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

Well, the sun has been gracing the Grand Duchy rather a lot just lately, which has made our Cruising adventures an even more enjoyable prospect. So, we arrived in the Cruise Mobile in good cheer, with a seat saved especially for you and all ready to whisk you off for another Cruising with The Commissioner. So, with practised ease, we set off down the road to ‘who knows where’ with some rockin’ R&B from Ace Cannon, Ronnie DawsonCruising #4004 and Maria Vincent blasting out of the radio.

This week, we ‘fessed up’ to a little digging in someone else’s music collection, which is always a welcome journey of discovery and made a joy when it’s someone like our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa. There were plenty of dusty gems to choose from and although it was tempting to do more, but we pulled out just a handful and promised to return another day.

Now, some amongst the Cruising Crew have been suggesting that our recent Cruising Connections have been a little ‘testing’, so this week we lightened up with three US rocking numbers by Billy The Kid, Curtis Lee and Ruth Brown. Their songs all got into the UK’s charts when they were covered by a local lad, who was this week’s link.

Hot StuffMaria Vincent & the Millionaires
Just Rockin’ & Rollin’ – Ronnie Dawson
Them There Eyes – Maria Vincent & The Millionaires
Gonna Learn To Rock – Doyle Madden
Steam Heat – Patti Page
Feelin’ All Right – Larry Dale
Let The Good Time Roll, Creole – Memphis Slim

Cruising Connections
Apron Strings – Billy The Kid
D In Love – Curtis Lee
Lucky Lips – Ruth Brown
No Turning Back – Cliff Richard & The DriftersLarkin Poe

Girls & Guitars

John The Revelator – Larkin Poe

Jukebox Rock & Roll
Drugstore Rock & Roll – Janis Martin
Fall Guy – Titus Turner

Doo Wop Delights
A Kiss & A Vow – The Nitecaps
Cheer Up – The Five Fleets

Enough Is EnoughRockin' Dopsie
They All Asked About You – Rockin’ Dopsie Jr
Another Bachelor – The Adventurers
Enough Enough – The Refreshments

This week, our Girls & Guitars feature came with a ‘two for one’ bonus, because it turned its spotlight on sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who hail from Atlanta and front American roots rock band, Larkin Poe. They have established a reputation for strong southern harmonies, heavy electric guitar riffs, and slide guitar, all of which has seen them often touted as “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers”. As an example, we featured their version of ‘John The Revelator’.

Hopefully, our Doo Wop Delights brought some joy to those who share a love the sounds of those 50s vocal groups. This week we featured a soulful ballad by The Nitecaps and then an upbeat number by The Adventurers, appropriately titled ‘Cheer Up’. Further along the way, we gave a respectful nod in the direction of Cruising Crew member, Thom Hickey, who pointed us to The Meters ‘They All Asked About You’, which got big smiles from Mr Merlot and yours truly. So, when we came across another version by Rockin’ Dopsie, there was no question that we had to slip it into this week’s playlist . . . and we did!

But, all too soon, our Cruising time was running out and we had to turn the trusty Cruise Mobile for home. We got back home safe and sound in the company of Swedish rockers, The Refreshments, with a number that brought a knowing nod or two from Mr Merlot, ‘Enough Is Enough’. Then it was all over and we parked up the Cruise Mobile, all ready for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 23 June 2018

Blue No More . . . .

Posted: June 19, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of the best blues around, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. This week they arrived in the company of Roomful of Blues and ‘Up Jumped The Devil’, followed by ‘Lil’ Honey Bee’, the opening track of the new album by The Bridget Kelly Band, ‘Blues Warrior’. Another of the current new releases came from Kara Grainger, who showed the real style and breadth of her music on her recent UK tour, which is confirmed by her new album ‘Living With Your Ghost’.

The new blues releases keep coming and they are very welcome indeed, including Russ Green’s debut album, “City Soul,” which has Russ demonstrating some hot blues harp and plenty of swirling harp playing on our choice, ‘The Edge’. Other ‘newies’ that are being enjoyed here come from Deb Ryder ‘s excellent new album ‘Enjoy The Ride’, where we found a touch of gospel and John Clifton, who proves to be at home on vocals, harp, and guitar, with his latest album ‘Nightlife’, which is well worth checking out.

Although there was plenty of current choices, we took the opportunity to head back to Blues Warriorthe 40s for something from Kansas City songstress and pianist Julia Lee and one of “the songs my mother taught me not to sing”. Magic Slim & James Cotton made a welcome appearance, courtesy of Pinetop’s Pick, with a song that traces its origins back to Memphis Minnie, ‘When The Levee Breaks’.

