The Name of the Band is Cowboy Mouth
20 years and 11 albums on, and still going strong.
Web2Carz Staff Writer
Published: July 31st, 2012
f you can’t remember whether or not you’ve attended a Cowboy Mouth show, you haven’t—the band forces concert attendees to have a good time, to feel the rhythm of the bombastic drums, and, as lead singer and drummer Fred LeBlanc puts it, act like they’re “five years old, naked as a jaybird and about to turn the hose on [their] parents, and there's not a damn thing they can do about it."
The band’s bread and butter, their heart, is their live performance.
LeBlanc started the band in New Orleans in the late ‘90s along with lead guitaris John Thomas Griffith, who also pitches in on vocals. Before Cowboy Mouth, LeBlanc played with southern punk band Dash Rip Rock and even produced the group’s first two studio albums. Griffith also found success before joining Cowboy Mouth, leading the Red Rockers, who hit the charts with their song “China” and opened for bands like U2 and the Go-Gos.
When LeBlanc and Griffith joined forces to create Cowboy Mouth, they enlisted Paul Sanchez on guitar, formerly of The Backbeats, and Paul Clement on bass. The band was able to hit the ground running, since all the members had already seen some success.
The band toured with Hootie and the Blowfish, Sister Hazel, Better Then Ezra, and Barenaked Ladies, who unknowingly started a Cowboy Mouth tradition during their concerts—during the song “Everybody Loves Jill,” fans toss plastic red spoons (a reference to a line in the song), covering the stage, and LeBlanc’s drums.
“We were touring with Barenaked Ladies and their fans throw boxes of macaroni and cheese (during “If I Had a Million Dollars,” also in reference to a line in the song),” Griffith told us. “Suddenly they started throwing spoons at us.”
Members of Barenaked Ladies have stated during shows that they don’t necessarily enjoy getting pelted with noodles, but Griffith doesn’t have a problem with the spoons.
“It’s great,” he said. “It’s part of the show. I know Fred loves it, too.”
For a short period, the band saw a few newer groups on the rise.
“We were asked if we minded having this new band, Maroon 5, open for us,” Griffith said. “We said, ‘sure.’ Well when they went out there all of these girls were screaming for Adam [Levine, Maroon 5’s lead singer]. And we were thinking, ‘this is fantastic.’ But by the time we went on the girls had left and followed Adam to wherever he was going.”
As the years went on, the band’s lineup changed frequently, except for the two founders—LeBlanc and Griffith.
“Fred is in charge,” Griffith said. “This is great. After all these years, we know what to expect. If someone (in the band) wants to do something different, they can go and do that. But this is Fred’s band and we’re going to do things a certain way.”
Cowboy Mouth’s current lineup consists of LeBlanc (drums/lead vocals), Griffith (guitar/lead vocals), Matt Jones (rhythm guitar/vocals), and Casandra Faulconer (bass). Jones is a former member of Jimmie's Chicken Shack, Faulconer toured with blues guitarist Debbie Davies.
The band has released 11 albums over the last 20 years and has had songs on movie soundtracks like Half Baked and The Underneath. Their song “This Much Fun” is featured in the trailer for Disney’s Meet the Robinsons. Cowboy Mouth has also performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and Live with Regis and Kelly, where they played their song “Kelly Ripa.”
But the band’s bread and butter, their heart, is their live performance. LeBlanc screams, “Are you with me?” while their fans jump on their seats, crouch down on the ground, or even hug the stranger next to them (a request by LeBlanc) while chanting “The name of the band is Cowboy Mouth!”
“It doesn’t get old,” Griffith said.
Read about John Thomas Griffith's love of cars here.
For more on Cowboy Mouth, including tour dates, visit cowboymouth.com.