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
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
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
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
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
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