Archive for February, 2014

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, cheery greetings from the Grand Duchy where, the strong winds and rain seem to have passed and we’ve been visited by some very welcome sunshine recently. The days have been filled with some excellent gigs, some thoroughly enjoyable and overdue socialising with friendly faces. Our musical postman paid a few visits, laden with juicy gems for our listening pleasure and we even managed to cope with some business assignments that took on a life of their own. Although they cramped the time we usually have to pull together our cruising playlist, it all worked well in the end and we we’re in good spirits when we rolled out the Cruise Mobile for this week’s adventure.
Car 9
There were a few notable birthdays this week that encouraged us to do our own celebrations with a track or two. As a result, Johnny Winter, Paul Jones, Skip Battin and the late Rory Gallagher featured this week and apologies if we left out any others. We said a sad farewell this week to UK rock ‘n’ roller, Duffy Power. He left behind a fine catalogue of music and we chose ‘Little Boy Blue’ as our tribute.

Our rummaging in the Cruising Library also turned up an album by celebrated blues guitarist, Mike Bloomfield. He has featured in the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Electric Flag and in Bob Dylan’s band for some of his ground breaking electric recordings. But the album we found was some of Mike Bloomfield’s solo acoustic guitar work and included his fine version of ‘Blake’s Rag’ . . . . so we decided to share it with the Cruising Crew.

So, when Tuesday arrived with all the signs of Spring about it, we set off , as usual, with no particular place to go, but a pile of tasty treats for our musical journey. The whole thing got started in the good company of Little Rachel with a track from her 2005 ‘Cause I Feel Good’ album, called ‘Uh Uh Baby’ and it rolled on from there . . . . .

Cruising for the horizon . . . .Little Rachel
Ooh He’s Fine – Little Rachel
I’m Gonna Make You Cry – The Impacts
I’m Gonna Put A Watch On You – Ruby Dee
Hurry – Doris Troy
Good Lovin’ Man – Delores Hall
I’m Falling In Love With You – Little Joe Cook
This Heart Of Mine – The Artistics
Betty Jean – Skip & Flip
Beautiful Bodies – Siobhan O’Brien
Stealin’ Stealin’ – Memphis Jug Band
Ska Beat – Alton EllisBilly Fury - The Rocker
Blake’s Rag – Michael Bloomfield
Bang Bang – Jimmy Castor
Nothin’ Shakin’ (But The Leaves On The Tree) – Billy Fury
Little Boy Blue – Duffy Power

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
Something for Nothing – Jess & James with the J.J . Band

Cruising with the crew . . . .
We Ain’t Got Nothing Yet – The Blues Magoos
Gangster Of Love – Johnny Winter
Pretty Woman Of Mine – Rory GallagherMark Pontin Group - Days Of Destiny
Own It – The Mark Pontin Group
Until You Came Along – The Visitors
It’s Gonna Be Hard Times – Saundra Mallett & The Vandellas
Spanish Harlem Incident – The Byrds
California Dreamin’ – The Beach Boys
Waterloo Sunset – David Bowie
Cool Jerk – The Capitols
54321 – Manfred Mann
Swing & Rocket – Big Dani Perez & His R&B Band
Ain’t That Just Like A Woman – Lloyd Price

Now, our ‘Girls and Guitars’ feature, this week focused on Irish singer and guitarist Siobhan O’Brien. She also plays harmonica and can claim to have played with Donovan, Bob Dylan, and The Cranberries among others. Her recordings demonstrate her ability to play in many different styles, but we chose a single of hers from 2007 titled ‘Beautiful Bodies’ and it sounded good here.

The Cruising time machine was in evidence again this week and enabled us to travel back to 1928 for our scratchy blues selection. The song in question was ‘Stealin’ Stealin’, which has been recorded by many many people over the years, but we found what is reputed to be the first recording of the song. The first recording is attributed to the Memphis Jug Band and they recorded it at a session on September 15, 1928 in Memphis, featuring Will Shade on harmonica, Vol Stevens on acoustic guitar, Ben Ramey on kazoo and Jab Jones on vocals and jug.

