Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Hear The Flood Nov. 18 -- and Help a Good Cause

The Flood comes to the Renaissance Arts Center (the old Huntington High), 900 8th Street, Huntington, WV, on Wednesday evening, Nov. 18, to help off-set a tragedy that has befallen the family of our very good friend Dale Jones, who is, of course, the heart and soul of the joyous annual Coon Sanders Nighthawks Reunion Fan Bash here.

Dale's daughter Kathy, recently had to have her left arm amputated because of complications from a blood clot. As if that were not horrible enough, this misfortune has resulted in serious financial difficulties for Kathy and her family because of the hospital bills.

Now Dale's musical family is coming together to try to assist. The Nov. 18 concert -- which will feature four local groups, including The Flood -- will be FREE, but donations will be gratefully accepted throughout the event to help with Kathy's considerable medical expenses.

Here are the groups and the schedule for the benefit concert:
-- The Shims, 7 - 7:30 p.m.

-- The 1937 Flood, 7:35 - 8:30 p.m.

-- The Huntington Federal Band, 8:35 - 9 p.m.

-- The Backyard Dixie Jazz Stompers, 9:05 - 10 p.m.

Please mark your calendar and come join us for a fun and important event. And, if you can, forward this message to others you think would like to attend.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

How to Listen to Flood Radio

Radio Free Flood is back on the air! After a few weeks of technical difficulties, we've liberated the gremlins gumming up the works and got the online broadcasts up and running again. Click here to tune in.

Oh, wait a minute! You didn't know about Flood Radio? Hey, stop depriving your ears!

Background: The Flood has always dreamed of having its own radio station. But then, who hasn't? Imagine, day and night, listening to a radio that plays only the tunes of your favorite artists. Of course, with the Flood fellows, that'd be a pretty eclectic group of players.

You'd have to start with great string bands and jug bands, both old and new, from the 1920s and 1930s stars like the Memphis Jug Band, Tampa Red and Georgia Tom and Gus Cannon's Jug Stompers, Riley Puckett and the Skillet Lickers, and, of course, Charlie Poole to the 1960s' Jim Kweskin, the Even Dozen Jug Band, the New Lost City Ramblers to today's Juggernaut Jug Band and the Old Crow Medicine Show.

But you couldn't stop there. Stir in some blues singers like Bessie Smith, Ma Rainey, Muddy Waters, Sonny Terry and Brownie McGhee and Mississippi John Hurt and new guys like Keb Mo' and Guy Davis. Then you'd need to add a pinch of classic bluegrassers from Flatt & Scruggs to the Stanley Brothers and the Coon Creek Girls, and then some rock greats like Little Richard, Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins, folk singers like Tom Rush, Dave Von Ronk and Ian and Sylvia, songwriters from Hazel Dickens to John Prine and Steve Goodman to Hoagy Carmichael and Fats Waller. Then throw in a little Doc Watson, Staple Singers, Fats Domino, Lefty Frizzell, Louis Armstrong.

And of course, we'd have to give some air time to our buddies -- Andy Cohen, Jazzou Jones, Cathy Barton and Dave Para, Rob McNurlin, John Lilly, J.P. Fraley, Pat Surface and others.

And, heck, The 1937 Flood itself should appear on the station from time to time, shouldn't it?

Well, now we have just such a station: Flood Radio on the Internet, made possible by last.fm, a UK-based Internet radio and music community website that now claims more than 21 million active users based in more than 200 countries. Using last.fm technology, The Flood created a custom radio station that plays the music of more than a hundred artists we've added to our online library, all the ones mentioned above and many more.

To check it out, just go to the Flood web site and click the "Flood Radio" link on the navigation bar at the left. Then click the circled arrow in the black last.fm player on the resulting page. After a moment, you should be listening to Radio Free Flood. What will you hear? Anything from Champion Jack Dupree playing "Hometown New Orleans" to Bob Wills & His Texas Playboys doing "Time Changes Everything" to The Band and "Ophelia." On screen, the player even has links for buying the tune you're hearing, if you'd like. Yep, we're hooked.

One note: Since last.fm is a rather cutting edge Web 2.0 application, it, well, doesn't always work right. Sometimes when we click the circled arrow, we get a message that says "no content / not enough content" or that there's been error loading the station. We've found, though, that if you just refresh page and try again or maybe leave the Flood site, then come back in and try again, it usually works. Sometimes, too, the player stops after a few tunes and has be re-launched. But hey, it's all free and pretty amazing, so if it's occasionally a bit hinky, well, hey, who the heck isn't?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

How to Get Flooded for Free!

Risking the comeback that free music is worth every penny for you pay for it (oh, you kid), The Flood each week gives away a free tune that can be heard online without special software or magic decoder ring. Listening is easy: follow this link, pick a tune and click the gold arrow key at the left of its description.

