July 27th--Gully Park, Fayetteville, Arkansas. Well, we
completed the third and final leg of our Concert in the Park Series (or
the Gazebo Tour 2000 as it has affectionately become known) at
the Gully Park in Fayetteville. Estimates place the crowd at
around 1500 or so on a beautiful July evening. The show went well
as we always enjoy performing for folks who don't like the stuffy, smoky
nightclub scene. Most importantly, we get to perform for kids of
all ages (like my own). There is little satisfaction greater than
watching a child learn to get a groove on for the first time. That
quirky, jerky kid dance can bring a smile to any face. Thanks to
Alan and J.T. for the sound and to the Smoothie King guy for the treats
and to the Eureka Pizza guy for, well...the pizza. Check out the
Photos pages for pictures of the
Some guitar players just get another pick when they
July 21-22nd--Rooster's, Ft. Smith, Arkansas--In
what used to be the premier Oreo Blue venue, Rooster's has undergone
many changes over the last two years...some positive and some
negative. The latest change seems to be a positive one. They
have moved the stage to the rear of the club on what used to be the
balcony which gives the bands tons more room than ever before.
This along with a dedicated sound engineer in Roger and a quality house
sound system, it is only a matter of time before Rooster's returns to
prominence. The folks in Ft. Smith have always supported the
Blues. In order to attract quality blues bands, you have to have
quality blues venues. Rooster's seems to be back on the right
Do you like my shirt? I do...
Gary and Brian lockin' up on a groove
Rockin' Rod Dean Williamson holding it all together
July 13th--Siloam Springs Concert in the Park-- It was a
beautiful evening in Western Arkansas for a nice show from the gazebo on
Sager Creek in Siloam Springs. We had a very polite crowd with the
usual requests of classics and Oreo Blue originals. Thanks to
Teresa and Joe for the hospitality, the pizza, and the hand
towels. We hope to see you next year...
Gary reaching down into his soul for the right tone
July 7-8--Kansas City, MO--Joplin, MO--A while back, I read an
article in Modern Drummer
that tried to explain that the detrimental eating habits of road warrior
musicians could lead to poor health later in life. The article was
quite convincing, but I, and the rest of the band always seem to fall
victim to the allure of wonderful cuisine at venues where we
perform. Take Kansas City for example. BB's Lawnside BBQ is
a building full of character (and characters I might add). If
there is a place in the world that could be a photo-history museum for
the blues, it would be this place with every mug on the wall from Robert
Johnson to Stevie Ray Vaughan. And then there is that food...I was
still full from Oklahoma City and now I was forced to eat all
that BBQ. Then we drive down to Joplin's By Pass and once
again, the guys forced me to eat the Chicken 'n Friends
dinner. If you are in Joplin, you HAVE to go to the By Pass
and have some food. My very first show with Oreo Blue was at this
place and that day was also my first taste of the Chicken 'n
Friends. I know this entry is getting long and you have to get
back to work or play, but the Chicken 'n Friends is a scrumptious
grilled chicken sandwich topped with baked ham, cheddar cheese and a
zesty BBQ sauce served with a loaded baked potato and you are set.
See...how am I supposed to resist this food? (I will try and talk
about music next time)
July 6th--Home--What a wonderful time we had in Oklahoma
City. We met some wonderful people and certainly enjoyed a
fantastic fireworks show or two. And the food...ughhh!!! (I am
still full) Visiting the Murrah Federal Building Memorial was
certainly more touching in person than I would have imagined.
Brian and I would like to thank Martin for showing and shuttling us
around. We have already been receiving e-mail from some new fans
about the show. Here is one response:
"Well, my husband and I made it to the festivities on the
evening of the 4th and thoroughly enjoyed the Oreo Blue band.
Thank you so much for playing Bobby
McGee and Knockin
on Heavens Door. It
was grand. You know
you really should let Gary play his guitar now and then. Ha!
He was awesome beyond awesome.
You could see it in his face what a good time he was having. The
whole band was fantastic. You
could tell the audience liked the music just by the tapping of the feet
and the smiles on the faces. Well,
I won’t keep you—just wanted to say thanks for those 2 tunes and
keep up the good work. Oreo Blue deserves everything good that may come your way.
Take Care!" --Robin Wilmot, Oklahoma City, OK
July 4th--Oklahoma City, OK--Oreo Blue wishes everyone a happy
and safe Independence Day. We will be taking the stage at
Bricktown this evening and will be looking forward to a fantastic
fireworks show and great music (and hopefully a ceremonial hot dog with
lots of mustard) in this Patriotic city that has been so touched by
tragedy. For those of you whom have not seen the Murrah Federal
Building Memorial, stop by and pay a visit, say a few prayers and try to
remember why we live in this land of freedom and recognize that freedom
isn't free. Freedom must be protected by our talented military and
police forces so that we can enjoy a night out watching our favorite
blues bands uninhibited.
July 3rd--Oreo Blue family member, Chris Payton sent me this
photo below...there are MANY captions that can be attached to this, but
I would rather maintain my dignity and reference this photo by saying
that, "If man's best friend is a dog, then in return, Bo can have
no better friend than Gary."
June 24th--West Plains Blues Festival--Missouri. For the first
annual festival here, it was a nice showing for some generous blues
fans. (Save for the beer vendor) Sharing the stage with Sun Studios
legend, Billy Lee Riley, Blues great Gerry Moss, and local favorite,
the Uncivil Servants, Oreo Blue defied the tremendous heat to put on
a rocking performance that drew rave reviews. Kudos to the promoters
on their first try at a blues festival and we hope that next year is
bigger and better (and with air conditioning!)
The Boys at Cajuns
June 22nd--In the beginning, Oreo Blue was fortunate
to include a uniquely talented performer in Billy Rigsby. Billy's
stylistic and smooth vocal was instantly recognizable and always projected
the emotion behind each song. His guitar work is reminiscent of some
of the R&B greats of the past that propelled many a dancing shoe.
You can hear a bit of Billy on the track, What You Think About Me
from the 1996 Oreo Blue release, Live By Demand.
Oreo Blue considers each of its members, past and present a valuable
member of a creative family and strives to maintain personal and musical
relationships without regard to distances (Billy resides in Florida).
Oreo Blue would like to congratulate Billy on his successes with his
musical career and new CD, Neo-Soul. For more information
on Billy and to listen to a few samples of his music, you can find him
June 9-10--Cajuns Wharf-Little Rock--Oreo Blue was celebrating
the Cajun drummers birthday this weekend as the band played the aptly
named Cajun's for the first time since its reopening under that name.
We met some great folks at Cajuns and hopefully made a few new fans.
The food was more than excellent (Brian paid...thanks, Brian) and we
were pleased to have Hollywood starlet, Joey Lauren Adams (Big Daddy,
Chasing Amy, and a Cool Dry Place) in attendance and stay for the how.
She seemed to enjoy the show a great deal as we played a cover from
her favorite artist, Elvis Presley. Below is a photo of Ms. Adams and
a photo of the boys in the band with the starlet, trusty road manager,
Ben Harrison and a new fan.