Archive for December, 2013

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, from amidst the festive decorations in Cruise Control we offered the most cheery of welcomes to one and all, for this, the last Cruising with The Commissioner show of 2013. All the usual suspects arrived, just in time to jump aboard our festively bedecked Cruise Mobile and to join us on our adventure through some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. So, since it was Christmas eve, we decided to put together anHave fun in 2014 ‘alternative’ seasonal selection, which would be nothing remotely like you hear on most other radio shows at this time, or in the department stores or supermarkets.

For those who are curious about such things, we were dressed up in our festive finery for this week’s show and trying not to disturb the rather towering selection of ‘alternative’ seasonal gems, which we gather for your discerning approval. Mr Merlot arrived bursting with bon homie and The Cruisettes brought a few bottles of chilled bubbly and some very tasty pastries. So, we were all set for a very merry rockin’ good Christmas.

Our good pal Johnny Alpha took some time out of his busy schedule to bring us another gem from his collection, when we stopped by at Killer Diller Korner and we kicked off our festive frolics with Mabel Scott & The Maxwell Davis Orchestra and a much covered favourite ‘Boogie Woogie Santa Claus . . . .  and there was more in store:

Let’s Boogie . . . .
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – Mabel Scott & The Maxwell Davis Orchestra
Christmas – Smokey Wilson let's be naughty
Santa Claus Baby – The Voices
I’m The Real Santa – The Refreshments
Santa Was A Skinhead – The Midtown Boys
It’s Christmas Time – Status Quo
Dig That Crazy Santa Claus – Brian Setzner
Hey! Santa Claus – The Moonglows
Santa Is Rockin’ – The Boppers
Run Rudolph Run – Sheryl Crow
Bring That Cadillac Back – Harry ‘Fats’ Crafton
Santa Claus Is Ska-ing To Town – The Granville Williams Orchestra
Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Tecumsah – The Spacewalkers

Cruising with Santa . . . . .
Merry Christmas Baby – Otis Redding
She’ll Be My Everything For Christmas – Los Lonely Boys
Please Come Home For Christmas – Johnny Winter
Christmas Celebration – B B King
I Hear Jingle Bells – Freddy King
Christmas Comes But Once A Year – Albert King
Jolly Old St Nicholas – Chicago
Santa Loves To Boogie – Asleep At The Wheel
All I Want For Christmas – Huey Piano Smith & The Clowns
I Want A Present For Christmas – Doc Bagby Orchestra (featuring JB Summers)
Father Christmas – The Kinks
Santa’s Gonna Rock – The Refreshments
A Very Merry Rockin’ Good Christmas – The Rockabilly Boogie Band

We gave a respectful end of year nod to our good pal The Auburn Phantom who originally suggested having a ‘girls and guitars’ feature on the show and this week we chose an appropriately festive item this week from singer and guitarist, Sheryl Crow. This was her take on that perennial Christmas rocker from the pen of Chuck Berry. . . . ‘Run Rudolph Run’.

We even managed something seasonal for our scratchy blues choice this week. It featured Harry ‘Fats’ Crafton, who was one of the lesser known guitarists to come out Philadelphia in the post-war era. He cut records for a string of independent labels with a guitar sound that was that is now regarded as giving an early taster of rock ‘n roll. We pulled out his seasonal 50s blues number ‘Bring That Cadillac Back’.

Well we had a great time in finding the tracks for this week’s playlist and we very much hope that there were more than a few in there to tantalise your musical taste buds. So, Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes are beside me here at Cruise Control to wish you some splendid festivities over the next few days and a very good new year, . . . . and there won’t be a Cruising with The Commissioner show next week, as we’re all off to New Year’s Eve bash in another place. . . .  and perhaps you are too.

So till we go Cruising with The Commissioner in 2014 . . . . remember . . . .  have fun!

Into something good . . . .

