… [Floyd’s] father was the songleader in a Southern Baptist church in Watertown, Tennesse, a small town in the next county over from Nashville. Floyd grew up steeped in the cadences and melodies of country gospel. “It wasn’t a holy-roller type thing,” Floyd says, “but it was by no means bland or passionless. My father went at it with an almost rock-and-roll sensibility — driving the songs forward, his foot pounding time, his voice charged with feeling, making every word come alive. Music was joy, music was fun — but it was also life-and-death: heaven and hell hung in the balance, eternity and fate were always looming. With that kind of music, you play for keeps.”

…He drifted in and out of various jobs — car-washing, carpet-laying, warehouse work — while drifting in and out of the university in Knoxville, where he studied  Russian, religion and journalism. “I ended up working for small newspapers in Tennessee and Mississippi, covering everything: murder trials, county fairs, shootings, house fires, car wrecks, politics and dirty pool, police raids….Eventually he ended up up in Russia, working for an English-language paper there, The Moscow Times, during the heyday of the Yeltsin years. This turned out to be, in a convoluted way, the turning point on his path back to music. “I met an English girl there. She went off to Paris, I went back to Tennessee. Eventually we got married and settled in England.”

 It was there that Floyd met world traveller Nick Kulukundis. “Nick’s a sonic sender, a visionary of sound. He’s been making music for decades, every kind of music. He’s been on the charts, off-the-wall, underground. He’s the one who made this happen. I played him some of the songs I’d been writing for the desk drawer all through the years, and he saw something in them. He’s got a roomful of studio gear in his farmhouse in the English countryside, so I went down there and we worked up these songs.”

With his arrangements and multi-instrumental work, Kulukundis “took the dry bones and made them dance,” Floyd says. “He comes at it from an absolutely unique perspective.  Everything I write comes ultimately out of American traditional music. I’m rooted in it, and that’s good, but you can get locked into it too. Nick brings a whole other world — many worlds — into the mix, opens it up, keeps it alive.”

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