Tuesday, July 17, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a new song by our friend Rob McNurlin.

Visitors are always welcome at our weekly gatherings, and no one is ever MORE welcome than our good buddy, singer-songwriter Rob McNurlin. We started jamming with Rob at least 20 years ago at happy places like Nancy McClellan’s living room and the parties hosted by Sheldon Road.

And we’re please that Rob still likes coming around whenever he’s home from Nashville or from various gigs that take him on the road.

And it’s a particularly special evening when Rob’s got a new song to share, as he did last night. His latest composition, which actually we first heard during his set at a Route 60 Saturday Night show earlier this year, is called, “The Last Hillbilly Singer.” Check this out! Click to hear the tune.

Monday, July 9, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a shoutout to a long-gone friend, Shirley Davis.

But first some background: Earlier this summer, Charlie’s wife, Pamela, had surgery. It all went well, but it required a period of recuperation, and they decided to use some of that extended downtime creatively. Pamela, who also is the manager of The Flood, for a long time has shot home videos of friends and visitors who have sat in and jammed with the band over the years, so they decided to pull all that work together into a feature film called Flood & Friends. The finished product is now available for watching on YouTube, and we’re pleased at how folks have enjoyed the film’s celebration of the music and the dozens of stellar visiting musicians performing in the videos.

But we’re also pleasantly surprised at some of the movie’s unintended consequences. For instance, as our old buddy Tom Pressman recently commented, the film also celebrates the regulars who come, not to play, but to listen at the weekly Flood gatherings, and prominent in the videos is the sparkling face of Shirley Broh Davis.

Shirley — whom fiddler Joe Dobbs used to call our oldest groupie — was brought to her first jam session with her husband Norman in 2009, invited by another dear friend, Flood regular Rose Riter, and from that winter’s evening on, the Davises became regulars. So all through the movie, you’ll see Shirley listening, laughing, singing along and applauding from her favorite blue chair smack dap in the middle things. We lost Shirley a few years ago — she died at 96 — but honestly, she’s still with us, especially whenever we do one of her favorite songs. Many times at the end of an evening of music, we’d say, “So, Shirley, whaddaya want to hear?” and more often than not, her request was for this one from the Great American Songbook. So, these days, whenever we do “My Blue Heaven,” as we did at a recent rehearsal, it comes with a sweet shoutout to Shirley. Click to hear the tune.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features our first efforts with a beautiful new melody.

If you see him, don’t tell him — it’s liable to give him “the big head” — but the truth is we listen to everything that Doug Chaffin tells us. When it comes to music, Doug’s instincts are usually right on the money. For instance, whenever we’re playing a show, if Doug leans over and whispers, “Hey, maybe we oughta do this song next,” Charlie always revises the set list on the fly, because Doug seems to have a sixth sense about what people would like to hear.

So, when Doug recently told us we ought to learn “Amelia’s Waltz,” we perked up and paid attention. Now, the piece you’ll hear sounds like an old tune, but it actually was written in 1981 by the late New Hampshire composer Bob McQuillen, who named the song in honor of a friend’s young daughter.

It’s one of those lovely melody that sounds like it ought to be the soundtrack of a big, lush movie. What follows is our first take on the tune, with Doug leading the way, of course, with his fiddle. Click to hear the tune.

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tune brought back from a 7-year-old memory.

Randy Hamilton and Paul Martin have been good friends for a long, long time. And they’ve been friends to the rest of us for quite a spell too.

Years before each of them joined the band, they used to drop in to play at the joyous jam sessions at the Bowen house here in Huntington. In fact, recently, while listening to recordings of some of those jam sessions made, gosh, more than seven years ago, Charlie came across a beautiful moment when Randy and Paul offered their rendition of this sweet Vince Gill composition.

So, last night he asked them if they would revisit that tune for us, and to say we were blown away by the results, well, that’s an understatement. Listen to this and you’ll understand why you can count on “Go Rest High on That Mountain” having a regular spot on the set list on Flood shows from now on. Click to hear the tune.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tune from last weekend’sgig..

It’s always a treat for the band when folks step up to dance to one of our tunes.

A few weeks ago, when we played for the 80th anniversary of Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti House here in Huntington, two of our old friends — Marshall University math professors Bonita Lawrence and Clayton Brooks — came out for the fun, and when Doug Chaffin struck up an old traditional waltz, the pair we call “the dancin’ doctors” favored us with some lovely steps in front of the bandstand.

Well, Bonnie and Clayton were on the road and couldn’t join us at last weekend’s “Route 60 Saturday Night,” but in their honor, Doug Chaffin and Paul Martin did a little encore of the number. Here’s that moment from last weekend’s show.

Incidentally, at the start of this track, I manage to misidentify the mountain in the song’s title. This is “Blue Mountain Waltz.” Click to hear the tune.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie looks ahead to this week’s show.

We’re getting ready for this weekend’s next big Route 60 Saturday Night show, and since it will be the eve — uh, eve-eve — of West Virginia Day, we’re planning a lot of special tunes to wish our Mountain Mama a happy 155th.

Come on out and join the fun, starting at 7 p.m. at Route 60 Music Co., 60 Peyton St., in Barboursville.

The guest artists this month are singer-songwriters Mike Bennett and Paul Callicoat. Admission is $5 and all proceeds this month go to aid the good work of Huntington’s Harmony House. For more information, visit the website at Route60SaturdayNight.com. Click to hear the tune.

Tuesday, June 5, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a different moment from the weeks these days.

Often here on the podcast we share tunes from the very end of a rehearsal, usually making the point that we once again we just didn’t want the evening to end (aw, play one more, guys!) Well, here’s something from the other end of the nights these days, a bit of the vibe at the very start of a session.

Recorded a few weeks ago, as this track starts you’ll hear that Doug, Randy and I are already in our seats, waiting for the rest of the band to arrive. Now, Sam is out of town when this was recorded, so he couldn’t make the gathering that night, but the harmonica section is ably manned by our friend Jim Rumbaugh, who has walked in just minutes before the track begins.

Listen closely as the song — a cover of Jackson Browne’s “These Days” — goes on and you’ll hear the backdoor open and Paul arrive. We keep the song going so he can be part of it. About four minutes in, you’ll hear Paul get to his seat at the table with his mandolin, say hello and then take the song home with a sweet solo.

By the way, speaking of songs, we’ve added a new feature you might enjoy on The Flood website: The Song Index. With it you can easily browse and listen to specific tunes from the hundreds shared on the podcast, recorded at shows or preserved in the band’s dusty archives. Looking for that crazy version of “Ditty Wah Ditty” you remember from a jam session eight years ago or so? We got it. Want Michelle’s latest rendition “You Don’t Know Me” from just a few weeks ago? Got that too. To check it out, visit the website (1937flood.com) and click “Song Index” on any page.

 Click to hear the tune.