August 31st--Party in the
Mountains--Higgins, Oklahoma--The incessant rain just keeps on
trying to wash out our weekend. However, no amount of rain can
keep us from enjoying our time on stage. The folks with the
Eastern Oklahoma Bikers Association can throw a pretty cool party out in
the middle of nowhere. We hope things dry out for them next year,
because we certainly appreciate their enthusiasm for cheering in the
rain. Just imagine if it were dry...
August 30th--The Rib
Room--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--Thanks to JJ and the Giants for swapping
dates with us so that we could get one more night at the Rib Room before
the summer ended. It was well worth it as always. The Rib
Room has the best barbeque in the land. No kidding. I am
just glad it is an hour and a half from where I live or I would eat
Nuemeir's barbeque every day. The rain held off this time so that
we could get our show in. The crowd was awesome and attentive and
the band was on fire. Steve Lane and Chris Payton joined us again
tonight to spice up the fun. I was fortunate again to sit out a
few tunes while Steve thumped away on my kit. Gary's solo on The
Sky is Crying (in honor of the rainy weekend) was tremendous.
Gary has a way of making your lip snarl with his tone. His
rendition of Voodoo Child proves that Gary can keep bringing it
in a fresh way night after night. Brian took Heaven's Door to
a new place getting the crowd to stand and cheer. We closed out
the night with a stirring medley of Gary's version of Play that Funky
Music, that ended with Chris' Crazy Train. I am still
exhausted a day later...
August 29th--SPA City
Blues Society Pub Crawl Kickoff--Hot Springs, Arkansas--We zoomed
into town trying to stay ahead of the rain. Our show was outdoors
in the park near the historic Arlington Hotel. As hungry blues
listeners gathered on the lawn, we threw up our sound system and without
a moment to change clothes, started the power blues set. About an
hour into the set, the skies opened up and dumped a monsoon-like blanket
of water on the band. Troopers that we are, we played through the
downpour as long as our equipment could stand. Unfortunately, we
had to shut things down and get dry. We certainly appreciate the
great blues fans who stuck it out with us. We look forward to a
drier and longer stay next year.
August 22nd--OBS Blues in
the Natural State--George's Majestic--Fayetteville, Arkansas--What a
fun night of music. In its first installment, the OBS Blues in the
Natural State Festival came up a little short outside on the feature
stages, but things were hot and heavy inside the beer garden at Georges
where Oreo Blue hosted the festival jam. "Z" had the
system thumping as Dave Stiles and Jones Crusher began the night.
When Oreo Blue took the stage, things rose to new heights for the
evening. Sitting in with the band were OB alumni, Chris Payton and
drummer Steve Lane as well as the aforementioned Bryan Martin.
Later, a young newcomer, Kory Montgomery played some tasty blues on his
guitar. Chris Payton's cousin, blues singer Charlotte Taylor
showed that the family genes produce some of the hottest vocals
around. As the night progressed, soulful singer and guitarist from
the Tablerockers, Baby Jason, joined us on stage. This guy has
soul oozing from his veins. Finally, Alligator artist and one of
the best blues guitarists on the planet, Michael Burks joined Oreo Blue
to close out the show. Special happy birthday wishes to Judy Stone
and many thanks to the dozens of familiar faces who shared this night
with us. Too many to name here, but it is nice to see all the
friends, family, and performers that make it a point to stick around for
our shows and appreciate what we do.
August 16th--The Kitchen
Pass--Joplin, Missouri--One of the nice things about Oreo Blue is
that it is a family...not just a band. Throughout this newsletter,
you see former members of the band sitting in or filling in, like Don
Orell, Mike Lovelady, and Chris Payton. Oreo Blue's original
guitar player, Bryan Martin, has seen a lot of windshield time since
leaving the band a decade ago. Actually, he is a truck driver and literally
has been burning up the road. I must admit that I did not hear him
perform with the band those many years ago, but I am fortunate that the
family welcomes him on stage whenever he is in town. Bryan is a
tasteful guitarist with plenty of chops. He sat in for the entire
last set tonight and performed admirably. Too bad his hands have
gotten soft. If we can get him land-locked to Northwest Arkansas,
I am sure you will see more of Mr. Martin.
Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--It's nice to be back
home. I've said that before, but it's always true. It had
been a long day with the drive back from Ardmore and the quick set up
for happy hour. It was nice to have some familiar faces at the
club as well. Brian's sister, Cindy and her new husband, Robert,
Ben, Miles & Judy, D Hall, Ant, Carter, Z on the sound board,
Brandon, Day, Bryan, and a host of others. Just nice and
Hall--Ardmore, Oklahoma--When you are a kid and you first pick up an
instrument--guitar, bass, drums, saxophone, harp, piano--there are few
expectations. Mostly, you just want to make some noise with
it. Get people's attention and then try to organize the noise a
little. Eventually, you are making music. That's when it
hits you... People respond to the music you make. Whether it
is spiritual, emotional, or purely physical, the people respond.
As you perfect your instrument, you begin to dream that dream of being
on the big stage performing in front of thousands. Tonight, we
performed at the Heritage Hall on a pretty big stage in front of
two-thousand folks who came to see two bands that have lived the dream
and became legends--Kansas and Paul Rogers' Bad Company. This is
not our first time on a big stage, but it seems that each time we are
given the opportunity to do so, it helps us hearken back to those
childhood days when the dream was bigger than life itself.
Imagining being a household name. Imagining thousands of people
singing along to the songs you wrote. The dream is not dead.
We know that every time we step on the big stage and see those folks
cheer after every song. Kansas and Paul Rogers were amazing.
They performed all their classic hits. I sang every word to every
song that I knew by heart. Someday...
Birthday--Elkins, Arkansas--Happy birthday to Bob Teague, From Oreo
Blue. Bob has a great family and an absolutely beautiful view from
a beautiful home. It was great fun to perform for you all.
August 8th--Darwin &
Tiffany's after-wedding party @ The
Kitchen Pass --Parsons,
Kansas--The inimitable DJ Darwin and
his lovely bride, Tiffany, had just returned from Maui, Hawaii and their
honeymoon. So, why not have a party? DJ Darwin is cool and
he and his wife deserve to keep celebrating their union. Parsons
is always fun and this was, of course, no exception. Tonight, we
invited our former lead singer, Chris Payton, with us. You have
heard us rave about her awesome vocal prowess many times in this
newsletter, but Chris might have been above her game tonight. Stormy
Monday Blues rose to religion through the chords of Ms.
Payton. John Blair captured some great moments which can be seen
in the Image Gallery.
(Thanks, John) Congratulations to DJ Darwin and Tiffany...may your
best nights in public always be in the company of Oreo Blue.
August 5th--Phil and Tim's
Excellent Adventure @ the Rib Room--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--Phil and
Tim turned 50 and Oreo Blue was fortunate enough to help them launch
their next half-century tonight. Fun-loving guys with a mass of
friends can be the envy of every man. It is the way it should
be. They are doing it right and, of course, they have great taste
in music. It was Rod's turn to have the night off and local bass
journeyman, Tim Martin was kind enough to fill in. Tim did a
masterful job covering all the necessary grooves to keep the party
flowing. Not to slight the party, but the Rib Room food still has
this magical way of wishing I had worn a larger shirt.
August 1st--Rhythm &
Brews--Jackson, Mississippi--First of all our hard working drummer
and webmaster Stephen Boudreaux had to take the night off to deal with
some crucial day job emergency. We figured two nights in four
years that he's asked off, why not. Stepping up to the drum chair
for the night was our old friend and former Oreo drummer Mike Lovelady.
Mike has always been one of our favorite drummers and is always a pro
with this night being no exception. He did his homework and
stepped up to the plate and the groove was on. Mike has the
nickname "The Groove Machine" for a reason. The boy has
got some serious mojo behind the kit. It was great fun to visit
and play with an old friend. Also, getting to see Mike's lovely
bride Kelly and there children. ~ Now for the gig, Beth and the
crew at Rhythm & Brews rolled out the red carpet again for the band.
Many venues and managers should take a lesson from these folks on how to
treat the entertainment. Thank you for all the little things,
turning on our AC at the hotel, snacks and soft drinks in the rooms, a
deck of playing cards, the scented candle, and did we mention the
Kick*** BBQ for dinner and a late night snack. My goodness it was
by far the best smoked beef ribs this sax player has eaten. It's
always a pleasure to perform for the Oreo Blue faithful, and they were
out in uniform and in force. It seemed their were more people
wearing our colors than civilians that night, and we like it that way.
