December 31st--The Tivoli
Auditorium--Ardmore, Oklahoma--It has been a tremendous year for
Oreo Blue and what a way to cap it off by rocking one of our favorite
towns. Aubry and Angela Harris of Two Frogs Grill in Ardmore (the
best place to eat in Oklahoma), have become quite salty at putting on
live shows in their venue. This night, with the anticipation of a
larger crowd, they partnered with Lance at the Tivoli to put on a great
show. Wes Jeans took the stage to open buttressed by Oreo rhythm
sectionaires, Rod and Stephen. The set was hot from the start as
Wes tore through Superstition, Shape I'm In, and a half dozen
others. Oreo climbed up and rocked the revelers with their party
set and then it was time for Aubry to get aboard the groove train.
Aubry loves to jam. He is probably cut from the same mold as Gary
as they both seem to be stuck on age 12. At least with regard to
their penchant for fun. Then, Wes joined us all on stage again for
the big jam. Yes, it was loud, but it was really fun. Wes
led the finale with his version of All Along the Watchtower which
included solos by all. When it was all over and the countdown
reached 2004, we packed it all up and headed to Watsonburger for some
3:00am chow and storytelling. The next morning (or later that
day), we hopped into the Rock and Roll Suburban and headed out on the
5-hour journey home. Just outside of Ft. Smith, a tire blew out on
the trailer and I lurched the stumbling thing over to the
roadside. We thought we might limp into Ft. Smith and drop the
trailer at Rod's house, but figured he would have none of that, so we
pulled it into a truck stop about a quarter mile down the road.
Figuring on New Year's Day, there would be nothing open, Brian asked the
clerk if there might be a place to fix a tire. She said "pull
it around back". Just behind the truck stop was a 24-hour
tire repair guy who happened to have a trailer tire just our size.
What are the chances? We were fixed up and on our way in half an
hour. 2004 is going to be a good year...
Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--If you had not heard by
now, George's is about to undergo a massive transformation. Our
own Brian Crowne has sunk his teeth into the stalwart club and will take
over ownership in rapid order with long-time family friend (caterer,
socialite, restaurateur, song writer, snappy drummer, and the quintessential
Stephens. Word is that the front will host an eatery and the
garden will be transformed into the showcase live music venue in the
state (not that it wasn't already, but massive improvements were needed
and Brian is just the man to make 'em). Tonight, we had a blast on
the inside stage with some friends, Jed Clampit, Bryan Martin, Robert
Spoon, and Chris Payton with her new band mate, Sheila Kidd.
Robert Spoon started things off sitting in with the band and played some
surprisingly tasty rhythm guitar and some impressive leads. Chris
stepped in to tear up a few of our oldies like Earned the Right (that's
a great song). Chris and Sheila then cruised through a few songs
and Bryan Martin stepped up and showed everyone why he needs to be
gigging and soon now that he is permanently off the truck driving
circuit. Jed joined in the fun and picked through some standards
with the band as well. It is always a great time when Jed's alter
ego, Frank Bluebonnet, finds his way out of his shell. Frank can
boogie with the best of them and as Jed exclaims, "Frank don't owe
nobody and he ain't got a care in the world. He just plays from
the heart. Pretty great, huh?" Frank shook it up on Route
66, and Workin Man Blues among others. But you all need
to be ready for the new and improved George's coming February 7th when
Oreo Blue returns to the stage with the Cate Brothers and Nace Brothers
for Gary's 2nd Annual Birthday Bash and the grand re-opening of the
club. See you then.
December 26th--503 Oyster
Bar--Fort Smith, Arkansas--This small club on Garrison Avenue in
downtown Ft. Smith used to be called the Old Town Grain and Feed.
It reportedly was the hottest spot in the Fort to perform as hot bands
would fill the little place to capacity night in and night out.
Those days faded over the last few years. This night, though, with
the cool new owners and a new moniker, the 503 was rocking to Oreo
Blue. I can't imagine this place holding more than 100 people, but
it sure seemed like there were 200 sardined into that joint. Let's
hope the 503 revitalizes the old pub spot.
December 12th--Fort Smith
Realtors Convention--Fort Smith, Arkansas--Rod is a realtor.
And he is a great bass player. Likened to the great Duck Dunn and
James Jamerson. But I bet those guys never had a real estate
license. I have never bought a house from Rod (I live in Lowell),
but if he is half the realtor that he is a bass player, then if you live
in the River Valley, you should probably buy a house from Rod.
Chuck Fawcett has always been kind to the band. He procured this
event for us in lieu of his annual Christmas party which is generally a
raucous (rô'kûs) time. Chuck is also a
realtor. You can buy a home from him, too. But call Rod
And speaking of houses...I
just moved into a house I just built. I was setting up the
television in the living room and thought I would try out the DVD
player. Cat in the Hat was in the player so I let it
roll. I thought, "Man, this TV sure sounds thin by
itself. I can't hear the bass." So I pulled out the
subs and a couple of satellite speakers and hooked 'em up. Cat
in the Hat just didn't seem appropriate, so I swapped it with the Jimi
Hendrix Tribute DVD we released earlier this
year. I watched the whole darned thing start to finish. The
sound was great, and the show was great. It was cool. This
thing just isn't getting enough attention. It gets better every
time I watch it and I was there... and by the way, the bass was ruling
on that video.
Group Christmas Party-- Fayetteville, Arkansas--These folks really
have embodied the spirit of Christmas. When companies all over the
globe are cutting back on expenses and denying their employees simple
rewards for a year's worth of hard work, the folks at Benchmark laid out
a lavish spread. High dollar prime rib, chicken cordon bleu, and
all the finest fruits and cheeses accented a night of fun with door
prizes and great entertainment (of course).
