Dear Diary ... The Podcast Archives: 2024

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New Year's Eve Bash

Jan. 5, 2024: Sunny. Ever since it came together decades ago, The Flood has always sought a rich diversity in its repertoire. So late last year when Danny Cox asked, “Has the band ever done the song ‘Sunny’?” he heard an invitation in the enthusiasm of the answer: “no.” So, Danny worked out the chords, Jack took up the rhythm, we turned the vocals over to Randy, and suddenly the song is in the works. In fact, it’s even picking up fans among the visitors. On this particular track, for instance, Floodster Emeritus Paul Martin happened to be in the room and happily took a ride on one of the choruses. Here’s the progress report, then, on Project Sunny.

Jan. 12, 2024: You Ain't Goin' Nowhere. Whenever our old friend Paul Martin is back in the room — or, better still, on the bandstand with us as he was for our big “Flood at 50” birthday bash on New Year’s Eve — we always getting him leading us on his favorite Bob Dylan tune. Here from that wonderful New Year’s night at Alchemy Theatre is Paul leading the way on “You Ain’t Going Nowhere.”

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Sam's Song

Jan. 19, 2024: (When She Wants Good Lovin') My Baby Comes to Me.Here’s a tune with some mighty deep roots in the Floodisphere. Two decades after our heroes, The Coasters, released this song in July 1957, The Flood started fiddling with it on another summer night. After that, though, it went to sleep again for, oh, a half century or so. Then not long ago, it popped back into our minds. Right away, Randy Hamilton started singing harmony on the chorus. Suddenly the song is back, evolving into a fine vehicle for Jack Nuckols’ cool drumming and tasty solos by Danny Cox and everyone else in the room. Even visiting pickers. For instance, on this track, Floodster Emeritus Paul Martin dropped in with his mandolin. Just listen to how slowly he jumped right into the mix!

Jan. 26, 2024: Ain't No Free. It was 15 years ago when Sam St. Clair brought us this tune, and it quickly became his theme song. Ever since then, “Ain’t No Free” has been a beloved standard in many a Flood show. So, of course, the song had to have a place in honor several weeks ago at our big New Year’s Eve birthday bash at Alchemy Theatre. Tell it, Sam!


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Flood at Home

Feb. 2, 2024: Sweet Georgia Brown entered The Flood’s repertoire soon after the band began in the 1970s and in the ensuing decades the tune has come back into the playlist again and again, serving as a sweet showcase for dozens of Flood soloists over the years. This latest rendition, recorded at a rehearsal just last week, has Danny Cox, Randy Hamilton, Sam St. Clair and Jack Nuckols all taking the tune for a spin.

Feb. 9, 2024: Ready for the Times to Get Better. This song took a very long road on its journey to Floodlandia. The first time it was played in our band room was more than a dozen years ago on a mellow autumn night when our friends Randy Hamilton and Paul Martin dropped in to jam with us. Now, neither was a member of The Flood yet — Randy would join the following year and Paul a few years after that — but

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Kickin' Back at Home

their song was the hit of the evening. However, the tune never worked its way into the repertoire — until just recently. A couple of weeks ago, Danny Cox just happened to start picking the tune between songs on the night’s practice list and the melody really jingled in our memories. After that, Dan and Randy got together to woodshed a little, working out an arrangement, and at last week’s rehearsal they popped it on the rest of us. With joy, everybody joined in. So here -- call it a keepsake for our audio scrapbook — is our first take on “Ready for the Times to Get Better.”

Feb. 16, 2024: St. Louis Blues. We’ve been doing versions of this song for decades. In this latest rendition, from a recent Flood rehearsal, the rich rhythm laid down by Randy Hamilton and Jack Nuckols provides a perfect platform for solos by Danny Cox and Sam St. Clair.

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An Ed Light Special

Feb. 23, 2024: Needed Time. We’ve been doing this song for a very long time, and it’s always different, depending on who’s in the room. In this rendition from a rehearsal a few weeks ago, our man Danny Cox makes it special with his signature guitar stylings.


