Too Hot To Handle . . .

Posted: September 22, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, it’s been a busy week here in the Grand Duchy, but we weren’t distracted from our weekly musical adventure. So, we rolled out the trusty Cruise Mobile and arrived right on time to let you jump aboard, where we’d saved a seat especially for you. Pausing just long enough to let you buckle up, we set off for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner with The Big Town Playboys setting the mood with ‘Come On’ and we got up to full cruising speed with some real R&B from Norway, delivered by Joakim Tinderholt & His Band. Indeed, we stayed in Europe a while longer for some more 50s flavoured R&B from Holland’s Mrs R&B & The Soulshakers with ‘Found Some Real Good Lovin’.
.Cruising - where will you be
Back in the 50s Pat Boone covered several of Fats Domino’s R&B hits, turning them into pop hits, and UK piano man Diz Watson gave us an example of what Fats might have done with a cover of a Pat Boone hit, ‘Love Letters In The Sand’. Then, we kept that Louisiana ‘feel’ with The Dukes of Rhythm and their 1960 release ‘Defeated’, featuring vocals by Joe Carl, for which big thanks are due to Neil Pellegrin who pointed us in the direction of Joe Carl recently. With a bit more rummaging in the Cruising Library, we came across a few more by Joe Carl, including his Zynn 45 release, ‘You’re Too Hot To Handle’ with some fine harp playing from the much missed Lazy Lester. Then, Maria Muldaur turned up to take us down in the alley . . . a place that seems to bring out the worst in Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes.

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

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

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

Girls & Guitars
Drive Drive Drive – Rosie Flores

Doo Wop Delights
My Song – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Walking Along – The Solitaires (Old Town) 1957

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

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

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

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

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 22 September 2018

Home Of The Blues . . .

Posted: September 18, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, if you were looking for a big bluesy welcome and an hour of the best blues around, then it’s no surprise that you’re here when The Blues Come Calling. Of course, the rewards were there right from the ‘get go’, with master of the slide guitar Roy Rogers and his story of ‘Spent Money’. There was some very nice slide guitar too on the latest from Alastair Greene, appropriately titled ‘Live From The 805’, because it features 20 live tracks cut at Santa Barbara’s 805 venue, including ‘Love You So Bad’.

Connecticut’s Shari Puorto was up next with a self-penned song from her 5th album, ‘Live at Bogie’s and if you liked it, I recommend you check out the rest of the album too. We we’re not done with live album’s either, because we followed on with the latest from Eugene Hideaway Bridges, who’s well worth catching one of his current tour dates, where he’s sure to be promoting tracks from his latest ‘Live in Tallahassee’ album. Then, for the scratchy blues fans there were some simply superb guitar skills by two great guitar masters, Lonnie Johnson and Eddie Lang on their 1929 recording ‘Handful of Riffs’.Alastair Greene
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This week, there was a happy returner from Canada in the form of Colin James with another great taster from his forthcoming album ‘Miles To Go’ and one of the two originals, ‘40 Light Years’. Then, we were heading back to 1964 for a listen to Paul Butterfield Blues Band and a track the originally unreleased album, popularly referred to as ‘The Lost Elektra Sessions’. It was finally released in 1995 and included our choice, their version of ‘Rock Me’.

Rock Me
Spent Money – Roy Rogers (Slide Zone – 1994)
Love You So Bad – Alastair Greene (Live From The 805 – 2018)
Home Of The Blues – Shari PuortoShari Puorto (Live at Bogie_s (Live at Bogie’s – 2018)
I Can’t Stop Loving You Baby – Eugene Hideaway Bridges (Live in Tallahassee – 2018)
Handful of Riffs – Lonnie Johnson & Eddie Land (Hard Times – 2015)
40 Light Years – Colin James (Miles To Go – 2018)
Rock Me – The Paul Butterfield Band (The Lost Elektra Sessions – 1995)

Pinetop’s Pick
Everyday I Have The Blues – The Sparks Brothers (The Sparks Bothers 1932-1935 – 1994)

Back In Business
Watch & Chain (Hey Gyp) – Johnny & The Headhunters (That’s All I Need – 2018)
Back In Business – Frank Bey (Back In BusinesColin James (Miles To Gos – 2018)
Maybe I’ll Go – Guy Davis (Kokomo Kidd – 2015)
Rooster Blues – Ken Goody & The Heatvent Horns (Ken Goody & The Heatvent Horns – 2015)
Two Steps Away From The Blues – Anthony Geraci (Why Did You Have To Go – 2018)
Tell The Truth – Scott Sharrard (Saving Grace – 2018)
Drive Drive Drive – Rosie Flores (Simple Case Of The Blues – 2018)
Thank You – Sari Schorr (Never Say Never – 2018)

There was plenty more good stuff among the current releases, including Johnny & The Headhunters with their latest album release ‘That’s All I Need’, features Frank Beya very fine combination of two songs, ‘Watch & Chain’ and Donovan’s ‘Hey Gyp’. Then, we heard from Philadelphia’s Frank Bey, with the song that gives the title to his new album, the pretty autobiographical, ‘Back In Business’.

