May-June, 2005

 

June 24-25th--Numeier's Rib Room--Fort Smith, Arkansas--we have often raved about how Bill serves up the best barbeque on either side of the Mississippi.  Well...the only way to beat eating at the Rib Room is to eat there twice.  We always have a good crowd there and despite the heat, this weekend was great.  We saw a lot of familiar faces and some new ones, too.  I must have drank 30 bottles of water just to stay hydrated, but as long as I had Rib Room barbeque in me...all was good.

 

June 19th--Oreo Blue with the Doobie Brothers @ the AMP--Fayetteville, Arkansas--What a treat.  We were invited by the folks at the AMP along with the help of our own bandleader, Brian Crowne, to perform at this Father's Day event at the new concert venue near the NWA Mall.  We went on at around 6:45pm as the warm summer sun was setting.  The crowd was still filing into the 2500 seat venue as we kicked things off.  We had a great opening set and I personally feel as if we made a few new fans in our own hometown.  The Doobie Brothers crew enjoyed our set as they were dancing along backstage.  Afterwards, we had a nice visit with some of the legendary group.  I had a great chat with drummers Big Mike and Ed Toth (formerly of Vertical Horizon) and bassist, Skylark.  They were very complimentary of our set and wished us the best.  The Doobie Brothers went on at about 8pm and rocked through decades of hits.  The Arkansas crowd gave them all they could to make them feel welcome.  Kudos to the sound engineers who were extremely cordial and complimentary of our music.  Neat stuff.

 

Photos by Billy Sandell from Texas

 

June 18th--Private Party--Neosho, Missouri--A number of our fans and friends held a party in the Neosho area and invited us and our good friend, Chris Cameron, to come perform.  The food was excellent and it was a real treat listening to Chris and his band open our show.  Consummate professionals and great songs.  Keep your ears open for Chris by keeping tabs at www.chriscameronband.net

 

Chris Cameron

David McKnight

Tim Martin

The Chris Cameron Band

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

 

June 4th--Sunfest w/Monte Montgomery--Bartlesville, Oklahoma--Ray-Ray loves Sunfest.  That's my nephew Ray.  Unfortunately, Ray couldn't make the trip this year.  But probably all the better.  The show was running a little behind.  There were a couple of really nice bands that went on before us to open the show.  The Retro Rockets   http://www.bographix.com/retrorock/ and the Usual Suspects.  The Retro Rockets had a great Beatlesque sound and the Usual Suspects mixed some nice classic rock in with some dandy front vocals.  As the show went on about an hour behind, it was just enough time for us to get all of our gear set up and the rains to set in.  It absolutely poured on us.  We got four songs in before we had to call it quits.  Monte never had a chance to go on. 

 

June 3rd--Ernie's Bikes and Blues Rally--Grove, Oklahoma--Ernie is a really nice guy and throws a great party.  In a quaint little turnoff heading into Grove, OK from SW Missouri, there is a little convenience store.  Right next to it is a couple-acre fenced plot with a family of buffalo.  If you have been by there, you know the place.  There is also a caboose there.  It all seems like it might be out of a Lewis Carroll novel, but it was a nice party.  The weather held out and the folks enjoyed themselves.

 

May 28th--Memorial Day Blues Blowout--Oreo Blue, the Cate Brothers, and Smokin' Joe Kubek with Benois King--George's Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--This was set up as the same sort of format as our Arkmo show with the Nace Brothers, but with their schedule, we substituted Kubek in for Memorial Day.  I personally like the Nace Brothers much better.  We went on first and according to loyal fans, we had a great set to start things off.  The rest of the night sort of wained in the garden after that.  Normally, we would have a big jam at the end, but with this format, it was not meant to be.  However, inside, there was a semi-private party going on with a reunion of one of Fayetteville's former stalwart bands, BE.  This band made up of three Summerlin (Mark, Paul, Tally) brothers and Duke Boyne on drums had gotten extremely close to "making it" about 10 years ago.  Always touted as one of the most talented groups around, they had (and still have) scintillating harmonies and challenging arrangements. They have produced a couple of records since then, but Arkansas wished they could still claim them as an in tact entity. They opened their own show with a farce of a band called Groove Newton.  What a riot.  They jammed through some hilarious parodies of dance songs and TV themes while all along Tally Sumerlin danced about doing things I can't write about.  Man...too bad these guys are not still together. 