March 1, 2024: Make You Feel My Love. We’re late to the party on this tune. Bob Dylan wrote this more than a quarter of century ago, but we just started doing it a few weeks ago. However, it’s suddenly landed solidly in the repertoire.

March 8, 2024: Handy Man. You never really forget the songs of your youth. Charlie was 10 years old in the summer of ‘59 when this tune hit the radio. It was such a hoot to take it for a spin at a recent Flood rehearsal.

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Two More from Home

March 15, 2024: I Almost Lost My Mind. Some songs in our repertoire we do only when “The Chick Singer” — Floodster emerita Michelle Hoge — is in the room. Our take on this good old Ivory Joe Hunter classic is at the top of that list. This track is from last December when Michelle had driven in from her Cincinnati area home to rehearse with us in preparation for our big “Flood at 50” New Year’s Eve birthday bash at Alchemy Theatre. Just listen to Michelle rocking those vocal harmonies, as always.

March 22, 2024: Gotta Shave 'Em Dry. This rowdy old tune has been rattling around in our brain for a quarter quarter or so — ever since the late Joe Dobbs gave us tapes of some little-known blues records from the 1920s and ’30s — but only recently did it finally pop up in the The Flood’s repertoire.

March 29, 2024: Peaceful Easy Feeling. To give this classic from the 1970s a new sound, we let Charlie’s banjo happily trot alongside Jack’s drum and Randy’s bass, ready to frame our vocals and those sweet solos by Danny and Sam. And, hey, be sure to keep listening to reach our surprise ending. We wrap up with a little old-time music, a little sumpin-sumpin circa 1680.


April 5, 2024: I Wonder Where My Easy Rider's Gone. Some songs just never get old. Here’s a rowdy tune that had already been around for while when Grandpa was a pup and today, well, it’s still pretty sassy, with a cut in its strut and a glide in its stride. It’s the kind of song we like the start the evening with, as we did here at last week’s rehearsal, because it has room for everyone to just stretch out and wail. Listen as the solos pass from Danny to Sam to Randy. And when it’s Jack’s turn, he reaches for those wooden spoons he keeps near his drum kit. See if it doesn’t sound like a jazzy tap dancer has just jumped into the room. So here we go. Set your time machine back to 1913.

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Spring Floodango

April 12, 2024: No Ash Will Burn. Our friend David Click told us recently how much he enjoys the band’s performance of this tune. He said that while it’s a sad song, he’s found a solace in the lyrics, that it touches him especially in times of loss and grief. We understand; it moves us that way too. For instance, this particular performance comes from back in November at the first rehearsal after we learned of the death of our band mate Doug Chaffin. Doug loved this song, and you might be able to hear this this track how we felt somehow a little closer to him, to be singing this song in his memory on that cold autumn night.

April 19, 2024: Didn't He Ramble? Ours is a band that was born at a party and born TO party. Whether we’re at home in our band room at the Bowen House, settled in the living room of somebody else’s house or on stage at a gig, the party tradition that started more than a half century ago continues today. And our next opportunity for a public party will be this very weekend when we launch the Spring Floodango this Sunday afternoon at Huntington’s Alchemy Theater. Here’s a tune we have on tap for the afternoon. Take a listen and you’ll be ready for the sing-alongs when you join us at Alchemy Theater!

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At Home with The Flood

April 26, 2024: Barbara Allen. Recently Charlie brought a different version to this great old English ballad for the guys to try out after revisiting his all-time favorite rendition of it, Tom Rush’s recording of the tune on the old Prestige/Folklore label back in 1963.


May 3, 2024: After You've Gone. This is a tune that our Flood brother Danny Cox brought to the mix. In fact, with a chuckle, he said, “I can’t believe y’all weren’t doing this one.” True enough. “After You’ve Gone” was one that got away — until recently, when Danny corralled it and brought it to the table.

May 10, 2024: Driving Wheel. It’s funny sometimes how songs come to us. A while back Charlie was just noodling with his new resonator guitar while waiting for a phone call and suddenly he landed on chords from a song he’d not even heard for decades, much less played. A week later he’s sharing it with the guys at a rehearsal, and they latch on to the sound too. And just like that, a song comes soaring in from the Seventies.

