Archive for March, 2017

Could it be . . .

Posted: March 29, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, there were some significant events this week on the national and international scene, which may have caused some to welcome the sort of diversion that came as we came cruising round the corner in the trusty Cruise Mobile for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. When it comes to our music choices, we recognise the limits of no frontiers, no time zones and no genres . . . It just has to be good!
Cruising #2002
We indulged in some feverish rummaging in the Cruising Library in search of the obscure and forgotten gems that lurk there in the dark corners. We came back with a satisfied smile and a fistful of tasty treats for our Cruising adventure. One of those featured Los Angeles vocal group, The Souvenirs, who record a song called ‘Voodoo Love’ in 1958 for Ebb records, but it didn’t get released at the time and whatever the reason, it can’t have been the song or The Souvenirs performance. But, two of core members of The Souvenirs were Alvin & Edwin Johnson, who were probably better known as the writers of songs like the much covered ‘Casting My Spell’, but they were the first to record it as The Johnson Brothers . . . and we included that one in our playlist.

Now, along with those dusty choices, we added a taster track from the new (posthumous) album by Chuck Berry . . . a reminder that he was still rocking at 90 years old! Now, Chuck was not unknown for courting a little controversy with some of his lyrics, particularly on stage . . . . but probably nothing like the little something suggested by Wendel Williams from Slim Gaillard. But, before any of that, we kicked off down the road with Saturday Night Fish Fry and their take on ‘Carlton Street Boogie’ . . .

Casting A SpellLes Legendes Du Rock and Roll
Carlton Street Boogie – Saturday Night Fish Fry
Could It Be – The Chords
Big Boys – Chuck Berry
Dirty Rooster – Slim Gaillard
Tonk Game – Hank Marr
Voodoo Love – The Souvenirs
Casting My Spell – The Johnson Brothers

Girls & Guitars
You Need To Be With Me – Susan Tedeschithe-johnson-brothers-casting-my-spell-valor

Taking You There
Burnt Biscuits – The Triumphs
I Take It To My Baby – Carla Thomas
Make Me Yours – Vaneese Thomas
Walking The Dog – Rufus Thomas
I’ll Take You There – The Pioneers
Mr Blues – Damita Jo
Saturday Night Boogie Woogie Man – Mitch Woods & The Lazy Jumpers
Cadillac Boogie – Al Hill & His Love Butlers
You Made A Boo Boo – Bob & Earlet206_720x600

Now, the blues buffs out there will know that there’s a new album out now by the Tedeschi Trucks Band which is getting plenty of good reviews and it features Derek Trucks (ex of The Allman Brothers Band) and Susan Tedeschi, who was the focus of this week’s Girls & Guitars feature. She has built an enviable career as blues singer and guitarist and our choice was a track from her 1998 album, ‘Just Won’t Burn’ called ‘You Need To Be With Me’.

We featured a trio of tracks with a common link to a famous Memphis musical family. It started with a funky little instrumental called ‘Burnt Biscuits’ released on the Volt label in 1961 by the short lived Memphis band, The Triumphs whose members included a 17 year old keyboard player Marvell Thomas. Then we heard ‘I Take It To My Baby’ by his sister Carla Thomas and followed with ‘Make Me Yours’ by Vaneese Thomas. By which time everyone must have guessed their daddy was Rufus Thomas and if you want a great background piece on the Thomas family . . . check out the latest issue by Thom Hickey on his Immortal Jukebox blog, which celebrates what would have been Rufus’s 100th birthday this week. Who knows, if he’d still been around he might have joined our Ambassador to the Islands Susan Bowman and our man in New Orleans, Jamie Dell’Apa both of who regularly go walking the dog.

As the sands of time started running out fast on our cruise, our choices by Damita Jo and Mitch Woods & The Lazy Jumpers brought some unexpected accompaniment in the form of Mr Merlot & The Cruisettes, whose dance moves are definitely as good as Dick Van Dykes cockney accent! Then Bob & Earl brought us home safe & sound and after giving the Cruise Mobile a quick polish, we assembled to wave everyone a cheery farewell and the promise that there will be a seat saved especially for you to go the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 29 March 2017


Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, this week Summer time officially arrive and we lost an hour, which may be less of a worry than a lost day, but any complaint disappeared with the arrival of the very welcome sunshine. Of course, we were well prepared when it was time to welcome everyone to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling and we kicked off in great style with Mike Zito, who’s on tour here shortly and he was rocking out on that old Clarence Garlow favourite, Route 90.

