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 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!