November-December, 2004

 

December 31st--Fianna Hills Country Club--Fort Smith, Arkansas--Ahh, the annual New Year's Eve Bash...when we played a private party here 7 or so months ago, the folks at Fianna Hills asked us if we were booked for NYE.  It happened that we were not, and flattered that they asked, we agreed.  The food at Fianna Hills is excellent and the folks there were ready to party.  Chris Payton joined us again to help us bring in the new year.  Brian's wife and in-laws came with their friends Lee and Mary Jo. It was a great time and a nice way to bring in the new year.

 

December 24th--George's Majestic Lounge Customer Appreciation Party--Fayetteville, Arkansas--This is the first annual customer appreciation party thrown by George's proprietor, our own Brian Crowne and staff.  It was a real hoot featuring Oreo Blue and some members of the Soul Servants:  our former lead singer, Chris Payton and her husband, Tommy, and Cal Jackson.  We had a great time playing for some of George's loyal patrons.  We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday and New Year.

 

December 20th--Debutante's Ball--Hooks, Texas--Congratulations to the 2004 class of Debutantes.  This was a nice party at the Ramage Farms event barn.  The food was an awesome if not unusual mix of bbq brisquet, quesadillas, and nachos.  Kudos to the chef.  Oftentimes, as I have discussed before, the best part of a trip like this is sometimes the trip itself.  Time to visit and listen to some good music on the 5 hour trip there and back.  There's nothing like pulling into Fayetteville at 5:00am with the Camelot-like city lights appearing from nowhere at the top of the "hill".  The sun trying to peer from the east of the Boston mountains and a hesitant fog.  Makes the next day a bit of a fog in itself...

Gary and his gal-pal, Niki

 

December 19th--Suzie Stephen's Christmas Bash--George's--Fayetteville, Arkansas--The band did not perform tonight, but was treated to a great party thrown by and for Suzie Stephens and featuring an exceptional show by 1964-The Tribute.  They are lauded as the the number one Beatles tribute act in the world.  I agree.  They look like, sound like, act like, and are like the Beatles.  You would think you are watching them in concert in the early 60's.  Amazing stuff.  Great actors, great guys, and great musicians.  Look for them at www.1964thetribute.com.   The photos below feature 1964 with Suzie on stage and me with "Ringo" (Greg George).

 

 

December 18th--Gearheads--Neosho, Missouri--We are always given a generous welcome at Gearheads.  Tonight was no different.  We also had our good friend, Bryan Martin along with us who sat in on a few songs on guitar.  He has great chops and inserts creative leads.  We reward his talent by letting him help us unpack and pack the trailer. 

 

December 17th--Dave Crocker's Daughter's Wedding Reception--Neosho, Missouri--A nice reception for the daughter of one of Gary's oldest friends.  The venue was a nice old-school theater hall off the square in Neosho.  Pretty neat stuff. 

 

December 16th--Nightflying for 24 Years--George's Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Peter Read is arguably the most important figure in the regional music scene.  His publication, Nightflying Entertainment Guide has provided an immeasurable service to musicians and music fans in the Arkansas and surrounding states region for over 24 years now.  Peter's publication has feature articles on regional performers, concert dates for major acts, and most importantly...the performance  listings for local and regional venues and local and regional acts.  Nightflying is a free publication supported by solicited advertisers.  If you have a business or a band, please help support Peter's publication, for without it, our music community would flounder.  Thanks Peter...

Oreo Blue performed early in the night along with the Ariels, Joe Giles and the Homewreckers, the Pink Mafia, Emily Kaitz, Shack, Jed Clampit, Foxy, and the Hightops.  For what it's worth...shame on the Northwest Arkansas music community for not coming out to support Peter and Nightflying.  We all owe him our gratitude.  The turnout was dismal.  Hopefully, for the 25th Anniversary, the place will be packed.

Nathan B on the Tuba

December 14th--Chuck Fawcett's Christmas Party--Fort Smith, Arkansas--This party is always a hoot.  Chuck is one of the great social folks of the river valley area.  I had to miss the party as my son was performing in his first ever band concert as a 6th grader.  He plays the tuba like a champ despite the silly school not letting him play percussion.  Thanks to Chuck for having us again this year and sorry I missed it. 

 

 

some lost photos from an anniversary party (lost name)

December 11th--Eden Park CC--Pine Bluff, Arkansas--This past summer, we played in Pine Bluff at the Smoke on the Water Festival and caught the attention of a couple that had recently purchased the Eden Park Country Club.  This club was built in 1919 and seems to have history oozing out of the walls.  One can imagine big bands playing there in the 30's and Pine Bluffians frolicking in the huge pool out back in the summers.  Give them a little time to touch up on things and this place will be resurrected to its former glory.

Danny Allen

December 10th--Cajuns Wharf--Little Rock, Arkansas--It was nice to be back in Little Rock.  Seems that we have so many fans in central Arkansas, but very little venues to perform.  Cajuns has great food and a really cool vibe, but it seems most often to cater to an indifferent dance crowd rather than to appreciate quality live music.  Fortunately for us, we had a few of our fans to help lead the way.  The venerable Lucious Spiller played a solo set before our show and proved to us once again that he is one of the most misunderstood phenomenal talents anywhere.  After the show, we moseyed down to Midtown Billiards and caught a great live act--Danny Allen.  Danny is a pseudo-rockabilly guitarist and singer-songwriter that resembles a classic Hollywood club act.  Sort of like that band, Modern English that was playing the club Nicholas Cage frequented in the movie Valley Girl. Check him out at www.dannyallenmusic.com.

 

A nice note sent to the stage from Carolyn and Larry Williams

December 3rd--Neosho Powersports Customer Appreciation Event--Neosho, Missouri--We have performed for these folks nearly a half dozen times now setting up inside the motorcycle showroom floor.  It is a great business that holds events such as this for their customers.  Personally, I would shop nowhere else for powersport equipment but Neosho Powersports based solely on how they treat their customers.  You can find south off Hwy 60 and 71B in Neosho if you need something for your 4-wheeler or bike. 

 

November 27th--The Kitchen Pass--Joplin, Missouri--The weekend KP tour often finds us with some idle time in Joplin during the day after load in and sound check.  It's nice to get some shopping done, take a much needed nap, catch a movie, or have a relaxing dinner and not feel rushed to get ready for the show.  Sometimes this free time paves the way for some of our most exciting shows that evening.  Sound check gave us a little time to freshen up the aforementioned Oreo Blue classics and set the levels for the show.  The result was a great show from our perspective.  Having Brian run the sound from the stage always gives us our most comfortable performance.  The system was rocking and the show was awesome.  We anticipate an incredible show back here in February for Gary's 52nd Birthday bash with the Cate Brothers and the Nace Brothers.

 

 

November 26th--The Kitchen Pass--Parsons, Kansas--We hope everyone was fortunate enough as us to have been able to eat as much as we did over Thanksgiving.  We have a lot to be thankful for and among those is being fortunate enough to be able to perform our music openly and freely.  We have made it an annual trek to Parsons and Joplin on the weekend following Thanksgiving and have always had great shows at the Kitchen Pass'.  We decided this weekend to dig into the Oreo Blue original music catalog and resurrect some songs we have let fade away.  Keep your ears open for songs some of you long-time fans may not have heard in a while.  For you new fans, we hope you will enjoy our fresh take on some songs of our past.

Parsons also features some of the most memorable characters from any venue we play.  DJ Darwin, Bobo, Cowboy Steve, Dancin' Chris, and the rest.  Below are a few shots...

 

Chris does the "Worm"

DJ Darwin

Chris does the "Sprinkler"

Chris

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

 

November 20th--Two Frogs Grill--Ardmore, Oklahoma--Long standing as one of our most favorite places to play.  Look back in previous newsletters and you can dig up dozens of references to Two Frogs and our glowing reviews.  Tonight was no different.  Two Frogs has such a great vibe about it.  We had a great show and were hitting on most cylinders.  As the night forged on, the fire water crept in and our host, Aubry Harris joined us on stage for the traditional jam.  Gary managed a summersault over the stage railing to cap off an evening of wowing the Ardmorites for the previous three hours.  The only big disappointment of the night was that I did not get my hot apple dumpling.  I will have to eat two next time.  Thanks to our friends from Gainsville, TX, for driving up to see us again.  And thanks to all of our new fans and friends in Ardmore.  Thanks to Nathan (?) for fetching Watson Burger for us and delivering it to the hotel at 3:00am.  Made us feel like rock stars...

