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

What does it take . . .

Posted: October 18, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, it’s been strange week . . . unusually warm days and evenings, eerie orange glow skies, to say nothing of recent world events. But, none of that deterred us from our enthusiastic preparations for this week’s Cruising with The Commissioner.

Now, you might be under the impression that we aim for some sort of themed co-ordination in the collection of music for our Cruising playlists, but the reality is that it’s usually a pretty haphazard approach. This week proved to be inspired by a whole series of unrelated influences, that came together like a collection of post it notes . . . . of course Mr Merlot is not surprised at all. Cruising #3019

Last week’s show inspired the opener to this week’s show from Louis Jordan called The Slop. Then, with some squeals from the wheels we headed off down the road with Lucky Carmichael with his 1962 PAM record label ‘Hey Girl’. While looking for something else in the Cruising Library, up popped a 1955 Spark record by ‘Mister Ruffin’, better known as “Riff” Ruffin and a one time guitarist in Elmore James band. So, that went into the playlist too.

Now, those with excellent taste in music, may have caught up with The Shake’s Out of Sight Show, where he did his bit for international relations by playing something from Italian songstress, Caterina Caselli and it inspired us to see what else she may have recorded . . . and there’s a lot, including our choice, her take on ‘Paint It Black’. Our international influences were evident too, with Netherlands band, Dee’s Honeytones and something from their album ‘Hot Damn’.

East Coast band the Starjays were in the mix, as well as, New York, eight-piece Rhythm & Blues band, The Big Heat and they were in very good company this week with Mike Sanchez and his band, who were on our giglist doing some great R&B at London’s 100 Club.

Bring It On Backdees-honeytones-300x293
The Slop – Louis Jordan
Hey Girl – Lucky Carmichael
Bring It On Back – Mister Ruffin
Oh Baby – Dee’s Honeytones
I’ll Wait – The Starjays
Paint It Black (Tutto Nero) – Caterina Caselli
Will Call – The Big Heat
One More Kiss – Mike Sanchez & His Band
Blue & Lonesome – Jimmie Lee with Jay Franks & His Rockets of Rhythm

Girls & Guitars
Stagolee – Rory BlockRory Block - Avalon
I Had A Thrill
Bad Boy – Robin Luke
Susie Darlin’ – Robin Luke
Part Of A Fool – Robin Luke
I Had A Thrill – The Cherokees
Baby Droptop – The Fabulous Pearls
What Does It Take – Chuck Carbo
Hum Baby – Little Jerry Williams
No Particular Place To Go – Chuck Berry
.Chuck Berry - No Particular Place To Go
This week’s Girls and Guitars feature focused it’s spotlight on Princeton born, Rory Block, who honed her craft in the company of some very notable players in and around the clubs and coffee houses of California. She’s released numerous acclaimed albums and we chose a track from her album, dedicated to Mississippi John Hurt with its fine example Rory’s great vocals and nice guitar work.

Our good pal Amigo, came back after last weeks show with some fascinating feedback on our profile of Big Jim Sullivan. Not only did Amigo point us to a missing Welsh connection, but also an obscure Hawaiian connection. So, to calm any protest by Welsh activists, we confirmed that Big Jim Sullivan did indeed play on many Tom Jones recordings and for 5 years in the early 70s, Big Jim performed on stage with Tom Jones at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. The Hawaiian connection came from a cover of Marty Wilde’s UK hit ‘Bad Boy’, which featured Jim Sullivan’s guitar work and got covered, with some success, by Hawaiian star Robin Luke. That led us to another little post it note, this time about talent spotter and promoter, Kimo Wilder McVay, who proved to be a fascinating fella.

We managed to fit in our Doo Wop Stop, featuring Philadelphia group The Cherokees, along with The Fabulous Pearls, who recorded ‘Baby Droptop’ for Dootone records back in 1959, but for some reason it didn’t get released back then and we’d love to know why . . . . so if you know, do tell! Then, we found time running out on us, so while Little Jerry Williams was singing ‘Hum Baby’, we turned the Cruise Mobile for home and we got all the way home in the company of Chuck Berry and his quintessential cruising song, ‘No Particular Place To Go’. Then, we parked up the Cruise mobile ready for our next musical adventure. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 18 October 2017

Blues Come Calling header

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of the best of the blues, which is what you always get when The Blues Come Calling. It all kicked off with a familiar face from around New Orleans, Smoky Greenwell and his very fine version of Stevie Wonder’s ‘Higher Ground’.

Now, our giglist this week had some stunning shows, including the amazing Kara Grainger, who’s been a very welcome visitor to the UK recently and got plenty of encouragement from your truly and the rest of a very enthusiastic crowd, including our regular guest Arfa Pinetop. Another name from our giglist this week was Walter Trout whose enthusiasm and inspired playing at his London gigs led to him breaking guitar strings on three consecutive numbers, but it didn’t stop him delivering a breathtaking set on stage, as well as offering some thoughtful comments on life, love and current events.

We are still enjoying some of the new blues releases and we’ve been playing our way through them, including new albums by The Norman Beaker Band (‘We See Us Later’), Kentucky band Black Stone Cherry (‘Black To Blues’), Laurence Jones (‘The Truth’), Australian band, Kings & Associates (‘Tales From A Rich Girl’), Californian Tommy Castro (‘Stompin’ Ground’) and Chris Daniels & The Kings (‘Blues With Horns’). They all got into this week’s selection.

Higher GroundKara Grainger - Shiver & Sigh
Higher Ground – Smoky Greenwell (Classic Smoke – 2005)
Only I Got What The Other Guys Want – The Norman Beaker Band (We See Us Later – 2017)
Breaking Up Somebody’s Home – Kara Grainger (Shiver & Sigh – 2013)
I’m Leaving You – Tail Dragger (Howlin’ At Greaseland – 2017)
Back To New Orleans – Lightning Hopkins (Lightning – 1992)
Sticks & Stones – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers (Stompin’ Ground – 2017)
Greens & Barbeque – Micki Free (Tattoo Burn – 2017)

Pinetop’s Pick
Broken Down Engine – Blind Willie McTellKings & Associates (Tales Of A Rich Girl

Truth Be Told
I Want To Be Loved – Black Stone Cherry (Black To Blues – 2017)
Can’t Go On Without You – Laurence Jones (The Truth – 2017)
Truth Be Told – Kings & Associates (Tales Of A Rich Girl -2017)
I Just Wanna Make Love To You – Brigitte Purdy (I Just Wanna Make Love To You – 2015)
Sweet Memphis – Chris Daniels & The Kings (Blues With Horns – 2017)
Stormy Monday – James Booker (The Lost Paramount Tapes – 1997)
Gonna Hurt Like Hell – Walter Trout & Kenny Wayne Shepherd (We’re All In This Together – 2017)
Okie Dokie Stomp – Johnny Winter (Live Bootleg Vol 4 – 2009)Chris Daniels & The Kings - Blues with Horns

For those who enjoyed our recent dip into the West Tone compilation ‘Howlin’ At Greaseland’, we came back with another of its 10 Howlin’ Wolf numbers, this time from Tail Dragger. We also kept our promise to bring you more good stuff by Brigitte Rios Purdy . . . and we delivered on that promise with her 2015 version of ‘I Just Wanna Make Love To You’.

Now, for those who like their blues ‘seasoned’, we featured Texas bluesman, Lightning Hopkins, with his 1962 recording ‘Back To New Orleans’, which we know better by another name. Pinetop’s Pick this week brought us ‘Broken Down Engine’ by Blind Willie McTell and those who like great rolling piano playing had a real treat with the much admired James Booker and his 1973 version of ‘Stormy Monday’.

Micki Free returned to our playlist this week with ‘Greens & Barbeque’ from his album ‘Tattoo Burn’ and, all too soon, we ran out of time, so as we collected up the records and CDs to head for the door, we said our farewells and played out this week with something from the late great Johnny Winter. So, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 15 October 2017

TBCC (15.10.17)

Tune in on TuneIn:

@KingsandAssoc @KaraGrainger1 ChrisandKings @waltertrout @Laurencemusic
@BlkStoneCherry @MickiFree @SmokyGreenwell @brigitteriospurdy @ChrisDaniels @TommyCastro

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

Well, for all those who arrived with perfect timing, as the Cruise Mobile rolled by, there was an enthusiastic invitation to jump aboard and sit back, ready to go Cruising with The Commissioner. For this week’s musical adventure to ‘who knows where’ with ‘you know who’, our playlist included a few Louis Jordan numbers, inspired by the London show ‘Five Guys Named Mo’ and featuring not only Mr Jordan himself, but also names like Si Cranstoun, Titus Turner & Netherlands band, 44 Shakedown.Cruising #3020b

Well, just lately, the airwaves have carried a few mentions of legendary UK guitarist Big Jim Sullivan and it inspired a little digging in the Cruising Library to find some of his stuff . . . and we did! Indeed, there’s plenty of it, because he recorded with many groups, as well as some solo stuff, but he’s probably best remembered as a very busy session guitarist during the 50s and 60s. So, there’s plenty to choose from . . . . and we pulled out examples of Jim’s work with Marty Wilde’s band, the Wildcats, the renamed Krew Kats, playing with Gene Vincent on a BBC ‘Saturday Club’ session, and as resident house band guitarist on Jack Good’s TV Show Oh Boy.
It’s claimed that Big Jim Sullivan was the first to record using a wah wah pedal on records by The Krew Kats, Michael Cox and Dave Berry, as well as getting in early with his fuzz box guitar sound on a PJ Proby recording. Big Jim was very busy in recording studios in the early 60s and he can be heard on over 1000 hits of the day, including numbers by Dusty Springfield, Georgie Fame, Chris Farlowe, The Kinks, Herman’s Hermits, Freddie & The Dreamers, Gerry & The Pacemakers, Brian Poole & The Tremeloes and many more. If you listen to Amazing Blondel’s first album, you’ll hear more of Big Jim’s playing, as well as on the theme music to Clockwork Orange and on Frank Zappa’s album 200 Motels.
For nine years, Big Jim was a member of the James Last Orchestra, but was still recording with others and, not satisfied with being a guitar wizard, Big Jim taught himself to play the sitar and went on to record two albums of sitar music. As the years passed by, Jim started to diversify in record production and collaborated with some other notable names to record album’s under band names like Tiger and Green Bullfrog. Although Big Jim Sullivan is no longer with us in person, his music is still being played.

