Not even a huge flood can stand in the way of old-time music
"Twilight on the Prairies of North Dakota," the sixth album cut by the J - M - B Band of Minot, is being released just in time for the Norsk Hostfest.
Jerry Schlag, band leader and accordionist, noted both he and Dave Roise of Minot, who recorded the disc, lost their homes in the Minot flood.
"My wife Laurel and I worked till 4 a.m., lmoving out," Sch;ag said, "but with water 6 inches from our main floor ceiling, I still lost two accordions and a lot of musical stuff."
Fortunately, the other two thirds of JMB, Myron Dammen and Bud Witty, stayed dry but the flood made production a nightmre.
"We started recording in January, but it was April before Bud, Myron and I could really get together," Schlag said. "We recorded April 29. Dave Roise also farms near Sherwood, another complication for the year. The record was mixed just before the first flood evacuation. Between evacuations we put the finishing touches on, and we got it to Nashville and back."
Even the cover photo was a challenge. Dammen's stepdaughter, Linda Olson, superimposed a picture of the trio over a colorful prairie photo she had taken.
"All six of our CDs have North Dakota in the title," Schlag said, "It was important to have that again."
He said 23 favorite songs are crammed onto the disc, for sale at Homesteader Restaurant and Home Sweet Home. It will be sold at Hostfest where the J- M- B band will perform.
"This disc has some special stuff," Schlag said, "including Dave's vocals on 'Lamplighting Time in the Valley' and 'Life's a Railway to Heaven.'" Schlag also sings his favorite, "Do You Remember Those Days?" and he and Roise team up on vocals for "Happy Wanderer."
Other tunes range from "Blue Skirt Waltz" and "San Antonio Rose" to"Johan Pa Snippen Schottische" and "Red Wing Polka."
"We play two or three gigs a month, play at the New Town casino and other places besides Hostfest," Schlag said.
"Dammen, who is an irreplaceable guitar player is 82 and Bud, our spectacular bass player is 80, so it's harder to get together," Schlag said. "But we all know music is better than taking pills for old age, so this is medicine for us and our fans."