Posted: December 17, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Cruising #64Well, it’s getting to look a lot like Christmas around here and we’re enjoying every moment. The festive decorations are up and the Cruise Control tree seems to have plenty of artistically wrapped presents around it. So, we looked out some suitably fine items for our latest cruising playlist . . . . and we rather surprised ourselves with some real ‘finds’ this week.

Well,  it must be the festive decorations around Cruise Control that attract the attentions of certain of the Cruising Crew, because this week we had a fleeting visit from The Vikster. She snaffled a few mince pies and a glass mulled wine before leaving us her latest Three From Me, including a ride in a pink Cadillac !!!

As always, we called by in the Cruise Mobile (this week, festively bedecked) and with a seat saved especially for you, just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. We were tuned up and ready to head off across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres and it all started with a rocking Mel Robbins and ‘Save It’, followed fast by a Fats Domino classic.

Cruising with the crew . . . . .   1463029_3684812336279_64954052_n
Save It – Mel Robbins
I’m Ready – Fats Domino
Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Dave Edmunds
Hurtin’ Inside – Brook Benton
Coal Miner – Nappy Brown
All By Myself – Roy Hall
Try My Love Again – Bobby Moore & The Rhythm Aces
Getting To The Point – Dave ‘Baby’ Cortez
Mama Said – Dusty Springfield
Fever – Helen Shapiro
Sidetracked – Debbie Davies
All By Myself – Big Bill Broonzy
The Whip – The Ethiopians
Three From Me  . . . . . with The Vikster
Boo Hoo Hoo – No Sinner
Pink Cadillac – Bruce Springsteen
Iron Lion Zion – Bob Marley
Cruising through the city . . . .
Saideira – Santana (feat. Samuel Rosa)
Waiting For A Saturday Night – Doctor Feelgood
Man Smart, Woman Smarter – Geraint Watkins
Doctor Rhythm – Dave Clark Five

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Mr Man – The Lyrics
Cruising for home . . . . .
Rain, The Park & Other Things – The Cowsills
Keep A Hold Of What You Got Now – The Shots
I’m Into Something Good – The Hicksville Bombers
The Coffee Grind – Hank Ballard
Stupid Cupid – Connie Francis
The Chicken & The Bop – Lloyd Price

This week’s ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature focused on Los Angeles born blues guitarist and singer, Debbie Davies. During her career, she’s been the featured guitarist in several female based bands and for several years, she was also a member of Albert Collins’ band, the Icebreakers. She has an impressive catalogue of recordings and we chose a track from her 1993 ‘Picture This’ album and her take on Freddy King’s instrumental, ‘Sidetracked’.

Our rummage amongst the scratchy blues turned up something that was suggested by our good pal Arfa Pinetop. This was an early recording from Big Bill Broonzy, who copyrighted more than 300 songs during his lifetime. We picked out Big Bill’s 1941 Okeh recording with Washboard Sam providing percussion and background vocals on ‘All By Myself’.

We almost lost track of time, but Lloyd Price  brought us home safe and sound from our cruise and just in time to park up the Cruise Mobile for another week, while we start pulling together our Xmas eve Cruising playlist . . . . and there are plenty festive gems to bring on the party spirit

So, if you enjoyed our cruising playlist this week, perhaps we can look forward to some more of your good company next week, when once again we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . .  have fun!

Drive my car . . . .

Posted: December 10, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the days of 2013 are fast disappearing and perhaps you too are basking in the warm glow of satisfaction, assured that all your seasonal shopping is done, the gifts are wrapped and the cards sent. If not, then be warned, this is the time of year when it seems the ditherers of the nation gather in slow moving, hesitant and ponderous throngs around the shops, convinced that endlessly sharing their indecision with others, often in mind numbing detail, is satisfaction itself.
Cruising #200
We know this is always a busy time for our musical postman and these past days, he has made more than a few visits to Cruise Control and has taken a few precious moments for some cheery chatter as he stopped with a few welcome additions to the Cruising Library.