A little delving in the blues library this week uncovered a wonderful piece by New York bluesman, Guy Davis, who’s finger-picking guitar shows him to be a big fan of Blind Willie McTell, Skip James, and Mississippi John Hurt, . . . which is no surprise when you hear numbers like our choice ‘Maybe I’ll Go’. Following which, there was another gem from the library, bringing a distinct change of mood, courtesy of the most excellent Ken Goody & The Heatvent Horns. This was their self titled album from 2015 which includes the old Lightning Slim favourite ‘Rooster Blues’.

Now, if you like a little late night, mellow blues then you will surely enjoy the excellent new release, ‘Why Did You Have To Go’, by New Haven, keyboard man, Anthony Geraci, and especially his very fine number ‘Two Steps From The Blues’ featuring some superb vocals on that one from Michelle “Evil Gal” Willson. We welcomed back Michigan born guitarist and singer, Scott Sharrard, who spent nearly a decade as Musical Director for the Gregg Allman Band and has his latest solo album, ‘Saving Grace’, on release now, with the topical track. . . ‘Tell The Truth’.

We rounded off our playlist with two more ‘ladies of the blues’, starting with Rosie Flores, whose new album is called ‘Simple Case Of The Blues’ and includes her equally new single ‘Drive Drive Drive’. Then we played out in the good company of Sari Schorr and another something from her upcoming album ‘Never Say Never’ . . . appropriately titled . . . ‘Thank You’. So, with a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show, here’s hoping we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 18 September 2018

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

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Well, with impeccable timing the trusty Cruise Mobile rolled by with the windows down, the radio turned right up and a seat saved especially for you. So, all you had to do was jump aboard and buckle up as we set off on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We arrived to the sound of Chuck Wiggins & His Mellowtones with ‘Chuck’s Wig’, followed fast with a little Champion 45 from Larry Birdsong, ‘Every Night Of the Week’. We stayed in the US for a sample of what Screamin’ Jay Hawkins sounded like back in 1966, before the Cruise Mobile took us to Holland to meet Mrs R&B and The Soulshakers with plenty of those essential rhythms!
.Cruising #4001
From Holland, we were quickly heading for Torino in Italy to join three piece band, The Uppertones, for a song with a topical flavour, ‘Tell Me The Truth’. Then we were into a little Northern Soul, courtesy of Herbert Hunter, although that’s not the name on this US Hit Records budget label release. As well as recording in his own right, Herbert Hunter recorded a string of cover versions of current day hits for Hit Records, including his take on the then Ray Charles hit ‘Hide Nor Hair’, under the name Leroy Jones.

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

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

Cruising Connections
Fat Sam From Birmingham – Louis Jordan
Somebody Help Me – Everly Brothers
The Chicken & the Bop – Doug Sahm
Keep A Knockin’ – Little Richard
.Vanesa Harbek
Girls & Guitars
If You Love Me Like You Say – Vanesa Harbek Blues Band

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

While I Can
While I Can – Roomful of Blues
Little Girl Don’t You Understand – Bobby Freeman
Mighty Mighty Man – Bobby Darin & The Rinky Dinks
Mickey Mouse Boarding House – Virginia Brown & The Shameless
Who’s That Under My Bed – Rich McQueen & The Rhythm Rockers
.Virginia Brown & The Shameless
For this week’s Girls & Guitars feature, we shone our spotlight on Argentinian singer and guitarist, Vanesa Harbek. She hails from Buenos Aires and has since made Berlin her home. She says she fell in love with the blues at the age of 12 listening to Eric Clapton’s ‘Slowhand’ album. It inspired her to check out some of the great blues artists and in recent years, she’s been leading her own band and touring across South America and Europe. For a taste of her style, we pulled out her version of Albert Collins ‘If You Love Me Like You Say’.

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

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

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 15 September 2018

Blues Keep Knockin’ . . .

Posted: September 11, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, we’re back with another big bluesy welcome and an armful of the best blues around, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. They came calling this week with Connecticut’s Shari Puorto, and a self-penned song from her 5th album, ‘Live at Bogie’s’. Then, barely pausing just to catch a breath we had the welcome return of Trudy Lynn with ‘The Blues Ain’t Nothin’ (But A Woman Want To See Her Man)”.

