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Defining events of The 1937 Flood, told in stories, photos, audios and videos
over the years!


A band that traces its beginnings back nearly a half century has many entries in its scrapbook. Here are some of the high and low watermarks of The Flood's drift through the decades.


The Third Wave


2012

Jan. 6, 2012: The Flood played a free concert at the Wyngate retirement community’s dining hall. Flood fans Norman and Shirley Davis (to whom the “Wade in the Water” CD were dedicated) were living there then, as were Jacob’s grandparents and Dave's 103-year-old cousin. The hall was filled and everybody seemed to enjoy the show, even bought a few CDs. Here's a video from the evening.

 

STORIES:

-- Hearing from Cousin Helen. A few months later, Dave got a call from his cousin, who still talked of that January night ... with an interesting twist. Here's the audio of Dave's report on the phone call from Helen.

-- "Who's Got My Car Keys?!" Finally, this little moment about the birth of a new Flood trope. The audio begins with Charlie and David reporting on an incident from the Wyngate, then segues to the actual moment in the show when Michelle is trying to tell and a story, and ....

Jan. 18, 2012: Randy Hamilton joined The Flood as its new bass player. We'd Randyhad known Randy for a good long while before he joined the Family Flood. In fact, Randy and his previous band, Sheldon Road, started occasionally jamming with The Flood six years before that, and Floodsters were often in the audience whenever that wonderful trio played. (A few years later, another third of that awesome threesome -- the incomparable Paul Martin -- became the newest Flood member, joining us two years ago. Meanwhile, Paul and Randy's old bandmate, Ken Adams, has reorganized and expanded Sheldon Road. You can catch this excellent country/classic rock band at gigs throughout the Tri-State Area.) Randy, in joining The Flood, brought us not only a rock solid bass line -- "the heartbeat of the band," Joe liked to call him -- but also stellar vocals, including spot-on harmonies and great leads. In fact, a highlight of our new CD, "Live, In Concert" features Randy's gorgeous rendition of "Wayfarin' Stranger." Here's a sample from the new album, a CD that, by the way, Paul Martin masterfully mixed and edited.

Randy's joining the band also was featured in this entry in Flood Watch.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to listen to a randomly selected playlist of Randy Hamilton tunes from his decades with The Flood, check out this channel on our Radio Floodango feature.

STORIES:

-- Randy's Origin Story. During a 2012 Lexington, Ky., Red Barn Radio concert, Randy Hamilton tells host Arthur Hancock how he came to play bass with The Flood.

Feb. 15, 2012: “The music was just great, as always," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "I just try to remind myself often how fortunate I am to have these Wednesday nights. I know they can't last forever, but my, my -- what memories we Sallie Smake while they're going on. For instance, check out the podcast this week and Joe's 10 minutes of fiddle tunes!”

Feb. 22, 2012: Singer Sallie Sublette, visiting from Idaho, jammed with the band, along with Chris Sutton, Mark Cabell, Mark Keen, Jim Rumbaugh and Randy Brown, as preserved in the weekly podcast and a video shot by Pamela.

March 8, 2012: Charlie started working on the Flood DVD, built around tunes videoed as the band recorded the "Wade in the Water" album the previous August along with some "classic" old stuff.

March 12, 2012: Over previous two years, The Flood’s rehearsals had evolved into wild and wonderful weekly parties. The three- and four-hour jam sessions filled the Bowen house with raucous, happy fans and extraordinary visiting players who came to sit in with the band and share tunes. We never regretted a moment of it. We made new friends, learned new songs and had new stories to tell for years to come. In fact, 95 percent of the audio, video and images that later would constitute our “Pajama Jams” film series came from those two years of Bowen house partying.

However, by the spring of 2012, that seemingly never-ending jam session had run its course. We’d had a couple of weeks that were less than joyous (less a jam session and more …. well, another kind of sandwich…) Moreover, our new Floodster, Randy Hamilton, had just joined who needed to get comfortable with the repertoire and with new tunes and arrangement we wanted to work on. So Charlie sent email to all the regulars who had been attending to officially shut down the open jam session. “The Family Flood sure has enjoyed having all these friends 2012-DennisandJoeand visitors coming to sit in with us each week over the past couple of years. What a hoot! … However, for now, we're going to need to rein in our Wednesday nights and let The Flood return to using these as rehearsal sessions.” He told folks that they were, of course, more than welcome to come and listen, visit, socialize, kibitz, even share the brownies, “but for the nonce, we'll not be able to invite you to play along. We appreciate your understanding on this.”

March 14, 2012: Joe's baby brother, Dennis Dobbs, and his family were living in East Texas and didn't get back north all that much. But this week Dennis was visiting up here and, fiddle in hand, he came with Joe to the practice, a gathering noted in the weekly podcast and in a video that Pamela shot that night.

March 15, 2012: Dave Ball ("Bub," to us) left the band to devote more time to what would be his successful run for a seat on the Huntington City Council.

March 16, 2012: The band played the annual St. Patrick's Day do at Heritage Station, kicking off the 2012 "Party on the Patio" series downtown, "or," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email, "as we've called it 'Patty on the Partio.'," adding, "the gig was super! We had a great crowd and the weather cooperated. The band sounded great and everyone seemed to have a wonderful time. We even sold a dozen CDs or so.”

2012-march

March 28, 2012: “Wow, that was the best Wednesday session we've had in a year or so!" Charlie told Cousin Kathy in an email. "It was just the band -- everybody came -- and we could all HEAR each other and everybody sounded super. I'm so excited about where we are. In fact, we're starting to talk about getting together another new album. We'll see about that. But I have a whole page full of titles of songs we don't have on any CDs that we can work on. I'm so jazzed about this. … Or can you tell? 8^)” Here's a tune from the evening, as reported in the weekly podcast.

April 20, 2012: The Flood returned to the Huntington Civic Arena to play a two-hour set at the reception of the latest edition of the Ohio River Book Festival. It was the first time that new bassist Randy Hamilton also ran the sound system. It worked out well.

2012-april20

April 25, 2012: In the spring of 2012, The 1937 Flood learned it would be making its Canadian debut and in a very unexpected venue: in a TV series about religious music! The band was told it would be included in a new documentary series on Canadian TV.

It happened like this: On YouTube a producer saw a "Wade in Water" video that the Flood folks had recorded the previous August at Live at Trackside Studios in Huntington, WV, as part of the group's latest CD. He liked what he saw and contacted the band to say he wanted to include a little portion of the video in an upcoming episode of his new "God's Greatest Hits" series out of Toronto. The five-episode series by Riddle Films, which premiered May 11, 2012, explored the stories behind some of the world's most famous spirituals, songs like "Wade in the Water," which would be covered in the premiere episode.

“The Flood is set to appear," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in the email, "on the same episode as The Fisk Jubilee Singers and Sweet Honey in the Rock, and we're pretty excited." Here’s The Flood’s 90 seconds of Canadian glory, following Riddle's promo for the series. The series is still available on Amazon, streaming and as a DVD.



May 9, 2012: Three years after its first visit to Red Barn Radio, the band hit the road again for Lexington, Ky., and an encore performance. It was an excellent evening, full of tunes, laughs and tall tales with the show's host, Arthur Hancock. Many of the yarns from Arthur's interviews with the band members have been preserved in the Our Stories section of this website. Meanwhile, here's about 20 minutes worth of live tunes from the show ("Up a Lazy River," "Wade in the Water," "Walk Right In," "Didn't He Ramble?""If You Lose Your Money," and "Red Wing / Snow Deer," May 9, 2012.)

Red Barn 2012

Incientally, a picture Pamela took at the Red Barn studios that evening would end up as the cover of our "Clean Up & Recovery album the next year.

May 19, 2012. No one had any idea when we came in for our 13th annual "jugband breakfast" at the great Coon Sanders Nighthawks Reunion Bash that it was would the last time. Sadly, Huntington's long-running spring gathering of traditional jazz fans from all over the country ended that year.

CoonSanders2012

We didn't have a full boat for that year's Coon Sanders festivities. David had injuried himself in a gardening accident and couldn't make the gig, while Sam had family obligations that kept him away. To sit in for Sam, we asked Jim Rumbaugh to join on the bandstand, and when it came time for the traditionally kazoory, we called our buddy Norman Davis up to the stage to conduct the how-to seminar. Here is a trio of songs from that fun morning at the beloved Coon-Sanders assembly ("Somebody Been Using That Thing," "France Blues" and "Tear It Down," May 19, 2012)

STORIES:

-- Norman's Kazoo Debut. Since Peyton couldn't make the Coon Sander do that year, we called on Norman Davis to conduct the Kazoo Seminar.

2012-MtSterlingMay 20, 2012: Sunday afternoon, a Flood Lite contingent -- this time Joe, Randy and Charlie -- played in Mount Sterling, Ky., played at a benefit with The Samples Brothers.

"We put on a good enough half-hour show," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email, "which featured a bunch of songs with special meaning to Rog. I told stories between the tunes and I think it worked."

2012-TamJune 10, 2012: For the eighth time, The Flood played a Sunday afternoon concert at Tamarack in Beckley, WV. "A good day," Charlie said in an email to his cousin Kathy. "The band did great and we have a wonderful crowd. Really had fun. We left outa here about 10 in the morning, picked up Jacob (he was sitting in with us) and got to Beckley around noon. Didn't have time for food before the 1 p.m. soundcheck, but we grabbed some very good ice cream to hold us until after the show. We played from 2 to 3 and the crowd got into it, then we all adjourned to the restaurant and sat at a huge table together. Fun!”

June 17, 2012: The city of Romney -- population 1,940 -- is West Virginia's oldest town, celebrating its 250th anniversary this year and The Flood was honored that we're invited to be part of it. We headed to Romney to play a free concert at The Potomac Center. Our old buddy, singer/songwriter Paul Martin -- three years before he joined the band -- traveled with us to work the sound AND perform as a guest artist at the concert. Here are a half dozen videos from that memorable day in the eastern panhandle:

   
   
   

July 12-14, 2012: The Flood launched the three-day Joe Dobbs Books Tour, with consecutive shows in Ashland, Charleston and Huntington to promote the release of our bandmate’s autobiography, “Country Fiddler.” Each show featured Joe’s performance of favorite fiddle tunes, followed by his reading of excerpts from the new book. Then the band continued entertaining the crowd while Joe met readers and signed books.

Long-time Flood buddy Douglas Imbrogno wrote a wonderful advance on the tour for The Charleston Gazette. Click here for a .pdf his story, which appeared on July 10, 2012.

The tour brought back Jacob Scarr, home from college, to sit in. Also present was future Floodster Paul Martin, on hand to work the sound system for each of the three shows. A favorite souvenir for the event was the online publication of these “Flood Funnies,” built around photos taken by Lindsey Marshall.

funnies

STORIES:

-- Joe's Kiss and Tell Book. At a 2012 concert, we begin plugging Joe's new book, "Country Fiddler."

-- Memories Prompted by Joe's Book. In the days after the Joe Dobbs Book Tour, childhood memories are sparked by what the fiddler wrote.

-- A Kinder, Gentler Joe? It also inspired talk of whether Joe was "nicer" to folks after the book tour.


July 25, 2012: “We had a super rehearsal -- I love my Wednesdays," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. Here's a tune from the night. "Now, we'll take a few weeks off and recharge our batteries. Already got some gigs beginning to line up for the JOefall. Nothing like the summer, but there's something. And we're working seriously on the new CD.”

Aug. 15, 2012: “Looking forward to rehearsal." Charlie wrote to Cousin Kathy. "It''s Joe's birthday -- 78. Can you believe that? Still acting like a teenager. We have a pause for some ice cream or something. He never likes to make a big deal, but …. well…. 78…. Really have missed my Wednesday nights. Good to get back to them. And it'll be the last we see of Dave for a while. Friday morning he goes in for major oral surgery and the doc is saying he'll probably be out of commission for at least a month. It is a BEAR getting old…. So, anyway, tonight's special. Also, about 10 of us are getting together for Joe for a birthday dinner at 5 this evening at Rocco's before the jam. That'll be fun.” Here's a tune from Joe's birthday jam.

