Archive for the ‘Hear This . . . . !’ Category

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

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Well, the Cruise Mobile arrived this week to the sound of King Perry’s ‘Everybody Jump’ and there certainly was plenty jumping as we set off on this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner, because Wynona Carr joined in with ‘Jump Jack Jump’ and we nearly had Charles Sheffield’s ‘Kangeroo’, but, surprisingly, propriety and decorum prevailed and we played the A side of his 1961 Excello 45 instead.Cruising #4008

Now, this week, Mr Merlot emerged from the Cruising Library with a bit of a rarity . . . a 45 recorded for the Jay-Dee label in 1956 by Dean Barlow that didn’t get released at the time. The song was ‘Listen To Dr Jive’ and it was the radio theme song for New York radio DJ Tommy ” Dr.Jive ‘ Smalls. Then, turning up next was Louisiana’s own David Egan with the aptly titled ‘One Foot In The Bayou’ and we kept one foot there for Oregan band, Gumbo, with a number that clearly has New Orleans roots, together with feint echoes of the Caribbean calypso.

The interest in our recent little calypso carnival inspired a some more digging and, with a nudge from Mike Sanchez, we pulled out something by calypsonian Rafael de Leon, known around his native Trinidad as Roaring Lion. He is probably best known for his composition ‘Ugly Woman’ which he recorded in 1933 and some 30 years later the song got adapted to become a chart hit for Jimmy Soul as ‘If You Wanna Be Happy’ . . . . but we played the original by Roaring Lion. Norman Span was another Trinidadian calypsonian of the 30s. Known locally as ‘King Radio’, he was the source of the much covered song ‘Man Smart, Woman Smarter’, which we played by Geraint Watkins & the Dominators.King Perry

One Foot In The Bayou
Everybody Jump – King Perry
Jump Jack Jump – Wynona Carr
I Would Be A Sinner – Charles Sheffield
Listen To Dr Jive – Dean Barlow
One Foot In The Bayou – David Egan
Cajun Queen – Gumbo
Ugly Woman – Roaring Lion
Man Smart, Woman Smarter – Geraint Watkins & the Dominators

Cruising Connections
That’s Right – Chris Powell & The Five Blue Flames Georgie Fame
You Can Count On Me – Gene LaMarr & The Blue Flames
Get On The Right Track Baby – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames

Girls & Guitars
Drivin’ Me Crazy – Grainne Duffy

Doo Wop Delights
Miss You – The Holidays
Come On Baby – The Cordovans

Boogie Once More
Growing Old – Billy Lewis & The Rocking Hearts Kip Tyler & The Flips
Boogie’s The Thing – George Miller’s Mid-Driffs
How’s About A Little Kiss – Kip Tyler & The Flips
Once More – Bill Forbes

This week’s Cruising Connections invited Cruising Crew members to spot the link between a trio of tracks, featuring a 1952 Okeh release from Chris Powell, a 1958 gem from Gene LaMarr and a 60s favourite from Georgie Fame. If you were shouting ‘Blue Flames’ at any point during those three numbers, then you’re spot on, because each of those artists was accompanied by a band called The Blue Flames.

Our Girls & Guitars feature this week focused on Irish singer and guitarist Grainne Duffy, who grew up in County Monaghan in Ireland with a love of music and particularly the blues playing of Peter Green. Our choice from her was the number ‘Driving Me Crazy’ from her 2007 album ‘Out Of The Dark’.

Our Doo Wop Delights started with Pittsburg group, The Holidays, who got signed by Robbee records in 1960 and for their first release they were given the same wall of sound string arrangement, used with success for The Skyliners. The result was a very smooth piece of doo wop, ‘Miss You’. Then, we travelled to Chicago for vocal group, The Cordovans, who recorded in the late ’50s for Hiram Johnson’s small R&B label, which had few hits but it was a haven for some of the best of the Chicago’s doo wop groups, like the Cordovans.

After that, we had some more rocking numbers to keep The Cruisettes occupied, starting with a 1960 45 on the Hart record label, featuring Billy Lewis & the Rocking Hearts . . . ‘Growing Old’. Then, inspired by the excellent Neil Pellegrin, we tracked down a 1949 Mercury release, ‘Boogie’s The Thing’, which seems to have been the single by George Miller’s Mid-Driffs, and probably featuring Lee Allen on sax. Then, we played a 1957 Decca 45 by Kip Tyler & The Flips, called ‘How’s About A Little Kiss’, before crossing the Atlantic to the UK for a rocking little 1959 Columbia 45, ‘Once More’ by Huddersfield lad, Bill Forbes, who appeared a few times on the TV show ‘Oh Boy’. While we were listening to Bill Forbes, a few familiar faces and places started coming into view, because we had to turn the trusty Cruise Mobile for home. To the amazement of many, we got back where we started, on time and without mishap. So, once we had parked up the Cruise Mobile, we gave everyone a cheery wave and hoped we would all meet again next week, when the Cruise Mobile rolls by to take you Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 21 July 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome to 60 minutes of the best of the blues . . . . delivered with a smile every time The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling with some antipodean blues from Indiana Phoenix and ‘As Long As It’s Blue’, which just about sums up our playlists each week. To prove the point, we pulled out some great blues from the current releases, including ‘No Time’ from Billy Price’s sixteenth album, ‘Reckoning’, ‘Walk With The Devil’ from the Bennett Brothers’ first independent album ‘Not For Hire’ and some excellent acoustic blues from the latest ‘Dave Van Ronk Collection’.