It's all part of the Old Boyz' on-going Digital Jam Session project, launched on the Flood web site 10 months ago. Added to a backlog of previous weeks' releases, there's now well over an hour's worth of freebies assembled online, each with a brief introduction by Charlie.

Recorded at The Flood's weekly Wednesday night jam sessions, the tracks are far from "studio quality." On the contrary, they are in the finest warts-and-all tradition of "field recordings," so they have what one listener called a decided "back porch sound."

That means that in addition to the occasional flubs and miscues in the performances (the guys meticulously craft and insert these misfires only for your amusement, you understand), you often hear in the background people chatting, laughing, whispering, rolling dice, shuffling cards, performing the Heimlich Maneuver… Because of the nature of the beast, there are times, of course, when we wish the microphone had been positioned differently or the guys had given a little more thought to a bit of harmony, etc., but despite such glitches, the tunes do capture the joy of jams and we hope you like being part of it.

We announce each week's new freebie on our Facebook page. If you're on FB and haven't already, be sure to click the "Become a Fan" button on that page to be wired in for Flood updates. And we'd appreciate it if you'd recommend the page to any of your Facebook friends who you think would enjoy occasional Floodishness.

(Incidentally, each free tune is also turned into the Flood's weekly podcast, "Jam Logs," so if you a pod person and would rather have the week's new song delivered directly to you, just subscribe to the podcast. For all the details on that, click here.)

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Hear The Flood During "Create W.Va." Conference

The 1937 Flood heads to downtown Huntington on Monday evening for a free concert as part of the big "Create West Virginia" Conference that hits town this weekend.

Festivities kick off Sunday with Kathy Mattea and "Mountain Stage" at the Keith Albee Performing Arts Center. Also during the conference will be live jazz at the Frederick, spoken word and dance at the Jesyln Performing Arts Center and music at Marshall University. Elsewhere, watch for art-, food- and music-filled receptions -- at venues ranging from the Huntington Museum of Art and the Big Sandy Superstore Arena to Marshall University -- and more than 50 pieces of fresh art all over downtown thanks to the Art Gawk.

The Flood plays from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Monday at a reception at the Morris Building, 845 4th Ave. The guys will share the space with the Marshall Guitar Ensemble and new media animated projections by Marshall graphic design students.

For more on the goings-on, check out Dave Lavender's story in The Herald-Dispatch!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Flooding the Riverbank This Monday Evening

The Flood heads down to Huntington's Harris Riverfront Park this Monday evening for what's happily become the band's annual shoutout to the Belle of Cincinnati and her riverboat passengers.

For the third straight year, the Belle sails to town for the big "Lights of Autumn" fundraiser for Hospice of Huntington, a volunteer group dedicated to assisting the non-profit agency with various projects. Last year more than 500 supporters attended this event. This year's 2-1/2-hour cruise on the Ohio River features on-board entertainment by the great Bob Thompson Unit from Charleston as well as by Live Bait from Tampa, Fla., and The Catalinas from Charlotte, N.C.

And, as always, The 1937 Flood -- whose appearance is again sponsored by the good folks of Magic 97.9 (thanks, guys!) -- offers free pre-boarding entertainment at the top of the park's amphitheater area from 5:30 to 6:30. Looks like there'll be a full complement of Floodsters on hand, along with The Chick Singer, the beautiful Michelle Walker, the lily of Cross Lanes.

So, whether or not you're taking the cruise, come on down and we'll party on the shore 'til boarding time.

For more information about "Lights of Autumn," click here.

Meanwhile, for your Flood calendar, you can ink in a couple of upcoming events. On Thursday, Oct. 15, the Flood plays at the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau's Grand Opening / Business After Hours gala and later in the month the guys will take part in the Oct. 18-20 Create West Virginia convention in Huntington. More details on both of these events as we get closer.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Flood Serves Up a Jug Band Breakfast This Saturday

The Flood is coming to breakfast this Saturday morning, and you're invited!

For years now, Dale Jones, the heart and soul of Huntington's annual Coon-Sanders Nighthawks Fan Bash of jazz lovers and players, has invited The Flood to share in the fun by bringing some jug band tunes to the gala's Saturday morning breakfast session. We're doing it again this Saturday!

Named after early jazz pioneers Carleton Coon and Joe Sanders of Kansas City, the annual jazz fest kicked off with Thursday night's free jam. The Friday and Saturday night sessions feature jazz musicians from literally all around the country. On hand this year are old favorites like The Toll House Jazz Band from Columbus, Ohio, The West End Jazz Band (Chicago) with Leah Labrea, A Touch of Dixie from Raleigh, N.C., and Dale Jones' own great Backyard Dixie Jazz Stompers.

This is the seventh year in a row that Dale has invited us to get up early and be part of the fun. For this year's set, The Flood will be joined by our old buddy Chuck Romine on tenor banjo. Shoot, we'll probably even tease a few vocals out of him too.

And watch out -- Br'er Peyton is packin' a washboard. We're jes' saying...

The breakfast is at The Ramada Inn Limited, 3094 16th Street Road. The Flood plays from 9:15 or so to just before 11. Admission is $20 for the breakfast session.

For more information about this year's Coon Sander bash, click here to see a report Dave Lavender story in the Herald-Dispatch.


Other recent blog reports

Some of you report you've occasionally missed one of our blog postings and asked for a chance to catch up. No problem. If you missed any of our other recent reports, click a title below to read that particular back issue:

-- No Sympathy from Symphony. Huntington Symphony vs. The 1937 Flood -- In the World's Most Lopsided Battle of the Bands, uh, They Won...

-- Hip Boots: The Flood's (Self-Produced) Bootleg Album

-- Come to the Jam Session (From The Cybersphere)

-- Now Hear The Flood Radio Show Online

-- Filming the Flood

-- Flood Merchandise: Put the Flood on Your Chest (And Refrigerator!)


Join Us on Facebook

By the way, if you're on Facebook and you've not "fanned" us yet, please do! Just visit The Flood's Facebook page -- click here -- and click the "Become a Fan" option. Thank you kindly!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Huntington Symphony vs. The 1937 Flood -- In the World's Most Lopsided Battle of the Bands, uh, They Won...fam

What a farcical, sad, strange week this has been for the Family Flood. Cascading events have culminated in our being forced to cancel plans for a June 14 concert with our old steamboatin' buddies, ragtime pianist Jazzou Jones and tenor banjo master Bob Schad, both of whom we've known and played with over the years on The Delta Queen steamboat and elsewhere.

How strange a week was it, you ask?

Well, it's not every day you find musicians blocking other musicians from performing. But yesterday that's just what the board of directors of the Huntington Symphony Orchestra voted to do.

Background: Jazzou and Bob have been invited to Huntington to play with the orchestra as part of its POPS series in a Saturday night concert down on the riverfront on June 13. They'll be here because of the good works of a local longtime steamboater who is a member of the orchestra board.

As soon as we heard our pals were coming to town, we contacted them and made plans for a Jazzou-Bob concert with The 1937 Flood on the day after the orchestra's performance. The Flood never intended to have any financial stake in the concert. On the contrary, donating our time and energy, we planned to charge admission for the Sunday concert and all revenue would go to Jazzou and Bob. We figured we could draw maybe a hundred people. At $10 a head, Jazzou and Bob would each get $500, perhaps doubling what the orchestra would be paying them for the previous night.

We then contacted the folks at Renaissance Arts Resources (the old Huntington High) who agreed to donate space for the concert, returning favors for The Flood's helping with their fundraisers. Once word got out around the Internet about the big Bob-Jazzou weekend -- the orchestra on Saturday night, then with The Flood on Sunday afternoon -- steamboatin' fans from as far away as New York and Florida started making plans to be here. So we were set to go.

Or so we thought.

But then out of the blue last Sunday night, Charlie got a call from the same orchestra board member who had originally arranged the appearance.

Now, we all know poor ol' Charlie is a bit naive, but he actually thought she was calling to thank us ... you know, for donating our time, enhancing the weekend, making it even more attractive to those out-of-towners who may be thinking about coming here ... not to mention, oh, providing a chance for more income for our mutual friends. Sorry, Charlie -- not so fast. No, the board member was upset. She said she believed The Flood concert on Sunday would somehow detract from the orchestra's performance the previous night.

Uh, what now?

Saying it slower so Charlie could grasp the concept, she said she thought that people might decide to go to The Flood event instead of the orchestra's concert on the riverfront.

Okay, now, well, that's sort of flattering. Why, yes, of course, there are many similarities between The Flood and a symphony orchestra (though we think we've demonstrated that our kazoo player is better). Still .... well, we don't exactly draw from the same fan pool. Surely no one would seriously think that someone interested in the orchestra would opt for The Flood instead, or vice versa. Who would honestly think a Sunday concert by the Flood would adversely affect the previous night's performance by the orchestra? In fact, it might have really improved turnout for POPS' Saturday evening event. Here's why. Jazzou and Bob have friends all over the country, and the pair -- living thousands of miles apart, as they do -- get to appear together very, very rarely these days. As word spread that there would be not one, but two opportunities to see and hear them together again, there would be twice as much reason for their many out-of-town fans to invest in coming to Huntington for that weekend.

Nope. Not having a bit of it. She remained unconvinced.

Matters escalated on Monday morning, when Charlie talked to the new orchestra manager, who told him that Jazzou and Bob would be bound by "performance contracts" that prohibited them from playing within 60 miles of Huntington for 60 days before and after the concert.

Huh. Well, now, that was news. The board member certainly hadn't mentioned anything about contracts during her lengthy conversation with Charlie the night before. And honestly? You got to question just when these performance contracts actually came into being. We're betting that West Virginia jazz great Bob Thompson didn't signed such a contract before his performance with the symphony. Hey, come to think of it, The Flood itself didn't sign anything like that when we played with the symphony orchestra on the riverfront several years ago. So, you just have to wonder if these restrictions were only now being brought up.


In advance of yesterday morning's monthly orchestra board meeting, we asked a longtime Flood fan who is also on the orchestra board to make our case to her fellow board members. We wanted her to at least make sure they understood The Flood's good intentions in all of this. Alas, despite her efforts, she reported afterward that the board discussed the issue but in the end would not remove the "60 days, 60 miles" contract provision.

So, there you have it. After consultation with Jazzou, we've reluctantly canceled the June 14 event. We're sad, of course, but also we can't help marveling at the ironies of this week. ...

That someone would work so hard to bring beloved steamboat musicians to town, then work just as hard to keep them from perhaps doubling their income while they're here. ...

That the city would open its arms to steamboat and ragtime fans from all over the country to come hear these musical giants, then systematically cut in half the opportunity to visit with them in our town. ...

That a mighty orchestra all of a sudden would turn protectionist and worry about losing money because of the efforts of a quirky little string band that was simply trying to donate its services and make memories for friends.

But then, on a brighter note, who'd've thought The Flood would ever get to scare a whole symphony orchestra?

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Nice Words from Br'er Lavender

Our friend Dave Lavender gave us a nice shoutout in the Herald-Dispatch last week about the "Hip Boots" CD. Heading a section of his column with the title "The Soggy Basement Boys," Dave wrote:

It was a long winter. So long that everyone and their cousin has a new CD out and so long that The 1937 Flood said the heck with it and finally released their own bootleg tape.

With an obvious homage to Dylan's infamous "The Basement Tapes," one of the state's best known string bands, The 1937 Flood has scoured the dusty and even the digital archives to put out the new CD "Hip Boots: The Flooded Basement Tapes."

It's a clever "then" and "now" collection of nearly two dozen songs that showcases the long and wonderful kazoo-and-fiddle-powered trip that's been 30 years of The Flood.

Step in The Flood's time machine (i.e. recordings made from everything from digital recorders to reel-to-reel machines) to hear the family-esque band that's featured a ton of musicians including Rog Samples and Chuck Romine, Stewart Schneider, Bill Hoke, Randy Nuckols, Michelle Walker, Kathy Castner and many other folks who have played with the band that was started and still driven by former H-D'ers Dave Peyton and Charlie Bowen and fiddling Joe Dobbs.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Hip Boots: The Flood's (Self-Produced) Bootleg Album

As everybody's mother always said (usually with a pretty heavy sigh), if you want something Done Right, do it yourself.

Well, in our case, the real truth is that after more than three decades of making music, we just got flat-out tired of waiting for someone else to produce The 1937 Flood bootleg album, and (with a pretty heavy sigh) we decided that if it was going to happen, it looked like we'd have to make it so.

So... meet Hip Boots: The Flooded Basement Tapes. It's a collection of nearly two dozen cuts from various drop-in points during the 30-year-plus history of The Flood, a band deeply rooted in the foggy (some more foggy than others) years of The Hippy Culture.

In the finest tradition of bootlegs, the recording quality on this disc isn't always the greatest. These field recordings were made on the fly at coffeehouses and parties, clubs and concerts and in people's living rooms, using whatever equipment was available, from cheap cassette recorders to reel-to-reel machines that were pretty nice for the day to (later still) digital recorders of all stripes. Setting aside the sometimes suckiness of the recording quality, the tracks do capture the spirit and madness that brought The 1937 Flood together in the first place and has kept it together today.

Hip Boots also gives the current Family Flood a chance to send a huge shoutout to earlier Floodsters, great friends and brothers like Rog Samples and Chuck Romine, Stewart Schneider and Bill Hoke, Randy Nuckols and others. They're all still with us in the flow. The disc also feature some of the beautiful ladies who brighten our lives with their tunes, including Michelle Walker and Kathy Castner.

The CD is divided right down the middle between "Then," with the recordings from the 1970s and '80s, and "Now," with live concert recordings and studio out-takes made between 2001 through 2006. (We're keeping the 1990s to ourselves. The Flood: The Missing Years. Yeah, right. Let's just wait for the movie.)

Highlights on the new/old CD? Well, that's like trying to decide on your favorite baby pictures, but we'll try.

