I like it like that . . .

Posted: November 29, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, there was definitely more good cheer and bonhomie when the Cruise Mobile arrived this week than we’ve seen around the retail shops hereabouts. But, then we were out for a good time, great music and excellent company . . . and not a festive jumper in sight! So, with a cheery wave, we set off on this week’s musical adventure in the company of Bill King’s Saturday Night Fish Fry and their take on ‘Don’t Freeze On Me’ and we followed fast with something that we found in a dusty box in the Cruising Library . . . Benny Ingram and his 1958 Bandera 45 ‘Jello Sal’.

Long time members of the Cruising Crew will know we enjoy a bit of a challenge and wecruising-62d were given just that with a little gem from Jeanne Caine titled ‘What I Learned About You’. New Orleans’ esteemed Jamie Dell’Apa, dug it out and we could find very little information about Jeanne or this recording . . . other than it was probably recorded in the late 50s or early 60s, but was unissued at the time. So, credit to White Label Records for putting it out on its 1979 compilation ‘Rock Rock Rock’ and if you know any more . . . do tell!

This week we indulged in a little featurette on the music of singer and songwriter Chris Kenner. We opened with Mr Kenner’s own recording of ‘Grandma’s House’ and followed with a favourite of our good pal The Shake, Don Bryant’s cover of ‘I Like It Like Than’. With a tip of the hat to Neil Pelligrin, we rounded off with ‘Something You Got’, a much covered song, co-written and recorded by Chris Kenner in 1961, but recorded by the song’s other co-writer Fats Domino in 1964.

There were other thanks due too. Firstly, to our good pal Johnny Alpha, for pointing us to a great Ray Charles number out of his stunning record library of obscure, rare vinyl. Secondly, to Arfa Pinetop for recommending UK band The Achievers and, thirdly, to Larry Grogan for the cover of Free’s ‘All Right Now’ by American soul singer Lea Roberts.

All Right NowDon Bryant
Don’t Freeze On Me – Bill King’s Saturday Night Fish Fry
Jello Sal – Benny Ingram
What I Learned About You – Jeanne Caine
Grandma’s House – Chris Kenner
I Like It Like That – Don Bryant
Something You Got Baby – Fats Domino
Hide Nor Hair – Ray Charles
Don’t Roll Those Bloodshot Eyes At Me – The Achievers
All Right Now – Lea Roberts

Girls & Guitars
I Got A Guy – Kathy Lynn and The PlayboysKathy Lynn and The Playboys

Let’s Boogie
Hawaiian Boogie – George Bedard & The Kingpins
Heebie Jeebies – George Bedard & The Kingpins
We Belong Together – Robert & Johnny
Come Back My Love – The Cardinals
Knock Me A Kiss – Titus Turner
Squeeze Her, Tease Her – Jackie Wilson
Sugar Bee – Johnny Mack

For our Girls & Guitars feature this week, our spotlight fell on guitarist and singer, KathyGeorge Bedard & The Kingpins Lynn, who hails from New York and formed Kathy Lynn & The Playboys back in 1963. They became the resident house band at New York’s popular club, ‘The Peppermint Stick’ and had several hits on the Swan record label. They’re still performing together and possibly still doing our choice from their Swan recording . . . ‘I Got A Guy’. For more background on the band, check out Larry Grogan’s Funky 16 Corners blog.

George Bedard & The Kingpins turned up to demonstrate some great guitar work on ‘Hawaiian Boogie’ and showed off George’s vocals on one of Richard Penniman’s numbers. As if that wasn’t enough to grab your attention, our Doo Wop Stop featured New York duo Robert & Johnny with their 1958 hit ‘We Belong Together’ . . . and if you want know more about that one, check out Thom Hickey wonderful ‘Immortal Jukebox‘ blog. Our second doo wop choice was inspired by Matt The Cat’s Juke In The Back show and its feature on vocal group, The Cardinals, including ‘Come Back My Love’.

Titus Turner’s ‘Knock Me A Kiss’ includes the line ‘I like cake and no mistake’ . . . and since Mrs TC had been baking cakes this week, Mr Merlot and yours truly we’re rather hoping we might get to sample some and perhaps a glass or two of pink fizz too! But, our attentions were diverted by Mr Excitement himself, Jackie Wilson with ‘Squeeze Her, Tease Her’ and some manic moves by Mr Merlot & The Cruisettes, which masked the Cruise Mobile’s change of direction, as we started heading home . . . and taking us all the way back to where we started was Johnny Mack with ‘Sugar Bee’. Then, all too soon, our cruising adventure was over for another week. So, we parked up the Cruise Mobile ever hopeful that you enjoyed our cruising playlist sufficiently to be enticed back again next week, when we aim to swing by in the Cruise Mobile same time, same place with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 29 November 2017

Explaining the blues . . .

Posted: November 26, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Blues Come Calling header

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome to another edition of The Blues Come Calling, bringing you a whole hour of the best of the blues, with some new releases, a few ‘seasoned’ favourites and possibly one or two surprises. To show good intent, we kicked off with Lenna & The Snakemen with ‘Explaining The Blues’ and for those wanting any more explaining, we offered up one of the modern day giants of the blues, Johnny Winter along with Dr John on ‘You Lie Too Much’.

