Archive for July, 2014

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, we were freshly arrived back from our mission to promote English speaking in Portugal and with but a few hours of feverish rummaging in the Cruising Library to pull together this week’s playlist. As if to prove the saying, ‘more haste, less speed’, our ‘enthusiasm’ was repaid by the unplanned redistribution of various carefully constructed piles of CDs and records around Cruise Control, resulting in some language that may not have appeared in any phrasebook. Cruising #134

In selecting our playlist choices, we were reminded of a recent visit from our good pal, Phil Tyler, who was recalling his encounter with the late great Johnny Winter at a small venue in the UK where he was playing a pre-tour warm up gig. It was clearly a memorable night for Phil and so we pulled out something Johnny Winter, recorded with Bruce Willis on a live gig and the saga of a dangerous liaison, called ‘Here Comes Trouble Again’.

While we were doing a little shelf shuffling in the Cruising Library, we re-discovered a version of ‘I Like It Like That’, recorded by Don Bryant for Hi Records and we played it for Chris & Dave, who were with us when we visited Hi Records studios in Memphis and kindly sent us some of their photos of the occasion.

There was a good flavour of New Orleans in our mix this week and a few memories of our visit to Rampart Street, which was the location of Cosimo Matassa’s famous recording studios. But before we arrived there, we kicked off our cruise with a rare venture into Maple Leaf rock, brought to us by French Canadian band Chapeaumelon and their version of the Who’s ‘My Generation’. . . . and it all rolled on from there . . . . .

Cruising for the city limits . . . .   Sparks of Rhythm
My Generation – Chapeaumelon
See You Later Alligator – Bobby Charles
The Things That I Used To Do – Guitar Slim
New Orleans – Bern Elliott & The Fenmen
Got To Get You Off My Mind – Solomon Burke
I Like It Like That – Don Bryant
Right String Baby, But The Wrong YoYo – The Moquettes
Handy Man – The Sparks Of Rhythm
Grandma’s Advice – Fiona Boyes
I Believe I’m In Love With You – The Fabulous Thunderbirds
Take A Little Walk With Me – Robert Lockwood Jnr Sally Eaton
The Tide Is High – The Paragons
Big Girl – King Pleasure & The Biscuit Boys

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Long Time Lover – Sally Eaton

Cruising with the music playing loud . . . . .
Song For Jeffrey – Blodwyn Pig
Sueno – The Truth
Flame On – The Iguanas
Here Comes Trouble Again – Johnny Winter & Bruce Willis
Baby You’ve Got It – Toussaint McCallDeep Sea Jivers
Sausages, Beans, Onions & Gravy – Pete Thomas & The Deep Sea Jivers
Too Hot To Hold – Betty Everett
Forget About Me – Carolyn Crawford
My Oh My – Billy Floyd
Hey Bartender – Floyd Dixon
Hey Girl – Lucky Carmichael
In The Bottom Of My Heart – Thurston Harris

Well, with some skilled route planning, our cruise crept across quite a few frontiers this week, including a visit to Australia to catch blues guitarist and singer, Fiona Boyes. She featured in our ‘Girls & Guitars’ spot and has gained some well-earned recognition as a recording and touring artist. Described by the late Pinetop Perkins and Hubert Sumlin, as one of the best women guitar players since Memphis Minnie. . . . we let you judge for yourself with a track taken from her 2011 album ‘Blues for Hard Times’ . . . . ‘Grandma’s Advice’.

Meanwhile, our ‘Scratchy Blues’ spot revisited Robert Lockwood Jr, who was born in Turkey Scratch, Arkansas in 1915. There’s been some misunderstandings about his name, so we took the opportunity to confirm that, as the son of Robert Lockwood, his birth name was Robert Lockwood Jr. But after his parents divorced, his mother lived with famous bluesman Robert Johnson for some 10 years, which is how Robert Lockwood Jr learned to play guitar and why he is sometimes known by the nickname ‘Robert Jr’. This time around, we chose his first recording released in 1941 on the Bluebird label and called ‘Take a Little Walk With Me’ . . . . which is what we did!

