Rib Room--Fort Smith, AR--It's a shame that
we do this show only once a year. First of all, Nuemeir has the
best BBQ anywhere and the service is fantastic. We had thought
that there might be a chance of rain to run off any potential crowd, but
the skies held clear and the show went on. We were to feature our
former fearless leader, Brian Crowne, but the weather and other
obligations kept him from attending. The crowd was fantastic
despite their early hesitance. It was a packed house from start to
finish. Friendly faces and tons of new ones. For those that
were there, Sweet Home Alabama will never sound the same without our
added chorus chant... It's not really my favorite song, but
I digress. Gary was on fire from the get-go and virtually
compelled that crowd to get out of their seats. In the end, it was
a beautiful night and I wish for more of them like it.
Regarding the new CD...I will
stop talking about it until it is released. Cool? Dan has
the final run in his little doctor fingers and is poised to complete the
mastering. As soon as I get the master, it will be on order and
here in a couple of weeks. I am torn between anxiously excited and
nervously optimistic. We shall see, but will let you be the judge.
I am contemplating the CD title again... Originally, I thought it should
be called "Oreo Blue--The Trio". However, lately the word
"Reinvention" comes to mind when listening to the songs. These
songs are curiously different than Oreo Blue pens from the past.
But I can't quite put my finger on it. Oreo Blue was a very
distinct invention by Brian way back in 1991. It was invented
again a few times over the years when Chris Payton joined the band, and
then when Gary joined the band. With it now as a three-piece, it
seems that things have been reinvented once again but with a common
history. The problem is...one is never satisfied with the product
even when it is "finished." There's never enough time...
June 22--Home--June is
a busy month for us, so here we go...Great Weekend with Very Little
I am doing this backwards this time. Starting the blog at
myspace.com/oreobluemusic and not at oreoblue.com. I
guess I am getting comfortable with that...
This past Friday, we converged on Muskogee, Oklahoma, for the
Okie Jam (www.okiejam.com). This was
a great event to benefit MONARCH Oklahoma which is at the heart of our
lovely hostess, Tracy Martin. Tracy is a tireless worker and we would
like to applaud her efforts to make the festival a success and for her
work for MONARCH. Those hip cat buddies of ours, The Nace Brothers, were
there and sounded perfectly perfect. There was a great Buddy Holly
impersonator from Chicago that we saw. He also announced our band's
presence in the impersonation of Al Pacino. Monte Montgomery headlined
after our set. Such a tremendous talent... The Thursday prior, I
backlined one of my drum kits for Monte's drummer. I decided to stay for
the show instead of coming back later to pack up. What a great decision.
Monte and his band put on such a masterful performance from start to
finish. Monte, who was named one of the 50 greatest guitarists of all
time by Guitar Player magazine, is well-documented. However, his bassist
and drummer are uniquely solid and tighter than a resin seal. And
superbly nice guys... So, two nights of Monte Montgomery and his band
Well, we got to the hotel relatively early and were in bed before
midnight. However, our show at Parkville River
Jam was at 12:30. A five hour drive ahead of us, we had to
roll out of bed by 5:30am and hit the road by 6:30am. It was a nice
drive, I suppose. We played for a sparse early crowd at Parkville, MO,
and had to navigate across the north of Kansas City to find our next
show in Excelsior Springs, MO. Wabash BBQ
is a gem of a place just northeast of the city. First of all...let me
brag on the food for a bit. Since the fine folks at Wabash were footing
the bill, and the great waitresses, Lauren and Jen, were making great
recommendations, we thought we better try the fare. Half a rack of ribs,
fried cheese and onions for appetizers, a doubled-up plate of brisket
and pork, beans, slaw, and at least a quart of the hot sauce.
Wow...awesome. Luckily, we ate early and had time to recover before the
show. We got to rest and clean up at a great hotel next door to the
venue. The Historic Elms Hotel is reputed to have had US Presidents stay
there, Al Capone, and other noteable or notorious folks. It had that
great old vibe...
