Archive for October, 2014

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the nights are definitely drawing in and there’s a distinct chill in the evening air around the Grand Duchy . . . all the right ingredients for Halloween and a suitably atmospheric intro to our spooky adventures for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. Cruising #218So, when we called by in the Cruise Mobile, we were all wearing our Halloween costumes and our playlist was fairly dripping with spooky, mystic and magic tracks. Along the way, we found our good pal Johnny Alpha, who was back in his familiar haunt, around Killer Diller Korner, with a suitably spooky track for our revels.

But, we were distracted from the anticipation of Halloween, by the sad news of the passing of two people who both leave their mark on modern music. We heard of the passing of Alvin Stardust, or as he was known to an earlier generation Shane Fenton. So, we paid tribute to him, as Shane Fenton with a rather suitable track for our spooky theme . . . . ‘It’s Gonna Take Magic’. We also said a sad farewell to Jack Bruce, who, as well as a later solo career, was previously a member of Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated, the Graham Bond Organisation, John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, Manfred Mann and Cream, amongst others. We remembered him with his version of ‘Neighbour Neighbour’.

We rolled by in the Cruise Mobile this week with a very spooky welcome and showing off in our Halloween costumes. We pulled together a playlist fairly dripping with spooky, mystic and magic tracks this week, kicking off with the Ted Taylor Four and the suitably titled ‘Cat’s Eyes’. You can check out the rest here:

Cruising into the shadows . . . .Kate Meehan
Cats Eyes – The Ted Taylor Four
Casting My Spell On You – Johnny Otis
Haunted House – Jumpin’ Gene Simmons
Peek-A-Boo – The Cadillacs
Witches Brew – Janie Jones
The Shadow Knows – The Coasters
Witchcraft (For Your Love) – The Temptations
Spooky – Classics IV
Jack the Ripper – Screaming Lord Sutch & The Savages
Night Of Fear – The Move
Black Cat – Kate MeehanJack Bruce
My Baby Must Be A Magician – The Marvelettes
Trick Or Treat – Otis Redding
Love In A Cemetery – Lord Kitchener

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Sleepy Hollow – The Last Word

Cruising with the ghostbusters . . . . .
It’s Your Voodoo Workin’ – Charles Sheffield
The Supernatural – John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers
Neighbour Neighbour – Jack BruceKokomo Arnold
I Ain’t Superstitious – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
Old Black Cat Blues – Kokomo Arnold
Trick Or Treat – Chuck Berry
Creepin’ Up On You – Status Quo
It’s Gonna Take Magic – Shane Fenton & The Fentones
Voodoo Mademoiselle – September Jones
Devil With A Blue Dress On – Shorty Long
Voodoo Voodoo – Mike Sanchez & His Band (with Imelda May)
Ghost Busters – Ray Parker Jnr

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature had a suitable Halloween theme too. We turned our focus on Australian singer, pianist and guitarist, Kate Meehan. She was born in Hobart, Tasmania and learnt to play the guitar during her schooldays. After busking around Adelaide for a few years, she got a real taste for Chicago blues as a member of the Fabulous Blues Cats, and went on to record her first album in 1998 as the Kate Meehan Blues Band. But since Halloween would be complete without the mystic presence of a black, we chose a track from her 2002 album titled ‘Soulshaker’ called ‘Black Cat’.

A black cat was also featured in our scratchy blues selection, which came from American bluesman, Kokomo Arnold. He was born in Georgia and developed a left-handed slide guitar style with distinctive rapid-fire vocals. He recorded a total of 88 sides, and on January 15, 1934 he was in Chicago to record a song for Decca Records called ‘Old Black Cat Blues’.

