Archive for January, 2015

Drive . . . .

Posted: January 27, 2015 in Hear This . . . . !

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Well, the chill of the past days in the Grand Duchy has been much cheered by some very welcome social encounters. As you’ll know by now, we do enjoy good company, especially on our weekly cruising adventures and, looking at where we went this week, we made very good use of our ‘cross boundary music visa’ , doing some sharp turns and detours along the way.
Cruising #2010
It seemed that this past week was pretty full of significant birthdays and anniversaries and we tried to squeeze in a few along the way, including Sam Cooke, Aaron Neville, Bobby Bland, Elmore James, Leadbelly and Blues Brother John Belushi. We were anticipating the anoraks and trivia quizzers, when we included Pink Floyd’s ‘Arnold Layne’, because it was this week in 1967, that they recorded that song about a real life transvestite who stole women’s underwear from washing lines.

But before any of that, we kicked off down the road in the company of Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and their 1965 version of ‘Oh Mom, Teach Me How To Uncle Willie’, followed with breathtaking continuity and style by Wily Bo Walker and the title track of his 2010 album ‘Drive’ . . . . of course, we need little encouragement.

Cruising for the magic roundabout . . . . .  Jessica Gardlund
Uncle Willie – Brian Poole & The Tremeloes
Drive – Wily Bo Walker
You Can’t Say Goodbye – Trini Lopez
Yeah Man – Sam Cooke
It’s Alright – Aaron Neville
I’m A Woman – Mickey Champion
Messin’ Round No More – Marcus Bonfanti
Take Me Home – Jessica Gardlund
The Girls From Texas – Jimmy Lewis
Everybody Needs Someone To Love – The Blues BrothersLeadbelly
My Girl – The Blues Busters

Killer Diller Korner . . . . With Johnny Alpha
Ve Con Él The Brisks

Cruising with the radio up . . . .
Arnold Layne – Pink Floyd
Almost But Not Quite There – Traffic Jam
Shoot On Sight – Ten Feet
If You Want This Love – Sonny Knight
What Now – Marion Black
Rock Island Line – LeadbellyMarion Black
I Can’t Hold Out – Elmore James
I’m Evil – Lightning Slim
Your Love – Saswatch
You Got Me In the Palm Of Your Hand – Donald Lee Richardson
Whiplash – The Shells
Sing Me A Love Song – The Glories
Trickle Trickle The Videos
Turn On Your Love Light – Bobby ‘Blue’ Bland
Baby Workout – Jackie Wilson
Got My Mojo Working – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers

Well, we got a bit European with our Girls & Guitars feature this week, with its focus on Swedish singer and guitarist Jessica Gardlund. She hails from Stockholm and, although her catalogue of recordings is not vast, we did manage to find four songs on a 2010 EP, including our choice ‘Take Me Home’. Meanwhile, our dip into the Cruising blues bag produced something really scratchy from Leadbelly, who was born this week in 1889. From his extensive catalogue of recordings, we chose his classic original recording of ‘Rock Island Line’ . . . . and no hint of any chewing gum on the bedpost!

While we were having a good time, time was slipping away and we found ourselves heading for home . . . . but we did it in grand style with Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers on a trip down to misty bayous of Louisiana and a visit to the Voodoo Shack for a special offer, Mojo double whopper in full working order. Then there was nothing to do but park up the Cruise Mobile and give it a quick polish, ready for next week’s opportunity to go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . and we’ll be here if you’ll be there, same time same place, with a seat saved especially for you. So, until then . . . . have fun!

Little by little . . . .

Posted: January 20, 2015 in Hear This . . . . !

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Well, a certain chill descended on the Grand Duchy this week, almost as a reminder that we have enjoyed rather un-seasonally mild weather just lately. The chill brings with it a small and possibly perverse benefit in quelling the enthusiasm of political interests from disturbing our tranquility too early, in pursuit of their competitive electioneering. Of course, we tell them all that we are staunch supporters of the ‘all-night party’ and most slink away looking slightly confused.Cruising #2005

One of the joys of the week was our cheery postman delivering the new album by The Hoax, ‘Recession Blues’, which happens to be a tribute to B B King and we chose ‘You Upsets Me Baby’, along with another very fine cover from Katie Bradley with Junior Wells’ ‘Little By Little’,

This week has seen its fair share of birthdays and anniversaries, including 50 years since The Who released their first single ‘I Can’t Explain’, which had Jimmy Page on guitar and the Ivy League on backing vocals. Singer/songwriter Allen Toussaint was also celebrating a birthday and we found one of his lost recordings from 1975, Shoo Rah Shoo Rah’, and then there was Maggie Bell also celebrating a birthday, so we pulled out her version of the JJ Cale’s ‘After Midnight’. Last week also happened to be the birthday of Laurens Hammond whose electric organ we know so well . . . . and demonstrated to great effect by Jimmy Smith with his classic ‘The Cat’ . . . .

