Our first encounter with Mike Gaumer was just about a year ago in Philadelphia. The band Midnight Flyer had been chosen to open the “Philly Bluegrass Revival” one-day festival event, and its guitar player had a scheduling conflict. Mike, a former Philly kid who now lives in Baltimore, filled in and blew us away with his picking. The fact that he did it while holding the pick in a broken hand made it even more admirable.
Since then we have watched from a distance as his own project, Old Town Flood, began to jell. Back in January the band released a 3-song demo EP and began playing a few gigs. Now they are set to release their first full length album, with more dates on the schedule, including a very special New Year’s Eve slot opening for The Seldom Scene at the legendary Birchmere in Alexandria, Va.
You might recognize some of the other members of the band. Typically when musicians talk about their day jobs, they mean a non-musical occupation. But for Haley Stiltner (banjo), Henry Johns (dobro), and Danny Stewart (bass), “day job” refers to playing with the U.S. Navy’s fine bluegrass outfit, Country Current. Jack Dunlap, who is not in the Navy, handles the mandolin duties for Old Town Flood.
The new album — “The Roses” — drops Thursday. The band was kind enough to allow us to premiere this fine Jay Strausser Visuals produced video of the second single from the new LP, “I’ll Be Gone.” Mike calls it “a love ‘em and leave ‘em song that is upbeat and country.” We just call it damned fine bluegrass.
To learn more about Old Town Flood, to check their tour schedule, or pick up some merch, be sure to visit the band’s web site at http://www.oldtownflood.com.