Estonia may not one of the places that come to mind when thinking of blues music, but we found a rather fine version of Little Red Rooster by Estonian blues trio, Tammepõld, Roots & Kadakas, who will be representing Estonia at the European Blues Challenge in March next year. But those still experiencing the chill of the Autumn days, the title of Jim Byrnes album, ‘Long Hot Summer Days’ might bring some comfort and we had another taste with his track ‘Everybody Knows’.Lenna & The Snakemen - Black & Blue

Those with fond memories of The Blues Brothers 1978 album ‘Briefcase Full Of Blues’ will know the song ‘I Got Everything I Need (Almost)’, which is one of two songs on the album originally recorded by The Downchild Blues Band. Now, they’ve changed their name to Downchild and have just released an album titled, ‘Something I’ve Done’, which features some nice piano work by Michael Fonfara, as evident on the title track of that album. American swamp blues guitarist and vocalist, Elton Anderson popped up next with his late 50s recording of a song we know well by Albert Collins, Gary Moore and others, ‘Too Tired’. It was never released at the time, so it was good to find it on the 1993 compilation ‘Bayou Blues Busters’

Everybody KnowsJohnny Winter - Let Me In 2
Explaining The Blues – Lenna & The Snakemen (Black & Blue – 2016)
You Lie Too Much – Johnny Winter (w. Dr John) (Let Me In – 1992)
Little Red Rooster – Tammepõld, Roots & Kadakas (Little Red Rooster – 2017)
Everybody Knows – Jim Byrnes (Long Hot Summer Days – 2017)
I Got Everything I Need (Almost) – The Blues Brothers (Briefcase Full Of Blues – 1978)
Something I’ve Done – Downchild Blues Band (Something I’ve Done – 2017)
Too Tired – Elton Anderson (Bayou Blues Blasters – 2012)

Pinetop’s PickDownchild
I Got Mine – Pink Anderson (Essemtial Blues Masters – 2010)

Hoodoo Stew
Walk In My Shadow – Shaun Murphy (Mighty Gates – 2017)
Ain’t Looking For Love – Dave Keyes (The Healing – 2017)
Cabbage Town Shuffle – Delta Moon (Cabbage Town – 2017)
Bad Love – Luther Allison (A Legend Never Dies (Essential Recordings 1976 – 1997) – 2017)
Hoodoo Stew – Selwyn Birchwood (Don’t Call No Ambulance – 2014)
Brewster Avenue Bump – Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter (Right Place, Right Time – 2017)Monster Mike Welch

Lady of the blues’, Shaun Murphy turned up with a track from her latest album ‘Mighty Gates’, which has plenty of good stuff on it, along with a reworking of Free’s ‘Walk In My Shadow’, featuring some great Albert King styled guitar work.
Dave Keyes returned with ‘Ain’t Looking For Love’, a track from his new album ‘The Healing’ and this time featuring touring partner, Poppa Chubby.

Fans of Delta Moon and their ’Cabbage Town’ album got a pleasant surprise with another listen to their great number, ‘Cabbage Town Shuffle’, while fans of Luther Allison got some good news about a new 24 disc box set of Luther’s recordings due for release by Ruf Records in December. The box set is titled ‘A Legend Never Dies (Essential Recordings 1976 – 1997)’, which includes a long time favourite here ‘Bad Love’.

Now, a little slide guitar always goes down well here, so it was a joy to hear Florida’s own Selwyn Birchwood mixing up a little ‘Hoodoo Stew’, as he does on his Alligator album ‘Don’t Call No Ambulance’. But all good things have to come to an end, but found time to play out with Monster Mike Welch & Mike Ledbetter and the excellent ‘Brewster Avenue Bump’ from their latest album ‘Right Place, Right Time’. But, before that we offered a big thanks to all for their good company this weeks show and the assurance of a warm welcome the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 26 November 2017

Let’s go Smitty . . .

Posted: November 22, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, it’s difficult to ignore the countdown to the festive season, because it’s it seems to be evident in all the stores, on TV and other media . . . . but not here! So, for everyone seeking sanctuary from all that, we rolled by in the Cruise Mobile, with the radio turned up, plenty of friendly faces and a seat saved especially for you. All you needed to do was jump aboard and go Cruising with The Commissioner!Cruising #2021

To get us off to a great start, we had the company of Little Booker (a.k.a James Booker) with some fine organ work on his 1961 gem, ‘Teenage Rock’ and he turned up again playing piano on Shirley & Lee’s 1962 single ‘I’m Old Enough’ and again behind Freddie King on his instrumental ‘Sweet Thing’. As an encore, he was back on Earl King’s 1961 45 ‘Nervous Breakdown’, but then it was time to enjoy a small celebration of Dr John’s birthday this week with his version that Bobby Darin’s classic ‘Splish Splash’.

A big thanks for some fascinating feedback on recent shows, particularly our little featurette on Johnny Guitar Watson. Our good pal Amigo solved the mystery of why Johnny’s 50s number ‘Late Freight Twist’ hadn’t been released at the time. Seems it was, but titled ‘Let’s Go Smitty’ with label credits to Floyd Dixon featuring Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson. Chris Farlowe also turned up, doing a great cover of Johnny’s, ‘Gangster of Love’. For the fans of Northern Soul, we found Dean Parrish’s version of ‘It’ll Never Be Over For Me’ and a Motown cover by Welsh singer Tawny Reed.

