September-October, 2003


Brian w/TJ Scarlett

photo© John Blair

October 18th--Arlington Vintage Guitar Show--Arlington, TX--It has always been an honor for us to attend this prestigious show and sit in or play a set, but this year, things were a little different.  The honor ante was upped as we were invited to host the show and jam on Saturday night.  I, personally, enjoy hosting a jam because the challenge of "reading" so many players keeps you on your toes.  Oreo Blue kicked things off with a blistering set of originals and a few covers.  With all due respect to the pages of players in wait, Gary set the bar at an unreachable height.  His tone and tenacity was described as "god-like" and "deserving of national recognition".  One on-looker told me in the lobby during a break that he thought "Gary was the best guitar player he had ever seen in person."  Keep in mind that the this was a guitar show with literally a room packed with players from probably every country on the planet.  As the show progressed, we were joined on stage with co-host, Will Ray, from the famous Hellecasters.  Will's odd approach to the instrument has gained him world recognition with his bending and torturing a signature guitar.  He made famous the "Stealth Slide" and the B-Bender.  A few bands got up and played some tunes.  I personally don't care for getting whole bands up in a jam, but it kept things interesting.  The Kendrick Amplifiers (loud) Band led by company president, Gerald Weber performed some interesting stuff including a cover of Frankenstein.  Then a band called Excalibur relived their youth performing some prog-art rock.  Then the cattle calls came with dozens of guitarists hopping up for a tune or two.  This guy, Paul, from Tampa, Florida, might have gotten the "gutsy" award for overcoming intimidation and proceeding to tear up a version of Long Tall Sally.  He had told me before the show that he couldn't see himself getting on stage in front of all those other players.  My personal favorite portion of the night came when performing with Rich Severson.  A jazz guitarist from California.  He runs the Guitar College in Cali and showed me and all those guitarists how cool that medium is.  I got cheek cramps from smiling while he reinvented Bill Withers' classic, Ain't No Sunshine.  Special thanks to Dave Crocker of Fly-By-Night Music in Neosho, MO, and the Amigos for having us and to all those cool people who stopped us at the convention center the next day and poured out the compliments.


photo© John Blair

October 4th--BBBQ Concert--Main Stage--Fayetteville, Arkansas-- I think that the directors of the BBBQ made a terrific move in hiring three regional stalwart bands for the headliners on the main night:  The Nace Brothers, Oreo Blue, and the Cate Brothers.  All bands know how to groove and keep the audience on its toes.  If you recall, this same lineup performed together at Gary's 50th Birthday event this past spring.  It's a perfect combination of bands skilled in performing art and styled for the everyman.  Oreo Blue has always had a penchant for raising the bar at festivals and concerts with its signature energy and passion.  With a great sound system navigated by the folks at Barking Dog, the band delivered a mean set of originals and some selections from the recently released Jimi Hendrix Tribute DVD.  I think that all 10,000+ at the show were shakin' by our set's end.  The weather was near perfect and Northwest Arkansas once again showed nearly 100,000 festival goers why it is a great showplace in America.  Great scenery, great entertainment, great hospitality, great food, and you.  


October 2nd--BBBQ Kickoff--Jose's Streetside--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Tonight was the kickoff for the Bikes, Blues, BBQ festival.  Jose's, which was HQ central for the weekend's event is one of my favorite places to eat the entire world.  Joe Fennel cooks up the most unique and best Mexican anywhere.  Jose's also used to host some of the best music heard in Fayetteville back in the day.  With the addition of the patio, Joe continues the tradition.  Joe is also an enormous supporter of the University of Arkansas Track program that has won a surreal 38 National Championships.  By far the greatest collegiate sports program of any kind.  I am digressing, so, back to the music... Tonight, Oreo Blue shared the stage with our friends, Joe Giles & the Homewreckers.  The Homewreckers are the reining best rock band in NWA as voted at the OMA's.  They are a fun bunch to watch.  We traded sets all night long to a packed house.  The Miss BBBQ preliminary was also held here tonight.  Before the show, Brian and I performed with the Amanda Adams Band on the BBBQ second stage behind Jose's.  That band featuring members of Oreo Blue (Stephen & Brian) and members of the TJ Scarlett Band (TJ & Dave) is also appearing regularly at clubs around town.  Check the tourdates for more information


September 28th--Peter Read Benefit Festival--George's, Fayetteville, Arkansas--Bob Kramer of George's organized a benefit for Nightflying Entertainment founder, Peter Read who suffered a brain aneurysm and stroke a while back.  Peter is fairing better, but he is still in need of assistance.  Showing up in support of Peter were nearly all of Northwest Arkansas's notable musicians.  (see flyer for the short list).  Peter has been one of the greatest supporters of live music in our region with his inclusive free magazine that highlights all of our tourdates, recordings, concerts, and new and notable events.  Peter is a great ambassador for all live performers, so please keep reading Nightflying and when you can, offer support for Peter in his endeavor and in his journey back to good health.

