Archive for November, 2014

Are you ready . . . ?

Posted: November 25, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:


Well, we’ve been resisting the temptations fairly well around the Grand Duchy, but the evident ‘forward creep’ of the festive season’s preparations seem to have caught up with us! So, you’re in good company, if the everyday demands of life are starting to be extended by ‘seasonal’ tasks! But, rest assured, we’re reviving the Cruising Counselling Service to help you wrestle with youCruising #185r priorities, resolve your conflicting demands and bring you a healthy dose of that soothing elixir called Cruising with The Commissioner. Perhaps we should be marketing this as an Xmas gift, because it comes with carefully blended sounds, discerningly selected company and all expertly designed to restore your optimum balance and full capacity to ‘boogie on down’.

Here in the Grand Duchy, there’s been more than enough domestic projects to keep our attentions from wandering and the social diary has been more than usually. We’ve coped well, but things are getting even busier and it’s looks like it will get a deal more lively in the weeks to come. Although there have been a few pinch points to resolve, you may be re-assured to know that they didn’t detract from our compilation of this week’s play list. Our selections included a few acknowledgements of friendly faces we encountered, some choices from our giglist, a sad farewell and a birthday.

We got our musical adventure off to a good start with a cheery greeting and some ‘Gumbo Ya Ya’ from Andrew Mazzone and we followed that with a rather rare ’Soul Stomp’ from Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames . . . . and here’s the rest . . . .

Cruising where we please . . . . Flavor
Gumbo Ya Ya – Andrew Mazzone
Soul Stomp – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Black Talk – Charles Earland
Sally Had A Party – Flavor
In Your Spare Time – Cindy Scott
Stop Hurting Me Baby – Purpl Mundi
What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted – Chris Farlowe
Farewell Is A Lonely Sound – Jimmy Ruffin
Are You Ready – Dani Wilde
Take Care Of Business – Nina Simone
It’s My Own Business – The Balham AlligatorsBerkeley Kites
You Can Call Me Al – Pamela Maynard
Love Me Like A Rock – The Dixie Hummingbirds

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Soulin’ – Sir Stan & The Counts

Cruising way out there . . . . .
Dancing In The Street – LaBert Ellis
All Along The Watchtower – Bob Dylan
Alice In Wonderland – Berkeley Kites
Tobacco Road – John D LoudermilkJoe Simon
Shake – Ray Charles & The Raelettes
Down In The Valley – Timi Yuro
Cold Cold Cold – Dr John
Hush Oh Hush – Roosevelt Sykes
Speak Of the Devil – John Mayall
Can’t Keep From Trying – King King
(Just) Call My Name – Joe Simon
Butterball – The Penguins

Well, this week’s Girls & Guitars focus happened to fall on singer and guitarist, DanI Wilde. She‘s appeared on Ruf Records Blues Caravan, and has shared a stage with some very notable names. She hails from Brighton, and says she spent half of her childhood sitting in front of her Dad’s record playing, listening to everything from Etta James to Lyle Lovitt. She’s released three of her own albums to date and we chose a number titled ’Are You Ready’ from her album with Samantha Fish and Cassie Taylor, appropriately called ’Girls With Guitars’.

Our dip into the scratchy blues bucket this week, took us back to hear from bluesman Roosevelt Sykes . . . . also known as “The Honeydripper”. From the age of 15, he’s been on the road playing barrelhouse blues piano. His first recording was “44 Blues” in 1929 for Okeh Records and we featured his 1955 Imperial recording called ‘Hush Oh Hush’.

As time was running out on our cruise, we decided to finish with a flourish and headed for home with The Penguins and their 1958 recording ‘Butterball’. So, having travelled far and wide on our cruise this week, we’ve arrived back home safe and sound and with plenty more music in the pending tray for next week. So, we fully intend to call by in the Cruise Mobile, same time same place next week, with a seat saved especially for you . . . . . just so we can go Cand until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun


The road never ends . . . .

Posted: November 18, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:


Well, November still has some way to run yet, but the Xmas bunting seems to be creeping into evidence ever sooner. The TV adverts are filling up with competing opportunities for us all to assist the economic recovery and at least one large store in the Grand Duchy has demonstrated its enthusiasm by starting to play Xmas tunes . . . . . And the same old, predictable ones, at that!Cruising #122

There was no sign of festive decorations or music at this week’s gigs, which included a double bill with Samantha Fish and Mike Zito. We saw Texas guitarist and singer Mike Zito at Blues on the farm this year as a member of The Royal Southern Brotherhood and he was back on our giglist this week to demonstrate his very fine vocals and guitar-work. Samantha Fish was in fine spirits on this, the last night of her European tour with Mike Zito and they made it a memorable night indeed.

One of the joys of the week was hearing from our good pal DJ Wheelie Bag, and you can hear more from him, because he’s now featured on the Cruising website, with a show of his own . . . . So check it out.