Sweet ThingSplish Splash
Teenage Rock – Little Booker (James Booker)
I’m Old Enough – Shirley & Lee
Sweet Thing – Freddie King
Nervous Breakdown – Earl King
Splish Splash – Dr John
Let’s Go Smitty – Floyd Dixon & Johnny Guitar Watson
It’ll Never Be Over For Me – Dean Parrish
Needle In A Haystack – Tawny Reed
Gangster Of Love – Chris Farlowe

Girls & Guitars
I Love To Love You – Candye Kane & Laura ChavezGeorgia Gibbs

Something Hit Me
I Want To Rock – Little Miss Sharecropper (LaVern Baker)
Tweedle Dee – Georgia Gibbs
Bad Man Of Missouri – Jimmy Ricks & The Suburbans
Tell Me How Long – The Flamingos
Something Hit Me – The Falcons & Little Bee
Teardrops Will Fall – John Mellencamp
Outside The Law – Los Pacaminos

Our Girls and Guitars feature this week turned our spotlight on Californian guitarist, Los PacaminosLaura Chavez, who’s early influences came from Texas and Chicago blues players, but stretched further afield to include the UK’s Jimmy Page and Mick Taylor. Laura began playing guitar on stage when she was 18 and after 8 years with her first band she joined Candye Kane’s band and more recently Casey Hensley. As a sample, we picked ‘I Love To Love You’ which she recorded with Candye Kane in 2011 for her Sister Vagabond album.

Full marks if you heard Little Miss Sharecropper, and spotted the voice of LaVern Baker there, because it was indeed Miss Baker, with something she recorded in for National records in1951, long before she joined Atlantic Records and recorded her 1955 hit “Tweedle Dee”. But, she was beaten to the No 1 position by a white girl, named Georgia Gibbs, who recorded a note-for-note cover of the song, which we played. But, we also featured Jimmy Ricks (who recorded a duet or two with Lavern Baker) with his group The Suburbans on his 1957 Baton 45 ‘Bad Man of Missouri’.

This week, we started our Doo Wop Stop with a little 1959 gem from The Flamingos, ‘Tell Me How Long’, followed by The Falcons, providing some backing for someone called Little Bee on ‘Something Hit Me’ a recording made sometime in the early 60s but not released at the time and I have no idea about the identity of Little Bee and even Uncie Marv Goldberg isn’t sure . . . . so there’s one for the archivists. Then, we relived a recent night of Tex Mex music with John Mellencamp’s ‘Teardrops Will Fall’ and Los Pacaminos bringing this week’s cruise to an end with ‘Outside The Law’.

So, with a little polishing of the Cruise Mobile and some cheery waving, we headed off with Mr Merlot & The Cruisettes to the after show party, very much hoping you’ll come back, same time same place next week when once again we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 22 November 2017

Doorway to the blues . . .

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

Blues Come Calling header

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

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Well, at the appointed time, we came swinging in with a big bluesy welcome to a whole hour of the best of the blues, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. Now, the new releases keep coming and long may that continue. Indeed, this week’s playlist has it’s usual fair share of new albums, as well as the occasional ‘playbacks from way back’. So, we made a very good start with a classic from Cyril Davies & His All Stars, ‘Country Line Special’, which appeared in the UK on the familiar red and yellow, Pye International label and that 45 is much cherished here. Following up, were Blues Is Truth, a band who are soon appearing live at the legendary Crawdaddy club in Twickenham and if you like their ‘Love Has Changed’, then be sure to check our their gigs and get some more.

Among the new releases, was the welcome return of Belgium band, Doghouse Sam & his Magnatones with another number, ‘Slideaside’, from their latest album ‘Going Places’. For those who are fans of UK band Argent, the name John Verity will be very familiar. John is another of those with a new album out now called ‘Blue to my Soul’ and, as promised last week, our playlist this week featured John along with Max Milligan on guitar with a very fine acoustic version of ‘Alabama Blues’. Then, we chose a slinky little number titled ‘Doorway To the Blues’ from the new album by Pennsylvania’s “Lady of the Blues”, Miss Freddye. Tommy Castro & The Painkillers also got a mention for their fine new album ‘Stompin’ Ground’, as a reminder of Tommy’s UK tour.

Country Line SpecialCyril Davies
Country Line Special – Cyril Davies All Stars (British Rock & Roll Vol. 2 – 2012)
Love Has Changed – Blues Is Truth (Live In London – 2006)
Slideaside – Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones (Going Places – 2017)
Alabama Blues – John Verity (Blue To My Soul – 2017)
Doorway To The Blues – Miss Freddye (Lady of The Blues – 2017)
Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man – Mitch Woods & Elvin Bishop (Friends Along The Way – 2017)
Little Girl – The Achievers (Little Girl – 2015)
Fear Is The Enemy – Tommy Castro (Stompin’ Ground – 2017)
Pick Poor Robin Clean – Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers (Love Whip Blues – 2014)Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones - Going Places

Pinetop’s Pick
Hip Shakin’ – Mike Henderson & The Bluebloods (First Blood – 1996)

Cuttin’ In
Boogie For Stefan – Dave Keyes (The Healing – 2017)
Cuttin’ In – Johnny Guitar Watson (Gangster of Love – 1978)
Things Fall Apart – Peter Parcek (Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven – 2017)
Skin & Bone – Jack J Hutchinson (Paint No Fiction – 2017)
Big Mama’s Coming Home – Casey Hensley (Casey Hensley Live – 2017)

Well, thanks for your feedback on the recent shows, which succeededPeter Parcek - Everybody Wants To Go To Heaven in getting a revisit to Mitch Wood’s latest album ‘My Friends Along The Way’ and Gloucestshire band, The Achievers, who are on the same bill as Tommy Castro for his London gig at the 100 Club. Events of the week also ensured a revisit to the work of Johnny Guitar Watson and there’s plenty of good stuff to choose from too!