 

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

 

November 19th--Happy 50th Birthday, Larry--Fort Smith, Arkansas

 

November 12th--Georges Majestic Lounge w/ Nace Brothers--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Getting back to home base in Fayetteville under normal circumstances is a nice feeling.  The one-two punch of Oreo Blue and the Nace Brothers is lethal.  We have said many times in this newsletter and in our travels how much we love the Nace Brothers Band.  They are original and salty, grooving and tight.  Most of the time we hear the Nace Brothers, we are matched with them under the auspice of the Ark-Mo Rock, Blues, and Soul Review.  We are each limited to a single set and we hardly get to hear them in all their glory.  Tonight, they performed a complete nights worth of music.  If you have not seen them, you need to...

 www.nacebros.com

 

photos by Stephen Boudreaux

 

November 6th--Pitt State Tailgate Party--Arrowhead Stadium--Kansas City, Missouri--Late to bed, early to rise.  The party started at 11:30am and for those of you that are musicians...this is like the middle of the sleep night.  Anyway...who knew that Pitt State had so many fans?  The Gorillas? How cool is that?  This is a D2 school in SE Kansas, but their football team is ranked #1 in the country (wish our Hogs were...) and they were taking on the #2 team in the country, the NW Missouri Bearcats.  We didn't get to stay for the game, but the team we supported, the PSU Gorillas, behind 587 yards of total offense, won handily 21-17 to finish 11-0 on the season.  I bought a gorilla t-shirt. 

 

November 5th--The Trouser Mouse--Kansas City, Missouri--Nice club up here in Blue Springs just outside of KC.  It was a short notice show, so we didn't expect a large crowd, but the folks that rolled out really enjoyed the show.  Save for a brief three-song set at the OMAs, it had been nearly a full month since the band had performed a complete show as Oreo Blue.  We have all been musically busy, but just not as ourselves.  It was nice to get back in the groove.  During the second set, a former co-worker of mine at MCI, Willie Simmons, joined us on (or off) the stage on keyboards.  Willie hung in there as we threw out some original songs that even we had not played in years.  Hopefully, next time we play KC, the MCI crew will actually roll out.  Thanks to the Trouser Mouse for having us.

 

October 30th--George's Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Steve Kimock Band  performed at George's over the weekend.  This is an incredible fusion/jam band featuring one of the most eccentric guitarists in the world and one of the best drummers on the planet, Rodney Holmes.  After we performed a benefit for the Cause for Paws for the Fort Smith Humane Society, we raced up to Fayetteville (despite the alternator) to put on an after show jam between 1am and 3am.  We invited local bassist extraordinaire, Clare Starr to join Gary, Brian and me on stage to set the foundation.  Will Collins also joined us at the on set on guitar.  The idea was to just improvise for two hours and invite guests to join.  Steve Kimock himself joined us for a few songs as did his 15-year-old son who will prove to be a monster on drums in short order.  Also sitting in was tenor saxophonist, Martin Fierro of the SKB as well as members of the local fusion-jam band the Blue Ks (?).  It was a really cool experience as the crowded SKB revelers filtered in from the garden to the inside stage still buzzing from the concert.  Clare was a monster on bass and the grooves just kept on coming.  Look for future carnations of this sort of thing at George's...

 

 

Photos by Scott Hinterthuer

October 29th--Home--Last week, I was fortunate to have been able to join the University of Arkansas Alumni Band to march at the Georgia/Arkansas Homecoming Game.  Thought I might share a couple of pictures (above) of me having a great time at the event reliving my days as a marching snare drummer.  (by the way...Sue E. Pig is hot!!!)

 

Photo by Stephen Boudreaux

 

October 28th--Home--Ozark Music Awards 2004--Oreo Blue was honored with the 2004 OMA Award for Musicianship.  This award category is presented to the group with the best overall musicianship collectively amongst its members.  Brian Crowne was awarded best Horn Player.  But at the pinnacle of the evening was the award for Lifetime Achievement presented to our own Gary Hutchison.  Gary was honored with this award deservedly so, by his friend (and ex-wife) Jody and Brian Crowne.  A slide show was run on the video screen while Oreo Blue performed a blistering set of three songs.  There will be a photo page dedicated to the night in gallery # 41.  Look for it.

photo by Melissa Boudreaux

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