As the familiar faces and places came into view we knew we were heading for home and to finish with a flourish, we chose Lloyd Price’s rocking version of ‘Ain’t That Just Like A Woman’ and we were naturally cautious is offering any further comment on that subject! But, as the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stop, we waved a cherry farewell and were ever hopeful that our playlist was all that was needed to entice you back again next week to go Cruising with The Commissioner. In the meantime, don’t forget . . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:
Well, the Grand Duchy has taken a fair old battering from the rain and the winds this past week and has caused us to sneak out furtively during the interludes or relative calm, but ready to rush back as the bad weather looked like returning again. But, whilst the tempest raged outside, we took the opportunity to put on the headphones and go a-sampling some new and familiar sounds, which was most relaxing and produced a whole batch of tracks that have now been added to our pending tray.

Cruising 45b Fortunately, some of the calm weather moments coincided with some social encounters with friendly faces, which proved to be thoroughly enjoyable. No gigs this week, but plenty to look forward to in the coming weeks and we’re counting down to the festival season and our return to some of our favourite events. Well, the feedback from the Cruising Crew has been quite lively lately and not without a few suggestions for our playlists.

Evidently, last week’s track by the Mississippi Sheiks was well received and their were some more suggestions that sent us rummaging in the Cruising Library to see if we could track down some of them. The spirits were with us and we discovered some good stuff indeed and we’ll share it with you over the weeks ahead.

We kicked off our cruise this week with one of the real characters of UK rock n roll, Wee Willie Harris. He was famed for his pink hair and high energy performances and he’s still going! We lined up his version of ‘Lollipop Mama and followed fast is a long time favourite from Louis Jordan, with Choo Choo Ch Boogie . . . . and the rest is here:

Cruising in good company . . . . . 
Wee willie harris Lollipop Mama – Wee Willie Harris
Choo Choo Ch Boogie – Louis Jordan
Rock Around The Clock – Hal Singer
All About Love – Garnet Mimms
Last Minute Miracle -The Shirelles
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys
Elenore – The Turtles
You Didn’t Have To Be So Nice – The Lovin’ Spoonful
You Were On My Mind – Susanna Hoffs
Country Boy Down In New Orleans – Snooks Eaglin
Let Your Yeah Be Yeah – The Pioneers

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
Breakin’ From A Jailhouse – The Hokum Clones

Jimi Hendrix & Wilson Pickett 1

. . . . and just who is that with Wilson Pickett?

Cruising with the crew . . . . .  
Walter’s Jump – Little Walter
Sunshine Day – Osibisa
Guajira – Santana
Race With The Devil – Gene Vincent
What Is This – David & The Embers
Spiggy Booker Back Door Jack & Me – Bob Saker
Starting The Hurt All Over Again – Brenda Holloway
Can’t Stop Now (Love Is Calling) – Tammy Montgomery
Band Of Gold – Freda Payne
This Old Heart Of Mine – The Isley Brothers
Come On Over To My Place – The Drifters
Next Time You See Me – Doug Sahm
Everybody Needs Somebody To Love – Wilson Pickett
I Can’t Go On – Fats Domino
Teenage Letter – Big Joe Turner

Well, we’ve enjoyed the feedback on the show and the exchanges with certain members of the Cruising Crew over the past week inspired the choice for our ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature. Our spotlight fell this time on American vocalist and guitarist, Susanna Hoffs who is probably best known as a member of The Bangles. She began playing the guitar in her teens and was an early fan of classic rock bands, but became really inspired by punk rock and formed a girl group that would later become the Bangles. We chose her version of a song previously recorded by US group We Five, which became a UK hit for Crispian St Peters . . . . ‘You Were On My Mind’.

Our scratchy blues choice this week was suggested by The Vikster when she visited us last week. It came from New Orleans guitarist and singer, Snooks Eaglin, He was a bit of a legend of New Orleans music, playing in a range of styles, with some comparing his vocal style to that of Ray Charles in the 50s. The Vikster chose one of his Arhoolie recordings called ‘Country Boy Down In New Orleans’.

