Archive for March, 2014

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, here we are with March running out fast and some good weather to encourage us to wind the windows down on the Cruise Mobile and turn the volume up. Amongst the pleasures of the week was hearing from our good pals DJ Leyton Rocks, Johnny Alpha, Jazzy G and The Vikster, all of whom have contributed tasty treats for our future playlists. Meanwhile, our attentions have been turning to preparations for forthcoming journeys to Europe and America and tying up the final details. Another project in the planning is the up-coming third anniversary show for Cruising with The Commissioner. So, if you’ve got any suggestions for our anniversary playlist, or anecdotes to share, get in touch.

Now, one of highlights of the week was catching up with the 2014 Blues Caravan organised by Ruf Records. In the past, the Blues Caravan has boasted some talented artists, who have gone on to greater success . . . .and this year’s artists were undoubtedly keeping up that tradition. The show kicked off and finished with Christina Skjolberg, Albert Castiglia and Laurence Jones on stage together and then in individual showcases in between. A very fine night it was too, with a good deal of stomping and cheering from the crowd at the end of the show. We’ve heard Christina Skjolberg on the show before, so this time our playlist included a track from Laurence Jones with the title track from his current album, ‘Temptation’ and a track from Albert Castiglia from his debut album ‘Burn’ that shows off his guitarwork and vocals rather well.

We launched our cruise with a most frantic welcome from Little Richard and yours truly and went rolling on down the road with Bob Seger and where we’ll end up you never can tell !!

Cruising where we please . . . . Laurence Jones
Hey Hey Hey Hey – Little Richard
C’est La Vie – Bob Seger
Come On Home – Louis ‘Blues Boy’ Jones
Trickle Trickle – The Videos
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
Fever – Patti Drew
What’s Wrong – James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford
I Can’t Hear You No More – Betty Everett
Let Love Come Between Us – James & Bobby Purify
Wondrous Place – Jimmy Jones
Tell Me How Do You Feel – Billy Fury
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Francesca De FaziAlbert Castiglia
Falling Down Blues – Furry Lewis
My Boy Lollipop – Barbie Gaye

Killer Diller Korner  . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Harpsichord Shuffle – Wynder K Frog

Cruising on down the road . . . .
Back Seat ’38 Dodge – Opus 1
What Am I Without You – Clockwork Orange
Temptation – Laurence Jones
No One To Blame – Albert Castiglia
Hey – Barbara Mercereli
Michael (The Lover) – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Pink Champagne – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
You Can’t Sit Down – The Phil Upchurch Combo
Shock To The System – Eli Paperboy Reed
Let Me Know – Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker

This week our Girls & Guitars spotlight fell on Italian, Francesca De Fazi, whose style has been compared to Bonnie Raitt and Janis Joplin . . . . and we chose a track from her 2002 live album called ‘Blues Dues’ and her rather excellent take on ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’. The scratchy blues aficionados got their fix in the form of Furry Lewis and his 1927 Chicago recording of ‘Falling Down Blues’.

We turned for home and completed our cruise in fine style with some high energy R&B from Eli Paperboy Reed, followed by Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker and their 1958 Class recording ‘Let Me Know’. Before we knew it,  we were home safe and sound from our cruise and already thinking about how to pass the next seven days before we can do it again. So, if you’ll be there, we’ll be here, with a seat saved especially for you in the Cruise Mobile. Just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . until then . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, it has been a week packed with plenty of travel, some notable gigs and some very enjoyable social events . . . . and the diary seems to be filling up further for the next month or so too. The sunshine has encouraged some al fresco quaffing and scoffing on the South terrace here at Cruise Control and the folks around the Grand Duchy seem to have become much brighter and cheerier, as a result. The sunshine filled the weekenCruising 36d and gave a real boost to our visit to the annual Country2Country festival. Most of the music would be out of place in our Cruising playlist, but the Dixie Chicks were pure joy and Raintown were stunning .