September 27th--George's Majestic Lounge 76th Birthday Bash--Fayetteville, Arkansas--The mainstay for the Arkansas club scene is 76 years old.  Three of its favorites graced the stage to help celebrate the longest continuously running nightclub in the state:  Oreo Blue, the Bel Aires, and the Cate Brothers.  It was a beautiful night and the crowd was generous as always.  The music was fantastic.  A presentation was made honoring the Harrison Family (owners) and Mary Hinton, the late matriarch of the club.  For those who have not been by the club in a while, a new floor in the garden was also dedicated.  It is an acid-stained smooth concrete with the Georges Majestic embossed in its center.  Those of us who marveled at inebriated co-eds traverse the old rock-laden floor will always have that to remember, but the new floor looks great.

The Bel Aires

September 26th--The Kitchen Pass--Neosho, Missouri--We appreciate the folks at all of the Kitchen Pass restaurants.  With the great food and staff, it would be odd if the Pawlus boys didn't open up a slew of these across the country.  


September 13th--The Beach Club--Mountain Home, Arkansas-- None of us like to drive a long way.  Our publicist says that when road travel exceeds 2 hours, then we can take the Lear.  Problem is...the publicists' secretary sent out a memo that the Lear is undergoing repairs.  So it goes...hit the road.  The beach club is an interesting spot.  Both indoor and outdoor accommodations and due to the aforementioned foul weather this weekend, we moved indoors.  The venue is hip and has enormous potential for live entertainment.  Rest assured we will return when the Lear gets out of the shop!  We appreciate some of our fans for traveling from as far away as Tulsa.  The majority of the crowd was young and, being in Mountain Home, were a little unfamiliar with high-quality live music.  Our fans showed them the won't be long.  They will learn.

This day was important for Brian and I and about a million other Arkansans.  Today, the University of Arkansas Football Razorbacks put a whole-hog whoopin on the Longhorns of the University of Texas.  (38-28).  With all due respect to our fans in Texas, this storied (albeit lopsided) rivalry is certainly best when the Hogs win...but this time they dominated.  Spirits were high enough to power the ride home along those winding roads of highway 62.  Go Hogs!!!

September 12th--Herb's Downtown--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--The Goodmans have a superb reputation as restauranteurs in the river valley, so it only makes sense for them to sink their teeth into offering high quality live entertainment.  They have opened a super cool venue just down from the river on Garrison in Ft. Smith offering outdoor music and dining as well as indoor music and dining when the weather turns foul.  This weekend, the weather did the latter and we set up indoors in the roomy dining room.  The food was excellent and the hosts were overwhelmingly congenial.  So drop on down to Herbs and support these guys as they lift off their new endeavor.


"Little Hurt" Boudreaux

September 6th--Game Day at Jim and Suzie's--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Finally.  It's football season and the Hogs are on tap to take on the Golden Hurricane of Tulsa.  Jim and Suzie invited us over for a pregame party at their new, beautiful home.  Dozens of friends and family were there and the band played right up until game time.  All along, great food and drinks were served to get the folks geared up for the game.  This day was quite possibly the most beautiful of the year with perfect temperatures and not a cloud in the sky.  Great people and great seats at the game.  I was fortunate enough to go to the game with my father which is a special time.  Earlier in the day, my own son played in his first football game as a 10-year-old.  He caught a pass and made some great blocks.  Something about fathers and sons and football in America.  It signifies the change of the seasons, the end of Summer, and the beginning of another chapter in young man's life.  By the way, the Hogs whipped the Hurricane 45-13.  It was a great day.

Brian & Day Crowne and friend, Ben Harrison

photo © John Blair

September 5th--The Rib Shack--Ft. Smith, Arkansas--It has been about three years since we have played the Rib Shack and the place has not changed.  Like a snapshot in time.  The weather was perfect for an outdoor show and it was nice to have a few of our loyal River Valley fans come in for the show.  They cook up some nice BBQ there at the Shack, so when you are on the south side of town, drop in and get some!


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