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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 Fourth Wave

2020

Jan. 7, 2020: Vanessa Coffman sits in with us on sax for the first time and makes the podcast.

Feb. 5, 2020: The 500th episode of the Flood podcast is released.

March 23, 2020: As the devastating COVID-19/Coronavirus pandemic began sweeping the world and shutting down activities from schools and businesses to churches and entertainment, The Flood ended its regular weekly rehearsals for the net six months. The help from friends and fans pass the time during the spring shutdown, The Flood launched the first of 14 weekly "Pajama Jams" videos, featuring audio, video and photos of friends who had jammed with the band over the years. The first film of the Pajama Jam series, seen below, was built around an Oct. 17, 2017, jam with an old friend, singer/songwriter Rob McNurlin:

 

The entire Pajama James series, uploaded to YouTube, remains online from this link. The series was also featured in this entry in Flood Watch.

STORIES:

-- Coping with COVID-19. In March 2021, Marshall University professor Chris White invited Charlie to his podcast to talk about how he and other musicians had coped with the lockdowns and quarantines retired by the Covid-19 pandemic.

May 4, 2020: For the first time since the start of the Covid-19 quarantine, Charlie picked with Doug on the Chaffins’ front porch.

May 14, 2020, Masked and socially distanced outdoors on the Bowen breeze, Michelle, Doug and Charlie picked (and produced a video).

June 28, 2020: The band released its 7th commercial album, "Speechless: The Instrumentals," featuring the playing of Doug Chaffin, Paul Martin and guest artist, Floodster Emeritus Stew Schneider.

As we say in the disc's liner note, "The Flood has had an enduring affinity for vocals. Singing is central to its folk songs and swing numbers, its jug band tunes and blues. However, that eclectic repertoire also always has been built on a strong instrumental foundation, and now, as The Flood approaches its half-century anniversary, it is high time that we put the spotlight on the primary pickers."

Doug joined The Flood in 2000, initially playing upright bass, but more recently switching to fiddle and electric guitar. Paul, who became a Floodster in 2015, has brought such tasteful mandolin and acoustic guitar to the mix that we wonder how we ever got along without that. "And for this special album," the notes add, "we bring back an old friend. Stew Schneider was one of the earlier players with the band back in the 1970s, alternating between bass and harmonica, even plucking a little banjo with us; in more recent years he has focused his attention on the Autoharp."

Because the COVID pandemic was raging when the album was released, we couldn't, of course, have our usual CD release party to introduce the new work, so we had to rely on new technology: a virtual album release party, above, hosted on YouTube by Michelle Lewis and Charlie Bowen.

A year later we put the entire album online as part of our Radio Floodango feature.

Sept. 1, 2020: For the first time since the March 10 COVID lockdown, the full band rehearsed, this time at Route 60 Music, socially distanced and masked.

2020-sept1

The event was reported in the next day's edition of the weekly podcase with the tune "Don't Get Around Much Anymore."

STORIES:

-- Reuniting in the Time of Covid. Charlie tells Marshall University professor Chris White on his podcast about the joy of reuniting with the whole band after six months of quarantine during the Covid pandemic.

Sept. 2, 2020: We lost the most influential founder of The 1937 Flood with the death of David Peyton at age 76. The fact is that The Flood simply would not exist were it not for Dave. Everything about our band — its Appalachian roots, its sassy attitude, its willingness to wander pretty far afield in pursuit of the novel or the noble or, yeah, well, sometimes just the naughty — came to us over the decades through the creative instincts of Brother Peyton. We were in awe of David’s special brand of alchemy that could take him from the fierce to the fun-loving and back again at the speed of a laugh and wink, and all the rest of us made it our mission just to try to keep up. This tribute celebrates the life of Dave Peyton, a great West Virginian and a dear friend.

 

STORIES:

-- Thinking about Friendships and The Flood's Legacy. On his podcast, Marshall University professor Chris White asked Charlie Bowen he has taken from a half century's involvement with the band, a question that led to thoughts about friendships, family and caring for The Flood's legacy.

 

Vanissa CoffmanOct. 6, 2020: On the night before her 20th birthday, saxophonist Vanessa Coffman accepted our invitation to join the band.

