Thursday, May 30, 2013

I Have Seen Snows that Fell In May....

Last week we had one of the strangest gigs we've had in a long time. After days of temperatures in the 70s and 80s, the thermometer plunged as we were driving north to Fairmont, West Virginia, for the Friday night concert. It was down to the 50s as we took the stage at the amphitheater at Prickett's Fort State Park and by the time the show was over 90 minutes later, the mercury had dropped to 45. That along with a stiff 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 a some time now -- in fact, it's featured on our latest CD -- and, to be honest, we hadn't thought much about the lyrics for a while. But Friday night, as we were shriving on stage and Charlie Bowen 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. In this cut, we're rehearsing the tune a few days before the big Fairmont Freeze.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fairmont, Here We Come!

The Family Flood is on the road this weekend, playing one of our favorite out-of-town venues, the amphitheater of Prickett's Fort State Park in Fairmont, West Virginia. It's a free concert this Friday night, starting at 7 o'clock. See our web site -- -- for all the details. This will be the fifth or sixth time we've played this gig over the past decade or so, and we always get such a warm greeting from the folks there. In fact, we were told early on that The Flood was one of their most popular returning shows, second only to the polka band that comes down from Pennsylvania. Well, that got us thinking. Of course, The Flood doesn't have an extensive polka repertoire, but if you got a fiddler, you probably have some polka possibilities. Since the earliest days then, we never to go to Fairmont without Joe Dobbs' rollicking rendition of "Clarinet Polka." Here, from last night's rehearsal, we're dusting it off and fluffing it up for the trip north. Kick it off, Joe!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

A Tune with Kathy Castner

Charlie's cousin, Kathy Castner, has never been an actual member of The Flood, but she's sung with the band frequently. Now, of course, she's too shy for some reason to get up on stage with us, but we can talk her into singing in small, informal groups, like the one that gathered this week when Kathy came in for a little visit from her home near Cincinnati. Oh, this song -- "The Rose" -- is the first tune Kathy and Charlie ever sang together. They worked out an arrangement some 30 years ago to perform it at a wedding, and we still trot it out every chance we get.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Remembering George Walker

We lost an old friend this week. The late George 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 Walker for a time. George's passing last weekend had us sharing stories at last night's rehearsal, 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. Now, we haven't played the song in a while, but last night's reminiscing had us dusting it off and we think "Gravy" is now back on the menu for this summer's upcoming shows. Meanwhile, here's serving just for you, George.