November-December, 2002

 

photo © John Blair

December 31st--The Kitchen Pass--Parsons, Kansas--Ahh...the New Year's Eve show.  Time to pull out what stops might be left in the year and rock those annual revelers.  The sell-out crowd was a little tougher than expected and thanks to power problems, the tense moments came early and often.  The band was up to the task in its performance with a strong set.  Fire, Chainsaws, Power Drills, Fog, Lights, and our signature high-energy music.  But the night's most priceless moment was during the requested Margaritaville.   Gary, while trying to show off the lyrical tattoo--right on his booty, showed instead his boxer shorts imprinted with guitars (no surprise).  However, with a little help from DJ Darwin, Gary's still unbuttoned pants fell back to the floor during the next verse.  Gary finished the set with them around his ankles.  Pictures!!!

photo © John Blair

Brian Crowne Insert--What a night in Parsons KS!  A sold out show, lots of friends and family in the house with us and a wonderful crew at The Kitchen Pass made for the perfect show.  Aside from some annoying electrical problems it was a great evening, including the infamous Chainsaw and Guitar burning routines.  As usual Dave, Darwin & Crew treated us like royalty and we appreciate that very much.  Also, our waitress Stephanie did a stellar job taking care of all us including our table of nine full of family and friends.  We’d like to thank Bob & Sarah Yazzetti (my in-laws), Lea & Mary-Jo Crawford for making the drive up from Mena AR, also John & Jennifer Magness for coming up from Ft. Smith.  We hope they had a great time.  Our old friend and original guitar player Bryan Martin was a great help that night.  Thanks to everyone for another great year of Oreo Blue and we hope you continue to support us in the beginning of our twelfth year.  Happy New Year and we’ll see you all soon.--Brian

photo © John Blair

 

photo © John Blair

Happy New Year to all!!!  

 

December 28th--Two Frogs Grill--Ardmore, Oklahoma--Of course, there are no more words of praise worthy of this place.  You are just going to have to go there to experience it.  Go to www.twofrogsgrill.com on how to get there and what is shakin'.  Now about the show...

The band always steps up to the plate at the TFG since the crowd is so deserving.  However, this night there was one incident that stands out as a brow-raiser.  The last time we played here, Gary "sacrificed" a guitar (a la Jimi) and the word spread that it might happen again.  So someone brought a guitar along for Gary to sacrifice.  In the process of setting the guitar ablaze during Hey Joe, the guitar became engulfed as did some of the surrounding stage!  What we didn't know was that the guitar and pick guard were covered with some sort of nitrous lacquer that is extremely flammable as was custom years ago.  Gary had a time stomping and bashing the guitar to a douse.  Brian sacrificed a few of the new t-shirts for the cause and some time later, all was calm.  In the mean time, the crowd had boiled to a frenzy and couldn't get enough believing that it was all part of the show.  Proof that we just might do anything to satisfy a crowd...  

 

December 21st--Barnes Wedding--Stuttgart, Arkansas--The fine ladies of the Chi Omega house at the University of Arkansas have been fans of the band for a few years and now that they all are getting married, Oreo Blue has been honored to perform at their receptions.  Amberlea and Todd are a fabulous couple and we wish them the best for the future.  Thanks to Larry for coming up late in the night to play the drums.  You missed your calling!  We would also like to thank the wait staff at the Western Sizzlin' for donning the camouflage and being quick to refill the sweet tea.

photo © John Blair

December 20th--Fakouri's--Pine Bluff, Arkansas--It had been since last year that we had performed at Fakouri's.  This little club has all the character of a large hall complete with a full-sized brick wall with the autograph of nearly every performer who has graced the stage there. The service is top-notch and personable and the crowd is wonderful.  As a matter of fact, Oreo Blue fans drive in from as far away as Hot Springs to see the band play at Fakouri's!  Our esteemed bass player, Rockin' Rod Dean Williamson couldn't make the trip this day...his fine young son was have a little dental surgery (eek).  Ben Arrington from nearby Monticello was kind enough to fill in and did a bang-up job.  Ben spent some time out in L.A. working the music scene and he returns to this area a seasoned and consummate professional.  He came in having done his homework and laid it down all night long.  Thanks, Ben!  

photo © John Blair

December 10th--Chuck Fawcett Christmas Party--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--This is the second time the band was invited to perform for Chuck and his friends at their Christmas Party.  This group is a real hoot and they certainly know how to have a good time.  Thanks to Chuck and all his buddies for letting us be a part of your celebration!