The show at Wabash was outdoors and it was a little warm on Saturday
evening in Excelsior Springs. We started when the sun was still shining
and played well into the dark. The place was packed and there were kids
running around everywhere! What a great American environment at this
venue. It was like a block party in 1950 where everyone would gather to
have some food and drinks, listen to live music, and let your kids romp
around unattended. I handed out an estimated 46 pair of drumsticks to
kids and autographed every one of them. At one point during the show,
there were a dozen kids right up on stage with us whacking on my floor
tom or ride cymbal. I managed to catch one particular kid who was an
aspiring young drummer. He had decent time, so I let him operate the
ride cymbal during a few songs while I kept time elsewhere on the kit.
Otherwise, we had a great set and were absolutely exhausted. I am
confident that I sweated off 10 pounds in the 5 hours up there. Not
looking forward to the long drive home (4 hours for me, 5 hours for Gary
and Rod), we hit the road anyway. Dangerous! But we made it home safe
anyway despite getting turned around and losing a half hour trying to
get out of Excelsior Springs in the dark. Home and in bed by 6:15am...
then a double-header baseball game (www.nwamsbl.com) on Father's Day
with my dad and son in tow. Who could ask for more?
May 20th was our Sunday
afternoon show at Jose's on Dickson
Street. Rod had a prior commitment, so we called up an old buddy,
Jeff Meyers, to fill in. Jeff not only did an admirable job, but
he laid down some fat grooves. On the songs he was not familiar
with, he breezed his way through them with minimal effort. Jeff is
also a very soulful singer and that added some flair to the mix.
The only down side was that we missed dinner! One of my favorite
Mexican food places and we missed the meal... I guess I need to eat
twice next time. One special mention that I would like to make was
that we had a wonderful vocalist sit in with us during our set.
Rachel Fields. This gal is the real deal, folks. She is
soulful, energetic, powerful, and real. Check her out at her
websites and please go see the Rachel Fields Band:
On the 19th, I got to perform
with the TJ Scarlett Band up in
Bentonville. That was a real hoot. TJ is a terrific
guitarist and his selection of songs is a total blast to perform.
You can get more information about TJ and his band at
May 18th, Oreo Blue was
featured at Georges Majestic Lounge
with the legendary Earl Cate.
Brian joined us for this set as well and it was a rocking good time.
I was a little stressed out because I was flying in from Houston, Texas,
and my plane was delayed half an hour. I arrived 15 minutes late
for the start of the show. Fortunately for me, Joe Giles repaid
the favor from earlier that week by contacting Jamie Kidd to play drums
for me until I arrived. Jamie is a great drummer and filled in
great and I am sure nobody missed me. It was nice to have Brian
perform with us as always. He is undoubtedly one of the best
saxophonists you will ever hear regardless of my bias.
On May 12th, we performed for
a very worthwhile benifit for the Arc of the
River Valley "Bands Unite" at
Riverfront Park in Fort Smith. It is always great
performing on the big stage down there with Tom Ware and his folks
running sound. Big concert setting! Unfortunately, since we
had to perform early, there was a very minimal crowd... Later that
night, we helped out our good friend, Joe Giles
on a wedding reception show that his band couldn't make. Bands
just cannot cancel a wedding reception show on short notice. It
would devastate the party. Sometimes, they plan these things a
year in advance. All went well and we had a good time.
May 4th and 5th, we were at
Hogs Pizza in Hot Springs. We
met some great new folks there this weekend and Gary and I took in a
movie Saturday afternoon while Rod studied at the hotel. Gary and
I also went to a flea market to kill some time. Ah...the lives of
On May 3rd, we were honored
to perform with arena rock and power ballad legends,
REO Speedwagon at
the Arkansas Music Pavillion. First of all, it had been 23 years
since I had seen this band last. However, they have not lost their
touch. They put on a great performance of their old standards was
well as some new material. Secondly, and more importantly for us,
these guys were super nice. I happened to know the drum tech from
a previous encounter and we had a nice long chat. The rest of the
band was very cool. We had a good set trying out our new material
for the upcoming CD. A couple of missteps, but we got through it.
I noticed a number of folks snapping pictures of us, so if you have some
Back on April 27th, we
performed for a great cause in SW Missouri for the
Choppers for Children
benefit. Scott Watson invited us to come perform with Head East on
the big stage outside of Joplin. The weather put a frown on what
could have been a great day.
There are some photos below
and the rest are on Photo Page # 57.
Do you believe we have 57 pages of photos!?!?