August 20th--Home--Fayetteville, AR--YIKES!! It happened again!
I got busy and didn't get the newsletter updated after a string of
shows. Sorry! Well...August has continued to be the hottest
month that I can recall. Maybe the hottest ever. It seems
like every day has topped the century mark in Northwest Arkansas and
positively in the River Valley. The summer is always packed with
outdoor shows and the heat can often drive away crowds.
Fortunately, Oreo Blue has such a loyal fan base that they are willing
to brave unbearable conditions to come out and dance with us.
Back on August 5th, we ventured up to Parsons to one of our
favorite venues, the Kitchen Pass.
It still, after all these years, amazes me that such a small venue can
pack in such a lively and appreciative crowd. We used to jest that
it was because there is nothing else to do in Southeast Kansas, but we
have been assured that there is plenty to do up there...fly kites, drive
in straight lines, run stop signs, see Big Brutus, dodge tornadoes, etc.
But most importantly, eat at the KP and watch some great live music.
If you get there and stay late, you just might see Chris show off his
dance moves... Pump it up, Chris!
On the 6th, Neosho Bowl Annual Battle of the
Sexes. The women won this year's battle, so a hearty
congratulations go to all those gals. Brian retains his bowling
title for the third straight year. I think he bowled around 150 or
something. Gary made a great run to place second followed by the
rhythm section who "rounded out" the competition. By the way, I
suck at bowling just in case any of you feel like you need to shark
The Gully Park Summer Concert Series Finale
was on Thursday, August 10th. Northwest Arkansas in this
insurmountable heat has needed rain for weeks now. When we
play outdoor concerts, it's not a good time to snap the drought.
Well...it rained for about 45 minutes while we set things up and almost
by the Grace of God, it stopped just in time for us to start the show.
A miraculous sunset dropped over the hill and the fans came pouring out
of the tree lines and into the natural amphitheater field. The
rains didn't dampen their spirits nor their attendance. We had a
great crowd. Some photos at Gully Park...
On August 11th and 12th, the Trifecta cruised on down to
Hogs Pizza in Hot Springs. I
was not able to make the trip this time due to my hosting a charity
baseball tournament. But the boys said they had a great time and a
great crowd as usual. Jim Abel filled in the drum chair (thanks,
Jim) and Rod's son Blake made an appearance on bass for a few songs.
Word is..."he's a 'mother' on that bass!" Hopefully, I will get my
chance to jam with the young lad and fellow Police fan...
This past Saturday (August 19th), Oreo Blue took the stage at the
Riverfront Blues Festival in Fort Smith.
Yes...it was hot. 104 degrees in the shade when we went on.
We had a good set considering the conditions. I, personally, love
to get on the big stage and perform our original music.
Oftentimes, we are "relegated" to the nightclub circuit and end up
performing cover material for as many as five hours. That can be
draining...especially as busy as we are and as little time that we have
to rehearse new material. Either way, it is a privilege and an
honor to be able to perform for such great audiences. Despite the
heat, the blues festival crowd made a great appearance for our early
Afterwards, we made a short trek down the street to eat at the Rib Room.
My personal favorite all-time BBQ. Then the Trifecta cruised on
over to Ava's Village Pub for the
evening show. Everyone loves Gary Hutchison, but Fort Smith
really loves Gary Hutchison. Where else would the opening act
for the opening act at a festival have their lead guitarist be the only
photo featured in the regional paper?
SEE IT HERE Same goes for the crowds at these small
venues. We see a lot of familiar faces on the road and many come
to see Gary just to witness what he might do next. Yeah, the
shtick remains the same, but every night is fresh as the first time due
to a combination of Gary's charisma and the energy that boils on stage
August 4th--Landry's--Fort Smith, AR--I am not sure I have ever
had such a good blackened chicken pasta before tonight. Landry's
food is as good or better than billed. Tonight was an experiment
in bringing in a full band to the shotgun-style room. Gary and
John Magness performed as usual their duet from 7-9pm and Rod and I
joined Gary for the Trio show afterward. Being an experiment, the
crowd was low in numbers, but it was a beautiful crowd. Dancing
and cheering and asking for more. Not so sure about the guy in the
"jorts" though...need a few dancing lessons?
July 28-29th--Hogs Pizza--Hot Springs, AR--Jake and the crew are
cool at Hogs Pizza. The food is great and the wait staff is top
notch. Friday night was a little slow, but Saturday made up for
all that Friday lacked. There were a number of birthdays and a few
special guests on hand. Being a Trifecta show, it was rock and
roll all night. We even threw in a few new songs to keep things
fresh. Gary pulled out Never Been to Spain after it was requested
Friday night. Download the song on the laptop and presto!
With little or no time to rehearse this band, we have to grab songs on
the fly. I think this one was a keeper. We hope to add a few
more over the next few months to bring our repertoire to...um....like a
million songs? So it seems.
July 27th--Jose's Streetside--Fayetteville, AR--A cold front was
lingering just long enough to drop the temperature from 105 to about 95.
No worries, though, as the crowd was hopping throughout our set. I
think Neal ought to build a real dance floor in the garden as folks were
itching to dance all night. They made the best of the concrete
area in front of the band and were still asking for more music as we
loaded gear into the trailer. Jose's nights end early and it seems
like we are just getting warmed up, but the food is awesome and the
crowds are always great. We even had Joe Giles stop by and hang
with us for a bit....
July 21st--J. Michaels--Fort Smith, AR--Right in the middle of
our outdoor garden summer concert series, J. Michaels back patio was
undeniably steamy. The crowd was small and familiar, but made the
night worth all the sweat. Performing as the Oreo Blue Trio, Gary
doesn't hold back despite the size of the crowd. I think some new
fans were born tonight. I am particularly fond of the back patio's
July 20th--Partee Houston Nutt AAO Classic--Rogers, AR--Kicking
off Houston Nutt's Arkansas Athletes Outreach fundraiser, we were slated
to perform at the Embassy Suites in Rogers. Unfortunately, there
were lots of things to talk about and a rather lengthy auction ahead of
us. We did get to perform a few songs before they shut things
down, but I really hate it when we don't get to perform a full show.
It was for a great cause and hopefully we can get another shot next
July 14-15th--Numeir's Rib Room--Fort Smith, AR--Well noted as my
personal favorite BBBQ on either side of the Mississippi, the Rib Room
has that great outdoor garden atmosphere. This show started what
would eventually become one of the hottest summers on record in Arkansas
and the river valley generally logs ten degrees warmer than NWA.
The barkeeps and wait staff at the Rib Room are top notch. There
may be equals on our circuit, but there are none better. Our
personal favorite, Carla, takes great care of us on and off the clock.
Um...wait...that didn't sound right. I mean that Carla pays us
great attention both while we perform at the Rib Room and if we visit
there on our days off. You know what I meant...
July4th--Baum Stadium at the University of Arkansas--Fayetteville,
AR--We were invited to perform for the Red, White, and Boom!
Independence Day celebration at the finest collegiate baseball stadium
in the country. The show looked to be threatened by rain, but the
weather held and the night was beautiful for a concert at second base
and a great fireworks display over the center field fence. The
Cate Brothers opened up the show with Oreo Blue following. The
Arkansas Winds Symphony played the prelude to the fireworks. Photo
page will be up soon.
The drummer's biggest fan...