Cruising down around the bend . . . . .The Hoax
The Cat – Jimmy Smith
All For You – Earl Van Dyke & The Soul Brothers
Hard Work – Smoove & Turrell
Pretty Red Balloons – Rosetta Hightower
Fever – Arthur Brown with Jimmy Carl Black
Bang Bang – The Jimmy Castor Bunch
I Can’t Explain – The Who
One Dime Blues – Etta Baker
Something’s Gotta Hold On Me – The Kinky Coo Coos

Three From Me . . . . With The Vikster
Insame In The Membrane – Prince Fattyalice
Down Down – Status Quo
Zebra – Bjorn Berge

Cruising where we don’t care . . . .
Le Nouveau Monde – Alice
Lost – Lowell George & The Factory
Just One Look – The Shanes
Walk Don’t Run – The Ventures
After Midnight – Maggie Bell
You Upsets Me – The Hoax
Little By Little – Katie BradleyWalk,_Don't_Run_1960

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Take Me Back – David Clayton-Thomas & the Shays

Cruising for the city lights . . . .
Shoo Rah Shoo Rah – Allen Toussaint
The Fives – Cripple Clarence Lofton
You’re Such A Sweet Thing – The Marvellos
If You Gotta Make A Fool Somebody – Eddie Floyd
Meet Me Down At Soulville – Little Joe Cook & The Thrillers
One Day Love – Tommy Dodson
I Ain’t Giving Up Nothing – The Hi Liters

Our rummage in Cruising blues bag found some scratchy blues from boogie woogie pianist and singer Cripple Clarence Lofton, who cut some fine sides for Vocalion Records, including his 1943 recording ‘The Fives’. Strangely, we could easily have played our Girls & Guitars choice as our scratchy blues selection too. But, we settled on it as a Girls & Guitars item, because it comes from Etta Baker who played in the Piedmont Blues style, as demonstrated by her signature piece, “One Dime Blues”.

Before we knew it, we were heading for home along with The Hi Liters and their 1956 Celeste 45 ‘I Ain’t Giving Up Nothing’, but we’ll be back next week to go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . ‘til then . . . . have fun!

Right now . . . .

Posted: January 13, 2015 in Hear This . . . . !

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With the news of the past week, we were tempted to pull together a playlist exclusively by artists or songs about Charles, or Charlie, but we thought that would cause us to linger too long on dark and disturbing deeds. Instead, we raided the pending tray and lined up some of the delights that our cheery postman has brought us recently.

Cruising #2006One of the joys of this week that came though the letterbox was a 2014 album by Katie Bradley called ‘The Anchor Baby Sessions’ . . . . she’s a very fine singer and a pretty mean blues harp player too. The album features some very fine guitar-work from Dudley Ross and although it was difficult to choose between the tracks, we chose a track from it called ‘One Day’ . . . . and we might just be returning to that album again soon. We also lined up a great Bay-Tone 45 that we’ve been chasing for a while by Vernon & Jewel , ‘It Hit Me Where It Hurts’, as well as Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins with their Brunswick release ‘Say I Do’.

The alert and attentive members of the Cruising Crew will remember that a couple of week’s back, we played a song that was featured in the TV series ‘The Newsroom’ and at the time we promised to dig out the soulful version by Solomon Burke. Well, we like to keep our promises and so we went a-rummaging and found it on his 2012 album called ‘The Last Great Concert’ and the song was ‘That’s How I Got To Memphis’.

So, at the appointed time, we arrived in the Cruise Mobile eager for a whistle-stop tour through some of the best in rock, soul and ‘real’ rhythm & blues and there was a seat for everyone who was ready to jump on board, throw caution to the wind and take a chance on Cruising with the Commissioner. We started with the great Paul Williams and his 1961, 7 Arts single ‘Back To Back’ and we were soon in the mood to boogaloo. So, we followed up with Titus Turner and ‘Knock Me A Kiss’ and more . . . .

Cruising down along the cove . . . . . Solomon Burke
Back To Back – Paul Williams
Knock Me A Kiss – Titus Turner
Right Now – Ray Scott & The Scottsmen
The Clap Hands Song – T Bird & The Breaks
The Pot’s On Strike – Jesse Hill
Hey – Barbara Mercer
Ain’t Love Wonderful – The Fantastic Four
That’s How I Got To Memphis – Solomon Burke
Cuttin’ In – Timi Yuro
Fed Up – Rita EngedalenKatie Bradley
Rosalyn – David Bowie
Sorry She’s Mine – The Small Faces
Brown Eyed Girl – Reel Big Fish

