Cowboy Mouth
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Cowboy Mouth


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"And the name of the band is..."

And the name of the band is... COWBOY MOUTH!
by Heather Champagne

I had been breathless with anticipation all week, knowing I had an opportunity to catch Cowboy Mouth ( ) at the Roxy on a recent Thursday. The exuberance of their unlikely and lovable lead singer/drummer Fred LeBlanc won me over last year when I saw them open for Maroon 5 at the House of Blues, and the cohesiveness of the fans made it feel more like a family gathering than a concert; that is, until the music starts and there is no doubt about it being a rock show.

I settled in with a Hurricane and onion rings at a table with a great view of the stage, and a group of several rowdy urban cowboys seated at the booth behind directly behind me. I knew it would be a free for all when one of them snagged an onion ring from my plate and yelled out "Freebird!" before the band even appeared on stage; but they were so friendly that I found it endearing rather than irritating.

The curtain went up, and just as when I had seen them before, the drums were front and center. The band started the set off with a song about their hometown of New Orleans – rocking, yet sweet and nostalgic. I tried to stay seated, but by now my food was cold anyway, and the music was calling me to dance!

At first, it seems like it's going to be The Fred LeBlanc Show; but with each member of the band being multi-talented, that initial impression is somewhat misleading. Both bassist Mary LaSang and guitarist John Thomas Griffith took turns playing keyboards on a couple of songs, and lead vocals rotated between Griff, LeBlanc, and Paul Sanchez (also a guitarist).

LaSang is a woman not afraid to sweat, at times working harder than the boys, and always with her heart in the music. She is entirely present at all times, and without ever taking lead vocals, she conveys passion and good-natured intensity with her instrument and her stage presence.

The crowd went a little wild during "Everybody Loves Jill" and "Hurricane Party", and I soon realized why: Apparently, certain fans brought props with them to the show... something involving red plastic spoons from Dairy Queen, Tootsie Rolls, and - ermm - certain herbal contraband. Not necessarily in that order. I'm pretty sure one of the scores of candies thrown beaned Sanchez as he was singing "Hurricane Party", but it didn't bother him; on the contrary, his grin seemed to widen as Tootsie Rolls rained down on the stage.

After hearing him sing lead on the haunting "Can't Stay Here", I caught up with Griff after the show and asked him who inspires him musically. Surprisingly, he brought up a well-known pop star's intimate cabaret show he recently saw in Washington, DC. Late of The Red Rockers, Griff's diversified style is a recipe for record sales, because he is musically appealing on many different levels.

Whipping the fans into a frenzy seems to be Fred LeBlanc's specialty - and make no mistake; the man's a total pro. Without preaching, he none-too-gently sets forth a message of appreciating that life is a gift. "You can't control what happens," he said to me. "What you can control is your response to the harsh realities of life. Okay, <something bad> happens, but then, what are you going to do about it?"

"Taking personal responsibility for your own happiness makes you a stronger, more viable human being," he reflected in his down-to-earth, matter-of-fact way. "We don't want to try to convince people to believe in a deity or a political message; we just want people to be glad to be alive." Perhaps this inclusive philosophy is why people enjoy Cowboy Mouth so whole-heartedly; or maybe it's just because when they go to one of their shows, they feel good for the duration of the show and several hours after that. There is something to be said for the instant gratification of the adrenaline rush this band supplies in mass quantities.

But LeBlanc isn't content to just sit on his drum riser and wait for people to dance: He treks into the audience with his wireless mic, seeks out the wallflowers in their dark corners and drags each and every person down on to the dance floor. Pretension has no home at a Cowboy Mouth show. If you're not enjoying yourself, LeBlanc will call you on it; and he will say, as he does at every show, "Life is too short to not be having a good time!"

That's Fred LeBlanc for ya – and the name of the band is Cowboy Mouth, from New Orleans, Louisiana. - All Access Magazine

"Despite setbacks 'Cowboy' rides on"

Special to The Post and Courier

While Charleston fans can count on seeing the smiling faces of drummer Fred LeBlanc, guitarist/keyboardist John Thomas Griffith, guitarist Paul Sanchez, and new bassist Sonia Tetlow when Cowboy Mouth begins a four-night stand at the Windjammer tonight, the band has been through some rough patches over the past year or so.

