Janurary-February, 2003

photo by ©John Blair

February 22nd--Dave's on Dickson--The Jimi Hendrix Tribute Concert--Fayetteville, Arkansas--What a fantastic production brought by Brian Crowne and Doug Haase Productions!  The perfect venue, the perfect crowd and an electric atmosphere charged the night designed to pay homage to the late, great Jimi Hendrix.  Gary was so keyed up that it is a wonder he would ever come down off cloud 9.  Doug's band, the Tyrones opened the show with a strong set of original rhythm and blues.  Oreo Blue took the stage for the power-packed audience and pile-drove through about 80 minutes of some of Jimi's most popular material and a few obscure grooves.  After the set, both bands joined together for some great jams.  The highlight of the evening was certainly the wonderful crowd and the great production.  There are many to thank:  Mark, Rob, and all on the sound crew (who did an excellent job); Dave Bass for offering the venue and his great staff; Miles Stone for the spotlights; The Tyrones--Carl Thomas, Mike and Andrew Milburn, Fuzz Foster, and Doug Haase; Trey and his great and talented video crew; Mel Wood for the cool set design; Joe Cole for the amazing lighting and programming;  J.J., Vince, and Dwight for their recording expertise; the unbelievable performance by Chris Payton on Little Wing--WOW!; Bryan Martin for all of his efforts and for being the all-important guitar tech; and many others.  And of course all or our wonderful fans who drove in from at least five states to see the show.  Special thanks to Doug Haase and Brian Crowne for making it all happen.  We are all excited to see the finished product in a few months.  There is still a lot of work yet to be done.  Pictures from the inimitable John Blair will be forthcoming. Our presentation to the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and our continuing relationship building effort with the Hendrix Experience Group are still in the works.  Keep your eyes out for the DVD and CD later this spring!

photo by ©John Blair

February 15th--The ByPass--Gary Hutchison 50th Birthday Bash (Show 3 of 3)--Joplin, Missouri--Another sensational show with talent abound.  On this final birthday celebration for Gary, his old band mates from Southern Fried came out for a reunion show that was highly anticipated for, say, the last twenty years.  Rod Williams, Steve Duncan, Danny Houston, John Hulette, and others came to the stage and relived the glory days of Southwest Missouri's hottest musical moments.  When Dick Collins joined the group on stage, all (including the author) were mesmerized by his powerful vocals.  Hank Rotten also graced us all with his humor and stage savvy performing our favorite novelty tune, Sleepin' With My Butt To The Wall.  Dick and Hank were also kind enough to roast Gary when the occasion permitted.  As we all know...he deserves it!  Oreo Blue opened and then closed the show peppering in a few of the special guests along the way.  It was a great night for music and memories.

The World-Famous Oreo Blue Rhythm Section after a strong performance

Photo by ©Ron Ray

February 8th--Ardmore, Oklahoma--After the surreal shows of Thursday and Friday, Brian and I set out for Ardmore to perform with the TJ Scarlett Band at the Cheap Trick/Ian Moore after party.  Ian Moore was phenomenal with his eastern Indian influenced rock and blues.  Cheap Trick performed to par with their party-style arena rock and took many of us back a few years. (Dream Police was my personal favorite!)  Immediately afterwards, The TJ Scarlett Band took the stage at the Trivoli rocking the hungry concert-goers with classic power rock and soulful originals.  TJ's blistering technique floored the musicians in the crowd and bass player, David Snell bewildered all with his six-string bass.  The band was soon joined on stage by Texas Blues phenom, Wes Jeans and a newcomer also from Texas, Oliver White.  Both had powerful tone and presence and if you haven't heard them yet, you will.  Our gracious host, Aubry Harris of the Two Frogs Grill who promoted the concerts along with Brian, came to the stage and delivered a few funky renditions and the show soon turned into a free-for-all of guitar-slingers.  What a weekend!

Brian and Stephen at the Cheap Trick/Ian Moore after party Jam

Photos by Tip Jones (Thanks, Tip!)