The ‘girls’ were well represented too, firstly, by the lovely Vanessa Collier, who many will remember from last year’s Blues Caravan. She’s back with a new album called ‘Honey Up’ , featuring a variety of musical flavours, including the bluesy ‘Love Me Like A Man’. Billy Price (ReckoningThen we had a little taster of the new album by Shemekia Copeland, ‘America’s Child’ which has a thread of social commentary through the songs, like the opener ‘Ain’t Got Time For Hate’.

Walk With The Devil
As Long As It’s Blue – Indiana Phoenix (Down Under Blues & Roots – 2009)
No Time – Billy Price (Reckoning – 2018)
Walk With The Devil – The Bennett Brothers (Not For Hire – 2018)
Cocaine Blues – Dave Van Ronk (The Dave Van Ronk Collection (1958-1962) – 2018)
Love Me Like A Man – Vanessa Collier (Honey Up – 2018)
Ain’t Got Time For Hate – Shemekia Copeland (America’s Child – 2018)4PAN1T

Pinetop’s Pick
James Alley Blues – Richard ‘Rabbit’ Brown (A Richer Tradition – Country Blues & String Band Music (1923-1937) – 2007)

Having A Real Good Time
Give My Money Back – Artur Menezes (Keep Pushing – 2018)
You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feeling – Hot Little Mama (Let’s Have A Natural Ball – 2018)
Blues Why You Worry Me? – Bob Corritore (Don’t Let The Devil Ride – 2018)Bob Corritore (Don_t Let The Devil Ride
Having A Real Good Time – JFK Blue (Rough Round The Edges – 2017)
The Rooster Crowed in Memphis – The Blues Band (The Rooster Crowed – 2018)
Ice Storm – Scott Ellison (Ice Storm -2018)

Now, I’ve said before that there was no shortage of good blues around at the moment and, as an example, I pulled out one of the much played tracks, ‘Give My Money Back’ from the new album, ‘Keep Pushing’ by Brazilian guitarist, Artur Menezes. There is also some fine blues to be found on the new album by Norwegian band, Hot Little Mama. They’re back with an album titled, ‘Let’s Have A Natural Ball’, which includes their take on that Freddie King favourite, ‘You’ve Got To Love Her With A Feeling’.JFK Blue

If you’ve not come across it yet, I recommend searching out the latest release, ‘Don’t Let The Devil Ride’, by Bob Corritore (look out for it’s distinctive ‘devilish’ artwork). You’ll be rewarded by Bob, sharing some fine studio moments with friends from recent years, like ‘Blues Why You Worry Me’. Meanwhile, closer to home, look out for 5 piece London band, JFK Blue, who are out there gigging and promoting their new album, ‘Rough Round The Edges’. They say blues is not their sole genre, but it comes through loud and strong when they play numbers like ‘Having A Real Good Time’.

The new album by The Blues Band, ‘The Rooster Crowed’ has been well played since it arrived here and this week it was the title track that got into the playlist, with more to follow in future weeks. Then, as our time was running out, we managed to squeeze in something from Tulsa bluesman Scott Ellison who, before forging a solo career, played awhile in ‘Gatemouth’ Brown’s band. The title track of his new album, ‘Ice Storm’, was our finale and just before I said a big thanks for your good company on this week’s show and look forward to more the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 17 July 2018

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

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Well, we arrived with a bright and breezy and cheery invitation to jump aboard the Cruise Mobile, where we had the windows wound down, the radio cranked up and no particular place to go. In anticipation of your good company, we saved a seat especially for you, just so we could all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Although we saw no tumbrils on the way, there was a hint of gallic flavouring at the end of our playlist, which (with a big thanks to Neil Pellegrin ) kicked off with Leonard James & His Orchestra (including Leonard on sax, Bat Caroll on piano and Dr John on guitar) and their 1968 Decca recording ‘Chicken Hop’. . . . followed by the aforementioned Bat Carroll with his 1959 Ace recording, ‘Aw! Who?’Cruising #4007

We heard the great voice of Joe Hinton with something that our good pal The Shake especially likes that one and came right up to date with a new release from Germany’s Cat Lee King & his band from their album ‘Cocktails’ . . . . ‘Ain’tcha’. The mention of hot chillis was guaranteed to attract the attentions of our good pal Amigo and that came courtesy of New York cabaret artist, Bobby Short with his take on The Coasters’ ‘Down In Mexico’. Then we were back across the ‘big pond’ for an acapella version of ‘Long Train Runnin’ from UK vocal group, The Flying Pickets . . . doubtless, raising a rye smile from Cruising Crew members Phil Tyler and The Vikster.