If you’ve been keeping an eye on the upcoming tour dates, you’ll know that Irish lady of the blues, Grainne Duffy will be over in the UK soon, so as a taster of what to expect, we played her live recording of ‘Drivin’ Me CrazyShari Puorto (Live at Bogie_s’. With a touch of time-travel, we went back to October 1959 to hear Forest City Joe’s little gem ‘You Better Cut That Out’, followed by The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, who made past pilgrimages to Clarksdale, Mississippi to study under such blues masters as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards. They turned up with the title track of their new album, ‘Poor Until Payday’ and, if that’s how you like your blues, then be sure to catch them on tour in October.

This week’s playlist included something from a band who I came across, playing in the street in the centre of Windsor and sounding excellent too. They were Red Jackson who attracted a lot of attention from amongst the locals and tourists with numbers from their album ‘House Rent Boogie’ including ‘Sugar Gal’. Full marks to Colin James for his new album, ‘Miles To GThe Reverend Peyton_s Big Damn Band (Poor Until Paydayo’, which features his take on a great Muddy Waters song ‘Still A Fool’, and anything of Muddy’s is likely to bring a smile to the face of our regular guest Arfa Pinetop, who turned up this week with a classic by Sammy Lewis.

Drivin’ Me Crazy
Outta My Mind – Shari Puorto (Live at Bogie’s – 2018)
Blues Ain’t Nothin’ – Trudy Lynn (Blues Keep Knockin’ – 2018)
Drivin’ Me Crazy – Grainne Duffy (Grainne Duffy Live – 2015)
You Better Cut That Out – Forest City Joe (Best Of The Blues Vol.8 – Forest City Joe – 2011)
Poor Until Payday – The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band (Poor Until Payday – 2018)
Sugar Gal – Red Jackson (House Rent Boogie – 2014)
Still A Fool – Colin James (Miles To Go – 2018)Red Jackson (House Rent Boogie

Pinetop’s Pick
So Long Baby, Goodbye – Sammy Lewis (Sun Harmonica Classics – 2012)

Blues In Her Eyes
My Baby’s Gone Away – Eddie Riff (Work With It – Finest Frantic Fretwork – 2018)
Feet Don’t Fail Me – Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro (Static In The Wires – 2017)
Walking In Circles – Alastair Greene (Live From The 805 – 2018)
Blues In Her Eyes – Jeremiah Johnson (Straightjacket – 2018)
Sweet Compromise – Scott Sharrard (SavinJeremiah Johnson (Straightjacketg Grace – 2018)
Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues – Larkin Poe (Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues – 2018)
Dew On The Grass – Sugar Brown (It’s A Blues World, Calling All Blues – 2018)
Evil Mama – Joe Bonamassa (Redemption – 2018)

There was a little lingering in the 50s for a 1957 Dover records release by Eddie Riff, ‘My Baby’s Gone Away’, which appears on an excellent new compilation from Koko Mojo records called ‘Work With It – Finest Frantic Fretwork’. After that, we heralded a new tour by Martin Harley & Daniel Kimbro, who, long time listeners to the show will know, have featured here before and were back with another choice from their ‘Static In The Wires’ album.
.Saving_grace_albumcomps_v2
There was a big thanks to Rip Cat records for bringing us the latest double album by Alastair Greene, which boasts 20 live tracks cut at Santa Barbara’s 805 venue, including the album’s closer, giving a respectful nod in the direction of Elmore James with ‘Walking In Circles’. Then came a real memory of a visit to Houston in Texas, where I dropped into a little bar called ‘The Big Easy’ and caught an acoustic set by Jeremiah Johnson, who has done well for himself since, including signing with Ruf records and releasing his new album called ‘Straitjacket’. So, it was an opportunity to play a favourite track on the album . . . ‘Blues In Her Eyes’.

Scott Sharrard made his debut on the show with a swinging little bluesy number called ‘Sweet Compromise’ . . . a track from his very well produced new album ‘Saving Grace’, to which I’m sure we’ll be returning. But, another joy amongst the new releases came from sisters, Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who, as Larkin Poe, brought some great vocals and signature slide guitar work on ‘Bleach Blonde Bottle Blues’. Then, it was the promised return to the latest release by bluesman Sugar Brown, ‘It’s A Blues World – Calling All Blues’ with tasty treat ‘Dew On the Grass’, which sadly brought us to the last choice on this week’s playlist . . . another track from Joe Bonamassa’s new album, ‘Redemption’. But, before that, there was a big thanks for you 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 11 September 2018

You Better Dig It . . .

