Wednesday, November 7, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a deep dive into The Flood's past.

One of the first tunes The Flood ever played – we’re talking the early 1970s, here – was “Solid Gone,” also called “Cannonball Blues.”

Dave Peyton had learned it from old Carter Family records. Charlie Bowen learned it from a 1960s Tom Rush recording. Roger Samples learned it from, well, Dave and Charlie.

Over the years, the song has popped up on Flood recordings in all of our four decades together. Five years ago, it was included on the band’s fifth CD, the one we called “Cleanup & Recovery.”

And even more recently, the latest rendition of the song is on the set list for the numbers The Flood will perform at the next “Route 60 Saturday Night” later this month. Here’s “Solid Gone” from a recent rehearsal. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tribute to an old friend.

Michelle and Charlie were honored to be asked to play a few tunes last weekend at the funeral services for Vernon Peyton, the older brother of Floodster Emeritus David Peyton.

Vernon was old friend of The Flood — in fact, a couple of years ago, we played at his 91st birthday party; a few years before that, we also played at the memorial service for Lillian, Vernon’s wife of 70 years, so these roots run deep.

For last Saturday’s services, Vernon’s daughter, Karol, asked Michelle to sing a favorite song, “Morning Has Broken,” a hymn that she revisited at last night’s regular Flood rehearsal.

Incidentally, as you listen to this, you’ll here some lovely harmony being sung by Kate Long, who was visiting us all last night. Kate, who’s a great singer-songwriter in her own right, will be the featured guest at the next Route 60 Saturday Night show Nov. 17 and we’re working up some arrangements so that The Flood can accompany her that night on a couple of her beautiful compositions. More on that in the weeks ahead.

Meanwhile, Vernon, this one’s for you, old friend. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a classic from The American Songbook..

More than 90 years ago, Irving Berlin composed this tune as a last-minute addition to a little known Rodgers and Hart musical called “Betsy.” The show itself was a flop — it had fewer than 40 performances — but the song, “Blue Skies,” was an instant hit in those early days of radio and movies.

In fact, in 1927, the year after it was composed, “Blue Skies” became one of the first songs to be featured in a talkie, when Al Jolson performed it in “The Jazz Singer.”

Today it’s one of the beloved and most recorded tunes in The American Songbook, done by everyone from Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey and Artie Shaw to Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland and Mel Torme to Willie Nelson, Lyle Lovett and Dr. John.

Here’s Michelle leading us on a Flood rendition of “Blue Skies” recorded at a rehearsal last summer, with sweet solos by Doug, Paul and Sam. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie celebrates October.

As we’re preparing for this weekend’s October edition of Route 60 Saturday Night, we’re collecting our autumn songs for The Flood’s house band duties, including this lovely ancient Irish lullaby.

Charlie learned “October Winds,” also called “The Castle of Dromore,” from the singing of the great Liam Clancy, and he recently taught it to the rest of the band, specifically for this show. The lyrics were written more than a hundred years ago by Harold Boulton, but the melody may be much, much older. We look forward to sharing it with friends this Saturday night.

Remember, the 90-minute show is this Saturday night, Oct. 20, at Route 60 Music Co., 60 Peyton Street in Barboursville.

Our guest artists this month are jazz guitarist Dr. Mark Zanter and beloved West Virginia singer-songwriter Colleen Anderson. The fun starts at 7 p.m. Admission is $5 and this month, all proceeds go to the good works of the Huntington Cabell-Wayne Animal Shelter. Come on out for good times for a good cause. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie celebrates an anniversary in country music..

Fifty-six years ago this week, Patsy Cline released the song she may be best known for, her performance of a beautiful ballad called “Crazy” by a little known songwriter named Willie Nelson.

Willie had written the song earlier that year — 1961 — as he worked as a journeyman singer-songwriter in Nashville. He originally intended the song for country singer Billy Walker, who turned it down because, he said, it was “a girl’s song.” Uh, bad move, Billy.

Anyway, the story goes that Willie was hanging out in a bar called Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge near the Grand Ole Opry and put his own rendition of “Crazy” on the jukebox. One night Patsy Cline’s husband, Charlie Dick, heard it and wanted it for Patsy. He and Willie proceeded to get drunk together, then Charlie drove home, and, while Willie hunkered down in the car, Charlie pitched it to Patsy.

“Crazy” became the No. 2 country hit that year, and, because of its genre-bending nature, it has been covered by various artists over the years, from Neil Young and Elvis Costello to Chaka Khan and Kenny Rogers.

Here’s Michelle and Doug’s take on this great American songbook standard from last night’s rehearsal. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tune that’s been with us for more than 40 years.

If a band is around long enough, it has its own legends and legacies, treasures and heirlooms in the form of stories and especially songs. Among The Flood’s old gold is the Irish tune called “Star of the County Down,” which Joe Dobbs brought to us, oh gosh, more than 40 years ago.

Now, Joe had a special version of it, slower and more stately than it is usually rendered, and with a curious variation in the traditional melody. Back in the 1970s, Joe taught it to Roger Samples, and Rog taught it to Dave and Charlie, and over the decades the song — Joe’s version of it — has been learned and re-learned by new generations of Floodsters.

Well, of course, Joe and Roger are gone now, but “Star of the Country Down” is still very much with us, as evidenced here at last night’s rehearsal, when Doug, Paul, Randy and Charlie revisited the Joe Dobbs classic. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a song that has taken on new meaning for us.

Some nights, like last night, are hard nights for love songs. Five weeks ago, we were stunned and deeply grieved by the untimely death of Stephen Lewis, Michelle’s dear husband and soulmate.

We in the band had known Stephen from the first days of his courtship of our loveliest bandmate. In fact, Michelle brought him to meet her Flood family during the intermission of a show way back in 2011, and over the next seven years, we grinned and waved at Stephen’s frequent smiling face in the front row. His death at the end of August has left us all with an enduring lump in our throats.

Well, musicians tell their sorrows in their songs and this tune from last night’s gathering is everything we need to say about how we’re feeling this autumn. Rest in peace, dear friend. Click to hear the tune.