You gotta love Dave Peyton and Rog Samples' Spike Jones-ish rendering of "Unchanged Melody" from some obviously well lubricated evening in 1981. And then there's more recent track that finds the guys teaching the Huntington Symphony Orchestra to play kazoos at the Flood's performance with the orchestra at Huntington's Harris Riverfront Park in July 2002. And from the night before that concert, there's Chuck Romine's wonderful vocal and banjo lead on a rollicking version of "Bill Bailey" recorded in Morehead State University in Kentucky. And you gotten hear Joe Dobbs' sail through "June Apple," and Charlie Bowen in preacher mode as he shouts out "Samson and Delilah." Oo oo, and we smile every time we hear Randy Nuckols' spoons playing and Stew Schneider's great harmonica work on "Mama Don't Allow" from 1979. Then there's Bill Hoke trying out a dobro on an Eagles tune...

Well, okay, you see. We really can't really decide on favorites. But the good news is that you can sample for yourself every track of the CD -- and if you're so inclined, even buy it -- online with this link.

By the way, none of the 22 performances on Hip Boots appears on any other Flood CD -- in fact, 90 percent of the tunes themselves are exclusive to this disc -- so it could make a nice addition to the Flood shelf, especially if you know somebody who's on a mission to collect them all! We love people with a plan.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Come to the Jam Session (From The Cybersphere)

During the spring and summer, Flood buddies JoAnn and Bob McCoy are regulars at the Wednesday night jam sessions, and the band always plays better in the presence of those smiling, loving faces.

In the colder months, though, the McCoys are gone from the Ohio Valley, staying in Florida. But that doesn't mean they're not getting their Wednesday night Flood fix.

JoAnn said in email last week that she and Bob listened to the Flood's Red Barn radio show online, even tuning into it "about the time you would have been having your practice. And we felt like we were there. You may have seen us bilocating there. :-)

'We may have to listen to that every Wednesday night till we come up," JoAnn added. "The sound was so clear, the songs and music were just great, and everyone seemed to be having such a good time. It was just like in your music room with everyone there. I'm so glad they put it on the Internet where everyone can listen to it. It was just great. Thanks for letting everyone know about it."

If you have friends currently elsewhere and in need of a little Flood infusion, tell them how they can use The 1937 Flood web site to party with the band -- and, of course, in cyberspace they don't even have to wait until a Wednesday night.

Remember, too, that besides the Radio Barn radio show, you also should visit our Digital Jam Session page. So far we have about an hour's worth of music there, all recorded informally (okay, QUITE informally) at the jam sessions, with a new tune added every week. Of course, the tracks there aren't anything like "studio quality" -- it's just a single recorder in the middle of the room, after all -- but they do capture the spirit of our Wednesdays.

Oh, and finally, if you've not seen it yet, be sure to check out Tim Irr's wonderful video report for WSAZ-TV of a typical jam session night.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Now Hear The Flood Radio Show Online

Last January, Floodsters were the guests of the Red Barn Radio program in Lexington, Ky. The show, which aired on various radio public radio stations in February, now can be heard online. Audio of the hour-long show has been posted on the web. For the show, the guys played a lot of music and were interviewed by host Brad Becker.

Want to hear it all? Start with this link:


When you reach the WGADNET page, scroll down to the Red Barn Radio logo, the click on the "Flash" button on the right side.

This should load a media player. On this screen, click on "4. RED BARN RADIO SHOW 07-14 - 1937 FLOOD" and the audio begins. (Note you also can use this player to listen to other recent Re Barn shows, including one by The Flood's old buddy, Rob McNurlin, who appeared the week after the Flood.)

Now in its seventh season, Red Barn Radio is a syndicated weekly broadcast started by Ed Commons and Marilyn Myers and produced with Becker. In-depth interview with the performers are conducted during the performance and incorporated into the final edit for airplay by affiliate stations, including Public Radio in several states and Canada.

Meanwhile, speaking of free Floodishness, be sure to also check out 1937flood.com for more audios and videos, including a nice 4-minute TV feature, and visit our online store, where you'll find all sorts of goodies.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Filming the Flood

Anchorman Tim Irr of Huntington's WSAZ-TV dropped by one of the Flood's weekly jam sessions last month and produced a feature story that beautifully captures the fun and foolishness of a Wednesday night at the Bowen Bower. We have the video on the web site.

Charlie and Pamela had invited Tim -- who lives nearby with his family in the South Side -- to simply come by and listen to the music some Wednesday night on his dinner break between his 6 and 11 p.m. newscasts. They never meant to suggest that he should come and work, but work he did! He filmed for more than hour, catching a number of tunes and interviewing members of the band and the audience.

We were fortunate that there just happened to be a particularly good turnout that evening. Susie and Ervin Jones were on hand, as were Rose Riter and her friends, Shirley and Norman Davis. From Ashland, Nancy McClellan and Zoe Davis drove in as well as Donna Chaffin, Doug's wife. And Mike Smith was sitting in with Joe on fiddle.

In his report, which aired last night, Tim interviewed Charlie, Dave Peyton and Jacob Scarr from the band, as well as Rose and jam session first-timers, Shirley and Norman.

If you missed the story on either My-Z TV or the regular 11 p.m. WSAZ newscast, you can view it on our web site -- click here -- or on YouTube.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Put the Flood on Your Chest (And Refrigerator!)

No bobbleheads and Joe Dobbs action figures yet, but The 1937 Flood merchandising department has been kicking into high gear with a new line of Flood shirts, mugs, bumper stickers, magnets, buttons and more. All are available for online ordering through a Merchandise page added to the Flood site.

The new Flood gear is made possible through CafePress, the online retailer of stock and user-customized on-demand products. CafePress.com, headquartered in San Mateo, Calif., with its production facility in Louisville, was started in 1999 and has processed more than a hundred million items to date.

To check out the new online store, come to the Flood site, click the Merchandise option on any page and browse the departments: short-sleeved and long-sleeved shirts, mugs, bags, bumper sticker, buttons and magnets. Clicking any topic will take you to the CafePress installation which will handle orders and delivery. Our experience is products usually arrive within 10 days or two weeks.

We hope to regularly add new items to the lineup. Remember, if it doesn't say "Flood," it's ... uh, well, probably not...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Getting Flooded, By the Pint or By the Gallon

These days there are lots of ways to get a little Flood in your life, all through the magic that is the Web.

You can order complete CDs and have those little boxes of plastic delivered to your house by mail. Or you can download CDs, song by song, and save them in your computer, cutting the postal service right out of the equation.

But wait -- say you don't want an entire Flood CD. You can say that. Oh, you might break our hearts, but you can say that. In that case, you'll want to sample the tunes on the Flood CDs and then just pick and choose the specific tracks you want and have only those tunes downloaded to your computer.

Here are some ideas for flooding your ears...


An easy way to get Flood audio is through the free iTunes software. Go to the iTunes store with this link, which takes you to a display of Flood albums. Click any cover to see (and sample) tracks. Options let you buy and download entire CDs for $9.99 or individual tracks for 99 cents each.

Of course, to use this, you'll need to be an iTunes user. It's great, free software from Apple that runs on Windows machines as well as Macs. Here's the link for a page where you can download and install iTunes software.


If you want to save a few dimes on your downloads, Amazon.com offers full Floodishness for $6.99 to $8.99 per CD, and individual songs on Amazon can be had for a little as 89 cents per track. Here's the link for Amazon.com's Flood store.


If you're a user of Rhapsody.com, where individual downloaded tracks are 99 cents and the complete CD downloads range from $10.99 to $12.99, here's your link.

CD Baby

Our CD Baby location enables you to buy CDs to be mailed to you for $15 each or will let you download entire CDs $8 (but provides no facilities for buying individual tracks). Here the CD Baby link.

Getting Discs Directly from the Flood

If you'd rather have discs mailed to you directly from us, we're happy to help. Just use this link to our page.

Getting Flooded for FREE

Finally, while all the above has been about buying Flood CDs or individual tracks, remember, the Original Old Boy Band has a lot of free music available too in the form of online streaming, free weekly podcasts of our "digital jam session" and free .mp3 downloads. Check it all out on our Freebies page on the site.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Flood Goes Web 2.0 Crazy

Hey, The 1937 Flood can be as Web 2.0 cyber savant-ish as the next guy. Lately, in fact, the Original Old Boy Band has been expanding its online footprint into the new world of social networking, opening Flood-happy outposts on Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and last.fm.

Here's a roundup of our social network connections and the links that will take you to them.

-- Facebook is a primary social utility that connects people with friends and others who work, study and live around them. On Facebook, floodsters Pamela and Charlie Bowen, David and Susie Peyton, and Michelle Walker all have already created their own individual pages. And now to the Flood itself has set up a public Facebook page. Click here to reach it. If you too already have a Facebook account, we urge you to drop in at our public page and sign up as a Flood fan. (We're trying to jazz the numbers.) If you're not Facebook-friendly yet, hey, consider joining -- it's free and it's fun.

-- last.fm is perhaps our favorite Web 2.0 network, because it is all about music and musicians. The Flood uses last.fm to provide full-length samples of tracks and to run the popular Flood Radio feature, which we wrote about in an earlier blog. To reach us on last.fm, click here. You'll find that we also use last.fm as a major distributor of our weekly Digital Jam Session files, in addition to podcasting them, as we've reported earlier.

-- MySpace is one the of the oldest social networking site, offering email, a forum and communities. We're here on MySpace. Now, we're just getting started on this service and, honestly, from what we've seen so far, it doesn't seem as powerful or as interesting as Facebook. However, we're open to persuasion. If you're a MySpace mavin and think we're missing the point, feel free to enlighten us about what we're not seeing in this obviously popular network.