Sept. 7, 2012: Dave and Charlie drive to Carter Caves meeting up with Doug and Joe to play the annual Fraley Festival "and, well, we killed!" Charlie told his cousin Kathy in a later email. "Doug wanted us to do tunes from the new CD, so we did the title tune ('Wade in the Water') and 'Ain't No Ash Will Burn' and wrapped up with a fiddle tune. Good crowd and they loved it.”

2012-Fraley

Sept. 28, 2012: We've played at Huntington's Woodlands Retirement Community many times over the years and always have a good time. Here's a selection of videos from an especially happy 2012 show, Randy Hamilton's first Woodlands outing.

   
   
 

2012-ashlandOct. 28, 2012: The band was booked to play the Ashland, Ky., "Picnic on Judd Plaza," though "picnic" worked out to be a bit of a misnomer. Because the weather was terrible, the do had to move inside and the "inside" was not exactly ideal, "a gymnasium - like room in a church," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in a later email, "a room never intended for music. Way high ceiling, stone walls and floor, so that the sound just boomed all over the place.

"Then to add to the difficulty, the planners set up rows and rows of long square tables where the folks in the 'audience' sat. That meant that about half the people were seated with their backs to the band. And what do 2012-novpeople at tables do? Well, talk, of course, which they did constantly, throughout both sets. And the capper was the the tables were so close that if someone wanted to hear the band, it wasn't easy to get up and move closer." The sad thing was that the band was really "on," that day, Charlie added. "It would have been a great show if people could have heard it."

Nov. 9, 2012: The band played at the Tri-State Arts center. "It was a smaller than usual crowd ," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "There were so many events happening in the area that night, so we had lots of competition, but the folks made up for it in general joy! Good times.”

Nov. 14, 2012: Flood Lite (Joe, Doug and Charlie) played at the Governor’s Mansion in Charleston, joined for the occasion on Cajon by percussionist Lee govHines who had just recently started jamming with the fiddler after meeting him at Fret ’n’ Fiddle in St. Albans, where Lee was living at the time. The evening, hosted by the staff of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, welcomed international students visiting the Mountain State, and we gave them a rich mix of music from swing songs to fiddle tunes. Joe’s favorite was when young girls from Japan danced in front of the bandstand to his “Ragtime Annie.”

Dec. 22, 2012: Devoted Flood fan Shirley Davis died at 96. A week or so earlier, Charlie and Pamela had visited her and reported to Cousin Kathy in an email, "we had a good 30 or 40 minute with her. Later Shirley's son, Tony, said that was the most animated she'd been in days. We talked about everything and everyone and she really seemed to light up. But… well, it's Shirley-Normanhospice. She wouldn't be there if the prospects were good, would she? She and Norman are such a lovely couple. You know we dedicated the new CD to them -- their pictures are on the inside.” Shirley was remembered in two of the weekly podcast that month, one before her passing and the second one afterwards. And the day after Christmas, many members of Shirley and Norman's family came to be with her Family Flood. As Charlie wrote later, "“What a great evening we had! All three of Shirley's children (all of them in their 60s and 70s, of course) were here, having traveled in from all over the eastern U.S. and we had a wonderful time singing and playing Shirley's favorite tunes and telling stories. Pretty magical, all of it. Jacob was there, but we really didn't get enough time together, so he's coming back tonight for a little extra music, just to the two of us. Looking forward to that.

Also, of course, the band was honored to be asked to play at Shirley's memorial service the next month.

 

2013

shirleyJan. 12, 2013: We played at the memorial service for Shirley Broh Davis, the oldest and most enthusiastic Flood fan, who died the previous month at age 96. During the service at Huntington's B'Nai Sholom synagogue, Shirley’s husband, Norman, her three children, some grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends told wonderful stories about this wonderful, interesting person who had an enormous impact on so many people. Since attending Flood practice sessions was the highlight of Shirley’s last years, the Flood was asked to perform in the social hall as people were gathering for dinner. The tables were beautifully decorated and each table contained a large photo of Shirley, sometimes with family members. The dessert table contained a beautiful bust of a younger Shirley that she had sculpted herself. Shirley is still very much with us, her picture holding a place of honor is our weekly rehearsal space.

Jan. 30, 2013: The last time that Joe and his dear friend Buddy Griffin got to play twin fiddles at the Flood gathering was on a rainy winter Wednesday evening. Buddy was on the road from his home in Glenville, WV, to visit another of our friends, former Floodster Roger Samples, in Mount Sterling, KY, and on the way he stopped to spend some time with Joe. That night, Buddy came with Joe to the practice session and the two of them treated us to an evening of great twin-fiddle tunes, sandwiched in with Buddy’s stories and imitations of the great violin-murdering comedian Jack Benny. Here’s a three-minute audio sample of Joe and Buddy’s duets. And here's a video of one of the evening’s highlights:

 

March 13, 2013: Armstrong Cable's Doug Morris dropped by a regular Flood rehearsal to produce a fun, 1-hour video feature on the band as part of a series he produced on area musicians. The video still pops up on local cable stations occasionally (though perhaps later and later in the evening...). Here's Doug's recording of that evening, made just days before we went into the studio to begin work on our fifth CD, "Cleanup & Recovery."

 

STORIES:

-- That Fat Tone! During a 2003 visit at Glenville State University for an appearance on the "Mountain Air" radio show, host Buddy Griffin reminisced about recording a twin fiddle album with Joe.


cleanupMarch 27, 2013:
The Flood walked right into Bud Carroll’s Live at Trackside Studios to begin recording the band’s fifth commercial CD, the album that would be released as “Cleanup & Recovery.” The CD would the first for then-new bassist/vocalist Randy Hamilton. And it also would be the first on which Doug Chaffin, who played bass on the first four Flood CDs, moved to guitar and mandolin. Randy and Doug also helped Bud with the mixing of the new album. And the disc, sadly, would be Joe Dobb’s last album; our co-founder and long-time fiddler passed away less than two years after the disc’s December 2013 release. The album also featured The Flood’s new emphasis on tighter vocal harmonies, as you can hear here in the album’s opening tracking. Eight years later we put the entire album online as part of our Radio Floodango feature.

STORIES:

-- A Clean Album for Donna. A couple of days before the initial recording session, we talked about the concept for this new CD. Here are Charlie and the folks talking about Donna Chaffin, Doug's wife, and her dream of a "clean" Flood CD that she could give to her friends.

2013-JoeCoverApril 17, 2013: Joe made the cover of May issue of “Wonderful West Virginia” magazine, picture, playing in costume at the “Siege of Fort Randolph reenactment at Krodel Park in Point Pleasant.

April 20, 2013: The The Flood finally ended its Buckeye Curse! While Floodsters by nature are no more superstitious than other folks, the guys were beginning to wonder if the state of Ohio might have it out for them; after all, in more than a decade they had yet to have a good gig in their grand neighboring state.

The bad luck had started in the summer of 2002 after a disastrous gig in Steubenville, Ohio, soooo bad, in fact, that from then on in FloodSpeak, any bad gig was called “a Steubenville,” as in “Wow, what a steubenville THAT was!” But that was just the beginning. For instance, after that we had back-to-back annual gigs at Ironton’s “Festival of the Hills,” and each time, the skies opened and we got soaked. (Well, okay, maybe we brought on ourselves; as Joe used to say, a band with a name like ours ought to invest in slickers, boots and flood insurance….) But then there was the terrible show at a private party out behind Proctorville at which drunks throughout the evening called ever-more belligerently for “Rocky Top,” even though we explained (ever-less patiently) that we weren’t a bluegrass band.

OUSo, all that is to say that in the spring of 2003 our expectations were understandably low when we headed across the bridge to Ironton on a Saturday night to play a benefit concert for a good local charity. The show would be at Ohio University’s southern campus in Ironton. The tickets were a bit expensive, so we didn’t expect “our crowd” (since they could, after all, hear us every week for free our our rehearsal.) Also we worried about the acoustics of the venue, since the do was scheduled in a place called "the Rotunda Room." Sounded "boomy” to us, conjuring up images of stone walls and floor and a three-mile-high ceiling. But! Imagine our surprise and joy in finding OU’s Rotunda Room to be acoustically wonderful -- carpeted floor, acoustic tiles on the walls and ceiling — with not a dead spot in the whole space.

It was a great evening, with a crowd that was warm and happy. In fact, coming off the stage at the end, Doug said it might have been the *best* gig ever.

George WalkerMay 5, 2013: We 've lost an old friend when George Walker found dead at his home in Cross Lanes, WV. The 60-year-old Walker was the producer of our second and third CDs, but he was much more than that. He was also producer of Joe Dobbs' long-running weekly "Music from the Mountains" show on West Virginia Public Radio. Not only that, George was married to Floodster Michelle Lewis for a time.

James Muhammad, director of radio services at West Virginia Public Broadcasting, told The Charleton Gazette-Mail that Walker, who had been with the service since 2002, had been sick for several weeks, though wasn't sure of the nature of his illness."He'd been sick before and been out sometimes for several weeks or months to recover," Muhammad said. "We thought he'd bounce back this time." WVPBS News Director Beth Vorhees added she was shocked by the news and said Walker would leave a large vacuum, not only at WVPBS but on media throughout the state."He had just the best voice in radio," she said. "You heard him everywhere, and he was just all about radio. He was all about reading well and sounding good. He was all about quality of work and just a very articulate, learned man who knew a little bit about everything."He loved being on the radio, and his voice is just going to be missed.""

George's passing had us sharing stories, like how George even found us a song to record one time. We were in the midst of planning our third CD, "I'd Rather Be Flooded," when George showed up with a rare recording of Duke Ellington playing the Cootie Williams novelty tune called "Lord, Ain't the Gravy Good?" We immediately fell in love with it and learned it in time for the recording session. At the time of George's death, we hadn't played the song in a while, but at the next rehearsal we dusted it off for that's week's podcast.

2013 Train Day

May 11, 2013: As part of National Train Day, The Flood played a 45-minute set on a platform by the tracks at the classy old C&O depot in downtown Huntington. The local organizer told me Amtrak hoped that at least 500 people would attend but they stopped counting at 3,500! Huntington attracted more people than any city. And it inspired The Flood to learn a few more train songs.

May 24, 2013: It’s not every day that The Flood sees its fans dressed for a concert as if they’re going to a football game, but, well, mid-May in Fairmont in West Virginia’s Marion County can be, uh, unpredictable. The show we played there in 2013-Fairmont2013 at Prickett's Fort State Park has gone down in Flood lore as The Great Fairmont Freeze, and it was one of the strangest gigs we've had in a long time.

After days of temperatures in the 70s and 80s, the temperature plunged as we were driving north to Fairmont for the Friday night concert. It's about three hours from Huntington. The show was at 7 that night and we needed to be there at 5 for the setup and soundcheck. This was our fifth time to play this venue and we always enjoyed it. It was down to the 50s when we took the stage at the Prickett’s Fort amphitheater and by the time the show was over 90 minutes later, the mercury had dropped to 45. That along with a pretty brisk west wind made for a fairly frigid Flood, but it also made for some laughs.

For instance, we've been singing the song "No Ash Will Burn" for some time now -- it's featured on our “Wade in the Water” CD -- and to be honest, we've not thought much about the lyrics for a while. But that Friday night, as we were shivering on stage and Charlie sang the opening lines -- "I have seen rain on a cloudless day / I have seen snows that fell in May" -- Dave Peyton leaned over and said, "Damn straight!" We cracked up and so did the audience.

Years later we were still talking about this gig. Here’s Charlie relating the story to newcomers at a weekly Flood rehearsal.

STORIES:

-- The Fairmont Freeze & David's Naked Fingers. How cold was it? When your fingers are so numb, they don't know they're fingerpickless, that's cold.

 

June 2, 2013: Kazoos became part of The Flood story decades ago, when David Peyton created Wallace the Washboard (with a prominent kazoo component) as a lively new sound to add to the band’s growing jug band repertoire.