This past week included a number of birthdays for music people that have featured on our playlists here, such as blues guitarist and singer Sam ‘Lightnin’ Hopkins, Wilson Pickett, Sly Stone, Ry Cooder and John Sebastian . . . . . and, if he had lingered longer, Leonard Chess would have been celebrating too.

Despite the busy schedule, we found the time to rummage in the Cruising Library to pull together our Tuesday night playlist and there was a pleasant reminder of past delights when we re-discovered an Elektra sampler album called ‘What’s Shakin’’. It arrived in the library shortly after its release in 1967 and proved to be a bit of a collectors items, since it included tracks that weren’t available elsewhere and didn’t appear again until many years later. We selected early tracks by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, the Lovin’ Spoonful and a specially assembled UK studio group that were dubbed Eric Clapton and The Powerhouse. Good stuff indeed!

So, while the spirits were with us, we set off on our cruise with Leon Russell and a song called ‘I Put A Spell On You’, but not the song of the same name that we know so well, then Rufus Thomas gave us his take on ‘Rocket 88’ and it all rolled on from there . . . . !

Cruising for the border . . . . Christina Skjolberg
I Put A Spell On You – Leon Russell
Rocket 88 – Rufus Thomas
Mr Blues – Damita Jo & The Merry Melody Singers
Sorry About That – Mable John
Backfield In Motion – Mel & Tim
Girl Watcher – The O’Kaysions
Midnight In New Orleans – Long John Baldry
Don’t Let me Be Misunderstood – Nina Simone
Close The Door – Christina Skjolberg
Eyesight To The Blind – The Larksmother tucker
Montego Bay – Freddie Notes & The Rudies

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Fi-Yi Dance – Soulful Two

Cruising with a warm breeze . . . . 
Times Are Changing – Mother Tucker’s Yellow Duck
Whatcha Gonna Do About It – The Small Faces
Rosalyn – The Pretty Things
Start Me Up – Beverley Skeete
Crazy ‘Bout An Automobile – Ry Cooderwhat's shakin'
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl – Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Good Time Music – Lovin’ Spoonful
Crossroads – Eric Clapton & The Powerhouse
Wherever I Lay My Hat – Marvin Gaye
Turning My Heartbeat Up – The MVPs
Hold On To My Baby – The Cavaliers
Why Do Me This Way? – Solomon Burke
My Guardian Angel – The Monorays
I’m Slippin’ In – The Spiders

For those with a keen interest in music trivia, this was the week back in 1965 when the Rolling Stones were each fined £5 for urinating in a public place, by a petrol station after a gig at the ABC Theatre in Romford, Essex, England.

Our girls and guitars feature this week focused on Christina Skjolberg, who was born and raised on the northwest coat of Norway. She’s a left-handed guitarist who appeared on the Norwegian blues scene a couple of years ago, and is currently touring the UK. She’s just released an album called ‘Come & Get It’ and we chose a track from it called ‘Close The Door’. Meanwhile, our cruising time machine took us back to1951 for our scratchy blues selection this week, because it was then that The Larks first appeared on record with their version of the Sonny Boy Williamson song ‘Eyesight To The Blind’.

Well, finished with a flourish with The Spiders, bringing us home safe and sound from our cruise and leaving just enough time to park up the Cruise Mobile. We had already started thinking about a few ‘toons’ for next week’s playlist, in the hope that, if you enjoyed this week’s choices, we might persuade you to join us, same time, same place, next week. In anticipation of your good company, we’ll call by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you, just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:
 Well, here in the Grand Duchy, the spring sunshine has given us a glimpse of summer and helped us to keep positive, despite the current events. Watching events unfold was a reminder of a much esteemed colleague who once said, with a distinctly cynical view of the world, “leaders are like tea bags, you only know their true strength when they get into really hot water”. Seems about right!
Cruisin' 71
Be assured, we have not been distracted from what we call our ‘normal routines’, which this week included some extra deep digging into the dark corners of the Cruising Library and we didn’t come out empty handed. As a result, there was more than few juicy gems in our playlist , along with a few anniversaries and birthdays that inspired some other choices this week, including Mary Wilson, Kikki Dee, Arthur Lee and Eddie Grant.