I am grateful to our good pal Larry Grogan at Funky 16 Corners for suggesting something from Stevie Ray Vaughan. Larry and I were enjoying some trans Atlantic memories of a US TV show called ‘Night Moves’ and one particular episode featuring Van Dyke Parks, David Sanborn, Hirum Bullock and Stevie playing together. So, a little digging found Stevie doing that Doyle Bramhall song ‘Change It’. Still on the subject of ‘change’, Stevie Nimmo was on our giglist this week and a great show he put on too, which included ‘Changes’ from his ‘Sky Won’t Fall’ album, so that got into the playlist too.

There were new releases from Taj Mahal & Keb Mo TajMo, Hurricane Ruth and The Big Wolf Band, along with a treat for the scratchy blues fans. They had a treat this week in the form of Furry Lewis, who is alleged to be the first or one of the first to play bottleneck blues guitar. He cut his first records in 1927 for the Vocalion label and our choice, ‘Falling Down Blues’, was one of those.

Hard Rockin’mike-zito-make-blues-not-war
Route 90 – Mike Zito (Make Blues Not War – 2016)
Change It – Stevie Ray Vaughan (Soul To Soul – 1985)
Change – Steve Nimmo (Sky Won’t Fall – 2016)
Falling Down Blues – Furry Lewis (In His Prime 1927-28 – 2005)
Hard Rockin’ Woman – Hurricane Ruth (Ain’t Ready For The Grave – 2017)
Worried – Little Bobby & The Storm (Bootlegging The Blues – 2009)
Who Will The Next Fool Be – Luther Kent (The Bobby Blue Bland Songbook – 2008)

Pinetop’s Pick
Candyman – Gary Davis (At Home & Church – 1962)Luther Kent

Don’t Leave Me Here
Long Time Mary – Big Wolf Band (A Rebel’s Story – 2017)
Where Were You When The Levee Broke – Kenny Traylor (Talkin’ About The Blues – 2014)
Keeping Me Awake – Lew Jetton & 61 South (Rain – 2016)
Lights Are On But No One’s Home – Albert Collins (Cold Snap – 1986)
One For The Highway – James Booker (Classified – 2013)
Don’t Leave Me Here – Taj Mahal & Keb Mo (TajMo – 2017)
Let’s Get Back – The Delgado Brothers (Let’s Get Back – 1999)James Booker

We gave a big welcome back to Lew Jetton and his band 61 South. They’ve appeared on our playlist before and I was fascinated to learn that Lew spent many years as a TV weatherman & news caster, but he gave that up in 2007 to concentrate on his music and, perhaps it’s no small coincidence that his latest album is called ‘Rain’. Indeed, it was Lew who reminded me of a quote attributed to the late Albert Collins ‘No one gets out of here without singing the blues’ and it was certainly true of Albert, as he demonstrated for us with his lovely slow blues, ‘Lights are on but nobody’s home’ . . . on which subject I’m saying no more!

For those who have nothing by James Booker in their music collection, I hoped to convince them that you should with a play of ‘One For The Highway’. I’m a big fan of his and, in my opinion, he was a great and much underrated talent for sure.

All too soon, it was time for our last choice on the playlist, which happened to be The Delgado Brothers and ‘Let’s Get Back’. Then, it was time to tidy up and get ready to head for the door, but before taking time to thank everyone for listening and to extend an invitation to come back again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 26 March 2017

Let me know . . . . 

Posted: March 23, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, here we are with March ebbing away and the searing heat of endless summer days still an enticing prospect. At present the Grand Duchy appears to be getting better weather than the recent experience of those in and around New York, so we should not complain. But, we were saddened by the news this week of the departure of Chuck Berry to the Promised Land. We tried to keep our spirits high with Bob Seger’s rocking tribute to Chuck with ‘You Never Can Tell’ (or as Bob calls it ‘C’est La Vie’). But, we kicked of the show with a most frantic welcome to one and all from Little Richard, providing a timely reminder to go Cruising with the Commissioner.Cruising #3007

Now this week, there have been quite a few communiques with our Ambassador to the Islands, one of which was about a recent playlist choice here by Hal Glatzer. It turns out he is well known to our Ambassador and so, to ingratiate ourselves a little more, we dug out another track by Mr Glatzer called ‘Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again’ . . . . and many happy returns we say.