The kazoo element happily hummed along in Floodery into the 21st century, when then-new Floodster Sam St. Clair (Slappy Lippman ) came up with a great idea to kick the kazoo up to a new level: Why not get a bunch of kazoos to hand out to the audience at shows and get fans playing along? Pamela, our manager, started ordering kazoos in bulk and by 2002 and our performance with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra, the kazoo set, led by Brother Peyton (“our Voodoo Kazoo Guru”), became a standard feature of our shows. We often introduced the kazoo segment by saying that Peyton had reduced his original 45-minute how-to-kazoo seminar down to two important sentences: “Big End. Hum!”

Kazoory continued to be part of Flood fun until just a few years ago when an injury David suffered in a fall at home ended his long service with the band he helped form nearly half century ago. Of course, Dave's departure also retired the kazoo from The Flood's folderol (since who could do the kazoo like Dave blew?)

This video, from a show on a June 2013 weekend at Nelle and Jeff Howard’s wonderful venue in Waverly, WV, is a typical example of our Kazoo To-Do.

 

June 28, 2013: Our regular harmonicat Sam St. Clair couldn't our gig at Woodlands Retirement Community, we talked our friend Jim Rumbaugh into sitting in for him and, as always, Jim rocked it. Here are a half dozen video from that nice summer evening on the hill.

   
   
   

Aug. 17, 2013: The Peytons and the Bowens traveled to Mount Sterling, Ky., for a memorable afternoon with Roger and Tammy Samples, a time of laughs, stories and, of course, music. And Pamela was wise enough to capture videos of some of the tunes we did together, songs that dated back to the very beginning of the band. Of course, that day we had no way of knowing that this would the last time we would all be together … but perhaps there was an unspoken suspicion of that sad reality. By that August 2013 afternoon, Roger was mid-way through what would be a five-year battle with cancer. There were good days and bad days for him, and, sadly, after that summer, more bad than good. But this was a decidedly good day. At the end of a music session, Roger often liked to quote the opening lines of a favorite Ian Tyson song: “Play one more and then I'm leaving, boys. Pick one more — let those guitars ring…” Well, ring they did on this sunny summer day in Kentucky.

Sept. 6, 2013: Dave, Sam and Charlie drove to Carter Caves in Kentucky to meet up with Doug to play the annual Fraley Festival. Since Joe couldn't make it this year, the guys drafted another friend -- Barbara Kuhns -- to sit in on fiddle. "She is such sweet person and a fantastic fiddler, and we really made a moment there," Charlie wrote his cousin Kathy later.

Sept. 22, 2013:
The 1937 Flood crossed the state and quietly slipped into Romney, WV, to play a part inKen history.Legendary statesman Ken Hechlerwas turning 99 that weekend, and his wife, Carol, along with Bob Nelson and Carter Taylor Seaton, arranged for Ken's closest friends to come together from all around the East Coast for a surprise party at a local hotel. The Flood was booked to provide the background music, starting with Ken's favorite song. That Sunday, as Ken and Carol strolled into the room to cheering well-wishers, we greeted the Hechlers with "Don't Fence Me In." It was a memorable afternoon. (Part 2 of the Ken Hechler party would come the following year in Huntington, and The Flood would be on hand again.)

 

STORIES:

-- Surprising Ken Hechler. We found a song born the same year as Ken himself.

Oct. 27, 2013: The Flood performed one of Nancy McClellan’s favorite tunes at her graveside atop the Ashland, Ky., Rose Hill Cemetery. The song — a variation on Jean Ritchie’s “My Dear Companion” — is the same one that Nancy asked Charlie to sing at the graveside of her husband, Harvey, when he was laid to rest nine years earlier in Henderson, Ky. Nancy’s burial day — a pristine October afternoon — was beautifully reflected in the lyrics ( “the air was warm, the sky was blue”) and was still very much remembered five months later (as seen in this video) when Charlie told the story in introducting the song at a show.

 

STORIES:

-- Nancy McClellan and the Coffeehouse Days. Charlie relates how he and Rog once thought they help Nancy out on a cold winter's night ... and discovered she needed no help at all!

-- Margaret's Waltz Memory. Talking in 2021 with Marshall University history professor Chris White on a podcast, Charlie talks about the playing of "Margaret's Waltz" at Nancy McClellan's funeral.

 

2014

Jan. 3,  2014: Charlie went into 2014 recovering from a broken left ankle, an injury suffered in a fall over the Thanksgiving holiday break. Stir crazy after six weeks of immobilization, he was eager to get out, even in blasted cold January weather, so he leap -- well, maybe not LEAPED -- at a chance to gig again. The opportunity came on the first Friday of the new year, playing a couple sets at Charleston's Taylor Books, with guitarists Jesse Smith and Jacob sitting in.

Taylor Books, January 2014

As he told his cousin Kathy in an email after the gig, “Sam picked up Pamela and me at 4 and we dropped in to get Jacob on the way. Then we went to a cool Vietnamese restaurant in South Charleston for pho (noodle soup) before heading over for the soundcheck. Honesty, I wasn’t expecting much of a turnout ― I mean, it was about 12 degrees and still icy from the previous day’s snowstorm ― but the folks really came out and we had a ball! Best gig in a while. And it was so much fun having Jacob sitting in with us again before he headed back to Boulder for his spring semester. His parents were in the audience, like the old days. Of course, I pretty much overdid it and so Saturday I had to take it very easy, keeping my foot up most of the day.”

Jan. 17, 2014: Joe hospitalized to have his heart stints replaced.

March 28, 2014: When we had played at Woodlands the previous summer, our old friend and Floodster Emeritus Chuck Romine -- Doctor Jazz himself -- was in the audience, but when we asked him to come up and sit in on a few tunes, darned if he hadn't forgotten to bring his tenor banjo. Well, heck,we decided THAT wasn't going to happen again, so we alerted Chuck well in advance of the spring 2014 gig at the venue so that he AND his banjo would on hand for the show this time. It was a memorable night. Here's a sample in a video shot by Pamela.

 

By the way, for other videos from the same evening, see the March 28, 2014, entry on our Video Index.

May 15, 2014: The band played a 45-minute set for private party at Heritage Farm Village and Museum for a meeting of the Knights Templar of West Virginia with Floodster Emeritus Chuck Romine sitting in. We played mostly background musicand set up on the front porch of the farm's "Pioneer Hall."

June 18, 2014: " We had a fabulous band practice," Charlie reported in an email to Kathy. "We'd canceled the last two practice (the first because of stormy weather, the second because Pamela was coming home and I didn't think she'd want tocome back to a house full of people.) As usual when we've taken some time off, the practice was great. We all miss eachother and the music reflects when we finally get back together." Here's a tune from that evening.

June 30, 2014: "Well, we're kinda bummed here today," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "This was supposed to be the day The Flood had a gig down at the riverfront playing for the visiting American Queen riverboat from 3 to 5 p.m. We were hired by the convention and visitors bureau, had worked out plans with a sound man, invited Chuck Romine to join us with his tenor banjo, and made plans for a tent to provide us shadow and fans to cool us. Then last night about 7, we got the word that, because of mechanical problems, the big boat won't be here after all. Boooo. We're disappointed. It would havebeen fun. But, well, hey, it also would have been terribly hot and humid, not exactly a pleasant gig, so....At least we found out early enough that I could notify everybody, take down all the Internet stuff about the show and all that.”

July 2, 2014: Long-time friend Margaret Ray came with Joe to the weekly jam session and even picked a bit on guitar with 55 Thingsus behind a couple of fiddle tunes that Pamela videos. Then three days later, Joe and Margaret left for an eight-day vacation in Alaska.

July 15, 2014
: When The State Journal announced its list of "55 Good Things About West Virginia," The Flood learned that it was named by the newspaper as one of those good things.

In fact, we were honored to find out that we were the first string band ever included in the newspaper's annual list of Mountain State treasure.

In her lovely story about the band, writer Tiffney Henson commented. "The Flood has been nourishing listeners' souls for more than 40 years. ... The variety of styles and sounds are like a buffet for hungry ears. ... The Flood is still together, making its relationship as a band longer than than the Beatles, The Kinks and even the Everly Brothers. ... Always being open to trying new things is the secret to the band's longevity."

July 18, 2014: The Flood regularly renews its city business license. (Never know when we might get the urge to take it to the streets, you know?) It's not a beastly expense (20 bucks), but when the renewal came up in the summer of '14, we had to wonder if the city finance department was sending us a coded message.

businesslicense

When we shared this online, our fans took to Facebook to comment. "Well, ain't that the devil!" said Connie Crowther, to which Tom Norman added, "There'll be hell to pay!" Graham Rankin capped with, "They must have heard Dave playing kazoo."

July 23, 2014: Joe had surgery, with stints put in both kidneys to increase the blood flow. Two days later he'd be back on The Flood bandstand.

July 25, 2014: Joe Dobbs played what would turn out to be his last Taylor Books gig with us. Two days before the gig, he had had two stents inserted in his kidneys to increase blood flow; within six months, the 81-year-old fiddler’s health began to further fail and the following year we lost him.

But there was no hint of any of that on this summer night at the lovely downtown Charleston venue that we started playing soon after it opened in the mid-1990s. As Charlie wrote in an email to his cousin Kathy, “Friday night was The Flood's job in Charleston and I gotta say, it was one of the best gigs we've had in years.

" It's such a neat place to play -- a little independent bookstore/coffee house with a lot of charm and personality. It's a very tight place for a seven-member band to play -- I said at one point that I've never been on a submarine, I imagine that's how it'd feel! -- but the crowd is so warm and friendly and everyone just rocked."

taylors 2014

And it was special evening in another way too -- the first gig since Michelle's marriage; she was now Michelle Lewis, not Michelle Walker -- "and," Charlie reported, "many folks in the audience were her good friends. Just a great time for The Family Flood.”

July 30, 2014: Pianist Sheri Hamilton jammed with the band, along with Chuck Romine and Jim Rumbaugh. “We had a good rehearsal, though not all the regulars were there," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "We have a terrible storm just before rehearsal time and Joe had to turn back. Also Sam's on vacation and Dave's not feeling well. But we had Michelle, Randy, Doug and me, plus some good sitters-in -- Jim Rumbaugh on harmonica, Chuck Romine on tenor banjo and, of course, Sherri on piano. She was nervous -- I told her we're the last people in the world to be nervous. We're all in awe of her keyboard skills; none of us have them. And I think she did relax a bit after we got started. My plan is to pick one of the tunes for today's podcast and tout her talents -- that should help build her confidence a bit. I think it would be great to have her available for occasional tunes.”

Sept. 5, 2014: It was a Flood Lite evening -- Doug, Randy and Charlie -- for the annual Fraley Festival in Carter Caves "and we picked up two good friends -- Barb Kuhns and her husband, Doug Smith -- to sit with us on fiddle and dobro respectively and it worked our really well," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in a later email.

Sept. 19, 2014: The group returned to play the Ohio River Festival of Books again at the Huntington Civic Center, with friend Paul Martin sitting in.

2014 book festival

Sept. 26, 2014: The band played at Heritage Station, part of the Huntington Music & Arts Festival.

Sept. 27, 2014: After playing the Ken Hechler surprise party in Romney in 2013, Ken showed that he could arrange a surprise or two of his own, because he was back a year later with a more public birthday party -- his 100th -- this time held in Huntington at Marshall University's student center with hundreds of friends and admirers in attendance.

Once again, The Flood was brought in as the house band. And sitting in with us for that show was Floodster Emeritus Chuck Romine, who goes back a long way with Ken. Chuck was a student in Professor Hechler's very first political science class at Marshall in the late 1950s.

Dave-1978


Oct. 8-11, 2014
: The Flood was part of Marshall University’s wonderful stage production of “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” performing a 30-minute pre-show set each evening of the run in the beautiful Joan C. Edwards Theater.

Director Nicole Perrone got the idea to add some Floodishness to the show after seeing a staging of the Irish romantic musical “Once,” in which live music is an integral part. During the summer,Nicole sounded us out on the idea and we jumped at it. She actually had two requests: that entire band be on stage to warm up the crowd each night with some Tom Sawyeracoustic folk sounds before the play started and then that Joe Dobbs hang around and play background fiddle throughout the show each night. They even outfitted Joe with his own costume, since he would be playing on-stage as well as behind the scenes.

Work began in earnest in September as the band honed its pre-show set and Joe worked with the young cast to weave his fiddle tunes into the play’s action, then we opened on Oct. 8, 2014. It was a ball.

