Archive for January, 2014

I can’t sit down . . . .

Posted: January 28, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, here’s hoping that this week finds you relaxed, in good humour and ready for another Cruising with The Commissioner adventure. Although the evenings here in the Grand Duchy still arrive early and with a chill, we do our best to ensure there is always a hot playlist for our weekly cruises and some cosy comfort to take us across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres.
Cruising #203
The business commitments in the diary this week have not distracted us from enjoying the social events, including a visit to Rye, where we have enjoyed bad weather on more than one occasion. The place has some redeeming features, not least a quaint hotel with cosy, comfortable rooms and excellent food. But the real treat is that immediately across the road from the hotel is a most remarkable vinyl record shop called Grammar School Records (because it occupies a very old school building). It is packed with goodies and Geoff is on hand to ensure you never leave disappointed or empty handed . . . . and we didn’t! Out of the jammed racks, we lifted some excellent albums, including fine examples of 70s rock from Don Nix, Jefferson Starship and The Doobie Brothers. . . . . all of which we sampled for this week’s show.

We were all geared up to celebrate the birthday this week of a favourite son of New Orleans, Huey ‘Piano’ Smith. He’s still going strong and we picked out one of his Ace recordings with The Clowns, ‘Well I’ll Be John Brown’. There were few ‘suggestions’ from the Cruising Crew, which caused a flurry of activity, as our search in the Cruising Library emphasised the need for a radical revisit of the shelves and their contents, to restore the order and sequence of the gems they hold. Although, the many piles of CDs and records around Cruise Control have provided many random delights, we did manage to restore some semblance of order as Tuesday night rolled around and we kicked off with ‘I Can’t Sit Down’ a 1959 Carlton release from Marie & Rex, who happened to be Marie Knight and Rex Garvin . . . . and what followed was good stuff too . . . . as you can see:

Cruising for the horizon . . . . Tee shirt - Advisory
I Can’t Sit Down – Marie & Rex
Gilee – Sonny Spencer & The Satisfiers
Give It Up – Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams & His Orchestra
Well I’ll Be John Brown – Huey ‘Piano’ Smith & The Clowns
Sausages, Beans, Onions & Gravy – The Deep Sea Jivers
How Many Nights – Bobby Sheen
Talk To Me – Jean Du Shon
I’m So Glad – Robert Neal
What Can I Do – Billy Prophet
That’s When The Tears Start – The Blossoms
Help Me – Chantel McGregor
Wild Fire – Papa Lightfoot
Wherever I Lay My Hat – Cornel Campbell

Killer Diller Korner  . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Hey Mae – Doug & Rusty Kershaw

Cruising in good company . . . . .
Arnold Layne – Pink Floyd
Saideir – Santana (featuring Samuel Rosa)
Skyrider – Don Nix
Play On Love – Jefferson Starship
Jesus Is Just Alright – The Doobie Brothers
Lowdown In Lodi – Freddie King
Travellin’ Band – Elton John
Bad Moon Rising – The Holmes Brothers
I Put A Spell On You – Manfred Mann
Lock Up Your Secretaries – Frankie Miller
Yum Yum – Joe Tex
Do Lord – Jackie Wilson

Our ‘Girls & Guitars’ spotlight fell on blues guitarist and singer, Chantel McGregor, who’s on our gig list soon and has gained some worthy recognition by winning UK blues guitarist and vocalist awards recently. We chose her take on the old Sonny Boy Williamson number, ‘Help Me’, as a fine example of her talents and followed on with some scratchy blues from blues singer and harmonica player, Papa Lightfoot. We went back to one of his instrumental recordings from 1955 and a single release he cut for Savoy records down in Atlanta, Georgia, called ‘Wild Fire’ . . . . and it shows off his harp playing talents rather well.

When time ran out, we turned for home and arrived back safe and sound, just in time to park up the Cruise Mobile for another week, during which we’ll be occupying our time now tidying up Cruise Control and thinking about some juicy gems for our next playlist. So, if you enjoyed our cruising playlist this week, perhaps we can look forward to some more of your good company next week, when we’ll be happy to call by for you in the Cruise Mobile, with a seat especially for you . . . .  just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then  . . . . . have fun!

Better watch out . . . .

Posted: January 21, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the sun has made a most welcome return to the Grand Duchy this past week, although it has been chased away on occasions by dark clouds and a few downpours. But, it was sufficient to raise our spirits and our general well-being was much encouraged by some cheery encounters with friendly faces that we haven’t seen for a while, including our good pals Peter and Diane. We thoroughly enjoyed our evening with them and their tales of their recent adventures, cruising through Arizona, New Mexico and beyond. Along the way they spotted a rather fine vinyl copy of Al Wilson’s 1973 album ‘Weighing In’ and generously donated it to the Cruising Library. So, we didn’t miss the opportunity to choose a track to include in this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.
Cruising #204
There were a few birthdays to celebrate with Mick Taylor, Barbara Lynn and Robert Palmer, as well as a sad farewell to Freddie Fingers Lee, whose frantic rock ‘n’ roll piano playing has been part of the UK rock scene for many years. We played his recording of ‘I Gotta New Love’ as our respectful tribute.

