BEST BETS: Susquehanna Floods to help Blue Earl celebrate anniversary

Members of The Susquehanna Floods include, from left, Brett Pearson (bass/vocals), Trevor Biggers (rhythm guitar/vocals), Zach Crouch (lead guitar/vocals) and Eric Picard (drums). They are joined by Jared Obstfeld (saxophone/vocals) and Kevin Marshall (keyboards/vocals). The Maryland-based roots rock band will headline Blue Earl Brewing’s third anniversary party Saturday in Smyrna. (Submitted photo by Dan Williams)

For the Perryville, Maryland-based Susquehanna Floods, the First State has been first rate.

“Delaware has been super kind to us,” said lead singer and guitarist Trevor Biggers. “It’s like having a friendly neighbor.”

In Delaware just last week at the History, Heritage and Hops festival in Dover, the Cecil County Americana roots band has played up and down the state to great acclaim. Its next stop is Blue Earl Brewing’s Third Anniversary Party in Smyrna on Saturday.

The Susquehanna Floods, named after the 1970s near-flooding of the Susquehanna River between the two Maryland towns of Havre de Grace, hometown of lead guitarist Zach Crouch, and Perryville, birthplace of bass player Brett Pearson and Mr. Biggers, are a six-piece group inspired by classic roots rock, Americana, country and blues. Their harmonies and rock-driven melodies have attracted a following since they started playing mostly original music in 2016.

Before going the original route, The Susquehanna Floods were a cover band, as Mr. Biggers puts it, “playing the same 60 songs for four hours a night, indulging in someone else’s art.”

“We definitely had fun and made good money just being a cover band,” he said. “But there came a time when we wanted to find a dedicated space to practice and really hone our craft.”

That meant parting ways with their drummer and finding a new one in Eric Picard of Middletown, who is a good bit older than the rest of the guys.

“We actually found him on Craigslist. We jammed with him one night and at the end of the night, he said ‘See you next Thursday.’ We knew he was the right guy for what we wanted to do,” Mr. Biggers said.

They started off with two original songs, one they still play in “Muddy Water” and wrote feverishly for a while after that to get enough songs to play out.

“With every practice, we brought a new song. We never told (Mr. Picard) until a long time later that we had just written them a few days before. He thought they were songs we had in our holster for years,” Mr. Biggers said.

“But that’s where the evolution of what I call the bedroom song started where I would be sitting on the edge of my bed noodling around and bring it to those guys. Whatever I am listening to at the time inspires me. They write their own stuff as well. But once we start playing, it really falls into place and sometimes changes completely until it becomes the essence of a Floods song.

“It’s definitely a group effort.”

Going to all originals wasn’t an easy transition.

“We definitely lost some gigs but we were kind of OK with not hitting the normal places. Wilmington was super kind to us. We found an original music scene with so many talented groups and individuals who we never would have met otherwise,” Mr. Biggers said.

Not long after switching formats, Wilmington gave the group its biggest boost and a sign that things were going to work out just fine as The Susquehanna Floods won the 10th annual Musikarmageddon regional battle of the bands in October of 2016.

The group beat out Newark’s TreeWalker, Dover’s Hoochi Coochi and Wilmington’s Arden Kind.

“We were competing against very familiar bands, especially TreeWalker. (Lead singer) Kirby (Moore) took us under his wing and told us to keep writing at one point, that we were really good,” Mr. Biggers said.

“I remember standing at the side watching Hoochi Coochi and was just captivated by their performance. A photographer and a good friend of ours Dan Williams put his hands on my shoulders and said ‘You got this.’ It was just then that Danielle (Johnson) hopped off the stage and had the crowd eating out of her hand.

“I just kind of blew him off and said ‘I appreciate that.’ But then when we won, it made all of those long nights, scratching our heads and practicing and trying to think of a name for the band worth it. It was nice validation that people actually enjoy the music and solidified the love that Delaware has for us. And the love keeps growing.”

In April, The Susquehanna Floods came out with its first EP called “Vol. 1.” It’s the first of a planned series. They had the release party at the Deer Park Tavern in Newark.

“The turnout was beyond amazing,” Mr. Biggers said.

“It was cool to see people who had seen one show or a couple here and there and then to see them at the front of the crowd grooving to the whole thing.

“At the end of the night, our (merchandise) guy said here’s how many T-shirts you sold. Here’s how many CDs you sold. Here’s how many you have left. I just thought ‘I guess people actually like us.’ It was crazy.”

Influenced by bands such as The Eagles, Creedence Clearwater Revival and Nathaniel Rateliff and The Night Sweats, the band’s first EP is a mix of different styles.