We were all a little concerned that we were over-working Joe — and it turned out to be The Flood’s last public performances with our venerable co-founder — but Joe loved it. In fact, sitting alone with Charlie in the green room before the show's last performance on Saturday night, Oct. 11, Joe confided, “I wish we were going on for another couple of weeks! I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like to do a nightly show like this. It’s something else off my bucket list!” Here’s Joe rocking it on “Golden Slippers,” Oct. 10, 2014, a tune we played as the house opened and the audience began streaming in for the show.

STORIES:

-- Finding River Songs. There are some that are for an acquired taste.

-- Charlie's Nightmare. Memories of messing up the rhythm on Randy's featured song.

-- But What About the Children? The show taught us how few of our songs are "kid-friendly."

-- Serious Memories. Our farewell to the "Tom Sawyer" audience.


Oct. 24, 2014
: The band played at Woodlands Retirement Community, with everybody but Joe on board. Joining us were two guest performers, Paul Martin, sitting in on guitar and mandolin, and Randy Hamilton's wife, Sherri, on keyboard for three tunes on Woodlands beautiful Steinway. We used three songs from the evening in the next week's podcast, which you can hear here.

2015

Jan. 26, 2015: Two of The Flood’s original members — Roger and Joe — played together for the last time, and we are fortunate to have a video from that bittersweet reunion.

Earlier in that January 2015, Joe and his dear friend Margaret Ray had escaped the cold West Virginia winter for a little while with a trip to the South, and on their way home to St. Albans, they swung by Mount Sterling, Ky., to spend a day with Rog and Tammy. It had been a rough time for Roger; he was entering the last year in his five-year battle with cancer. He had been feeling pretty bad, but he perked up with

margaretJoe and Margaret arrived and filled the morning and afternoon with stories and songs. Rog and Joe always had an especially close relationship. Right from the start, they beautifully complemented each other’s music, but it was in another long winter — the winter of ’75-'76 that Joe and Roger became even closer. During that cold, dark winter, Roger was house-sitting for Susan and David Peyton (Dave was working on an extended Alicia Patterson project down in Cajun country), and every week, Joe would come by to work out fiddle-guitar duets with Roger. Joe also credited Roger with introducing him to Beatles tunes during those winter workshops, but it was another song — Bread’s “If,” the 1971 David Gates composition — that would come to be the big memory from that winter. We have 40-year-old recordings of Roger and Joe playing “If” at party after party, and it was natural for them to play it again on this day of reunion. We’re thankful Margaret was there to record it with her phone. This was last time, Joe and Rog saw each other; Joe passed away eight months later, and Roger was gone four months after that.

Feb. 11, 2015: Floodster Emeritus Chuck Romine came in from the cold and sat in with us playing the newest addition to his musical family: a sweet and mellow little Martin tenor guitar that was just right for the folky tunes that were on our minds on that winter's evening. Here are two tunes from the evening, as reported in the weekly podcast.

paulMarch 31, 2015: Paul Martin officially joined the band. The operative word here is "officially," because Paul already had been part of the extended Family Flood for at least a decade before that. As early as 2006, Paul was occasionally jamming with The Flood. Later, when his old friend, Randy Hamilton, came on board as The Flood's bassist, Paul started running sound for the band at gigs. In addition, as an extraordinary singer-songwriter, mandolin and guitar soloist, Paul became a regular featured guest performer at shows around town and on the road. But it was after he actually joined the band that Paul's remarkable talents began to inspire the next direction for The Flood's evolution, starting with his mixing and editing skills on the band's latest CD, "Live, In Concert." And the best is yet to come! But let's go back in the archives. Here's a Paul Martin-Randy Hamilton tune a jam session in September 2011, before either of them was a Floodster, a take on a 1978 tune, "Ready for the Times to Get Better."

Meanwhile, if you'd like to listen to a randomly selected playlist of Paul Martin tunes from his decades with The Flood, check out this channel on our Radio Floodango feature.

STORIES:

-- Meet Paul Martin! Charlie introduces the newest Floodster to a 2015 concert audience.

JoeApril 28, 2015: Five months before he died, Joe Dobbs had his last jam session with the band he had helped form 40 years earlier.

We hadn't seen our fiddler much the previous six months; only later did we learn that his health had been to fail over the winter. But on this mid-spring evening, he arrived with his old friend Margaret Ray in a great mood and ready to play. Here -- after a little bit of smart-alecky chatter common to Flood affairs -- is the last tune of the evening, which would be the last tune we ever got to play with Joe Dobbs. ("Bye Bye Blues," April 28, 2015.)

By the way, this last evening with Joe came 40 years -- almost to the day -- after David and Charlie first met the fiddler at a Huntington crafts fair in 1975.

May 20, 2015: We were invited to perform at the V Club, a downtown Huntington bar that regularly brings in big national music acts. Not Rolling Stones big, but young musicians who’ve had a record or two.

V Club concerts usually start around our bedtime, but once a month the Huntington Blues Society invited a regional band there to play early -- 7 p.m. -- followed by a jam session.

VClbu

For its set, The Flood concentrated on blues music, with a few jug band tunes and others thrown in. They have a wonderful lighting and sound system and a small stage in front of a dance floor. The Herald-Dispatch did a huge story about it beforehand, using as a hook the fact that all proceeds were going to help earthquake victims in Nepal, and they raised $820!

Chris Sutton, head of the local Blues Society, was on tour in Katmandu last fall and made some musician friends there. Chris, who has sat in with The Flood over the years, is an excellent musician, and has won lots of national blues contests, including a big one in Memphis.

In a letter to his cousin Kathy later, Charlie called the evening "a super gig!" adding, "In fact, Doug said it was one of our best gigs ever, and I'm inclined to agree. Everything worked so well." Here are a couple of tunes from the evening, ("Walk Right In" and "Ain't No Free," May 20, 2015). In addition, two more tunes from the gig were included in the weekly podcast that month, including "Careless Love" and "Tear It Down."

For a long time, we didn't think there was any video from that fun evening at The V Club, but six years later, our old buddy Michael Lyzenga came across the video of our take on "Rag Mama / Gimme Dat Ding" and then a few years late we found Dave Peyton Jr.'s video of "Somebody Been Using That Thing."

Meanwhile, local harmonicat Jim Rumbaugh of the Huntington Harmonica Club raised few more dollars by dancing to the band. A dollar a dance was what he charged or paid. "I'll probably spend all my lunch money," Jim said, "but shoot, it's a good cause!"

STORIES:

-- Dancin' Jim Rumbaugh. ... and the deal the band made with him!


May 24, 2015
: Joe Dobbs, sick for three days, checked into Thomas Memorial Hospital in Charleston with pneumonia (though the members of the band didn't learn about this until after his death); it’s the beginning of Joe’s decline. He would last only four more months.

May 26, 2015: "It was a good rehearsal," Charlie wrote Kathy, his cousin. "I'm really liking how the band is coming along these days. We've added Paul Martin as a regular member and I updated the website and the Facebook page with a new picture of the band, taken at last week's gig at the V Club downtown. Paul's the man sitting upfront between Dave and me. I Paulreally like what he's bringing to the music. He a great player -- you can hear him on mandolin in this week's podcast. He's also a good singer and good songwriter, and we'll featuring him more and more as we work out arrangement. I just couldn't be happier.Last night we worked on tunes for this Saturday night's gig, a wedding party at Heritage Farm. I need to get the set list together today.”

May 30, 2015: The band played for a wedding at Heritage Farm.

June 23, 2015: "The music at the jam was super," Charlie told Kathy in an email. "Paul Martin is working out so well! I knew he would -- great guy, fantastic musician -- but it's even better than I expected. When now four vocalists in the band (Michelle, Paul, Randy and me) we're starting to build on some great harmony possibilities, and I'm very excited about where that might take us." Here's a tune from the evening, from the week's podcast.

July 31, 2015: We’ve always joked about having tunes that can’t be played in church, but the truth is that occasionally we have been invited to perform in houses of worship. A notable “church gig” was in Summer ‘15 when the group performed at Huntington’s Trinity Episcopal. The rector had lived across the street from the Bowens for several years and had even attended a weekly Flood jam session or two.

trinity

The church presents a lot of musical programs free to the public, primarily through the good efforts of their music director, the phenomenal Mark Smith, another long-time Flood friend. The show came together in the church’s gorgeous sanctuary, allowing us to playsurrounded by impressive stained-glass windows, including four by Tiffany in the front part of the church.

As Paul Martin commented after the show, "Now, that was a musician's audience!" meaning very appreciative of things like good solos and tight harmony. "Speaking of Paul," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email, "a funny thing: During the concert, I commented on how all the older members of the band were sitting in the front row and the younger members were standing in the second row. Then we featured the four back-row members in one tune (The Eagles' 'Seven Bridges Road' -- it was beautiful!) Later, Susie Peyton, Dave's wife, commented, 'Paul is a great addition. The"youngsters' had some good harmony." A bit later, Paul came back with, 'OK, the venue was awesome. The audience was outstanding. The music was so much fun. But the topper has to be that I have now been referred to as a 'youngster.' Cracked me up!”

Here are a couple of tunes from the evening ("Needed Time" and "Fly Me to the Moon," July 31, 2015.)

STORIES:

-- Rev. Chip Graves Introduces the Band, reflecting on his own experiences visiting a Flood jam session just across the street.

-- No Bordellos? David wonders why The Flood gets invited to houses of worship but not to houses of ill repute...

-- Remembering Trinity. A month later, while playing a raucous blues festival, we're still talking about "the churck gig."

Aug. 23, 2015: Less than a month before his death, Joe Dobbs sent us from his iPhone his last email, and it was all about music documentaries he had discovered on Netflix that he thought we might enjoy too. The list, which he also sent to his brother Dennis in Texas, beautifully reflected Joe's famed (and contageous) musical eclecticism. His list? “Wrecking Crew,” “History of the Eagles,” “Muscle Shoals,” “BB King,” “20 Feet from Stardom,” “The Last Waltz,” “Ain’t It for My Health,” “Bob Marley,” “Jimi Hendrix,” “The Zen of Bennett,” “This Ain’t No Mouse Music,’ “Greenwich Village, Music that Defined a Generation” and “Good Ol’ Freda.”

Aug. 29, 2015: We made our return to the great Diamond Teeth Mary Blues and Arts Festival in downtown Huntington. It was a steamy, cloudless afternoon, giving a great excuse to sport shades and hats and look seriously low-down. Here's a sample of the tunes we selected for the day ("Careless Love," "Sittin' on Top of the World" and "If You Lose Your Money," Aug. 29, 2015.)

DiamondTeeth

STORIES:

-- Randy Yohe's Intro, with a salute to our "hippy-dippy" roots.

-- A Shoutout to the Floodwall highlights his closing remarks at the end of the set.

Sept. 6, 2015: Joe went into a Charleston hospital and is on life support, battling pneumonia coupled with the ongoing kidney and heart problems.

Sept. 11, 2015: The band played the annual Fraley Festival at Carter Caves in Kentucky, with Sam, Paul and Charlie meeting up with Doug. "It was threatening rain," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email, "so they had to move the music indoors, which was disappointing but necessary. Good crowd and we had fun.”

Sept. 19, 2015: Dave drove himself and Charlie to St. Albans for an afternoon jam at Fret ‘n Fiddle with, among others, Jenny Allinder as part of the celebration of Joe Dobbs' life, which all knew was drawing to an end.

Sept. 21, 2015: Joe Dobbs died almost 40 years to the day after his first public performance as the band’s newest member in the fall of 1975. Until just before his passing, we honestly didn’t realize how ill Joe was this time. Generally, he didn’t like it if people — even, or maybe especially, his bandmates — knew when he was not well. Over the years, we had watched as Joe occasionally dropped out of sight , only to turn up again a few weeks later to say, “Sorry to be out of touch, but I was really sick!” We’d groan — “You could TELL a fellow, Joe!” — he would chuckle and say, “And what would YOU have done?” and that would be that. So in September 2015, we thought it was just a repeat of that familiar refrain.