The Cruisettes were in evidence in their Halloween costumes and encouraging some dangerous dancing to ward off the spooky spirits, but all too soon our witching time ran out and headed for home from our spooky adventures in the company of Ray Parker Jr and the ‘Ghost Busters’. But there’s always next week, when we can swing by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner, remember . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the sun still visits the Grand Duchy, although his visits are definitely getting shorter and less frequent. But, our social calender is starting to fill up, as it usually does around this time of year. The shops and TV adverts are full of Halloween and Guy Fawkes items and the signs of the festive season are already evident . . . . indeed, the Cruisettes (ever hopeful) have been leaving copies of their ‘wish lists’ in conspicuous places.Cruising #217

Now, for our playlist this week, we decided to pull together a few tasty treats from the soundtrack of the new film called ‘Northern Soul’ which just happened to arrived in Cruise Control recently. So, with the assistance of Mr Merlot, we re-arranged the furniture and cleared some floor space for the Cruisettes to strut their stuff . . . . which they did. . . . and before we tried to put things back in their rightful places, we played a Northern Soul favourite that’s not in the soundtrack to the film. This was a bit of a ‘find’ and featured Timi Yuro and a Spanish version of ‘It’ll Never Be Over For Me’ . . . . . which remained unreleased for many years.

There were other juicy gems tucked away in this week’s playlist too. We re-discovered a rather special version of Little Feet’s ‘Sailin’ Shoes’, which features Stevie Ray Vaughan and Hiram Bullock on guitars, with David Sanborn, Van Dyke Parks and the other guests. This memorable moment came courtesy of ‘Night Music Special’, a late night American TV programme broadcast from Los Angeles on October 12th 1989, and although the sound quality may not be top notch, it was definitely worth another listen. As was Carmen Taylor and her King 45 ‘So What’, which was recorded in New York in September 1957 with some rather fine session players, including Hal Singer on tenor saxophone and Billy Butler on guitar. This is a ‘hard to find’ 45 with a hefty price tag these days too! But, we kicked off our cruise this week with organist Mook Loxley and his take on ‘Jenny Takes A Ride’ . . . And it all rolled on from there . . . . .Sally Markay

Cruising where we please . . . .
Jenny Takes A Ride – Mook Loxley
Take My Love – Little Willie John
Rad Gumbo – Little Feet
Sailin’ Shoes – Stevie Ray Vaughan
No Money Down – Jules Blattner
I Got My Mojo Working – Wolfie Witcher & His Brew
Feed My Soul – The Holmes Brothers
Sally Go Round The Roses – Grace Markay
It’s All Over Now – Wanda JacksonNorthern Soul
If I Was The Only One – The Imp-Acts
Soul Serenade – The Lee Thompson Ska Orchestra

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Coffee Cold – Galt MacDermot

Cruising with no direction home . . . .
Love Business – Sam & Dave
You Got Me Hummin’ – Billy Joel & The Hassles
Howlin’ Wolf Blues – Willie Lane
Blowing My Mind To Pieces – Bob RelfWillie Lane
Seven Day Lover – James Fountain
I Really Love You – The Tomangoes
What Good Am I Without You? – Darrow Fletcher
Baby Don’t You Weep – Edward Hamilton & The Arabians
It’ll Never Be Over For Me – Timi Yuro
You Lie Too Much – Johnny Winter
Double Crossin’ Liquor – Sticks McGhee
So What – Carmen Taylor
Let It Rock – Chuck Berry

Well, our ‘Girls & Guitars’ feature this week, focused on singer and guitarist, Wanda Jackson. She was born in Oklahoma and learnt to play guitar at an early age. In 1956, she won a talent contest which led to her getting her own radio program and recording a few songs for Capitol Records . . . . With one single reaching No. 8 on the charts. We chose a track from her recent 2012 album ‘Unfinished Business’ and her take on The Valentinos’ original ‘It’s All Over Now’.

Now, our venture into scratchy blues this week took us back to meet Texas bluesman, ‘Little Brother’ Willie Lane. He spent most of his life as a resident of Forth Worth made his first recordings for the Library of Congress in 1934. We chose one of the six sides he recorded for the Dallas-based Talent Record label, titled ‘Howlin’ Wolf Blues’ a song which the record label credits to Willie Lane as the composer, although it’s believed it was actually J.T. “Funny Papa” Smith . . . . but perhaps we shall never know!