Well, with the warmest of welcomes to one and all, we kicked off our musical adventures this week with Pete Thomas and a number called ’Cookin’ With Mr Lee’ . . . . and keeping in the mood , we followed fast with Danny White and his 1963 Frisco 45, ‘The Twitch’ and more . . . .

Cruising for the border . . . . .Samantha Fish
Cookin’ With Mr Lee – Pete Thomas
The Twitch – Danny White
Possum Belly Overalls – June Bateman with Noble Watts & His Band
Lonelyology (For Your Love) – Lee Dorsey
For Your Love – Larry Williams and Johnny Guitar Watson
Share A Little Love With Me (Somebody) – The Monitors
Sweeter Than The Day Before – The Valentinos
I Ain’t Coming Back – The Orlons
Who’s Been Talkin’ – Samantha Fish
The Road Never Ends – Mike ZitoCasey Bill Weldon
We Gonna Move To The Outskirts of Town – Casey Bill Weldon
Down In Mexico – Ella Mae Morse
Harlem Shuffle – Los Pericos

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
Higher Ground – Ellen McIlwaine

Cruising just for fun . . . . .
Don’t Fear The Reaper – The Blue Oyster Cult
Living In The Past- Jeff Dix & AmeliaBilly Edd Wheeler
High Flying Bird – Billy Edd Wheeler
Everyday I Have To Cry Some – Lattimore Brown
Sailing Shoes – Little Feet
Ain’t That True Love – Oscar Toney Jr
Tell Me What You Gonna Do – The Bo Street Runners
I’m Tired – Kid Anderson
Everybody Needs Love – Bobby Hanna
Mean It Baby – Carl Hall
Bend Me, Shape Me – The American Breed
Johnny B. Goode – The Balham Alligators

Our ‘Girls & Guitars’ spotlight fell on singer and guitarist Samantha Fish, who was on our giglist. She was out on the road promoting her new album, called Black Wind Howlin‘ and we chose one of the tracks from that album called ‘Who’s Been Talkin’.

We managed to fit a few bluesy track into our playlist, including some scratchy blues from bluesman, Casey Bill Weldon. He was born in Arkansas in 1909 and later moved to Chicago and became known as one of the great early pioneers of slide guitar. He scored solo hits with his two most well known songs, “Somebody Changed the Lock on My Door” and our choice for this week, ‘We Gonna Move (to the Outskirts of Town)’.

Our revels were interrupted by Mr Merlot pointing at the cruising clock and doing that winding up signal. So, we decided to head for home in style with something that got some very positive comments from the Cruising Crew when we played it last time. This was the much esteemed Geraint Watkins, leading The Balham Alligators. and their very inventive take on Johnny B. Goode.

So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, a noticeable chill has come to the Grand Duchy this past week and it’s starting to look a bit like Xmas. . . . . but it’s still November . . . . isn’t it? Anyway, in anticipation, we’re getting our wish list up to date, although we have had some distractions, including Cruise Control getting a bit of a makeover in the past week. The smell of smoke and fireworks may have faded, but feint aroma of paint lingers in the air.
Cruising #110
Despite all this, interesting music has not been far from our ears. We discovered a rather fine number on a 1966 Columbia 45 called ‘Better Than Here’. It came from UK band, The Roger James Four, and if you come across an original copy, it’s worth picking up, especially if you can get it for less than £170. We also dug out the original recording of ‘Bette Davis Eyes’ by Jackie De Shannon. She co-wrote the song in 1974 with Donna Weiss and it is quite different from the hit by Kim Carnes.

Taking a brief moment to relax, I was watching an old episode of Suits, when Harvey throws a challenge to his driver to name an old blues track . . . . which he does. The track was ‘A Fool No More’ by Eddie Hope & The Mannish Boys. So, we included it in our playlist, because it was definitely worth another play. But, well before that, we kicked off our musical adventure with Ike Turner and his Kings of Rhythm and ‘Much Later’ and we followed fast with Willie Egan and his 1955 Mambo 45, ‘What A Shame’ . . . .

Cruising with the crew . . . .Graham Bond
Much Later – Ike Turner
What A Shame – Willie Egan
Last Night – Jimmy ‘Babyface’ Lewis
Pneumonia – Joe Tex
Somebody Stole My Thunder – Trummor & Orgel with Magnus Carlson
Walkin’ In The Park – The Graham Bond Organisation
Better Than Here – The Roger James Four
Bettye Davis Eyes – Jackie De Shannon
Second Time Around – Nell Bryden
Frenchman Street Blues – Jon Cleary
Twist & Shout – The Top NotesJohnny Jenkins
Big Time Operator – Charlie Rich
Dark End Of the Street – Ken Boothe

Killer Diller Korner . . . . With Johnny Alpha
I Walk On Guilded Splinters – Johnny Jenkins

