In my visits to New Orleans over the years, I have often had the pleasure of attending some great shows by many fine artists. My favorite New Orleans experience is to catch a show by the Continental Drifters (Peter Holsapple, Vikki Peterson-ex Bangles, Susan Cowsill-ex Cowsills). Cowboy Mouth is from New Orleans, and they are a strong live act as well. Led by Fred DeBlanc, the band has a strong energy and passion lacking in most major label bands.
As I listened to the eleventh track “All American Man”, the track jumps from the speakers in a major label, in-your-face way. “Marianne” is a nice acoustic pop song. The recording is an exercise marked by strong, overproduced grooves. They have toured with Hootie and The Blowfish, sold over 400,000 albums and headlined the New Orleans Jazz Festival. On CD, they remind me of Huey Lewis and The News combined with the Neville Brothers.
Unfortunately, overall, Cowboy Mouth live does not come through on Easy. I blame the labels for this kind of neutering of a band. The songs have these bombastic drums and cliched production ideas, when all this band needs is a couple of condensor mics in a large room. Just let them play.
To anyone who cares, listen to Exile on Main Street. The Stones plugged in and played, and it kicked ass. Cowboy Mouth ain’t no Stones, but if Easy would have been recorded like that, Easy would have had a chance.
This is another unfortunate example of trying to give the public what the labels think they want. I wish the powers that be would let us decide for ourselves so that bands like Cowboy Mouth wouldn’t get screwed in the process.
But who the hell am I anyway…I’m sure it’ll sell.
// Notes from the Road
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