Lance Canales & The Flood are a roots-blues influenced Americana trio from California’s breadbasket, where Canales lived the life that so many songs have been written about since the birth of roots music – hard labor, one room shacks, and taunting ghosts whispering of a better life. Canales’ guttural vocals combine a hard-edged storytelling approach beneath a stripped down, foot-stomping, acoustic instrumentation. The Flood are made up of stand up bassist, Stan "Cadillac" Lum and drummer Eric "The Kid" Encinas. Encinas keeps the rhythm along with the crowd, as Canales, described on the blog “Bound for Glory” by music Journalist Robin Wheeler, “plays hollow-bodied, anger-fueled blues guitar. He growls and stomps with his feet clad in the heavy work boots of his grandfather”
Canales garnered a reputation as a child of being able to train wild horses and for years was forced to take his lumps in order to help his family make ends meet. It wasn’t until he confiscated an older sister’s beat up guitar and combined it with vocals he’d discovered in his mother’s fire and brimstone church that he was able to slowly carve a way out of the hard toil life with his music.
While Canales may have left that life behind, that life has never left his music. The band's 2012 released album “Elixir” is no exception. In the song “Digging” a desperate man enters a church house where he finds a, “…preacher screaming fire and hell. People screaming, running, crying, but still I felt no soul.” In 2015, Canales released the highly acclaimed album "The Blessing and The Curse" with Music Road Records, launching the band into festivals throughout the US and Europe.
In February 2013, Canales released the single “Plane Crash at Los Gatos: Deportee” (a poem) written by Woody Guthrie in 1948 and labeled by Saint Louis Magazine as a, “gut-wrenchingly beautiful rendition.” The song has been covered by many stellar musicians, but what makes Canales' version so important is that it reveals the names of the Mexican nationals dubbed as “deportees” in the original news article. After first performing the song with author/poet Tim Z Hernandez reading the names at the 2012 Steinbeck Festival, Canales decided he wanted to do more for the “deportees” whom are were buried in a mass, unmarked grave in Fresno, California, where Canales now resides.
In August of 2013, Lance Canales in collaboration with Nora Guthrie, The Guthrie Foundation, and Tim Z Hernandez, put on a concert to raise $10,000 for a historic memorial headstone for the “deportees.” Canales initiated the idea and fundraising efforts to place a memorial headstone with the names of the plane crash victims. On September 2nd 2013, the unveiling of the monument was attended by hundreds of people from all over the country. An L.A. times reporter captured a shot of Canales as he knelt down in a moment of clear emotional triumph next to the grandson of one of the plane crash victims.
The after-effects of his work on the monument continue. In 2016, Canales delivered a TEDx Talk about the experience, garnering international attention. In 2019, Canales was featured in BBC's documentary about Woody Guthrie, "Three Chords and The Truth." Also this year, filmmaker David Kennedy's short, The Blessing and the Curse, has been a film festival sensation, garnering selections and awards at Pinnacle, The Los Angeles International Film Festival, Dumbo, Chain Film Festival, Albuquerque Film Festival, Queen Palm International Film Festival, California Independent Film Festival, and the list grows on.