A Four-Day Jimmy Buffett-Style Bash At Oklahoma River Spirit Casino’s Margaritaville Bar & Pool
By Eric “EB” Babin, Special To PubClub.com
Gina and I’s job of “Trop Rockin’ The USA” frequently takes us to beautiful beaches in places such as Gulf Shores Alabama, Panama City Beach and Key West Florida. Sometimes it even takes us on cruises in the Caribbean. Other times it takes us to exotic locations like Tulsa Oklahoma. Wait. What? Yes, there are kick ass trop rock parties not only on beautiful beaches but also at really cool venues in mid-America.
This is the case at our most recent event, Trop Rock River Phlock, hosted by the amazing folks of the Tulsa Parrothead Club. (If you were unaware, a “Parrothead” is a Jimmy Buffett fan. There are about 225 clubs worldwide. The Parrothead motto is “Party with a purpose” since they love to have fun, and during that fun raise money for hundreds of charities. More about Parrotheads in a later blog.)
The Tulsa club put together its second annual Trop Rock River PHlock at the Tulsa Oklahoma River Spirit Casino. This was a great fit, since this casino is one of the newest Margaritaville themed establishments and includes a Margaritaville Café, 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar, and Landshark Pool Bar. Each has a great stage for live music performances.
The event was Emceed by Radio Margaritaville’s J.D. Spradlin, and Radio Trop Rock’s Eric “EB” Babin (me). Musical performers included Thom Shepherd, Rick Lamb and the Phin Addicts, The COPA Reefers, Tropicool, The Detentions, The Donny Brewer Trio, and Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef.
The event brought in folks from 18 different Parrothead clubs from around the country.
Cathy Boley, the event coordinator, had this to say regarding the charitable aspect for the weekend:
“We had several fundraisers going on with everything from a silent auction, to a liquor/wine cork pull, raffled off a tiki bar, and a journey maker which had all 18 clubs in attendance and how far they had traveled. The charities we were raising money for this year were Coffee Bunkers who benefit Veterans, and Joy in the Cause benefiting families who have a family member with a life threatening illness. We are still working on the total amount raised.”
It was Gina and I’s first visit to the River Spirit Casino. I don’t know what we were expecting but I can tell you we were blown away by the size and beauty of this property. The casino area is very well taken care of and clean. Of course, our favorite areas of River Spirit are those that are Margaritaville branded. It’s your typical over-the-top tropical decorations, lights and palm trees. Just they way we, and all other trop rock fans, love.
We’d like to add that the Tulsa Parrothead club did a great job with the event. From registration, to the fundraising activities, each volunteer worked their butts off to be sure everyone else had a fantastic weekend. Here are some highlights from the event.
Day 1 – Thom Shepherd performed before a packed house in the Margaritaville Café. The crowd enjoyed Thom’s signature number one hits Redneck Yacht Club and Riding with Private Malone. No show from Thom would be complete without his most requested song Djibouti, which is a lighthearted take on a place that is “hot, dirty, and nasty.”
Thom had the crowd enjoying the audience participation / gospel inspired song Waiting with Donny Brewer and James “Sunny Jim” White demonstrating the proper jazz hand technique. Although Thom was performing without Coley McCabe who was unable to make due to a schedule conflict, he did play her part during some of the key “duet” moments.
Day 2 – The shows started early on the Volcano Stage at Margaritaville Café. Rick Lamb and the Phin Addicts rocked the crowd starting at 2 o’clock in the afternoon. The Phin Addicts are Rick Lamb, Rob Davis, Kent Williams, Joe Mahar and Mitch Brashers. Rick puts the “rock” in trop rock.
Surprisingly, the dance floor was shoulder to shoulder during this afternoon show. Rick played his classics like Red Sky at Night, and his Navy days inspired Med Cruise sprinkling in some brand new tunes that are yet to be recorded. After Rick’s show the crowd moved to the 5 O’clock Somewhere Bar for happy hour featuring the premiere trop rock band of Oklahoma, the COPA (Central Oklahoma Parrothead Association) Reefers. The COPA Reefers consists of Rodney Mulkey, Dana Flowers, Shawn Aaron, Joe Rush, and Bobby Gene.
Those that had not worn themselves out dancing yet continued their adult beverage-fueled party. The COPA Reefers did a great job of mixing in some originals with timeless covers.
The final show of the night was at the Landshark Pool Bar. This trio consisted of three performers who have successful solo careers, but occasionally get together as a threesome. James “Sunny Jim” White, John Patti, and Jimi Pappas took turns playing each other’s songs, while throwing in some fantastic cover songs. This was a great relaxing show by the pool.
Day 3 – Saturday’s performances began at the Landshark Pool Bar. What better place to hear some trop rock music than a huge pool with a swim up bar on one end, and a live music stage on the other!?
The Donny Brewer “Trio” which consisted of four performers (strange, I know) included Donny Brewer, Mark Mireles, Trey Newmiller, and Nick Montou. They performed a fantastic show which included Donny Brewer playing guitar from the pool (IN the pool) while he orchestrated a swimming conga line.
Following that was the duo that are “School teachers by day, happy hour Heroes by night” The Detentions. Dan Sullivan and Chris Hillier rocked the pool with their signature harmonies with a comedic twist. Following The Detentions was a scrumptious dinner buffet break before everyone cleaned up and headed to Margaritaville Café for the final performance of the day Jerry Diaz and Hanna’s Reef.
Hanna’s Reef is Jerry Diaz, Mark Mireles, Nick Montou, and Trey Newmiller. Donny Brewer filled in for lead guitar. They got the joint dancing with their style of “Texas Beach Music.” Everyone was loving the show as Jerry was playing his classics mixed in with some tunes from his brand new CD Rum Drinks & Sandy Beaches. The crowd must have done a great job of pacing themselves for the day. Jerry played until 1am and the place was still packed!
Day 4 – A very short nine hours after the party ended Saturday night (1 a.m., Sunday Morning) it started back up in the same place, right there at the Volcano Stage at 10 a.m., featuring a Jerry Diaz solo show. Those that braved the early-morning show were treated to a great buffet breakfast along with your choice of spicy Bloody Marys, mimosas, or any other adult beverage you may enjoy with an early meal.
As Jerry closed out his show it became apparent this fun-filled weekend with friends from long ago, and new friends made, was coming to a close. The good-byes were long and difficult as the attendees parted ways, looking forward to seeing each other again, hopefully soon, somewhere down the trop rock circuit road.
For more information on the Trop Rockin’ the USA schedule visit RadioTropRock.com and look for the “tour schedule” tab near the top.
Eric “EB” Babin
Radio Trop Rock
Trop Rockin’ the USA
Editor’s Note: This is a continuing series of live on the TropRock road from Eric and Gina Babin of Radio Trop Rock.