As time ran out for our cruise, we headed for home in the company of Chuck Berry and his much covered, ‘Let It Rock’ . . . . and as we finally rolled to a stop, we weren’t downhearted, because we knew we only had another 7 days until we could do it all again. So, if you’re in the same time, at the same place next week, we’ll swing by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you . . . . Just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. But until then, remember . . . . have fun!




Gonna fix you good . . . .

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, we weathered the storms here in the Grand Duchy and enjoyed the sunshine that followed, but it’s all too clear that the days are getting shorter and we’re already preparing to secure the broom cupboard at the end of the month, as we pull together a spooky playlist for a Halloween Cruising with The Commissioner. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves . . . .

In addition to the much revered Johnny Alpha, this week’s show had another Cruising #215friendly face, because our good pal Matt stopped by, looking pretty cool and relaxed and appeared totally unfazed by the disarray around Cruise Control. But such is our hospitality that we plied him with a libation or two and a few of Mrs TCs famous ginger snaps and he was rather easily tempted to bring us his first Three From Me., as you can hear.

Now, we gave a respectful nod towards our good pals The Spongeman and The Auburn Phantom this week, because on their shows, they’ve played some folky tracks from the Transatlantic record label. That reminded us that the label had also put out some notable rock and blues albums too, so we rounded up a few for your listening pleasure.

But before we got to all those treats . . . . and more . . . we kicked off this week’s show with the great Lonnie Mack and his classic recording of ‘Wham’ and didn’t waste a moment to follow up with another to further tantalise your musical taste buds, from James & Bobby Purify and their Bell 45 ‘ I Don’t Know What It Is You Got’ . . . . and it all rolled on from there . . . .

Cruising where we please . . . . The Dirty Truth
Wham – Lonnie Mack
I Don’t Know What It Is You Got – James & Bobby Purify
Just For You – Jerry Butler
But It’s Alright – The Sugarman 3
Just Won’t Do Right – James Brown & The Famous Flames
Shake Sherry Shake – Faron’s Flamingos
Farmer John – The Premiers
Wicked Soul – Joanne Shaw Taylor
Johnny B Goode – Peter Tosh

Three From Me . . . . with Matt
Raspberry Beret – PrinceAlexis Korner
Boy From The North – Monica Heldal
Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm – Crash Test Dummies

Cruising with the crew . . . .
Get Out Right Away – Stray
Walking In The Park – Skin Alley
Woke Up This Morning – Alexis Korner’s Blues Incorporated
Hard Luck Blues – Muddy Waters
Some Other Guy – The Big Three

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Want Ad Reader – The New BreedAlan Bown

Cruising for the city lights . . . .
She May Call You Up Tonight – Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs
All Night Drinker – Fat Mattress
Louie Louie – The Topics
Sugar Diabetes – Eddie Banks & The Five Dreamers
Twist & Shout – Beverley Knight
Gonna Fix You Good – The Alan Bown Set

Well, offered our small tribute to Johnny Gustafon, who we lost this week. He was a member of The Big Three and then The Merseybeats,
Quatermass and Roxy Music, amongst a few others.

Well, there’s every chance that with your customary curiosity, you may have spent the past week wondering who is our featured artist for our next Girls & Guitars feature. So, to bring such speculation to a timely close, we revealed that our decision was influenced by the arrival of our cheery postman and the safe delivery of the new album by Joanne Shaw Taylor. The album is called ‘The Dirty Truth’ and anyone who’s seen Ms Shaw Taylor on stage will know her to be a singer and guitarist of some very considerable ability, as was ably demonstrated with a track from that album, called ‘Wicked Soul’.

There was more than one spoonful of blues in our playlist, including track from Muddy Waters which just about qualified as our scratchy blues selection this week. This was one of the first recordings made by Muddy Waters when he arrived in Chicago and it was one of the tracks he cut for the US Columbia record label in 1946. The tracks weren’t released at the time, but fortunately they did get released later, including our choice, ‘Hard Luck Blues’.