December 5th--The Kitchen
Pass--Joplin, Missouri--With its summertime patio working in the
warm months, it seems like ages between sets inside the KP at
Joplin. This is really a great room for live music. It's big
with a big stage and we always feel most comfortable on it when Brian is
manning the sound board. Usually, when we take the stage at the KP
in Joplin, we look out into the crowd and see many familiar faces.
This night, there were many new faces in the crowd. As a matter of
fact, when Brian polled the crowd about how many knew former SW Missouri
native, Gary personally, none acknowledged. It was odd, but proof
that every day, Oreo Blue is picking up new fans like Gary's Humbuckers
pick up notes.
3rd--Newell/Rubbermaid Wal-Mart Team Christmas Party--Fayetteville,
Arkansas--Thanks to the Rubbermaid WM Team for having us for their
Christmas Party. Happy Holidays! From Oreo Blue.
Missouri--The last time we were here, it was the Hendrix Tribute
release. When you walk through the doors, hastily twined to the
first load-bearing pole is a trophy from that night. A blue Fender
Stratocaster partially blackened, partially melted, partially broken,
and completely vindicated in its symbolism. There would be none of
that destruction tonight, but rather great music shared by a few of
Neosho's finest. Former OB guitarist, Bryan Martin joined us on
stage during the second set and tore up Red House and picked
through some beautifully patient solos. By the way, the
cheeseburgers are excellent at Gearheads...
The Packed House at the
November 28th--The Kitchen
Pass--Parsons, Kansas--Throughout the band's 12 year history, there
have been venues that have come and gone. Oftentimes, we get
attached to a venue primarily for its vibe, tonal qualities of the room,
great food, and most importantly, the people. The Kitchen Pass
ranks high in all of these qualities and has become a favorite stopping
place of ours. It had been a long spell since our last visit so we
were anxious to get back. At our last visit, we had mused that we
might write a song about the place. However, as busy as we all are
both on and off the stage, there seemed like no time to pen the
ditty. With months to prepare, we instead packaged the new tune, At
The Pass, just a few short days before the show. It was well
received as it included the names of many of the familiar faces there
and a jumping swing rhythm. Look for it on a future recording...
Majestic Lounge--Fayetteville, Arkansas--Before we even talk about
the show we have to give props to our beloved Razorbacks for the intense
whipping they gave
we can move on. I will say
that Stephen and I personally were in need of some serious Oreo groove
mojo baby. It’s like when
you’ve been on the road for a month and haven’t seen your baby.
You’ve had fun traveling and playing, but you need to come home
to momma and feel the love. That’s
exactly what we got taking the stage with our band mates Gary and Rod
that Saturday night. It was
on from the first song and we could have gone all night long with no
Viagra needed. To make things even better it was one of the best and
most responsive hometown crowds we’ve had in a while.
The inside stage at George’s Majestic Lounge is special, and
when your feeling the vibe it doesn’t get much better anywhere.
Oreo had numerous special moments, but it was a treat to have our
friends from the Ozark Blues Society in the house with us that night.
We also enjoyed very much our local friends and members of
“Leah & The Mojo Doctors” Leah, and Bob Coleman joining us for
some fine vocals and harp playing on several numbers.
Kicking off the second set was
’s “Tripwire” playing a couple of cool original songs.
Tripwire will be The OBS’s representative at the International
Blues Challenge this coming January, so good luck to the boys.
Thanks for all the blues fans that came that night.
Thank you to my band mates, because after twelve years of working
together it’s still like a first date taking the stage with these
guys. I love making music
with em’ all!!--Brian
Crowne/ Sax / Oreo Blue
Gary and Wes Jeans
Club--Texarkana, Texas--The last time we were at Players, we
performed our Hendrix Tribute and it created quite a stir. The
local music chat site was buzzing about Oreo Blue and our frequent
special guest Wes
Jeans in anticipation of our return. Here are some of
Texarkana ready for this show! Oreo is
probably one of the most professional bands I have ever seen here.
seem to love what they do and [I] believe they would put on a fantastic
show even if there were only 2 people who showed to see them. If
every band had this attitude we'd all get to see a lot better shows!
Blue kicked ass they are a great bunch of guys.
got and viewed the Oreo Blue Jimi Hendrix
Experience tribute. I can't begin to tell you how good it is.
I thought Oreo was incredible- And [snip] you really did miss the best
part of the show! I kind of feel sorry for Wes, I wouldn't have wanted
to follow a burning guitar!
that said, it seemed like we would have our work cut out for us in our
return. We invited Wes to join us again and I must admit that we
might have been a bit pumped for the show our selves. I thought
the band was in top form and the crowd--small, but feisty--seemed to
love every firework the band launched that night. With our
stalwart master, Gary and the white-hot Wes Jeans trading licks, I don't
think Texarkana was ready at all for this show. As a matter of
fact, I think that Texarkana made a big mistake by not rolling out in
force to Players on Saturday...Big mistake. I am a drummer, but I
would have not missed those two guitarists performing together. If
Texarkana gets another chance at seeing these two together again, it
better reserve a much larger venue.
Wes Jeans and Rod grooving
November 7th--The Red
River Club--Gainesville, Texas--This was our first visit to
Gainesville and the Red River Club. In a small horsing community
in the north part of the state, it was hard to imagine there would be a
hip club. But to our surprise, the Red River was quite cool.
The crowd was small, but so into the music it seemed as if the place was
packed. We can always count on our fans to show up no matter where
we go and those who traveled from Oklahoma helped us get through the
night by showing the locals how to rock.