So, because this time was different, Joe slipped away before we could say any lengthy goodbyes. We suspect he preferred it that way. To us, Joe always seemed thoroughly uninterested in death. He wasn’t especially afraid of it — he liked calling it “being beamed up” — but he generally didn’t go in for funerals and the like. There was always too little time and too much to do, from learning a new tune to riding his old motorcycle.

Since he wasn’t big on memorial services either, we don’t know how he would have felt about this video tribute we put together for him, but this time, he didn't get to call the tune. Besides, you don’t spend half your lives with a formidable presence like Joe Dobbs without stoping to mark his passing.

A few days later, WOWK-TV used some scenes from our tribute for it own story about Joe's passing. Click here to view the TV piece.

STORIES:

-- Remembering Joe on the First Warm Days. Months after Joe's death, Charlie was thinking about Joe on his motorcycle in the first really warm day after a long winter.


Sept. 25, 2015: Flood Lite -- this time, Michelle, Charlie and Paul -- played at Joe’s memorial service in St. Albans. "I'd say about 200 to 250 people there, including a bunch from out of town," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in a later email, "and the music worked. They asked everyone to keep it to one or two songs, and it did go over -- the stories didn't start until 7:30 -- but they were able to finish by 8, and then after the final prayer (by a guy who used to work at Fret n Fiddle and is now a minister), Michelle, Paul and I did 'Wonderful World,' and it sounded good. Got to visit a bit with Joe's brother, Dennis, and and with some of the children, see and chat with old friends, like guitarists Robin Kessinger and Jesse Smith, and some of the others, including Edwina, Joe's old girlfriend. All in all, it was a good time. I think Joe woulda like it.”

Oct. 2, 2015: Missing the old Coon Sander Nighthawks Fan Bashes that ended in 2012, Dale Jones set up a two-day "Dixieland jam" at the Plaza Hotel in downtown Huntington, of course, The Flood wanted to be part of it, playing a 30-minute set on Friday night. "It was a ball," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email, "though, sadly, the turnout for the two days was very small. The weather was horrible -- ChipsPartycold and rainy all weekend -- and the event competed with a Marshall football game. ... Still, those who came, either to play or to listen, had a great time."

Oct. 31, 2015: Flood Lite -- this time, Sam, Paul, Randy and Charlie -- played for the 17th birthday party ofr Chip Sweeney, the same Chip Sweeney who had jammed with us as a 5 year old. Because of the date, it was a Halloween-styled party next door to the Bowens' house.

"It was a hoot," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "The weather was cool and we were outside, but between the massive heater behind us and the fire in the fire pit in front of us, we were quite toasty all evening and had a ball, playing from 6 to 9."

Nov. 8, 2015: A contingent of The 1937 Flood played on board the riverboatsValley Gem during a pleasant autumn afternoon cruise. It was the just the latest in a long, happy affiliation the band has had with riverboats over the years.

Growing up along the beautiful Ohio River (and of course, taking our name from one the Ohio's less lovely moments), we naturally head down to the riverside every chance we get. And through the kind efforts of good friends who have worked and lived on America's rivers, we've had some memorable chances. For instance, 13 years earlier, invited by our buddy Jazzou Jones we started playing regularly aboard the legendary Delta Queen steamboat whenever she sailed anywhere near us. We played on the decks, in the forward cabin, in the Texas Lounge. And most memorably, in September 2005 our dear friend Phyllis Dale invited us to play the evening show in the steamer's beautiful Orleans Room during the boat's visit to Ashland, Ky., as part of Phyllis' extraordinary heritage cruise of the Ohio and Kanawha rivers. And while the DQ was always our sentimental favorite riverboat, we also came down to the Ohio to serenade other visiting river royalty, like the Mississippi Queen and the American Queen and to entertain passengers boarding the BB Riverboats, like the lovely Cincinnati Belle. The river will always be in our blood.

Dec. 5, 2015: The Flood returned to a long-time favorite Huntington venue, Heritage Station, to help out with a special holiday arts & crafts sales in the facility’s Red Caboose gift shop. Over the years, we’ve played in many different sections of the location.

Red Caboose

This time we set up in the gorgeous lobby of the historic, restored B&O freight station, which these days is the headquarters the Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau. Such a classy backdrop just naturally inspires cool tunes and we had a ball.

2016

dougJan. 5, 2016: The Flood's basic instrumentation took a major new turn at the turn of the new year when Doug Chaffin brought his new Paul Reed Smith electric to its first jam.

With that, we got Doug returning to his roots. Doug started making music around the Tri-State Area for more than 60 years, beginning in great young rock 'n' roll bands of the 1950s.

Over his first decade and a half with The Flood, Doug played all manner of instruments with The Flood -- from guitar and fiddle to upright bass and mandolin -- so the electric guitar, which he got from our friend Kentukian Glen Perkins, was just the next logical step.

As demonstrated on a podcast later that month, Doug wailing on that solid body electric let us seriously channel 1958. 

Jan. 21, 2016: “You ask about Rog. Well, it's not good news, I'm afraid," Charlie wrote to his cousin Kathy. "He's been battling the lung cancer for five years now -- honestly, I'm amazed he's still with us -- but now the doctors say the chemo and auto immune therapy has stopped working. And so he's now on hospice care, so it's just a matter of time. It's in-home care, so at he's not in a facility. It's all heart-breaking. I dreamed about Rog last night.”Roger was very much on Charlie's mind when the band recorded its weekly podcast. Roger would have just three more weeks.

Jan. 29, 2016: It was a wonderful winter's evening at Woodlands when we gathered for a concert that would result in our first "live in concert" album. It wasn't our first attempt at such a project -- oh, we'd tried a number of times over the years to make a "live" album, most recently at a year's end show seven years earlier -- but this was the first time that the magic actually worked.

CD6Of course, there was some powerful magic in the room and a bittersweet irony to the evening. On one hand, we were sad that this was a first big public show we were doing without Joe, who had died the previous autumn. On the other hand, we joked that Joe's spirit was very much in the room night, because it was, after all, Joe who most wanted us to do a live album. One of our late fiddlin' friend's favorite comments was that the band he helped form 40+ years earlier always sounded better at parties and concerts than it did in rehearsals and in studios. “It helps that everybody’s a ham,” Joe would say with a grin.

The "Live, In Concert" album born that night would be dedicated to Joe, of course, and to Flood co-founder Roger Samples, who just two weeks after the show lost battle with cancer. The disc's dedication to Joe and Rog was so appropriate because it was mainly from those two that we got our love of performing, a love of good times that carries right on now to the newest generation of the Family Flood. Also because of Roger and Joe, the Flood has always been hard-wired to harken toward new musical ideas. It was Roger who got us to augment our fiddle tunes and Dylan-cum-Prine folksongs with jugband music back in the '70s, and 20 years later, it was Joe who said, "Hey, think we could try some swing tunes?" Both these friends imbued us with the ideas that the soup you make tomorrow shouldn't taste exactly like what you had yesterday. Not only that, the cooks ought to be as surprised as their guests!

Because we wanted to serve up something extra special for that chilly January night, we designed a show that would feature only material that's not included on any of the band's previous five CDs, but also something that would be just as eclectic as those earlier albums. To do that, we mixed some jugband ("Please Don't Swat a Fly," "Crazy Words, Crazy Tune") with some swing era ballads ("Autumn Leaves," "Wonderful World"), stirred in some railroad tunes ("The L&N Don't Stop Here Anymore," "Dusty Boxcar Wall"), some folk ("Wayfarin' Stranger," "Ramblin' Boy," "You Ain't Going Nowhere," "Seven Bridges Road") and a tune or two for the Mountain State ("Green Rolling Hills of West Virginia"), then seasoned heartily with some blues, some country, some classic rock. The resulting stew was a classic Flood Friday night!

We also had excellent ears on this project. Going in, the sound was captured beautifully by our buddy Bo Sweeney. Himself a musician, Bo knew just how to set and control the mikes to the get the sounds we were hoping for that night. And going out, the sounds was mixed, massaged and maneuvered brilliantly by our newest Floodster, Paul Martin, putting in some long hours in his southern Ohio mountain hideaway. If you like what you hear here, and we think you will, these two deserve a huge bit of the thanks. Here a five-minute sample of the sounds from that evening.

Five years later we put the entire album online as part of our Radio Floodango feature.

Feb. 12, 2016: The Flood learned of the death of one of the band's founders, the innovative, talented Roger Samples who remained a dear friend long after he was no longer bandmate.

Roger’s ties with us go way back. Years before The Flood was even born in the early 1970s, Rog and David Peyton already were playing music together. In fact, before Charlie and Pamela Bowen were married in 1969, Pamela had been one of the young folksingers performing on the same stage at Marshall University with Rog and David, and when the Bowens moved back to Huntington from Lexington, Ky., in 1971, one of the first performances they caught at the Marshall coffeehouse was one of Rog's memorable solo sets.

With the intersection of two Peyton orbits -- music with Rog on one hand and the Bowens working at the same newspapers at Dave and Susie Peyton on the other -- the creation of a band was nearly predestined. By the spring of 1974, Rog, Dave and Charlie were jamming regularly at the Peytons' place, and when Joe Dobbs appeared on the scene a year later, it was Roger who roped the fiddler in, hooking him with that rich Samples repertoire of folk songs, Beatles tunes and dazzling guitar work.

In The Flood's first decade, it was also Roger -- and by extension his remarkable brothers Mack and Ted -- who showed us each next step, from John Prine and Steve Goodman to a selection of crazy, wonderful 1920s and '30s jug band tunes.

Roger was a regular in the band until the early 1980s, when economic conditions propelled Roger and Tammy to move the family away from West Virginia. The Samples would settled in Mount Sterling, Ky., where they remained for the rest of Roger's life. But even then, Rog came back to be with us whenever he could.

Above is the video tribute that Roger's Flood family made for him in the week of his funeral. He also would be remembered, of course, in that week's podcast. We think of you every day, brother.

March 1, 2016: Chuck Romine dropped in to jam with us with his new/old banjo-mandolin, which of course had to make the podcast.

March 5, 2016: We played a Saturday afternoon show at Heritage Station. "Unfortunately," Charlie wrote his cousin Kathy later, "the weather was terrible -- cold, nasty rain all afternoon -- and that kept away a lot of people, so we had a pretty sparse audience. But the band was in fine form and those who did make it out were properly entertained. ALSO, Pamela got some good pictures, one of which I'm preparing for the cover of the new CD, as well as the web site. I'm converting into a artsy-fartsy 'painting' -- thank you, Photoshop!” Here's the Pamela pic that became the basis for the cover of the "Live, In Concert" album:

Heritage Station

April 9, 2016: We returned to one of our favorite downtown Huntington venues, the Heritage Station (the historic B&O freight station that now houses the Cabell-Huntington Convention and Visitors Bureau) for another informal Saturday morning of fun and music. We also turned it into a Michelle Lewis birthday party. Our friend Michael Lyzenga of The Shadowshaker Band, which opened the day at the station, grabbed this video of one of Michelle’s signature tunes from the day, "Sunny Side of the Street."

 

Mike also shot this other video from the day, this one in which Randy kills it on "Wayfaring Stranger."

May 28, 2016: The Flood was invited back to the Vandalia Gathering to be part of the festival’s tribute to Joe Dobbs, and we suspect our running buddy would have approved of the diverse material we selected for our 30-minute set. We told the crowd that, while he was rightfully beloved in the traditional music community, Joe wanted his own musical world to be much more expansive. It fact, it was Joe, we told them, who was prime motivator-instigator-agitator for The Flood to be ever-more eclectic, embracing everything from “Soldier’s Joy” to “Fly Me to the Moon,” from the tunes to Charlie Poole and the Memphis Jug Band to roots rock ’n’ roll and the sounds of The Great Folk Scare.

Vandalia 2016

We’ll never forget the widening of eyes on the front row that night at Charleston's Cultural Center when we related how Joe told us more than once his all-time favorite composition was not a fiddle tune, but rather a song that the great Louis Armstrong made famous: “What a Wonderful World.” Now, of course, to anyone who really knew Joe, that shouldn't have been news; after all, 15 years earlier he chose as the closing track on his all-time best-selling solo CD, the 2001 "Fiddle and The Flood," his rendition of "Wonderful World," which you can hear right here.

