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