Tuesday, January 28, 2014

R.I.P., Pete Seeger

We're doing the podcast a little early this week, because this morning we learned of the death of one of our heroes. Maybe the hero. As you've surely heard by now, the great Pete Seeger passed away peacefully in his sleep. He was 94. Folk musicians often talk about those who went before who influenced them. But they don't talk about Pete so much because his impact on them is just a given. This music -- folk music, roots music, acoustic music, whatever you want to call it -- is what it is today in large part because of the work and the stewardship of Pete Seeger. And it's not only his music. His attitude, his optimism, his inclusiveness and boundless enthusiasm for all kinds of music provided a very fertile field for America's music not just to survive but to thrive. In The Flood, "Uncle Pete" has always in been in the back of our minds. Why, just a few weeks ago, when Chuck Romine dropped by with his banjo, we found ourselves singing "Goodnight, Irene," the song Pete learned from Leadbelly. It was… well, more joyful than it was listenable, and by popular decree, we'll keep that particular track deep in the private collection. However, thinking about how Pete Seeger's influence reaches all the way back to the very beginning of our band, I remembered a concert we were playing 35 years ago, in the first years of The Flood. I remember a pause in the show and suddenly Dave Peyton filled the silence with a beautiful solo on his Autoharp. It was a song I will always associate with Pete, because it was on one of his records that I first heard it, the Shaker tune, "Simple Gifts." Here's that moment.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Remembering Our Dear Companion, Nancy McClellan

If we had had a rehearsal this week -- we didn't because, hey, we're all snowed in here in the Ohio Valley right now -- we surely would have taken a moment to think about our old friend, Nancy McClellan. Nancy, who would have been 81 last Sunday, was a great friend of The Flood. She was even there at those rowdy music parties when then band was born 40 years ago. We've dedicated our latest CD to Nancy McClellan, and here's a track from the new disc, one of Nancy's favorite tunes, which we sang at her graveside last October, Jean Ritchie's "My Dear Companion." Incidentally, visit our website, 1937flood.com, for information about the new CD. There's even a link to order it online.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Chuck Romine Helps Us Plug the New CD!

Our old friend Chuck Romine dropped by to jam with us last night on the eve of his 78th birthday. As long-time members of the Family Flood know, Chuck played that fiery tenor banjo with the band for six years and, as a Floodster emeritus, he's always welcome back. On this track, Chuck's wailing on tune called "I Got Mine" which is featured on our brand new CD. Oh, and speaking of that new CD, called "Cleanup & Recovery," you can now buy it online. Just go to our website, 1937flood.com and follow the link at the top of the front page.