Knocked Out
Knocked Out – Ernie Fields & His OrchestraVal Starr - Blues Away
Push Ka Pi Shi Pie – Louis Jordan
Big Bess – Si Cranstoun
Ella Mae – 44 Shakedown
Nosey Joe – Dana Gillespie

Girls & Guitars
That’s My Advice – Val Starr & The Blues Rocket

Cruising with Big Jim Sullivan
Bad Boy – Marty Wilde & The Wildcats
Trambone – The Krew Kats
Summertime – Gene Vincent & The Krew Kats
Stand Up And Say That – The Nashville Five
Out Of Time – Chris FarloweBig Jim Sullivan
Candyman – Brian Poole & The Tremeloes
Yeh Yeh – Georgie Fame Sunshine Superman – Big Jim Sullivan
Who Do You Love – Green Bullfrog

Get Closer
Get Closer – The Starjays
Knock Me A Kiss – Titus Turner
Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie – Louis Jordan

This week’s Girls & Guitars feature threw its spotlight on California girl, Val Starr. She started singing and playing guitar at the age 12 and by the time her family moved to Sacramento, Val was Louis Jordanalready been singing and playing in local bands. In 2010, she decided to start her own blues band, The Blues Rocket. They’ve released four albums to date and we chose ‘That’s My Advice’ from their 2014 album “Blues Away”.

As East Coast band the Starjays were playing ‘Get Closer’ from their first album called ‘Bang It’s The Starjays’, Mr Merlot was looking anxiously at the clock. So as we turned the Cruise Mobile for home, we heard a little more from Louis Jordan. Firstly, from Titus Turner with his version of a song also recorded by Mr Jordan and then from the great Louis Jordan himself, bringing us home safe and sound with ‘Choo Choo Ch’ Boogie’.

There was plenty more great music that didn’t get played this week, so we’re well prepared for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 11 October, 2017

Blues Come Calling header

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of the best of the blues, here at The Blues Come Calling and we came ready with a armful of new releases, as well as a couple of ‘seasoned’ favorites. We kicked off this week with ‘Enough Is Enough’ a track from the excellent new album ‘Stompin’ Ground’ by Tommy Castro & The Painkillers and followed up with Chattanooga native Corey Dennison and his Band with ‘Strange Things Are Happening’ from their new self-titled Delmark album.

If your taste in blues includes classic blues with a blues/rock flavor, then Kentucky band Black Stone Cherry are well worth a listen. We played their take on Muddy Waters’ ‘Champagne & Reefer’ off of their latest album, titled ‘Black To Blues’. Meanwhile, Dave Hunt made a welcome return with his new 6 track EP, titled ‘Shades Of Grey’ and a track that caught my ear . . . this is ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’.

Now, if you’re a Howlin’ Wolf fan, we gave you a couple of tracks from the compilation ‘Howlin’ At Greaseland’ on West Tone Records created by some contemporary West Coast blues players, who are clearly fans of the Wolf too. They’ve recorded 10 of Wolf’s most famous cuts for this album and we chose two.

Well, there’s great voice and it belongs to Brigitte Rios Purdy, who released that track back in 2015 and I’m grateful to DJ Suzy and her Tuesday Indie Blues Show here for pointing me to that one. . . .  a little self penned song by Brigitte about B.B. King’s guitar, Lucille . . . . and there’s more good stuff by Brigitte which we’ll save for another show

It’s Not Me, It’s YouCorey Dennison Band
Enough Is Enough – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers (Stompin’ Ground – 2017)
Strange Things Are Happening – Corey Dennison Band (Corey Dennison Band – 2017)
Howlin’ For My Darlin’ – Terry Hanck (Howlin’ At Greaseland – 2017)
I’m A Bluesman – Juke Boy Bonner (Top 40 Blues – 2014)
Lucille Don’t Weep – Brigitte Purdy (Lucille Don’t Weep – 2015)
It’s Not Me, It’s You – Dave Hunt (Shade Of Grey – 2017)
Champagne & Reefer – Black Stone Cherry (Black To Blues – 2017)

Pinetop’s Pick
Seminole Blues – Tampa Red (Anna Lou Blues – 2017)Howlin_ At Greaseland

All That’s Good
All That’s Good – Kings & Associates (Tales Of A Rich Girl -2017)
The Devil’s Daughter – Eric Burdon & The Animals (1983)
Never Good Enough – Laurence Jones (The Truth – 2017)
Riding In The Moonlight – John Blues Boyd (Howlin’ At Greaseland – 2017)
Suranne Suranne – Ten Years After (Ten Years After 1967-1974 – 2017)
El Medio Stomp – Kirk Fletcher (My Turn – 2010)

For the fans of scratchy blues we dipped back into the Laurence Jones (The Truthcatalogue of one man band Juke Boy Bonner for his aptly titled number ‘I’m A Bluesman’. Then, our regular guest brought us a gem from Tampa Red. We also took the opportunity to pick a track from the new collection titled Eric Burdon & The Animals, which includes Eric at his bluesy best with ‘Devil’s Daughter’.

To cheer us, the new blues releases keep coming and something that caught my ear this past week was Australian band, Kings & Associates with their new album, “Tales From A Rich Girl”. It’s not all blues, but we played ‘All That’s Good’, a good example of what they can do with a bluesy number. Now, Laurence Jones has been on our giglist a few times, so we were keen to bring you something from his new album ‘ The Truth’ . . . and we did! Another promise met was to return to the new box set from Ten Years After for ‘Suranne Suranne’. Then, a glance at the clock confirmed it was time to collect up the records and CDs and get ready to head for the door, but we found time to play out this week with Kirk Fletcher’s ‘El Medio Stomp’. So, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 8 October 2017

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

If you were looking for a distraction from the unnerving events and sad moments of this week, then you might have been very pleased to find the trusty Cruise Mobile rolling along at the appointed hour. As ever, it arrived with the windows down the radio right up and a seat saved especially for you. So, after a big cheery welcome there was the customary invitation to jump aboard to go Cruising with the Commissioner.
.Cruising #3019
We set off on our musical adventure this week with Swedish band Nosey Joe & The Pool Kings with a rocking little number titled ‘Club Jump’, which heralded not only a European theme to our choices, but a special feature too. This week we decided to feature on one of the UK’s notable independent record labels, Immediate, and a selection of tracks from their single releases.

After Sweden’s Nosey Joe & The Pool Kings, our R&B choices ranged from Netherlands band, Dee’s Honeytones, to the UK’s amazing Si Cranstoun, then another Swedish band, The Beat From Palookaville, followed by German band Cherry Casino & The Gamblers. We went dipping back a few years for something from one of the instantly recognisable voices of the UK 60s, Helen Shapiro, who had her first chart success at the age of 14. If you want to know more about her, check out Thom Hickey’s blog the ‘Immortal Jukebox’, which celebrates her career and her recent birthday. Then, we closed our European choices with UK 8 piece band, The Big Heat, who proved they can do some great swinging R&B that can excites some rhythmic movement, with numbers like, ‘Slowly Losing My Mind’.
.Nosey Joe & The Pool Kings
This week’s Girls & Guitars feature also had a European flavour, with its spotlight on an all girl band from Liverpool, The Liverbirds. They were one of the few female Merseybeat bands of the 60s and featured two singer/guitarists in their line up, Valerie Gell and Pamela Birch, along with bassist Mary McGlory and drummer Sylvia Saunders. During their time together, they released two albums and several singles, one of which got into the German charts, their cover of Bo Diddley’s ‘Diddley Daddy’.
Juke Box Jump 
Club Jump – Nosey Joe & The Pool Kings
Big Bess – Dee’s Honeytonesthe-liverbirds-in-their-hey-day-752528194
Juke Box Jump – Si Cranstoun
I’m Glad Glad – The Beat From Palookaville
The Party’s Going On – Cherry Casino & The Gamblers

Girls & Guitars
Diddley Daddy – The Liverbirds
Cruising with Immediate Records
Hang On Sloopy – The McCoys
The Bells Of Rhymney – The Fifth Avenue
Cara-Lin – The Strangeloves
You Can’t Buy My Love – Barbara LynnImmediate+Label+Box+Set+Sampler-169236
I’m Your Witchdoctor – John Mayall & The Bluesbreakers
Out Of Time – Chris Farlowe
First Cut Is The Deepest – P.P. Arnold
Hello Suzie – Amen Corner
Lazy Sunday Afternoon – The Small Faces

Slowly Losing My Mind
Fever – Helen Shapiro
Slowly Losing My Mind – The Big Heat
Rainy Day Women 12 & 35 – Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

In the event, we only had time to skim through the musical legacy of the Immediate record label, launched, as it was, in the middle of 1965 with much fanfare and support from some notable artists. The famous first release came via the American label Bang records and featured a re-working of the Vibrations song ‘Hang On Sloopy’ by The McCoys. But the label was also intended to encourage UK artists and the second 45 release on the label appeared in August of 1965, with UK band ‘The Fifth Avenue’, featuring some fine guitar work from Jimmy Page in the folk-rock style of the Byrds.

The label’s 7th single release came from a band started of Brooklyn songwriters who decided to form their own band, The Strangeloves, releasing their 45 ‘Cara-Lin’ which did well in the American charts. In the mid 60s, if you were looking for a black, left-handed guitar player, then Barbara Lynn met all the criteria. Her Jamie 45 ‘You Can’t Buy My Love’ was released by Immediate in the UK in 1965 with much speculation that it was the Sir Douglas Quintet backing her on that one.

As well as mainstream music, Immediate records also built a reputation for recording blues material, with names like Jo Ann Kelly, Savoy Brown, Eric Clapton and Fleetwood Mac. John Mayall also had one single released on Immediate, after being dropped by Decca records. ‘I’m Your Witchdoctor’ was the first studio outing of Eric Clapton as one of the Bluesbreakers and it persuaded Decca to re-sign John Mayall, who then produced the famous Bluesbreakers album with Eric Clapton.

There was plenty of chart action for Immediate records with hits like Chris Farlowe’s ‘Out Of Time’ and P.P. Arnold’s 1967 hit version of the Cat Stevens song ‘The First Cut Is The Deepest’. The band Amen Corner were also had several chart successes on the Immediate label, along with other bands, like The Small Faces. There was plenty more ‘good stuff’ on the Immediate label, but we ran out of time. So, we may be revisiting this story on a future occasion. But, we did make time to mark the sad news of the passing of Tom Petty. We paid our respectful tribute to him and closed the show with his rocking, live version of Dylan’s Rainy Day Women 12 & 35.

So, as the Cruise Mobile rolled to a stopped, we were grateful to find ourselves returned safe and sound to where we started. With a quick polish of the Cruise Mobile and some cheery farewells, we were ready to do it all again. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 4 October 2017

Juke joint jive . . .

Posted: October 2, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Blues Come Calling header

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to this week’s edition of The Blues Come Calling, where, with great predictability, we turned up with a whole hour of the very best of the blues. Just to prove it, we kicked off the show with the wonderful Dani Wilde with a big favorite here, ‘Mississippi Kisses’, featuring some great harp playing from brother Will Wilde.

“Maybe it’s the time of year . . . “, but we seem to have too little time to play all the great tracks that we line up each week. So, apologies if any of your favorites take a little longer to appear here, but, rest assured, there’s plenty of the ‘good stuff’ to keep our spirits high, including the new Ruf Records album ‘Up All Night’ by Albert Castiglia . . . . and if you’ve not see Albert on stage yet . . . . make sure you do, because he’s a real treat. Another new release came from ex Roomful Of Blues trumpet and cornet player, Al Basile. As well as being a busy musician, he’s also a successful songwriter and his latest solo album which is jammed with his original songs, including ‘Simple Ain’t Easy’, featuring Duke Robillard on guitar and sounding just like Lowell Fulson.

The scratchy blues fans got treated to some rural blues of the late 20s from Texas bluesman George ‘Little Hat’ Jones, with one of the 10 sides he recorded for Okeh records, ‘Kentucky Blues’.
.Albert Castiglia - Up All Night
For those aiming to catch Australian lady of the blues, Kara Grainger, on one of her UK gigs, we played ‘Little Pack Of Lies’ as a taster. Avid attender of blues clubs and festivals, sooner or later come across Norman Beaker and his band and he’ll, doubtless, he out and about now promoting his new album, interestingly called ‘We See Us Later’, which is where you can find our choice, ‘Railway To Roam’.

He may be called Chickenbone Slim on stage, but he started out as Larry Teves, and became a San Diego-based musician who didn’t pick up a guitar until 2011 after years of playing bass and singing in blues and rockabilly bands. But, lovers of that vintage Chess or Sun Studios sound, will definitely enjoy his second album, ‘The Big Beat’, especially our choice,
‘Me & Johnny Lee’.Al Basile (Quiet Money 2
Simple Ain’t Easy
Mississippi Kisses – Dani Wilde
Hoodoo On Me – Albert Castilia (Up All Night – 2017)
Simple Ain’t Easy – Al Basile (Quiet Money – 2017)
Kentucky Blues – Little Hat Jones (Early Rural Music 1920 to 1940 – 2007)
Little Pack Of Lies – Kara Grainger (Shiver & Sigh – 2013)
Railway To Roam – The Norman Beaker Band (We See Us Later – 2017)
Me & Johnny Lee – Chickenbone Slim & The Biscuits (Big Beat – 2017)

Pinetop’s PickAl Corte' (Mojo
Work Song – The Blues Band (Homage – 2014)

Hit The Ground Running
21st Century Boogie – Paddy Milner (21st Century Boogie – 2000)
Hit The Ground Running – Catfish (Broken Man – 2017)
Devil’s Done Alright – The Kris Barras Band (Lucky 13 – 2016)
Juke Joint Jive – Al Corte’ (Mojo – 2017)
Can’t Even Do Wrong Right – Chris Daniels & The Kings (ft Freddi Gowdy) (Blues with Horns – 2017)
Wanderlust – Black Country Communion (BCCIV – 2017)
A few familiar names from our recent gigs crept into Chris Daniels & The Kings - Blues with Hornsthe playlist this week, including UK keyboard maestro Paddy Milner, who we saw as a member of the Boom Band and a great show they did too. Another of the names, who were also mighty impressive on stage, were UK band Catfish, playing a favorite from their latest album, ‘Broken Man’. Kris Barras and his band were also on our giglist, doing a stunning set, with a few songs from album ‘Lucky 13’.

The new releases keep rolling in, to remind us that the blues is thriving, and a new arrival came from New York’s Al Corte, who’s had a long musical career that makes for fascinating reading. His latest album ‘Mojo’, recorded at Memphis’s famed Royal Studios, is full of excellent stuff like his self-penned song ‘Juke Joint Jive’. Chris Daniels & the Kings also popped up with a new album titled ‘Blues with Horns’ and take it from me, it’s an excellent collection of soulful, bluesy numbers with a touch of funk here and there. Then there was something we’ve been waiting a while for . . . the fourth album by Black Country Communion, which is more rock than blues, but we played ‘Wanderlust’ which is probably one of the bluesiest numbers on the album.

Then, sadly, it was time to gather up the records and CDs and say our farewells, ever hopeful that there were plenty in our playlist to entice you back again next week for another hour of the best blues around. So, until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 1 October 2017

This is the night . . .