To say that Cowboy Mouth was affected by the destruction of Hurricane Katrina is an understatement. After all, this is a band that always introduces itself by way of LeBlanc bellowing, "We are Cowboy Mouth from New Orleans, La.!"

Although the band was recording in Atlanta when the storm hit the Gulf Coast, the band member's lives were directly affected by Katrina nonetheless. Speaking to LeBlanc, Griffith and Sanchez by phone this past weekend from St. Louis, where they were continuing to tour, it was evident that even with Cowboy Mouth's can-do attitude, recent events had taken their toll on the band.

"We all have our own measure of grieving and sadness to go through," said LeBlanc, "because what you're doing is grieving a loss." There have been varying amounts of loss among the members of Cowboy Mouth. In addition to LeBlanc and Sanchez having property damaged in the storm, the location that houses the band's merchandise was completely submerged, ruining every CD, T-shirt and bumper sticker belonging to the band.

The band members also have also been dealing with the loss of several family members. While no one in the immediate Cowboy Mouth family perished in the hurricane, Griffith explained that the band has had to deal with the loss of several loved ones over the past year and a half.

"2004 and 2005 has been a really hard season for us," Griffith explained, "If you want to compare it to baseball terms, we've lost pretty much our entire starting rotation. We lost Fred's mom first in spring of 2003. At the bottom of 2003, we lost the parents of Mary (LaSang, the band's bass player prior to Tetlow) almost simultaneously. 2004 came and we lost Paul's brother, Andy, to cancer, and at the bottom of 2004, I lost my father on Christmas night.

Then just last week, I lost my mom." Indeed, the sad loss of Griffith's mother caused Cowboy Mouth to do something it rarely does -- cancel shows so Griffith could deal with this latest loss.

Yet, despite the difficult times Griffith still managed to lighten the mood. "That's why I think that 2006 and this new album can't go wrong," he laughed, "Or can it? Can we just please end the year right now? Just cut our losses and have Christmas next week, then New Year's and be done with it and move on?" Griffith is likely echoing the sentiments of every resident from Eastern Texas to the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

Each of the band members brightened at the mention of the forthcoming album, which is due in stores in February 2006. Tentatively titled "Voodoo Shoppe," all three men agreed that it is going to be the band's best studio release to date.

"It kind of runs the gamut," said LeBlanc. "We have a song that is already getting some airplay called 'Joe Strummer,' about the lead singer for the Clash. 'Voodoo Shoppe' is a song about a friend of ours who lives in New Orleans and owns an actual voodoo shop. It's going to be rockin', it's actually a stompin' little record."

According to Sanchez, the new album's strength comes from the fact that it was a collaborative effort. "I'm most happy that every single thing on there we wrote together," Sanchez explained. "We sat there and discussed lyrics, melody and arrangements. Everybody feels completely creatively and emotionally engaged, and that is a great feeling for anybody who has ever created something."

Griffith seemed to be equally as enthusiastic. "Everybody's really pitched in. It's a really collaborative piece. I have to be honest with you, I've never been more excited about a record this band has put out in the 16 years we've been together. It's really hard to convey Cowboy Mouth live on a record, and I always have thought that it would never happen. Because the whole writing process was collaborative, that made a difference."

With the added star power of the Blue Dogs, Sister Hazel, Edwin McCain and another well-known South Carolina band helping Cowboy Mouth during the shows over the next four evenings at the Windjammer, sold-out performances shouldn't be a problem.

So why the Windjammer? Partly because owner Bobby Ross was one of the first people on the phone offering help to the band, even before Katrina came ashore in New Orleans. Ross, just like most other Charlestonians, had seen firsthand what a big hurricane could do. He was here when Hugo gave the Lowcountry a good thrashing in 1989.

