll Band
Big Time Operator – Charlie Rich
Messed Up – Harold Burrage
Goin’ Round In Circles – Bobby Mitchell
Our Girls & Guitars feature this week put thezoot-money-transition spotlight on American vocalist and guitarist, Susanna Hoffs, who is probably best known as a member of The Bangles. To show off her talents, we chose her version of a song previously recorded by US group We Five, which became a UK hit for Crispian St Peters ‘You Were On My Mind’.

Somewhere out there in Cruising Land, hopefully Buddy Bowman is now recovering from his little health problem . To wish him well, we played a rare track by The Beatles and their 1963 cover of Johnny & Dorsey Burnette’s song ‘Lonesome Tears In My Eyes’. But, all too soon afterwards we had to turn for home back them and taking us all the way home was New Orleans favourite, Bobby Mitchell with his 1956 Imperial 45 ‘Goin’ Round In Circles’. Sadly, then there was nothing left to do but park up the Cruise Mobile give it a quick polish so it’s all ready for our next escapade together. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 22 February 2017

The blues is back . . .

Posted: February 19, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !


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

Well, if you really needed any proof, this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling was crammed with excellent blues, from ‘seasoned’ favourites, the occasional forgotten gem and all those new and forthcoming releases. One of the albums that’s been getting a lot of plays here just lately is the new one by Quinn Sullivan, titled Midnight Highway’ and if you track it down when it gets released, you’ll find it has much more than blues among its tracks, but it’s all good stuff and with plenty to please the blues fans.

A couple of the ‘Kings of the Blues’, B.B. And Albert, popped up in the playlist this week, but before that, we kicked off with that great opener from Joe Bonamassa Live at The Greek Theatre and quickly followed by Big Head Todd & The Monsters, appearing as The Big Head Blues Club and featuring some notable names guesting on their tribute album to blues icon Willie Dixon, called ‘Way Down Inside’.
For those with a passion for scratchy blues, there was a worthy indulgence from Delta bluesman Tommy McClennan who was the first to record ‘Crosscut Saw Blues’ and it got released by Bluebird records back in 1941. It’s been recorded many times since. Then, we were hearing from Melissa Etheridge’s latest album ‘Memphis Rock & Soul’, which has been featuring in the blues charts lately, although it’s far more soul flavoured than blues. But, it does have a fine version of ‘Born Under A Bad Sign’, and it was a reminder to play something by Albert King himself . . . and we did.

Bring It On Home
Let The Good Times Roll – Joe Bonamassa (At The Greek Theatre – 2016)quinn-sullivan-midnight-highway-prd75162-1200x1200
Boogie Woogie Woman – B.B. King (King of The Blues – 2012)
Bring It On Home – The Big Head Blues Club (Ft Billy Branch) (Way Down Inside – 2016)
Rocks – Quinn Sullivan (Midnight Highway – 2017)
Don’t Do It – Delbert McClinton (Pick Of The Litter – 2017)
Crosscut Saw Blues – Tommy McClennan (Travelin’ Highway Man – 2012)
Born Under A Bad Sign – Melissa Etherdige (Memphis Rock & Soul – 2016)
Nice To Be Nice – Albert King (The Blues Don’t Change – 1977)

Pinetop’s Pick
Aged & Mellow – Esther Phillips (The Best of Esther Phillips – 2015)melissa-etheridge-untitled

Ride ‘Em On Down
All Talk – Russ Payne & The Unison Bends (Liquor & Iron – 2016)
Ride ‘Em On Down – Eddie Taylor (Big Town Playboy – 2016)
Young Woman’s Blues – Beki Brindle (All Kinds Of Beki – 2016)
The Blues Is Back – Easterfield (Honky Tonk Sessions – 2017)
Kansas City Blues – Michael Bloomfield (If You Love These Blues, Play ‘Em As You Please – 2004)
Try Try Try – The Lisa Lystam Family Band (Give You Everything – 2016)

Now, there’s been no shortage of good blues releases lately, including Russ Payne & The Unison Bends, with their debut album, ‘Liquor And Iron’ full of ‘original blues’. Guitarist lisa-lystam-family-band-give-you-everythingand singer Beki Brindle has also impressed with her latest album ‘All Kinds Of Beki’ and it delivered another fine track for our playlist, together with another track from Netherlands band Easterfield off of their debut album ‘Honky Tonk Sessions’.

The past week brought a sad anniversary . . . the passing of the great Mike Bloomfield. He’s probably best remembered for his work with Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band, The Electric Flag and his session work with Al Kooper and Bob Dylan, but Mike was also an accomplished acoustic guitarist too, and to demonstrate this we played his version of ‘Kansas City Blues’.

All too soon, the clock revealed that we had nearly run out of time, even if we haven’t run out of music. So, we played out this week with something from the latest album by The Lisa Lystam Family Band, ‘Try Try Try’, but not before thanking all for their good company on this week’s show and hoping to see everyone back again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 19 February 2017