-- Twitter is a free social messaging utility for staying connected by using "mini-blogs" (messages limited to several hundred characters) in real time. To twitter and follow the Flood, click here. Well, like MySpace, Twitter is one of those services whose value seems to elude us. We're guessing we're missing something big here, because twittering has become an obsession with so many folks. OK, so here's the deal: if a lot of people sign up to twit about, oh, when The Flood is stuck in traffic, what the guys are having for lunch and who's having what operation when, we'll start using Twitter religiously. We're like that. And seriously, twitting does seem like it would be useful to report whether the weekly jam session is on schedule, when a gig is coming up and so on. As we say, we can be persuaded.

So, there you have it. Let us know what you think about any of these new net connections. And if you have suggestions for others we might explore, just sing out!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Freebies from The Flood

There are freebies from The Flood all around the web site. For instance, George Walker, who recorded, produced and mixed the Flood's second and third CDs (Plays Up a Storm and I'd Rather Be Flooded), recently started experimenting with some new recording software and decided to take a fresh listen to some of this older work. The result? Remasters of four flood tracks from 2002. Thanks, George!

Click here to reach the page and then click on a title from the list to hear and/or download the .mp3 for that specific tune. George's collection includes remixes of:

-- Alabama Jubilee. Penned in 1915 during Tin Pan Alley’s love affair with ragtime, this classic good-time tune was written by George L. Cobb, who that same year published his great “Are You From Dixie?”

-- Alberta, Let Your Hair Hang Down. This old folk tune actually is an Ohio River song, sung by the roustabouts who loaded and unloaded the steamboats. Hundreds of contemporary versions exist, including one by The Blues Project back in the late ’60s to a fairly recent Bob Dylan cover.

-- Lulu's Back in Town. Written by Harry Warner and Al Dubin for the 1935 stage show “Broadway Gondolier,” this great old tune was performed by the Ted Fiorito Orchestra, Mel Torme and The Mills Brothers, not to mention a fabulous version by another of our heroes, Leon Redbone.

-- Rag Mama/Gimme Dat Ding. We learned the first part of this medley (“Rag Mama”) from a 1964 recording by David Grisman’s Even Dozen Jug Band. The Flood takes the blame for combining it with “Gimme Dat Ding.” The wonderful old Albert Hammond-Mike Hazelwood novelty tune was first recorded by The Pipkins, but a better known version was the 1970s release by Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show.

Don't forget we also have downloadables from the weekly jam sessions. Each Wednesday night, some or all of the folks gather at Charlie & Pamela's house for the Flood jam session. These sessions usually are recorded and these days, we share occasional tracks through a project called Jam Logs, Freebies from The Flood. We stream the Jam Logs tunes on our Digital Jam Session page and we also make them available as free downloads on our last.fm pages.

And speaking of last.fm, we also allow for free listening of the Flood tracks on that site -- click here to visit our albums page on last.fm.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Getting the Picture(s)

The Family Flood does love its photos. Whether it's snapshots at parties or jam sessions, concert action photos (as much "action" has the old boys can get these days), posed shots or decidedly much UNposed shots, The Flood and its friends collect 'em and trade 'em.

Now, in the revamping of the web site, we've set aside some cyber space just for photo albums. Click here to reach the home base for Flood Fotos. So far, we have half dozen galleries in place:

-- Joe Elbert, long-time assistant managing editor for photography at The Washington Post, took in a Flood concert at Tamarack in Beckley, WV, in October 2008 and gave us some great photos of the guys, pictures that he's allowing us to share online.

-- Larry Kendall, long-time friend of the Flood, was on hand for the band's benefit concert for the ARTS Resources organization of Huntington in December 2008. Larry, who by day works in traffic safety with the City of Huntington, has shared some of the photographs he shot that evening.

-- Ed Strelau -- Cincinnati fiddler, photographer and fine Flood friend -- was working in the Huntington area in 2005 and regularly sitting in with the boys in their Wednesday night jam sessions. Ed also climbed aboard "The Delta Bub" to drive with The Flood to a recording session in the fall of '05 at the Bunker studio at Joe Dobbs' Fret 'n Fiddle in St. Albans. Ed took these pictures, which he gave to the band as a Christmas gift that year. Then later he returned with a beautiful six-pack of classic black and whites that he produced from that very Christmas visit.

-- Pamela, having been The Flood's manager for nearly a decade now, has had many opportunities to shoot the guys -- and to photograph them as well -- and she almost always has at least a camera handy. Her collection includes pictures from a wide variety of settings, from jam sessions to gigs, from parties to recording sessions. Here are some of Pamela's favorite shots over the years. Don't miss the "hulu dancers" she caught at Joe's 70th birthday party that took place in Sam and Joan's backyard.

-- Friends of the Flood. The extended Family Flood includes all the good people who come to listen and/or pick with us, either at the weekly jam sessions, at parties or at the performances. Here is an ever-growing (thankfully!) gallery of the Friends of the Flood.

