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
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 production.
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, Dirty Dancing.
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.