Cowboy Mouth

Much like gumbo, the famous dish of their hometown, the New Orleans-born Cowboy Mouth uses a potent blend of musical ingredients – rock, blues, punk, funk, country, pop, soul and whatever else feels good – to create their bodacious, kickass tunes. Frontman, drummer, and co-founder Fred LeBlanc has asserted “if The Neville Brothers and The Clash had a baby, it would be Cowboy Mouth.” His description not only reflects the group’s amazing diverse sound, but it also conveys the fire and commitment they bring to their music.

Cowboy Mouth has perfected their wonderfully rambunctious style over the band’s three decades together. During that time, they have sold over a half a million albums domestically, performed before more than 10 million people, and played over 3,000 concerts. These relentless road warriors built their reputation and developed their devoted fan base through powerhouse live performances (frequently averaging 250 gigs a year). “With every show, no matter where it is, we try to turn it into New Orleans during the middle of Mardi Gras,” LeBlanc proclaims. “It’s like a southern gospel revival without the religion” – unless your religion is rock ‘n’ roll!

Cowboy Mouth formed in 1990, and their festive, free-wheeling style stood in sharp contrast to the then-popular grunge sound. In 1996, the band signed with MCA and their major label debut, Are You With Me?, spawned their biggest hit, “Jenny Says,” which cracked the top 40 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock and Alternative Rock charts. Their tunes have appeared in films ranging from the crime drama The Underneath (which featured them performing on screen) to the family comedy Meet The Robinsons. After doing several more albums on MCA Records and then Atlantic Records, Cowboy Mouth has continued to get their music to the people with a series of well-received independent and self-released albums. 

New Orleans and Louisiana have always been special places for Cowboy Mouth, who are inductees in The Louisiana Music Hall Of Fame. Their tune, “Mardi Gras State Of Mind,” featuring another NOLA luminary Big Sam Williams (of Big Sam’s Funky Nation) on trombone, delivers a joy-filled, footloose tribute to the world-famous carnival. 

LeBlanc (previously of the punkabilly band Dash Rip Rock) and former Red Rocker guitarist John Thomas Griffith have been guiding Cowboy Mouth from the very beginning. Bassist Brian “Bruiser” Broussard joined the group in 2014, and quickly developed a telepathic groove with drummer LeBlanc (Broussard, by the way, is a beermaster too). The band’s newest member is Frank (aka Frankie G) Grocholski, who has teamed up with Griffith to create a formidable two-man guitar army.

The phrase “Cowboy Mouth” typically is defined as “one with a loud and raucous voice,” and the term fits the band too. This is especially true for their legendary live performances that have been described as celebratory, life-affirming experiences possessing the ability to save souls. The galvanizing connection between band and fans is one reason Cowboy Mouth has stayed strong for so many years. LeBlanc, however, offers another explanation: “bullheaded tenacity and determination, with a pretty healthy dose of faith.”

For Cowboy Mouth, the road goes on forever.

Now approaching their third decade together, the New Orleans-based rockers continue to cement their reputation as celebratory, electrifying road warriors. They’ve played more than 3,000 shows to over 10 million fans, mixing the party-friendly punch of their hometown — a city known for good times and even better music — with a raw, rock & roll foundation. From the opening guitar riff of the band’s signature hit, “Jenny Says,” to the furious percussion supplied by the group’s drummer and larger-than-life frontman, Fred LeBlanc, Cowboy Mouth shows remain legendary.

“A Cowboy Mouth concert is like a Southern gospel revival without the religion,” says LeBlanc, who helped form the band in 1990. Nearly 30 years later, Cowboy Mouth continue to do their best work onstage, supplying their nightly congregation of rock & roll sinners and holy rollers— from the 100,000 people who watched the band open for Aerosmith at Jazz Fest 2018, to the densely-packed audiences that have filled the band’s club and theater shows for decades — with a reminder that rock & roll music doesn’t just swagger, sweat, and stomp. It saves.

Back in the 1990s, when rock was king and record labels were loaded, Cowboy Mouth released hit songs for MCA Records and Atlantic Records. MTV loved the guys. The radio loved them, too, with “Jenny Says” charging up the Top 40 hit on multiple Billboard charts. Even so, it was the band’s touring schedule and live show that truly set them apart. When the recording industry took a nosedive during the 2000s, Cowboy Mouth continued flying high, creating an even tighter bond with their audience by releasing music on their own. They didn’t need help from any record execs. After all, it was the band’s fan base that had always supported Cowboy Mouth…and today, it’s still the high-energy live show that keeps the crowds coming back.

That live show will receive new fuel in 2019, when Cowboy Mouth releases an EP of original songs loaded with the same in-your-face, amplified attack that launched the band’s career years ago. Joining Fred LeBlanc on the new record is the band’s longtime guitarist John Thomas Griffith, who fronted the nationally-acclaimed group Red Rockers (and sang on their early-1980s MTV staple, “China”) before joining Cowboy Mouth’s original lineup. Also featuring bassist Brian Broussard and guitarist Matt Jones, Cowboy Mouth’s roster is stronger than ever: a lineup of four rock & roll veterans, all working together to stir the band’s unique gumbo of pop, Big Easy blues, soul, punk, and redemptive rock & roll.

“What we provide isn’t just musical entertainment,” LeBlanc explains. “It’s an experience. We’re constantly looking to top ourselves, because that’s just who we are. We’re galvanizers. We’re a bit hyperbolic. We’re Cowboy Mouth.”

Cake Magazine said it best: “On a bad night, they will blow the roof of the place. On a good night, Cowboy Mouth will save your soul.”