Well, all too soon the sands of time ran out for this week’s cruise and we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. As always, we had more music than time, but much of what was left was still to tidied up. So, we consoled ourselves that it was only another 7 days before our next opportunity to go Cruising with The Commissioner. So, until then . . . . . have fun!

Just like that . . . .

Posted: July 22, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:

There’s been plenty to occupy our attentions this week . . . . things to finish off and things to start, including a trip to Portugal. So, this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner show was prepared earlier, held together with string and tape and broadcast with the expert assistance of our good pal The Spongeman at the controls.Cruising #122

There were a few loose ends from last week. If your attentions were not diverted during last week’s show, then you’ll remember that we played Bill & Will’s ‘Goin’ To The River’ and we said we would look out the version by UK band The Cheynes . . . . and ever true to our word . . . . we did just that! We also followed up on last week’s scratchy blues choice ‘Crosscut Saw’ with the 60s version by Albert King. We also found two Adam Franklins in the Cruising Library . . . . so we played something from both of them.

We got the very sad news this past week of the passing of the great Johnny Winter, who has made frequent appearances on our playlists. So, paid tribute to him with a couple of tracks . . . . firstly his 1967 recording of ‘Parchman Farm’ and we played out with his version of the Frankie Lee Sims classic ‘She Likes To Boogie Real Low’.

We remembered that it was guitarist Mike Bloomfield who spotted Johnny Winter and introduced him to US Columbia Records, which got him signed by then with a record fee. So, we kicked off our cruise with the self same Mike Bloomfield leading the Electric Flag and a Howlin’ Wolf classic ‘Killing Floor’ . . . . and it all rolled on from there . . . .

Cruising where we please . . . . .Parchman Farm
Killing Floor – The Electric Flag
I Take What I Want – James & Bobby Purify
It Should Have Been Me – The Fins
Humdrum Blues – Oscar Brown Jnr
Just Like That – Al Little
Do It If You Wanna – The Flares
Goin’ To The River – The Cheynes
Parchman Farm – Johnny Winter
Crosscut Saw – Albert King
I Got You Babe – Angel’in Heavy Syrup
Get Your Ya Yas Out – Blind Boy FullerSetting Suns
Save The Roach For Me – Adam Franklin
The Way Love Used To Be – The Setting Suns
Drifter – Dennis Walks & The Rhythm Rulers

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
I Won’t Let You Go – The Blues Busters

Cruising through the outskirts of town . . . .
Shadows & Reflections – Eddie Hodges
Pictures Of Lilly – The Who
All Day & All Of The Night – Status QuoDollar Bill
Chimes Of Freedom – New York Public Library
Good Times – Bern Elliott & The Klan
You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover – Ray Anton & The Peppermint Men
You Don’t Want Me No More – Major Lance
Headline News – Edwin Starr
I Don’t Care Who Knows – Koko Taylor
Iko Iko – Dr John
Shake Your Hips – Dollar Bill & His One Man Band
She Likes To Boogie Real Low – Johnny Winter

This week we were doubly grateful to The Spongeman for pointing us to our Girls & Guitars choice, which focused on Japanese all girl rock band, Angel’in Heavy Syrup. We took a familiar song from their second album released in 1993 and their take on the Sonny & Cher hit ‘I Got You Babe’. Meanwhile, our venture into the realm of scratchy blues turned up a song by Blind Boy Fuller that inspired the title of a Rolling stones album . . . . called ‘Get Your Yas Yas Out’.

In the end, we arrived back safe and sound from our cruise and parked up the Cruise Mobile in the hope that we’ll have some more of your good company next week. . . . . when we’ll call by for you 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 . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the Grand Duchy has been looking pretty green and colourful with the combined effects of very welcome sunshine and some occasional showers, but the rain kept away on St Swithun’s day, so that’s hopeful! There have been plenty of excuses to get out and about, during which our musical postman has continued his mission to improve the quantity and quality of the Cruising Library with new additions that he delivers with a cheery wave.