If we told you that many fruitful hours had been spent rummaging in the Cruising Library for obscurities this week, it would be a stretch of the truth (a practice which seems very popular of late, beyond the Grand Duchy). But, yours truly has been laid low with some virus, so, if the chatter on this week’s show sounds a little strained on occasions, that’s the excuse! However, the pile of records that are still waiting to be put away helped with easy access to the original of ‘Wondrous Place’ by the ‘Good Timin’ man, Jimmy Jones. It’s a song covered by Billy Fury in the UK and so to soothe their feelings of the Billy Fury fans, we found his take on the Ray Charles number ‘Tell Me How Do You Feel’.

C’est La VieLittle Richard - Hey Hey Hey Hey
Hey Hey Hey Hey – Little Richard
C’est La Vie – Bob Seger
Come On Home – Louis ‘Blues Boy’ Jones
Trickle Trickle – The Videos
Downstairs – Plas Johnson
Fever – Patti Drew
What’s Wrong – James ‘Sugar Boy’ Crawford
Wondrous Place – Jimmy Jones
Tell Me How Do You Feel – Billy Fury

Girls & Guitars
A Whiter Shade Of Pale – Francesca De Fazifrancescadefazi

I’m Coming Back Again
Honolulu I’m Coming Back Again – Hal Glatzer
My Boy Lollipop – Barbie Gaye
Hey – Barbara Mercer
Michael (The Lover) – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Pink Champagne – Georgie Fame
You Can’t Sit Down – The Phil Upchurch Combo
Shock To The System – Eli Paperboy Reed
Let Me Know – Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker

This week our Girls & Guitars spotlight fell on Italian, FrancescaShock To The System – Eli Paperboy Reed De Fazi. Who has performed across Europe and America in some notable company along the way. She can boast an appearance in the “International Jimi Hendrix Festival” in Vienna and Budapest, but our choice was a track from her 2002 live album Blues Dues and her rather excellent take on ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’. 

And for those of you who care about such things, I can tell you that this next song was written in the mid-1950s by Robert Spencer of the doo-wop group The Cadillacs, and it was first recorded in New York in 1956 by Barbie Gaye. The song became a bigger success in the mid 60s when it was covered by Millie Small . . . . becoming one of the top selling ska songs of all time. . . . And if you haven’t guessed by now . . . . This is “My Boy Lollipop”

There were plenty of juicy gems in our playlist this week, including a few old favourites, but taking us all the way home on this week’s cruise was Oscar McLollie & Jeanette Baker with their 1958 Class recording ‘Let Me Know’. . . . by the end of which, we were indeed home safe and sound. We parked up the Cruise Mobile and waved our cheery farewells, sure in the knowledge that in another seven days we will swing by for you in the Cruise Mobile, same time same place next week to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . .have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 22 March 2017


Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, we were back again with this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling and some mixed emotions. The forthcoming tours and new releases all look good and suggest that blues music is thriving in the UK. But, the good news was tempered with the sadness of losing James Cotton and Chuck Berry this past week. So, our playlist included a respectful taste of James Cotton with ‘The Creeper’ and Chuck Berry with ‘Confessin’ The Blues’.

But the new releases keep coming and this week’s playlist included the welcome return of Mr Sipp with his new album, ‘Knock A Hole In It’. We also heard from one of the very familiar names on the UK blues scene, Mick Clarke, with his cover of a Howlin’ Wolf favourite on his latest album, ‘Digging Down’. A big thanks went out to Blind Racoon Records for the new opus from Hurricane Ruth ‘Ain’t Ready For The Grave’ and the very talented Malaya Blue, who happens to have a new single out now, also made an appearance. Now, after waiting on the new album, ‘Live from The Fox, Oakland’ by The Tedeschi Trucks Band, it got released this week and we chose a taster track ftitled ‘Just In Time’.