Up Jumped The Devil
Up Jumped The Devil – Roomful of Blues (The Alligator Records Years – 2013)
Lil’ Honey Bee – Bridgit Kelly Band (Blues Warrior – 2018)
Nowhere To Be Found – Kara Grainger (Living With Your Ghost – 2018)
All This Beef & Big Ripe Tomatoes – Julia Lee
The Edge – Russ Green (CitySoul – 2018)Kara Grainger - Living With Your Ghost
What You Want From Me – Deb Ryder (Enjoy The Ride – 2018)
Last Clean Shirt – John Clifton (Nightlife – 2018)

Pinetop’s Pick
When The Levee Breaks – Magic Slim & James Cotton (All Blues’d Up – 2011)

Little Things
I Got A Stick – Anthony ‘Junior Boy’ Jones (Bootleggin’ The Blues – 2009)
Blue No More – Buddy Guy with James Bay (The Blues Is Alive & Well – 20John Clifton - Nitelife_cover18)
Country Come To Town – Brother Dege (Farmers Almanac – 2018)
Motel Blues – Wily Bo Walker – Almost Transparent Blues (2018)
Little Things – Tom Hambridge (The NOLA Sessions – 2018)
T-Bone Shuffle – Albert Collins (Deluxe Edition – 1997)

There was some great swinging blues from Texas bluesman, Andrew ‘Jr Boy’ Jones who’s played with some big names over the years, but he was out on his own with his 2009 track, ‘I Got A Stick’. It seems you can’t miss the pre-publicity for the new Buddy Guy album, ‘The Blues Is Alive & Well’, with its notable guests, including our choice featuring James Bay on ‘Blue No More’.
If you come across ‘Farmers Almanac’, the new album TheNOLASessions_CoverArtby Louisiana’s own, Brother Dege, then I recommend you take a good listen, because it’s got a selection of songs that conjure up many a tale of the American Deep South, including our selection, ‘Country Come To Town’. Glasgow’s Wily Bo Walker is no stranger to our playlists and it’s good to see him returning in style with a new album, ‘Almost Transparent Blues’ boasting eleven songs with some excellent guitar work along the way from Ed Brayshaw, which you can hear on our choice, ‘Motel Blues’.

We headed down to New Orleans this week in the good company of Tom Hambridge, who says his latest release, ‘The NOLA Sessions’ was inspired by the beauty and creative depth of the Crescent City, which is shown off well with with some great musicianship and the authentic second line groove on ‘Little Things’, which brought us to almost the end of this week’s show. So, we ended with Albert Collins and his take on T-Bone Walker’s classic, T Bone Shuffle, plus a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and the hope that we will meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 19 June 2018

Once More . . . .

Posted: June 16, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, the Cruise Mobile was greeted with big beaming smiles as it rolled by with its windows down and its radio turned up. The faithful were there, all ready to take another musical adventure to ‘who knows where’ with ‘you know who’. So, we’d saved a seat especially for each of them, as they jumped aboard, once more, to go Cruising with The Commissioner. Of course, the keen eared among them will have heard Jack Kelso and His Orchestra with his 1956 Vita 45 with the appropriately titled, ‘Once More’, but hardly pausing for breath, we were getting up to full Cruising speed with Clyde McPhatter and some timely advice, ‘Don’t Let Go’!Cruising #4001

Our rummaging in the dark corners of the Cruising Library produced a little 1949 gem from Jimmy Preston & His Prestonians, who were part of the thriving R&B scene back then and probably, without knowing it, sowing the seeds of what would become known as ‘rock and roll’ and with numbers like ‘Rock This Joint’. Then, there was a distinct flavour of Fats Domino’s style from Frankie Day, with his 1957 Caddy 45 ‘I Don’t Care’. Not caring (much), seemed to be the style of UK jazzman George Melly, who often had ‘I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas’ in his setlists, so we thought generate a few smiles around and some vaguely co-ordinated rhythmic footwork with American Phil Harris’s version . . . . and we did!

We were invited to take the Cruise Mobile on a visit New Orleans, where we joined Tom Hambridge for something from his very current album “The NOLA Sessions” which is Tom’s tribute to the city and it’s musicians. Then, we lingered a little longer in the Crescent City for a story from Thom Hickey, whose Immortal Jukebox blog revealed that he was someone else given to a bit of inspired dancing and confessed that whenever he hears The Meters doing ‘They All Asked For You’ he starts smiling until his face aches and laughing out loud as he dances in the street with complete strangers. Not to be outdone, Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes lined up to provide plenty of virtual encouragement for a repeat performance!

Don’t Let GoRock This Joint - Jimmy Preston & His Prestonians
Once More – Jack Kelso
Don’t Let Go – Clyde McPhatter
Rock This Joint – Jimmy Preston & His Prestonians
I Don’t Care – Frankie Day
I’m a Ding Dong Daddy from Dumas – Phil Harris
They All Asked For You – The Meters
I Love Everything – Tom Hambridge

Cruising Connections
Back To Kansas City – King Perry
Butterball – Johnny Otis
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – The IkettesTheNOLASessions_CoverArt
She’s Good To Me – Jimmy Beasley

Girls & Guitars
Ice On Fire – Susan Santos

New Coat Of Paint
New Coat Of Paint – Bob Seger

Doo Wop Delights
From Me To You – The Five Keys
Ain’t You Gonna – Jesse Powell & The CaddysSusan Santos - Electric Love

Battie Over Hattie
Ko Ko Mo – Gene & Eunice
I’m Battie Over Hattie – Esquerita

For those who were up for a little friendly challenge, we presented our trio of tracks in this week’s Cruising Connections, with an invitation to spot the connection between three tracks, starting off with King Perry and his 1954 release for the Hollywood label, ‘Back To Kansas City’. Then, Johnny Otis’s ‘Butterball’ was followed by The Ikettes with ‘Don’t Feel Sorry For Me’. The link between them all was singer and songwriter EsqueritaJimmy Beasley, who was featured on piano on the first two numbers and as songwriter on the first and last tracks. So, as either compensation or an addition prize, we played Jimmy Beasley’s 1957 Modern Records release ‘She’s Good To Me’ which did rather well for him.

Our Girls & Guitars feature this week featured Spanish blues guitarist and singer, Susan Santos. She’s preparing for a UK tour later in the year and hopefully she’ll be bringing a new album to add to the four albums she’s released to date. We gave a little flavour of her style with a track from her 2014 album ‘Electric Love’ titled ‘Ice On Fire’.

Bob Seger turned up next with Tom Waites’ song ‘New Coat Of Paint’ and did a mighty fine version in my humble opinion. Then, amongst those eagerly awaiting our Doo Wop Delights, we may have raised a quizzical eyebrow by saying the first of these was called ‘From Me To You’, featuring, not four lads from Liverpool, but five lads from Virginia . . . . The Five Keys with their 1957 Capitol 45. It segued seamlessly into ‘Ain’t You Gonna’, a 1958 Josie 45 by Jesse Powell & The Caddys, that was really sax man Jesse ‘Tex’ Powell with members of vocal group The Cadillacs.

As time began running out for our Cruising adventure, we thanked Matt The Cat for pointing us to‘Ko Ko Mo’ by Gene & Eunice, which they recorded for both the Combo and Aladdin labels and saw it hit the charts in 1955. As the familiar faces and places came into view, we had wild man of rock, Esquerita, with his 1958 Capitol 45, ‘Battie Over Hattie’. Then, it was all over. As the Cruise Mobile got us home safe and sound, we parked it up and gave it a quick polish, so it was all ready for our next adventure . . . same time, same place, next week. When, we’ll call by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you, just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 16 June 2018

One Night Only . . . .

Posted: June 12, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well a big bluesy welcome to one and all . . . and it comes with an invitation to sit awhile and enjoy a selection of some the best blues around . . . . which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling with the welcome return to the UK of Larry Garner. He’s been touring with the Norman Beaker Band and if you didn’t catch them on stage, you got a taste of what you missed with ‘Option On You Baby’ from Larry’s latest album, ‘Live at The Tivoli’. Another blues talent who was on a UK tour earlier in the year was Kara Grainger who gave a tantalising glimpse of her up coming album and after a little waiting, it arrived, titled ‘Living With Your Ghost’ and including ‘Working My Way Back Home’.

We dipped back for three great blues names of the 50s and 60s, Hubert Sumlin, Willie Dixon and Sunnyland Slim, who all appeared on a live version of ‘We Gonna Jump’. We dipped back even further to November of 1951, which is when Melvin “Lil’ Son” Jackson was in Dallas to recorded ‘Upstairs Boogie’ for Imperial records.

There’s been plenty of pre-release publicity for Buddy Guy’s new album ‘The Blues Is Kara Grainger - Living With Your GhostAlive & Well’, with it appearances by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck and James Bay. Our choice was Buddy’s take on the blues classic, ‘Nine Below Zero’. There were echoes of some other classic blues too from Texas band, Kathy & the Kilowatts, who are getting plenty of good reviews for their new album, so as a taster, we featured the title track of the album, ‘Premonition Of Love’.

Upstairs Boogie
Option On You Baby – Larry Garner (Live at The Tivoli – 2018)
We Gonna Jump – Willie Dixon, Hubert Sumlin & Sunnyland Slim (One Night Only – 2012)
Working My Way Back Home – Kara Grainger (Living With Your Ghost – 2018)Buddy Guy - The Blues Is Alive And Well
Upstairs Boogie – Lil Son Jackson (The Complete Imperial Recordings – 1995)
Nine Below Zero – Buddy Guy (The Blues Is Alive & Well – 2018)
Premonition Of Love – Kathy & the Kilowatts (Premonition Of Love – 2018)

Pinetop’s Pick
I Can’t Hold Out – Fleetwood Mac (Blues Jam in Chicago – 1969)

Supernatural Blues
Boogie with Stu – Joe Bonamassa (British Blues Explosion – 2018)
Supernatural Blues – The Lucky Losers (Blind Spot – 2018)6PAN1T-C PSD
Walking On Water – Rita Coolidge & Keb Mo (Safe In the Arms Of Time – 2018)
Can’t Help Falling Apart – Walter Trout (Full Circle – 2006)
Love Is Strong – Errol Linton (Packing My Bags – 2018)
Bobby’s Rock – Dave Hole (Goin’ Back Down – 2018)

We went back there to the new ‘British Blues Explosion’ album by Joe Bonamassa for his take on the Led Zepplin number ‘Boogie With Stu’ and followed on with San Francisco blues outfit, The Lucky Losers, whose third album release, ‘Blind Spot’,  boasts 11 cuts that have a mix of blues, R & B and jazz. They are joined by Laura Chavez, guesting on guitar, on our choice . . . the very Santana-esque ‘Supernatural Blues’.

Rita Coolidge’s new release, ‘Safe In the Arms Of Time’, nearly got passed by, because its tracks are pretty mainstream, but the little bluesy duet with Keb Mo, ‘Walking On Water’,  is definitely worth a listen.

Walter Trout was on our giglist when we were in New Orleans recently and he returned to our playlist with ‘Can’t Help Falling Apart’ from his ‘Full Circle’ album, (which will bring back some great memories for John Reeny). Too soon, it was time to say our goodbyes, with a big thanks for your good company for this week’s show and the hope that we will meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Then, we played out with Dave Hole’s fine cover of ‘Bobby’s Rock’ and until the next time . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 12 June 2018

Boogie & Bop . . . .