Meanwhile, as we were preparing for the Vandalia set,we also were thinking about another of our old friend's favorites, especially Tom Paxton’s “Ramblin’ Boy.” Here’s our take on that tune at the rehearsal, preserved in that week's podcast.

June 3, 2016: The band played down on the Ohio River as part of the Jewel City Jamboree.A highlight of the set was our persuading our friend, the incomparable Rob McNurlin, to join us on stage for a Dylan song.

2016 Jewel City

He was lured finally down by Paul Martin’s cool rendering of Bobby’s “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” However, as we later wrote on Facebook, "Rob did NOT accept our invitation to do a 45-minute seminar after our set on what the heck the song’s lyrics mean. 'Tailgates and substitutes…' indeed…")

Aug. 14, 2016: As a surprise, The Flood showed up to play for the 91st David Peyton's big brother, Vernon, at the health care center at which he was residing. This would turn out to the David's last public performance with the band, because in less than a month he would take a fall at his home that would end his playing.

We had a ball, and Dave's son, David Jr., grabbed the snippet of video at the right from the afternoon.

Aug. 15, 2016: We posted the first of what would become a weekly “Flood Time Capsule” entry on facebookFacebook to share band memorabilia. The inaugural entry read, “Thinking of our old companion, the late Joe Dobbs, on his birthday, we're remembering where we were just 12 years ago this weekend. Being the senior Flood founder, Joe was the first of us to reach age 70, and we celebrated that event with a wonderful party in the backyard of Sam and Joan Hall St Clair, a gathering of Dobbs family and friends from a half dozen states. A highlight of a day was this visit from Marilyn Monroe (“Happy birrrrth-day, Mister Fiddler….”), channeled by The Chick Singer, Michelle Lewis. We saw Joe smile a year’s worth of smiles that day." The posts would eventually feed the building of this “Scrapbook” feature.

Aug. 30, 2016: At The Flood's weekly jam session at the Bowen house, David Peyton played for the last time with the band that he and Charlie had created more than 40 years earlier. Just two weeks later, David took a bad fall at his Mount Union Road home; the accident shattered his elbow and ended his playing forever.

DavidOf course, on that late August evening a fortnight before the fall, none of us knew anything so sad was in the offing. On the contrary, the future seemed bright. Dave was in high spirits, telling jokes and cracking wise, even suggesting new songs we might try in the later sessions.

Up until his death, Dave stayed in touch with his band mates, even occasionally appearing on stage with us as a storyteller at the Route 60 Saturday Night shows in 2017, but no longer could he play his beloved Autoharp.

Ironically, though, the last song Dave ever sang with us -- "Roving Gambler" -- was one of the first that he and Charlie worked out back in the spring of 1974 before The 1937 Flood even came into being. Here are David and Charlie doing their last tune together ("Roving Gambler," Aug. 30, 2016)

Sept. 6, 2016: Chuck Romine drops by the weekly rehearsal to jam a bit with his newest old banjo, a beautiful rebuiltBacon & Day Silver Bell #2 from 1922 and, of course, starred in that week's podcast.

Sept. 10, 2016: For the first time in years, The Flood missed its annual Fraley Festival set, because Charlie was still recovering from oral surgery. Randy and Paul were planned to make the scene and pick with Doug, but had car trouble and couldn't make it.

Sept. 12, 2016: David took a bad fall at home and shattered his left elbow, an injury that ended nearly a half century of Autoharp playing. After the fall, we were optimistic that he would bounce that. He underwent elbow replacement surgery — we didn’t even know that was a thing — and day after, Charlie and Pamela visited him in the hospital and found him him goodspirits. (Might have been the drugs…)

The problems came later during rehab when doctors determined that needed to be careful in lifting things with his left hand/arm -- no more than 10 pounds, David said, meaning his Autoharp. For that reason, he also decided to leave the band that he co-founded more than 40 years earlier.

Oct. 11, 2016: Visiting from Idaho, singer Sallie Sublett, with her sister Linda, sat in with the band and brings two tunes to the weekly podcast.

Dec. 12, 2016: Charlie's cousin, Kathy Castner, brings the holiday spirit with her on her annual Christmas visit to the Bowen household, and, if we're lucky, the visit coincide with a Flood gathering, as it this time last year. 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 and Doug.

Dec. 27, 2016: Home from Colorado for the holidays, Floodster Emeritus Jacob Scarr, then in his first year in law school, jammed with us over a couple of weeks. "Gawd, he sounds better than ever," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "I don't know HOW he does that." He was featured in that week's podcast and in a video that Pamela shot.

2017

Jan. 14, 2017: The band started the new year at one of its favorite venues, Charleston's Taylor Books on Capitol Street. “Saturday was a messy day, cool and rainy all day long," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email the next day, "and the drive to Charleston for the gig was through pure pea-soup. And we had to load in all the equipment -- the sound gear and the instruments -- in the rain. But once we got set up, it was a great evening. Good crowd and everyone was in top form. Look forward to going back. Wonderful venue!” Here's a video from the evening.

 

Jan. 28, 2017: Charlie and Michelle sing for the burial service for Lillian Peyton, Dave’s sister-in-law (Vernon’s wife). "Lillian and Dave's brother, Vernon, were always Flood fans," Charlie wrote his cousin Kathy. "In fact, the Flood played at Vernon's birthday party last summer. The family asked Michelle to do a couple of songs. I went to accompany her on guitar and ended up singing a little myself.”

Feb. 24, 2017: We returned to Woodlands Retirement Community for another fun show.It was a "Flood Lite" affair -- only four of us -- but it went very well," Charlie told his cousin in an email. "Fun evening."

2017-woodlands

Aprl 15, 2017: The Flood traveled to Barboursville's Route 60 Music Co.  for a big benefit concert to help fill the shelves of the Facing Hunger Food Bank. We played songs from our new CD, "Live, In Concert," as well as some new things we'd been working lately. We had so much fun at this show that it was the inspiration for the new "Route 60 Saturday Night" monthly music variety show, which would start in that fall. Here are a half dozen tunes ("Before the Next Teardrop Falls," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere," "Don't Let Your Deal Go Down," Wayfarin' Stranger," "Seven Bridges Road" and "Summertime") from the April 15 show:

   
   
   

April 18, 2017: “Exciting things going on for The Flood right now," Charlie wrote Kathy, his cousin. "We just bought a powerful piece of recording equipment that will enable us to handle all our own recording from now on, instead of having to go into a studio and pay some guy $500 to $700 to do it for us. Not only will we save money, but we'll be able to do it on our own schedule, over a period of time rather than crunching it all into one or two marathon, high-pressure studio sessions. And it's all possible because Paul Martin, our newest member, is a recording wiz in addition to everything else!”

May 18, 2017: Randy Yohe and Dave Ball came by The 1937 Flood’s rehearsal to do a promo for the Jewel City Jamboree 3 to be held at Huntington's Harris Riverfront Park later that month. The Flood was on the bill for the show; however, stormy weather severely hampered the festivities and The Family Flood volunteered to give up its slot to out-of-town musicians who had come in the for jam. So, in the end, our main contribution to JAM 3 was this rollicking hour-long Facebook Live broadcast, with special guest Floodster Emeritus Jacob Scarr (home for a few weeks from law school in Colorado) and first-family Flood fans Rose Marie Riter and Norman Davis in attendance.

 

May 23, 2017: The band played an evening;s set at a new restaurant in the South Side of Huntington, the German cafe called Bahnhof.

2017-bahnhof"The gig was funny," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "The band was ON and cooking, but the crowd was so loud ― the drinkers at one table in particular ― that it took all the fun out of playing it.

"You know, we work really hard getting our sound the way we want it, and it very irritating when we can’t get it heard."We had a lot of folks there, and many of them came specifically to hear us, but I feel like the environment really let us down. Still, everybody played well, real troupers, and we had a good crowd and, despite our disappointments, they seemed to have good time, even if the acoustics in the room weren't great.Well, live and learn.”

June 10, 2017: Flood Lite (Doug, Randy, Samand Charlie) played a little "street music" as a strolling trio around Huntington's W. 14 Street area as part of Old Central City Days. It was definitely a hats-and-sunglasses kind of day. Here's a little video evidence:

 

June 13, 2017: “What a GREAT band practice we had," Charlie emailed his cousin. "I'm still grooving on it so much all day that last night I wrote email to everybody say, 'I just keep thinking about what a great evening we had last night! Everybody sounded So Good, it was hard for me this morning to pick a single song for the podcast. I ended up using the one I did simply because it had never been on podcast before, but the podcast could have used any of a dozen other tunes we played last night! I’ve said it during our concerts, but it’s true during the rehearsals as well: I have the best seat in the house! Thanks for making Tuesday the best night of the week.' I just felt like I wanted everyone to know how much they all mean to me." Here's the tune that ended up in that week's podcast.

June 26, 2017: The band hatches the idea for the month Route 60 Saturday Night variety shows, Charlie tells Kathy in an email: "A week or so ago, I visited with Paul Callicoat at the wonderful Route 60 Music store out near Barboursville. Last April, The Flood had a great time doing a two-hour show there one Saturday night and we’ve been looking forward to an opportunity to go back. So, what I talked to Paul about was the possibility of starting regular live music show at the store and live streaming it to Facebook. The idea is to have a monthly two-hour show, based loosely on the 'Prairie Home Companion' model. The Flood would be the house band, playing the opening and closing numbers, a few feature tunes during the show and, when needed, backing up any of that monthly guest performers. I don’t think there’d be any money in it for any of us, at least initially. We’d probably do it as a charity event to start with. Of course, if it took off and we got sponsors, etc., well, who knows? I’m thinking we’d start it in September, do followups in October, November and December and then in January, reassess and decide if we want to keep going and maybe seek sponsorship and all that. So, that’s where we are now, early in the planning stages. We’re excited about it.” The first of the Route 60 Saturday Night evenings would be in three months.

June 27, 2017: Old friend Carter Taylor Seaton and her husband Richard brought a couple listeners -- visiting young artists Rosalie Haizlett and Hannah Lenhart -- to the weekly gathering, resulting in a particularly good session. As Charlie noted in an email to his cousin, Kathy, "Since everybody is a ham ― who us? ― we always sound better when there’s an audience. With the new CD done, we’ve begun working on new tunes. Here's one of those tunes we did that night:

 

Aug. 12, 2017: It was a very busy time. Each rehearsal during the period was pretty much devoted to working out plans for the rollout of the big new Route 60 Saturday Night shows, which would launch in just a month. Since The Flood had never been a house band before, we needed to explore the kind of tunes we needed to have in reserve for such honors. Still, busy as we were right then, we didn't want to miss an opportunity to play at one of our all-time favorite venues, Charleston’s Taylor Books.

taylor books, 2017

And our goal for the show was an ambitious one: to do two hours of all NEW music, that is, stuff we’d never done at a public show before.

As Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email the morning after the Saturday night performance, “We LOVE playing at Taylor Books. It’s like being transported back in time to the coffeehouses of the ‘60s. We had a great crowd for the two-hour show and everybody in the band was hyped. It was a gas!”

ColleenAndersonMeanwhile, band manager Pamela Bowen recorded in her journal that month, “The highlight of the evening was a performance of perhaps the most beautiful song ever written about a state, called 'West Virginia Chose Me' by Colleen Anderson. She’s originally from Michigan and came to WV as a VISTA volunteer in the 1960s and helped found Cabin Creek Quilts, a very successful cooperative that allowed poverty stricken mountain women to make money by selling their homemade quilts and clothing. She finished college in West Virginia and stayed, making a living as a writer, essayist, graphic designer, writing workshop conductor, etc. She writes the copy for the yearly WV tourist magazine and is a regular essayist on public radio, which is where she became friends with Michelle Lewis, the band’s chick singer, who is in charge of fund-raising for WV Public Broadcasting.

"I’ve been urging Charlie to include ‘West Virginia Chose Me’ in the band’s repertoire for many years," Pamela nobut he just can’t sing it without tearing up. (It’s THAT touchingly beautiful.) Finally he asked Michelle if she could sing it, and they’ve been working on it, with beautiful harmony. Taylor Books was its public debut, and the song’s author, Colleen Anderson, was in the audience. And Michelle couldn’t get through it perfectly either, her voice audibly cracking on a particularly poignant verse. Colleen got a kick out of that.”