“We didn’t want to get pigeonholed into one style of songs. So this first one we just were influenced to play the kind of stuff we felt like playing at the time,” Mr. Biggers said.

For the next couple of EPs, fans should expect a fuller sound with the addition of saxophone player and percussionist Jared Obstfeld and keyboard player Kevin Marshall.

“I’ve always dreamed of having a Blues Brothers-type sound with a horn section and backup singers,” Mr. Biggers said.

“I just want to shoot for the stars.”

For Saturday’s Blue Earl anniversary party, they will be joined by Wilmington bluegrass/folk band Edgewater Avenue and the indie folk group Earth Radio.

The grounds of the brewery at 210 Artisan Drive in Smyrna will feature an outside biergarden and food by Delicious Craving and Ole Tapas Lounge Food Truck and Delivery.

Blue Earl will also unveil its newest beer, Clockwork Orange, a fresh orange juice pale ale.

The event, which goes from noon to 9 p.m., has free admission.

Rembrandt exhibit

On Saturday, the Biggs Museum for American Art will open a special exhibition of Rembrandt’s etchings in conjunction with its sold-out 25th anniversary gala.

“Few exhibitions can compare to the Dutch master, Rembrandt. We are thrilled to coincide the opening of his work to launch our silver anniversary Saturday, said Biggs executive director Charles Guerin.

“The museum’s forward momentum, built over a quarter century, rests at the heart of our theme ‘sharing art with Delaware.’ For most art lovers on the Delmarva Peninsula, Rembrandt is a once-in-a lifetime opportunity. Touring it during our Silver Gala celebration adds enormous luster, and benefits a great cause.”

Entitled “Rembrandt Etchings: States, Fakes and Restrikes,” it will showcase a traveling exhibit of 40 Rembrandt etchings from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, joined by Rembrandt’s etchings from University of Arizona Museum of Art.

It is one of many exhibitions scheduled at the Biggs Museum to celebrate its 25th anniversary year.

Through July 8, the exhibit explores the question how can one be sure that a Rembrandt is truly or wholly created by the man himself.

The Biggs’ exhibit showcases works that examine the problem of authenticating Rembrandt’s etchings. The exhibition includes pulls from the artist’s lifetime and restrike prints and copies from the 17th to 20th centuries. This exhibition will be accompanied by a variety of programming which can be found at www.BiggsMuseum.org.

‘The Frog Prince’

Second Street Players Children’s Theater celebrates the 10th season with “The Frog Prince” today through Saturday.

Curtain time for Friday and Saturday are 7 p.m. and Sunday is 2 p.m. All performances will be held at the Riverfront Theater, 2 S. Walnut St., Milford.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. Friday night is a special Pay What You Can Night. Before Sunday’s performance there will be a Mother’s Day Tea Party. All tickets can be purchased at the door.

In the play, Princess Luana plays with her golden ball near a well in the deep forest. There she meets the Hag, whose hand is stuck in a tree. Although she tries, Luana is unable to help her. Pantera, a wounded, adolescent panther, runs in, begging for her mother’s (the Hag’s) help. Prince Erik has wounded her and pursues her.

After the prince threatens to throw Luana down the well if she doesn’t tell him which way Pantera ran, Luana points to the Hag. Erik attempts to bargain with her, but he refuses to help her or to stop pursuing the magical Pantera. The Hag pulls her own hand from the tree, drops her outer robe revealing a much younger witch, and decides Erik’s fate.

She turns him into a frog and casts him down the well saying the only way he could become a man again is by successfully courting Princess Luana.

Directors sought

The Possum Point Players seek directors for their 2019 Main Stage Season.

The shows, subject to change, are: “Arsenic and Old Lace,” late January; “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying,” spring; “Dixie Swim Club,” summer; and “Sleuth,” late summer.

The PPP holiday show (done in early December.) will be an original revue selected from submissions by potential directors. These directors will submit at least a working title and an outline of their proposal to include, but not be limited to: theme and brief outline, cast size, music to be included either specifics or examples, set design idea or plan and any other “special” requirements their show might have.

Anyone wishing to be considered for directing should contact Jim Hartzell, for applications and/or further information. He can be reached at jlhart8@mchsi.com or (302) 856-6166.

There are two application forms; one for those who have directed at PPP before, and one for those who have not. Applications may be obtained from Mr. Hartzell or by emailing office@possumpointplayers.org, calling (302) 856-3460 or visiting www.possumpointplayers.org.

Now Showing

New this weekend in theaters is the Melissa McCarthy comedy “Life of the Party” and the thriller “Breaking In.”

On DVD and download starting Tuesday is “Black Panther” and “Samson.”

Reach features editor Craig Horleman at chorl@newszap.com

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