Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Last night was a fun, goofy sort of evening at the rehearsal when everything that's usually fast went a little slower and everything usually slow got kicked up a notch or two. Like this one. Now, the first song that Michelle Lewis ever sang in public with The Flood was "Moonglow." That was about a decade ago at a gig up in the mountains of Snowshoe, West Virginia, in Pocahontas County. For that show, as we recall, we played the great old jazz standard in the traditional way, a slow, sweet ballad. But last night… well, last night "Moonglow" had gotten several shots of caffeine by the end of the evening and was pulling into the fast lane.
Wednesday, June 17, 2015
One of the wonderful things about the folk tradition in music is that you learn so much from people you know, from relatives sometimes, but more often -- at least for folks in our generation -- from good friends. For Dave Peyton and me, long before we formed The Flood, one of those oh-so-important friends was Terry Goller, a remarkable singer and guitar player who taught our whole community about folk music. Terry was on several local popular radio shows, was often teaching guitar at music shops and performing at parties and at local folk venues -- quite busy, but he always had time show us a few licks and to tell us the history of the tunes he was playing. Terry died more than 30 years ago, but he's still often on our minds. In fact, one of the songs we're working on these days tracing back directly to Terry. The first time I ever heard Eric Andersen's "Dusty Boxcar Walls," it was being sung by Terry and his buddy Dave Bias in the late 1960s at a coffeehouse near Marshall University where they were both students. Thinking of you, Terry.
Wednesday, June 10, 2015
Last night was the first rehearsal we'd had since we learned of the death of the great Kentucky singer/songwriter Jean Ritchie. Some of the first songs The Flood ever played when the band came together in the mid-1970s were Jean Ritchie songs. And the older members of the band still talk about being at folk festivals at which she was the star attraction. In fact, some of us even remember sitting in Nancy McClellan's living room in the late 1960s and listening to Jean tell stories about her early days when she was a young girl who had made her way from Viper, Kentucky, to New York City as the folk music boom was just getting started. So, last night, it seemed fitting to end the evening with our favorite Jean Ritchie composition.
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
Well, there was a hole in this week, because we didn't have a rehearsal last night. Everybody was just sort of busy after last weekend's gig. It's always a bit disappointing when we don't get our weekly Flood fix. But this does give us an opportunity to think back on the fine time we had at The V Club last month, and we thought you might like to hear a little from our night as guests of the wonderful Huntington Blues Society. Now, the quality of the recording is not the greatest, of course, but it does capture some of the fun of that rowdy evening in downtown Huntington.