Aubry Harris and Dave Snell

TJ, Oliver, Stephen, and Brian

Wes, TJ, Oliver, Dave, Brian

Wes Jeans

Oliver White

Brian Crowne

February 7th--George's Majestic Lounge--Gary Hutchison 50th Birthday Bash (Show 2 of 3)--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Brian joked in the last entry about things getting better...They did.  The common comment was that the performers experienced something religious or spiritual.  Oreo Blue performed the happy hour set and were quickly joined by Jimmy, TJ, and Tim from the Nace Brothers Band and the rout of the 275 revelers was on.  During the break, a crew of friends and family enjoyed dinner at Powerhouse and then back to catch the Nace Brothers first set of the night.  David Nace, with his gritty and soulful voice, led the boys through a strong set that started everyone smiling.  Oreo Blue pile drove through the second set again picking up some of the Nace boys and David Renko from the Cate Brothers band.  Darren Ray of Big Bad Bubba sat in on a super-strong version of Some Kind of Wonderful.  When the Cate Brothers took the stage for set three, their groove became infectious.  The Cates were joined on stage by Scott, the e-washboard man.  Even though the three bands root in similar genres, each has their own style, approach, and brand of energy.  And when the jam set started, all three bands combined in a gumbo-like mix-and-match full of power, finesse, soul, heart, and a genuine appreciation of the musical camaraderie that dominated the weekend.  All agreed that this special event in Gary's stead, should be repeated sooner before later.  So keep your ears to the ground for a follow-up.  Photos, video, and audio recordings may follow soon! 

Thanks to all for making such an event possible.  Brian Crowne for making it all happen, Camy Hutchison for her support, and the great bandmates that joined us on stage...Ernie and Earl Cate, Ron and Mickey Eoff, Dave Renko, David and Jimmy Nace, TJ Erhardt, Tim Williams, Scott (the e-washboard man), and Darren Ray.

Gary's Party at the Adelaide Ballroom


photos by Steve Nichols (thanks!)

David Nace, Tim Williams, Earl Cate


Gary and Brian w/Nace Bros.

Jimmy Nace and Gary


Jimmy Nace, Gary, Brian, David Nace, Earl Cate, and Ron Eoff



February 6th--The Adelaide Ballroom--Gary Hutchison 50th Birthday Bash (Show 1 of 3)--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--Well, the first night of Gary's 50th bday party and the blamed snow had to hit.  It obviously put a damper on the turnout, but not on the show.  Three great bands on one stage in one night  It doesn't get much better than this, but check in with me after Friday.  Just kidding, Thursday was great, and we really appreciate all of our fans showing up especially the ones that drove in from all over creation.  You're cool!--Brian Crowne

February 1--Live from Rhythm & Brews in Jackson, Mississippi--The band loads up and departs for a long road trip with the normal trepidation of performing a new club for the first time.  Is it going to be fun, cool, packed, a dump, a bummer, shi…y, or just plain straight up right.  I am here to report that Rhythm & Brews is the latter along with their patrons. We were treated right from the get go, and it didn't' change after we showed up.  Beth, crew and patrons have it going on down there in Jackson.  It's cool when you feel like a Rock Star and you're still paying your dues.  The crowd was gracious, rabid and ready to rock.  What more can you ask for?  BBQ, and it was kick a** too.--Brian Crowne

January 24-25th--Kaptain Kenny's--Hot Springs, Arkansas--Well, it was cold and the horses didn't run, but we managed to have a great couple of shows.  Hot Springs is always an experience and this weekend was no exception.  Kaptain Kenny's has a stealer crew and we'd like to thank our fans for showing up ready to rock.  Thanks to Mike and table, also Bill it's always good to see you guys.  We also made some new friends in the Kenny's staff and we look foward to seeing most of you at Gary's Birthday Party February 6th in Ft. Smith.  Thanks to Dave, JD, Barbara (mom), Jennifer, Eve, Terrell and Ashley.  We look forward to seeing you all again soon.  Did I mention the best food we've had in Hot Springs.--Brian Crowne

photo © John Blair

January 17th--The Kitchen Pass--Neosho, Missouri--Our first public show of the new year at one of our favorite little joints and it was cool.  As always the food and service at The Kitchen Pass were exceptional.  The crowd was great and it was good to see some of our old friends out that we haven't seen in a while.  Most of this month so far has been dedicated to rehearsing for our next big project, a live Jimi Hendrix Tribute concert to be released as a concert DVD and audio CD.  Watch our schedule for Saturday February 22nd for info on the big night.--Brian Crowne

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