The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Birthing New Music

Birthing New Music

#143 / Nov. 11 Podcast

For the first time in years, The Flood has started working on original compositions.

Currently, for instance, we’re studying with bandmate Vanessa Coffman to craft accompaniments for her original folk songs in a project to remaster the “Brave Brigade Pirate” album that she previewed earlier this year.

Meanwhile, to see if he has any tunes that might have a new life in a new millennium, Charlie is digging into his hippy diaries to bring out things he wrote — or sometimes just started writing and never finished — decades ago.

A Different Kind of Podcast This Time

Because some of these posts in Flood Watch are a kind of status report on assorted band projects, we thought you might enjoy a different kind of podcast this week, one that lets you eavesdrop on our noodling with one of these tunes.

The odd little melody in question is one that Bowen started writing on the front porch on a steamy summer night back in 1979. The work has remained unfinished for more than 40 years. In fact, it still doesn’t even have a name.

That figures, you might say, for a song that’s about … well, procrastination. As the opening lines goes, “Like the morning paper, with its day-old news, I’m always just one step behind…”

While its working title is “Druther Not,” a repeated bit of the lyric — “Opportunity’s calling, but, honey, I’m not home” — seems to be campaigning to become its real name. We’ll see about that. There’s no guarantee at this point that the song will ever really be finished.

What You Hear in the Audio

So this is truly a ”status report.” What you’ll hear in this audio is the band working together to craft an arrangement, each player working out a part.

The track opens with Charlie laying down the melody, and you can hear Randy Hamilton crafting a bass line for it to roll along on. Immediately, the soloists take up the challenge — first Danny Cox, then Sam St. Clair — cruising in and out of the curves on the foggy, winding road suggested by the chords and the tune.

For any visiting musical anthropologists amongst us, probably the most interesting point on the entire track comes about midway through, when we stop so Vanessa and Dan talk a little about the chords and the scales they are encountering.

(Yes, it is decidedly odd, this song, at least by Flood standards. Few tunes in the key of E come across Fmaj7 and Gmaj7.)

The payoff, then, is in the audio’s final atmospheric minutes, when Veezy and Danny put together what they’ve just discussed to become a delightful denouement as the tune rides off into the mist.

The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
Each week The 1937 Flood, West Virginia's most eclectic string band, offers a free tune from a recent rehearsal, show or jam session. Music styles range from blues and jazz to folk, hokum, ballad and old-time. All the podcasts, dating back to 2008, are archived on our website; you and use the archive for free at: