Their 1978 Capitol press release read: "LeRoux
takes its name from the Cajun French term for the thick and
hearty gravy base that's used to make gumbo." Louisiana's
LeRoux (the first album) was a musical gumbo that blended
various instruments and arrangements for some spicy, mouth-watering
pop rock. Using blues, R&B, funk, jazz, rock, and Cajun as their
base, their Southern anthem "New Orleans Ladies," voted Song
Of The Century by Gambit Magazine, simmered with the laid-back
feel of the "Big Easy," evoking images of Bourbon Street and
the Bayou. That song, together with their smash hit "Nobody
Said It Was Easy," brings LeRoux daily airplay from DC to Baton
Rouge, and they remain cult heroes to this day.
The act began to gel in 1975 in Baton Rouge,
Louisiana as the Jeff Pollard Band. They came into their own
in '77, touring the United States and Africa with Clarence "Gatemouth"
Brown through an arrangement with the US State Department. The
group's big break came when Leon Medica, the band's producer,
presented a demo tape to Paul Tannen at Screen Gems-EMI while
doing a session in Nashville and making trips to Colorado to
contribute bass parts to a Dirt Band Album at William McEuen's
Aspen Recording Society Studios.
McEuen, Tanney and Attorney John Frankenheimer
helped Medica secure a recording contract with Capitol Records.
Renamed "Louisiana's LeRoux," they recorded two albums, produced
by Medica, of Louisiana flavored pop-rock (their eponymous debut
and Keep The Fire Burning) and a third, Up, which
saw them shift styles to accommodate Jai Winding's more mainstream
In '81, LeRoux moved to RCA, which decided to
break the band as a singles act. They succeeded with the top-20
hit "Nobody Said It Was Easy" and received heavy MTV airplay
with the top 5 AOR hit "Addicted," both featured on their fourth
album, Last Safe Place, produced by Medica.
Soon afterward, however, lead singer Jeff Pollard
left the group to start his own Christian Ministry. He was replaced
by Dennis "Fergie" Frederiksen, and when Bobby Campo also exited,
Berkley School of Music graduate Jim Odom came aboard for the
group's fifth album, So Fired Up, that included their
chart single and MTV hit, "Carrie's Gone" (written about Carol
Burnett's daughter who was dating Fergie at the time).
LeRoux toured for eight years, headlining and
supporting numerous groups, including ZZ Top, Kansas, The Doobie
Brothers, Bob Seger, Journey, The Dirt Band, John Prine, and
Muddy Waters. LeRoux's many television appearances include Don
Kirshner's Rock Concert, Solid Gold, Midnight Special, MTV,
and their own public broadcasting live video, Rocking the
Nottaway, filmed in 1997.
In 1983, Randy Knaps replaced Fergie. Medica,
along with members of Kansas, The Doobie Brothers, Pablo Cruise,
Steven Stills, Santana, and Cheap Trick, performed for the USO
on four overseas tours. Haselden and Knaps accompanied them
on the Around The World Tour.
Bassist, producer, and songwriter Leon Medica,
one of the group's founders, is currently co-producing Anders
Osborne, Wayne Toups, and producing Brian McComas for Disney's
Nashville-based label. He has recorded with many acts and numerous
soundtracks, including and he produced Tom Johnston of The Doobie
Brothers on one of the biggest selling soundtracks of all time,
Tony Haselden, guitarist and vocalist, who wrote
some of LeRoux's all-time favorites, relocated to Nashville,
Tennessee several years ago and is one of the top writers/producers
in Country music. Tony wrote many #1 Country hits, including
"That's My Story" by Colin Ray, "It Ain't Nothin'" by Keith
Whitley, "You Know Me Better Than That" by George Strait, and
he also produced The Kinleys and The Wilkinsons.
In 1996, the band's Bayoudegradable: The
Best of Louisiana's LeRoux CD release party at the House
of Blues in New Orleans created a renewed demand for the band
to perform live. After the success of the CD, Medica, Haselden,
Odom, Knaps, along with original members Rod Roddy and David
Peters and new members Boo Pourciau and Nelson Blanchard, began
to perform select live dates, reviving some funky musical spirits
from the bayou.