Posted: September 8, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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

In search of a brief interlude of peace and Cruising #4006serenity this week, we sent Mr Merlot into the Cruising Library on a rummaging expedition and he came back with a handful of most excellent items, including that one with a real Louisiana flavour by an Oregon band, Gumbo. We kept that flavour too, as we crossed the Atlantic to the UK for The Balham Alligators, led by keyboard ace, Geraint Watkins and big favourites here from their album ‘Bayou-Degradable’.

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

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

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

Girls & Guitars
Voodoo Woman – Crystal ShawandaCrystal-Shawanda-_-VooDoo-Woman-_1-700x441

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 8 September 2018

Better Look Out . . .

Posted: September 4, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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


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Well, this week The Blues Come Calling with an excellent new album by Houston’s own Trudy Lynn and the title track of her latest album ‘Blues Keep Knocking’, featuring Carolyn Wonderland on guitar and Steve Krase on the harp. As if that wasn’t enough of the new releases, there was Sari Schorr with a taster of her forthcoming album ‘Never Say Never’, plus Johnny Ticktin & The Headhunters with their take on Magic Sam’s 1958 classic ‘All My Whole Life’.

As a reminder that the best of the blues is kept alive by revisiting it, Skip James was back on a collection of his work by Milestones records under the apt title ‘I’m So Glad’. Since happy returns were in vogue, we welcomed back Seattle-based singer songwriter and band leader, Michele D’Amour, who along with The Love Dealers delivers some very fine numbers on her newly released fourth album, ‘Wiggle Room’, including this week’s choice, ‘Sweet Lovin’ Man’. Then, with the flick of a switch, we were heading back 18 years to catch the late G.G. Shinn with his very fine version of one of Bobby Blue Bland’s ‘Two Steps From The Blues’.TrudyLynn

We featured two more ‘ladies of the blues’. Firstly, Spanish blues guitarist and singer, Susan Santos, who’s on a short UK tour right now, and as a taste of what to expect, we went back to her first album ‘Take Me Home’, featuring our choice ‘Love Tattoo’. Then we heard from Lawrence Lebo, who hails from Los Angeles and has come up the hard way, playing plenty of gritty clubs around the city and working hard to build her reputation. She’s just released her 6th album, which boasts 7 self penned songs, including our choice . . . the title track of the album, ‘Old School Girl’.

Blues Keep A Knocking
Blues Keep A Knocking – Trudy Lynn (Blues Never Say NeverKeep A Knocking – 2018)
Maybe I’m Fooling – Sari Schorr (Never Say Never – 2018)
All My Whole Life – Johnny & The Headhunters (That’s All I Need – 2018)
I’m So Glad – Skip James (I’m So Glad – 2018)
Sweet Lovin’ Man – Michele D’Amour & The Love Dealers (Wiggle Room – 2018)
Two Steps From The Blues – G.G. Shinn (You Can’t Keep A Good Man Down – 2000)
Love Tattoo – Susan Santos & Papa’s Red Band (Take Me Home – 2011)
Old School Girl – Lawrence Lebo (Old School Girl – 2018)

Pinetop’s Pick
Worried Life Blues – The Animals (Animal Tracks – 1965)

Alternative FactsFrank Bey
Lock Up The Liquor – The Little Red Rooster Blues Band (Lock Up The Liquor – 2018)
Beer In My Hand – Lol Goodman Band (Just Wanna Say . . . A Little Bit More – 2018)
Alternative Facts – Big Harp George (Uptown Cool – 2018)
I’ll Be Back Someday – The Nimmo Brothers (Coming Your Way – 2001)
Blakes Rag – Michael Bloomfield (Blues, Gospel & Ragtime – 2005)
Better Look Out (Before You Say Goodbye) – Frank Bey (Back In Business – 2018)

We got into some rocking blues from America’s East Coast band, The Little Red Rooster Blues Band, whose blend of traditional Chicago blues and powerful jump-jive was well represented on their latest release ‘Lock Up The Liquor’, which is destined to make repeat appearances in future weeks. Then, with a distinct change of mood we had a very fine blues ballad from North Country four piece, The Lol Goodman Band with a track from their latest album ‘Just Wanna Say . . . A Little Bit More’. Our choice was the blues fan dream . . . a good band . . . and a ‘Beer In My Hand’.

We had a dose of good humour from our favourite professor of law and blues harp-master, Big Harp George. He was back with another number from his latest album ‘Uptown Cool’ and a very contemporary theme . . . ‘Alternative Facts’. Then, on the premise that all good things come to those who wait, we imagined waiters across the country getting mighty enthused at the news of a long awaited reunion by The Nimmo Brothers. It may not be a permanent thing, but there is a Nimmo Brothers tour lined up and to remind us of what might be in store, we played their aptly titled 2001 track ‘Coming Your Way’.

