Archive for December, 2014

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Cruising #191

Well, here’s hoping that you enjoyed the festive season and that Santa brought you something nice. All went well here in the Grand Duchy, but we’re a bit sad to say goodbye to 2014, because we were having such a good time. Of course, we gave some thought to our new year’s resolution, but decided to stick with last year’s . . . ‘to bring order out of chaos here in Cruise Control’ . . . . but then it is very still ‘work in progress’!

As has become customary, we took the opportunity for a review of our Cruising adventures during the past year and we prepared for a whistlestop tour through some of the tunes that have popped up on our playlists in 2014. We also picked out three of the treasured moments from Johnny Alpha’s Killer Diller Korner choices, along with some cherry picking through our Three From Me guests’ selections.

So, we arrived for this week’s Cruising with the Commissioner with far too much to fit into our playlist, but we tried and we started with the great Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler and his instrumental ‘Snake Eyes’ . . . . and it all rolled along nicely from there . . . .

Cruising in good company . . . . . snake eys
Snake Eyes – Alvin ‘Red’ Tyler
Right Eye’s Jumping – The Ray Collins Hot Club
Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Geraint Watkins & The Dominators
Rad Gumbo – Little Feat
All Night Worker – Rufus Thomas
I Take What I Want – James & Bobby Purify
Goin’ To The River – Bill & Will
Where Blue Begins – Dani Wilde
I Want To Be Loved – Muddy Waters
Talk To Me Baby – Johnny Winter & Ben HarperJohnny Winter
Wherever I Lay My Hat – Cornel Campbell

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Shorty’s Got To Go – Jimmy Sedlar
Seventh Son – Johnny Rivers
Baby Girl Of Mine – Bobby Sharpe

Three From Me selections
Happy – Pharrell Williams
Stop Shovin Me Around – The Delicates
Trouble No More – The Allman Brotherstommy vann (2)
Raspberry Beret – Prince
The Twist – Hank Ballard & The Midnighters

Cruising for 2015 . . . .
Shadows & Reflections – Eddie Hodges
Pretty Flamingo -Tommy Vann & The Echoes
Do You Dream In Technicolor – Supurbia
No Money Down – Wolfie Witcher & His Brew
Eyesight To The Blind – The Larks
Gumbo Ya Ya – Mook Loxley

During 2014 our Girls & Guitars feature has provided an excellent opportunity to showcase some very fine talents and, as we looked back through our past selections, we settled on one from Dani Wilde and ‘Where Blue Begins’. Amongst the our scratchy blues choices, we pulled out The Larks and their early version of ‘ Eyesight To The Blind’.

One of the joys of this past year has been catching up on the New Orleans based series Treme and it provided us with our last choice for 2014, in the form of Mook Loxley’s version of the theme tune from the series, which he calls ‘Gumbo Ya Ya’. So, until the first time we go Cruising with The Commissioner in 2015 . . . . have fun!


Listen here to this week’s show:


Well, we arrived for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner bedecked in our festive finery, along with a playlist liberally laced with some rather special festive rock, soul and real rhythm and blues. The Cruise Mobile was rolled out early and The Cruisettes ensured it was suitable festive for our cruise. Mr Merlot was full or ‘Ho Ho Ho’ and there was plenty of pink fizz for all. Of course, there was a seat saved especially for you and our mission, as ever, was to take you on a whirlwind journey across musical frontiers, in and out of time zones and jumping genres . . . . all in the interests of pursuing the music we like.
After just too much ‘encouragement from the Cruising Crew, we decided to include a few seasonal toons for our Christmas show, but avoiding the obvious and anything that might just remotely get played in the department stores or supermarkets at this time of year. But, our selection had a sad moment when we paid our respects to the great Joe Cocker, who we lost this week.

This week we tipped our hat to those discerning folk who watched the final series of ‘The Newsroom’ and for them, we included a Tom T Hall song, from the final episode, that will linger awhile as a result. . . . this was Buddy Miller with ‘That’s How I Got To Memphis’. But, we kicked off our festive frolic with The Fab Four and their version of a seasonal song that sounded somehow very familiar. We hadn’t planned it this way, but The Cruisettes insisted that we have a few favourites to get us in the party spirit . . . . so we followed on with another foursome . . . . who are still going strong . . . .Status Quo.