I Am The BluesJames Cotton
The Creeper – James Cotton (Dealin’ With the Devil – 2016)
Gotta Let Her Go – Mr Sipp (Knock A Hole In It – 2017)
Smokestack Lightning – Mick Clarke (Digging Down – 2017)
Let Me Be the One – Hurricane Ruth (Ain’t Ready For The Grave – 2017)
Hunny Little Day Dream – Malaya Blues (Heartsick – 2016)
I Am The Blues – Debbie Bond (Enjoy The Ride – 2016)
Goin’ To New Orleans – Little Sam Davis (Roots of Americana – 2013)

Pinetop’s Pick
Parchman Farm – Johnny Winter (Suicide Won’t Satisfy – 1998)

Just In TimeMr Sipp - Knock a hole in it
Just In Time – The Tedeschi Trucks Band (Live from The Fox Oakland – 2017)
Confessin’ The Blues – Chuck Berry (Rockin’ At The Hops – 1960)
Honky Tonk Train Blues – Claude Bolling (Original Boogie Woogie – 1998)
Ain’t Goin’ Down This Time – Don Baker (No Regrets – 1995)
Kentucky Blues – Little Hat Jones (Early Rural Blues – 2007)
Keep It To Yourself – Billy Price (East End Avenue – 2006)
Rolling With Thunder – Big Wolf Band (A Rebel’s Story – 2017)

I guessed that Texas bluesman, George “Little Hat” Live from The Fox OaklandJones would bring a smile of contentment to the faces of the scratchy blues fans. He only cut a few sides for Okeh Records back in 1929, including our choice, ‘Kentucky Blues’. Now every once in while I think we have a duty to relive the joy of that classic piano ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’, first recorded in 1927 by Meade Lux Lewis and performed this week’s playlist by French jazz pianist Claude Bolling. Another cover came from Irish bluesman, Don Baker, with a well known song written by Tony Joe White, ‘Ain’t Goin’ Down This Time’ from Don’s 1995 album ‘No Regrets’.

As time started catching up with us, we pulled out something by Pittsburg’s own Billy Price and a song from his 2006 album ‘East End Avenue’, called ‘ Keep It To Yourself’ and we played out with Birmingham’s Big Wolf Band and a taster of their forthcoming album ‘A Rebel’s Story’. Then, it was time to tidy up and head for the door, but not before thanking you for your good company this week and hoping we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 19 March 2017

Back to back . . .

Posted: March 15, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, around the Grand Duchy, there are some encouraging signs of Spring and the sunny days come with increasing frequency to tempt the adventurous to wind down the windows of their cars, turn up the volume on their radios and get themselves properly prepared to go, who knows where with you know who! Of course, they’re not alone, because, at the appointed hour, the familiar sight of the Cruise Mobile comes into view and they know they’re going Cruising with The Commissioner.

This week’s playlist comes with its fair share of ‘toons’ shamelessly plunder from others, including Jamie Dell’Apa and the Saturday Night crew who suggested Little Willie Joe and his one stringed Unitar, which can be heard on our opening instrumental ‘Twitchy’ by The Rene Hall Orchestra and also Bob ‘Froggie’ Landers’ number ‘Cherokee Dance‘. Then we tipped our hat to Larry Grogan and his Funky 16 Corners  show for pointing us to a 1964 RCA 45 by Jimmy Elledge, ‘Gonna Turn My Voodoo On’, which is fetching a nice price among collectors these days.

Our thanks also went to Thom Hickey for the latest edition of his excellent blog the Immortal Jukebox . It had a fine feature on Ella Mae Morse and we couldn’t resist the temptation to play her 1946 Capitol hit, ‘House Of Blue Light’. The well informed musicos know that Chuck Berry was one of many who also recorded that song and with Matt the Cat’s Chuck Berry feature on his Juke In the Back Show, we were inspired to play Chuck’s version of another Don Raye composition, ‘Down the Road Apiece’.