Well, it was an eventful cruise this week and we changed route several times, meeting some good folks along the way. But, as the music and minutes rolled by, we quickly found ourselves having to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. When it eventually rolled gently to a stop, we were already planning next week’s adventure with a special seat saved especially for you so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. So, we extended our grateful thanks to our good pal Matt, to Johnny Alpha, and to the rest of the Tuesday Night mafia, for their great music . . . but most particularly to you dear listener . . . . for your very good company. But until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . have fun!

Listen to this week’s show here:

Well, the joys of the week, which have been many and varied, including some real surprises. We got to enjoy the company of lots of long-time friends who stopped by to provide some big smiles and aCruising #115 great laughs. However, we did miss a great night out to witness Brother Jonno at one of his London gigs, accompanied by The Atlantic Soul Orchestra. But, none of this distracted us from our customary search through the Cruising Library, which this week rediscovered some dusty gems, including some 60s Brit beat. We found a cherished 45 by Sounds Incorporated and stirred a memory of a favourite of The Searchers, when we came across the original Specialty version of ‘Farmer John’ by Don & Dewey.

Perhaps the real surprise of the week was discovering an alternative version Jonathan King’s ‘Everyone’s Gone To The Moon’ . . . . delivered with great soulful sincerity by Bobby Womack . . . . and we craved an indulgence for a seven minute classic track by the great Mike Bloomfield and the other members of Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band with ‘Work Song’. But, we kicked off this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner in fine style with Red Prysock and ‘Fruit Boots’ . . . . . and it never let up after that . . . .

Cruising where we please . . . .Farmer John
Fruit Boots – Red Prysock
Don’t Cry No More – Lucky Peterson
House Rockers Jamboree – Tucker Coles
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – Jimmy Beasley
Farmer John – Don & Dewey
Go – Sounds Incorporated
Tell Daddy – All Night Workers
Cuttin’ Out – Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
Shake Sherry Shake – Bern Elliott & The Fenmen
High Flyin’ Bird – Judy Henske
I’m A Woman – Ko Ko TaylorCannata
Work Song – Paul Butterfield’s Blues Band

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Get Out My Life Woman – Q65

Cruising with the crew . . . .
Rufus Back In Porretta – The Memphis All-Stars
Fresh Garbage – Cannata
Mr Tambourine Man – Bob Dylan
Everyone’s Gone To The Moon – Bobby Womack
This Won’t Happen To Me – Ian Edward & The Zodiacs
Frankie – Mississippi John Hurt
Honey Bee – Stevie Ray VaughanFrankie
Function At The Junction – Shorty Long
Gonna Fix You Good – Little Anthony & The Imperials
Little Girl Lost – Maxine Brown
Hard Headed Woman – Wanda Jackson
Pony Express – Danny & The Juniors

For our Girls & Guitars feature this week, we tipped our hat respectfully in the direction of our good pal The Spongeman, who was instrumental in this week’s choice. He heard us play a version of High Flying Bird in a recent show and kindly sent along a compilation of other versions of the song, including the original by Billy Edd Wheeler and a later cover by American singer, songwriter and guitarist, Judy Henske. We chose her version of ‘High Flying Bird’ from her second Elektra album.

This week’s Scratchy Blues choice came from Mississippi John Hurt and a song that we know it best as ‘Frankie & Johnny’, but which started out being called ‘Frankie & Albert’ or just ‘Frankie’. The song was inspired by at least one actual murder, which took place in St Louis, involving Frankie Baker who shot her lover Albert Britt when he’d been out dancing with Nelly Bly. The story got put into song called ‘Frankie’ and was recorded by Mississippi John Hurt for Okeh records in 1928.

But, all too soon we found time fast running out on our cruise and we’re heading for home in the good company of Danny & The Juniors and their 1961 Swan single, ‘Pony Express’ . . . . and if all goes well, we’ll be ready to call by in the Cruise Mobile, same time, same place, next week with a seat saved especially for you so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!