Vanessa — we call her Veezy around here, incidentally — started sitting in with the band the previous winter. It was former Floodster Stew Schneider who first called our attention to this wonderful young player. During the holiday season of 2019, Stew called to say, “Man, you’ve got to drop everything and come hear this young woman play tenor sax!”

It was in January that she took in her first Flood session. Everyone in the room was immediately wowed, and she’s been coming back ever since. Of course, the horrid COVID-19 pandemic had put a halt to the weekly rehearsal in March, but we stayed in touch with her during the six-month shutdown and when rehearsals resumed in early September, she was right there in the mix.

In fact, during the awful year of loneliness and loss, Veezy Coffman offered a bright light, enhancing everything we play with her beautiful tone and her imaginative musical ideas. The next day, we celebrated her arrival in a special edition of the weekly podcast featuring with sections of her solos from the latest rehearsal.

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

Nov. 11, 2020: In Ashland’s Daily Independent, reporter/editor Lee Ward published a story about Vanessa Coffman joining the band with a piece headlined "'Flood' adds jazzy new member." Here's a .pdf of Lee's story.

2021

Feb. 27, 2021: The Flood was thrilled to be included in the 150th birthday celebration for Huntington, WV, and featured on a special edition of "The Good Time Show with Michael Valentine."

 

In this segment, Michael interviews Flood founder Charlie Bowen about the origins of the band. This segues into a chat about a project that the two of them were involved in, some 2011 recordings the band made at Bud Carroll's Trackside studios, material that would result in the band's next album, "Wade in the Water." The spot wraps up with Michael's playing of a video from that session, the band's rendering of the old hokum tune, "Somebody Been Usin' That Thing."

March 7, 2021: We were honored last month when Marshall University history professor Chris White asked if he could use some Flood music as his theme for an important new project, his weekly podcast called "COVID in Appalachia" that ChrisWhiteexplores the ramifications of the Coronavirus pandemic in our region. He selected "Margaret's Waltz" from the new "Speechless: The Instrumentals" album, with a bit of Doug Chaffin's fiddling and Paul Martin's mandolin heard at the start and ending of each show now. He said he and his family felt that tune in particular captured the mood of the work he intended with the podcast.

“My focus over the past 10 months has been on promoting research and further understanding of COVID’s historical context,” said Dr. White, adding that when West Virginia "was both number one in vaccinations and in new COVID cases in the country, I decided it would be good to make a podcast series fleshing this contrast out.”

Chris and his wife Kim are good friends of The Flood, attending jam sessions and performances over the years. And now Chris has asked to actually be the focus on an episode of his podcast, discussing how we in the band weathered our seemingly endless COVID winter and its resulting quarantine and lockdowns. For a hour's broadcast, Dr. White interviewed Charlie about how the band continued to keep the music alive during this time of isolation, playing as examples a few band tunes from some of our masked and socially distanced rehearsals. Click here to hear the show.

March 16, 2021: Planning to marry and needing more time to work on preparations to combine two households, Paul Martin decides to leave the band, ending six years of Floodishness.

March 19, 2021: On the 44th anniversary of the March 1977 "Bowen Bash," the band officially launched its Legacy Film series to focus on the parties at which The Flood was born nearly a half century earlier. In addition to creating a new Facebook page to promote the project, we opened up a new page on the website to host the films in the series, all of which were put together during our "year of COVID."

Bowen Bash


April 10, April 18 and May 2, 2021
: It was the during the deep, dark Covid Winter that our Veezy Coffman proposed it. "Once spring comes," she said at a rehearsal one night, "what if we had some public jam sessions out in the park?" People were really eager to get out again, she noted, and probaby would appreciate hearing some free music.

2021-publicjams


Video Extra!

 
Ritter Park, April 18, 2021

As March came to end, the idea was resonating with us even more soundly, and we mentioned it to dear friend Jim Rumbaugh of Huntington Harmonica Club fame to help spread the word. It was Jim who came up with a title for the proposed affairs: "Open Flood Gate!"

Of course, our typically unpredictable Appalachian spring had something to say about that. Our optimistic plan to have a half dozen public jams between early April and mid-May were thwarted, because many weekends during the period were either rainy or unseasonably cold or way too hot.

Meanwhile, Jim had the worst possible timing to be downed with a heart attack right the middle of the season and be out of commission for most of the month of May as he recuperated.

Nonetheless, we did manage three times to share our come-back-out-and play message, using Facebook to tell folks, "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood for a community jam! If you can strum it, toot it or tap it, bring it on down play along!

Video Extra!

 
Central Park, May 2, 2021

We started on April 10 with a surprise appearance at Huntington's Heritage Station to entertain on a bright morning at its "Second Saturday Market," with Jim on upright bass, Charlie and Michelle sharing vocals and Veezy handling all the solos. Here's a tune from the day. A week later, on a Sunday afternoon, we popped up in the city's Ritter Park near the fountain at the entrance, drawing in harmonicat John Van Kirk to sit in with us for thday.

The sessions were especially bittersweet since they were among the last public performances with Michelle Lewis, who would be moving away in a couple months to live with her fiancé, Rich, who lives in Loveland, Ohio, just northeast of Cincinnati. Here was jam session with the band was at Doug Chaffin's house in June. Here's a tune from that night ("Since I Fell for You," June 15, 2021). Michelle's swan song would come in July at a show in Charleston.

Meanwhile, a couple of weeks after Huntington's park jams, we moved the festivities to Ashland, Ky., for a fun Sunday afternoon in that town's Centrral Park with guest artists Joel Caniff and Danny Gillum, rocking with Veezy Doug, Sam and Charlie. Doug had such a good time that he even rocked on a signature guitar number that we call his "Gypsy Doug" piece. But the highlight of that day is that theevent draw Randy Hamilton back out to play. He had Michellesuch a good time -- and we were so thrilled to hear him again -- that he accepted out invitation to rejoin the band.

July 9, 2021: Nearly 20 years after she first met the band and became its beloved "Chick Singer," Michelle Lewis has performed her last show as a regular member of The 1937 Flood.

Later that month, Michelle moved away, leaving the Mountain State to head off and to join her fiancé, Rich, who lives in Loveland, Ohio, just northeast of Cincinnati.

To celebrate Michelle’s exciting new chapter and to commemorate our wonderful years with her, we had to have one more good show together.

The nice folks at Edgewood Summit in Charleston, WV, provided us a venue for the afternoon, and we brought along a dear Flood friend, Jim Rumbaugh, for the party. The event also marked The Flood’s first show since the March 2019 Covid-19 pandemic shutdown.

Here are 10 minutes or so — four tunes — from the fun day, all with Michelle front and center.

 

Aug. 21, 2021: The 1937 Flood was thrilled to be invited to play at the 12th annual Diamond Teeth Mary Blues & Arts Festival in downtown Huntington, WV. And we were grateful and pleased to be joined on stage by some dear old friends. Standing in for our ailing guitarist Doug Chaffin was bluesman extraordinaire Chris Sutton; what a stellar treat to hear Chris's sweet solos again! And answering a request from our Bucket List Fulfillment Dept., our buddy Karen Combs joined us to sing her imaginative reworking of a classic Robert Johnson tune. Here's video of three tunes from the day.

 

Nov. 13, 2021: We have always loved playing at Heritage Station in downtown Huntington, whether outside in the gazebo during the warm weather or inside in the gorgeous, historic B&O depot, as we did for the November edition of the Second Saturday Market. Here's a quartet of tunes we did for the day.

 

The day also served to remind Charlie of just how much that wonderful old venue was link to Flood lore. Not only did a Flood contingent play at the opening ceremony of Heritage Village in 1977 and Joe Dobbs once have his shop there, but our Sam St. Clair is closely associated with that lovely space. Sam’s mom, the remarkable Mickey St. Clair, was central to the entire Heritage Station restoration project; it turns out that Sam, when still but a school boy, was pressed into the service of history, spending many of his evenings and weekends working at the preservation of all that gorgeous wood paneling.

The historic footnote here is that the opening track of the right-hand video above records The Flood's field promotion of harmonicat Sam St. Clair's as the band's official Dance Cop! Be advised, all Floodlandia, that Brother Slappy takes his new responsibilities seriously.

Nov. 26, 2021: We rolled our our most ambitious project in a long while, a free music streaming service that we call “Radio Floodango” that lets visitors listen to a continuous, randomly generated playlist of Flood tunes, selected from more than 600 files we’ve released in podcasts over the past dozen years or so. It’s easy to use. just the "Play" button in the picture of the radio at Radio Flooddangothe top of the page. This will begin a randomly selected playlist of Flood tunes released between 2009 and today. A text block in the upper left corner of the screen will tell you approximately when the current selection was recorded (as in "Spring 2018"). After the tune finishes, the player will automatically select another. Or you can use the button to the right of the Play/Pause button to skip right on to the next tune. Or, if you'd rather have a little more focus to your Flood experience, you can scroll the page for more choices. For instance:

― A "Hear by Year" option lets you zero in on a specific year of podcasts.

― The "People Picker" will focus the listening to podcasts featuring a specific Floodster. There are channels featuring the late Joe Dobbs and David Peyton, others focusing on the music of Doug Chaffin and Sam St. Clair, Michelle Lewis and Chuck Romine, Jacob Scarr, Randy Hamilton, Paul Martin and Vanessa Coffman. There’s even a button for "guest artists" who have jammed with us over the years.

― If you'd rather listen to one or more of the band's studio-recorded commercial albums, check out the "Spin the Discs" feature. Seven albums, recorded between 2001 and last year, are on the turntable.

― Or, if you'd like to rein in the famously eclectic Flood repertoire and concentrate on tunes of a particular style or mood, look at the "Genres" panel in the lower right below, where you can choose folk, blues, swing/jazzy, ballads, hokum/jug band or instrumentals.

A few weeks later, writer/editor Lee Ward featured Radio Floodango in an article in the Ashland, Ky., newspaper, The Ashland Independent. Lee, who is the newspaper’s Lifestyles editor, also used the opportunity to take a look back at The Flood’s near-half-century history, starting with David Peyton and Charlie Bowen’s jam session at a New Year’s party in 1973 and bringing it up to today’s quintet format. Here's a link to that story.

By the way, the name Radio Floodange actually is a kind of an inside joke. (And yeah, well, pretty deeply buried inside, come to think of it.) Anyway, David, Roger and I used to regularly go to the June folk festival in Glenville back in the '70s and '80s; often when we did, an old man who lived around there would come up and ask Rog, "Do you play that 'Spanish Fandango'?" Well, that tickled us -- after that, we were on the lookout for him each year -- and the song became a kind of a standing joke for us in the early days of The Flood. Whenever we couldn't think of what to play next, somebody would say, "Aw, just do that 'Spanish Fandango'!"

2022

Jan. 27, 2022: Ask our bass player Randy Hamilton to name his best friends on the planet and somewhere near the very top of that list will be Danny Cox. Now, we had been hearing about this marvelous guitar player for years, then finally, on this cold winter's night, we finally got to hear him and, oh my!

DanCox

From his Ironton, Ohio, home, Dan tagged along with Randy to the weekly Flood gathering and immediately really warmed up the place. (Of course, we had to commemorate that moment in our weekly podcast; click here to hear Danny and Veezy Coffman sharing choruses on this great old Mississippi Sheiks standard, “Sittin’ on Top of the World.”)

Immediately we all recognized a kindred spirit in this smart, funny, talented Ohioan and we were thrilled that he returned every week through the winter and into the spring to keep sharing ideas with us. Along the way we learned more of his story. Born and raised in southern Ohio, Dan was not quite 13 in the spring of '72 when his dad bought a guitar from a nephew for $3, brought it home and, with a big grin, handed it to his son.

"I hadn't asked for or shown any interest in learning to play guitar," Danny recalls. "Mom taught me D, G, and A7 to accompany the 'Great Speckled Bird.' It was a beginning." Pretty much self-taught, "I had a brother-in-law who's a pretty good player," Dan says. "He showed me me some classic rock licks and could play Chet Atkins style. I would watch anyone that could play a guitar."

DougDanny has played in several bands over the years as he travel around the country as a field service engineer. After he rerired, he moved back to the Tri-State Area in 2019 and married Tami, his 7th grade girlfriend.

Well, before the winter was over, we already eager to ask Dan to join the band, but we wanted to wait until he had chance to meet our "tribal elder." Eighty-year-old Doug Chaffin had had a rough year. Despite being double-vaxxed and boosted, Doug had spent the first weeks of January in the hospital fight Covid. Even after his release, the recovery was slow and frustrating, meaning that he hadn't been able to attend a Flood rehearsal since Decmber.

Finally, in the early May, Doug was feeling better and allowed us to ride into Ashland to visit him and Donna. The mission was not only to perk up their spirits, also to let Danny and Doug meet.

We were so pleased to watch of the two guitarists quickly hit it off. They even found they had friends and acquaintances in common. And, as usual, the podcast recorded the evening. Click here to hear Doug, Danny and Veezy and Danny rocking the solos on W.C. Handy's classic "Yellow Dog Blues.)

With Doug's blessing, we popped the question and on May 19, 2022, Dan agreed to become the newest member of the Family Flood.

May 21, 2022: It was a pretty magical weekend for us, as we traveled just south of Cincinnati to celebrate the marriage of our former band mate Michelle Lewis to her beloved Rich Hoge.

And we in The 1937 Flood were delighted to be invited to perform at the couple's reception on some beautiful farmland in Alexandria, Ky. We quickly agreed, of course, but on one condition: That Michelle sing some songs with us for old time’s sake.

Here is a quartet of tunes from that lovely afternoon (including “Fly Me to the Moon,” “St. Louis Blues,” “All of Me” and “Sunny Side of the Street.”):

 

July 14, 2022: We woke to sad news this morning: the death of Susan Samuels Peyton, one of our oldest and dearest friends.

Susie Peyton

There was never a time in The Flood story when Susan Peyton was not there. In fact, she was there before The Flood was there. One of our earliest memories from those antediluvian days was in late April 1971 when a bunch of us piled into cars to head out for a May Day Eve party in the hills just outside Huntington.

Susie was a happy witness to the entire Flood story. She was front and center on New Year’s Eve 1973 in the Mount Union Road house, where David and Charlie played their first tunes together.

She also was at all the parties we called “the Bowen Bashes,” where in the smoke and dust of late night jam sessions the band was born when Roger Samples and Joe Dobbs came into the circle.

The morning we learned of Susie's death, we posted in tribute in Flood Watch, which you can read here.

Bill HokeJuly 17, 2022: Floodster Emeritus Bill Hoke died at age 74 in Abingdon, Va. He suffered from a respiratory condition called idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, which lately led to congestive heart failure.

The years he played in The Flood actually were few — he brought that heart-stirring string bass to us from about 1978 to 1982 — but in many ways, Bill has always been the soul and the spirit of the band.

Hoke came into our lives in the spring of 1973, when he attended one of the earlier “Bowen Bashes,” those biannual weekend-long music parties that Pamela and Charlie hosted in Huntington’s South Side. There he would bear witness to the birth of The Flood during the next eight years of those spring and fall bashes.

Bill was also instrumental in bringing the Flood out of its early retirement in the 1990s, when he talked Joe Dobbs into attending a party at which he reunited with David and Charlie.

Read our tribute to our dear band mate in Flood Watch by clicking here.

July 29, 2022: The Flood first played the wonderful Woodlands Retirement Community 20 years ago, just years after it opened. And theband was invited back at least once a year nearly every year after that — that is, until the Covid epidemic in the spring of 2020 canceled pretty much everything. So we were excited to return to this beloved venue in this summer. And the residents made us so welcome. It was quite an evening!

 Floodster Veezy Coffman, our saxophonist, couldn’t make the gig — she and her beautiful family were vacation in Florida at the time — but Floodster Emeritus Paul Martin came back to sit in, filling that spot on the bandstand with his mandolin and his vocals. And speaking of Flood graduates, we couldn’t play Woodlands without inviting our retired bandmate Chuck Romine to joins for a tune on his tenor banjo. Chuck and his wife Phyllis are proud Woodlands residents these days. Here's a quartet of tunes from the show:

 

Sept. 9, 2022: Missing her Family Flood, Floodster Emerita Michelle travelled from Lovcland, Ohio, with her new husband Rich Hoge to take in her first Fraley Family Music Festival in Carter County, Ky., and join Charlie and Sam on stage for their brief set.