There was some very fine keyboard work from Dave Keyes, with a track from his sixth and latest album ‘The Healing’ with a boogie solo called ‘Boogie for Stefan’. On the album, Dave is joined by Poppa Chubby, the soulful Vaneese Thomas and the thirty-strong Brooklyn Interdenominational Choir.Casey Hensley Live

There were more new releases that deserved their place in our playlist, including American Peter Parcek who came to London during the British blues explosion of the 60s and soaked up the sounds. On his return to the States, he used that learning to pursue his ambitions and they are well demonstration on his latest album ‘Everyone Wants To Go To Heaven’. Jack J Hutchinson was back with another taster of his upcoming album ‘Paint No Fiction’ which is due for release in December, but we got an early listen toone of the tracks, ‘Skin & Bone’.

Regular listeners will know that we’ve given quite a few plays recently to the excellent new album ‘Big Road’ by Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers. But, this week we featured something from Erin’s earlier album ‘Love Whip Blues’, which happens to include her take on a song we’ve been following here over recent weeks, ‘Pick Poor Robin Clean’.

As we were enjoying the remarkable voice of 25 year old Casey Hensley’s latest set for Vizztone Records, “Casey Hensley Live, sadly, our time together ran out. So, with a big thanks for your good company this week, we said our farewells and, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 19 November 2017

Don’t drop . . .

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

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

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Well, the trusty Cruise Mobile has travelled plenty of miles this past week and caught some friendly faces along the way, which was fun! It was a welcome diversion from the technology failures that consumed many fretful hours to recover and restore ourselves to our usual bonhomie. But, we did get there eventually and a sense of equilibrium was returned in time to enjoy our Cruising pleasures.Cruising #3006b

Our musical postman has continued his dedicated work to keep us supplied with timely deliveries of new items for the Cruising library and this week was no exception. So, there are treats in store for sure!

A big thanks to those who gave us some feedback on recent shows and especially our good pal Amigo, who gave us some excellent pointers that solved a few ‘loose ends’ from previous cruises. We were cheered to hear from our Ambassador to The Islands, who brought us welcome news of another listener, Buddy, out there somewhere in Pahoa, Hawaii and he got an invite to a rock and roll luau. But, before that we kicked off this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner with Prentice Moreland and his 1962 Crescendo 45 ‘Holy Mackrel’ . . . .

Holy Mackrelcadets
Holy Mackrel – Prentice Moreland
Do You Wanna Rock – The Cadets
Gonna Wait For My Chance – Ike Turner & His Kings of Rhythm
Barbeque – Jump 4 Joy
The Big Wheel – Clifton Chenier
Zoop – The Charts
My Heart Will Go On – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Girls & Guitars
My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own – Joanne Shaw Taylor

Don’t Drop
Rock & Rock Luau – Bennie Bennjoanne_shaw_taylor_hb_051016
Rock Rockola – Merrill E. Moore
Move It On Over – Bill Haley & The Comets
I’m The Fat Man – Big John Greer
Rhumbalero – Diz & The Doormen
Red Hot Mama – S. Johnson
How About It Baby – Emmet Davis
Baby Baby Oh My Darling – The Clovers
Don’t Drop – Ray Collins Hot Club

Now, I’m not sure that Wednesbury has been indelibly marked on the map of musical talents, but the focus of our Girls & Guitars feature this week may help (a little). Because this is home for guitarist and singer bigjohngreerJoanne Shaw Taylor, who’s a quite remarkable talent on record and on stage. She’s recorded 6 albums to date and we decided to show her talents with the track ‘My Heart’s Got A Mind Of Its Own’ from her album release ‘Wild’.

There were plenty of notable names on our playlist this week, including the celebrated piano maestro of the 50s, Merrill E Moore with his 1955 Capitol 45 ‘Rock Rockola’ whose style of rock & roll and western swing certainly influenced Jerry Lee Lewis and probably Bill Haley, who popped up along with his Comets with their interpretation of Hank Williams 1947 song ‘Move It On Over’. Saxman, Big John Greer got a play with his 1952 RCA release ‘I’m The Fat Man’ (a title which may be more readily associated with another 50s singer from New Orleans). Another special treat came from New Orleans artist, S. Johnson, who we know little about, except his 45 ‘Red Hot Mama’ was recorded for Regal Records sometime between 1955 and 1957 and still sounds great. So, if you know anything more than that, please share.

Just as we thought The Cruisettes were sick or on holiday, they appeared to demonstrate how to swing and sway The Commissioner’s way (although they do it with more wild abandon than our insurers like). While they were otherwise occupied, we turned the Cruise Mobile for home and, with a measure of surprise for some, we arrived home safe and sound. Then it was time to park up the Cruise Mobile, give it a quick polish, ready for our next musical adventure. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 15 November 2017

Voodoo working . . .