We ran into The Spinmeister during the week and he was on top form. He’s always good for a tale or two about London’s East end music scene in the 60s and more besides. There’s a good chance that we’ll persuade him to return to Cruise Control to give us some more Three From Me selections, but he seems busier than ever these days. We also had the unexpected delight in the week of hearing from Johnny Alpha with news of his latest Killer Diller Show. Fine stuff indeed and you can find it here:     As ever, a feast of tasty treats and, not to be outdone, when Tuesday rolled around, we got up to full cruising speed with a slice of rocking R&B from Delbert McClinton and we had plenty more in store, as you can hear:

Cruising with friends . . . . Luke Bowman
Lipstick, Powder & Lace – Delbert McClinton
Teenagers – Tabby Thomas
Pack Fair & Square – Big Walter Price
Louella – Marcia Ball
Come & Get These Memories – Mary Wilson
The Day Will Come Between Sunday and Monday – Kiki Dee
Wishing Well – Cherie Currie & Marie Currie
Honey Won’t You Allow Me One More Chance – Bob Dylan
Fishin’ Blues – Henry Thomas
Never Enough – Luke Bowman
See Emily Play – Super Tough

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
I Feel For You – Jerry Reed

Cruising where we please . . . . .Neicie
Typical Chick – Niecie
Alone Again Or – Love
Almost But Not Quite There – Traffic Jam
Sunshine Avenue – Smokie
You’ve Got What I Want – The Paramounts
Baby Come Back – The Equals
Brand New Cadillac – Vince Taylor & The Playboys
That’s Love – Billy Fury & The Four Jays
Just A Little Bit Of Your Love – The Fortune Tellers
Come On Back Jack – Nina Simone
Excusez Moi, Mon Cherie’ – The Blues Brothers Band
Shake With The Shake – Don Covay
My Baby – Chuck Willis
Route 90 – Clarence Garlow
Shout – The Isley Brothers

Traffic Jam 2

The spotlight of our Girls & Guitars feature this week was on singer/songwriter, guitarist and actress Cherie Currie. In the 70’s, at age of 15, she joined the Los Angeles, all girl group, The Runaways and went on to become a solo artist and teamed up with her identical twin sister, Marie Currie to record an album for Capitol Records in 1980. The album was called ‘Messin With The Boys’ and it was one of those tracks that we chose . . . . ‘Wishing Well’.

Our Scratchy Blues choice this week was a song by the much-covered Henry Thomas. We’ve played him before on the show and it was his song, ‘Bull Doze Blues’, that was the origin of Canned Heat’s ‘Goin’ Up The Country’. But, we picked a song of his that has been covered by The Lovin’ Spoonful, Taj Mahal and others. . . . it was Henry Thomas and ‘Fishin’ Blues’.

All too soon, it seemed we ran out of time on our cruise, even if we didn’t run out of road or good music.. So, if you enjoyed our playlist, we very much hope you’ll be around when we call by for you, same time, same place next week, with a seat saved especially for you in the Cruise Mobile. In the meantime, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the Grand Duchy has been visited by the sun on a goodly number of occasions this week and the grounds around Cruise Control have started turn from the greys and browns of winter into the greens and vibrant colours of summer. So, we were in good spirits when we were pulling together the playlist for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner and this week’s show happened to fall on a rather special day in The Commissioner’s calendar. This provided a good excuse for some celebrations and, as a result, there were plenty of pink fizz and savouries for our cruise and the after show party. The Cruisettes came in their best frocks and Mr Merlot was in attendance, trying to look elegant and compete with yours truly, dressed in the customary penguin suit.Cruising to the Mardi Gras

Meanwhile, there were a few other celebrations this week with some notable birthdays, including Fats Domino. Roger Daltry and Harry Belafonte, amongst others. Never missing an opportunity, we found same tracks by the birthday boys to accompany our best wishes.