For those with a keen sense of challenge, this week’s Cruising Connections may have been a surprise, because we gave the answer up front, which was big band calypso. Inspired by our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa, we took the opportunity for a ‘calypso carnival’ with a selection of some great calypso tracks and stories that inspired those songs. Then, Mr Merlot,Leonard James appeared with his clipboard and a half full wine glass to point out that it was time for this week’s Girls & Guitars which had its spotlight on Eliana Cargnelutti. She’s an Italian singer and guitarist who has spent the recent years playing rock blues across Italy and Europe and toured with Ruf Records 2015 Blues Caravan. She’s recorded two albums to date, and contributed several tracks to a 2015 ‘Girls & Guitars’ compilation which included our choice ‘Give Me A Kiss’

Chicken Hop
Chicken Hop – Leonard James
Aw! Who? – Bat Carroll
Let’s Start A Romance – Little Joe HintonCock Tails
Cat Lee King and his Cocks – Ain’tcha
Down In Mexico – Bobby Short
Long Train Runnin’ – The Flying Pickets

Cruising Connections
Rum & Coca Cola – Lord Invader
Sparrow Dead – Mighty Sparrow
Dr Kitch – Lord Kitchener
They Dance All Night – Robert Mitchum
Football Football – King Timothy
I Was There (At The Coronation) – Young Tiger with Cyril Blake & His Calypso Serenaders
London is the Place for Me – D Lime (featuring Tobago Crusoe)Give Me A Kiss - Eliana Cargnelutti
 
Girls & Guitars
Give Me A Kiss – Eliana Cargnelutti

Doo Wop Delights
Lonely Lover – The Fabulous Five Flames
Johnny Never Knew – The Jive Five

Rock & Roll Mops
Rock & Roll Mops – Ferry Rock Barendse

There were more ‘flames’ in our Doo Wop Delights, which this week started with, possibly, the only ever release by Cleveland vocal group The Fabulous Five Flames. They recorded the two sides at Capitol Studios on 4 December 1959, and we chose ‘Lonely Lover’. The sad passing of Eugene Pitt, lead singer of The Jive Five, was a good reason to include their great 1963 Beltone 45, ‘Johnny Never Knew’, one of the few uptempo numbers and something included Neil Pellegrin’s excellent profile of the group.

As our Cruising time was running out, The Cruisettes turned up to do their Tiller Girls act while we gave a respectful nod to our French cousins across the channel with some of their home grown rock and roll, the Cruise Mobile got us home, safe and sound. We parked it up ready for our next cruising adventure and, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . have fun

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 14 July 2018

Alive & Well . . . .

Posted: July 10, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of he best of the blues and we wouldn’t have anything when The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling with The Blues Band and ‘New Skin Game Blues’ from their new album, ‘The Rooster Crowed’ and that was only the start of the good stuff! There was plenty more, like Little Victor’s new album ‘Deluxe Lo-Fi’, where he’s joined by Steve Lucky for our choice ‘Slow Down Baby’.

Brazilian, Artur Menezes, turned up next. He’s been a familiar face on Brazil’s blues scene, opening for the likes of Buddy Guy, Bobby Rush & others. He’s relocated to LA now and has just released his fourth album, “Keep Pushing” which features all shades of blues, including the excellent ‘Pull It Through’. I owned up this week, that the latest album by Tas Cru ‘Memphis Song’ had been getting plenty of plays around here and with no apologies, I took the opportunity to play ‘One Eyed Jack’ as justification.The Rooster Crowed

For the many fans of Little Willie Littlefield, the recent release of the album ‘The Best Of The Rest’ will have brought back plenty of memories of his releases through the 50s. It includes a track that shows off his piano work to good effect on ‘Jim Wilson’s Boogie’ . . . and if you’re wondering . . . Jim Wilson was King records’ representative in and around Detroit at the time. Of course, Buddy Guy has been around the blues since the 50s and is still out there proving that ‘The Blues Is Alive and Well’, with some rye observations on being ‘Old Fashioned’. It’s not often that we hear the voice of Janis Joplin, but she was on our playlist this week with a rather special track, ‘One Night Stand’, where she is singing with Paul Butterfield’s Band.Artur Menezes

Keep Pushing
New Skin Game Blues – The Blues Band (The Rooster Crowed – 2018)
Slow Down Baby – Little Victor with Steve Lucky (Deluxe Lo-Fi – 2018)
Pull It Through – Artur Menezes (Keep Pushing – 2018)
One Eyed Jack – Tas Cru (Memphis Song – 2018)
Jim Wilson’s Boogie – Little Willie Littlefield (The Best Of The Rest (1948-58) – 2018)
Old Fashioned – Buddy Guy (The Blues Is Alive & Well – 2018)
One Night Stand – Janis Joplin with Paul Butterfield’s Band (Farewell Song – 1982)

Pinetop’s Pick
Be Careful With A Fool – Tommy Castro (Triple Trouble – 2006)Keeshea Pratt
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Blues For You
That’s The Way Willie Likes It – Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio (Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here – 2018)
Monkey See, Monkey Do – Keesha Pratt Band (Believe – 2018)
39 Steps – Billy Price (Reckoning – 2018)
Need Your Love So Bad – Shirley Johnson (Tribute: A Celebration Of Delmark’s 65th Anniversary – 2018)
Big Town Playboy – Dany Franchi (Problem Child – 2018)
Shuffleboard – Jeff Golub (Blues For You – 2009)Dany Franchi (Problem Child)

You have to admire Elvin Bishop’s Big Fun Trio for releasing their latest album under the title ‘Something Smells Funky ‘Round Here’, which no doubt causes a few smiles and even more when listening to the track ‘That’s The Way Willie Likes It’. For all we know, Willie likes it the way Houston’s own Keeshea Pratt Band plays it. The judges at this year’s International Blues Challenge certainly did, because they awarded the band First Place in the Band Category. If it was on the strength of the numbers in band’s latest album, then there’s every chance it included Keeshea Pratt and her band doing some bumpin’-and-grindin’ with a tale of getting even with a cheater, “Monkey See, Monkey Do”.

