Fred LeBlanc [drums/vocals]
Vance Degeneres [guitar/vocals]
John Thomas Griffith [guitar/vocals]
Regina Zernay [bass]
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As Mardi Gras festivities get underway in New Orleans this February and the city proves to the world, and itself, that it is rising up and ready to celebrate the joys of life like never before, the Crescent City�s favorite homegrown rockers Cowboy Mouth will release their long awaited new album, Voodoo Shoppe (Eleven Thirty Records). For these four unrelenting emissaries of New Orleans music and spirit, the timing for the release is, if not symbolic, appropriate now more than ever.
For more than 15 years, the members of Cowboy Mouth have embraced, embodied, preached and shouted at the top of their lungs the joys of their hometown, sharing a slice of Mardi Gras heaven with fans around the world on 11 recordings and at their legendary live shows, which to date have been witnessed by more than 8 million and 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." And the release of Voodoo Shoppe this February, like this year�s Mardi Gras, will signify a revival of spirits for the band and their fans, as well as a resurrection of sorts, of the free-spirited music that has always been intrinsic to both Cowboy Mouth and their city.
Recorded first in New Orleans and then completed in Atlanta as Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, as well as band members� homes, Voodoo Shoppe is without a doubt Cowboy Mouth�s most dynamic, hard-hitting and emotionally charged album to date. The lead-off track, �Joe Strummer,� is destined to rank among fans� all-time favorites, hitting fast and hard with a fist-in-the-air punk flare and blistering dual guitar attack from John Thomas Griffith and Vance Degeneres 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 songs were 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 and possess all the raw emotion, both in lyrics and music, one would expect as the band contemplated lives lost and displaced and familiar streets and places that were all but washed away.
But just as Cowboy Mouth has always done when faced with 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,� 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, Vance Degeneres, 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 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."
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