We managed to include some Latin rock, some rockabilly, some ‘goodtime music’, as well as some fine soul and ‘real’ R&B tracks. But, whilst the road may go on forever, our time eventually ran out and we headed for home in the company of Big Joe Turner and ‘Teenage Letter’. As we parked up the Cruise Mobile for another week, we rather hoped you enjoyed our playlist and can be enticed back again next week. If so, we’ll call by for you in the Cruise Mobile, same time, same place next week, wita seat saved especially for you. But, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!

Let it roll . . . . .

Posted: February 11, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, just when we thought February might bring some better days, the winds and rain arrived in the Grand Duchy to keep our optimism in check.  We have fared better than many for sure and, undaunted by the disruption of the Tube services, we were out and about with friendly faces enjoying some socialising and a gig or two. One of which featured some fine Tex Mex music, followed by a 50s playlist from the resident DJ that went down well and it all proved to be an excellent night out. Indeed, it was a very social week, with a visit from The Vikster and some genial contacts with Johnny Alpha, The Spinmeister, Amigo, Miss Helen and the most esteemed Arfa Pinetop.cruisin12

There were a few birthdays this week, including Sheryl Crowe, Gene Vincent, Gerry Goffin, Bobby ‘Boris’ Pickett, Al Kooper and Barrett Strong.  We couldn’t fit them all into our playlist, but it did give us an excuse to celebrate with some  music from Al Kooper, (ex Blood Sweat & Tears, Bob Dylan’s band and Super Sessions with Mike Bloomfield). We also featured Barrett Strong, who was the first artist to record a hit for Motown Records  and went on to write many Motown hits for other artists.

With the Cruise Mobile tuned up nicely, we kicked off our cruise with something from Alex Harvey, who is remembered well by those who saw him on 31 May in 1976 in concert at the Charlton Athletic Football Ground and on the same bill were The Who and Little Feat, who came along next.

Cruising beyond the city limits . . . . .The Who at Charlton FC
Giddy Up A Ding Dong – Alex Harvey
Let It Roll – Little Feat
I Can’t Explain – The Who
Look What She’s Doing – Eddie & The Hot Rods
Is Anyone Goin’ To San Antone – The Texas Tornados
Where Were You When I Needed You – Al Kooper
I Don’t Make Promises (I Can’t Break) – Shannon Curfman
It’s Done Got Wet – Mississippi Sheiks
Monkey Man – Jazz Jamaica

Three From Me . . . . . with The Vikster
The Keys – Matt Duncan
Pencil Full Of Lead – Paulo Nutini
Happy – Pharrell WilliamsStormy Monday Blues

Cruisng in good company . . . .
A Night With Daddy G – The Church Street Five
I Cried – Tammy Montgomery
Belle – Al Green
This Is The Night – Terry Dene
Rock With The Caveman – Tommy Steele

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
Midnight Blues – Charlie Rich

Cruising for home . . . .
Spider Jiving – Andy Fairweather-Lowe
Stormy Monday Blues – Little Joe Cook
Misery – Barrett Strong
Be Bop Grandma – Solomon Burke
Let’s Rock ‘n’ Roll – The Cadets
Reet Petite – Jackie Wilson

As the familiar faces and places came into view we knew we were heading for home and to finish with a flourish, we chose something that still gets instant recognition and inspires plenty of rhythmic movement, judging by our Friday night out . . . . this was Jackie Wilson with his classic hit ‘Reet Petite’.

Well, as the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stop, we reached for our pristine white linen hankies to dab away the tears as we thought of another seven days before we could do it all again. But, we were ever hopeful that our playlist was all that was needed to entice you back again next week to go Cruising with The Commissioner. In the meantime, don’t forget . . . . . have fun!

Good as it gets . . . .

