BLK ODYSSY Caught in Ida’s Severe New Jersey Flooding

Austin band launch fundraiser for lost instruments and gear

Austin act BLK ODYSSY, in the Northeast for a release show celebrating new album BLK VINTAGE, encountered the terrifying flash flooding from Hurricane Ida last night.

BLK ODYSSY's white van flooded in Newark, New Jersey. (Courtesy of BLK ODYSSY)

After leaving a rehearsal space in Newark, New Jersey, the group’s van began filling with water. They have since launched a GoFundMe to help cover lost equipment, which includes nearly all of the five-piece group’s instruments, electronics, and suitcases of clothing. “Help BLK ODYSSY recover from NJ flood crisis” works towards a $15,000 goal.

“We were leaving a rehearsal and heading to get some food – we hadn’t eaten all day since we got off the plane – and we were going to the hotel after,” explained bandleader/songwriter Sam Houston this afternoon.

“One wrong turn, and within 15 seconds the water was filling the van up to our knees. It was raining so hard that the water was rising rapidly, and we were panicking. By the time we got out, it was up to our stomachs, getting close to our chests. The water was above the hood of the car probably a minute after we got out.”

The group took shelter in a nearby apartment building and eventually had to move upstairs to avoid flooding on the first floor. They remained stuck in the hallway for some four hours before safely exiting. The van, a rental, was nearly empty this morning when the band returned to check it out.

“The latest death count here in New Jersey is 17, and it’s an immense blessing that we weren’t part of that,” said Houston. “No one was harmed, so we’re just happy about that. The damage can be replaced. The car was lost and all the equipment, but we’re still here.”

Speaking from his hotel room in Newark, BLK ODYSSY plans to dry out clothes, rent gear, and move forward with their BLK VINTAGE release show tonight at Brooklyn venue Elsewhere. Chronicle writer Thomas Fawcett recently lauded the August album in a cover story, calling it “the best local debut this side of Black Pumas.”

“This is such an important show for us that we’re scraping everything together to keep going,” said Houston. “We got a new car, and we’re going to Brooklyn soon to figure out how we’re going to play.”


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More BLK ODYSSY
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
Bigger Than Me: The Musical Journey of BLK ODYSSY
A child of funk who lost his brother to police brutality soundtracks a revolution on BLK VINTAGE

Thomas Fawcett, Aug. 13, 2021

More by Rachel Rascoe
Without COVID-19 Checks, Two Artists Cancel at Frank Erwin Center
Without COVID-19 Checks, Two Artists Cancel at Frank Erwin Center
After Michael Bublé dropout, Tame Impala relocates to COTA

Sept. 23, 2021

Faster Than Sound: The Fall Music We Always Talked About
Faster Than Sound: The Fall Music We Always Talked About
Music columnist returns to two major venues and a new one

Sept. 24, 2021

KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

BLK ODYSSY, Sam Houston, Hurricane Ida, BLK VINTAGE

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle