Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Perfect Warm-up Tune

We're always looking for tunes that helps the band warm up for an evening's practice or performance. The ideal warmup number has an easy rhythm, some lyrics for the singers to stretch out on and opportunities for everyone to take a solo or two. "Trouble in Mind," that classic eight-bar blues written by jazz pianist Richard M. Jones back in the 1920s, fits the bill perfectly.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Everything We Do Is Carefully Planned. Not.

In "A Shot in the Dark," Peter Sellers as Inspector Clouseau says, "Everything I do is carefully planned, madam." Well, we in The Flood can't really say that. Some of the best times at our weekly rehearsals just grow out of the moment. Here's a case in point from last night's get-together. Joe Dobbs was joking with our good friend Rose Riter. You can hear her lovely infectious laugh at the beginning of the track. Meanwhile, Doug Chaffin starts nodding with the Gershwin tune, "Lady Be Good." Right away, Randy Hamilton and Charlie Bowen join in. Quickly then, visiting Floodster Emeritus Chuck Romine jumps in with his tenor banjo. That catches the attention of Dave Peyton who hops on board and by the time the chorus comes around again, Joe picks up his fiddle, ready to lay down a strong statement of the melody, and we are off the the races.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Bye Bye Blues Revisited

On a CD more than a decade ago, The Flood recorded "Bye Bye Blues," but that was before Michelle Walker was a regular member of the band. Our original instrumental version was fine as far as it went, but now, as you'll hear, the Chick Singer's big, bright vocal puts new mileage on the great old 1930s jazz standard.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Happy Birthday, Norman Davis!

We were so pleased that our good friend Norman Davis came to spend his 86th birthday evening with us last night. Of course, we're lucky because Norman -- a renaissance man if ever there was one, with stories that could fill a night all by themselves -- shares most Wednesdays with us. Now, as we've mentioned before, The Flood doesn't play the traditional "Happy Birthday" song. Instead, we celebrate nativities with Tampa Red's jug band classic, "You Can't Get That Stuff No More," led by our chief birthday elf, David Peyton. Here's the version Brother Dave brought to the table at last night's get-together. Oh, and be sure to continue listening after the last chord is played, because you'll want to catch Norman's editorial comment! Happy birthday, old friend!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Confronting the Ravages of Time...

We're not saying we're getting old, but we are saying that The Flood is getting a bit forgetful. (Guess that can be expected from a band that's been around for 40 years.) We've noticed that tunes we used to play a lot have lately drifted out of our collective consciousness.  So to counteract the ravages of time, we've been using some of our Wednesday night rehearsal time of late to reach back to arrangements that have been on the endangered list. Last night, Michelle Walker brought us back to this Duke Ellington composition that we recorded more than 10 years ago, and just listen to how Joe Dobbs and Sam St. Clair really connect with it.