This week we finished the biography of Mike Sanchez and it revealed asCruising 49 much about his music choices as it did about him. It offered tempting references to obscure R&B recordings from way back and started some enthusiastic and fruitful research. Indeed, last week’s little closer, ‘Red Hot Mama’ by S. Johnson (yes, we still don’t know what the ‘S’ stands for) is one of those obscurities that has been performed many times by Mike Sanchez and his band, and which we’ve been pursuing for quite a while now. So, finding and playing a copy was a joy in itself, but it also seemed to go down well with the Cruising Crew too. We also found another song from the Mike Sanchez setlist this week, although not the original, we much enjoyed ‘Ain’t No Big Deal On You’ by Swedish band, Ramblin’ Minds . . . . and there may be more!

So, with our eye on the horizon and the radio turned up, we set off on our cruising adventure, across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres. We kicked off with Gary ‘US’ Bonds, who was on our giglist this week, and really got the crowd going with his hit ‘New Orleans’ . . . . and we never looked back.Big six

Cruising where we please . . . .
New Orleans – Gary ‘US’ Bonds
Goin’ To The River – Bill & Will
One Way Love Affair – Willie Hill
The Road From Rags To Riches – Willie Jones
Packin’ Up – Margie Hendrix
Strange – Screamin’ Jay Hawkins
Turn On Your Lovelight – Wynder K Frog
Tell Me What You’re Gonna Do – The Bo Street Runners
Don’t Gimme No Lip Child – The Pleazersanne_mccue-koala_motel-front
Driving Down To Alvarado – Anne McCue
Cross Cut Saw Blues – Tommy McClennan
Nice To Be Nice – Albert King
Long Shot Kick De Bucket – The Pioneers
Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Gesundheit – Xavier Cugat

Cruising past the city limits . . . . .
Treme Song – John Boutte
My World Fell Down – SagittariusCrosscut saw 2
We Gotta Get Out Of This Place – Blue Oyster Cult
Honky Tonk Women – Leslie West
Twentieth Century Boy – The Big Six
In My Tenement – Clyde McPhatter
Got To Get You Off My Mind – Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes
What Makes The Ending So Sad – Lou Rawls
All Night Worker – Rufus Thomas
Ain’t No Big Deal On You – Ramblin’ Minds
Well Alright – Little Richard

It’s always fun pulling together our Cruising playlists each week (as well as an excuse to share the odd glass of fine wine with Mr Merlot), but it’s always interesting to see your feedback. We got some good comments on last week’s show and it seems we’re continuing to pick up new members of the Cruising Crew along the way. In the feedback from our good pal Amigo, we were pointed to another of those songs, penned by the late great Sam Cooke, but never recorded by him. Fortunately, it was recorded by Lou Rawls and we found it after a little rummaging. It is, unmistakably, a Sam Cooke song . . . . . . . ‘What Makes The Ending So Sad’.

Our cruising playlist included musical trips to the US, Sweden, Australia and beyond, with Australia represented by The Pleazers, as well as Anne McCue, who was our ‘Girls & Guitars’ choice this week.

Our scratchy blues track was the 1941 recording, ‘Crosscut Saw Blues’, by Mississippi bluesman Tommy McClennan. Doubtless, we’ll roll out some other versions for future shows . . . . . . because it’s been recorded many times since 1941, including covers by modern blues artists like Albert King, Otis Rush, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan and many others.

All too soon, though, our time ran out and we decided to finish with a flourish and another Sam Cooke penned song, ‘Well Alright’, from the fabulous Little Richard, during which The Cruisettes, Mr Merlot and yours truly were all doing some vaguely co-ordniated dance moves . . . . and maybe we weren’t alone! But, as the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stop, we remembered to thank everyone . . . a little breathlessly . . . . for their good company and to Johnny Alpha for his much anticipated trips around Killer Diller Korner.

