Cowboy Mouth is known for evoking positive energy: The 2006 Voodoo Shopped supported Renew Our Music (formerly New Orleans Musician's Relief Fund), and they also raise money for the St. Bernard Project, which rebuilds disaster-stricken New Orleans homes.
Currently, Cowboy Mouth is working on a new album. "It combines the familiar Cowboy Mouth kick-ass rock and roll with the story of a band on the road. It's blues-ier and very reflective," LeBlanc says. "When I don't find anything currently moving me, I go back and remember what I loved before" -- which makes sense, considering he worked in a used record store at age 11, listening to all the old classics, country, and blues.
The band's live show is a mix of their past, present, and future, set up as one long song leading into the next. "We'll definitely play the classics, but we've also been playing a new song called 'Drama' from our in-the-works album that is getting a good response," LeBlanc says. "Every band knows they have to play the songs the fans want to hear. You know, you get a lot of these musicians that are just like, 'Oh my god, I can't stand playing my hit song, it's such a burden'...My instinct is to say get over it. McDonalds is hiring."
And Cowboy Mouth's vocalist has a reason to love everything he sings. LeBlanc was born deaf, and his lungs were underdeveloped. "I didn't hear until I was three, when my folks laid my head on stereo speakers, just to pull me out of my own little world. And I started to sing before I could talk. So singing and drumming to me is the most natural thing in the world. My lungs eventually developed, and I eventually got my hearing," LeBlanc says.
Maybe the reason Cowboy Mouth garners so many fans is because of that overcome-all mentality. "The Civil War created an underdog spirit, an appreciation of love and [the] ability to cherish what you have while you have it. The south gets a bad rap because of a few bad apples. One way we express emotion and freedom is through music," LeBlanc says. "Living in New Orleans is where life and death walk hand-in-hand. I mean, we practically live underwater." Cowboy Mouth represents that concept well, and thrashes it outward on stage, leaving fans almost as happily exhausted as the band themselves.
As LeBlanc has said in the past, "If The Neville Brothers and The Clash had a baby, it would be Cowboy Mouth."
Sat., July 9, 8 p.m.; Sun., July 10, 8 p.m., 2011