As ever, we run out of time this week, long before we ran out of great blues, but we did have time for Philadelphia’s Frank Bey. On his new album Frank boldly declares he’s “back in business” and so he is, along with some sage-like advice ‘Better Look Out (Before You Say Goodbye)’. So, before we said our goodbyes, 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 . . . and enjoy a little Beef Jerky from The Bruce Katz Band.

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 4 September 2018

Snap, Crackle & Pop . . .

Posted: September 1, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, as ever, we arrived in the trusty Cruise Mobile with a big cheery welcome and a seat saved especially for you. As an incentive to jump aboard, we had Allen Toussaint on the radio and his ‘Pelican Parade’ to get you in the mood to go Cruising with The Commissioner. Then, quick as a flash, we were heading on down the road withCruising #3015 Brooklyn group The Willows with their 1959 Michelle release, which we dedicated to London Tube travellers, ‘Don’t Push, Don’t Pull, Don’t Shove’. We tipped our hat to Shakin’ Sharon for introducing us to The Nitecaps with their ‘Snap Crackle & Pop’ and enjoyed a little fancy footwork to Avis & Chuck Thompson’s ‘Why So’.

Now the aficiandos will know Louis Prima’s ‘Oh Marie’ and we pulled out a version by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, who’ve got a whole album out now stuffed with Mr Prima’s songs. Since we were into a few covers, we lined a couple featuring Chuck Berry songs . . . . firstly, ‘Oh Baby Doll’ by Kirby St Romans and then ‘No Money Down’ by celebrated UK R&B singer and band leader Wolfie Witcher with his very London styled take on the song.

This week’s Cruising Connections set out to test your little grey cells with this trio of tracks, featuring artists who all recorded the same famous song. We heard from guitarist and singer Phil Flowers, then the fabulous Little Richard, and finally the muchBig Bad Voodoo Daddy celebrated James Booker. For those who were still puzzled after that, we revealed that they all recorded a little Britbeat song that was one of the few 12 bar blues ever written Lennon & McCartney . . . . which was when we played The Beatles’ ‘I Saw Her Standing There’.

Don’t Push, Don’t Pull, Don’t Shove
Pelican Parade – Allen Toussaint
Don’t Push, Don’t Pull, Don’t Shove – Tony Middleton & The Willows
Snap, Crackle & Pop – The Nitecaps
Why So – Avis & Chuck Thompson
Oh Marie – Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
Oh Baby Doll – Kirby St RomansPhil Flowers
No Money Down – Wolfie Witcher & His Brew

Cruising Connections
Twistin’ Beat – Phil Flowers
I’m In Love Again – Little Richard
Loberta – James Booker
I Saw Her Standing There – The Beatles

Girls & Guitars
Mellow Joy – Amanda Pearcy
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Doo Wop Delightsamanda pearcy
The Things I Love – The Fidelitys
He Man Looking For A She Girl – The Four Dots

Never Had It So Good
Oo-Wee Mr Jeff (Please Be Yourself) – Georgia Lane
High Blood Pressure – G.G. Shinn
I Could Love You – The 5 Royales
You Never Had It So Good – The Checkers
Respectable – The Isley Brothers

The trusty Cruise Mobile took us all the way to Houston, Texas for this week’s Girls & Guitars feature, which focused on American singer, songwriter and guitarist, Amanda Pearcy. Although she grew up in Houston, she now lives in Austin, where she can beG.G. Shinn heard showing off her earthy and soulful style that was evident in our choice . . . a track from her 2015 album, ‘The Offering’ called ‘Mellow Joy’.

This week’s Doo Wop Delights kicked off with a 50s vocal group from Albany, New York. They started life in 1956, as the Mellow-Tones, but soon after changed their name to the Fidelitys. They got themselves signed to Baton records, where their first session in the studio produced our choice, their first single ‘The Things I Love’. Then, from New York we headed for Pittsburgh to find a vocal group who started out in 1950 as the Mellows. They went on to become the Four Dots and their first recording session with Bullseye Records came courtesy of legendary Pittsburgh radio DJ Porky Chedwick, where they cut our choice, ‘He Man Looking For A She Girl’.

There was a big thanks this week to our good pal Amigo who heard us play a number by Georgia Lane recently and he came back to point us to a Cashbox piece about Ms Lane and her 1953 Central Records 45 ‘Oo-Wee Mr Jeff’. Now, there have been many covers of Huey ‘Piano’ Smith’s ‘High Blood Pressure’, but we found an excellent version by the late G.G. Shinn. We followed up with a little 1956 King single by The 5 Royales, which attracted the attentions of The Cruisettes who kept dancing right on through the next one too by The Checkers, during which we turned the Cruise Mobile for home. Then, taking us all the way home, we had a classic from one of the groups that’s been successful, adopting many styles over several decades . . . The Isley Brothers with their classic, ‘Respectable’. . . . which got us home safe and sound, in time to park up the Cruise Mobile, give it a quick polish, before we said our farewells. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 1 September 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, another big bluesy welcome to The Blues Come Calling . . . and they came calling this week with Joe Bonamassa delivering some high powered boogie-ing on ‘King Bee Shakedown’ from his much anticipated new album ‘Redemption’. Then there was a big smile for the welcome return of our favourite professor of law and blues harp-master, San Francisco’s Big Harp George, with ‘Down To The Rite Aid’. But, there was a surprise in store, because Boz Scaggs was on our playlist. Boz says he’s always had an affinity with the blues and his latest album ‘Out Of The Blues’ gives that full rein, including on our choice . . . ‘I’ve Just Got To Know’.

For the fans of scratchy blues, we travelled back in time to 1934 for a little something Redemptionfrom that celebrated blues duo, Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell. This was a number they cut for Vocalion Records in New York City on the 16th August . . . . ‘Don’t Start No Stuff’.

Now, if you got to the New Orleans Jazz Fest this year there’s every chance you would have seen Carolyn Wonderland on stage with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, but before that she was one of the guests on Benny Turner’s much acclaimed release ‘My Brother’s Blues’ doing that J.B. Lenoir classic ‘Mojo Boogie’. If you know the name Karen Lawrence from the 90s, when she was fronting several New Wave bands, you may not have expected to find her appearing now as a blues singer. But, Karen Lawrence is just that now and she’s released a double-CD of live material called ‘Best of . . . Live!’, which includes some plenty of powerful vocals from her live performances. To give you a taste, we featured . . . ‘It’s Been So Long’.Karen Lawrence & Blue By Nature (Best of . . . Live!

Mojo Boogie
King Bee Shakedown – Joe Bonamassa (Redemption – 2018)
Down To The Rite Aid – Big Harp George (Uptown Cool – 2018)
I’ve Just Got To Know – Boz Scaggs (Out Of The Blues – 2018)
Don’t Start No Stuff – Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell (When The Sun Goes Down – 2011)
Mojo Boogie – Benny Turner with Carolyn Wonderland (My Brother’s Blues – 2018)
It’s Been So Long – Karen Lawrence & Blue By Nature (Best of . . . Live! – 2018)

Pinetop’s Pick
Who Do You Love – Downliners Sect (SavaSugar Brown (It_s A Blues World Callingge Return – 1991)

Have It Your Way
Checking Up On My Baby – Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors (Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors – 2018)
Tide Blues – Sugar Brown (It’s A Blues World Calling – 2018)
Why Did You Have To Go – Anthony Geraci (Why Did You Have To Go – 2018)
When Love Comes To Town – Lilly Martin (Roadhouse Mission 2013)
Wiggle Room – Michele D’Amour & The Love Dealers (Wiggle Room – 2018)
You Can Have It Your Way – Thorbjorn Risager (Between A Rock & Some Hard Blues – 2013)
Collins Mambo – Johnny & The Headhunters (That’s All I Need – 2018)
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There is plenty of great blues coming out of Canada these days and to prove it, we featured something by Toronto based bluesman Sugar Brown. He spent his younger days playing harp with various bands around Chicago and there are plenty of those influences on his new album, ‘It’s A Blues World Calling’. Meanwhile, Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors made a happy return this week with another great number from their self titled album and good stuff it is indeed.

New Haven, keyboard man, Anthony Geraci, began playing piano began at age four and got turned onto the blues in his teens. Since then, he’s played with many of the great names of modern blues and there are a whole host of today’s blues names on his latest album, ‘Why Did You Have To Go’. Lilly Martin has one of those quite striking voices, as we demonstrated by choosing to play her memorable version of ‘When Love Comes To Town’ from her 2013 Roadhouse Mission’ album. Then, we heard from Seattle-based singer songwriter and band leader, Michele D’Amour & The Love Dealers with a little sultry number that’s the title track from her newly released fourth album, ‘Wiggle Room’.

If you have been keeping an eye on the gig guides, you will know that Thorbjorn Risager is back in the UK soon, so to get us in the mood, we pulled out a favourite of his here, ‘You Can Have It Your Way’, which almost brought us to the end of the show, but we found time to play out this week with a little instrumental called ‘Collins Mambo’ from the new album by Johnny & The Headhunters ‘That’s All I Need’. Then it was all over, except to say a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and here’s hoping we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 28 August 2018

Oh Gee, Oh Gosh . . .