Billy Price has been a familiar face on America’s East coast blues scene since the 70’s and he’s just released his sixteenth album entitled ‘Reckoning’ with 13 soul and blues tracks, which start with the very bluesy ‘39 Steps to my freedom!’ Many will know that Delmark Records is now 65 years old and in celebration a collection of artists gathered together to pay tribute to the label and the artists who have appeared on it over the years.The album is descriptively titled “Tribute: A Celebration Of Delmark’s 65th Anniversary, and, amongst others, it features Shirley Johnson with a very fine version of ‘Need Your Love So Bad’.

Although our 60 minutes were nearly up, there was time for Dany Franchi with a tasty treat from his latest album ‘Problem Child’, where which he reaches back to bring us those 50s blues sounds with his take on that classic, ‘Big Town Playboy’. Listening to it prompts the question ‘how can a 28 year old Italian from Genoa sound so much like a Texas bluesman?’ Then, we were all ready to play out with Jeff Golub’s swinging instrumental ‘Shuffleboard’, but not before offering a big thanks for your good company and the hope that you’ll be back here again the next time The Blues Come Calling. Until then . . . remember . . .have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 10 July 2018

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

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This week’s Cruising with The Commissioner started with the Cruise Mobile arriving with its windows down and its radio turned right up to the sound of the great Lee Allen with ‘Hot Cruising #2006Rod Special’ and then we were heading off for the horizon now in the company of the great Charles Brown with a song he cut as a ballad back in 1951, but he re-recorded it later and gave it a whole new lease of life. Thanks to Neil Pellegrin, we tracked down a great Specialty 45 from 1956, featuring Byron ‘Slick’ Gipson & The Sliders with ‘Footloose & Fancy Free’ . . . . which sort of sums up our Cruising adventures!

With barely any change in the gentle purring of the trusty Cruise Mobile, we crossed the Atlantic to London for some great R&B from local lad Si Cranstoun and causing some involuntary rhythmic movement for Mr Merlot & the Cruisettes. So, while everyone was on their feet we found a little Dave Edmunds number to keep them there and bring a smile to the faces of our good pal Johnny 99 and maybe Yvonne Eriksson over there in Sweden.

With a gentle reminder, Mr Merlot appeared with all the robes of office and scrolls for Lee Allenthe virtual investiture ceremony, to appoint Susan Bowman as our much esteemed Ambassador to Illinois. The ceremony, was conducted while James Booker provided a subdued and gentle accompaniment and, in accordance with tradition, Susan chose a piece of music choice to follow the ceremony,and her choice was the much admired Dave Ferrato. Meanwhile, this week’s Cruising Connections focused on three songs that were each successfully covered by a charting female UK artist . . . Lee Dorsey’s ‘Do Re Me’, Maxine Brown’s ‘Oh No Not My Baby’ and The Honey Bees ‘Some Of Your Lovin’. The answer was, they were all songs covered by Dusty Springfield.

Footloose & Fancy FreeVegas Baby - Si Cranstoun
Hot Rod Special – Lee Allen
I’ll Always Be In Love With You – Charles Brown
Footloose & Fancy Free – Byron (Slick) Gipson & The Sliders
Vegas Baby – Si Cranstoun
Here Comes The Weekend – Dave Edmunds
Stormy Monday – James Booker
Walking Down – Dave Ferrato

Cruising Connections
Do Re Me – Lee Dorsey
Oh No Not My Baby – Maxine Brown
Some Of Your Lovin’ – The Honeybees
Little By Little – Dusty SpringfieldMelody Angel

Girls & Guitars
If I Don’t Now – Melody Angel

Doo Wop Delights
Adorable – The Colts
Bip Bam – The Drifters

Flip Flip
Everybody Loves A Fat Man – Pigmeat Peterson
Flip Flip – The Vons
I Don’t Want To Be In Love – The Balham AlligatorsBalham Alligators
In The Bottom Of My Heart – Thurston Harris

For our Girls & Guitars feature, we turned our spotlight on singer and guitarist, Melody Angel. She grew up on the South Side of Chicago and at age 13 her mother bought her her first guitar from the local pawn shop. Having taught herself to play, Melody formed her first band and never looked back. She recorded her first album in 2017, titled ‘In The Fire’ which included our choice, ‘If I Don’t Now’.

This week’s Doo Wop Delights started in Bakersfield, California with 50s vocal group, The Colts, who got talent spotted by Buck Ram and signed to his label, ‘Mambo Records’. They are best remembered for their debut single in 1955, the first recording of a Buck Ram song, ‘Adorable’. It got them into the charts and onto local TV, but The Drifters covered it for Atlantic records and got a bigger hit. But, we played The Colts’ original. Then we followed on with The Drifters, with their little gem ‘Bip Bam’.

We went back to 1952 for a Federal records release by Pigmeat Peterson, whose real name was Eddie Mack, and a rarely heard B side, ‘Everybody Loves A Fat Man’. The Cruise Mobile then headed for Buffalo, to catch local vocal group, The Vons with their 1960 single issued by Hollywood’s Pop Records label . . . . a fine piece of rockabilly . . . . ‘Flip Flip’.