Cruising in cheery company . . . .Romney Getty
Good King Wencelas – The Fab Four
It’s Christmas Time – Status Quo
Boogie Woogie Santa Claus – Mabel Scott with the Maxwell Davis Orchestra
Frosty – Albert Collins
Me & My Guitar – Freddie King
She’s Gone – Romney Getty
Hard Times – Jackie Ross
Hey Little Woman – Sonny Til & The Orioles
I Got The Blues – Della Reese
I Put A Spell On You – Joe Cockersoulville
Soulville – Dinah Washington
Girls Town Ska – Babba Brookes & His Band

Killer Diller Korner . . . . With Johnny Alpha
The Whoo Pee – Joe Simon

Cruising with the elves . . . .
Christmas Nights In Blue – The Trans Siberian Orchestra
High Flying Bird – The Plague
That’s How I Got To Memphis – Buddy MillerThe Whoo Pee
Comin’ Home – Mel Torme
Hippy Hippy Shake – The Beatles
Lonesome Christmas Blues – Blind Blake
Run Rudolph Run – Keith Richards
Zat You Santa – Buster Poindexter & His Banshees of Blues
Santa Claus – Little Charlie & The Nightcaps
Santa Was A Skinhead – The Midtown Boys
Santa! Santa! Santa! The Rockabilly Boogie Band
Santa Gonna Rock – The Refreshments

Well, our cruises have caused us a good deal of time travel, especially for our dips into the scratchy blues bag, and this week was no exception. We went back to 1929 to hear something seasonal from Blind Blake and his ‘Lonesome Christmas’. We stayed in a bluesy mood too for our Girls & Guitars feature. This week we were in the company of Canadian, Romney Getty, who’s done her share of gigging out on the road and along the way she’s recorded a couple of albums. We chose a track that we particularly liked from her 2005 album ‘Fill In The Grey’ . . . . titled ‘She’s Gone’.

The Cruisettes were very evident this week and rocking out along with Mr Merlot and yours truly. The pink fizz served us well and Mrs TC had provided a few tasty nibbles too. But, all too soon, we had to turn for home on our cruise and we got there safe and sound (just) in the company of The Refreshments . . . then it was all over! But we didn’t go without sending one and all our very best wishes for the festive period and hoping you all have a good time! So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. . . . . have fun!


On our way . . . .

Posted: December 16, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show:


Well, all seemed to be unusually well prepared here for the festive season, so we were in very good spirits to wish cheery greetings to one and all, as we started our cruise. Although it may have been cold outside, there was a very warm welcome here and, as ever, we had an excellent playlist and our regular visit from Johnny Alpha. The Cruise Mobile was all fired up and we’d kept a seat saved especially for you, just so we could all go Cruising with The Commissioner.Cruising #76

One of the joys of the past week was discovering a handful of 45s that we brought back from a recent expedition around the local music shops . . . . and forgot about. So, there was a very happy reunion when we found them and there were several that got into this week’s playlist. At one point, against better judgement, we had to turn off the alarms and sensors to play The Hollies’ French version of their otherwise perfectly good hit ‘We’re Through’!

Now, some time ago we were at a local gig and enjoyed a singer sitting in for a few numbers on stage. The singer was Brian Cushion, who gave us some fine vocals and nice harp playing on that occasion. So, we were surprised and delighted to get a CD of his, sent from our pals John & Chris in Australia. The album was titled ‘Notes From The Attic’ and good stuff it is too. So, we lifted a track from it for our playlist and chose Brian’s interpretation of ‘Good Morning Blues’. . . . and if you like it too, it’s well worth finding the album. But, to get us on our way, we kicked off down the road with The Soul Orchestra and some hard driven organ work from a young Mac Rebennack (long before becoming Dr. John) and we followed on with another 1962 number by Louis Jordan . . .and we rolled on from there . . . .

Cruising in good company . . . .Mac Rebennack
The Point – Mac Rebennack & The Soul Orchestra
Workin’ Man – Louis Jordan
Wigglin’ & Gigglin’ – Jimmy Ricks
I Still Love You – The Seven Souls
Man In A Million – Sidney Barnes
Just Another Heartache – Little Ritchie
We’re Through (French lyrics) – The Hollies
Baby Never Say Goodbye – The Bo Street Runners
I Ain’t Got You – The Chocolate Watchband
Maybe I Could Be Your Girl – Fiona Boyes
Shook, Shimmy & Shake – Wynder K FrogFiona Boyes 2
Hi Heel Sneakers – Brian Knight
Cerveza – Cherry Wainer

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Empty Heart – The First Four