As Sanchez explained, "Before the hurricane hit New Orleans, Bobby Ross called my wife, Shelly, who is our tour manager, and he said, 'Listen, I'll be there in 24 hours with generators, ice and water. Trust me, if you need any of the - The Post and Courier

"Loud Cowboy Mouth: An interview with Fred LeBlanc of Cowboy Mouth"

by Tyler Hernandez (Arcade Editor)
April 28, 2006

Self-proclaimed “homegrown rockers” Cowboy Mouth have been a prominent part of the New Orleans music scene for more than 15 years. Playing more than 200 shows a year nation-wide, the group continues to gain national recognition while staying true to their deep-rooted local influences. Today, Cowboy Mouth returns home to play in this year’s historic Jazz Fest. Front man, drummer and lead singer Fred LeBlanc took time to talk to the arcade about New Orleans, life after Katrina and the band’s upcoming performance.

arcade: How did Katrina affect the production of your new album Voodoo Shoppe?
Fred LeBlanc: Well, we were actually in the studio when the storm actually hit and everything went down in New Orleans, but we were in Atlanta recording. Basically, all we could do was sit and watch what was happening on TV.

a: With the renewed interest in all things New Orleans, have you guys seen any surge in attention since Katrina?
FL: We did, but it’s hard to say if it was because of what happened to New Orleans or if it was because of us releasing a new album. It happens every time we release a new album. I will say that when everything went down, people outside of the city couldn’t have been nicer to us. Everyone was very giving, very patient, so I think that very conscientious of a lot of people. That was cool.

a: I know y’all have continued to tour and have promoted your album. How do the crowds at shows around the country compare to those in New Orleans?
FL: Well, New Orleans tends to be the toughest crowds I play for anywhere because people here are very discerning. I mean, it’s not everywhere in the world that you can go to Monday night at the Maple Leaf and see Papa Grows Funk. People around here are very spoiled with the quality of music we get on a regular basis, myself included. There’s a lot of great music and a lot of great culture and heritage in this city. It’s sometimes easy to take for granted because it’s so plentiful. I enjoy being from this area for that reason. Just the fact that music and creativity are in such an abundance here.

a: I’m sure there is no need to ask this next one, but are y’all excited to be playing at Jazz Fest again this year?
FL: Hell yes! Every single iota of culture, every single local band, every single thing that just bleeds and breathes New Orleans, I am deliriously happy to take part in.

a: Y’all are also known for being a band that is big on crowd participation and really getting your audiences involved.
FL: Well, we want to make sure the audience is having just as much of a cathartic experience as we are. That’s one of the things I really like about Cowboy Mouth. It’s a place that you can kind of just come to cut loose and be free – to celebrate that you’re alive, in spite of everything.

a: Do you prefer playing an event like Jazz Fest or more intimate smaller venues?
FL: You know, truth of the matter is I’m a musician. I’m happy to play music anywhere.

a: I know that Cowboy Mouth bleeds purple, green and gold. I mean y’all are New Orleans through and through, so how does it feel to finally be home?
FL: There’s no better feeling in the world. This city is my heart and soul, and I’m going to stay here for as long as I can. Hopefully, they’ll bury me here. If you’re going to face reality, you can’t commit and physical or financial suicide based on geography, but this place is my soul. I don’t fit anywhere else. I’ve tried living other places, and they all have this one thing in common: they are not New Orleans. And that’s a fatal flaw for each and every one of them. I’m part of this city, and this city is a part of me.

a: What do you guys have coming up?
FL: Well, Jazz Fest is coming up. This summer, we have a lot of festivals we’re playing around the country. A bunch of touring. Touring, touring, touring. Promoting Cowboy Mouth and Voodoo Shoppe.

a: Yeah, I enjoyed the album. I’ve actually been trying to get some of my friends who aren’t from the area to listen to you guys and some of the other bands that I grew up with. So far, I think they’ve liked what they’ve heard as well.
FL: Yeah. You know, you can only listen to so much Phish.

a: Actually, it’s funny you say that. My roommate is a huge Phish fan, and we are constantly battling to see which one of us can play our music the loudest.
FL: Cowboy Mouth is always loudest. It always is.

a: Well, who are you looking forward to seeing at Jazz Fest?
FL: I was looking forward to seeing Bob Dylan, but he’s playing against us. But Ani DiFranco, Springsteen. I think Kermit’s playing. Really looking forward to Fats. Oh, and I’m really looking forward to this band Cowboy Mouth.

a: Yeah, I’ve heard about them.
FL: Oh I hear they kick a lot of ass. I hear the drummer’s a little crazy though.

a: Well, Fred, I really appreciate you taking the time to talk with me.
FL: Not a problem. Not a problem. Take care of your - Tulane Newspaper

"Joe Strummer: "a worthy tribute and a modern rock hit waiting to happen""

Cowboy Mouth have gotten their niche as a New Orleans party machine, but they used to be something more: A roots band with a big heart, great songwriting, wide stylistic reach and a crazed drummer. That's the Cowboy Mouth that reappears on their latest, the first real band effort in a long while (singer/drummer Fred LeBlanc made most of the last album, Uh-Oh by himself). LeBlanc's mile-widepersonality is still much in evidence, but now the songs are all
co-written, harmonies are back and everybody gets a turn upfront. Singer/guitarist John Thomas Griffith, once of the Clash-inspired Red Rockers, gets his best moment on "Joe Strummer"; about the need to get rid of a girlfriend who never heard of the Clash. It's both a worthy tribute and a modern rock
hitwaiting to happen. Punk roots are also echoed in "Misty Falls," which nicks its guitar solo from Eddie & the Hot Rods' "Do Anything You Wanna Do." After a few more wild rockers they add a welcome shot of swamp-funk on the title track. The closing Katrina-inspired trilogy is angry, sad and most of all hopeful, with LeBlanc's closing ballad "The Avenue" hitting a
jazz-funeral groove as he promises "the marching bands will roll, and I plan on growing old on the avenue." Inspiring stuff, and still a hell of a party record.
- Boston Phoenix (weekly)

"Cowboy Mouth works new magic on 'Voodoo'"

Special to The Post and Courier
Cowboy Mouth - "Voodoo Shoppe" - (Eleven Thirty)

Just in time for what will no doubt be one of the most important Mardi Gras celebrations in New Orleans' history comes the latest album from a group of the city's most vocal supporters. To love Cowboy Mouth is to love New Orleans.

When Katrina turned that city upside-down in 2005, drummer Fred LeBlanc and guitarist Paul Sanchez lost their homes to the storm, and the band lost most of its stored merchandise. Also destroyed after the hurricane was Paradigm Studios, where Cowboy Mouth began recording "Voodoo Shoppe," its latest release. Recording moved to Atlanta's Ruby Red Studios with producer Russ T, as well as to Mark Bryan's studio in Awendaw, just north of Mount Pleasant. While the band mourned the temporary loss of its hometown, it also finished recording the new album.

Just as in the band's previous two studio albums, "Uh-Oh" and "Easy,"
this new CD features several songs that many fans might consider a drastic departure from Cowboy Mouth's usual sound. That isn't necessarily a bad thing, but longtime listeners used to the likes of "Jenny Says" and "Light It on Fire" might find themselves facing some different sounds this time out. "Hole in My Heart," one of the tracks produced by Bryan, is a good example. The bluesy guitar intro gives way to LeBlanc crooning to "Get busy living or get busy dying."

Another less familiar moment sound-wise is "Supersonic," which was written by the band after guitarist John Thomas Griffith and new bassist Sonia Tetlow flew with the Blue Angels last April. Neither song is bad, just different than what we have come to expect from the band.

As usual, when Cowboy Mouth clicks on a song, the band ends up knocking it out of the park. Such is the case with the CD's lead-off track, "Joe Strummer," in which LeBlanc tells the story of the breakup of a relationship that came about strictly because the girl didn't know who Strummer was. (Hint: If you don't either, better not tell Fred.)

This is the sort of clever melodic writing that makes Cowboy Mouth the live juggernaut it is. Also great are "Glad to be Alive," "This Much Fun," and the CD's title track. There also are a couple of tunes, "The Avenue" and "Home," in which the band deals with the physical and emotional damage brought on by Hurricane Katrina.

