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.
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
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
Gary and his gal-pal, Niki
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
The photos below feature 1964 with Suzie on stage and me with "Ringo"
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
A nice note sent to the stage from Carolyn and
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"
Chris does the "Sprinkler"
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...
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...
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,
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
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