Posted: November 12, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Blues Come Calling header

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome indeed to a whole hour of the best of the blues, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. This week, our selections from both new and past releases, featured plenty of ‘ladies of the blues’. Amongst those were Australian songstress, Andrea Marr with her timely warning, ‘Don’t Touch What You Can’t Afford’, which we followed with someone who was persuaded to sing the blues by Magic Slim . . . . this was Niecie with this is her latest release ‘Two Can Play That Game’. We also got to hear from Russian harmonica player Ilya Portnov, who’s debut album, ‘Strong Brew’ includes her take on the old American ragtime tune, recorded by Rev. Gary Davis, ‘Cincinnati Flow Rag.’

Later in the show, we also featured new releases from Pittsburgh, “Lady of the Blues”, Miss Freddye, Jo Harman was there with her new album called ‘Live In Camden’ and her live version of ‘Underneath The River’. Samantha Fish was back with another bluesy gem from her new ‘Belle of The West’ album and we got a promised cover of Luke Johnson’s 1927 number ‘Pick Poor Robin Clean’ from Karen Lovely. To top it all off, Pinetop’s Pick brought us Ana Popovic too.

Now, if you’ve been out and about on the blues scene this summer, there’s a chance you’ll have come across Gloucestshire band, The Achievers, on their latest tour. If you did, you may have found yourself in the company of our regular guest Arfa Pinetop . . . . who doubtless heard them play our choice from them, ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’.

I Got Your NumberNiecie (Two Can Play That Game
Don’t Touch What You Can’t Afford – Andrea Marr (Little Sister Got Soul – 2009)
Two Can Play That Game – Niecie (Two Can Play That Game – 2017)
I Got Your Number – Jack J Hutchinson (Paint No Fiction – 2017)
Cincinnati Flow Rag – Ilya Portnov (Strong Brew – 2017)
2017 – The Reverend Shawn Amos (Breaks It Down – 2017)
That’s No Way To Do – Pink Anderson (Weeping Willow Blues – 2012)
It’s Your Voodoo Working – The Achievers

Pinetop’s Pick
Bring Your Fine Self Home – Ana Popovik & Bernard Allison (Slideshow – 2012)
.Jack J Hutchinson (Paint No Fiction
Blues Is My Business 
Underneath The River – Jo Harman (People We Become ‘Live In Camden’ – 2017)
Luv Ya Baby – Miss Freddye (Lady of The Blues – 2017)
Pick Poor Robin Clean – Karen Lovely (Prohibition Blues – 2014)
Weaker Man – The Della Grants (Live Room Sessions – 2017)
Gone For Good – Samantha Fish (Belle of The West – 2017)
Blues Is My Business – John Verity (Blue To My Soul – 2017)
You Don’t Know What Love Is – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters (Luckiest Man – 2017)

Our dip into the scratchy blues box this week, pulled out The Della Grants - Live Room Sessions‘That’s No Way To Do’ by Pink Anderson, who made his first recordings for the Columbia label in 1928.

There were plenty more new releases from the ‘gentlemen of the blues’ too, including the new offering ‘Paint No Fiction’ from Jack J Hutchinson, a taster from the forthcoming album by The Reverend Shawn Amos and something from an album called ‘Time For Change’ from Leicester band The Della Grants.

John Verity turned up with his new album ‘Blue to my Soul’ where there’s plenty of bluesy numbers like ‘Blues Is My Business’ and we played out this week with the 25th album from Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, titled ‘Luckiest Man’. Then, with a big thanks for your good company this week, we said our farewells and, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 12 November 2017

Knock out . . .

Posted: November 8, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

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Well, the good spirits were with us this week and our social diary filled with important events with plenty of great memories that will last a long time. So, when the trusty Cruise Mobile came rolling by, we were definitely ready to jump aboard and go Cruising with The Commissioner. This week, we kicked off on our musical adventure, with The Gone All Stars and their version of ‘The Gee Gee Walk’ . . . and just when walking was the last thing on our mind . . . along came Lenny Johnson with his 1961 Bethlehem 45 ‘Walk Ginny Walk’.Cruising #3023

There was a little treat for our good pal Arfa Pinetop who is one of many who share a great affection for UK band Diz & The Doormen. They turned up with a taste of New Orleans on a Dave Bartholomew penned number. Another link to the Crescent City came from UK singer, Beverly Jones, who generated an early appearance for some dangerous dancing to Beverly’s version of ‘Heatwave’ and Welsh songstress, Tawny Reed’s version of ‘I Got A Feeling’. Tawny has often been compared to another UK songstress, Lulu, who just happen to be on our playlist too. Fans of Northern Soul will know Timi Yuro’s great version of ‘It’ll Never Be Over For Me’ and we went digging back to find the 1964 original by Baby Washington.

For our Girls & Guitars feature this week, we focused our spotlight on singer and guitarist, Erin Harpe. She grew up in Greenbelt, Maryland and after graduating from High School, went on to college to study anthropology. But, she grew up with music all around her, which is not surprising, since he Dad was blues musician Neil Harpe, who taught her how to play blues guitar and got her hooked on blues music in particular. She’s put it to good use and formed her own band, Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers, who just happen to have a new album out called ‘Big Road’, which includes our choice ‘Frankie’.

