Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cowboy Mouth at B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill

Fred LeBlanc
Cowboy Mouth's founder, vocalist and drummer, Fred LeBlanc, has said that he was born deaf and with underdeveloped lungs. According to LeBlanc, his parents laid his head on stereo speakers when he was three years old, and baby Fred started to sing before he could talk. He played with local bands after high school in his native New Orleans, Louisiana, until he formed Cowboy Mouth in 1990, combining alternative rock with roots rock influences. Cowboy Mouth has recorded 10 studio albums, the most recent being 2014's Go.

Cowboy Mouth brings a bit of Cajun style and Mardi Gras to all its concerts everywhere. A Cowboy Mouth concert is an interactive experience, in that LeBlanc makes his audience work as hard as he does. At B.B. King's Blues Club & Grill tonight, the music existed for the show. LeBlanc sang well, the four musicians played well, and the high-energy songs were raucously joyful. LeBlanc was a large ringleader and projected an ever larger personality. This personality frequently overwhelmed the music. Even with the opening song, LeBlanc spent an extended time instructing his fans to dance, jump and "lose your mind." Then as the band continued playing a rhythm, LeBlanc descended from his drum riser on the stage and spent perhaps 10 minutes going through the club table by table demanding that the diners stand up. As the performance progressed, the rowdy music was enjoyable, many songs included repetitive hooks for audience shout-alongs, and the audience had fun being part of the spectacle. Nevertheless, LeBlanc's ongoing rants for audience participation were way over the top. Cowboy Mouth would do well to moderate a more manageable balance between quality song performance and party revelry.

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