Killer Diller Korner . . . . with Johnny Alpha

Bogatini -The Four Instants

Cruising for the distant lights . . . .
Promised Land – Jerry Lee Lewis
Subterranean Homesick Blues – Bob DylanRay Byrne
It’s A Groovy World – The Lollipop Fantasy
Nobody Like My Baby – The Dennisons
End Of The Road – The Idle Race
M & O Blues – Willie Brown
One Day – Katie Bradley
Holding On (With Both Hands) – Geno Washington
Ain’t Love Good Ain’t Love Proud – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
I Can’t Stand It – The Spencer Davis Group
Keep On Running – Jackie Edwards
It Hit Me Where It Hurts – Vernon & Jewel
Say I Do – Jackie Wilson & Linda Hopkins
Lights Out – Ray Byrne

Our Girls & Guitars feature this week focused on Norwegian singer and guitarist, Rita Engedalen, who has released three albums to date and we chose the track, ‘Fed Up’, from her Grammy Award winning 2006 album ‘Heaven Ain’t Ready For Me Yet’. Meanwhile, we had to rolling up our sleeves to do a little digging in the Cruising blues bag for this week’s scratchy blues track from Willie Brown. Although he is now regarded as one of the influential blues artists of the 1930s and a pioneer of delta blues, he only recorded four sides for Paramount records in the 1930s and we played his “M & O Blues.

As the sands of time were running out for us on the show, we remembered a piece of frantic rock recommended by Thom Hickey, a new member of the Cruising Crew and very welcome he is too. We knew re rated this one, because he says so on his excellent website ‘The Immortal Jukebox’  and it was Ray Byrne with ‘Lights Out’. But, before we turned out the lights in Cruise Control, we extended our customary invitation to come back next week, when we’ll call by, same time, same place, with a seat saved especially for you. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!



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Well, we arrived at the appointed hour with cheery greetings to one and all . . . . and we were very pleased to find so many familiar faces along for our adventures in 2015. In the Grand Duchy, we started as we mean to go on, because we rolled by in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you and the more attentive of you may Cruising #2003have noticed that we’d given it a thorough clean and managed to remove most, but not all of the debris from our previous adventures. Of course, some things remain the same and our playlist was jammed with tasty treats, which included some great tracks that have gone onto our wish list for our cheery postman to deliver.

We started with our commitment from 2014 to pay our respects to the late Joe Cocker, because when we marked his passing, we said we’d return to his catalogue and its many great tracks. So, we picked out three, starting with the very appropriately titled ‘Now That The Magic Has Gone’. Sadly, we began the new year with another farewell . . . . to guitarist Jeff Golub, but before that, we kicked off our 2015 Cruising with The Rock & Roll Society and their take on The Champs ‘The Midnighter’ . . . . and the rest just came spilling out to take us all the way . . . .

Cruising into 2015 . . . . . Rock & Roll Society
The Midnighter – The Rock & Roll Society
Boppin’ The Blues – Carl Perkins
The Sheik Of Araby – Diz & The Doormen
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
My Life -Joe Jama
In My Tenement – Clyde McPhatter
Now That The Magic Has Gone – Joe Cocker
Lie To Me – Joe Cocker
Delta Lady – Joe Cocker
Sam’s Boogie – Sam ‘Suitcase’ JohnsonDizAndTheDoormenBlue_383_383
Please Help – J.B. Hutto & His Hawks
A Little Sugar In My Bowl – Hadda Brooks
How Long – Jeff Golub & Brian Auger

Killer Diller Korner . . . . . with Johnny Alpha
Troubles – The Rollers

Cruising where we please . . . . .
Sometimes Too Much Ain’t Enough – The Excitements
Mind Over Matter – Del Shannonthe-rollers-troubles-belstar
Love To Love You (And Tonight Pigs Will Fly) – Caravan
Hello Stranger – Yvonne Elliman
Who Do You Think You Are – Sass Jordan
Wondrous Place – The Last Shadow Puppets
No Turning Back – Cliff Richard & The Drifters
It Should Have Been Me – Little George Benson
Dear Dad – Chuck Berry
We Make A Good Gumbo – Tab Benoit & The Voices Of The Wetlands
Deep In The Heart Of Texas – Dave Edmunds

For our Girls & Guitars features, we chose to revisit British born Canadian rock singer songwriter and guitarist, Sass Jordan. When you hear her, you may not be surprised to know that she’s played the role of Janis Joplin in the New York show called ‘Love, Janis’. We found three albums by her and we listened to all three albums before choosing a track titled ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ from her 1992 album ‘Racine’.

Our dip into the scratchy blues bag this week pulled out something by Texas bluesman Sam Rainey. There’s little or nothing known about him, except that he recorded only two songs in his career, both for Sittin’ In Records under the name Sam ‘Suitcase’ Johnson. Not surprisingly, we chose one of those called ‘Sam’s Boogie’, which was released in 1951.

It came all too soon, but some familiar faces and places started coming into view on our cruise, which meant we were heading for home . . . . but we kept our spirits up with a Geraint Watkins song, delivered by Dave Edmunds and the thought that we can all come back next week, same time same place, for our next opportunity to go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . until then . . . . have fun!