So, when Tuesday rolls around again, keep an eye out for the Cruise Mobile, because we have every intention of calling by for you, same time, same place, with a seat saved especially for you, 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 great week in the Grand Duchy with plenty of friendly faces, some welcome sunshine and some messages from overseas with invitations to visit. So, we were in fine spirits for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We also had a whale of a time on our weekend visit to ‘Blues On The Meadow’, where we were charmed by the good company and entertained from start to finish by a first class programme of bands. We were so impressed, that we decided to play something by each of the bands on this week’s show . . . . and there may be some happy returns in future weeks too. Cruising #122

Now our musical postman has been such a welcome sight on his recent visits, because we’ve been waiting on some long sought after gems. One, in particular, we’ve been chasing for a long, long time. The song is something that we’ve enjoyed many times by Mike Sanchez and his band, but we’ve been on the trail of the original, produced by Paul Gayton and featuring S. Johnson. We don’t know what the ‘S’ stands for and there’s virtually no other information about this recording, except that it’s called ‘Red Hot Mama’ . . . . and we love it!

This week we got our cruise started with something from Bill Haley’s Comets, moonlighting as The Kingsmen and doing a little moonlighting with their 1958 East West 45, ‘Weekend’ . . . . and then we dug out Johnny Guitar Watson and his 1961 Escort 45 ‘Lookin’ Back’, especially for Steve Buck of Bristol band, Redhouse (one of the great bands on our weekend gig list) with the earnest request that he accepts no substitutes.

Cruising across the meadow . . . . .  Will Wilde
Weekend – The Kingsmen
Lookin’ Back – Johnny Guitar Watson
Long Black Shiny Car – Redhouse
Little By Little – Steve Roux & The Brass Knuckle Blues Band
What Makes People – Will Wilde
Since We’ve Been Over – The Sean Webster Band
Pride & Joy – Red Butler
Shunting On The Nightshift – The Robin Bibi Band
Rollin’ & Tumblin’ – Donna Lynn Kay
Get Ready to Meet Your Man – James Clark
I’ll Take You There – The Deltones Donna Lynn Kay

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Coconut Woman – Harry Belafonte

Cruising till after dark . . . . .
Rockin’ Robin – Bobby Day
Elevator – Hi-Revving Tongues
Come With Me – The Idle Race
That’s How Heartaches Are Made – Dusty Springfield
I Don’t Know – Linda Lyndell
You Can Run But You Can’t Hide – Cyril Neville
I Want To Be Loved – Muddy Waters Steve Roux
Neck Bones & Hot Sauce – L. Anderson & The Tornadoes
Respectable – The Cheynes
I’m All Shook Up – C.J. Chenier & The Red Hot Louisiana Band
She Was Dynamite – Jack Jersey
Up Up & Away – The Daybreakers
Red Hot Mama – S. Johnson

Well, we promised you that last week that we would track down Dusty Springfield’s version of ‘That’s How Heartaches Are Made’ and the spirits were with us, because it came to hand rather easily and we were able to our promise . . . . . again! So, while we were in a soulful mood, we chose a song with a bit of history. It came from Linda Lyndell and it was her 1968 Volt single ‘I Don’t Know’, which was the flipside of her second single for Stax records The single reached the Billboard R&B top 50, but she retired from performing shortly after, because she got threats from white supremacist groups. She didn’t perform in public again until 2003, when she sang at the opening of the Stax Museum in Memphis.

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature introduced Donna Lynn Kay, a Canadian singer and slide guitarist currently residing in Austin, Texas. She claims some Deep South and Mississippi Delta musical influences, including early slide masters like Son House and Blind Willie Johnson, but there’s also a little Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson too. She’s been a regular on the Texas blues scene for a while now and to provide a taster of her style, we chose ‘Rollin’ & Tumblin’ from her 2006 album, ‘Electric Blue’.

Well, when it was time for some scratchy blues, we decided to feature James Clark, a blues pianist from Memphis, Tennessee, who, during the 1940’s, appeared on recordings by Jazz Gillum, Red Nelson, and an early Muddy Waters session. He recorded several singles in his own name, one of which featured a song that is credited to him as performer and song writer . . . . called ‘Get Ready To Meet Your Man’. The song is now far more familiar by the later title given it by Elmore James, ‘Look On Yonder Wall’, but we played James Clark’s original, “Get Ready to Meet Your Man”.

All too soon, our time ran out and we found ourselves parking up the Cruise Mobile for another week. We really enjoyed putting together this week’s playlist and we’re now looking forward to some more of your good company next week. We’ll be back in the Cruise Mobile . . . same time, same place . . . and with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . have fun!


Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, July crept up on us while we were distracted. It’s been a busy week and the social diary confirms that there’s more to come. So, our ‘listening time’ has been reduced to ‘snatched’ moments between other events. Not our normal style, but we adapt fairly well when ‘needs must’. As a result, our pending tray has rarely been as full and, for certain, we have been a little slower in workinCruising #110g our way through some of its juicy gems. But, in the end, we surprised ourselves (and maybe you too) with what we picked out on our visits.

It is hardly surprising to find our playlists with occasional reminders of the song writing of Gerry Goffin . . . . this week it was the Goffin & King number ‘Some Of Your Lovin’. It is best known for the hit version by Dusty Springfield, but the song was first released as the B side of a 1965 Fontana 45 by the Honey Bees. So, we went searching through the Cruising Library and found that version by The Honey Bees, with lead vocals from Barbara Alston of the Crystals and backing vocals from the Cookies. This was just one of the tracks that reminded us of Dusty Springfield.

We heard the sad news at the weekend of the passing of Bobby Womack. We wanted to pay our respects and were tempted to play the appropriately titled ‘It’s All Over Now’, from his time with The Valentinos.  But, in the end, we settled on his superb version of ‘How Long’.

Now, the Cruising Crew have not been shy in ‘guiding’ our attentions with some suggested tracks for our playlist and there may be one or two in there that you recognise too . . . . take a listen:

Cruising with the breeze . . . . . grainneduffy3
Do Lord – Big Maybelle
If You Love Me – Willie Mays
Bring It On Up – Albert Washington
Dynamite Exploded – Honey & The Bees
Teach Me How To Shimmy – The Coasters
Oh Mom (Teach Me How To Uncle Willie) – The Daylighters
Three Corn Patches – T Bone Walker
The Girl Of My Best Friend – Charlie Blackwell
A Stone Good Lover – Vee Allen
Sitting In The Park – Billy Stewart
What Am I Supposed To Do – Grainne Duffy
My Man Rocks Me (With A Steady Roll) – Trixie Smith
Reelin’ & Rockin’ – Chuck Berry
Sufferer – The KingstoniansBohemian Vendetta

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Enough – Bohemian Vendetta

Cruising with warm breezes . . . . .
How Long – Bobby Womack
Mr Rainbow – Homer’s Knods
Love – The Bo Street Runners
Pictures In My Mind – The Churchills
Some Of Your Lovin’ – The Honey Bees
That’s How Heartaches Are Made – Baby Washington
Little By Little – Dusty Springfield
Take A Little Time – Walter Trout
Our Favourite Things – Los Pacaminos
Get Out – The TroopersWalter Trout
Can’t Fight The Power – Willie Hutch
Hot Little Mama – Johnny ‘Guitar’ Watson

We were very pleased to hear that Walter Trout is recovering well from
his liver transplant and took the opportunity to play a track from his
latest album. We wish him well and hope to see him back on our gig list
again when he’s fully fit.

This week’s ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature turned the spotlight on Irish singer, songwriter and guitarist, Grainne Duffy. She appeared on the music scene in 2007 and since then has been building a reputation for herself with her live performances and recordings. We chose her 2014 single called ‘What Am I Supposed To Do’. . . . and very good it is too!

Now, our scratchy blues track this week came from Trixie Smith. She was an African-American blues singer who was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, and moved to New York around 1915. She made nearly 50 recordings in the early 1920s and we picked one of her first recordings for the Black Swan label in 1922, titled ‘My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll)’, which is claimed to be the first secular recording to reference the phrase “rock and roll”.

Well, all too soon we found our 90 minutes of cruising running out and so, with barely suppressed tears in our eyes, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. We consoled ourselves that, if we had ran out of time, we most certainly had not run out of music. So, we will go a-rummaging to find some more juicy gems for next weeks musical adventure through some of the best in rock soul and ‘real’ rhythm and blues. Who knows, there might even be a few suggestions from the Cruising Crew creaping into the playlist too! So, until the next time we all go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . . have fun!