Cruising where we please . . . . . .
Just A Little Too Much – Mac Curtis
Looking Towards The Sky – Davey Payne & The Medium Wave
I Got Your Love – Half A World AwayMick Clarke
Love Letters – Frankie Miller
Let That Liar Alone – Rev. Edward W. Clayborn
A Fool No More – Eddie Hope & The Mannish Boys
I Wish You Would – Billy Boy Arnold, with Tony McPhee & The Groundhogs
Baby You’ve Got It – Clyde McPhatter
He Will Break Your Heart – Jerry Butler & The Impressions
1000 Ways Of Loving You – Mac Kassoon
Go – The Refreshments
See You Later Alligator – Mick Clarke
Devil With A Blue Dress On/Good Golly Miss Molly – Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature focused on singer and guitarist, Nell Bryden. She hails from New York and was classically trained as a cello player and dreamed of becoming an opera singer before hearing Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin for the first time. She learnt to play guitar and in 2009, used her own money to record an album called, What Does it Take, and it includes our choice of track, ‘Second Time Around’.

In our scratchy blues bucket this week, we found the Reverend Edward W Clayborn . . . a fine guitarist and slide player, who billed himself as “the Guitar Evangelist”, with a blues gospel style not unlike Blind Willie Johnson . . . . as was demonstrated by his recording of ‘Let That Liar Alone’.

Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels brought us a fittingly frenetic finale and, if we didn’t fit in all that we wanted, there’s always next week, when we plan to 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!


Whaddya want . . . . .

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

Listen here to this week’s show:

Well, the skies around the Grand Duchy have been lit up with fireworks every evening for the past week and some have been truly spectacular, but we wait for the finale on the 5th for the best.

For yours truly, one of the joys of this past week was getting along tCruising 62co the Royal Albert Hall for the annual Bluesfest programme. It had plenty of great bands, with many playing at the same time on different stages around the venue. We included a taster of some of the bands on Friday’s programme, including The Excitements, Mike Sanchez, The Cadillac Kings and Mud Morganfield . . . . but there were many more.

Another joy of the week was a call from our good pal Richard Mann, who stopped by at Cruise Control, suitably prepared with a few tracks for another Three From Me . . . . and he brought us a bit of a 60s dance workout. But to kick off our musical adventure, we had an instrumental from Mook Loxley, called Gumbo Ya Ya . . . . which might bring back some memories of New Orleans for those who’ve watched the Treme TV series. We didn’t linger long because we were about to swing out with The Debs and their 1955 take on Leiber & Stoller’s ‘Whaddya Want’ . . . . and it all rolled on from there . . .

Cruising for the distant lights . . . .Big Town Playboys
Gumbo Ya Ya – Mook Loxley
Whaddya Want – The Debs
Wanna Dance – Angie & The Citations
Keep It To Yourself – The Excitements
Girls All Over The World – Mike Sanchez and The Big Town Playboys
Betty Lou – The Cadillac Kings
Addiction – Tracy Conover
He Will Break Your Heart – The Merseybeats
Modessa – Bluesbird

Three From Me . . . . with Richard MannGrace Brim
The Twist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters
Let’s Twist Again – Chubby Checker
Twistin’ The Night Away – Sam Cooke

Cruising way out there . . . .
Detache – Charlie Wood
You Must Believe Me – Delroy Wilson
Everything Good Is Bad – JJ Grey & Mofro
Somebody’s Always Trying – Ted Taylor
Stupidity – Solomon Burke
Goin’ Down the Line – Grace BrimBaltimore Jones
I Want To Be Loved – Mud Morganfield

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha

Balindo El A Campina – Las Orientales

Cruising for the familiar places . . . .
Fever – Timi Yuro
Baltimore Jones – Chuck Miller with Hugo Peretti & His Orchestra
Oogum Boogum Song – Brenton Wood
Come On – Willie Egan
Rocking All Over The World – John Fogerty
Lipstick, Powder & Paint – Delbert McClinton

Our Girls & Guitars feature this week focused on Texas blues-Rock guitarist and singer, Tracy Conover, who moved to Austin in 1991 where she played with great players, like Albert Collins, BB King, Buddy Guy, and the Marshall Tucker Band. To show off her talents, we chose a track from her 2004 album “Live! At the Cactus Moon” called ‘Addiction’.

Meanwhile, our weekly venture into the world of scratchy blues, featured one of the few female musicians who was active on the post-war Chicago blues scene . . . . Grace Brim. She was married to bluesman John Brim and they often appeared and recorded together. But she also recorded in her own right, and we found one of her releases on the Random Record label, recorded in 1951 in St Louis and credited on the label to Mrs John Brim . . . . ‘Goin’ Down The Line’.

When the time came, we turned the Cruise Mobile for home with John Fogerty’s original of ‘Rocking all over the world’ and arrived home in the company of birthday boy, Delbert McClinton, and his take on Joe Turner’s ‘Lipstick Powder & Paint’. Of course, we only have to while away another 7 days until we can do it all again . . . . And we’ll do it better with your good company. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!