Cowboy Mouth

by Troy Johnson
February 2011

In the midst of their 16th annual Mardi Gras tour, Cowboy Mouth is fixing to bring their New Orleans style of good times rock and roll music to the Midwest. The group has earned a reputation for a wildly entertaining live performance with crisp and clear, often goofy, lyrics and songs that encourage crowd participation. Their style of literate but accessible pop-rock is similar in spirit to former tour-mates, the Barenaked Ladies. The band also shared stages with musically similar groups like Sister Hazel and Hootie and The Blowfish.

I had a brief conversation with Fred LeBlanc, frontman and drummer, before a show while they were unloading their equipment for a gig that evening in Shreveport, LA. Cowboy Mouth plays so many shows, I was curious about what makes an individual show special. LeBlanc mentions that “A live show, for me, is about creating a moment for the audience and ourselves. I have this thing I started saying when we first put Cowboy Mouth together, it goes, ‘10 or 10,000.’ It doesn’t matter how many people are or are not in the audience. Every night that we play we give our very best.”

Founding members John Thomas Griffith (lead guitarist) and John Thomas Griffith (vocalist), as well as LeBlanc have played together as Cowboy Mouth for over fifteen years. Since the band formed, they have had numerous lineup changes but are set now with rhythm guitarist Matt Jones and renowned Louisiana bass player Casandra Faulconer. Fred states that, “Over the years we have had people try to be part of the band that don’t keep up the high energy that Cowboy Mouth has on tour and in those cases they just didn’t last long with us. New members of the band have always made the group better. That’s not to say anything negative about past members, but right now, with the talent we bring to stage each night, Cowboy Mouth is better than we ever have been.”

To go along with their current tour, Cowboy Mouth has released an EP called “Mardi Gras.” The EP has classic celebration crowd pleasers like “Iko Iko” and other Mardi Gras dance tracks and sing-along anthems. When asked the difference between being in a studio to record “Mardi Gras” and their live performances, Fred said, “Our latest EP is a collection of classic Mardi Gras hits. Creating an album is more of an overt craft than performing live. If a live show is about creating a moment then songs recorded in studio are about recreating a moment that becomes a finished product you can listen to over and over”

Cowboy Mouth will perform at the High Noon Saloon on Thursday, February 24th. You can find music, tour dates, and merchandise on their official website

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