Posted: February 4, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, February arrived with the promise of longer and warmer days, but we’ll have to wait to see if it delivers on its promise. Meanwhile, we have been occupying ourselves with a new Cruise Mobile, some new technology and organising some trips for later in the year. Despite these distractions and the intrusion of some testing business activities, this week’s playlist did come together . . . . but a bit later than usual and, with great respect, we opened up with Philip Seymour Hoffman, as The Count, and his goodbye speech from ‘The Boat That Rocked’.
Cruising #194
Now, this week saw us visit a rather rustic music bar in Reading, called Milk . . . . . and the attraction was a night of vinyl music called Tracks & Grooves . . . . and amongst a playlist that ranged from soul to jazz to disco and even a bit of techno (which might have pleased our good pal Max Quirk ), we were surprised to hear Andre Williams’ ‘Cadillac Jack’ and we took the opportunity to did a copy out of the Cruising Library for your enjoyment too.

Last week we got the news that the Allman Brothers Band are retiring from touring at the end of the year. Gregg Allman said “45 years is enough and I want to do something else, anyway”. So, we thought we would play in full their classic track ‘Jessica’. Sadly, it may forever now conjure up the faces of the three aging hipsters driving cars on a cult TV show. . . . where the music is undoubtedly better than the show.

Well, our good pal The Majestic appeared with another Three From Me and he never disappoints with his choices, which were quite excellent. He came in a very sharp suit and raised speculation about perfectly pressed socks, underwear and hankie. But, when we guided him into Cruise Control and let him loose . . . . and it was truly great stuff, as you can hear for yourself.

This week, we’ve much enjoyed a great piece about The 5 Royales by Russ & Gary on their ‘Best Years Of Music’ blog. A great catalogue of recordings that may well have achieved greater recognition in later years than at the time they were issued. If you want more, check out this link to their website:

As Tuesday rolled around, we got the Cruise Mobile tuned up and turned out ready for our musical adventure and the playlist kicked off with evidence of a nudge from Russ & Gary with The 5 Royales and ‘I Could Love You’, followed by some real party spirit from Gary US Bonds . . . . and then we were up to full cruising speed.

Cruising for the horizon . . . . tee shirt 8b
I Could Love You – The 5 Royales
Quarter To Three – Gary US Bonds
Tore Up – Tommy La Beff
I’ll Mess You Up – The Cliques
Dance (Holes In Your Soles) – Ozz & The Sperlings
Call Me Anytime You Want Some Loving – Lorraine Ellison
How Can I Forget – Jimmy Walker
Cadillac Jack – Andre Williams
Sunshine Of Your Love – Orianthi
When Your Left Eye Gets To Jumping – Bo Carter
Sound of The Witchdoctors – The Mohawks
Three From Me  . . . . with The Majestic
Stop Shovin’ Me Around – The Delicates
Wayward Dream – Annette Poindexter
Lonely People Do Foolish Things – Judy Clay

Cruising down the highway . . . .
Jessica – The Allman Brothers Band
All Along The Watchtower – Bob Dylan
Portobello Road – Spectrum
Rave On – Buddy Holly
Come On Let’s Go – Ritchie Valens
Chantilly Lace – the Big Bopper
Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Morse Jerk – Lou Hoffner Trio Minus One
Cruising for home . . . .
Don’t Want No Woman – Magic Sam
Good As It Gets – Beth Hart
Since You’ve Been Gone – The Four Tops
Fever – Ronnie Dyson
Earthquake – Bobbi Lynn
Meet Me Down At Soulsville – Little Joe Cook

In the quieter moments of the week (just one or two), we have been reflecting on the anniversary of ‘the day music died’ and the responses to the recent passing of Phil Everly and Pete Seeger, which have rather underlined the surprising range and depth of their musical influences . . . . and rightly so. But the music gets taken forward by next generation artists like our ‘Girls & Guitars’ focus this week, singer and guitarist, Orianthi with her take on Cream’s ‘Sunshine Of Your Love’.

The Cruising time machine took us back to the 1930s for our scratchy blues record this week, which came from Bo Carter. He was one of the leading blues artists in the 30s, making some 110 recordings on his own and as a member of the famous Mississippi Sheiks. We chose one of Bluebird recordings, ‘When Your Left Eye Gets To Jumping’.

We finished with a flourish and a selection of floor fillers for the benefit of The Cruisettes. But, all too soon we had to head for home, with 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!