This week we heard from DJ Leyton Rocks, Joe Duckworth, Johnny99, Lil-Sis and Arfa Pinetop and, who knows, we might be getting hearing from them again soon with some music choices of their own. Our choices this week had a few suggestions from members of the Cruising Crew, which just proves that we do listen to your feedback and you’re very welcome to give us some more on our website, our facebook page or by email. Meanwhile, we have been busy organising our social diary and expanding our gig-list for the months ahead . . . . and it’s looking good.

So, we were well prepared when Tuesday rolled around at last and we offered very cheery greetings to one and all, along with the promise of a rather fine playlist full of some of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. The Cruise Mobile was purring gently, when we hit the road with The Checkers and their 1953 King recording of ‘You Never Had It So Good’ . . . . and it just got better and better!

Cruising down the road apiece . . . .
You Never Had It So Good – The CheckersTee shirt - vinyl frontier
Snake Eyes – Alvin Tyler
Yeah Man – Sam Cooke
Apron Strings – Billy ‘The Kid’ Emerson
Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-Yo – Carl Perkins
Who Do You Love – Jo Ann & Troy
Better Watch Out – Gwen Owens
Seven Day Lover – James Fountain
Nature Boy – The Shields
Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’) – Barbara Lynn
Mr Down Child – Sonny Boy Williamson
I’m Your Puppet – Jimmy London
Tremble – Malcolm Dodds & The Tune Drops

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Tired Of Trying, Bored With Lying, Scared Of Dying – Manfred Mann

Cruising with the crew . . . . .
Let’s Go – The Routers
Snowy Wood – Mick Taylor with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
Born On The Bayou – Al Wilson
Giving Yourself Away – Vinegar Joe
I Knew The Bride – Status Quo
Johnny B. Goode – The Balham Alligators
Pretty Flamingo – The Everly Brothers
I Gotta New Love – Freddie ‘Fingers’ Lee
Don’t Throw Your Love Away – Len Barry
Poor Unfortunate Me – J.J. Barnes
I Can’t Hold On – Lorraine Chandler
Wild Country Wine – Roy Young

Well, The Cruisettes were in evidence for some of the soul tracks, demonstrating their dangerous dancing, which leaves very little ‘safe space’ in Cruise Control, but we emerged unscathed and they even appeared for our ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature, when they heard Barbara Lynn and her song, ‘Oh Baby (We’ve Got A Good Thing Goin’)’.

We weren’t sure if our scratchy blues choice was scratchy enough this week, but my copy of the 45 certainly did, probably because it suffered some abuse during a road accident on my way back from Dj-ing at a London gig way back when. The item in question was Sonny Boy Williamson’s Chess single, ‘Mr Down Child’, a song he recorded several times in his career, including a live version with The Yardbirds.

Well, the finish with a flourish we had Roy Young  bring us home safe and sound from our cruise, leaving just enough time to park up the Cruise Mobile and start thinking about a few ‘toons’ for next week’s playlist. This is an ‘act of faith’ in the hope that if you enjoyed this week’s choices and might be persuaded to join us, same time, same place, next week . . . . when we’ll call by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you . . . .  so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . . have fun!

I want that . . . . .

Posted: January 14, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, this week has been lively, with plenty of social encounters and even the business encounters didn’t distract us from enjoying the days. We enjoyed some good music programmes on TV this week, including British rock ‘n’ roll, American blues and Northern Soul. These added to our wish list with some sought after vinyl and CDs and a few more welcome visits by our musical postman, who has already excelled himself over the recent weeks, bringing us a stack of good stuff for our playlists. Cruising #193

It has also been a busy week for music-related birthdays and we managed to find a few tracks to celebrate with the birthday boys.

Last week we played something by Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams for a new member of the Cruising Crew, who we only knew as Thirty Five, who has since revealed herself as Paul Williams’ grand daughter, Lisa. She suggested playing a few other tracks, including Paul Williams’ recording of ‘Alcohol’, which we were very pleased to do.

As Tuesday night arrived, we rolled out the Cruise Mobile and got up to cruising speed with Pee Wee Kingsley & Sugar Pie De Santo, with their Music City 45, ‘Flippin’ & Floppin’’ . . . . and there was more . . . .