We had a taste of Louisiana with some rocking sounds from UK band, The Balham Alligators, during which we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home, and taking us all the way home was the excellent Thurston Harris. Wherever our Cruising adventures took us this week, we arrived back, safe and sound, where we started and ever hopeful that you’ll be here same time same place next week. Which is when 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. So, until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 7 July 2018

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, if you’re looking for an hour of the best blues around, then you’ve come to the right place, because that’s what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. To demonstrate this point, we kicked off this week’s show with Glasgow’s own, Wily Bo Walker and ‘Storm Warning’ from his excellent new album ‘Almost Transparent Blues’, featuring the superb guitar work of Ed Brayshaw. There was some sizzling harp playing to follow from Russ Green with ‘First Thing Smoking’, one of the very fine tracks to be found on his latest album ‘City Soul’. Then for those who have not previously come across The Waydown Wailers, we made a timely introduction with ‘Another Bump In The Road’ from their latest album ‘Backland Blues’.

For those who like their blues with a little ‘seasoning’, we offered something by veteran UK bluesman, Bob Hall with his rolling piano on that Ike Turner classic, ‘Rocket 88’ and our regular guest, Arfa Pinetop, featured Stevie Ray Vaughan in this week’s Pinetop’s Pick.

The ‘ladies of the blues’ were well represented in this week’s playlist with Rory Block’s tribute album to Bessie Smith, ‘A Woman’s Soul’, and her fine take on ‘Give Me A Pigfoot & A Bottle Of Beer’ (a frequent cry around Mayfair on a Saturday night). Lindsel Ell returned to our playlist with her superb version of John Mayer’s song ‘Gravity’ and Shawn Megorden made a welcome debut here with her upbeat and jazzy interpretation of ‘Who Will The Next Fool Be’.Wily Bo Walker

Storm Warning
Storm Warning – Wily Bo Walker (Almost Transparent Blues – 2018)
First Thing Smoking – Russ Green (City Soul – 2018)
Another Bump In The Road – The Waydown Wailers (Backland Blues)
Give Me A Pigfoot & A Bottle Of Beer – Rory Block (A Woman’s Soul: A Tribute to Bessie Smith – 2018)
Rocket 88 – Bob Hall (Shuffling The Blues – 1999)
Gravity – Lindsey Ell (The Continuum Project – 2018)
Who Will The Next Fool Be – Shawn Megorden (Cover Girl – 2007)

Pinetop’s Pick
Look At Little Sister – Stevie Ray Vaughan (The Essential Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – 2002)Lindsay-Ell-Continuum project

Heal My Soul
Heal My Soul – Tas Cru (Memphis Song – 2018)
Stealin’ Stealin’ – Dave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore (Downey To Lubbock – 2018)
Have You Ever Loved A Woman – Freddie Pate (I Got The Blues – 2018)
Cognac – Buddy Guy with Jeff Beck & Keith Richards (The Blues Is Alive & Well – 2018)
Blues Been Good To Me – Tom Hambridge (The NOLA Sessions – 2018)
Strange Land – John Clifton (Nightlife – 2018)

The continuing number of great blues releases is a good sign of the health of the blues and long may it be so. The latest releases by Tas Cru (‘Memphis Song’), John Clifton - Nitelife_coverDave Alvin & Jimmie Dale Gilmore (‘Downey To Lubbock’) and Freddie Pate (‘I Got The Blues’) are all great examples of the quality and enthusiasm around the current blues scene. The variety of styles and sources of inspiration reveal the breadth of the genre, with plenty of new generation artists developing the music creatively. We can still enjoy seeing ‘seasoned’ players, like Buddy Guy, continuing to tour and record and encouraging new talents in the blues, while still producing great new albums.

Tom Hambridge’s latest offering ‘The NOLA Sessions’ is a homage to the Crescent City, it music and artists. Like others, it has inspired Tom and his ‘Blues Has Been Good To Me’ is a particular favourite here. Although we ran out of time before we ran out of good music, we did manage to find time to play something from John Clifton’s album ‘Nightlife’, which has had plenty of plays since it arrived and ‘Strange Land’ may have been a reminded to some of the ‘changing landscape’ with which we now live. But, there’s good news too and that includes your good company for this week’s show. Of course, there’s always the hope that we’ll meet again soon. So, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 2 July 2018

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

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Well, this week, plenty of folks must have heard us coming down the road. The Cruise Mobile had its windows down and its radio turned right up, as it rolled by to pick up the faithful off for another adventure, Cruising with The Commissioner. We saved a seat especially for you and we arrived to the sound of Mickey Baker and his ‘Honky Tonk Caboose’. Then, in no time at all, we were heading off for the horizon with the wonderful Ricky Cool & The Hoola Boola Boys.

In search of a brief interlude of peace and Cruising #4006serenity this week, we sent Mr Merlot into the Cruising Library on a rummaging expedition and he came back with a handful of most excellent items, including that one with a real Louisiana flavour by an Oregon band, Gumbo. We kept that flavour too, as we crossed the Atlantic to the UK for The Balham Alligators, led by keyboard ace, Geraint Watkins and big favourites here from their album ‘Bayou-Degradable’.