It's safe to say that we'll be looking forward to another return to
Rhythm & Brews this winter. Until then, thank you for making a
long trip so worth while and gratifying. --Brian
Crowne PS. Beth, thanks for
remembering our troops!
Even Dogs Love the new Hendrix
Lacy the Dog
July 27th--4th Annual
Bowling Party @ Edgewood Bowl-- Neosho, Missouri--Momentum dies when
overconfident infallibility meets its match. Thus, Brian retains
his bowling title again this year. The series is now at Stephen 2,
Brian 3. Having bowled a blistering 180, it appears that Oreo
Blue's own bowling shark is pulling away from the pack. Rumor has it
that the PBA is thinking about sponsoring the band's next project if
only the sax player will give up Monday nights to participate in the
tour. Thanks to the great folks at the Edgewood Bowl for having us
again this year for the "battle of the sexes".
Apparently, the women will never win that battle (according to
sources). I was bitter after last year's loss to Brian.
However, after witnessing him bowl a 180, it would be like being upset
at Michael Jordan for beating me in one-on-one, or at Lance Armstrong
for pedaling too fast, or at Roger Clemons for striking me out.
18th--Player's--Texarkana, Texas--Our return to Player's was highly
anticipated both in the local media and in our minds. As a matter
of fact, I believe that the crowd this night was at least twice
as large as our debut show. Many of our new fans were in
attendance as were a few other bands to see what the fuss was all
about. Post-show reports were overwhelmingly positive as many
exclaimed that it was an amazing show, or the best they'd ever seen, or
they were rendered breathless. An added feature for this show was
Marshall, Texas' Wes
Jeans who sat in for a few
adrenaline stoked numbers. Thanks to Wes and his gal-pal, Kristal,
for making the trip up. The whole gang is hip at Player's.
Check 'em out when you are in town.
Springs--This town has a notorious history. Crime bosses used
to traverse the streets of the Spa City, take in the baths, hear a
little music, drink a little spring water, and keep their profiles
low. Their buddies and partners in crime would get the tip they
were coming to town and roll out the red carpet for them. I like
to think sometimes that when we roll into town, we have a little
notorious celebrity of our own. Somehow, groups of people know we
are in town and roll out to join us. Some come from far away and
some are locals. We appreciate them all, of course. We have
no criminal intentions, but the history is fun to think about...
July 5th--Two Frogs
Grill--Ardmore, Oklahoma--*Please reference the dozens of other
entries in this newsletter for all of the accolades given to Two Frogs
for the amazing food, unparalleled hospitality, and the great
fans. For our Hendrix tribute DVD release party, we showed up
early to partake in a bit of voodoo steak and apple dumpling. And
it was a good thing, so we could let the food settle before hitting the
stage. Along for the ride was hired-gun sound engineer,
"Z", who made our performance so much more comfortable.
Some folks drove up north from Texas and west from Arkansas and south
from OKC to see the show. Oreo Blue cannot say how much we
appreciate those folks who endure the windshield time to see the
band. Miss Amy and her band from OKC dropped in for a bit.
Check them out when you are in their neighborhood. But
mostly...get to Two Frogs Grill today, tomorrow, or the next day, but
just get there. It's a cool vibe and great food. www.twofrogsgrill.com.
4th--The Greens--Fayetteville, Arkansas--This date was a late add to
the schedule so that we could help the cool folks at the Greens in
Fayetteville celebrate Independence Day. The primary condition for
performing was that we be able to share the day with our families.
Eat great barbeque, swelter in the heat, thank God for living in this
country, and watch the reflections of a fantastic fireworks show in my
children's eyes. I mean...these folks rolled out a 20 minute
barrage of fireworks that was a finale from start to finish. It
was nearly exhausting. Thanks to some motor-bikers that rode all
the way up from Ardmore, Oklahoma, to share in the fun. Thanks to
the Greens staff for hosting a great time, and thanks to our families
and friends for letting us boys celebrate the holiday the best way we
know how...by performing our music.