Posted: August 25, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, the Cruise Mobile arrived just in time and purred gently, as the faithful wasted no time in jumping aboard, to go . . . Cruising with The Commissioner. This week, it arrived with R&B band leader Paul Gayten on the radio playing ‘Back To Back’ and it didn’t linger long, before it was heading on down the road with one time lead singer of The Creations, Claude Robinson and his 1960 Studio 45 ‘Cotton Pickin’ Mama’. Following fast came a little gem from O’Henry, the name used by songwriter Henry Shead Snr, who was a successful band leader for many years, as well as a Hollywood actor.

From Los Angeles, the Cruise Mobile then took us Cruising #4013in the direction of Salinas, a town just South of San Francisco, which back in the 50s was fiefdom of the most colourful of characters, “Lord Luther” McDaniels. He was a member of vocal group The Deuces, but we heard from him with his 1959 solo release ‘A Thinkin’ Man’s Girl’. Then, we revealed an obscure link between that and the next choices from Wisconsin’s own, Al Barkle. They were both backed by The Dave Rosas Band . . . about whom we know nothing . . . so, if you know anything . . . do tell!

The late Louisiana legend, G.G. Shinn, made his mark on our playlist with a great Louis Jordan number, ‘Ain’t That Just Like A Woman’, just before we got to our Cruising Connections feature. This week, there was a big clue . . . it was a song that was first recorded in 1951 by singing duo Noble & King. We played numbers by The Orioles, Emile Ford & The Checkmates and Frankie Avalon, who each recorded versions of that song too. The song was the much recorded, ‘Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me’, but none of them bettered the exquisite 1965 version by Mel Carter . . . and to prove it . . . we played it! Then, we enjoyed the wonderful voice of soulAin_t That Just Like A Woman - G.G. Shinn and blues singer Ted Taylor, who we’ve often heard here as a member of both as the Cadets and the Jacks, but we chose his 1961 solo recording for the Laurie label ‘A Heart That’s True’.

Back To Back
Back To Back – Paul Gayten
Cotton Pickin’ Mama – Claude Robinson
Wanna Jean – O’Henry
A Thinking Man’s Girl – Lord Luther with The Dave Rosas Band
Come Summer – Al Barkle with The Dave Rosas Band
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman – G.G. Shinn

Cruising Connections
Don’t Mess With My Love – The OriolesShake Your Hips - Joan Osborne
What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For – Emile Ford
At The Hop – Frankie Avalon

A Heart That’s True
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me – Mel Carter
A Heart That’s True – Ted Taylor

Girls & Guitars
Shake Your Hips – Joan Osborne

Doo Wop Delights
Please Say You Want Me – The School Boys
Oh Gee, Oh Gosh – The Kodaks
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Hot Sauce Boogie
Red Hots & Chilli Mac – The Moroccos
Where Did You Stay – Boo
Happy Man – Diz & The Doormen
It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That – Al Jackson
Hot Sauce Boogie – Coco Robicheaux

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature, threw the spotlight on Kentucky born singer, songwriter and guitarist, Joan Osborne, who started recording in the late 80s. From her catalogue, we picked her cover of that old Slim Harpo number, ‘Shake Your Hips’ from her 2012 album ‘Bring It On Home’ . . . and she did! Then, we kicked off our Doo Wop Delights with Harlem group The Schoolboys, who got together at school in early 1955 Hot Sauce Boogie – Coco Robicheauxand cut their debut single for Okeh records later that year. It was our choice from them . . . ‘Please Say You Want Me’. New Jersey vocal group The Kodaks followed on with, ‘Oh Gee, Oh Gosh’, the second of four singles they cut for the Fury label . None of these made the national charts, but they are all now prized by collectors.

Chicago vocal group The Moroccos turned up with a number about a local delicacy . . . ‘Red Hots & Chilli Mac’. We dug deep for a Vin 45, credited on the label to ‘Boo’, which proved to be an alias for pianist Val Boulet, founder member of The Riff Raffs, and doing his own cover of a song we know well by Fats Domino. Then, we featured someone who’s been on our giglist recently . . . . UK pianist and band leader Diz Watson. He was back with a little self-penned number of his own . . . ‘Happy Man’, sounding every bit like a 50s Louisiana favourite.