Now long time Cruising Crew members will know, that we’re not above a little light fingered lifting of great tunes from other shows, so, with a respectful tip of the hat to Neil Pellegrin down there in New Orleans we followed his lead with one by Ivory Joe Hunter. Then, we had a trio of tracks in our Cruising Connections starting with a 45 titled ‘It Moves Me’ by Eddie Holland, who started out as a singer, but did even better later as one of the most successful 60s songwriters. His track had a link to our next choice from 50s vocal group, The Satintones, with their début single ‘Going To The Hop’ and the Northern Soul floor filler from Gino Parks ‘Same Thing’. The link between all three choices was that they were early record releases for Berry Gordy’s Tamla label and helped to establish Motown.

Fine Fine FineBalham Alligators
Honky Tonk Caboose – Mickey Baker
Come On – Ricky Cool & The Hoola Boola Boys
Dancin’ Shoes – Gumbo
Fine Fine Fine – The Balham Alligators
I Want Somebody – Ivory Joe Hunter

Cruising Connections
It Moves Me – Eddie Holland
Going To The Hop – The Satintones
Same Thing – Gino Parks

Girls & Guitars
Voodoo Woman – Crystal ShawandaCrystal-Shawanda-_-VooDoo-Woman-_1-700x441

Talk That Talk
Clothes Line – Knock Out Greg & Blue Weather
Cadillac Baby – Mike Sanchez & Blue Weather
Little Red Rooster – Carol Jarvis
Dimples – Felton Jarvis

Doo Wop Delights
Lost In Dreams – The Wisdoms
Don’t Do It – the Penguins

Dig It
Dixieland Rock – Max Merrit & The MeteorsMax Merrit & The Meteors
Topsy Turvy – Ben Joe Zeppa
You Better Dig It – Bill Johnson

Our Girls & Guitars feature focused on Crystal Shawanda, who grew up in Ontario, Canada and got taught to play guitar by her parents. She was raised on country music, but her oldest brother later introduced her to the blues. She moved to Nashville when she was 16 and after singing and playing around town, she got signed by RCA records. She released a few country music albums, but she recently rediscovered her love of the blues with her latest album ‘Voodoo Woman’ and we played the title track.

This week, our Doo Wop Delights started with a pretty rare little 45 on the Gaity label from Minnesota vocal group, The Wisdoms. They recorded ‘Lost In Dreams’ in 1959 and original copies now change hands amongst collectors for big money.  We followed them with Los Angeles group, The Penguins. who are best remembered for their big hit ‘Earth Angel’, but they recorded plenty more including our choice, their 1955 Mercury single ‘Don’t Do It’.

There’s plenty of great R&B coming out of Sweden and we pulled out two by Blue Weather who appeared behind Knock-Out Greg on ‘Clothes Line’ and then behind the excellent Mike Sanchez with his take on Roy Brown’s classic ‘Cadillac Baby’. Then, with more than a hint of enthusiasm we slipped in through the back door for another rummage in the music collection of our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa, which produced a couple namesakes . . . Carol Jarvis with her 1959 version of ‘Little Red Rooster’ and Felton Jarvis with his 1960 cover of Mr Hooker’s ‘Dimples’.

The Cruise Mobile took us to New Zealand to join Max Merrit & The Meteors with a song that did pretty good for Mrs Presley’s lad, ‘Dixieland Rock’. Then, under cover of some more rocking R&B, we had to turn the Cruise Mobile for home. As the familiar faces and places came into view, we heard from Ben Joe Zeppa and Bill Johnson, who got us home safe and sound. Indeed, we were just in time to park up the trusty Cruise Mobile, give it a quick polish, ready for our next adventure. So, with a cheery wave, we said our farewells, ever hopeful that we’ll have the pleasure of your company the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 7 July 2018

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

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Well, it’s always a good sign when we see the Cruising Crew waving from way down the road, as we arrive with the Cruise Mobile purring nice and all ready for another  Cruising with The Commissioner. We had Red Prysock with his celebrated number, ‘Foot Stompin’ on the radio and we headed off to ‘who knows where’ with the Big Town Playboys and something they recorded live at Camden’s much loved ‘Dublin Castle’. With a little encouragement from Neil Pellegrin, we revisited last week’s Cruising Connections featured artist, the wonderful Jimmy Beasley, this time with his classic,Cruising #3020b ‘Little Coquette’. Jimmy lingered a little longer too, because he was playing piano on our King Perry choice ‘Wait Now’ . . . . not a phrase you hear much while we’re cruising!

We brought you 2 minutes and 20 seconds of a little number you don’t hear too often school buddies, Don and Dewey, who made their first single for the Shade label, before being signed to Art Rupe’s Specialty Records . . . . the single was ‘Miss Sue’ and we found it thanks to our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa.

Regular members of the Cruising Crew will know that the merest suggestion of having a ‘real good time’ is a sure-fire way to capture the attentions of Mr Merlot and The Cruisettes. With characteristic enthusiasm, they quickly assembled as soon as they heard the opening riff of Eddie Clearwater’s aptly titled ‘A Real Good Time’. Then, we were skipping across time zones to hear from Baton Rouge’s own Clarence W Samuels, who opened his music career in the 40s with Roy Brown and his band and went on to have a solo career, which included  his rocking 1963 R&B number, ‘Slippity’.