All in all, Cowboy Mouth is in no danger of losing its reputation for life-affirming, high-energy rock music. The occasional detours into new sounds are simply the songs of a band that is comfortable enough with its core to experiment a bit.

The release of "Voodoo Shoppe" is just the latest indication that New Orleans is finally recovering . (B+)

Download These: "Joe Strummer," "Voodoo Shoppe," "Glad to be Alive"
- The Post and Courier

"Cowboy Mouth – Voodoo Shoppe (Eleven Thirty)"

By Matthew Robinson

Though there is NOTHING like a Cowboy Mouth show, this latest studio album captures a good deal of their unbridled energy, authentic New Orleans soul and supernatural spirit-lifting powers. Bashing (or is that “Clash-ing”?) open with the Punk-y drive of “Joe Strummer,” the Mouth continues to roar about the freedoms of love gone wrong in “This Much Fun.” Dabbling in radio-ready rock by way of a roaring trip to “Misty Falls” and the doo-woppy driver “Hole in My Heart,” the versatile band reveals references to Aerosmith, BNL, REM, the Ramones, and many others. In the final analysis, however, it is the band’s Big Easy backbone that comes to the fore in the albums slinky and mysterious title track and in the uniquely perspectived tributes “Home” and “The Avenue,” both of which pledge the band to bringing New Orleans back and bringing the Crescent City’s spirit to the rest of the musical world. Despite the pain and loss, the band is still able to come to the uptempo conclusion that they are all “Glad to Be Alive.” With all they have done and all they have seen, this is what the band has come away with, and this is what they bring to their audiences night after night after night.

Watch for Cowboy Mouth…everywhere!

- Matthew S. Robinson

- Music Dish

"Cowboy Mouth draws listeners with compelling hooks"

By Regis Behe
Thursday, March 9, 2006

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, the enduring spectacle of Mardi Gras might have seemed out of place to those unfamiliar with the nature of New Orleans. According to Cowboy Mouth's Fred LeBlanc, to not have the annual bacchanalian rites, the parades and pageantry and yes, the partying, would have been far more damaging to the Big Easy's psyche.

"That's what New Orleans does," says LeBlanc, the drummer and vocalist who performs with the band Sunday at Mr. Small's Funhouse in Millvale.
"It's part of our DNA, the whole idea of going a little crazy to keep yourself sane."

Cowboy Mouth typifies the resilient nature of its Louisiana home. Long known for live shows, the band has just released "Voodoo Shoppe," an album which comes close to matching the group's high-voltage performances.

The difference from recent releases is that all members of the band were involved in writing the material.

"The energy of what we do live is something we don't really understand,"
LeBlanc says. "It's just something we lucked into. But the chemistry of the band is rare. ... And the best way to get the very best out of people is to have them emotionally vested in things. And it got to the point on the last record where I was writing pretty much all the songs."

This time out LeBlanc enlisted more contributions from bandmates Paul Sanchez (guitar, vocals), John Thomas Griffith (guitar, vocals) and Sonia Tetlow (bass). The result is music that flows from rock to pop, with dashes of punk and rhythm and blues as seasoning.

Every song, however, seems to have one irresistible hook to draw in listeners.

"Being the songwriter that I am, the easiest way to translate what you're doing for people is to give them hooks, something to latch on to, something they can sing themselves," LeBlanc says.

And, LeBlanc might add, sharp, often amusing lyrics. The album's first song, "Joe Strummer," weds a frenetic punk rhythm to a story about a guy who dumps his girlfriend because she doesn't know the late, great leader of The Clash.

Thing is, it's a true story. LeBlanc met Strummer shortly before The Clash leader died in 2002; when he called his then girlfriend with the news of the death, she asked "Who is that?"

"At that moment, I thought, 'you gotta go,'" LeBlanc says, laughing.
"It's put in a comic perspective, but 'Joe Strummer' is sort of a metaphor for lack of communication in relationships put to a poppy tune."

While most of the material on "Voodoo Shoppe" exhibits a similar sense of playfulness -- notably the Elvis Presley-like exuberance on "Hole in My Heart" -- two songs diverge.

"Home" and "The Avenue" were written shortly after Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans.

"Both songs were just reactions to what happened down there," LeBlanc says. "You just try to express what happens to you in life, through your music or poetry or whatever."

Sanchez lost his home to Katrina, and the roof of LeBlanc's house was blown off. But many of their friends and fellow citizens lost so much more. While there have been calls to abandon the city, that would go against the very grain of being from New Orleans.

"If you're born and raised in New Orleans, you don't fit anywhere else,"
LeBlanc says. "Nothing against any other city, but it's just a way of life, a culture, that's so unique. It's just the idea of having Mardi Gras, the idea in the face of everything that's happened, taking the time to celebrate. It is something you need to do to keep yourself going."




An interview with Fred LeBlanc

by MS

They're Crescent City's favorite homegrown rockers; they tour constantly and, well, once you've see this band live, you'll never be the same again! Cowboy Mouth has undergone many changes in their life together as a band and its no surprise that their latest endeavor (as well as a certain natural disaster) would bring about more changes as well. Released last February, VOODOO SHOPPE [ELTH7009] is one of the many transformations that this band has gone's the first time band members wrote and/or arranged all of the songs together. Their first studio album in more than three years, VOODOO SHOPPE is also their first album for Eleven Thirty Records, the first release under the new management of Rusty Harmon and Mark Zenow of MTM Management, and their first release with new bass player Sonia Tetlow. As if this isn't challenging enough for a band to have to process, they've also have had to personally deal head-on with a bitch named Katrina causing devastation in their hometown. Despite all this, the band plays on and actually keeps up a pretty positive attitude about everything. If you haven't seen them live well then, make sure to put it on your to do-list and find out why people consider their live show a revival of sorts. Lucky for me - being a big fan of the band - I was able to catch up with the charismatic Fred LeBlanc by phone while the band was preparing for a show that night in Nashville, TN. Needless to say, I was entertained and quite inspired by what this band has been able to accomplish together. So without further ado heres the latest news, direct from the cowboy's mouth

I know you guys haven't played South Florida, but didn't you perform somewhere in Northern Florida where John Popper [Blues Traveler] jumped up on stage and performed with you?

Yeah it was in Suwannee and it was real muddy and messy and everyone was dancing in the mud. He actually played a few times with us on that particular tour. He jumped up on stage and I then covered myself in mud and started chasing him around the stage area. He can sure move, thats all Im gonna say! It was a fun performance!
You haven't released an album in about three years, so what the hell have you been up to?

Well, we released a live album that we released through our web-site to basically make some money to pay for this record, and we released another one that was pretty much demos and part of an album called UH-OH [TTST3320]. So it's been mostly that and touring nonstop and hanging out below the radar. We wrote some new songs that we were pretty proud of and wanted people to hear them.

So you guys are on tour and this is why you're currently in Nashville?

Yes it is. Were out of the studio for awhile and happy to be on the road doing our thing. It's what we really love to do!

I saw on VOODOO SHOPPE that all of the band members collaborated on everything. What was this experience like? Were you ready to kill each other at the end of it all or did it work out well for everyone?

It was actually a good experience for us because we just needed to love the idea of being a band again - and appreciate being together again as a band - because each of us were off in our own direction. For us, this experience made us realize that Cowboy Mouth is the source where good things come from so we decided to give it a shot and came up with some real winners such as Joe Strummer and Hole In My Heart initially. After these two songs, we decided lets keep going and see where this process leads us. The songs on this album were ending up being better than what we wrote individually.

For me, I can hear the difference and its very exciting! I think it's a really tight album compared to your previous endeavors which were great but still had that somewhat chaotic feel to them.

Yeah we really do sound like a very tight knit band on this album and doing it made us feel like a brand new band again. It was a surprise for all of us really...

So I take it that you're only going to be touring the rest of the year for this album?

Yep, pretty much the rest of the year is going to be spent promoting and doing appearances and such for the album.

Well, this is nothing unusual for you guys because you're constantly touring non-stop anyways right?

Yes, weve been tagged with the dreaded great live band moniker. It's actually something were pretty proud of and it made a lot of the shows on this tour already sold out. Really, touring is a lot of fun for us because were out there interacting with the audience and pretty much being our crazy ass selves.