Here’s audio of a dozen or so minutes from the first set of the evening, including the Colleen Anderson song. (“Just Because,” “West Virginia Chose Me,” “Sister Kate” and “Darlin’ Companion,” Aug. 12, 2017)

Aug. 22, 2017: Old friends John and Barbara Koenig, visiting from Austin, Texas, attended the weekly jam. "We had a GREAT rehearsal," Charlie told Kathy in an emaily. "Everyone was there and just rocked. We’re all such hams that everyone sounds especially good when there are new ears in the room.” Here's a tune from the night, as reported on the podcast.

Sept. 9, 2017: Flood Very Flood -- just Doug and Charlie -- played the Fraley Festival in Carter Cave, Ky. "Everybody else had commitments," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "Oh, well – the band started out as a duo 45 years ago, so it's fitting to come back to being a duo occasionally, I suppose.”

at Rt 60Sept. 16, 2017: The Next Big Thing for The Flood came in 2017 when we became the house band for a new monthly music variety show called Route 60 Saturday Night.

The genesis of the idea was what we thought would be a one-time appearance on stage at the wonderful Route 60 Music Co., 60 Peyton St. in Barboursville, WV. For years we had been wanting to play that fine venue, but the logistics took some doing. But it's was worth the effort. The April 15 gig was an absolute ball.

It was so much fun, in fact, that Charlie just kept thinking about it, and by early summer was ready to approach Route 60 founder Paul Callicoat with a notion. He jumped at it and quickly recruited the team: The Flood would be the house band. The hosts would be broadcast veterans Randy Yohe and The Flood's Michelle Lewis and the monthly storyteller-in-residence would be Flood co-founder Dave Peyton.

Video Extra!

 
Route 60 Saturday Night Sampler


For The Flood, one of the many things we love about being the house band each month is that the gig invites us to think in new ways about the songs we choose for the evening. To put it plainly, we don’t want anything we play as the house band to compete with or to distract from the material being performed that that month’s guest artists. For instance, if a scheduled guest is planning to play jazzy pieces, we want to come back some something different, maybe some simple folk songs. On the other hand, if the guest star is offering a set of sweet ballads, we might follow him or her with a couple of raucous jug band tunes. 

The premiere show featured guest artists Sasha Colette and Traci Ann Stanley, and shows followed on the third Saturday night of October, November and December, with guests Rob McNurlin, Bobby Taylor, Doug Imbrogno, Chet Lowther, Richie Collins and Ron Sowell. The crew then took January and February, returning in March 2018.

Oct. 17, 2017: Singer/songwriter Rob McNurlin sits in at the weekly jam, and, of course, made the podcast. practice; video: “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere.” and makes the podcast. Also that evening, Pamela shot a trio of videos.

Oct. 21, 2017: The second Route 60 Saturday Night show took the stage, with guest artists Rob McNurlin and Bobby Taylor. "Like the first show, we had standing-room only for evening," Charlie told Cousin Kathy in an email. "In fact, I think it was an even better turnout for last month’s opening, in part because of the guest artists. Rob McNurlin is truly a beloved local singer-songwriter. I don’t know anyone ― musician or non-musician who knows Rob and doesn’t love him, both for his Robconsiderable talents and for his personality and friendliness. He’s just, hands-down, a great guy, and so at least half the crowd was there for Rob. We also had a phenomenal West Virginia fiddle champion, Bobby Taylor. Bobby was one of Joe’s heroes and friends. (In fact, when Joe died, he left his $3,000 fiddle bow to Bobby.) So, those not on hand for Rob were there for Bobby (well, and some for The Flood, of course, which is the house band for each month’s show.) It was a great evening." Here is video of two tunes from The Flood's house band sets.

Nov. 7, 2017: Obviously not able to get enough of us, singer/songwriter Rob McNurlin returned for another jam with us at the weekly gathering at the Bowen house. jams with us, making the podcast and an "at home" video. It being an especially good evening of music, Pamela also videoed three Flood numbers.

Nov. 18, 2017: The third edition of the monthly Route 60 Saturday Night variety show took the stage, with guest artists Chet Lowther and Douglas Imbrogno.

Dec. 16, 2017: Wrapping up the inaugural 2017 seasion, the fourth Route 60 Saturday Night show staged, with guest artists Ron Sowell and Ritch Collins. Several tunes from this show would be among a dozen included in the band's "La Flood Navidad" Christmas playlist on Radio Floodango in 2021.

Dec. 18, 2017: The Flood got sweet fan mail from across the sea, kind regards from a British group called “Grateful Fred,” which in an email to his cousinKathy, Charlie characterized as "a delightful love letter from Liverpool!"

A fan named Colin Maddocks "dropped us a line to tell us how much he and his bandmates like what Gratefredwe do. Colin is in several bands there in Liverpool ― the Irish band HotFoot and a ukulele-enriched ensemble called (you’ll love this!) 'Grateful Fred’s Ukelear Deterrent' ― and they recently had the great 1960s jug band superstar Jim Kweskin perform there during his mini-tour of the UK. Now, that’s how Colin and company found The Flood; while searching for other covers of Kweskin’s classic tune, 'Jug Band Music,' he came upon our website and related online goodies, including our podcast. 'I love the music you make and the sound you get,' Colin wrote us. 'And to think you've been playing together so long is wonderful. We're 4 years old as The Deterrents, so we've a long way to go, but we rehearse on a weekly basis like yourselves and, apart from the music, the friendships we've made are a big bonus.'”

By way of a thank-you, we dedicated the following week's podcast to Fred and the folks.

 

2018

Jan. 2, 2018: Before heading back to law school in Boulder, Colorado, Floodster Emeritus Jacob Scarr came for a good jam with the old boys, and Pamela got video of four tunes from the evening.

Jan. 26, 2018: Sam St. Clair couldn't make the gig, so we drafted an old friend, veteran local harmonicat Jim Rumbaugh, to sit in with us when we returned up the hil to play for the good folks at Woodlands Retirment Community.

 

March 17, 2018: The second season of Route 60 Saturday Night opened with guest artist The Shadowshaker Band. Pamela captured video of The Flood's house band sets.

April 7, 2018: The band returned to a favorite venue — Marshall University’s campus, this time the lovely little the Francis-Booth theater — to play as the house band for the CONTACT Rape Crisis Center at a fundraiser called, “Under the Stars: Southern Nights.” A lot of old friends work to support this group — especially long-time Flood fan Sharon Pressman — so we had a very good feeling about doing it and the band just rocked that night. Everybody was feeling good, the sound system was excellent and we just swung for two and half hours. And days after we continued to get good feedback from folks who were there.

Contact

 

April 21, 2018: Route 60 Saturday Night's second season continued with guests Emily Kinner and Rob McNurlin. Here, from the weekly podcast, is a tune from the evening.

May 11, 2018: Charlie, Doug, Randy, Michelle and Sam travelled up upriver to Point Pleasant to play a fundraiser for the redevelopment of the River Museum, damaged in a recent fire.

rivermuseumThe day was not without its weirdness. In a later email to Dave Peyton, Charlie talked about forgetfulness. "Just before we left, I figured folks there might want some CDs, so I gather five of the newalbum, put a rubber band around ‘em, and put that stack on the table near my guitar, etc. When we got to Point Pleasant and unpacked the car and started setting up the sound system, I couldn’t find the discs. Doug and Sam both could remember me carrying them into the car, and Doug remembered me having them on my lap for the ride up Rt. 2 and remembered me carrying them into the venue. I looked all over — under the cases, the bags, the mike boxes, etc. Then I got to thinking that since the venue was to have an auction, I was convinced that someone had scooped up the little stack of discs and put them on the tables for auction. I carefully looked at everything there — no discs. I was bummed that I managed to lose the discs in the 100 yards from the car to the stage and decided that I’d have to spend MY gig money replacing these discs. When I got home, I found the discs on the stairs just inside the front door. Pamela found them on the table. Despite Doug’s memory, Sam’s memory and my memory of those damn discs being in my hand on the trip to Point Pleasant, they never left the house. Ah, memory…"

May 19, 2018: At the monthly Route 60 Saturday Night show, the guests were Emmy Davis and Paula Davis Stewart. Here's video of one of The Flood's house band set tunes.

May 26, 2018: We returned to one of our favorite capital city venues, Charleston's Taylor Books, for a fun evening. Neither Doug nor Sam could make that particular gig, but we were able to persuade our buddy Jim Rumbaugh to sit in with us for the gig. Here is a quartet of videos from the evening!

   
   

June 2, 2018: Charlie revamped The Flood's website, adding “The Time Machine” section with links to various portals to give easy access to free music, podcasts, videos, history and so on.

June 9, 2018: It was a hot time -- 90 degrees-style hot -- in the ol' town, but it was also right cool to be part of the 80th birthday party for Huntington’s famed Jim’s Steak & Spaghetti House, gracious hosts for a day for fun and music. Flood fans came out to sing along and dance on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant and even try to laugh at our jokes. And as icing on the cake, just before the gig, Derek Halsey graced us with ths nice advance article in the Weekend section of The Herald-Dispatch.

Jims

The day also was a bit of a nostalgia trip from us, because The Flood also performed for Jim’s 65th birthday back in 2003.

June 16, 2018: The Spring 2018 season of Route 60 Saturday Night wrapped up with guests Paul Callicoat and Mike Bennett. Here's video of a Flood house band set tune from the evening.

July 3, 2018: The first Flood Film, the 75-minute “Flood and Friends,” was released on YouTube, celebrating the many folks who have come to jam with the band over the years.

July 16, 2018: Singer/songwriter Rob McNurlin came to jam with the and made the weekly podcast with his latest composition.

Michelle an StephenAug. 23, 2018: We were stunned and deeply grieved to learn of the untimely death of Stephen Lewis, Michelle’s ’s dear husband and soulmate, at only 58.

We in the band had known Stephen from the first days of his courtship of our loveliest bandmate. In fact, Michelle brought him to meet her Flood family during the intermission of a show way back in 2011, and over the next seven years, we grinned and waved at Stephen’s frequent smiling face in the front row. In fact, he had been on hand just four months earlier when we played an evening's show at Marshall University.

His death left us all with an enduring lump in our throats.

Sept. 1, 2018: Flood Lite -- Doug, Randy and Charlie -- played in West Huntington's Central City gazebo, with hamonicat Jim Rumbaugh sitting in.

Sept. 7, 2018: Flood Lite -- this time, Doug, Charlie and Floodster Emeritus Stew Schneider -- played Fraley Festival.

Fraley 201

Sept. 15, 2018: The Fall 2018 season of Route 60 Saturday Night rolled out, with John Lilly and Cat Cirner as guest. Here's video of a Flood tune from the evening, and another of a lovely dance by Bonnie Lawrence and Clayton Brooks to a Doug Chaffin special.

It was a particularly challenging evening for the show's host, Michelle Lewis, who had been front and center of her late husband Stephen's memorial service earlier in the day in Charlieston. "Ir was a beautiful memorial," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in a later email, "in an old church in the downtown, a church Michelle’s has belonged to most of her life and where Stephen’s father used to be the rector. Yes, it’s true that Michelle and Stephen hadn’t been married long ― four years ― but they’d known each other a long time. In fact, I learned this weekend that they’ll actually known each other in high school, then lost touch until about nine years ago, right after Michelle and George divorced. Stephen was really her Prince Charming' she said. ... Very sad. Then that night, The Flood gathered ― with Michelle ― to do our part to launch the new season of Route 60 Saturday Night. It was a remarkably good show, I thought, and we were all astounded at how well Michelle, who is one of the co-hosts of the monthly shows, performed, both in that role and with the band. She is a trouper.”

Oct. 20, 2018: Route 60 Saturday Night's fall season rolled on, with guests guitarist Mark Zanter and songwriter Colleen Anderson. Here's video of a Flood house band tune from the night.

Oct. 27, 2018: Charlie and Michelle sang at the memorial service for Vernon Peyton, Dave’s brother, who passed away five days earlier at age 93. Two years earlier, The Flood had played a surprise party for Vernon.