At the risk of being accused of being pretty ‘slippity’, we returned with another trio of tracks with a common link for our Cruising Connections. Starting us off was Charlie Whilte with a 1957 Winley 45 of his and followed by Buddy Bailey, with a familiar song, but in an unfamiliar style. Then the final link came from Billy Mitchell, just before we revealed that all three singers were members of vocal group, The Clovers . . . which was a good excuse to play The Clovers’ 1957 Atlantic 45, ‘There’s No Tomorrow’.Red Prysock

Foot Stompin
Foot Stompin’ – Red Prysock
Come On – The Big Town Playboys
Little Coquette – Jimmy Beasley
Wait Now – King Perry
Miss Sue – Don & Dewey
Real Good Time – Eddie Clearwater
Slippity – Clarence W Samuels and the Blazers

Cruising Connections
Little Mama – Charlie White
It’s All In The Game – Buddy Bailey
They’re Rockin’ Down The Street – Billy MitchellLaurie Morvan
There’s No Tomorrow – The Clovers

Girls & Guitars
Money Talks – Laurie Morvan
I Love You Honey – Maria Vincent & the Millionaires

Doo Wop Delights
My Heart Belongs To Only You – The Standards
I Love Her So – The Velvetones
Promises Promises Promises – The Firebirds

Cool Cat
Cool Cat – Charles ‘Mad Dog’ SheffieldMaria Vincent & the Millionaires
Nit Wit – L.C. McKinley
My Pretty Baby – Ernie Williams

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature, focused on Californian, Laurie Morvan, who gave up a successful career as an electrical engineer and licensed pilot, after first hearing Stevie Ray Vaughan. It inspired in her an enduring passion for the blues, which comes through loud and clear on her new album titled ‘Gravity’. It’s where we found our choice ‘Money Talks’ . . . . of course, around here it goes without saying! We stayed with the girls for a swingin’ six-piece UK band led by Maria Vincent. Along with The Millionaires, Maria delivers some great jumping Rhythm & Blues and Rock ‘n’ Roll, as demonstrated by ‘I Love You Honey’ . . . . a song that did rather well for Patsy Cline back in 1956, but Patsy’s version never sounded like this!

Our weekly Doo Wop Delights arrived with a couple of real treats from New York vocal groups The Standards, who recorded two releases for the Magna Label in 1963, including a great doo wop ballad called ‘My Heart Belongs To You’. Then came a bit of mystery . . . . a 1957 Aladdin 45 by The Velvetones, who may or may not have been the New Jersey doo wop group who started out in the 40s and recorded for the Coronet and the Sonora Records . . . but if you know more, do tell. For good measure, we added a bonus from The Firebirds with their take on the old Penguins’ number ‘Promises, Promises, Promises’ . . . . and not a politician in sight!

The trusty Cruise Mobile then took us down to Lake Charles in Louisiana for something from Charles Sheffield, who is probably best known for his best known for his classic Excello release ‘It’s Your Voodoo Working’. He recorded a few others too including our choice, a little gems titled, ‘Cool Cat’. Then, sadly, we had to turn the trusty Cruise Mobile for home, which we did under cover of something from L.C. McKinley, who was one of those that made that trip from Mississippi to Chicago to become part of the local blues scene. Indeed he did, playing sessions for other artists and recording his own sides, like his 1959 cut for the Bea & Baby label, ‘Nit Wit’.

As our Cruising time hadn’t quite run out, we managed to squeeze in a little more breathless R&B, this time from Ernie Williams with his 1957 Web 45 ‘My Pretty Baby’. Then, the sound of the rattling tin cans meant it was all over for another week. But, with typical precision (or pure luck), the Cruise Mobile got us home safe and sound. So, we parked it up, gave it a quick polish, so it was all ready for our next adventure . . . same time, same place, next week . . . when, we’ll call by again in the Cruise Mobile with a seat saved especially for you, just so we can all go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin radio
on 30 June 2018

The Blues Came . . . .

Posted: June 26, 2018 in Hear This . . . . !

The Blues Come Calling (revised)

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

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Well, if you’re looking for an hour of the best blues around, then you’ve come to the right place, because that’s just what you get when The Blues Come Calling. This week they came calling in the company of Jackie McAuley, who was one of those getting a great welcome at this year’s most excellent Blues of The Farm festival and featuring a few songs from his time as a member of Them. That festival fever lingered long here and our playlist has its share of memories, courtesy of Dr Feelgood, Spank The Monkey and Nine Below Zero.

There are plenty of great choices amongst the new releases and we came back this week with some gems. Buddy Guy was back with another track from his latest album and Canada’s Crystal Shawanda proved that she has found a new home with her switch from country music to the blues. Melody Angel appeared with a lovely blues ballad from her excellent ‘Woman of The Blues’ album and we enjoyed some fine blues harp from Chicago’s Russ Green, along with Eric Bibb guesting on a track from Russ’s ‘City Soul’ album. We also welcomed back one of the enduring names of rock and blues, Barry Jackie McAuleyGoldberg. He has just released his ‘In The Groove’ album, which includes a rare example of his solo piano on that blues classic ‘Alberta’ and Tas Cru’s new album ‘Memphis Song’ has a fitting anthem for those of us who amongst the crowd at Blues on The Farm . . . ‘Have A Drink (To The Blues)’ . . . and we did!