We turned the Cruise Mobile for home, under cover of a lovely little release by Al Jackson, who appears to have been a relatively obscure blues/R&B singer, who recorded a few sides in the 50s for Roost Records. We played one of those . . . ‘It Ain’t Gonna Be Like That’. Then, taking us all the way home, it was Coco Robicheaux, one of the many characters from around New Orleans, with one of his great numbers . . . ‘Hot Sauce Boogie’. . . . which got us home safe and sound, back where we started. So, with a cheery wave, we said our farewells, in the hope that we will all meet again same time, same place next week to go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin radio
on 25 August 2018

Enjoy The Ride . . .

Posted: August 21, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome to another 60 minutes of the best blues around . . . which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. They came calling this week with the great Billy Boy Arnold and ‘Don’t Stay Out All Night’, a track from a new compilation by Hit Town records called ‘Blues Lowdown’, and following that were The Proven Ones, making a welcome return with a swinging tale of what goes on at the ‘City Dump’.

We played Ben Poole’s ‘Take It No More’ from his new album, ‘Anytime You Need Me’ and he’s one of those who has a forthcoming UK tour later, which was a reminder that September is shaping up well for new releases and some much awaited tours. Among those tours will be one by Delta Moon, who will be back, touring the UK in September and it prompted a play of ‘Lap Dog’, as a taster of what you might expect if you get to see them on stage. Another tour and album to look out for, comes from Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo, with their second album release, ‘Beyond The Blues Horizon’ and some tour dates too.

Now, the opening track on an album is usually the key attention grabber and Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors have certainly got that on their new ‘Blues Warriors’ album. So, you know you’re in for a treat when it kicks off with our playlist choice, ‘Diamonds At Your Feet’. But, as a little indulgence, there was a past favourite tucked into the playlist for good measure . . . a 1944 song, revivedThe Proven Ones (Wild Again by Adam Franklin on his ‘Til I Hear You Talkin’ album and titled ‘Save That Roach For Me’ and it has nothing to do with creepy crawlies . . . so I’m told!

Diamonds At Your Feet
Don’t Stay Out All Night – Billy Boy Arnold (Blues Lowdown – 2018)
City Dump – The Proven Ones (Wild Again – 2018)
Take It No More – Ben Poole (Anytime You Need Me – 2018)
Save That Roach For Me – Adam Franklin (Til I Hear You Talkin’ – 2012)
Lap Dog – Delta Moon (Clear Blue Flame – 2007)
Diamonds At Your Feet – Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors (Mark Wenner’s Blues Warriors – 2018)
Old Man Dreams – Mike Vernon & The Mighty Combo (Beyond The Blues Horizon – 2018)Mark Wenner_s Blues Warriors

Pinetop’s Pick
29 Ways – Koko Taylor (What It Takes – The Chess Years – 2009)

Have A Good Time
I Came To Have A Good Time – Keeshea Pratt Band (Believe – 2018)
Down In Virginia – Boz Scaggs (Out Of The Blues – 2018)
How Long – Eugene Hideaway Bridges (Live in Tallahassee – 2018)
Enjoy The Ride – Dennis Jones Band (WE3 Live – 2018)
Standing In The Weather – Big Harp George (Uptown Cool – 2018)
Walkin’ Thru The Park – Muddy Waters (Fathers & Sons – 1969)
Just Pickin’ – John Fogerty (Blue Moon Swamp – 2017)

Our previous choices from the Keeshea Pratt Band’s John Fogerty (Blue Moon Swampalbum ‘Believe, seem to have gone down well, so this week’s choice was another fine example, ‘I Came To Have A Good Time’ . . . and haven’t we all! Those with long memories, may recall some other good times with Boz Scaggs when he was one of those on the UK R&B scene back in the early 60s. Much has happened in his career since then, but for his latest album release, he’s gone back to the blues, as he demonstrated with ‘Down In Virginia’.

Eugene Hideaway Bridges’ new release, ‘Live in Tallahassee’ is just what it says on the label and brings plenty of Eugene’s self penned songs, including our choice, ‘How Long’. There was another visit to the ‘WE3 Live’ album by the Dennis Jones Band, which came with just a hint of Albert King on ‘Enjoy The Ride’. San Francisco’s blues harpmaster, Big Harp George, also showed up again this week with another from his latest album, ‘Uptown Cool’ . . . the excellent, ‘Standing In The Weather’.

Before our time ran out this week, we gave a very respectful nod in the direction of a timeless master of the blues . . . Muddy Waters, with his 1969 version of ‘Walkin’ Thru The Park’. Then, we were playing out with someone who doesn’t make many appearances on our playlists, John Fogerty, who turned up with a great Freddy King instrumental, ‘Just Pickin’. But before that, I gave a big thanks for your company on this week’s show and will be looking forward to even more, the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then, remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 21 August 2018