Posted: June 9, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, the sunshine has been a frequent and welcome visitor to the Grand Duchy of late and brought with it some big beaming smiles from members of the Cruising Crew, who were eager to jump aboard the Cruise Mobile when it rolled by, with its windows down and the radio cranked right up. They needed little encouragement, but got plenty more than they expected, when we kicked off down the road for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner, with Chris Corcoran with his band and ‘Don’t Lose Your Cool’, followed smartly by New Orleans own, Tommy Ridgley with ‘Woncha Gone’.Cruising #4000

It seems very likely that when Mrs Ferguson named her son, Robert Purcell Ferguson, she didn’t expect him to become a blues shouter and piano player, renamed H-Bomb Ferguson. His wild stage shows gained him some celebrity status back in the mid 50s and from there the Cruising time machine brought us right up to date for a fine piece of R&B titled ‘Boogie & Bop’ from 6 guys from the Czech Repulic, called Gone Hepsville , who inspired some dangerous dancing from ‘certain’ figures, familiar to long-time Cruising Crew members. With another demonstration of how European bands are delivering ‘real’ R&B to match the originators, came Mike Sanchez & His Band with a big favourite around here . . . . ‘Pretty Legs’.

Our trio of tracks for this week’s Cruising Connections included the wonderful Albert Lee, Motown songstress Brenda Holloway and the devils of double denim, Status Quo. During which, anyone shouting out the name Sonny Curtis. For anyone who spotted that they were all singing songs written by Sonny Curtis, Mr Merlot offered to come around and tidy up their wine cellar, but not before we heard from Sonny Curtis, himself, as a member of The Crickets and the writer of one of a song that did well for them, ‘Baby My Heart’.

Don’t Lose Your CoolChris Corcoran
Don’t Lose Your Cool – The Chris Corcoran Band
Woncha Gone – Tommy Ridgley
Work For My Baby – H-Bomb Ferguson
Boogie & Bop – Gone Hepsville
Pretty Legs – Mike Sanchez & His Band

Cruising Connections
Rock Around With Ollie Vee – Albert Lee & Hogan’s Heroes
Walk Right Back – Brenda Holloway
I Fought The Law – Status Quo
Baby My Heart – The Cricketsgone-hepsville-gimme-cd

Girls & Guitars
Mr Right – Ivy Ford

Brand New Man
Love Is My Business – Bobby Woods
Like A Brand New Man – Darrel Higham
You Mean Everything To Me – Ivory Joe Hunter

Doo Wop Delights
I’m Sorry Now – Frankie Ervin & The Shields
Zoop – The Charts
.Ivy Ford
Shake It
Miss Shake It – Ba Ba Thomas
Miss Thing – The Silhouettes
Gettin’ Plenty Lovin’ – Esquerita

Now, when we started our Girls & Guitars feature all those years ago, we were not sure how long it would last. In the event, it has lasted very well indeed and this week our spotlight fell on Chicago lady of the blues, Ivy Ford. She a multi-instrumentalist who started performing live on stage at the age of 13 and went on to play with a number of local bands. She now fronts her own band and has recently released her debut album, appropriately titled ‘Time To Shine’ which includes our choice, ‘Mr Right’.

We headed back to the 50s for a great 1959 Vin 45 from Bobby Woods, ‘Love Is My Business’. It’s a song that’s been much covered by European artists, including Darrel Higham, who just happened to pop up on our playlist with ‘Like A Brand New Man’, followed by the great Ivory Joe Hunter and his 1956 Atlantic 45, ‘You Mean Everything To Me’, which led us nicely into this week’s Doo Wop Delights, starting with a 1958 Dot recording by Frankie Ervin & The Shields, which was the flipside of their million seller ‘Nature Boy’. They were followed by Harlem vocal group, The Charts, with their one big hit from 1958 ‘Zoop’.

As Mr Merlot began getting a bit twitchy and pointedly looking at the clock, we turned the Cruise Mobile for home, with a respectful tip of the hat and a wave to our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa down in New Orleans, because he pointed us to a little 1964 gem by Ba Ba Thomas and his King 45, ‘Miss Shake It’. Then, we heard from the Silhouettes and to take us all the way home, we featured one of the wildest rock and rollers, Esquerita, about whom there are plenty of colourful stories,some may be true. We chose a number from a great new compilation of his works ‘Gettin’ Plenty Lovin’.

Then, it was all over. As the Cruise Mobile got us home safe and sound, we parked it up and gave it a quick polish, so it was all ready for our next adventure . . . same time, same place, next week. When, we’ll call by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you, just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 9 June 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of the best of the blues, which is what you get every week, when The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling with a few ‘seasoned’ favourites and plenty of new releases, including something from the much heralded new album by Joe Bonamassa, ‘The British Blues Explosion’, which includes Joe’s take on Eric Clapton’s 1974 treatment of Blind Willie Johnson’s, ‘Motherless Children’. Among the other new releases is Dana Fuchs’ latest album, ‘Love Lives On’, which is very much on the soulful side, but includes a great bluesy number ‘Same Sunlight’.

A new release by Mike Zito is guaranteed to be greeted with a smiley face here and his latest offering ‘First Class Life’ is no exception, especially when it includes Mike’s great take on Bobby Bland’s ‘I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treat Me)’. Big Daddy Wilson was back too with a new album release, ‘Songs From The Road’, which is a reminder of just how good he is on stage. It was recorded at a gig in the village of Rubigen in central Switzerland and includes our choice, ‘Cross Creek Road’.

