Saturday, September 19, 2015

Black Oak Arkansas Live at Eronel : Sep. 12, 2015


Dubuque, Iowa
By Phillip Smith; Sep 13, 2015


Electricity came to Dubuque, Iowa last night in the semblance of Black Oak Arkansas. Founding members, front man Jim “Dandy” Mangrum and guitarist Rickie Lee Reynolds joined by fellow band mates, drummer Johnnie Bolin, guitarist Arthur Pearson, bassist George Hughen, and backing vocalist Samantha Barnes, played their asses off in harum-scarum fashion to a crowd of dedicated fans who continue to keep the faith.  The venue, Eronel, is located in the basement of the historic Cooper Wagon Works Building.  Originally constructed in 1895, its stone walls and arched passage ways reminded me a little bit of images I’ve seen of the Cavern Club in Liverpool.  This made for a very cool intimate setting for the show.

When Jim Dandy took the stage, donning his signature black leather, patch-adorned vest atop a cool as hell black tank with a silver skull emblazed on the front, there was no doubt this was going to be a fantastic show.  I could feel the energy heighten as BOA broke into “Plugged in and Wired” off their newer album, Back Thar N’ Over Yonder. This one really got the adrenalin flowing.  It was so good to hear “Hot Rod”, a favorite filled with double entendres and peppered with Jim’s maniacal laughter.  I also grinned from ear to ear as they played old favorites, “Uncle Elijah”, “High ‘n’ Dry”, “Happy Hooker” and “Hot and Nasty”.  The later in which Jim Dandy pulled out the washboard.  But when they played “Lord Have Mercy on My Soul (Halls of Karma)”, chills shot down my spine.  It is a phenomenal song and was a definite crowd pleaser.

Prior to performing “Heartbreaker”, Jim spoke a few touching words about a certain ‘spitfire redhead’ who died 20 years ago and sang this one in honor of Miss Ruby Starr. The band also paid tribute to Johnnie Bolin’s brother Tommy Bolin with a beautifully played “Post Toastee”.  


Saving “Jim Dandy” for last was pretty much a given.  Most everyone was singing along as the show sadly came to a close. Every time I see this band, I feel lifted and energized.  They surely are a band I will try to catch live every time I get a chance.




Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

Rickie Lee Reynolds 

Rickie Lee Reynolds, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

Samantha Barnes

Samantha Barnes

George Hughen, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum, Arthur Pearson

Rickie Lee Reynolds

Johnnie Bolin

Black Oak Arkansas

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

Samantha Barnes, Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

George Hughen

Johnnie Bolin

Johnnie Bolin, Samantha Barnes

George Hughen

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum

George Hughen, Arthur Pearson

Rickie Lee Reynolds

Rickie Lee Reynolds

Jim "Dandy" Mangrum


Jim "Dandy" Mangrum