Twitchy – Rene Hall Orchestra with Willie Joe & His Unitar
Cherokee Dance – Bob ‘Froggy’ Landers & The Coughdrops with Willie Joe & His Unitar
Gonna Turn My Voodoo On – Jimmy Elledge
House of Blue Light – Ella Mae Morse
Down The Road Apiece – Chuck Berry
It’s All Over Now – The Valentinos
Junker Blues – Champion Jack Dupree

Girls & Guitars
Black To Blue – Gaelle Buswel

Do Your Best
Oh Julie – Shakin’ Stevens
A Lover Of The Orchid Isle – Hal Glatzer
Back To Back (Jumbie Jamberee) – Duke Errol & The Lords
Be Mine – The Jordan Brothers
Satellite – Jesse Belvin
Hum De Dum – The Gassers
Do Your Best – Vince Maloy
Going Down To The River – Jimmy Bell
Got The Water Boiling – The Regals
How About Rocking With Me – Piney Brown

For this week’s Girls & Guitars feature, our spotlight fell on Gaelle Buswel, who hails from across the channel in France and grew up listening to Led Zeppelin, Joe Cocker Janis Joplin and more. She’s gigged across Europe and America and has a new album coming out shortly, but for our choice, we’ve picked the title track of her second album, ‘Black To Blue’. 

Now if you happen to be a fan of Bobby Womack and find yourself in Austin, Texas there’s a chance you’ll bump into our good pal Wendel Williams. If you do, tell him you heard us play a Bobby Womack song that Bobby wrote with his sister, Shirley Womack, and was recorded in 1964 him and the rest of The Womack Brothers as members of The Valentinos. It got to No 94 in the billboard charts, but it earned a lot more royalties for Bobby when The Rolling Stones hit No 1 with ‘It’s All Over Now’.

Mr Merlot arrived with The Cruisettes all bedecked in colourful Hawaiian garb, clutching their ukeleles, and nodding respectfully in the direction of our Ambassador to the islands, who might just hear the name check for her favoured hula party spot in a Hal Glatzer’s number, ‘A Lover Of The Orchid Isle’.

There was plenty more in our playlist, including a trio of tracks featuring the great Jessie Belvin (with The Space Riders, The Hollywood Saxons and The Gassers). Soon after, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home and did it in great style with The Regals and their 1955 Atlantic side ‘Got The Water Boiling’, followed fast by Piney Brown and ‘How About Rocking With Me’. Then, we were saying our fond farewells and looking forward to the next time we can go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 15 March 2017



Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another edition of The Blues Come Calling and there was plenty of good blues to cram into our time together. With so many great new releases heading your way, it would be easy to forget some of those ‘seasoned’ favourites, but, certainly not this week.

This week’s rummaging in the archives delivered a little number called ‘Little Walter’s Jump’, which I don’t think Little Walter ever released on record, but fortunately it was captured when he played it live on European TV as part of the 1967 American Folk Blues Festival tour. Then, there was some very fine New Orleans boogie piano from Joe Krown, a veteran of Clarence Gatemouth Brown’s band, but now a familiar face around the Crescent City as a solo pianist and with his funky organ trio. He was showing off his solo talents with ‘Midnight Boogie’. The lovers of scratchy blues were not forgotten either, with a 1949 Mercury release by Monroe Moe Jackson and a song that’s cited as one of the origins of rock & roll . . . ‘Move It On Over’.

Among the new releases, there was Elvin Bishop with a very nice reworking of ‘It’s All Over Now’ from his latest album ‘Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio’. There was a taster of a forthcoming release by two big names of the blues, Taj Mahal & Keb Mo, with a single from that album titled ‘Don’t Leave Me Here’. Danny Bryant, also appeared with his Big Band and his new single release, ‘Prisoner of The Blues’. But, before all that we kicked off our playlist with Andrew ‘Jr Boy’ Jones and a little something he recorded in 2009 at the 13th Annual Fargo Blues Festival, called ‘I Got Stick’ 

Hidden CharmsTaj & Keb
I Got Stick – Andrew ‘Jr Boy’ Jones (Bootleggin’ The Blues – 2009)
Keepin’ It All Alive – Lights Out By Nine (Make Your Own Luck – 2004)
Hidden Charms – The Big Head Blues Club (Ft Billy Branch) (Way Down Inside – 2016)
Don’t Leave Me Here – Taj Mahal & Keb Mo (Don’t Leave Me Here (single – 2017)
Midnight Boogie – Joe Krown (Just The Piano . . . Just the Blues – 1997)
Little Walter’s Jump – Little Walter (Live on The American Folk Blues Festival tour – 1967)
It’s All Over Now – Elvin Bishop (Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – 2017)