Cruising for the countryside . . . . Tee shirt - cruising cake
Flippin’ & A-Floppin’ – Pee Wee & Sugar Pie
21 – The Spiders
Witchcraft – Hi Fi & The Roadburners
I Like It Like That – The Five Royales
Alcohol – Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams & His Orchestra
You Got Me Dizzy – Billy Fury
Sweet & Lovely – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
What Would I Do – The Superiors
I Really Love You – The Tomangoes
I’m Not Strong Enough – The Four Perfections
I Gotta Go Now – Rex Garvin & The Mighty Cravers
Have You Ever Seen The Rain – Joan Jett
Right String, Wrong Yo-Yo – Piano Red
Run Joe – Stranger Cole & The Baba Brooks Band

Killer Diller Korner  . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Commanche – The Revels

Cruising with the crew . . . . .
Blowing Free – Wishbone Ash
I Ain’t Superstitious – The Jeff Beck Group
Warming Up The Band – Heads, Hands & Feet
Mr Moonlight – Dr Feelgood & The Interns
Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Geraint Watkins & The Dominators
Livin’ Lovin’ Wreck – Jimmy Page
Big Town Playboy – Angela Strehli
Empty Heart – Thee Midnighters
I Want That – Bobby Hendricks
For This I Thank You – Gino Parks
Request Of A Fool – The Downbeats

We took another step to expanding our Girls & Guitars list, which this week featured Joan Jett. She became a founding member of girl group The Runaways and went on to pursue a solo career and we chose a track from her 1990 album ‘The Hit List’ . . . . and her cover of the Credence Clearwater Revival hit ‘Have Your Ever Seen The Rain’.

There were a few gems for the blues enthusiasts this week, including our dose of scratchy blues, which featured a 1950 recording by Piano Red . . . . who in later life reinvented himself as ‘Dr Feelgood’ but we played his version of ‘Right String Baby, But The Wrong Yo-Yo’.

As the sands of time were running out on our cruise, we cued up the first and last Motown appearance for a group called the Downbeats, with a fine piece of up-tempo R&B called ‘Request Of A Fool’, which brought us home safe and sound for another week.

As we parked up the Cruise Mobile. Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes skipped off to the after show party, leaving us hoping that you enjoyed our cruising playlist this week,  . . . .  and if you did, then we’ll be happy to call by for you, same time, same place,  . . . with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!

I gotta go . . . .

Posted: January 7, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, we arrived for our first Cruising with The Commissioner of the new year and in very good spirits to pick up where we left off in 2013. As always, we arrived in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for each of the Cruising Crew, although we were quite understanding if anyone wanted to jog alongside as part of their new fitness regime.Cruising #201

As part of our new year’s resolution, we have been doing a bit of a tidying up around Cruise Control and attempted (falteringly) to bring order out of chaos, but we were distracted by the preparations for our review of the many highlights of the show in the past year. So, plenty of great musical moments from our Three From Me guests and our good pal Johnny Alpha. In the event, it was a real treat to sit back and relax and listen to the stories and the excellent tracks again.

Sadly, the year was barely started when we got the news of Phil Everly’s passing, which stirred memories for many, including yours truly. So, we dug out an Everly’s 45 to remind us of his legacy.

But, we kicked off our new year cruise with The Big Dani Perez R&B Band and ‘Swing Rocket’ and we kept up the pace with another jump jive instrumental from Paul Hucklebuck Williams and his band and their 1952 recording ‘The Thin Man’ . . . . .

Cruising into 2014 . . . . 
Swing & Rocket – The Big Dani Perez R&B Band
The Thin Man – The Paul ‘Hucklebuck’ Williams Band
Tell It Like It Is – Eddie Bo  Carry on cruising
I Gotta Go – Trampled Under Foot
Am I Right Or Wrong – Son House

Three From Me . . . . review
Sail On Sailor – The Beach Boys (from The Shake)
Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob Dylan (from The Spinmeister)
Heat Treatment – Graham Parker & The Rumour (from Johnny99)
All Or Nothing – The Small Faces (from Arfa Pinetop)
Wonderous Place – Billy Fury (from Mrs TC)
Jet Set Junta – The Monochrome Set (from Max Quirk)
Touching Me – The Ovations (from Mr T)
Human – The Ad Libs (from The Majestic)
Valerie – Revolvin’  Door (from Lil-Sis)
The Spider & the Fly – The Rolling Stones (from Joe Duckworth)
I Just Caught A Face – The Basement (from The Auburn Phantom)
Find Out What’s Happening – Tiffany & The Thoughts
The Way Things Used To Be – Magnetic Morning (from The Spongeman)
Boo Hoo Hoo – No Sinner (from The Vikster)

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Istanbul – Bruno & The Gladiators

Cruising into the new year . . . .  
Gone Gone Gone – The Everly Brothers
Turn On Your Love Light – Jerry Lee Lewis

Our first Girls and Guitars feature of 2014 focused on Danielle Schnebelen who provides lead vocals and guitar for Kansas City based group, Trampled Under Foot. We picked out a track from their album ‘The Philadelphia Sessions’, ‘I Gotta Go’, and we didn’t forget our scratchy blues. This week it featured a legend of early acoustic blues, Son House. We chose a live version of a song we’ve heard from others, but this was his take on ‘Candy Man’.

So, we started the new year as we mean to continue, with good company, excellent music and some welcome guests along to the way. If that sounds good to you . . . . then perhaps we can entice you back again next week for another adventure through some of the best in rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. All being well, we’ll be tuned up and tuned in to call by for you, same time, same place, next week with a seat saved especially for you in the Cruise Mobile. In the meantime . . . have fun!