Wednesday, January 23, 2019

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features our reunion with an old classic.

In New York in a single year — 1925 — Tin Pan Alley composer Ray Henderson wrote three — count ‘em THREE — classics in the great American songbook: “Bye Bye Blackbird,” “Has Anybody Seen My Girl?” (“Five foot two, eyes of blues…”) and “I’m Sitting on Top of the World.”

And then in the next year, maybe just to show he hadn’t shot his wad, Ray wrote this one, “Birth of the Blues.”

Now, The Flood started playing this song, gosh, probably 20 years ago — well, yeah, we put it on our second CD way back in 2002 with Joe Dobbs and Chuck Romine and Dave Peyton — but we hadn’t play it in about a decade.

In fact, our newer Floodsters — Paul Martin and Randy Hamilton— had never even heard it, until Charlie started picking it one night at the recent rehearsal, and Doug jumped in with his sweet little Paul Reed Smith guitar, and then Paul Martin pick it up for a couple of solos, and suddenly Ray Henderson’s tune was up and rarin’ to go again. Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a new old tune from Doug.

After all these years, Doug Chaffin continues to amaze us. Whether playing fiddle or guitar, mandolin or upright bass, Doug has had a distinctive voice in the band for 20 years now. And with great regularity, he continues bring new tunes to us.

 For instance, at last night's rehearsal, Doug introduced us to his rendition of a great old fiddle tune that was made famous back in the '50s by Bill Monroe and Bobby Hicks.

Here's Doug's take on a lively little number called “Cheyenne.” Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a tune for an important project later this year.

We have some ambitious plans for the new year, including several recording projects. Among our plans when we get back into the studio is to record a collections of songs from and about our home state.

And of course there could be no worthwhile assemblage of West Virginia tunes without a song or two by one of our heroes, Boone County’s own Billy Edd Wheeler.

For the new album, here’s one we worked on at last night’s rehearsal, and it seemed like we were all on our toes — with solid harmonies by Michelle and Randy and great solos by Paul, Sam and Doug — it’s Billy Edd’s classic from 1963, “Coal Tattoo.” Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features our new year’s greeting!

Back in the 1950s, Margaret Grant was well known in the country dance circles in the southwest of England. It was in her honor that Pat Shaw composed the classic "Margaret's Waltz,” the tune beautifully recorded by the celtic greats, The Boys of the Lough.

Well, in our part of the world, the song has been played at the end more New Year’s Eve parties than we can count. But it's also is a lovely way to start a new year. Here’s how we like to play the song nowaday.

We start out with Doug's fiddle, then we hand it over to Paul and his mandolin while Doug switches to guitar to bring it home. Here then is our 2019 rendition of “Margaret's Waltz.”

Happy New Year, y'all! Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features a century-old goodie!

Here’s a song with roots that are long and deep, going back well over a hundred years. The first printed reference to it was in 1911, when it was reported to be a favorite of New Orleans jazzmen in t
he legendary Buddy Bolden Band.

Hundreds — maybe thousands — of renditions of it have been played over the past century, with versions in blues, folk, bluegrass and jazz.

Louis Armstrong's 1954 recording of “Atlanta Blues" tips its hat to the song because the great composer W.C. Handy borrows a bit of it for his lyrics in the chorus.

Our version comes from a 1961 Folkways recording by the late great bluesmen Rolf Cahn and Eric Von Schmidt. Here is “Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor.” Click to hear the tune.

Monday, December 24, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features some Christmas cheer.

Welcome to the special Christmas Eve edition of The 1937 Flood podcast. You know, hardly a day goes by that we don’t think about our old friend and bandmate Joe Dobbs, who died a little over three years ago. But we especially miss Joe at this time of year.

Not only did our old fiddler love the Christmas season, as you can no doubt hear in this happy rendering of “Winter Wonderland” from a jam session almost a decade ago, but because of his white beard and the twinkle in his eye, Joe was perceived by many kids from 1 to 92 to be the Jolly Ol’ Elf himself.

And that led to interesting stories, often told between the tunes at the rehearsals. As a little Christmas treat from our dusty, musty archives, here’s a minute’s worth of Santa Joe stories, starting with Sam telling of a boast his young son James once made and ending with Joe’s tale of encountering a dissatisfied customer in Cajun country.

Merry Christmas from your friends in The Flood! Click to hear the tune.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

This Week's Freebie from The 1937 Flood

This week's freebie features an old-timer in The Flood repertoire.

It’s a song that has been with us since the earliest days of The Flood. The band was just coming together about the time that the late, great Steve Goodman released his version of it in 1972. Roger Samples, falling deeply in love with that album, learned the song and taught it to the rest of us.

For a decade or so, Rog sang it to our harmonies, then when he moved away, Charlie took over the lead vocals.

Since then, in every configuration of the band, this song has been played regularly, often at the end of an especially sweet session, like the one last night.

Here’s the latest version, from last night’s rehearsal, with Randy’s harmonies and tasty solos by Doug, Paul and Sam. This is Michael Peter Smith’s “The Dutchman.” Click to hear the tune.