Pinetop’s PickJoe Krown 2
Howlin’ Wolf Boogie – Colin James & Hubert Sumlin (A Tribute to Howlin’ Wolf – 1998)

Prisoner of The Blues
Get You Back – Joanne Shaw Taylor (Wild – 2016)
Prisoner of The Blues – Danny Bryant (Prisoner of The Blues (single) – 2017)
Blues Is My Medicine – Lisa Mann (Move On – 2014)
Move It On Over – Monroe Moe Jackson (Rural Blues Vol.1 – 1934-1956)
Hammer Down – Hitman Blues Band (The World Moves On – 2016)
Sugar Babe – Buster Brown (Fire single – 1962)joanne_shaw_taylor_hb_051016

There were some welcome returns in this week’s choices, including Scottish band Lights Out By Nine, with ‘Keepin’ It All Alive’, The Big Head Blues Club with another of their tributes to blues icon Willie Dixon, ‘Hidden Charms’ and one of the UK’s great female blues artists (in my humble opinion), Joanne Shaw Taylor who’s gigging around the UK, with a setlist featuring a few tracks from her latest album, like ‘Get You Back’. Another lady of the blues, Lisa Mann, returned with her song ‘Blues Is My Medicine’ from her ‘Move On’ album and The Hitman Blues Band also made an appearance with ‘Hammer Down’ to remind us of their stunning set at last year’s Blues On The Farm festival.

Just before collecting up the records and CDs, ready to head to the door this week, there was just enough time to play Buster Brown’s 1962 Fire 45 ‘Sugar Babe’, bringing back memories of of the much missed Mike Raven and his very popular R&B radio show. As it faded away, there was time to say thanks for your good company on this week’s show and look forward to our next meeting, the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 12 March 2017

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, the Cruise Mobile has seen its fair share of traveling this week, taking in some very enjoyable social events and meeting up with some friendly faces. Our travels included a visit to our Gallic friends to sample their excellent wine and provender. Of course, in a comradely gesture, we felt obliged to demonstrate our respect and appreciation by taking away with us some of these consumables!

Cruising #3004Rest assured, there was still plenty of time to prepare for our musical journeying with the Cruising Crew. Inspired by some positive feedback on our
previous Cruising adventures, we dug a little deeper in the Cruising Library for something from Big Bo & The Arrows, who’ve been providing our opening theme music for the show since we started Cruising back in 2011. Our Ambassador to the islands, Susan Bowman, also reported in this week, suggesting something from Ray Kinney for our playlist. So, Mr Merlot and yours truly donned our Hawaiian shorts and shirts for the occasion, hoping our worthy Ambassador was also suitably bedecked in her grass skirt for this one.

At the appointed time and place, the Cruise Mobile came rolling to a stop tor pick-up the faithful and embark on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner. We kicked off down the road with Mickey & Sylvia and their 1954 Cat Records single ‘Speedy Life’, followed by the wonderful Big Mama Thornton with her take on ‘Wade In the Water’.

Speedy LifeBig Mama Thornton
Speedy Life – Mickey & Sylvia
Wade In The Water – Big Mama Thornton
It Keeps Raining – Big Bo & The Arrows
Swanee River Hop – Fats Domino
Splish Splash – Freddie Cannon
Priscilla – Eddie Cooley & The Dimples
Woo Woo Train – The Valentines
Little Brown Gal – Ray Kinney
Don’t Look Back In Anger – Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox

Girls & Guitars
You Don’t Move Me No More – Heather Crosseheather crosse

How Come
Mr Big Wheel – Christine Kittrell
Lovely Dee – The Untouchables
Air Travel – Ray & Bob
How Come – Mario Cobo & Help Me Devil
Dynamo – Si Cranstoun
Rock-A-Boogie – Jeanette Baker
Hubba Hubba Ding Ding – Vince Maloy
Rita – Floyd Dixon
I Get The Blues When It Rains – Alonzo StewartMario Cobo

For those who were waiting for our Girls & Guitars feature, saw our spotlight fall on Heather Crosse, who hails from Louisiana and now lives in Clarksdale. She’s been fronting her own band for some 8 years now and they have the delightful title of Heavy Suga’ & the SweeTones. They were all present on our choice from Heather Crosse, ‘You Don’t Move Me No More’.

