November-December, 2005


December 31st--Fianna Hills New Year's Party--Fort Smith, AR--The best part about new years parties is its attendees.  For the past few years, Brian's in-laws, Bob and Sara, and their friends, Lee and Mary Jo, have traveled over four states to see the band on New Year's Eve.  Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Arkansas (twice).  They have been what has made this annual event special as of late. 

December 23rd--George's Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, AR--What a great night.  Coming back to home base with a great sound system and great atmosphere and appreciative live music fans.  December has been a traditionally slow month for performing, so it was nice to end the month and the year with a bang.  Playing happy hour and the night show is always great for me.  6 hours of music in one night.  Awesome.  During the happy hour show, one of my students, Jackson (age 10) sat in for a couple of songs in front of the capacity crowd.  He did and excellent job and drew huge applause.

December 13th--Nightflying Anniversary Party @ Georges--Fayetteville, AR--After Chuck's party, Brian and I raced up the hill to help Peter Read celebrate the anniversary of his great entertainment publication, Nightflying.  Peter always throws a great party inviting as many local musicians as possible.  Those of us that have benefited from his vision to support local musicians through his publication that reaches out to our entire region.  So..thanks Peter and congratulations on your 25th Anniversary. 

December 13th--Chuck Fawcett's Christmas Party--Fort Smith, AR--Chuck Fawcett is a great American.  For someone to throw parties like this for all of his friends during the Christmas holiday is truly special.  Thanks, Chuck.

November 4th--Valero Oil Party--Ardmore, Oklahoma--Our good friend, Aubrey Harris, of Two Frogs Grill hooked us up with the Valero Oil Company who was holding a 25th Anniversary Party.  One of a dozen or so across the Americas.  Valero has done quite well for themselves this past year and deserved a great party.  The production was top-notch and as high a quality as we had ever seen for a private party.  It was a great time had by all.  Afterward, we moseyed over to Two Frogs to hang out with Aubrey and the Anthony Gomes Band.  Gary and I sat in (I got to sing the last song of the night...Superstition.  I didn't know the words!).  Gomes was the opening act for the Doobie Brothers concert earlier that night in town. 

November 4th--Home--I want to give a shout-out to my 7th grade football team, The Bentonville 49ers.  I was the head coach this season for my son's team.  After starting the year 0-3, we turned things around and won 8 straight games to make it into the championship game, the Toy Bowl.  Unfortunately, we could not muster the win for the title, but we battled the #1 ranked team 14-6.  It was a great season with great kids and team parents.  Thanks to the band for letting me play hooky and skip out on some load-ins to work with these great kids.  My son was named to the All-Star team at tight end and will be traveling to Tulsa in two weeks for the Sooner Classic with NWA West.

Nathan Boudreaux #80 headed for the end zone...

November 2nd-- Ozark Music Awards 2005 --Fayetteville, Arkansas--This year, Oreo Blue was nominated in six categories, Blues Band, Overall Musicianship, and each of our respective instrument categories.  The band walked away with the Overall Musicianship Award, Horn Player of the Year (Brian), Guitar Player of the Year (Gary...finally), and Porky Hill Memorial Drummer of the Year (Stephen).  Despite not having released a new CD in 2005, the band is working harder than ever on stage with as many or more dates than most bands in our region thanks to the dedication of our leader, Brian Crowne.  Gary has been nominated in the Guitar Player of the Year category every year since the award's inception, but has miraculously never won the award.  This year Gary took honors in a tie with a tremendously talented peer, Cal Jackson.  Nevertheless, Gary is winner and it was long over due.  Brian picked up more hardware to add to his already studded trophy case.  His awards include multiple Horn Player of the Year Awards and at least two NAMA Blues Band of the Year Awards, OMA Blues Band of the Year Awards, along with the last two Overall Musicianship Awards from the OMA's as leader of Oreo Blue.  Looks like Brian has built up quite the dynasty with this band.  In a surprise win, I picked up my first individual award in the Porky Hill Memorial Drummer of the Year category.  Certainly not expected, I attribute the recognition to my placement in Oreo Blue for the past 6 years buttressed by an already award-winning bassist in Rod Williamson and the two finest lead players in the region.  I had to miss the ceremony due to business travel, so I appreciate Brian accepting the awards for all of us.  Great recognition for the team.  I would not have had a speech ready for the event, but if I did it would say something like, "Thanks, Brian."