The social diary has included some delights this week and our giglist featured the enthusiastic Mike Sanchez and his band. He always puts on a good show and this was no exception. He was rocking a jammed 100 Club in London’s West End with some vintage 50s R&B and a truly high energy performance. Great music and a great band, so we thought we should include his version of the John Fred & The Playboys number ‘Shirley’ . . . . which is what we did!

With meticulous care, we prepared for our weekly adventure, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres and we set off with some rocking New Orleans R&B from Little Richard, who was celebrating his 81st birthday this week . . . .

Cruising for the horizon . . . . .
Ready Teddy – Little Richard
Betty Harris – Mojo Hannah
Shimmy Shimmy – Bobby Freeman
Strong Love – The Spencer Davis Group
Watch Your Step – Eddie Angel & The Hi-Rizers
I’ve Been Hurt By Love – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Self Discipline – Zoot Money & The Big Roll Band
Angels Watching Over Me – Pookie Hudson & The Spaniels
She Just Wants To Dance –  Gaye Adegbalola
Motherless Child – Barbecue Bob
Try My Love Again – Shary-An
Free Nelson Mandela – Afro Sound Machine

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Cut You A Loose – Ricky Allen

Cruising with the crew . . . . .
For Your Love – Fleetwood Mac
Curly – The Move
Never An Everyday Thing – Granny’s Intentions
Drive My Car – Professor R.J. Ross
Gimme Little Sign – Memphis Black
Shirley – Mike Sanchez & His Band
Marie – Otis Spann
It’s A Mean Old World – Otis Rush & His Band
Dum Dum – Brenda Lee
Witchcraft – The Floorettes
I Got A Man – Annie Williams
Grandma’s House – Chris Kenner
My Love – Hayward Lee
Rocket To the Moon – Travelling Brothers

This week we dug out another much cherished compilation album from the shelves of the Cruising Library. This time the album was called ‘Chicago The Blues Today’ and picked out a fine piece of piano blues from Otis Spann and another from Otis Rush and his band . . . . and it brought back a memory or two.

Well, this week’s Girls & Guitars feature focused on singer and guitarist, Gaye Todd, who was born and raised in Fredericksburg, Virginia and started moonlighting from her teaching job to become a full-time musician and founding member of Saffire – the Uppity Blues Women.

Our adventure into scratchy blues this week featured one Robert Hicks, better known as Barbecue Bob. He was an early American Piedmont blues musician who recorded some 68 sides during his career. We picked something he recorded in 1927 and covered by Eric Clapton in 1994 . . . . . ‘Motherless Child’.

Even though there was plenty of road ahead and many more records to play, we were beaten by the clock on this week’s cruising adventure. So, as the Cruise Mobile rolled gently to a stop, we set about collecting up the records and CDs and putting them away. If it all goes to plan, we’ll be rummaging deep over the next couple of weeks for some seasonal tracks for our Xmas eve special, but, as usual, we’ll be back next week to call by for you, same time, same place. In the meantime, why not leave us some feedback and comments here on our website. . . . . but, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!

Back in a Cadillac . . . .

Posted: December 3, 2013 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, amidst all the commercial hype, there seems to be just a stirring of genuine seasonal goodwill and we’ve heard from many of the Cruising Crew over the past week, which has added to the good cheer around here. The Spinmeister was sharing his ‘Dylan in New York’ adventure, Joe Duckworth was swapping cruising stories and plans for a world cruise, Phil Tyler was showing off his new guitar and The Vikster stopped by with an extravagant present and plans for a Three From Me. In the midst of all this, The Cruisettes have been keen to see the festive decorations going up around Cruise Control, so there will be plenty of activity around the place the days ahead. We may be fast running out of days in 2013, but it hasn’t deflected us from our rummaging in the Cruising Library for some great music that we know you expect to hear on Cruising with The Commissioner. Cruising #198

We took the opportunity to mark the birthdays this week of John Mayall and Berry Gordy. We just couldn’t let Mr Gordy’s pass without playing something from the vast Motown catalogue. On this occasion, we let our fingers do some walking along the shelves of the Cruising Library and we picked out the very first Motown record, which appeared on Berry Gordy’s Rayber record label and this is now a rare and much sought after 45 titled ‘I Can’t Concentrate’ by Wade Jones.