Now, this week, there was every reason to expect Mrs TC’s appearance as a generous hostess, wafting by with provender and fizz. Sparing no expense, we took her off to France to sample their wines and produce, much of which followed us back to Cruise Control. Indeed, the Cruise Mobile went crossing many frontiers and time zones this week. One of the many trans Atlantic stops was for some rockabilly from Vince Malloy, who, when he left the music business back around 1979, went on to become the Chief of Police with the North Beach Maryland Police Department. (Now, there’s a gem for the next trivia quiz!)

The great Floyd Dixon (or as his dubbed himself ‘Mr Magnificent’) was telling us the story of Rita, when we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. We passed plenty of familiar faces and places along the way and, despite the antics of The Cruisettes, we arrived back safe and sound. As the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stop, we parked it conveniently, ready for our next adventure. So, with a cheery wave, we said our farewell to all, ever hopeful that we’ll all meet again the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 8 March 2017


Listen here to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling:

Well, as ever, a big bluesy welcome to another edition of The Blues Come Calling and if you are a regular listener, you will have heard me say before that there are some excellent new blues releases coming out over the next month or so and with some fine blues acts on tour too. Some of those new releases show up on our playlist this week, along with ‘seasoned’ favourites that deserved another listen.

The show kicked off this week with Germany’s Jan Fischer Bluesband doing a little ‘Walking In The Shadow Of The Blues’ and stepping out into the daylight behind them came Elvin Bishop with a track from his new album ‘Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio’ and with a title like you just know it will get plenty of interest.

Inspired, we dug out the signature number, ‘Born In Chicago’ by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, which included the aforementioned Elvin Bishop . . . and that particular song happened to be in the set list for local band ‘Hard To Handle’ this past week, with a guesting appearance on vocals and harp by the talented Brian Cushion, so we pulled out Brian’s excellent version of ‘Good Morning Blues’.

Samantha Fish has a new album called ‘Chills & Fever’ due out on 17 March, with some fine covers of rocking R&B songs of the 60s & 70s and chose to preview her take on that old Skip James number ‘Jane Crow’. We also chose the title track from Sean Chambers’ news album ‘Trouble & Whiskey’, along with Vanessa Collier’s version of ‘When Love Comes To Town’ from her new album “Meeting My Shadow”.

Good Morning Blues elvin-bishop
Walking In The Shadow of The Blues – Jan Fischer Bluesband (Roadside Boogie – 2008)
It’s You Baby – Elvin Bishop (Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio – 2017)
Born In Chicago – Paul Butterfield Blues Band (Paul Butterfield Blues Band – 1965)
Good Morning Blues – Brian Cushion (Good Morning Blues – 2010)
Jane Crow – Samantha Fish (Chills & Fever – 2017)
Trouble & Whiskey – Sean Chambers (Trouble & Whiskey – 2017)
Good Boy Blues – Arthur Pettis (Lonesome Road Blues – 1997)
When Love Comes To Town – Vanessa Collier (Meeting My Shadow – 2017)

Pinetop’s Picksamantha-fish-chills-fever
Baby, You Got What It Takes – Buddy Guy & Joss Stone (Born To Play The Guitar – 2016)

That Spoonful
All Night Long – Krissy Matthews (Live At Freak Valley – 2017)
Boogie In the Boiler Room – Eddie Bo (New Orleans Solo Piano – 2017)
Can’t Nobody – Dawn Tyler Watson (Jawbreaker – 2016)
Spoonful – Vika Bull (At Last the Etta James Story – 2013)
Bring It Back – Levi Cuss (Night Thief – 2017)
The Hustler – Joe Jonas (Texas Bluesmen – 1993)levicuss

We were well into the show and still lining up more new releases than even the fittest could shake a stick at, including a sample of a high energy new release by Krissy Matthews, titled ‘Live at Freak Valley’, recorded one night on stage in Germany. We continued our international flavour with Montreal’s own Dawn Tyler Watson and a track from her latest album ‘Jawbreaker’, featuring some great guitar there from fellow Canadian Paul DesLauriers. Then we welcomed back Australian Vika Bull with another fine track from her Etta James tribute album, ‘At Last’, with Vika doing a cover of Etta, doing a cover of Howlin’ Wolf on ‘Spoonful’.

As if that was not enough, we also featured Canadian bluesman Levi Cuss, who’s due to tour the UK soon to promote his latest album, called night Thief and we chose to play ‘Bring It Back’. Then with some scratchy blues from Arthur Pettis and some boogie piano from Eddie Bo, we were running out of time, so we played out with Texas bluesman, Joe Jonas with ‘The Hustler’ . . . but before that, there was just time to say a big thanks for your good company on the show this week and hope that we’ll meet again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 5 March 2017

Listen here to this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner:

Well, this week we arrived at the appointed hour with a big cheer and a timely invitation to escape from the everyday humdrum and embark on a real adventure to who knows where, with you know who. For this Cruising with Commissioner, we came clutching some juicy gems from the archives suggested by soundtracks from a couple of 50s films, featuring Big Joe Turner, Fats Domino and Roy Hamilton.cruising-3002
Now, Fats Domino happened to be celebrating a birthday this past week. So, our best wishes went to him, along with big thanks to Thom Hickey’s for a great piece about Fats on his Immortal Jukebox blog.  Big thanks also went to Russ & Gary’s and their The Best Years of Music blog for pointing us to the clip of Roy Hamilton doing ‘Here Comes Love’ from the 1958 film ‘Let’s Rock’.

Our playlist boasted ‘Jump Jive & Harmonise’, a 1967 Whittier 45 from East LA band Thee Midnighters (not the Hank Ballard band . . . this band spell ‘The’ with two Es) and if you see a good copy in some dusty box somewhere, snap it up and tell the guru of the grooves, Larry Grogan at his Funky 16 Corners , because he may make you an offer! But, before that, we set off on our cruise in the company of King Curtis with ‘Blowing Of Steam’ . . .

Blowing Off Steamfats-domino-here-comes-fats-v-550502
Blowing Off Steam – King Curtis
Get High – La Melle Prince
Lipstick Powder & Paint – Big Joe Turner
Honey Child – Fats Domino
Here Comes Love – Roy Hamilton
Something Else – Chet ‘Poison’ Ivey & His Fabulous Avengers
Jump, Jive & Harmonise – Thee Midnighters

Girls & Guitars
Don’t Doubt My Love – Liz Mandeville
Crazy With Youthee-midnighters
Walking The Dog – Rufus Thomas
Roll With Me Henry – Vika Bull
Please Say You Want Me – The Schoolboys
The Big Bounce – Shirley Caddell
L&N Special – Christine Kittrell
Johnny B. Goode – Big Daddy ‘O’
Still Got The Blues – Chuck Berry
About That Girl Called Lou – The Cadillacs
Crazy With You – Jeanette & Decky

This week, our Girls & Guitars spotlight fell on Liz Mandeville, vika_bull_-_at_last_the_etta_james_story_cd__01665_1478656910_400_400who hails from Wisconsin, but later gravitated to Chicago, where she established her reputation with her band The Blue Points. To show off her talents, we chose ‘Don’t Doubt My Love’ from her 2014 album, ‘Heart ‘o’ Chicago’.

Now, back in 2013 an album appeared titled ‘At Last’ and it was a very fine tribute to the great Etta James by Australian chanteuse, Vika Bull. Now it’s an adventurous project to cover well known songs by one of the great R&B voices of our time, but Vika excelled at it and we played her version of Etta James’ ‘Roll With Me Henry’.

Now, we are shameless about following others in pursuit of good sounds for our Cruising playlists and this week was no exception! We pulled out a couple of Chuck Berry songs after listening to the first of a multi-part feature on Mr Berry by Matt The Cat on his excellent Juke in the Back Show. Soon after those choices, we found ourselves heading, full tilt, for home with a 1958 Aladdin 45 from Jeanette Baker and Johnny Flamingo, as Jeanette & Decky, with ‘Crazy For You’. Then it was all over for another week. We parked up the Cruise Mobile, ever hopeful that you will waiting eagerly the next time it rolls by to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 1 March 2017