Going South
Baby Please Don’t Go – Jackie McAuley (Them Good Old Songs – 2015)
Ooh Daddy – Buddy Guy (The Blues Is Alive & Well – 2018)
I Drink Whiskey – Stacy Mitchhart (Live My Life – 2014)
Howling Wolf Blues – JT Funny Papa Smith (JT Funny Papa Smith (1930-31) – 1991)
Going South – Spank The Monkey (Game Of Chance – 2014)
The Blues Came – Melody Angel (A Woman’s Blues – 2018)Melody Angel
Homework – Dr Feelgood (Live at Cheltenham Town Hall (1990) – 2017)
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Pinetop’s Pick
Statesboro Blues – Taj Mahal (Taj Mahal – 1968)

Pack, Fair & Square
Pack, Fair & Square – Nine Below Zero (Live in Gifhorn – 2016)
Alberta – Barry Goldberg (In The Groove – 2018)
Wang Dang Doodle – Crystal Shawanda (Voodoo Woman – 2018)
I Pray For You – Reloaded (My Longest Mile – 2018)
Goin’ Down South – Russ Green & Eric Bibb (City Soul – 2018)
Have A Drink – Tas Cru (Memphis Song – 2018)
Back Track – Little Walter (The Complete Chess Masters (1950-67) – 2009)Tas Cru
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Our regular guest, Arfa Pinetop, was back with a 60’s memory from Taj Mahal and his first solo album, which included his take on that Blind Willie McTell classic ‘Statesboro Blues’. Then, for those who like a little scratchy blues, we dug deep into the blues archives for JT ‘Funny Papa’ Smith and his 1930s recording of ‘Howling Wolf Blues’.

All too soon, it was time to start collecting up the records and CDs. But, before time ran our completely, Little Walter came to take us home with his Chess instrumental ‘Back Track’ as we said our farewells for another week. So, with thanks for your good company on this week’s show, remember . . . until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . have fun!

Broadcast on Miskin Radio
on 26 June 2018

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

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Well, the sun has been gracing the Grand Duchy rather a lot just lately, which has made our Cruising adventures an even more enjoyable prospect. So, we arrived in the Cruise Mobile in good cheer, with a seat saved especially for you and all ready to whisk you off for another Cruising with The Commissioner. So, with practised ease, we set off down the road to ‘who knows where’ with some rockin’ R&B from Ace Cannon, Ronnie DawsonCruising #4004 and Maria Vincent blasting out of the radio.

This week, we ‘fessed up’ to a little digging in someone else’s music collection, which is always a welcome journey of discovery and made a joy when it’s someone like our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa. There were plenty of dusty gems to choose from and although it was tempting to do more, but we pulled out just a handful and promised to return another day.

Now, some amongst the Cruising Crew have been suggesting that our recent Cruising Connections have been a little ‘testing’, so this week we lightened up with three US rocking numbers by Billy The Kid, Curtis Lee and Ruth Brown. Their songs all got into the UK’s charts when they were covered by a local lad, who was this week’s link.

Hot StuffMaria Vincent & the Millionaires
Just Rockin’ & Rollin’ – Ronnie Dawson
Them There Eyes – Maria Vincent & The Millionaires
Gonna Learn To Rock – Doyle Madden
Steam Heat – Patti Page
Feelin’ All Right – Larry Dale
Let The Good Time Roll, Creole – Memphis Slim

Cruising Connections
Apron Strings – Billy The Kid
D In Love – Curtis Lee
Lucky Lips – Ruth Brown
No Turning Back – Cliff Richard & The DriftersLarkin Poe

Girls & Guitars

John The Revelator – Larkin Poe

Jukebox Rock & Roll
Drugstore Rock & Roll – Janis Martin
Fall Guy – Titus Turner

Doo Wop Delights
A Kiss & A Vow – The Nitecaps
Cheer Up – The Five Fleets

Enough Is EnoughRockin' Dopsie
They All Asked About You – Rockin’ Dopsie Jr
Another Bachelor – The Adventurers
Enough Enough – The Refreshments

This week, our Girls & Guitars feature came with a ‘two for one’ bonus, because it turned its spotlight on sisters Rebecca and Megan Lovell, who hail from Atlanta and front American roots rock band, Larkin Poe. They have established a reputation for strong southern harmonies, heavy electric guitar riffs, and slide guitar, all of which has seen them often touted as “the little sisters of the Allman Brothers”. As an example, we featured their version of ‘John The Revelator’.

Hopefully, our Doo Wop Delights brought some joy to those who share a love the sounds of those 50s vocal groups. This week we featured a soulful ballad by The Nitecaps and then an upbeat number by The Adventurers, appropriately titled ‘Cheer Up’. Further along the way, we gave a respectful nod in the direction of Cruising Crew member, Thom Hickey, who pointed us to The Meters ‘They All Asked About You’, which got big smiles from Mr Merlot and yours truly. So, when we came across another version by Rockin’ Dopsie, there was no question that we had to slip it into this week’s playlist . . . and we did!

But, all too soon, our Cruising time was running out and we had to turn the trusty Cruise Mobile for home. We got back home safe and sound in the company of Swedish rockers, The Refreshments, with a number that brought a knowing nod or two from Mr Merlot, ‘Enough Is Enough’. Then it was all over and we parked up the Cruise Mobile, all ready for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Miskin Radio
on 23 June 2018