Cruising in good company . . . .
Gentlemen Of The Park – Episode Six
On Our Way – Neighbourhood Children
I’m Comin’ Home – Dee Dee Sharp
Scandalous & A Shame – Blind Joe TaggartYou Better Dig It
Good Morning Blues – Brian Cushion
Sugar Coated Love – Lou Ann Barton
The Queen – Big Ella
Ain’t Gonna Walk Your Dog No More – Otis Williams & The Charms
Pain – Little Flint
Take It Baby – The Showmen
Sally Go Round The Roses – The Ikettes
Just A Little Misunderstanding – Johnny Williams
She Can Rock – Mike Sanchez & His Band

We hit a bluesy mood for our Girls & Guitars feature and this week, we went back for another listen to Australian blues guitarist and singer, Fiona Boyes. She’s a daughter of Melbourne, where she grew up and developed her musical skills. In 2011 she recorded album called ‘Blues for Hard Times’ and we chose a track that has some very nice guitar-work on it, ‘Maybe I Could Be Your Girl’ . . . . so, you can make up your own mind.

The Cruising time machine took us back to 1928 for this week’s dip into the scratchy blues bag. Our focus was on country bluesman, Blind Joe Taggart, who was described by long time buddy, Josh White, as a mean-tempered man. However, in October of 1928 Josh White accompanied Joe Taggart at a recording session and you can hear them both doing call and response on a song from that session, ‘Scandalous & A Shame’.

When time was running out on our cruise, we were intent on getting in something by Mike Sanchez and his band, who were on our giglist this past week . . . . . and a rocking good gig it was too. So, we went home in style with ‘real’ R&B from Mike with his take on a Little Ike original from 1959, ‘She Can Rock’. Then it was all over for another week, but we will be back . . . . and until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!


She walks right in . . . .

Posted: December 9, 2014 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s show :

Well, the pre-Xmas social functions started early this year so we’ve been able to pace ourselves much better and all the more enjoyable as a result. There’s been plenty of good-hearted cheer and a few friendly faces that we haven’t seen in a while. Most folks seem to be faring well and we arrived in good spirits at the appointed time to take the Cruising Crew on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. Cruising #88b

Mr Merlot has been in charge of the festive decorations around Cruise Control and there seems to be something new each day or so. But, we still found time to polish up the Cruise Mobile and pull together a real mix of music for our playlist this week. There were a few sad moments, as we said our last farewells to songwriter and producer, Bob Montgomery, saxman Bobby Keys and Ian McLagan of the Small Faces.

Our giglist this week was good fun and included Imelda May and Big Boy Bloater. They both put on good shows, but we augmented their choices with a couple of favourites of our own, featuring Imelda May’s version of ‘My Man’ from an album called ‘Almost Grown’ where she appears with Mike Sanchez & His Band and from Big Boy Bloater we chose his ‘That Ain’t My Name’. Someone else gigging around town now is the excellent Charlie Wood and we couldn’t miss the opportunity to play a particular favourite of ours, ‘Doin’ The Blah Blah Blah’, which has some great lyrics that we sent with a big smile to our good pals DJ Leyton Rocks & The Spinmeister. But, we set off on our cruise this week in the company of Buddy Miles, who has kept company with some very notable names through his career. Our choice was a track from his album Chapter 7 called ‘Hear No Evil’ and we followed that with Imelda May, who was on our giglist this week . . . and there’s more . . .

Cruising way out there . . . .Karen Almquist
Hear No Evil – Buddy Miles
My Man – Imelda May
That Ain’t My Name – Big Boy Bloater
Doin’ The Blah Blah Blah – Charlie Wood
Cadillac Message – The Wizards From Kansas
Smokestack Lightning – The Topham-McCarty Band
Elijah Rock – Jean Shy
Honey Child – Johnny Williams
Why Are People Like That – Karen AlmquistBlind Willie Johnson
I’ve Got To Learn – Bee Gees
Man In The Street – Bobby Keys

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . With Johnny Alpha
St James Infirmary – Josh White

Cruising where we please . . . . .
Down The Line – Bob Montgomery & Buddy Holly
Someone Must Have Lied – The Fun & Games Commission
She May Call You Up Tonight – The Strolling Scones
What Is Happy Baby – The CaliforniansChan Romero
For Your Love – The Four Tops
I Can’t Keep From Crying – Blind Willie Johnson
Whatcha Gonna Do Bout It – The Small Faces
Frustrated Woman – Freedom
If I Could Only Be Sure – Sidney Barnes & Speedometer
Don’t Feel Sorry For Me – Jimmy Ruffin
She Walks Right In – Diz & The Doormen
Hippy Hippy Shake – Chan Romero
Good Golly Miss Molly – Little Richard

In our rooting around in the Cruising Library, we stumbled across a rather fine version of ‘Why Are People Like That’ which came from singer and guitarist Karen Almquist. We found it on her 1996 album ‘Tracking of Time’ and it was just what we wanted for our Girls & Guitars feature.

