logo

Digital Jam Session

DAveFrequently, The Flood gives away a free tune that can be heard online without special software or magic decoder ring. Listening is easy: just scroll this page, and click the gold arrow key play before any song description to hear it right now.

Recorded at the weekly Wednesday night rehearsals, 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.

(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.)

NOTE! If you're using a computer that doesn't support Flash (such as an iPad or an iPhone,) you might not see the gold arrow key play below. In that case, try accessing the podcast at this address: http://jamlogs.blogspot.com/)

 Fiddlin' Doug Chaffin. Doug Chaffin has worn so many different hats in this band. When he joined up nearly 20 years ago, he played that driving upright bass behind the big dougguns of Joe Dobbs and Chuck Romine, Dave Peyton and Sam St. Clair. Later, when Dave Ball and then Randy Hamilton stepped in on bass, Doug moved to mandolin, trading licks with our young guitar wiz Jacob Scarr. After Jacob had to leave us to go to college, Doug added sweet guitar solos to his regular contributions. Lately, with the sad loss of our long-time bandmate Joe Dobbs, Doug's been dusting off his fiddle so well. Let's hear a few fiddle tunes from recent weeks.

---

 We're At Route 60 Music This Saturday. . The Flood will be out this Saturday night for a big benefit concert at Rt60Route 60 Music Co. in Barboursville to help fill the shelves of the Facing Hunger Food Bank. Admission to the show will be three cans or boxes of nonperishable food (or at least a five dollar donation.) We'll be playing songs from our new CD, "Live, In Concert," as well as some new things we've been working lately. The show starts at 7:30 Saturday night at 60 Peyton St. in Barboursville. Here's one of tunes we're working up for the evening.

---

 Sentimental Journey. So, you've got your sentimental songs. And you've got your train songs. And when waveyou've got a sentimental song about trains, it's gotta be a winner. Here's a fun moment from a recent rehearsal. Listen to Michelle and Charlie switching lead and harmony vocals between the verses and the bridge. Listen to Doug lay a lovely extended solo with that new sweet little Paul Reed Smith guitar of his. And listen to Randy tie all together with a funky Addams Family lick. Yep, we're on a sentimental journey.

---

 Congratulations, Norman and Carol! We had some great news last night. In the middle of our weekly Norman and Carolrehearsal, two old friends, long-time Flood fans Norman Davis and Carol Angle, announced that, hey, they are getting married next month! We love these two so much, and joyous news deserves a joyous tune. Here's the very next song we played to welcome the new couple-to-be. Congratulations, dear friends.

---

 Louise Stops By. It was our old friend Bill Hoke who was the first one we ever heard singing this great Paul Siebel louisecomposition. It was a party in the early 1970s. We'd been playing for hours, with a lot of loud and rowdy fiddle and banjo tunes that made the walls rattle. Then, during a break -- when the pickers had stopped to open new bottles -- Bill picked up his guitar and quietly started playing a tune called "Louise." We have loved that song ever since, and on special nights like last night, Louise, like a sad-eyed friendly spirit, comes 'round again. Here Paul and Doug handle the solos, and then Randy and Paul jump in on the vocal harmonies for the sweetest moment of the evening.

---

 Dink's Song.. More than a hundred years ago, dinkmusicologist John Lomax recorded an African American woman they called "Dink" singing a song as she washed her man's clothes in a work camp on the banks of a river near Houston, Texas. Forty years later, in 1945, the great Josh White put it on his first album. Since then, it's been recorded by scores of performers, sometimes as "Fare Thee Well," but most often simply as "Dink's Song."

---

 Since I Fell For You. Again. Sometimes a song walks right back into your life. About a decade ago, we were michelleoften playing that great old Lenny Welch tune from the mid-1960s, "Since I Fell for You," and then, for some reason, the song seemed to fall out of our repertoire. Nobody knew why, but we just didn't play anymore. 'Til last night. When Michelle Lewis came in from the wind and rain for our weekly rehearsal, that great old jazz standard strolled in right behind her. And we're so glad it did. Welcome home!

---

 Remembering Bob Toothman. In The Flood's formative years, we used to have big music parties that went on all weekend long, and a highlight of the do was always when we tampa redgot big Bob Toothman to play his special version of "Sister Kate." He's the man we learned it from. We still remember a year or so before Bob passed away his stopping by a Flood practice and just grinning all over himself at our slightly sexier version of his classic tune. These days, we still play around with "Sister Kate." Here's a take from a few weeks ago, with solos by Doug, Paul and Sam.

---

 The Spirit of Hokum Lives! Songwriters are our patron saints, and we've got a bunch of 'em in The Flood. Bob Dylan and John Prine. Jean Ritchie and Hazel Dickens. Hoagie Carmichael and Fats Waller. Two others you might not be as tampa redfamiliar with -- Tampa Red and Georgia Tom -- have also been influencing us for decades. Now, back in the mid-1970s, Roger Samples and Charlie Bowen stumbled upon some raucous old 1920s recordings of Tampa Red and Georgia's Tom's Chicago group called The Famous Hokum Boys. Rog and Charlie introduced Dave Peyton and Joe Dobbs to these silly, happy tunes, and the rest, as they say, is hysteria. Well, here's a recording from a rehearsal just a few weeks ago that shows that in the latest incarnation of The Flood, that spirit of hokum is still alive and well.

---

 Valentines from Michelle. Flood sweetheart valentineMichelle Lewis brought valentines to the table last night. Now, we can't give you any of the Krispy Kreme donuts she and her mom brought in -- they're all gone this morning -- but we can share one of Michelle's even sweeter gifts: a tune for last night. She had us all following her, walkin' after midnight.

---

 Reflections of My Life. We were already having a great rehearsal last night when Paul and Randy, our newest Floodsters, trotted out a tune that just shook the room. Back in paul and randy1969, a Scottish band called Marmalade released an original composition, "Reflections of My Life," that became an instant hit around the globe, in part because it spoke of life in an uncertain age. Last night we were all struck by how the song resonates in our time too. Now, we like to use these podcasts to sometimes give you a taste of a tune before the full arrangement gets worked out. This is a case in point. "Reflections" is likely to be on The Flood's set list often in the months to come, and this is where it starts.

---

 To All Our Dear Companions. A band that's been around for more than 40 has a pretty big extended family -- chaircurrent members, former members, brothers and sisters, moms and dads, long-time buddies and new friends just now coming through the door. On an especially chatty evening like last night, the stories we tell each other at a rehearsal can claim just about as much times as the songs we play. Well, it occurs to us that one particular tune we do -- one we've played at events as diverse as happy reunions and, well, more often at bittersweet departures -- comes very close to crystallizing that feeling of such a long communion. Here's to all our dear companions.

---

 Before the Next Teardrop Falls. One of the joys in rehearsing each week is watching and listening as new tunes become Flood tunes. Now, a new song sometimes feels like a new pair shoes, promising but still pinching. Other times, though, that new tune immediately feels like a comfortable old Freddypair of slippers. Here's a case in point. At home over the weekend, Doug Chaffin started picking that old Freddy Fender standard, "Before the Next Teardrop Falls." Doug and Charlie tried it out as an instrumental on Monday night during a jam session at Doug's house. Then yesterday morning Charlie went on the Internet and printed out the lyrics so he could have them waiting for Michelle when she and the guys arrived last night for the weekly practice. As we ran through the new number, we immediately realized we needed to transpose it into a better key, and here's the result. It's second take on the tune, with solos by Doug, Paul and Sam, harmonies by Randy and Charlie and, of course, Michelle's beautiful lead.

---

 Douglas Be Good! It's interesting sometimes what the Douglast tune of the evening is. If it's been an especially neat session, we just don't want to give in to the tyranny of the clock and call it quits, and somebody -- usually Charlie -- will say, "Aw, let's do this one more." However, on this particular evening, it was Doug Chaffin who kept the night going just a little bit longer by launching into one of his favorite tunes, Gershwin's "Lady Be Good," and the result? Just one of the finest moments of the night!

---

 Coming to Taylor Books. We are so looking forward to this Saturday night's gig. We're playing at one Taylorof our favorite venues, Charleston's beautiful, exciting Taylor Books at 226 Capitol Street. Last night we finalized the set list for the show, which starts at 7:30. Come on out, Charleston, and party like a Floodster waaaaaay downtown!

---

 Angel of the Night. Our newest bandmates -- Randy Hamilton and Paul Martin -- have brought us such riches: excellent musicianship, extraordinary vocals (leads and Angelharmonies) and warm, lasting friendship. They're also introducing us to some exciting new songs. For instance, last night we greeted the new year with a song by the wonderful Kentucky-born singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton, who these days routinely sweeps award ceremonies. On this track, that's Randy on lead vocal. And our friend Kim Kartes sits in to join Paul with some great harmony on the choruses. Also you'll hear Jacob Scarr on the guitar solo, as he got in one more evening with the Family Flood before heading back to law school in Colorado at the end of the week. So, this is our first take of Chris Stapleton's "Angel of the Night."

---

 Jacob's Latest Homecoming. Jacob Scarr first played with The Flood in the fall of 2007 when he was just 14 jacobyears old. Eventually he joined the band as its youngest member ever, playing with us until 2011 when he left for college in Boulder, Colorado. These days, we don't get to see Youngblood nearly often enough -- he's busy as a first-year law student at the University of Colorado -- so one of our joys at Christmas time is Jacob's annual homecoming, when he always makes time for a couple jam sessions with the old crowd, and he's sounding better than ever.

---

 Doug's Les Paul. Doug Chaffin was still a teenager Les Paulwhen his daddy bought him a brand new 1958 Gibson Les Paul. Now, more than 50 years later, Doug's still got that guitar -- heck, he's still got the original sales receipt! -- and on special occasions, Doug brings that beauty out to jam with The Flood. Last night was one of those occasions. Listen as Doug sets off Michelle's beautiful vocal on a jazz standard.