Nov. 17, 2018: The latest edition of Route 60 Saturday Night featured Kate Long and Siamese Cycle. Pamela got video of The Flood's house band duties on a weird sing-along, along with an extra.

Dec. 15, 2018: Route 60 Saturday Night's 2018 season wrapped up with guests Alan Brown, Debbie Grimm, Rob McNurlin and Paul Callicoat. And it was bit frantic for Charlie, who told his cousin Kathy in a later email of his "wild and woolly day." Here were his details:

2018-dec

”The weather was AWFUL ― (or “frightful,” as the song says) ― rainy and foggy all day. Going in the day, the band already had a challenge, because an important member of the group (Paul, who plays mandolin and guitar and sings harmony and lead) couldn’t make it. (He just finished work on his master’s in counseling and Saturday was his graduation ceremony in distant Columbia, Ky.)

"Then about 1 o’clock a get a desperate call from Randy, our bass player, that he was so sick he couldn’t get out of bed. Well, losing your mandolin player is inconvenient; losing your bass player is fatal. On stage, you gotta have a bass. So at 1:30 I’m on the phone and email calling and writing bass players I know trying to line somebody up. No dice. This is a very busy time of year for musicians.

"So I get to the load-in/soundcheck for the 7 p.m. show at 5 p.m. with still nobody on board to play bass. Then I see my old friend Rob Mc Nurlin. Now we’ve already drafted Rob to do a couple of songs to take up the slack caused by Paul’s absence. Then I remember that Rob also can thump a bass a bit. Not great, but adequate if we keep the songs simple. I revised the set list (for the third time that day....) to remove any tunes that would give him problem and persuade him to sit in with us.

"Well, after all that, the show went beautifully. Best crowd we’ve had all season, despite the weather and all the other distractions of the season. We all had a ball.” Here's video of a season tune from The Flood's house band set. Also tunes rom this show would be among a dozen included in the band's "La Flood Navidad" Christmas playlist on Radio Floodango in 2021.


2019

Jan. 3, 2019: Home from Colorado for the holidays, Floodster Emeritus Jacob Scarr joined us and singer Rob McNurlin for the weekly jam, both featured in a video that Pamela shot that evening.

Jan. 22, 2019: Doug, Paul, Sam, Randy and Charlie had the first of four recording sessions that ultimately would result in the band's first all instrumental album, Speechless. "It was a looooong day!" Charlie told Kathy in an email. "Last night, The Flood hiked over to Paul Martin’s house 2019-recordingon a hilltop in Lawrence County, Ohio, to begin the work. It was a very good session, but a long once. I didn’t home until 11 last night. I’m going to see the guys would like to have another session this weekend, but start early ― like maybe 10 in the morning ― and not have to push so late into the evening. We’ll see.”

That plan did work out. The second session, on Tuesday night, Jan. 29, enabled the guys to record another four or five tunes to join the four we got recorded the previous week. "And my hope," Charlie wrote, "is that we can have another session this Saturday morning/afternoon, this one with Stew sitting in. He doesn’t know yet, but I’d like to invite him to be a guest artist on three or four tracks on the album and if he agrees, we’ll record him this weekend.”

Feb. 2, 2019: Floodster Emeritus Stew Schneider joined us for the third recording session for the new album.“It was a nice, productive weekend," Charlie emailed Kathy. "On Saturday, The Flood headed over to Paul’s house in Lawrence County and it went great. I think one more will finish up the raw recordings for the disc. Then Paul will set to the long business of mixing and perfecting it.” That plan worked, and the fourth session, on Feb. 9, wrapped up the raw recordings.

Feb. 19, 2019: “Had a great Flood rehearsal," Charlie wrote Cousin Kathy. "Wow, everybody just rocked it! I love where we are right now. You know, I used to wonder if there would still be a Flood after Joe and Dave could no longer play. Well, wow…. I mean, honestly, it’s better than ever. I’m loving it. Yes, we’ve finished the main recording on the new instrumental album and Paul is deep into mixing and editing. We’ll have a 'listening session' in a week or so to hear what he’s got and make suggestions for additions, tweaking, etc. Meanwhile, I’m working away at the cover material." Here's a tune from the jam session, as reported in the weekly podcasst.

March 8, 2019: Michelle and Charlie appeared on on WTSQ 88.1 FM in Charleston with Josh Gaffin to promo the Taylor Books show the next night.


March 9, 2019:
The band played a Saturday night show at Charleston's Taylor Books, "having one of the best shows we’ve done in a while," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email later. "Everybody was on, the crowd was great and, aside from the rainy weather, it was perfect.” In fact, a portion of a the show -- a sing-along on "Sentimental Journey," ended up on the weekly podcast. Meanwhile, at left is a video of another song from the same evening.

 

March 16, 2019: Singer-songwriters Luke Sadecky and Wakita Billups were the guest artists for the opening of the spring season of Route 60 Saturday Night. ” What a fun night," Charlie wrote his cousin Kathy aftewards. "I love being with these people! Oh, and I did a 9-minute YouTube of three songs from the show I thought you might enjoy. The lighting was funky ― I spent most of the show in the dark over on my end of the stage, but hey, fine with me. I ain’t the pretty one, and the audience could still hear me.”

April 27, 2019: Because of the weather, we were a little cranky as we got ready to play the latest rendition of the Jewel City Jamboree down on the riverbank. Persistent rain had kept all but the most loyal away from Huntington’s Harris Riverfront Park, and a chilly wind made our old bones ache that Saturday evening. However, we were determined to keep our promise to be there as a tribute to our old friend and former bandmate David Ball, who organized the festival. We were so glad we did because of a new acquaintance we literally right on stage that night.

Jewel City Jam, 2019

Twenty-four-year-old fiddle phenomenon Paddy King from Port Saint Lucie, Florida, came the festival with Dave intending to sit in with every band on the JAM schedule. At that point we in The Flood, having not heard Paddy yet, were understandably reticent, but Dave just winked and said, “Don’t worry about it. Paddy will be able to keep up.”

Wow, was that ever an understatement! We were blown away when Paddy King took the stage and nailed every solo as if he’d been playing those old jug band tunes and blues all his life. Here a sample from the night, a rendering of “Alberta” in which rides by Doug and Paul bracket the sizzlingly sexy solo by Paddy midway through.

Even better than the riverfront encounter was three nights later when Dave brought Paddy to The Flood’s weekly rehearsal, a remarkable evening of music that we commemorated in the spring of with one of our “Pajama Jam” feature films, which you view below:

 

 

May 18, 2019: Wiley Dew, Colten Settle, Paul Callicoat and Rob McNurlin were guest artists at the latest edition of Route 60 Saturday Night. " It was GREAT ― one of our best in two years," Charlie wrote his cousin Kathy later. "What fun!’ Here's video of one of the band's house band tunes.

May 31, 2019: Returning to the Woodlands Retirement Community in the hills overlooking Huntington, we had a high-energy show that Pamela captured on video. Here are four tunes ("Raisin' a Ruckus," "Ain't No Free," "Green Rolling Hills of WV," "Jug Band Music.") from the evening.

 

June 8, 2019: We were cracked up when we were invited to play at the 2nd annual West Virginia Shakespeare Festival in the beautiful, bucolic Barboursville Park, in no small part because we knew the Family Flood's cadre of smartalecs would have a ball, asking questions like, "West Virginia has a Shakespeare festival?" "West Virginia has SECOND annual Shakespeare festival?" "There's room for a set from The 1937 Flood at a Shakespeare festival?" At the rehearsal Tuesday night before the gig, Doug asked who we would be playing for at 3 o’clock on a Saturday afternoon in Barboursville and Charlie said, “Why, all those people who would come to a Shakespeare festivalin West Virginia! It’ll probably rain too.”

2019-Shakespeqare

June 11, 2019: The Flood is featured in a story in Huntington Quarterly penned by James E. Casto, who wrote that the band "has been entertaining enthusiastic local audiences for nearly 50 years, playing everything from the blues of Mississippi John Hurt to American songbook standards like 'Fly Me to the Moon.' ... The band has performed far and wide. It’s picked with West Virginia’s fiddling senator, the late Robert C. Byrd, played with the Huntington Symphony Orchestra and entertained football fans at Marshall University tailgate gatherings." Click here to see Jim's complete story.

HQ-casto


June 15, 2019: Jesse Crawford, Karen Combs and Paul Callicoat were guest artists at the latest edition of Route 60 Saturday Night. Here are a few of the band's house band tunes from the evening.

June 18, 2019: Randy Hamilton decided he needed a break from the band after seven years. He assured us he wasn't upset about anything, just wanted to pull back from music for an extended period so he can work on the house he bought a few years ago. We would invite Paul Callicoat to be sitting in with us on bass, mking the arrangement more formal in December.

July 9, 2019: The band begins its "Flood Fakebook" feature for the website, inspired by Paul Callicoat's interests in playing bass on all those swing tunes that was unfamiliar to him. We continue to add to the fakebook as new tunes enter the Floodisphere. Linking to related audio throughout the site, the fakebook provides chords on specific tunes, inviting fans to play along.

Sept. 6, 2019: Flood Lite – Sam, Doug and Charlie – play the Fraley Festival.

Fraley

Sept. 9, 2019: Old Flood friend Margaret Ray died at home in Green Bottom, WV, at age 64. " She’d been fighting cancer for a while, I understand," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. Joe had played Margaret and Joemusic with Margaret back in the '70s, when he and Bill Hoke formed a trio called Fret 'n' Fiddle, which debuted at the April 1980 Bowen Bash.

However, Margaret disappeared from the scene in the late '80s, "then about five years ago, she showed up again. I didn’t even recognize her when she came into a Flood jam with Joe that evening. She’d don’t some hard traveling. Another marriage. Widowhood. She was very fragile, it seemed to us. But for the next few years, Joe took care of her, even asking her move in with him in St. Albans. They traveled together and Joe even got her playing a bit again. She seemed to enjoy it, and she definitely flowered under Joe’s influence, loving the trips together and sitting in on the jams.”

Sept. 21, 2019: The Autumn 2019 season of the "Route 60 Saturday Night" opened with with trio of guest artists: Traci Ann Stanley, Emmy Davis and Sasha Colette. Here is video of some of The Flood's house band work that night.

Sept. 28, 2019: The band played Charleston's Taylor Books, "everybody was really on," Charlie told his cousin Kathy in an email. "We had a good, receptive crowd." Here are a few tunes from the evening ("Amelia's Waltz," "Sittin' on Top of the World," and "All of Me," Sept. 29, 2019.)

taylor2019

Oct. 19, 2019: The autumn edition of "Route 60 Saturday Night" rolled on with guests Joe Lambiotte and Ally Fletcher. Here's video of a Flood tune from the night.

Oct. 23, 2019: Michelle’s mother, Lucille Mastsolf, died at 82.

Nov. 16, 2019: At the "Route 60 Saturday Night" show, the guests Tim Browning, Maggie Moore and Roy G. Fox and Brandon Tolliver. Here's video from The Flood that night.

Dec. 21, 2019: At the final "Route 60 Saturday Night" show of 2019, the guests are Rob McNurlin and Blues Crossing. Here's video of a Flood tune from the evening. Tunes from this show would be among a dozen included in the band's "La Flood Navidad" Christmas playlist on Radio Floodango in 2021.

Dec. 21, 2019: Paul Callicoat came on board as our new bass man. during Randy Hamilton's 20-month absence.

Paul CallicoatPaul -- in the Family Flood, we call him "Mister C" -- started jamming with us during the previous summer, learning our eclectic mix of old and new, sitting in on bass at rehearsals and performances in Huntington and Charleston. By year's end, it was obvious Paul was meant to be a Floodster, with so much to share.

And no wonder. A West Virginia native, Paul Callicoat has been involved in writing, performing, teaching, recording and producing music for over 50 years. He has played guitar in many bands including the renowned TERRITORIES, whose album "Unreconciled” still is considered a local classic.

He also has been a bandmate of many long-time members of The Flood’s extended family, friends like Rob McNurlin and Doug Imbrogno.

Running Route 60 Music Co., 60 Petyon St. in Barboursville, with his partner Mike McCord, Mister C has touched the lives of untold thousands of local musicians.