Posted: September 27, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, as usual, the Cruise Mobile rolled by at the appointed time with a big cheery welcome for one. As ever, we had the windows down, the radio turned up and a seat saved especially for you . . . . so we could all go Cruising with the Commissioner.  This week we had planned (a loose term in this instance) a rather special show to present some more home grown talent, to follow on from last week’s focus on UK R&B, and a special feature on TV music show producer Jack Good. A bit like our cruises, we knew where we wanted to end up, but getting there really was a musical adventure.Cruising #3018

But, with a taster of things to come later in the show, we set off on our musical adventure with Lord Rockingham’s XI, and a long time favourite here ‘Blue Train’. We followed fast with some of the UK R&B artists that we didn’t manage to fit into last week’s show. . . and to help us with our unfinished business, there were some UK club favorites, such as James Hunter, the wonderful Jimmy James & The Vagabonds. and The Alan Bown Set.

We managed to get to our Girls & Guitars feature earlier than normal, with our spotlight falling this week on Californian singer and guitarist Karen Almquist. She has a rootsy vocal style and her 1996 debut album ‘Tracking of Time’ has this rather fine version of ‘Why Are People Like That’ . . . which was our choice.

Gonna Fix You Good jimmy-james-and-the-vagabonds-aint-love-good-aint-love-proud-1966
Blue Train – Lord Rockingham’s XI
Talkin’ ‘Bout My Baby – James Hunter
Ain’t Love Good, Ain’t Love Proud – Jimmy James & The Vagabonds
Gonna Fix You Good – The Alan Bown Set

Girls & Guitars
Why Are People Like That – Karen Almquist.

Jack’s Good
Six-Five Special – Don Lang & His Frantic Five
This Is The Night – Terry Dene
Move It – Cliff Richard
Let’s Rock While The Rockin’s Good – Cuddly Dudley6.5 Special
Jezebel – Marty Wilde
Casting My Spell – Joe Brown
Don’t Say It’s Over – Billy Fury
You Don’t Know What You’ve Got – The Big Jim Sullivan Combo
Jack’s Good – The Krew Kats
I Wanna Be Your Man – The Beatles
Won’t Be Long – Aretha Franklin
Baby Workout – Jackie Wilson
Good Rockin’ Tonite – The Cast of ‘Good Rockin’ Tonite’

For those who remained keenly attentive, we did Billy+Fury+The+Sound+Of+Fury+-+Original-527464eventually make the link between our opener, Lord Rockingham’s XI and our special final farewell feature on  TV music producer Jack Good. It was Jack Good, who created the band in the late 50s from some of the UK’s top session players and they became the house band for Jack’s TV show ‘Oh Boy’. But first things first . . . Jack joined the BBC in the 50s and by1957 had become co- producer of its earliest TV music show, ‘Six-Five Special’. The show became one of the UK’s most watched programs among the teenagers of the day. It was kicked off each week by Don Lang & His Frantic Five with the theme song for the show . . . which we found! The show had plenty of home grown talent with names like Terry Dene (who we heard from), Jim Dale, Johnny Dankworth, Lonnie Donegan, Wee Willie Harris, Tommy Steele and more. JackGood2_2

After the success of ‘Six Five Special’, Jack Good went to join the UK’s new commercial TV network ITV, where he produced a new the weekly TV rock and roll show ‘Oh Boy!’ It became a showcase for more home grown talent, like Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, The Vernon Girls, Neville Taylor & Cuddly Dudley, as well as bringing visiting American acts to the UK’s TV screens, like The Inkspots, Conway Twitty, Brenda Lee and more.

But soon Jack Good was onto his next show, ‘Boy Meets Girl’, featured two artists who had made their names on ‘Oh Boy’ . . . . Marty Wilde and Cockney guitarist and singer, Joe Brown. They appeared with visiting American stars like Eddie Cochran and Gene Vincent. The show gave Marty Wilde to present songs and artists that were popular with its audience, as well as singing his own songs. Back then, Joe Brown had become the ‘go to’ UK rock guitarist and played behind many UK and US artists, like Johnny Cash, Gene Vincent, Eddie Cochran and others.

When Boy Meets Girl finished in early 1960, Joe found a new home on Jack Good’s new show called ‘Wham!’, along with other regulars such as Billy Fury, Jess Conrad and the Vernons Girls. Meanwhile, Jack Good had branched out to become a record producer and Joe was the obvious choice for the sessions of Jack’s first production, the debut album by UK heart-throb, Billy Fury . . . and we played a track from that album, ‘The Sound of Fury’.

Now, not a lot of people know this, but Jack Good did make a couple of records himself, although he was never credited on the label. One of these was credited to The Big Jim Sullivan Combo, but Big Jim confirmed the vocals came from Jack Good. The track was intended to be the B side to someone else’s single, but the record company decided to make it the A side. . . . and we found a copy . . . . along with UK group The Krew Kats, with Big Jim Sullivan on guitar with their nod to Jack Good, with their instrumental ‘Jack’s Good’.