I Got A FeelingBluecoat Man - Diz & The Doormen
The Gee Gee Walk – The Gone All Stars
Walk Ginny Walk – Lenny Johnson
Go On You Fool – Diz & The Doormen
Heatwave – Beverly Jones
I Got A Feeling – Tawny Reed
Supernatural – Lulu
It’ll Never Be Over For Me – Baby Washington

Girls & Guitars
Frankie – Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers

Cheer UpErin Harpe & The Delta Swingers - Big Road
Rocking All Over The World – John Fogerty
Looking Back – Redhouse
Those Lonely Lonely Nights – The Bel-Airs
Last Freight Twist – Johnny Guitar Watson
Reconsider Baby – Johnny Guitar Watson
For Your Love – Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson
Candlelight – The Five Satins
Cheer Up – The Five Fleets
Lillie Mae – Roomful Of Blues
Knock Out – Ray Collins’ Hot Club

Now, there was memorable moment this week when TheFor Your Love - Larry Williams & Johnny Guitar Watson Vikster & Dean with guitars in hand, joined our favourite Bristol band, Redhouse on stage for their own take on ‘Rocking All Over The World’, which had the crowd up and cheering. Of course, the song is well known as a big UK hit for Status Quo, but we featured the original by John Fogerty.

Redhouse were not far from our thoughts, so it was their take on the great Johnny Guitar Watson number ‘Lookin’ Back’ which opened our little featurette on Mr Watson. His was one of the very many covers of the Earl King hit ‘Those Lonely Lonely Nights’, but we pulled out another by Missouri based vocal trio, The Bel Airs. Then Mr Watson was back with his trade mark guitar sound on a great instrumental that remained unreleased for many years . . . ‘Last Freight Twist’. But, the first instrument Johnny Watson learned was piano and it was his piano playing and vocals that graced the early recordings by Chuck Higgins’ band in 1952. Fortunately, Johnny did cut some sides under his own name featuring his piano skills, which were pretty impressive, as demonstrated on his version of ‘Reconsider Baby’. We closed our featurette on Mr Watson’s fascinating career with a track by his recorded live on stage in London along with Larry Williams, doing that pop psych hit for The Yardbirds ‘For Your Love’. . . and doing it very well indeed!

As time started to slip away just too quickly, we got to our Doo Wop Stop and this week we had a selection that came in fives . . . with The Five Satins and their 1960 Ember 45 ‘Candlelight’, followed by The Five Fleets and their 1961 Seville 45 ‘Cheer Up’. Then, it was a race against time to squeeze in a great Smiley Lewis number by Roomful Of Blues and, taking us all the way home was Ray Collins’ Hot Club with ‘Knock Out’ . . . and it was! But, we did arrive back safe and sound from our cruise and quickly said our farewells, ever hopeful that you’ll be enticed back again the next time we swing by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with the Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 8 November 2017

It’s alright . . .

Posted: November 5, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Blues Come Calling header

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome . . . and if you came looking for sanctuary from current world events, then you may have been pleasantly surprised with our ‘alternative’ offering of an hour of the some of the best blues around. This week we kicked of The Blues Come Calling with Mike Henderson, who was featured in last week’s Pinetop’s Pick, and he came back this week with ‘It’s Alright’. Then, there was a truly international band called B.B. Factory with members who hail from America, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Australia and they showed off their blues credentials with their take on ‘Mojo Workin’.

There were a few folks making a happy return from last week’s playlist, including Billy Jones with another taster of his new album ‘ Funky Blues & Southern Soul’, followed by Kim Wilson bringing distinct echoes of his time with The Fabulous Thunderbirds, with more from his latest album ‘Blues & Boogie Vol 1’. California blues man James Armstrong made a welcome return, with another fine track from his fourth album, “Blues Been Good To Me” and then Boston band, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers returned with ‘Kokomo Me Baby’, from Erin’s latest album, ‘Big Road’.

For those who enjoy a little scratchy blues, there was something from Luke Jordan and a song he recorded this for Victor records on 16 August 1927, called ‘Pick Poor Robin Clean’, with some terms that were commonly used back then, but not today.

Mojo Workin’ B.B. Factory (Six and Three is Nine
It’s Alright – Mike Henderson (You Think It’s Hot Here – 2015)
Mojo Workin’ – B.B. Factory (Six and Three is Nine – 2017)
Love Nobody Else – The Billy Jones Bluez (Funky Blues & Southern Soul – 2017)
From The Bottom – Kim Wilson (Blues & Boogie, Vol. 1 – 2017)
Sleeping With A Stranger – James Armstrong (Blues Been Good To Me – 2017)
Pick Poor Robin Clean – Luke Jordan (The Songsters Tradition Before The blues – 2004)
Kokomo Me Baby – Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers (Big Road – 2017)

Pinetop’s PickDoghouse Sam & His Magnatones (Going Places
Long Tall Mama – Big Bill Broonzy (American Epic: The Collection – 2017)

Got Your Number
Go Get Some Grub – Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones (Going Places – 2017)
Midnight Hour Blues – Mitch Woods, Van Morrison & Taj Mahal (Friends Along The Way – 2017)
I’m Not Your Woman – Liza Ohlback (Give You Hell – 2017)
I Wouldn’t Treat A Dog (The Way You Treat Me) – Chris Daniels & The Kings (Blues With Horns – 2017)
Poor Black Mattie – Samantha Fish (Belle of The West – 2017)Samantha Fish - Belle of The West
Howlin’ For My Baby – Redhouse (Play It Like You Mean It – 2016)

Making their first appearance on our playlists this week were Belgium band, Doghouse Sam & His Magnatones, who have been establishing quite a reputation across Europe over the last 5 years for their brand of ‘primitive/brutal’ Rhythm ’n’ Blues, but it sounds good and there’s more to enjoy on their latest album ‘Going Places’.

