The 1937 Flood Watch
The 1937 Flood Watch Podcast
"Solid Gone"

"Solid Gone"

#185 / March 3 Podcast

Flood fan Orville Picklesimer had a kind comment on a recent podcast.

“Well done!” he wrote after listening to the Feb. 17 broadcast of our take on “I Am a Pilgrim,” adding, “ I was fortunate to see Doc (Watson) do this one, and The Flood’s cover pays homage to Doc and adds its own personal flavor.”

“It doesn’t need more cowbell,” he said, “but I’d like to hear more resonator on future projects.”

Well, you don’t have to ask us twice!

But First

If you’re not up on your grand guitar history, you might not know that the resonator guitar — that is, an acoustic guitar that produces sound by conducting string vibrations through the bridge to one or more spun metal cones (“resonators”) — was invented about a century ago.

It all started in the mid-1920s, in the days before electric instruments. The idea was to create a new kind of guitar that would be louder than its regular acoustic cousins, which were being overwhelmed by the horns and drums in the dance orchestras of the day.

But developers like the legendary John Dopyera and his brothers Rudy and Emil did much more than that. The resonator that the Dopyera brothers and others created had such a distinctive tone that it found lifelong fans among blues and folk aficionados, and that love affair has continued long after the arrival of roaring electric guitars.

Floodifying It

Of course, “blues” and “folk” are a combination that has “Flood” written all over it. That’s why about a month ago, Charlie brought a resonator into The Flood’s mix in the form of a wood-framed “boxcar” style resonator from Gretsch.

Slowly but surely this new guitar — which Charlie has christened “Chessie” (get it? Boxcar? Chessie? … Never mind…) — has started working its way into the band’s repertoire, beginning with that “I Am a Pilgrim” rendition that Orville liked a few weeks ago.

Now, answering his request for a bit more resonator action, we’ve incorporated Chessie into our latest take on the old Carter Family tune, “Solid Gone.” Orville, this one’s for you, old friend!

Our Take on the Tune

As we noted in earlier article in the newsletter, “Solid Gone” has a long, LONG history in The Flood’s story.

It was, in fact, the first song that Dave Peyton suggested to Charlie when the two of them first started picking together at that New Year’s Eve party in 1973.

Since then, the tune has come back in every iteration of The Flood, and it has never sounded better than in this latest version, with Danny Cox and Sam St. Clair double-dipping on the solos and Randy Hamilton singing all that rock-solid harmony.

Click here for the the long, curious history on this song, as it weaves its way through the Carter Family and Charlie Poole, by way of Furry Lewis and Mississippi John Hurt, right up to folksinger Tom Rush. What a yarn!

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: