A small joint called Club Clearview had scheduled bands over the course of an entire day on 4th of July weekend in 1992, and after paying a $7 cover I randomly stumbled in about the same time Cowboy Mouth was taking the stage. I’d say there were about 20 of us loners there that day who didn’t get invited to a bbq that weekend and, as is typical of that size crowd, we were kind of spread out and not entirely engaged. This was clearly unacceptable to the drummer/vocalist, one Fred LeBlanc. His drumkit was already front and center but that wasn’t enough. He came out into the crowd and rounded us up like a kindergarten class at the end of recess, and then proceeded to make us sit on the floor of the club in a big circle. No exceptions. Just like a game of Duck Duck Goose. But instead of knocking us on the head for not getting into the show, he and the band finished their set right there in the circle with us. Making us share in the vocals and percussion and making sure that nobody left that damn club without knowing the name of the band they just saw and feeling like they just freebased every riff on the setlist.
I think each one of us in the crowd told two friends after that show and made sure they came with us to the next one. And then they told two friends, and so on and so on until everybody is washing their hair with beer shampoo and eating jambalaya with red plastic spoons.
Unfortunately, Cracky went missing for a few years and lost track of Fred and company. And when he came back the rest of the music world had discovered the Cowboy Mouth experience. It’s just like that small circle back in 1992, except the circle is about 50 times bigger and it’s not a circle anymore. It’s now best described by kinetic theory. Cowboy Mouth is presented an audience in the form of a solid. They heat that sucker up until the crowd is a mass of Brownian motion and ready to blow the lid off the joint.
The lyrics aren’t sophisticated. The music isn’t groundbreaking. But if you find the shoegaze genre confusing and illogical and want to go back to the days when rock and roll was fun and celebrate life no matter how bad your acne or diverticulitis is flaring up, get yourself a ticket to a Cowboy Mouth show. The House of Blues show was no exception. Crack Approved.