It’s always a joy to find new albums with material that makes it a delight to revisit several times and there are plenty around lately. For those who like their blues mellow and soulful, there was another gem from Mitch Woods’ latest album ‘My Friends Along Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers - Big RoadThe Way’, this time along with Van Morrison and Taj Mahal on ‘Midnight Hour Blues’. There was more still from Chris Daniels & The Kings with another taster of the new album ‘Blues With Horns’, featuring Freddi Gowdy on a Bobby Bland favourite. Then, there was another visit by Australian lady of the blues, Liza Ohlback with something from her latest album ‘Give You Hell’ with plenty of tracks well worth a listen.

The long awaited new album by Samantha Fish, ‘Belle of The West’, finally appeared. It is, essentially, an acoustic album with a real variety of songs that could fit neatly under the headings of country music and Americana, but there are a couple of bluesy tracks, including ‘Poor Black Mattie’, featuring ‘Lightnin’ Malcolm’, which popped up on this week’s playlist.

Although time was running out, we were determined to play something by Bristol band, Redhouse. They were on our giglist this past week at a very special event, where they ensured everybody had a good time and gave a fitting finale to this week’s show with their excellent version of Howlin’ Wolf’s ‘Howlin’ For My Baby’. So, with thanks for your good company this week, let’s aim to meet up again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 5 November 2017

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

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Well, as November arrives, the temperatures have started to take a dive around the Grand Duchy, but we should probably be grateful that October has been kind to us with plenty of sunny days. The media and shops hereabouts are already full of festive advertising and, given world events, we could do with some cheery goodwill. So, we arrived in the Cruise Mobile intent on playing our part in that worthy cause, as we prepared to go Cruising with The Commissioner.Cruising #3022

Of course, we knew there would be no telling where our musical adventure would take us, but we kicked off with a big favourite . . . Mook Loxley and his taste of The Crescent City called ‘Gumbo Ya Ya’ . . . but you might know it by another title! While we were in the Big Easy, we tipped our hat in the direction of Jamie Dell’Apa for reminding us of a little gem from Marvin & Johnny ‘Yak Yak’.

Then, with all the requisite visas and permits, the trusty Cruise Mobile took us from New Orleans to the Netherlands for something from the new album by Dee’s Honeytones, full of great rhythm and blues, including our choice, the title track ‘Wow Wow’. They were in good company too, with 50s US vocal group The Searchers, one time member of The Ravens, Jimmy Ricks whose deep deep were also featured on our next choice, a celebrated duet with Lavern Baker.

Last week we did a little feature on UK Tex Mex bands and it seemed to go down rather well. So, we returned with another selection, which caused The Cruisettes and Mr Merlot to gather for some dangerous dancing.

Wow Wow Dee's Honeytones - Wow Wow
Gumbo Ya Ya – Mook Loxley
Yak Yak – Marvin & Johnny
Wow Wow – Dee’s Honeytones
Wow Wow Baby – The Searchers
Wigglin’ & Gigglin’ – Jimmy Ricks
You’re The Boss – Jimmy Ricks & LaVern Baker
I Don’t Want To Be In Love – The Balham Alligators
Down Down – Status Quo
Enough Is Enough – The Refreshments

Girls & Guitars
Gone For Good – Samantha FishSamantha Fish - Belle of The West

Don’t Lie To Me
Redezvous Des Cheminots – Wily Bo Walker
Honolulu Baby – Chas Hodges & J.I. Allison
That Don’t Appease Me – Thornetta Davis
Let It Please Be You – The Desires
Chasin’ The Blues – The Aristo-Kats
People Will Say We’re In Love – The Spaniels
Don’t Lie To Me – Fats Domino
Roll Baby Roll – Floyd Dixon
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This week’s Girls & Guitars feature focused on Fats Domino - Don't Lie To Me 2Samantha Fish, who’s been under our spotlight here before. She hails from Kansas City and happens to have a new album, ‘Belle Of The West’ due for release soon. So, it seemed like a good idea to hear from her again, with something from her new album, ‘Gone For Good’.

There was a touch of cross channel culture from Wily Bo Walker with a little number titled ‘Redezvous Des Cheminots’ (which translates as ‘meeting place of railway workers’). Then, we pointed the trusty Cruise Mobile in the direction of the Hawaiian Islands, stopping, as is polite, to pay our respects to our Ambassador To The Islands, with something from Chas Hodges and Jerry Allison.

Now, last week I got into trouble with Mr Merlot for not having time for our usual Doo Wop Stop, so we offered an extra helping this week to make amends. First up were New York vocal group The Desires with their 1959 debut release, ‘Let It Please Be You’. Following on were Hollywood group The Arist-O-Kats, with their 1957 Vita 45, ‘Chasin The Blues’ and completing our selection were The Spaniels with their 1959 Vee Jay 45 and their doo wop take on a Rogers and Hammerstein number.