Now, our gig list this week included one of our favourite bands, King King, at one of our regular London venues. The music from the gig proved to be a real crowd pleaser and (as you’d expect) and we couldn’t resist the opportunity to include something to remember the evening. So, we chose a track from their Standing in the shadows album called ‘Let Love In’. We also ran into our good pal Johnny99, who was enjoying a night out with friendly faces and offered a ‘taster’ of a future ‘Three From Me’ which we were pleased to find in the Cruising Library.

Now, it maybe just imagination, but there seem to be an increasing number of TV adverts lately featuring 50s R&B numbers in their soundtracks. Whilst it’s always intriguing to speculate on who chooses these numbers and why, perhaps we should just be satisfied that our favourite music is being kept alive and brought to a new audience. Keeping the ’cause’ in mind, we kicked off this week’s cruising adventure with a rather cajun flavoured number called Rad Gumbo, from the much respected Little Feat and the rest is here for your listening pleasure:

Cruising for the horizon . . . .King King 2
Rad Gumbo – Little Feat
I’m Ready – Fats Domino
Parchman Farm – Duffy Power
Right Around The Corner – The 5 Royales
Nothin’ Shakin’ (But The Leaves On The Trees) – Eddie Fontaine
Let Love In – King King
Similau – Ray McKinley & His Orchestra
Chilli With Honey – Danny Bell & The Bell Hops
You Can’t Be Told – Valerie June
It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine – Sister Rosetta Tharpe
I’ll Take You There – The Pioneers
Jump In The Line – Harry BelafonteValerie June
Down At The Mardi Gras – Rockin’ Dopsie

Killer Diller Korner  . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Girl Do You Love Me – Donald Height

Cruising in good company . . . . .
No More Mr Nice Guy – Roger Daltry & Slash
That Stuff – Supurbia
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
Bo Diddley – Bo Diddley
I Can’t Turn You Loose – Otis Redding
I Spy For The FBI – Jamo Thomas
Mr Tambourine Man – Johnny Johnson & The Bandwagon
Jealous Guy – Frankie Miller
The Grooviest Girl In The World – The Fun & Games
Hum Ding A Ling – The Johnny Otis Show
Mr Hard Luck – The Orbits

Last week we paid tribute to Duffy Power, which resulted in a deal of interest from several of the Cruising Crew . So, we took the opportunity to post his version of ‘It Ain’t Necessarily So’ on our facebook page and picked out his version of ‘Parchman Farm’ for this week’s playlist.

Our ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature, focused on Valerie June, a multi-instrumentalist, who was born in Jackson, Tennessee and relocated to Memphis when she was 19, where she began performing and recording. In 2013 she released an album titled ‘Pushin’ Against A Stone’ which included our choice of track, ‘You Can’t Be Told’. We followed that with this week’s Scratchy Blues selection, which was inspired by our good pal Arfa Pinetop and featured Sister Rosetta Tharpe with a song was first recorded by Blind Willie Johnson in 1927 and since then it’s been covered by an impressive list of artists. The song was ‘It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine’ and Sister Rosetta Tharpe’s version appeared on her 1949 Decca recording.

Before we knew it, our revels were nearly over and our cruising came to a close with a 1957 Chess recording by The Orbits, recorded at Cosimo Matassa’s famed J&M Studios in New Orleans,‘Mr Hard Luck’, which was still ringing in our ears when we parked up the Cruise Mobile and prepared for the after show party. As we went our separate ways, we we’re looking forward to some more of your good company next week, when we plan to call by for you in the Cruise Mobile, same time, same place, with a seat especially for you, just so we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . . have fun!