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?