We’re still sad about the passing of the great Fats Domino, but inspired by Matt The Cat’s whole show devoted to Fats Domino, we dug out Fats’ 1951 recording of ‘Don’t Lie To Me’ and tried to picture his smiling face and enthusiastic performance, as it played. Then, it was time to turn the Cruise Mobile for home and taking us all the way home was Floyd Dixon with ‘Roll Baby Roll’ . . . and we did! But, we arrived back safe and sound from our cruise and quickly said our farewells, ever hopeful that you will be enticed back again the next time we swing by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with the Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 1 November 2017

Blues Come Calling header

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

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Well, it may the season to be spooky, but we avoided the temptation to pull out those bluesy numbers about witches, spells and ghosts. Instead, we came loaded with plenty of great bluesy numbers and a big bluesy to welcome to one and all to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling.

We kicked off proceedings with Peter Green, who was celebrating his birthday this week, and one of Fleetwood Mac’s classic numbers, which has popped up again on the new collection ‘The Best of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac’, along with some other great favorites. If you’re a fan of the early Fabulous Thunderbirds recordings then Kim Wilson’s new album, “Blues And Boogie, Vol. 1,” will be a sheer joy, because he’s returned with some great blues harp in that early style. If classic Chicago blues is ‘your thing’, then the latest album from John Primer and Bob Corritore ‘Ain’t Nothing You Can Do’ is good stuff indeed and well worth checking out.

California blues man James Armstrong has just released his fourth album, “Blues Been Kim Wilson - Blues & Boogie, Vol. 1Good To Me”, featuring a mix of originals and a couple of great covers. We chose the title track from the album, but there’s plenty more, so we may return. Another album that we’re sure to revisit comes from Boston band, Erin Harpe & the Delta Swingers. Their second full-length album, ‘Big Road’ has been getting plenty of plays here, since it arrived and not surprising with its great mix of boogie, funky blues and some fine acoustic delta and piedmont blues, all mixed with some great electric side guitar from Erin herself.

Apart from our opener from Fleetwood Mac, there were other ‘returners’ this week, including some more fine acoustic blues from Jim Byrnes’ upcoming album ‘Long Hot Summer Days’ by Jim Byrnes. Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa returned with a real tour de force on a great Freddie King favourite that they recorded live in James Armstrong - Blues Been Good To MeAmsterdam in 2014.

Anywhere The Wind Blows
Stop Messing Around – Fleetwood Mac (The Best Of Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac – 2017)
Edgier – Kim Wilson (Blues & Boogie, Vol. 1 – 2017)
Blues Been Good To Me – James Armstrong (Blues Been Good To Me – 2017)
Anywhere The Wind Blows – Jim Byrnes (Long Hot Summer Days – 2017)
May I Have A Talk With You – John Primer & Bob Corritore (Ain’t Nothing You Can Do – 2017)John Primer & Bob Corritore - Ain_t Nothing You Can Do
Someday After A While (You’ll Be Sorry) – Beth Hart & Joe Bonamassa (Live In Amsterdam – 2014)
Voodoo Blues – Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers (Big Road – 2017)

Pinetop’s Pick
Bloody Murder – Mike Henderson & The Bloodhounds (First Blood – 1996)

Hideaway Blues
Hideaway Blues – Fats Domino (The Complete Imperial Singles – 2017)
You Know How I Lie – The McKee Brothers (Moon Over Montgomery – 2017)The McKee Brothers - Moon Over Montgomery
Until Then I’ll Suffer – Liza Ohlback (Give You Hell – 2017)
Ain’t That Loving You – Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters (Luckiest Man – 2017)
Albert’s Alley – Bondi Cigars (Down In The Valley – 2001)

The sad passing of the great Fats Domino this week inspired some digging in his catalogue for a little blues. In the end, we chose his self penned number ‘Hide Away Blues’. He cut this at his 1st recording session on December 10th 1949 at Cosimo Matassa’s studios in New Orleans and it has reappeared recently on a collection titled ‘The Complete Imperial Singles’ . . . . a good primer for your collection.Erin Harpe & The Delta Swingers - Big Road

The new blues keeps coming and very welcome it is too. This week we chose a track from the newly released second album, ‘Moon Over Montgomery’, by multi-instrumentalists, The McKee Brothers, featuring a mighty impressive array of other top notch players from Los Angeles and Michigan.

There was a treat for those who like their blues smooth and relaxed, and it came from award winning Australian lady of the blues, Liza Ohlback. There’s plenty of variety on her latest album ‘Give You Hell’ and all well worth a listen, but one track really caught my ear . . . the very fine, ‘Until Then I’ll Suffer’. Not straying too far in style and feel, there was a taster of the 25th album by Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters, titled ‘Luckiest Man’ and a big thanks to Stony Plain Records for an early copy. We played ‘Ain’t That Loving You‘ with some lovely vocals from Diane Blue.

While we weren’t watching, time caught up with us. But, we were ready to play out with Australian Blues and Roots band, Bondi Cigars and ‘Albert’s Alley’ from their award winning album Down in the Valley. Then, as we collected up our records and CDs and got ready head for the door, we thanked everyone for their good company on this week’s show and left the invitation to return again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . .have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 29 October 2017