You guys usually play Mardi Gras, so what was it like playing this year with the aftermath of Katrina looming in the air?

Well, actually we didn't get to play it this year but instead was supposed to play a free show the day before as part of the pre ceremonies. But at the - AMPED


Live DVD "The name of the band is Cowboy Mouth"
Voodoo Shoppe 2006
Live At The Zoo 2004
Uh Oh 2003
All You Need Is Live 2000
Easy 2000
Word of Mouth 1999
Cowboy Mouth Live (5 Song EP) 1998
Mercyland 1998
Are You With Me 1996
It Means Escape 1994



For more than 15 years, the members of the New Orleans-based band Cowboy Mouth have embraced, embodied, preached and shouted the joys of their hometown, sharing a slice of Mardi Gras heaven with fans around the world.

Their most recent release, the band's first (and only) DVD "The name of the band is Cowboy Mouth" was released in early 2008 on Valley Entertainment. It features a live set with Vance DeGeneres on guitar and guest guitarist Mark Bryan of Hootie and the Blowfish. Not only are some of the band's best known songs included in a great set, but there is extra footage of unreleased songs "Anything", "Kelly Ripa" and others.
Their 11th recording, Voodoo Shoppe (Eleven Thirty Records), is their most critically acclaimed album to date. The Pittsburgh Tribune stated, “Long known for live shows, the band has just released "Voodoo Shoppe," an album which comes close to matching the group's high-voltage performances.” They go on to say, “Every song seems to have one irresistible hook to draw in listeners.” The Boston Phoenix called it, “Inspiring stuff, and still a hell of a party record.”
Their legendary live shows, which to date have been witnessed by more than 8 million fans, were captured best by Cake magazine when it noted: "...on a bad night they’ll tear the roof off the joint and on a good night they’ll save your soul."
"Voodoo Shoppe" was recorded first in New Orleans and then completed in Atlanta with producers Mark Bryan (of Hootie and the Blowfish) and Russ T. Cobb (Avril Lavigne, Butch Walker) as Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, including several band members’ homes, Voodoo Shoppe is without a doubt Cowboy Mouth’s most dynamic, hard-hitting and emotionally charged album to date. The lead track, “Joe Strummer,” has turned into a fan-favorite, with its fast fist-in-the-air punk flare while the powerhouse vocals of Fred LeBlanc tell of a girlfriend who simply “had to go ‘cause she didn’t know who Joe Strummer was.” Meanwhile, the title track, “Voodoo Shoppe,” with its soul shuffling rhythms reminiscent of a parading band on a French Quarter avenue, is proof that Cowboy Mouth, as Peter Holsapple (dB’s, The Continental Drifters) once said, “never could be from anywhere else.”

While the majority of the album was written prior to Katrina, songs such as the poignantly solemn “The Avenue” and the hauntingly soulful “Home” were written immediately in the wake of the storm that tore through band members’ homes and hearts. Both songs possess the raw emotion, in lyrics and music, one would expect as the band members contemplated lives lost and familiar streets that were all but washed away.

But just as Cowboy Mouth has always done in the face of adversity, they shine light on better days sure to come, with “The Avenue” optimistically and defiantly declaring that “the parades will ride again,” and “Home,” making it known that they will all go back to “where the good times roll.” And fittingly, the latter is followed by “Glad to Be Alive,” a mercilessly upbeat pop number that puts to song what has become a Cowboy Mouth mantra: “Get your head out of your hands / Scream and shout like you were five / Are you glad to be alive?”

And indeed, Cowboy Mouth’s Fred LeBlanc, Jonathan Pretus, John Thomas Griffith and Regina Zernay are, as they've always said, glad to be alive, and glad to be in a band they call Cowboy Mouth—perhaps now more than ever. Because despite enduring what was no doubt been the band’s most trying year—and that’s saying a lot for a group that’s been going at it for more than a decade and a half now—the four have not only managed to survive, but they have thrived, and have never been prouder of the music they're making than they are now with their new album "Voodoo Shoppe."