 

December 7th--Neosho Power Sports Customer Appreciation Party--Neosho, Missouri--This date in history is often recalled for more ominous events.  However, I am sure that we will remember this date as well for being the first time any of us had performed a show in a motorcycle store showroom.  They just rolled the bikes out into the parking lot and we got it on!  The folks in Neosho have always been great.  Of course, Gary is a product of this part of the country and they always welcome him with open arms.

photo by ©John Blair

November 29th--The Kitchen Pass--Parsons, Kansas--I guess having just one show on a weekend makes us want to cram all of our energy into that short 5 hours.  This was a big day anyway, but having a great show just makes all things right with the world.  First, there was the feast on Thanksgiving Day.  Those of you that read this newsletter regularly know that we are not shy at the dinner table.  I, for one, can put it away with the best of them and when Thanksgiving rolls around (mmm, rolls) it would be downright rude not to have 5 or 6 helpings with a plethora of desserts.  The best part is spending time with our families, though.  We have a lot to be thankful for and among those things for me is having the fellowship of a great band.  This band rocks!  This day started off with the recovery.  I mean recovering from the huge meal.  THEN....The Football Razorbacks took the field against the LSU Bengal Tigers and whipped 'em in the final 43 seconds to win the conference championship.  That got Brian and me (and millions of other Hog fans) buzzing.  Then on to Parsons.  The last time the band played Parsons was in the early summer and I missed the show, so I was eager to get back.  The welcome was awesome.  The band ruled and the fans were incredible.  Thanks to DJ Darwin and Dave Pawlus for the hospitality.  And...did I mention the Chicken & Friends???

photo by ©John Blair

November 23rd--Benchmark Group Party--Fayetteville Town Center, Arkansas--We sort of thought these engineers and architects would scarf down the food and get to bed early.  Not so.  There were a handful of die-hard rockers in the crowd and they held on 'til quitting time.  Thanks to you folks for letting us be a part of your celebration.  (p.s.  The prime rib ruled!  I had 5 helpings...)

photo by ©John Blair

November 22nd--Cartoon's--Springfield, Missouri--I will vouch for the Cheeseburgers here at Cartoons.  Wow!  Rod was nervous that I was going to snatch his off his plate before he could finish.  They cook 'em up right.  This is a cool room and the folks in Springfield are always appreciative.  We hope to see them at next year's blues festival.

November 16th--Gerber Foods Party--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--This was a celebration of service at Gerber in Ft. Smith and Oreo Blue was honored to help them be rewarded with a nice dinner and dance. Some of these folks have worked for Gerber for over 35 years!!!  Whew.  When Oreo Blue is rocking at the old-folks home after 35 years, I'll wonder if Gary will still be doing flips and somersaults!

 

November 15th--Georges Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--First show back inside since the weather has changed and I must admit that, even though the Garden is bigger, then inside stage is more intimate.  The crowd and dancers are nearly upon us as we perform.  The energy is flowing between us with no buffer.  I like it!  Tonight, a great guitarist, Cal Jackson, joined us on stage during the happy hour set.  Cal is a fantastic and tasteful player.  He can be heard currently with Cherry Brooks' band and with the upcoming project, Whiplash Gumbo.  And speaking of Whiplash Gumbo...the main man for Whiplash is Randy Keck.  Randy also sat in with the band tonight on Hammond B-V.  A well-played Hammond Organ can enhance a groove like nobody's business and Randy touched all the right senses this evening.  Keep your eyes and ears open for the Whiplash Gumbo when it comes to town in December.  We will try to keep you posted.

 

November 9th--The ByPass--Joplin, Missouri--Well, going on seven years now this room has been a consistent a**-kicker, and I mean that in the best possible way.  This room is set up for club concerts and our fans always show up ready to rock.  This makes for a potent formula that always delivers a stellar good time for the band and the crowd as well.  Even as good as it is, you don’t always have those amazing nights where everything just clicks.  Tonight was one of those nights.  The sound was perfect, we could hear each other, and the groove was on!  To put it in nutshell, if you missed tonight you missed an Oreo Blue performance par with any of their best.  Thank you everyone for helping make it so cool.--Brian Crowne

Thanks to Brigitte from Kansas City for sitting in on Texas Flood and to Ron Ray for snapping photos all night long and to all of our loyal fans that keep coming back night after night.

November 8th--The Kitchen Pass--Neosho, Missouri--To say that we enjoy playing all the Kitchen Passes would be an understatement.  Even thought the Neosho room is a little small it makes for a big time by all, and tonight was extra special with original Oreo Blue guitarist Bryan Martin sitting in on the second set.  The crowd was tremendous, the staff was stupendous, and the licks were flying everywhere on stage.  As usual our loyal fans were out in force and motivating us to fly out of our two-week hiatus with thunderous authority.  Bryan, not having played a show in years didn’t miss a lick playing some very tasteful blues and powerful rock solo’s on his new hot-rodded Fender Strat!  Bryan will be moving back to the region soon, and plan on enjoying him in someone’s band very soon!  Special thanks to Bryan for coming out and we’ll see you all soon.--Brian Crowne

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