Fraley

Sep. 15, 2022: So, it all started when our talented tenor player Veezy Coffman decided to bring her gorgeous soprano sax — the near-100-year-old silver beauty she calls “Savoy” — to this week’s rehearsal. At some point during the session, the other member of The Flood reed section -- harmonicat Sam St. Clair -- suggested that if she wanted to contribute yet aNOTHer new sound to the mix, she might consider a kazoo. (After all, we used to call the kazoo "The West Virginia saxophone” back in the day when the late Dave Peyton played that good-time instrument with us). But Veezy already had her own plans for a new sound, coming up with a novel way to make a positively kazoo-like contribution to a tune when she … oh, but wait a minute; let’s not spoil the surprise! Check it out for yourself:

 

. Veezy’s innovations begin about half way through this video, which Pamela Bowen shot at the Sept. 15 jam. Ah, what glorious goofiness with which to wrap up an evening of fun!

Sept. 24, 2022: The late Joe Dobbs' Fret 'n Fiddle music store has always been a key component in The 1937 Flood's story. Of course, Joe was one of the founding members of the band back in thr 1970s. The shop that Joe and his brother Dennis launched in those days was a major outpost for all things Floodish for the next four decades, from jams and recording sessions to album release parties and reunions. So it was with great happiness that we learned the store was going to be in operation again after its hiatus that followed Joe's death in 2015, and we eagerly accepted the invitation to come to St. Albans to help with the Grand Re-opening celebration this weekend. We joined for our jam at FnF by some of our and Joe's dearest friends, including Floodster Emerita Michelle Hoge and guitar champ Jesse Smith. Here's a 15-minute hunk of the good time we had!

 

Nov. 13, 2022: The 1937 Flood had a wonderful time jamming at the coolest new corner in Barboursville, WV. Ashley Skeen and Mandee Cunningham opened this classy, curated bookstore on Central Avenue earlier in the year, and we were honored that they invited us to come and spend a couple of hours in their cozy backroom last Sunday afternoon. Thanks to the diligent work of Danny Cox’s talented, patient wife Tami, we have video of the making of some of the tunes that came drifting out among the shelves.

 

Dec. 9, 2022: We had ourselves as wondrous fine time on our maiden flight at Sal’s Italian Eatery and Speakeasy in Ashland, Ky.,, made all the more memorable by being joining by old friends. Sitting in on our first gig in this exciting new downtown venue were Floodster Emerita Michelle Diane Hoge and harmonica champ Jim Rumbaugh. Here’s a tune Pamela Bowen shot from a front-row table, our take on the Mississippi Sheiks’s composition, “Sittin’ on Top of the World” … as we were!

 

Dec. 14, 2022: It was a rainy Wednesday night in a deep and dark December, but it was warm and bright inside the Kentucky farmhouse, where we were greeted by old friends and by sweet strangers who were soon to be friends.

Longtime Flood buddy Zoe Brewer had company coming — cousin Mary Smith Haverfield and her husband, Cole, were traveling in from Chattanooga for a holiday visit — and Zoe asked The Flood to come and do a house concert at her beautiful farm in Burnaugh, Ky., south of Catlettsburg. We brought the whole crew there — Sam and Veezy, Danny, Randy and Charlie — and Danny’s wife, Tami McCorkle, shot lots of video from the evening.

 

This film, based on Tami’s diligent work, has a trio of tunes that represent the span of the songs we brought to the night, from contemporary songwriting (like Dylan’s “Down in the Flood,” which opens the video) to re-imagined folk melodies (like “Wayfaring Stranger”) to great old 1920s and ’30 numbers (like “Lulu’s Back in Town.”) Sweet memories all around.

2023

Jan. 13, 2023: As we said several times during the gig, we’ve been waiting forever for a place like this, a venue that seems custom-made for the tunes The Flood’s been loving for decades now. So, whenever we come to Sal’s Italian Eatery & Speakeasy in Ashland, Ky. — either as performers or as customers and fans — it’s always a party. That certainly was the case last Friday when The Flood landed on a chilly January night for three rocking sets. Here’s a trio of tunes from the video that Pamela Bowen shot from a ringside table.

 

May 20, 2023: Two couples drove in from Cincinnati for last weekend’s Flood gig at Sal’s Speakeasy in Ashland, Ky. Traveling with her husband Rich, Floodster Emerita Michelle Hoge came to join her old band mates on stage to put on what turned out to be one of her best shows in years. Meanwhile, Carol and Craig Ellison, also of the Queen City, drove in specifically to take in the fun at Sal's, the band’s favorite local venue, Craig, sitting with Carol at Pamela Bowen’s front-row table in the packed room, filmed many of the tunes at the May 20 gig.. His good work has enabled us to create this video highlighting a quartet of Michelle’s numbers from the wonderful night.


