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 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., 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...