Now, in the early 60s Jack Good went off to America and became an actor, appearing on Broadway in shows, in films like Elvis Presley’s ‘Clambake’, and on TV in shows like Hogan’s Heroes and Run For Your Life. But, he decided to move back into TV music show production when Brian Epstein chose him to produce the show ‘Around the Beatles’, after which, Jack went to work with American TV network ABC as producer of the TV show ‘Shindig’. Now, ‘Shindig’ proved to be American TV’s top, weekly music show and, apart from artists such as The Beatles, Roy Orbison and the Everly Brothers, Jack wanted to feature black artists. The station bosses wouldn’t agree, until Jack threatened to report them to the Attorney General, Bobby Kennedy. After that, they conceded and Jack became the first to put artists like Aretha Franklin, Tina Turner, Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, The Miracles and others on nationwide TV. We found a couple of the songs performed by Aretha Franklin and Jackie Wilson on the show.

By the time the 90s rolled around, Jack had moved on to other challenges, including producing stage shows like ‘Hair’, ‘Elvis The Musical’ and a rock & roll adaptation of Othello, called Catch My Soul. He also produced TV Specials for artists like Andy Williams, The Monkees and a network rock special that featured Jethro Tull, The Nice and Ray Charles. Then, in later years, Jack Good became a painter and got religion, spending a period preparing to become a monk, but he reemerged 1992 to produce an autobiographical musical ‘Good Rockin’ Tonite’ . . . which provided an appropriate closer to our little feature on Jack Good.

Then, the rattling tin cans reminded us it was time to park up the trusty Cruise Mobile and wave you a cheery farewell, ever hopeful that you’ll be back same time same place next week. So, until the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner . . . remember . . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 27 September 2017

Play to win . . .

Posted: September 24, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

Blues Come Calling header

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

Well, a big bluesy welcome to another hour of the best of the blues that we call The Blues Come Calling. This week we kicked off with The Nimmo Brothers and ‘I’ll Be Back Someday’. With Alan Nimmo waiting for his voice to return to full power and Steve Nimmo having fractured his arm, they are back together with Alan on guitar and Steve on vocals for Steve’s gigs . . . and it will be good to see them on stage together again.

The new releases keep coming and this week we featured Chicago’s own Joel DaSilva. He recorded his new album, ‘Everywhere From Here’ down in Ft. Lauderdale and we chose one of Joel’s self -penned numbers titled ‘Spell On Me’. Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers are also out promoting their latest, mighty impressive album and as a taster we played ‘Play To Win’, with Mindi providing gutsy vocals AND some searing sax playing . . . . catch ‘em if you can!

Tommy Castro & The Painkillers were back with another preview of their forthcoming album ‘Stompin’ Ground’, which has been getting lots of plays around here and if you call your new album ‘Long Hot Summer Days’, then you’d better have some songs on it that conjure up the flavours of a long hot summer day and that’s just what Jim Byrnes does, with numbers like ‘Anyway The Wind Blows’. But, you will have to wait until November to see it’s release. Among the new acoustic blues, we pulled out was a taster track from Ritchie Dave Porter’s forthcoming album ‘End Of The Line’ ‘Hell Man, I’ve Got The Blues’ . . . and he has!

Let’s Go Riding Joel DaSilva (Everywhere From Here
I’ll Be Back Someday – The Nimmo Brothers (Coming Your Way – 2001)
Spell On Me – Joel DaSilva (Everywhere From Here – 2017)
Play To Win – Mindi Abair & The Boneshakers (East West Sessions – 2017)
Let’s Go Riding – Freddie Spruell (When The Levee Breaks – 2007)
Doin’ It Right – Big Daddy Wilson (Doin’ It Right – 2008)
Around Midnight – Si Cranstoun (Smokehouse Sessions – 2013)
Anyway The Wind Blows – Jim Byrnes (Long Hot Summer Days – 2017)
Rooster Blues – The Boom Band (The Moon Goes Boom – 2015)

Pinetop’s Pick
Stones In My Pathway – Robert Johnson (Centennial Collection – 2012)Jim_B_Frame

Kickin’ In
Drinking Wine (Spo-Dee-O-Dee) – The Hoodle (Spo-Dee-O-Dee – 2017)
Kickin’ In – Tommy Castro & The Painkillers (Stompin’ Ground – 2017)
Hell Man, I’ve Got The Blues – Ritchie Dave Porter (End Of The Line – 2017)
God Bless the Child – Vanessa Collier (Heart Soul & Saxophone – 2014)
I Don’t Want A Lover – The Norman Beaker Band (We See Us Later – 2017)
For those who like a little scratchy blues, we featured American Delta blues guitarist/singer, Freddie Spruell, who is generally regarded as one Spo-Dee-O-Dee) - The Hoodle
of the first Delta bluesman to get on record in 1926 and we played his ‘Let’s Go Riding. As a bonus, Robert Johnson turned up on Pinetop’s Pick.

Now, if you’ve caught this years’ Blues Caravan you’ll have heard Big Daddy Wilson, Si Cranstoun and Vanessa Collier and a sensational show they put on too. As a result, each of them got into this week’s playlist, as did The Boom Band, who (among others) appeared at this weekend’s Kent Blues Rock Festival and whilst their recordings are not exclusively blues, there IS plenty of blues in there, like the band’s live version of Lightning Slim’s classic ‘Rooster Blues’, which they did on the night.