 

May 27th--Riverfest Arkansas w/BB King--Little Rock, Arkansas--We have performed at Riverfest before.  We knew what to expect.  We expected rain and we expected the monitor guy to disappear.  Both of those things happened.  Nonetheless, we had a great set going on before BB King despite the rain and the lack of a monitor mix.  Our great friends, Suzie and Jim came along (in Suzie's new Maserati) as well as Bob and Sara, Day and Payton.  It was Sara's birthday and we all stayed at the Peabody and had a nice dinner with the group and their supper club friends between our set and BB King.  After dinner, a few of us strolled back down to the amphitheatre to see the King.  He is a consummate performer still at age 79.  Great band and great show. 

 

Stephen with Mets/Royals catcher Ed Hearn and his World Series Ring from the 1986 Mets

May 19-21st--Cheeseburger in Paradise--Kansas City, Kansas--Originally, Brian and Gary were going to play the duo on Thursday, but my company (MCI) was sending me to KC anyway to a Royals game on Thursday afternoon.  I talked Rod into coming along and we were Oreo Blue all three nights.  Our great friend, David Nace, is the booking agent for CIP and he said, "the room is great, but the stage is kinda small."  Man...he wasn't kidding.  I think it was about 12' X 12' if that.  Oh well...the food was awesome at CIP and the staff is great as well.  Two key indicators of a great venue.  We had great shows all three nights and made some new fans.  I would personally like to thank some of my MCI colleagues for rolling out each night.  My buddy from OKC got to experience the "drunk chair" after nearly knocking Brian's teeth out with a microphone, but it was all good.  Having three days to hang with the band was good, too.  It had been quite a while since the band stayed over at a venue for more than one night.  We trapsed around the city looking for things to do.  We toured the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Jazz Museum, Union Pacific Center, Cabellas, and the National World War I Museum.  Then we hit all the music stores we could find.  On Thursday, I got to hang and visit with Ed Hearn.  Ed was a catcher with the 1986 World Champion Mets and spent a number of years with the Royals.  Ed is now a highly touted speaker who draws on a number of his life experiences. (www.edhearn.com). We look forward to going back to KC and CiP.  Good stuff...

Oreo Blue in Kansas City

Photo by Ben Harrison

May 14th--Gearheads Grill--Neosho, Missouri--Another unique night at the Gearheads.  Funny how such a small venue can bring out the best in Oreo Blue.  For those of you within driving range, you should come see the band at Gearheads...it is much different than our normal venues and you will be guaranteed a great show of a different kind.

May 7th--TJ Scarlett/Amanda Adams Wedding--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Normally, I don't write reports on wedding receptions as they are generally private matters.  However, our friends TJ and Amanda tied the knot and rolled out a great party.  I think we ended up playing for 6 hours...that's a long time regardless of the event.  But it was fun.  We had Dave Snell, Mike Nichols, Sterling Tucker, Amanda, and TJ sitting in throughout the night.  My stupid self didn't gorge on the little sandwiches served at the reception, so I was starving.  Way back at 5:00 that evening, we ran into Bob Yazzetti who promised we could order one of his famous pizzas that he has been serving at George's Majestic on the weekends.  Kind of figured it would be about 9:30, but it ended up being at about 12:30 in the morning.  But Bob stuck around and that pizza was the best I have ever had...  Thanks Bob and Sara.

May 6th--Goodson's Downtown--Fort Smith, Arkansas--As the warm season gains on us, it is time for the outdoor show season.  Goodson's has a large patio and stage right on Garrison Avenue in historic downtown Fort Smith.  The food is good and so are the people.  Stop by anytime and help them support live music in the River Valley.

May 5th--Georges Majestic Lounge w/ Anthony Gomes--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Cinco de Mayo on Dickson Street and we were just going to play a quick opening set.  Anthony Gomes is a good performer, but normally his show is the same each time you see him.  This night, though, he had a different keyboard player and drummer and they really changed thing up.  I think for the better. 

Legendary TOP Horns

Larry Braggs...the best front man in the world

Francis Rocco Prestia...Legend

David Garibaldi...Legend

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

May 1st--George's Majestic Lounge--TOWER OF POWER--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Sunday night and Tower of Power is in Fayetteville, Arkansas.  Historic event.  Massive coolness.  Unbelievable.  Tower of Power may be by far the favorite band of Brian and me.  This band has been performing soul music for 37 years and still sets the standard for working hard on stage, absolute precision, unpretentious funk, emotional highs and lows, and just delivering the best show I have ever seen...ever.  If you missed this show, shame on you forever.  Wow.

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

 

 

Newsletter Index Page