Now, I’m guessing that, like other fans of The Tower of Power, somewhere out there in Joe Bonamassa - British Blues ExplosionAustin, Texas, our good friend, Wendel Williams, is just a little excited about the release of their new album, to celebrate their 50th anniversary. The album,‘Soul Side of Town’, is full of all new material, including most excellent bluesy title track. Another album with a very bluesy title track comes from Tim Woods. It has a touch of West Side Chicago blues and some echoes of Magic Sam. A good example is the title track, ‘Human Race’.

Full marks to Geffen records for putting out their compilation of Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown’s Peacock recordings. This spans the years 1949 to 1959 and includes ‘Okie Dokie Stomp’ and plenty of others, including our choice . . . a little gem called ‘Midnight Hour’.

Same Sunlight
Motherless Children – Joe Bonamassa (British Blues Mike Zito - First Class LifeExplosion – 2018)
Same Sunlight – Dana Fuchs (Love Lives On – 2018)
I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treat Me) – Mike Zito (First Class Life – 2018)
Midnight Hour – Clarence ‘Gatemouth’ Brown (The Peacock Recordings – 2018)
Cross Creek Road – Big Daddy Wilson (Songs From The Road – 2018)
On The Soul Side Of Town – Tower Of Power
Human Race – Tim Woods (Human Race – 2018)

Pinetop’s Pick
That’s My Baby – Willie Dixon & Memphis Slim (Willie’s Blues – 2018)

Packing My Bags
These Blues Are Here To Stay – Dave Hole (Goin’ Back Down – 2018)Human Race - Tim Woods
Packing My Bags – Errol Linton (Packing My Bags – 2018)
Ain’t No Spark – Grand Marquis (Brighter Days – 2018)
Hard Day Blues – Muddy Waters (Muddy Waters 1941-1946 – 2001)
Damned – Steve Hill (The One Man Blues Rock Band – 2018)
Kid’s Jump – Kid Ramos (Old School – 2018)

We caught up with Dave Hole’s latest album release, ‘Goin’ Back Down’, which has plenty of great choices, including our choice ‘These Blues Are Here To Stay’, with some excellent slide guitar and vocals from Dave, along with some great honky tonk piano from his long-time pal keyboard player Bob Patient.

Errol Linton has been billed as the harmonica wizard of Brixton and he’s back with a new album on Grand MarquisBrassdog records titled ‘Packing My Bags’, which will greatly please his fans, including our regular guest Arfa Pinetop. It’s a great blend of Chicago style blues and Jamaican roots. Well worth a listen! Another new release comes from Kansas City six-piece outfit, ‘Grand Marquis’, with their eighth album, ‘Brighter Days’. Their music takes you on a musical journey from Kansas City to Memphis, and ends up in the Big Easy. If you like your blues with a jazzy tinge, then there’s plenty more to enjoy on this album.

Amidst all the new blues that’s coming our way, we try not to forget the early blues pioneers that made it possible. So, this week we tipped of our blues hat in the direction of Muddy Waters with something he recorded in Chicago, on the 27 September 1946, ‘Hard Day Blues’. Then, from Chicago we headed for Quebec . . . which is where Canadian Steve Hill recorded his latest live album, the very appropriately titled ‘The One Man Blues Rock Band’, which is where you’ll find our choice, ‘Damned’.

As time, inevitably, caught up with us, we played out with something from Kid Ramos, who, after some 17 years, has a new album out titled ‘Old School’. It has a fine mix of of Kid’s originals and few covers, all of which show off his guitar and vocals to great effect, including our closer, a swinging tribute to B. B. King, ‘Kid’s Jump’. But before that, there were thanks to everyone who took a listen to this week’s show and the reminder, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 5 June 2018

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

Well, in case you haven’t noticed, summer’s here and the time is right for a little cruising. So, we turned up in the trusty Cruise Mobile to whisk you away in style for another unpredictable, musical adventure . . . that we continue to call, Cruising with The Commissioner. With some squeals from the wheels, the Cruise Mobile kicked off down the road with Bellevue Cadillac and a swinging little number called ‘Pull The Plug’, followed fast by that ‘Boom Boom’ man, Freddy Cannon with ‘Boppin’ The Blues’. Then, we pulled out a great UK club favourite by Gino Parks . . . his first release on Tamla in 1962 ‘Same Thing’.

Now, long-time members of the Cruising Crew will know that there have been manyCruising promo (Saturday) choices in our playlists inspired by Thom Hickey’s blog The Immortal Jukebox. So, with Thom’s words in our ears, we got that motor running, got those wheels spinning and headed out on the highway, ready to drive all night under the moon until the sun comes up . . . worrying about absolutely nothing . . . which suitably heralded Bob Seger with ‘Get Out Of Denver’. Our route took us to Louisiana for Don Rich’s excellent cover of ‘After All The Good Is Gone’ and then across the Atlantic to Liverpool to hear from one of the city’s much respected songstresses, Beryl Marsden. She didn’t hit the national charts like some of her contemporaries, but she did make some very fine recordings.

This week, our Cruising Connections feature started with Marty Wilde’s cover of the Everly Brothers song ‘It’s Been Nice’ and we were looking for a link with the next of our trio of tracks from John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival and Hank Williams Jr. If you were shouting ‘Jody Reynolds’ at your radio, then you certainly made that connection, because they all had some success with their covers of Jodi Reynolds’ 1958 hit “Endless Sleep”. . . . and we couldn’t really pass up the opportunity to hear the original from Jodi Reynolds himself

The Marcels will always be known for their hit version of ‘Blue Moon’, but we played oneBellevue Cadillac of their sadly overlooked gems from 1962, called ‘Twistin’ Fever’. Then, the Cruising time machine brought us up to date for Scotty Baker’s car envy song about a 1952 pale blue rag top coupe de ville.

A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues
Pull The Plug – Bellevue Cadillac
Boppin’ The Blues – Freddy Cannon
Same Thing – Gino Parks
Get Out Of Denver – Bob Seger
After All The Good Is Gone – Don Rich
A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues – Beryl Marsden

Cruising Connectionsbob-seger-get-out-of-denver-900-p
It’s Been Nice – Marty Wilde
Lodi – John Fogerty & Creedence Clearwater Revival
Born To Boogie – Hank Williams Jr

Twistin’ Fever
Endless Sleep – Jodi Reynolds
Twistin’ Fever – The Marcels
Hank’s Cadillac – Scotty Baker

Girls & Guitars
Drink Muddy Water – Katie Kern (Blues For The Highway – 2017)
Doo Wop Delights
Six Nights A Week – Johnny Maestro & The CrestsKatie Kern (Blues For The Highway
My Heart’s Desire – The Velvet Candles

Heading Home
I Did What I Did When I Did It – Marcia Ball
Heading Home – The Jive Aces

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature focused on Austrian singer and guitarist, Katie Kerns, who grew up in Vienna in a musical family, where her dad taught her to play piano when she was young. In her early twenties she caught the blues bug and has been a fixture on the local blues scene around Vienna for the past 20 years. To show off her talents, we chose a track from her latest album, ‘Blues for the Highway’ and classic . . . ‘Drink Muddy Water’.The Velvet Candles

For our weekly dose of Doo Wop Delights we started with ‘Six Nights A Week’, a 1959 release by The Crests, which spent 13 weeks in the American Top 100 and got The Crests onto Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Then, a surprise, especially for those who think of doo wop as locked in the 50s. This came from Spanish group The Velvet Candles, who are keepers of the doo wop flame in Europe, with a little number called ‘My Heart’s Desire’, which comes from their 2018 album release, appropriately titled ‘Today’.

With a few anxious glances at the clock from Mr Merlot, we reluctantly turned the Cruise Mobile for home with someone who was on our giglist recently, the wonderful Marcia Ball with this track from her latest album. Then, getting us all the way home, we had the good company of The Jive Aces with the very appropriately titled ‘Heading Home’.

With plenty of musical miles on the clock, the Cruise Mobile got us back home again safe and sound and just in time to park it up and polish it up so it’s all ready for our next adventure. So, if that sounds good to you, better be ready, same time, same place, next week, when we’ll call by again with a seat saved especially for you . . . just so we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 2 June 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another 60 minutes of the best of the blues, which is what you get when The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling led by the most excellent Bridget Kelly Band and one of the great tracks on their new album ‘Blues Warrior’ and we’re sure to be returning to that in future weeks. Torrenzo Cannon was on our giglist recently but, sadly, due to travel difficulties he never made it, so undeterred we pulled out his album and played his ‘Fine Seasoned Woman’.

Now if you like a little electric Chicago and Texas blues from the 60s and 70s then the inventive blues of The Cinelli Brothers on their album ‘Baby Please Set Your Alarm’ is sure to appeal, especially their adaptation of Prince’s ‘Kiss’. If your musical tastes runs to a little after hours jazzy blues, then Walter “Wolfman” Washington’s new album is well worth a listen. The album’s title ‘My Future Is My Past’ and our choice was ‘Are You The Lady’. Then, to raise the pulse-rate, we heard from Washington band, Too Slim and the Taildraggers, who have just released their 13th studio album, ‘High Desert Heat’ and sounding good too!Blues Warrior

The name Robert Lockwood Jr will be very familiar to fans of scratchy blues, not only for his own recordings, but his links with an earlier generation of great blues players. As a reminder, we played his take on Roosevelt Sykes’ ‘She is Little & Low’.

Trouble In Texas
Trouble In Texas – Bridget Kelly Band (Blues Warrior – 2018)
Fine Seasoned Woman – Torrenzo Cannon (The Chicago Way – 2016)
Kiss – Cinelli Brothers (Baby Please Set Your Alarm – 2016)
Are You The Lady – Walter Wolfman Washington (My Future Is My Past – 2018)Cinelli Brothers - Baby Please Set Your Alarm
Trouble – Too Slim & The Taildraggers (High Desert Heat – 2018)
She Is Little & Low – Robert Lockwood Jr (Ramblin’ On My Mind – 1982)

Pinetop’s Pick
So Long Blues – Silas Hogan (So Long Blues – 1994)

Steppin’ Out
Chariot Gate – Rockwell Avenue Blues Band (Back To Chicago -2018)
You Don’t Rock My World – Libby Rae Watson (I Done Told Ya – 2018)
Jump With You Baby – B.B. King (Singin’ The Blues – 1956)
Inner City – Susan Santos (Electric Love – 2014)
I’m Afraid Of The Next Blues – Blues Mystery (Soul Libby Rae Watson - I Done Told YaMemories – 2018)
A Storm’s Coming – Deb Ryder (Enjoy The Ride – 2018)
Steppin’ Out – The Powerhouse (What’s Shakin’ – 1966)

In our own way, we joined the joyous reunion of the members of the Rockwell Avenue Blues Band who revisited Delmark’s studios together, after many years to record their album ‘Back To Chicago’. As an example of their Chicago influences, we played ‘Chariot Gate’, before heading down South now to find MIssissippi born Libby Rae Watson, who began a life long infatuation with the blues, after stumbling across a songbook in a local music store featuring many legends of the early blues. Her latest album ‘I Done Told Ya’ shows it was very influential, as demonstrated on ‘You Don’t Rock My World’.