For our scratchy blues choice this week, we pulled out something by from Texas bluesman Blind Willie Johnson.He made 30 commercial recordings during his career, one of which was a song that’s been much covered since, including a version by the Blues Project that we played on last week’s show. So, we went back to December the 5th 1928, somewhere in Dallas for his classic . . . I Can’t Keep From Crying.

It was Little Richard’s birthday this week, so our last tune came from him and something he recorded in October 1956 at Cosimo Matassa’s studio in New Orleans, ‘Good Golly Miss Molly’. Then it was all over . . . . leaving us to wave a cheery farewell to one and all, until next week, when once again we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. So, ‘til then . . . . Have fun!

Listen here to this week’s show:


Well, around the Grand Duchy, it’s difficult not to recognise that we’re on the count down to the festive season and the invitations to contribute to the economic revival are seemingly endless. But, you’ll know this for yourself, already. We  have taken the hint and pulled out the festive decorations from deep storage to adorn Cruise Control, while The Cruisettes were selecting their favourite festive outfits. But, it didn’t keep them from stopping by for a shake and shimmy once we embarked on this week’s Cruising with the Commission.

The week has been jammed with encounters with lots Cruising #198of friendly faces and it has felt really good. It also included discovering new members of the Cruising Crew, including the good folks at Totally Fuelled, many of whom gave us a good number of suggestions for our playlist.

While we out on the town, we caught up with a couple of long awaited acts on our giglist and we kicked off our musical adventure with ‘Jump The Joint’ from Eugene Hideaway Bridges (who was one of those on our gig list) and later we featured Micky Moody, who was another we saw on stage . . . and very good he was too.

We heard from our good pal Johnny 99 this week and he happens to share an enthusiasm for Eddie & The Hot Rods with the very genial Bob, who spent several days this week helping to refurbish Cruise Control. So we thought we’d include their classic ‘Do Anything You Wanna Do’ . . . . and lots more . . . . .

Cruising for the border . . . . . Becky Barksdale
Jump The Joint – Eugene Hideaway Bridges
Do Anything You Wanna Do – Eddie & The Hot Rods
If I Could Only Be Sure – Button Up
Pictures Of Matchstick Men – Status Quo
Under My Thumb – Del Shannon
Paint It Black – Chris Farlowe
Gimme Shelter – Paul Brady & The Forrest Rangers
Going Back To Texas – Becky Barksdale
Stop The Wedding – Zoot Money & The Big Roll BandJimmy Sedlar
Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard – Jesse Malin

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Shorty’s Got To Go – Jimmy Sedlar

Cruising where we please . . . . . 
Up The Line – Little Walter
Let’s Take Our Love – The Ashes
I Can’t Keep From Crying – The Blues Project
Try A Little Love – Sam Cooke
Pretty Thing – Micky MoodyThe Ashes
Three Cool Cats – Lil Cliff & The Cliffhangers
It Takes Two – Otis Redding & Carla Thomas
I Found Out – Sam & Dave
Everyday I Have To Cry Some – Steve Alaimo
Rock & Roll Fever – Willie Egans
Go Away With Me – Hollis Dixon & The Keynotes
Put On My Shoes – Mary Ann Fisher
She Loves To Rock – Cornell Gunter & The Flairs

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature had its spotlight falling on American blues singer and guitarist Becky Barksdale. She hails from Port Arthur, Texas, and started playing guitar at the age of twelve, and by the age of sixteen, she was gigging and gaining a reputation for her vocal style, which some say has traces of Bessie Smith and Janis Joplin, while her guitar playing brings some hints of Texas bluesman, Freddie King. We chose a self penned song from her first album in 1999, ‘Real Live’ and ‘Going Back To Texas’.

Now, we flouted our own conventions this week with something that barely qualifies as scratchy blues, since it comes from 1963. So, with due apologies to the fundamentalists, we picked a Checker 45 from Little Walter and it may be the only track where he recorded with horns . . . this was ‘Up The Line’.

But, all too soon, our time ran out and we still had plenty of great music in the pending tray. So, we reluctantly turned for home and travelled back in style with Cornell Gunter & The Flairs and ‘She Loves To Rock’ and whoever she is . . . . we were with her! We arrived back safe and sound and parked up the trusty Cruise Control for another week. So, ‘til the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . Have fun!