 

July 7, 2023: We were honored and thrilled to be invited by Mike Murdock and Nora Ankrom to be part of their Alchemy Theater’s production of the musical, Bright Star.

Bright Star

The show ran for two weekends, July 7-9, 14-16 at Huntington’s new Geneva Kent Center for the Arts at 68 Holley Ave.

Besides joining the wonderful Mark Smith and John Kinley in the house band, we also played a little pre-show Flood set before each performance. Here, featuring videos by Pamela and by Danny's wife, Tami, are excepts for the final night's pre-show:

 

Sept. 8, 2023: Flood Lite -- Sam, Randy and Charlie -- played the latest edition of the Fraley Festival at Carter Caves,.

 

chuckSept. 24, 2023: Our beloved “Doctor Jazz.” Chuck Romine died shorrly before sunset at age 87. His passing came just 19 days after the death of Phyllis, his wife of 66 years.

The Romines came into our lives nearly a quarter of a century ago, when Chuck brought his well-tempered tenor banjo to jam with The Flood for the first time on a cold January night to 2001.

Even though Chuck left The Flood in early 2005, you really can't get The Flood out of your blood that easily.

As a Floodster Emeritus (Chuck was, incidentally, the first former member to carry that title, which harmonicat Sam St. Clair came up with), the good doctor and his irrepressible banjo (or tenor guitar, or tuba…) were welcomed back to sit in with us many times over the years.

 

Nov. 14, 2023: Jack Nuckols, who for a month had been jamming with us on assorted percussion instruments — from bongos and spoons to cool brushes on snare and hi-hat — has become the latest member of The Flood, and we are thrilled.

jack

Jack is a veteran educator. A retired high school history teacher, he now teaches as a adjunct professor. He also was recently re-elected as a long-time member of the South Point, Ohio, school board.

As Flood co-founder Charlie Bowen recently noted, “Jack is one of the few functioning musicians still around who was actually at those parties where The Flood was born in the 1970s.”

Nov. 17, 2023: Doug Chaffin — who joined our musical family nearly a quarter of a century ago — died at age 82 in Ashland, Ky., with Donna, his wife of more than 60 years, and their children at his side.

Doug

It is hard to summarize in mere sentences all that Doug contributed to our lives in the past two decades. When he joined us in 2000, he played upright bass, backing Joe and Dave, Charlie, Chuck and Sam on all manner of tunes in shows, jam sessions and recording studios.

Later Doug turned those duties over to others — first to Dave Ball, then to Randy Hamilton — moving on to other instruments. Throughout much of the late 2000s and early 2010s, he alternated between mandolin and acoustic guitar. Then, after Joe Dobbs’ death in 2015, Doug dusted off his own fiddle and stepped up to fill that gap in The Flood’s sound. Also, the following year, Doug got a nifty Paul Reed Smith electric guitar from his friend Glenn Perkins and got in touch with the rock ’n’ roll roots of his youth.

Doug stayed active with the band until last year when a bad bout with Covid-19 and a battle with prostate cancer forced him to curtail his involvement.

Dec. 31, 2024: Old and new friends made epic memories for The 1937 Flood as we celebrated the band’s 50th birthday with a New Year’s Eve bash at Huntington’s Alchemy Theatre, where Nora Ankrom, Mike Murdock and Stephen Vance and the rest made us all feel so very welcome.

 

Obviously, a 20-minute video can’t do justice to almost five hours of near continuous live music, right up to the strike of midnight. However, working with the superb footage that Pamela Bowen shot from her ringside table, we can at least give a feel for the evening’s festivities. As you’ll see here,

Floodster Emeriti Michelle Hoge, Paul Martin and Dave (Bub) Ball were all on hand for the celebration.Highlighting the evening were sets by our guest artists, Karen and Steve Byington of Wiley Dew and Jim Rumbaugh and Karen Combs of 5$Red. Especially fun was singer-songwriter Douglas Imbrogno’s set, when he performed tunes with a rocking pickup band of Floodsters, including Bub on bass, Michelle on vocal harmonies, Danny Cox on guitar and Sam St. Clair on harp. Thanks, friends. We’re so ready for 2024.