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Cowboy Mouth with Soul Asylum and Jennie DeVoe 

Friday, May 23; Rib America Festival, Soldiers Memorial Plaza (Market and Tucker)

It's been a while since we've heard from Cowboy Mouth. Named for a Sam Shepard play, the New Orleans-based band is on the verge of releasing a new album, the first since the double shot of All You Need Is Live and Easy in 2000. The sticking point is finding a label to release the CD -- that and breaking in a new bass player: Rob Savoy traded the band's heavy touring schedule for married life earlier this year.

With the traditional means of making a living as a band getting tough, Cowboy Mouth has embraced sponsorships from some of its hometown's high-profile corporations. Southern Comfort provides a custom-tailored tour bus, and an EP of the group's new songs is available on the Barq's Root Beer Web site. Such marketing ventures rub some rock fans the wrong way, but CM's legions seem OK with it, as long as the band -- vocalist/drummer Fred LeBlanc, guitarist Paul Sanchez, keyboardist John Thomas Griffith and new bassist Mary LaSang -- keeps coming back time and again with its energetic stage show and all-around good-time vibe.

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