Over the years, B.B. King has done plenty of rocking Deb Ryder - Enjoy The Ridethe world and it’s always a joy to go back for a little reminder of what he was sounding like back in the 50s. As a taster, we pulled out his 1955 RPM single ‘Jump With You Baby’. We did our own jumping too, with a blues trip to Spain to hear from Susan Santos, who’s scheduled to tour the UK later in the year. We gave a little flavour of what’s store with her track ‘Inner City’.

Another welcome guest on our past playlists returned with her fourth studio album. This was Deb Ryder, who’s latest release ‘Enjoy The Ride’ boasts 13 original songs delivered with style and just a little help from some notable guests. Our choice was a track that’s had more than a few plays, since it arrived here . . . ‘A Storm’s Coming’ . . . . and maybe it is!

Well, this week’s journey along the blues highway included a trip to Switzerland, to find four piece band, The Blues Mystery. They feature some funky blues rock on their latest album ‘Soul Memories’, which includes ‘I’m Afraid Of The Next Blues’. Then as time was running out, we played out with one of only four tracks recorded back in 1966 by a studio band called The Powerhouse, which included top UK blues names like Eric Clapton, Steve Winwood, Paul Jones, Jack Bruce, Pete York and Ben Palmer . . . . the Memphis Slim instrumental ‘Steppin’ Out’. So, with thanks for your good company on this week’s show, we said our farewells, in the hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 29 May 2018

Lotsa Rhythm . . . .

Posted: May 26, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

As the Cruise Mobile came rolling to a stop, the eager members of the Cruising cruising-241Crew gave a cheery wave and rushed to jump aboard the Cruise Mobile for yet another Cruising with The Commissioner and the radio came playing ‘Tiger Guitars’ by the great Billy Mure and for those in any doubt Jerry Williams followed with the clear purpose of our adventure . . . . ‘Cruising On A Saturday Night’.

For those who enjoy a little rockabilly Kieron McDonald brought us a little number, called ‘Louanne’, which had Mr Merlot demonstrating some unusual footwork, with the aid of a dance step, floor plan. Then we headed back to the 50s for some raucous 50s R&B from George ‘Mr Blues’ Jackson and pianist and band leader, Connie Mack Booker.

This week’s Cruising Connections started off with a song that was a bit hit for Li’l Millet & His Creoles back in 1955 and given a fine cover by 5 piece West Coast blues band, The T-Town Aces. Helsinki’s own Tina Bednoff & The Cocktailers added another clue, with a fine version of Irma Thomas’, ‘Don’t Mess With My Man’, then came Doug Sahm with his take on Johnny Adams timeless hit ‘I Won’t Cry’ with the final clue to songwriter, Dorothy LaBostrie, who wrote all those songs and more besides. We didn’t forget Johnny Adams either, so to bring a smile Pete & Diane’s faces who are big fans of Doug, but they’re also keen on Johnny Adams, so to bring even broader smiles to their faces, we played Johnny’s superbly soulful version of The Chiffons hit ‘One Fine Day’.

Cruising On A Saturday NightTina Bednoff & The Cocktailers
Tiger Guitars – Billy Mure
Cruising On A Saturday Night – Jerry Williams
Louanne – Kieron McDonald
Hold Me – George ‘Mr Blues’ Jackson
Love Me Pretty Baby – Connie Mack Booker
Cruising Connections
Rich Woman – The T-Town Aces
Don’t Mess With My Man – Tina Bedoff & The Cocktailers
I Won’t Cry – Doug Sahm
One Fine Day – Johnny AdamsRuthie Foster
Speed Crazy – Slick Slavin
Girls & Guitars
Let Me Know – Ruthie Foster with Doyle Bamhall
We Got A Good Thing Going
Same Thing – Ruby Ann
Baby Ain’t That Love – Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry
Someone To Love – The Vidaltones
Look At The Moon – The Visuals
Oh Baby We Got A Good Thing Going – Barbara Lynn
Slapjack – Papa Grows Funkruby-ann
Lotsa Rhythm – Gone Hepsville
Our Girls & Guitars feature, focused on guitarist and singer Ruthie Foster, who was on our giglist recently and we pulled out her 2014 album ‘Promise of a Brand New Day’ for our choice, ‘Let Me Know’ also featuring Doyle Branhall. We kept with the girls for Ruby Ann’s ‘Same Thing’ followed by the great Clarence “Frogman” Henry (who was on our giglist recently) and the long unreleased ‘Baby Ain’t That Love’.
For those who waited patiently for this week’s Doo Wop Delights, we kicked off with something suggested by Neil Pelligrin down in New Orleans . . . . The Vidaltones with Papa Grows Funktheir 1960 Josie 45 ‘Someone To Love’ and we kept that New Orleans connection with The Visuals and their 1962 recording ‘Look At The Moon’ which came to our ears courtesy of our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa, who’s a real fan of the wonderful Barbara Lynn, (who was another on our giglist recently) so we played ‘Oh Baby We Got A Good Thing Going’, the song of hers that got covered by the Rolling Stones.
Aficionados of Papa Grows Funk will know there was a grand reunion of the band recently. So, to mark the occasion, we played their excellent instrumental, ‘Slapjack’, and we headed for home in the company of six guys from the Czech Republic, Gone Hepsville, who have been rockin’ together for more than a decade and have been inspiring plenty of enthusiastic jiving on the dance floor with numbers like ‘Lot’s of Rhythm’, which brought us safely home in time to park up the Cruise Mobile, give it a quick polish, ready for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 26 May 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