This past week we caught a London gig by Vancouver based rock/blues band ‘No Sinner’, who were making their London debut appearance and put on a first class show. They are fronted by a quite exceptional vocalist, Colleen Rennison, who has an impressive vocal range from sweet soulful through to raunchy powerhouse. We decided to pick out something from the band that showed a more soulful style, ‘Love Is A Madness’.

Our cheery postman continues to call by with the occasional juicy gems for the Cruising Library and we’re always pleased to hear from the Cruising Crew with comments and suggestions for our future playlists. Some of them were in our thoughts as we started pulling together another selection of rock, soul and real rhythm and blues for this week’s adventure. We kicked off with an early hit from The Isley Brothers and their 1959 RCA single, ‘Respectable’ and we followed on fast with Little Joe Cook and his enticing invitation to ‘Meet Me Down At Soulsville’ . . . . so we did!

Cruising with the Crew
Respectable – The Isley Brothers                                            Tee shirt - Dive my car
Meet Me Down At Soulsville – Little Joe Cook
Must Be Love – Tommy Williams
Barking Up The Wrong Tree – Freddy King
Just A Little Bit Of Your Love – The Fortune Tellers
Hurry On Back To Love – Johnny Kidd
Everything’s Alright – The Mojos
Strawberry Shortcake – Jay & The Techniques
Believe It – Marie Hanninen
I Got Mine – Pink Anderson
Rough Rider – Lloydie & The Lowbites
Love Is A Madness – No Sinner

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
I Want To Love You Baby – Peggy Scott & Jo Jo Benson

Cruising with friends . . . . .
Long Way From Home – Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimmy Vaughan & Double Trouble
Back In A Cadillac – Coco Montoya
Vanishing Girl – The Dukes Of Stratosphear
Never An Everyday Thing – The Radiators From Space
The Jungle Speaks – Jay Epae
I Can’t Concentrate – Wade Jones
Don’t Blame The Children – Junior Walker & The Allstars
How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – Marvin Gaye
Soulful Dress – Maria Muldaur
Black Diamond – Roy Brown

Our adventure into some scratchy blues this week was encoraged by our good pal Arfa Pinetop, who suggested we might turn our spotlight on Pink Anderson. He was born in South Carolina and having learnt to play the guitar, he used to entertain the crowds at various medicine shows. He became a pretty good blues singer and guitarist and gained a reputation as an exponent of the Piedmont school of blues and ragtime. He is perhaps to be remembered not only for his music, but also for being the inspiration for Syd Barrett to choose the name for his new group. It was Syd Barrett who noticed the names of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council in the liner notes by Paul Oliver on a 1962 Blind Boy Fuller album and decided upon the now famous name Pink Floyd.

For our Girls & Guitars slot this week, we focused on Finnish multi-instrumentalist, Maria Hanninen. As well as playing guitar, bass, keyboards, drums and violin, she writes her own songs and we chose one of them from her 2009 album called ‘Not Only But Also’, a slower bluesy number called ‘Believe It’.

Now this past week brought the sad news of the passing of actor and musician Lewis Collins, who some will remember from his TV role in The Professionals, others with longer memories may recall that earlier in his career he was the bass player for UK band The Mojos. So, we needed little persuasion to play The Mojos’ big hit ‘Everything’s Alright’, as a tribute to Lewis Collins

In the end, it was Roy Brown who brought us home safe and sound from our cruise and, apart from the tidying up after the Cruisettes dangerous dancing, there was a little extra work in store, because we were anticipating putting up the festive decorations around Cruise Control and perhaps, not surprisingly, Mr Merlot has insisted on taking charge of hospitality. Hopefully, we’ll be ready for some more of your good company next week, when we’ll be happy to call by for you in the Cruise Mobile, same time, same place, to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. So, until then . . . . have fun!