---

 Kathy Brings Christmas. Charlie's cousin, Kathy Castner, brings the holiday spirit with her on her annual kathyChristmas visit to the Bowen household, and, if we're lucky, the visit coincide with a Flood gathering, as it this week. Now, Kathy sings in public only a couple of times a year -- usually only during these Huntington visits -- but, wow, listening to her beautiful voice, you'd think she was singing every evening. Here she's shares her rendition of "The Rose," with wonderful solos by Paul Martin and Doug Chaffin.

---

 The Flood Six Pack! When we introduced the new "Live, In Concert" album earlier this month, several Flood fans asked if it was still possible to get the band's earlier CDs as well. And the more they talked, the more we realized that, heck, sixmaybe we ought to box 'em up for the holidays. So, we've rolled out The Flood Six Pack! Right now you can get all SIX of The 1937 Flood's commercially recorded CDs (from 2001 to the present) in one package for $59.95. That's more than a third off the regular retail price. Let's see... it's 15 years worth of music, so that's $4 a year…. or, whoa! a penny a day. Hey, it's math -- we can do this all day long… It's also nearly eight hours worth of tunes, so if you want to celebrate Take Your Floodster to Work Day, man, this is all you need! Click here to read all about it. Meanwhile, here's a snippet from each of the half dozen albums in the collection. Enjoy.

---

 Flood Lite Night We love having a large band, but one of the downsides is that we can't always get all seven of us litetogether in the same room at the same time, especially during the busy holiday season. So The Flood has always had a tradition of smaller breakout combos. For instance, whenever we can assemble only four of us, we call it "Flood Plain." Any combination smaller than that is "Flood Lite." Last night was a Flood Lite night!

---

 The New CD is Out! And we are so excited about it. It's our sixth CD in 15 years and our first live in concert album live(cleverly called "Live, In Concert"). Recorded at a show in Huntington last January, the new disc is out just in time for Christmas, and you can order it right here online. Click here for all the details. Here's a sample from the new album. We join in progress as Doug Chaffin and Paul Martin celebrate an exquisite Jay Ungar-Molly Mason composition, "Lovers' Waltz."

---

 Outlaw Blues. Sometimes the most memorable moment of an evening happens when you are waiting for bluessomething else to happen. Last night, as we were waiting for the Chick Singer to arrive, Doug, Paul, Randy and Charlie started noodling around with a nice, slow version of Bob Dylan's old album-filler "Outlaw Blues" and we ended up passing a lot of smiles around. Right in the middle of the tune, Michelle and her mama came in -- in the track, you can hear us saying howdy -- and Michelle jumped right in the mix. Sweet moment.

---

 Some Kind of Change... We love that Midnight Special. So did Carl Sandburg, who published two versions in his mid1927 "American Songbag," but it was from Lead Belly's recordings a couple decades later that we learned the tune. There's always been a bit of controversy over what it means for that "ever-lovin' light" to shine on you. Some folks says it's about some kind of salvation. Others think it means that dang train's about run you over. Either way, as Bob Dylan once said in another context, "imagine it would be some kind of change."

---

 Remembering Mississippi John Hurt. The great MissMississippi John Hurt died 50 years ago today. We grew up loving this blues master's syncopated fingerpicking style, and his music has always been part of The Flood's DNA. One of John's songs -- "Payday" -- was on The Flood's first CD 16 years ago and it remains in our repertoire. In fact, just last night, as you'll hear, "Payday" opened the weekly rehearsal.

---

 I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound. Last night, while making the coffee and waiting for the guys to come play, Charlie heard himself humming a song he hadn't thought of in at least 20 years. Back in the '90s, Dave, Joe and he would take a trip one night each spring to a little place near Beckley, WV, where they played an evening of music for visiting volunteers who had come for a week from Marquette University to help out with post-winter projects around the little town. The hostess for the party was a wonderful old folkie who each year always asked the guys to play the same tune, this grand old Tom Paxton composition. Before that, they probably hadn't played it for another 20 years. And yet it seems as fresh today as it did all those decades ago. Here's "I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound."

---

 You Don't Know Me. . Sometimes a song comes holdingback into our lives like an old friend. We had that moment last night with a classic Eddie Arnold number, a tune we hadn't played in more than a year. Listen to this, as Michelle re-introduces us to "You Don't Know Me" in the sweetest three minutes of the whole evening.

---

 Visit with Sallie and Linda. Musically speaking, Sallie Sublette is part of the family. Sallie met Joe Dobbs in 1976, just a year after the late fiddler came into our lives, and snoopyshe and Joe had many memorable adventures together over the years. Sallie also had long and loving history with The Flood's mother superior and guiding spirit, the eternal Nancy McClellan. She was long time buddy of Rog Samples and his brothers Mack and Ted. The list of our connections is great indeed. So whenever Sallie comes back east from her home in Idaho, we look forward to at least one evening with her. Last night, when she and her sister Linda joined us, it was a time of laughs and tears, stories and, of course, songs. Here are two.