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Two from The Flood at Home

May 17, 2024: Hard Times (Who Knows Better Than I). Rehearsal is always important, of course, but sometimes leaving a song alone for a while also has interesting effects. It’s been probable a year or more since this Ray Charles classic made an appearance at a Flood rehearsal. But it turns out the song hasn’t been stagnating. It was obvious when the song finally did roll around again, it had been percolating in everyone’s memory and all kind of exciting new ideas came out in the solos.

May 24, 2024: Loving You Would Be So Good for Me. Occasionally, we do originals. Here’s a silly, happy little song that Charlie wrote 30 years with the idea that The Flood would play it someday. And we from time to time we have. But it turns out the tune was really waiting for today’s configuration of players, for Jack Nuckols and Randy Hamilton’s rocking rhythm and for those scintillating solos by Danny Cox and Sam St. Clair.

May 31, 2024: Can You Run? We are big fans of Kentucky singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton. Our Randy Hamilton brought us this poignant Chris Stapleton’s song about seven years ago. Lately it’s been back in the repertoire, with Danny doing double duty, singing harmony to Randy’s lead vocala and trading solos with Sam, all framed by Jack's tasteful drumming and Charlie’s little bit of banjo.

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Armstrong Cable's Press Room Recordings


June 7, 2024: Somebody Stole My Gal. Some tunes have really deep roots in the Floodisphere. The late Joe Dobbs loved this song. In fact, Charlie Bowen remembers jamming on this one in Joe’s music shop on its original West 14th Street location in the late ‘70s. It’s also the first song that the great Doug Chaffin played with us a quarter of a century ago. And Sam St. Clair still talks about Chuck Romine loving it; ol’ Doctor Jazz sure did tear it up on his tenor banjo. Now Sam and Charlie have introduced it to a whole new generation of Floodsters — just listen to Randy Hamilton and Danny Cox and Jack Nuckols rocking it.

June 14, 2024: Wade in the Water. We rolled into the West End last Sunday to play at a lovely picnic celebrating the 90th anniversary of Huntington’s beloved Sacred Heart church. For that do, we wanted to supplement our usual musical fare with a health supply of religious numbers. Topping the list was one of the oldest tunes in our repertoire.

June 21, 2024: Shawneetown. When Jack Nuckols joined the band late last year, we knew his dynamic drumming would bring spark and sparkling to our jazzy repertoire, but we also had a secret agenda. We were hoping we could also persuade Jack to dust off that fiddle he last played…. oh… 20 years ago so he could bring it to bear on our for folkier numbers. Well, he’s not only done that, Jack’s started suggesting tunes that would fit his fiddling. Here’s one — a great old Ohio River tune from the pen of folk composer Dillon Bustin.

June 28, 2024: Jug Band Song. Some songs turn up at the beginning of a Flood night and gauge the energy in the room. Others — like this one — usually come at the end of the evening and give everybody one last blast before they pack up and head for home. And oh, be sure listen all the way to the end of this track so you’ll catch Sam St. Clair’s special end-of-tune sound effects. We think you’ll find they’re right on the nose!


July 5, 2024: Moonglow. Rehearsals are not parties. They can be fun and satisfying, but the bottom line is that rehearsals are work sessions. The Flood is always trying to learn new songs — or give a new spin to an old one — and because that’s where the songs are worked out, some rehearsals are more fun than others. So we usually try to end the evening on a high note. At one such rehearsal recently, Charlie asked if anybody had a tune they wanted to end with. “How about something we know!” said Danny Cox with a chuckle and a grin. In a minute we’d rolled into the 1930s standard “Moonglow” and it turned out to be our favorite moment of the whole night.

July 12, 2024: Yellow Dog Blues. Playing this century-old tune from W.C. Handy became the late Doug Chaffin’s favorite way to end of a picking session. And we’re continuing our old buddy’s tradition, as demonstrated in this track from last week’s rehearsal. This one’s for you, Mister Chaffin! It’s that one about the dog…