Other joys in our playlist included a three piece band called The Hoodle and the very welcome return of The Norman Beaker Band with something from his new album titled “We See Us Later”. Then, it was time to say our farewells, so until the next time The Blues Come Calling . . . remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 24 September 2017

Get on the right track . . .

Posted: September 20, 2017 in Hear This . . . . !

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

Well, we saw the familiar faces waving from way down the road. So, we let the Cruise Mobile roll to a stop and invited them all to jump aboard, because we enjoy good company when we go Cruising with The Commissioner. But, for those accustomed to our usual, sub-athletic jumping genres and weaving in and out of time zones, there was cause to gasp in amazement, because this week’s show had a firm focusing on British R&B . . . a topic, prompted by some friendly faces, including our good pal Jamie Dell’Apa . . . just so the accolades (or brickbats) can be directed appropriately.Cruising #3016

We ably demonstrated that the story of British R&B can’t be squeezed into an hour, but we ‘had a go’ . . . . suggesting that the story probably starts in the 50s with the rise of skiffle music as a youthful bridge between the blues played by many UK jazz bands and the rockier ‘rhythm & blues’ that was starting to filter into the UK through from post war America. So, we started with the undoubted king of skiffle, Lonnie Donegan, and one of his UK chart toppers from 1959, which (interestingly) also got into the American top five, paving the way later for others perhaps!

In the 50s, UK jazzman, Chris Barber, brought Muddy Waters & others to the UK and in London, blues harpist Cyril Davies and UK blues guitarist, Alexis Korner decided to form the very influential band, Blues Incorporated, which became a focal point for British R&B musicians, including future members of the Rolling Stones, The Yardbirds, Manfred Mann, The Kinks, plus individuals like Long John Baldry, Graham Bond, Duffy Power and more.

The R&B club scene was thriving by the early 60s, including some famous names, like London’s famous Flamingo Club, the 100 Club, The Marquee and plenty more up and down the country. By then, 6 and 7 piece bands were becoming a more common and more popular, with the likes of Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers, Zoot Money and his Big Roll Band, Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames, Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band, as well as the smaller groups like The Spencer Davis Group, featuring a very youthful Steve Winwood, and John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers, with its frequently changing list of future big names. Many of the UK R&B clubs attracted audiences that included visiting Americans who also enjoyed this R&B music. With easier access to original US R&B records, there was plenty of lively support for the UK R&B scene.

Looking BackBlues Incorporated
Chaquita – The Dave Clark Five
Does You Chewing Gum Lose Its Flavour On The Bedpost Overnight – Lonnie Donegan
Keep Your Hands Off – Blues Incorporated
Parchman Farm – Duffy Power
Walkin’ In the Park – The Graham Bond Organisation
Got My Mojo Working – Cliff Bennett & The Rebel Rousers
It Should Have Been Me – Zoot Money & His Big Roll Band
I Can’t Stand It – The Spencer Davis Group
Get On the Right Track Baby – Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames
Looking Back – John Mayall’s Blues Breakers

Girls & GuitarsJo Ann Kelly 2
Can I Get A Witness – Jo-Anne Kelly

No Buts No Maybes
North South East & West – Chris Farlowe & The Thunderbirds
Babes & Buicks – Mike Sanchez & His Band
Snatch & Grab It – Dana Gillespie
No Buts No Maybes – Diz & The Doormen
Que Sera Sera – Geno Washington & The Ram Jam Band
Coup De Ville – Si Cranstoun

The broad range of the UK’s R&B scene, happily includedDana Gillespie jazz, soul and blues, with some big named blues bands, as well as some highly regarded solo artists, and one of those was this week’s choice for our Girls & Guitars feature. This time, our spotlight fell on the much revered Jo-Anne Kelly, who gruff blues voice and guitar playing were much admired across the UK, but who, sadly, passed away as her career was really getting moving and just as she was starting to extend her repertoire, as with our choice of her take on a Marvin Gaye number.

Another big name on London’s R&B club scene and beyond was Chris Farlowe, who’s still going strong today and, who readily acknowledges that he was inspired by Lonnie Donegan to join a skiffle group and then developed his musical career around the UK R&B clubs. As an example, we chose something from his time with The Si-Cranstoun-albumThunderbirds, before he went on to international fame.

Despite the changes in musical tastes, there remains an enthusiastic audience for R&B across the UK, with some well-loved ‘real’ R&B artists remaining popular and still pulling enthusiastic crowds at club gigs and festivals. We pulled together a selection from artists like Mike Sanchez, Dana Gillespie and Diz Watson, who still fill the clubs when they appear. Then, as we turned the Cruise Mobile for home, we featured one of the new names creating a stir on the UK music scene today . . . Si Cranstoun. He’s one of a new generation, who have soaked up all those classic R&B influences, and are bringing them back to a new audience.

Then, it was all over . . . . we ran out of time before we ran out music on our cursory cruise through UK R&B. So, with apologies for what we left out . . . we parked up the trusty Cruise Mobile for another week, gave it a quick polish, so it’s already for the next time we go Cruising with The Commissioner. Until then, remember . . . have fun!

Broadcast by Cruising Radio
on 20 September 2017