-- The Old Flood Pix. Think of it as the Flood's baby pictures. Or blackmail... Take a band that's been around for more than 35 years, you've got great opportunities for photographic extortion. And, of course, the band that extorts ITSELF.... Well, we don't know where that thought is going, but, for better or worse, here are some snapshots from the Flood's earliest days, most of them from the 1970s and 1980s, including images of great friends who are former Floodsters, like Rog Samples, Stewart Schneider, Bill Hoke and others.

Enjoy the pictures. And we invite you to contribute to any of albums, or to send us material for new ones.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Come to The Flood Theater !

There's a rumor going around – okay, well, maybe we started the rumor ourselves – that the boys of The Flood don't show up on film. But we now have online proof to the contrary. The new, improved 1937 Flood web site offers more than an hour of music, film and photos in the form of 18 new music videos that you can view and listen online. Click here to dig into the goodies.

A big hunk of Flood history is covered here. Nearly a third of the videos are built around music and photos from the band's early days -- some from as early as 1979 -- with the sounds and images of Rog Samples, Stewart Schneider, Bill Hoke and other former Floodsters.

Two of the videos feature the great Chuck Romine, whose tenor banjo gave The Flood a new sound for more than five grand years. We even get to hear Chuck singing on a special rendition of “Bill Bailey,” recorded live in concert in the summer of 2002.

Of course, no collection of Flood tunes would be complete without some numbers by The Chick Singer. Michelle Walker's fabulous vocals are heard on “Walking After Midnight” and “Blue Moon.” She also joins in The Flood chorus on other videos in the set.

Speaking of wonderful singers, one video documents Kathy Castner's 2004 visit with the Flood, doing her drop-dead gorgeous version of that great Dobie Gray tune, “Lovin' Arms,” a track that also features Doug's terrific mandolin solo.

Music for these videos come from a wide variety of sources. The older pieces – Dave and Joe's “June Apple,” Charlie's rollicking “Samson & Delilah” and “Mama Don't Allow” -- come from party and coffeehouse tapes that somehow survived the '70s and early '80s.

Other pieces – like “Backwater Blues” and “Hootchie Coochie Man / 7th Son” featuring some hot guitar riffs by Jacob Scarr and Bub's driving bass – comes from tapes made at recent jam sessions.

Others – like Sam's crowd-pleaser, “Ain't No Free” and “Crazy Words, Crazy Tune,” with ragtime piano genius Jazzou Jones – were recorded live at the Flood's annual Coon Sanders Nighthawks Reunion gig last spring.

Some – like Dave and Charlie's “Georgie Buck” and the band rocking on “Jug Music Band” -- were captured by Pamela at recent gigs or practices with a hand-held Flip Video recorder.

Hands down, the best music of the entire collection -- “Down in the Flood,” “Didn't He Ramble?” “No Ash Will Burn,” “Sittin' on Top of the World” -- are the tracks recorded and mixed by long-time Flood pal, Bo Sweeney. Somehow Bo managed to make the practice room at the Bowen Bower sound like an uptown recording studio.

So, pop yourself some popcorn, make yourself comfortable and settle into the Flood Theater!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Come to the Digital Jam Session!

There are many good reasons why you might not be able to come in person to The Flood's regular weekly jam sessions.

Previous commitments. Great distances. Fear of mysterious infections...

But with the launch of The Flood's Jam Logs, Freebies from The Flood podcast, you can now attend a digital jam session whenever you need a Flood fix. It's free, it's easy and, cyberspatially speaking, it's pretty cool.

Regular FOFs (Friends of the Flood) know that every Wednesday night, some or all of the guys gather at Charlie & Pamela's house for the weekly Flood jam. Often friends and neighbors come round and frequently fellow musicians sit in on the fun too. These days, a recorder is often running as well, just ... oh, in case somebody happens to commit some art. Now that we've created the podcast, we can share occasional tracks from the jams.

If you use the free iTunes software on either a Windows or a Macintosh computer, the easiest way to get Jam Logs is to subscribe through that software, with this link.

Or if you want to use a different podcast listening software machine thing, use this link for a more generic signup screen.

If you sign up the podcast with either of those links, you'll automatically get the latest additions as they are made to the growing Jam Logs collection.

But wait a daggone minute, you say -- can you hear the freebie tracks from the digital jam session without subscribing to the podcast? Of course you can! We're always trying to figure out ways to make your life easier!

We stream the Jam Logs tunes on our Digital Jam Session page. Shoot, you can even download them for free on our last.fm pages.

So far we have four tunes in the Jam Logs file (St. Louis Blues, 4th Street Mess Around, Up a Lazy River and The New Wreck of the Old 97) and we expect to add another one each week or so.

So now, no excuses -- come jam with The Flood!