In the summer of 2020, Where Y'at interviewed Cowboy Mouth to see how the band was doing in the midst of the pandemic. COVID regulations were still strict and restraining, but Cowboy Mouth tried to remain active and engaged with fans through the Internet. In a follow-up interview with Fred LeBlanc, drummer and vocalist for Cowboy Mouth since 1990, fans can get a glimpse on how Cowboy Mouth plans to move forward and stay optimistic even during these difficult times. Cowboy Mouth is a local New Orleans band, but does concerts all over the country. Its members include Fred LeBlanc, Thomas Griffith, Matt Jones, and Brian Broussard. The band puts a distinctive New Orleans's jazz and blues twist on traditional rock music.
It has been a year since businesses began to close because of the pandemic, but that did not stop the band. Cowboy Mouth used Facebook and other social media platforms to live stream and connect with fans. It gave the band some reassurance that their fan base was as strong and as loyal as ever. However, LeBlanc mentioned that while they used this as a way to pass the time and it was fun, they'd rather focus on the future and move forward as a band.
LeBlanc said that his inspiration for making music during the pandemic is the same as it has always been. He gets a creative spark, and then he's writing new chords or lyrics for a song. LeBlanc said, "I've been fortunate to play with such a great group of guys and have a loyal fan base of 30 years coming out to shows and concerts." The band isn't so concerned about being on stage, but rather focused on the people in the crowd and giving them joy and happiness. "That feeling is more necessary now than it ever has been," LeBlanc noted.
He referred back to when the band was booked for a show in New York in October 2001, a month after September 9, 2001. The band was able to host a fireman's benefit and unite the community after a traumatizing event that left the city in shambles. Fast forward a couple of years, and the band released the "The Avenue," a song in tribute of the devastation caused to New Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. The members of Cowboy Mouth used their love and passion for music to unite the community, even when there seemed to be a lack of hope.
After discussing the pandemic in more detail, LeBlanc said, "Life will always present you with difficult situations, and who you are is defined by how you handle those situations…every situation has liabilities and opportunities. That's just life." Cowboy Mouth has viewed the pandemic as an opportunity to better themselves and make improvements to their music. This includes going back to an old song and rewriting it or rerecording it to see how they can make it better.
The band is scheduling its first live show since the start of the pandemic at the end of April in Florida. Some promoters are a little hesitant to book shows because the future is still unknown, but the band is excited to get back on stage and perform for fans. They will also be releasing a new single called "The Things You Wanted to Do" in the next month or so, which fans should be on the lookout for. LeBlanc said the band will be releasing singles for the foreseeable future because it doesn't seem like the right time to release and promote a new album if going on tour is still up in the air. Cowboy Mouth is just focusing on creating new music for fans to enjoy.
For more information about Cowboy Mouth's upcoming events, please visit cowboymouth.com. If you would like to support our local musicians who have been affected because of this pandemic, consider donating to the Jazz & Heritage Music Relief Fund.