Well, we arrived with the bluesiest of welcomes and a whole hour of the best of the blues, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. The gig guides are full of the many tour dates by UK and visiting artists and the new releases keep coming. So, plenty to inspire and delight us, including Mike Zito, who was touring here recently with the 2018 Blues Caravan and not missing the opportunity to plug his new album ‘First Class Life’, which is where you’ll find our opening track ‘Trying To Make A Living’. We followed on with something from Memphis, Tennessee’s own Ghost Town Blues Band. Their latest album, ‘Backstage Pass’, comes from a live session at Lafayette’s Music Room in Memphis and listen out for Matt Isbell on cigar-box guitar, vocals and harp on ‘One More Whiskey’.

It’s always good to see the younger blues artists getting due recognition and a good example was a track from the new ten track album by guitarist and singer Ally Venable, called ‘Puppet Show’. Ally delivers some snarling guitar lines across these tracks and her songs have plenty of barbed lyrics to match, but for our choice, we played an old favourite ‘She Took The Katy & Left Me A Mule To Ride’. Perhaps, not surprisingly, it suggested another choice, this time from Taj Mahal, because he recorded that song on his debut solo album, way back in the 60s, which also included ‘Diving Duck Blues’, which Taj revisited this one on his recent TajMo album.

Danny Bryant has plenty of tour dates to promote his new album ‘Revelation’ . . . . and a Mike Zito - First Class Lifevery fine album it is too, as we demonstrated with one of its tracks, titled ‘Truth Or Dare’. Then, for those who didn’t get to hear Heather Newman’s debut album ‘Burn Me Alive’ when it was released last year, we pulled out an example of her very sultry vocals on ‘I Don’t Know Why’ and we also included some fine blues from Freddie Pate, who has played with some of the great and the good around Texas and Louisiana, and puts all that to great experience to good effect on his album ‘I Got The Blues’.

Truth Or Dare
Trying To Make A Living – Mike Zito (First Class Life – 2018)
One More Whiskey – Ghost Town Blues (Backstage Pass – 2018)
She Took The Katy & Left Me A Mule To Ride – Ally Ghost Town Blues BandVenable Band (Puppet Show – 2018)
Diving Duck Blues – Taj Mahal (TajMo – 2018)
Truth Or Dare – Danny Bryant (Revelation – 2018)
I Don’t Know Why – Heather Newman (Burn Me Alive – 2017)
I Got The Blues – Freddie Pate (I Got The Blues – 2017)

Pinetop’s Pick
Lone Wolf Blues – Oscar Woods (Slide That Thing! – 1927)

Nothing But The Blues
When It Rains – Savoy Brown (You Should Have Been Puppet ShowThere – 2018)
Richland Woman Blues – Ruthie Foster (Joy Comes Back – 2017)
Hard Blue Space – Little Boys Blue (ft Kid Memphis) (Hard Blue Space – 2018)
Nothing But The Blues – Yuri Apsey (Nothing But The Blues – 2017)
A New Coat Of Paint – The Sidemen (Live at Darwin’s – 2016)
Driving Sideways – Seppo Valjakka (Taking It Back – 2005)

60s UK blues band, Savoy Brown, and it’s long-time leader Kim Simmonds are still going strong and have an impressive catalogue of 35+ albums to their name, to which they have just added their latest ‘You Should Have Been There’, which is where we found ‘When It Rains’. Then, we enjoyed a bright, cheery number from the lovely Ruthie Foster, who looked like she was having a great time at this year’s New Orleans Jazz Fest and theLittle Boys Blue audience certainly were and, for those who didn’t get to see her there, we played ‘Richland Woman Blues’ from her latest album.

A little swelter from the delta came, courtesy of American band, Little Boys Blue, who are singer/harp player JD Taylor and guitarist Steve Patterson, who are joined on their latest single release ‘Hard Blue Space’ by Kid Memphis on guitar. From the delta, we crossed the Atlantic to catch Brazilian guitarist and singer, Yuri Apsey and the title track of his album, ‘Nothing But The Blues’, which was followed by return trip to Austin in Texas for local band The Sidemen (Steve Rusty and Wendel). I bumped into Wendel in New Orleans recently, where he presented me with a signed copy of the band’s latest album, which includes their take on the Tom Waites’ classic, ‘A New Coat Of Paint’.

By then, sadly, the sands of time were just about run out and we were playing out with a little ‘Driving Sideways’ in the good company of Finland’s Seppo Valjakka. But before collecting up the records and CDs and heading for the door, there was just time to thank you for your good company and hope to have that pleasure again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 22 May 2018