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Back row: Nelson Blanchard, Rod Roddy, Mark Duthu, Tony Haselden
Front row: Leon Medica, Jim Odom, Randy Carpenter, Keith Landry
Louisiana's LeRoux received a Grammy nomination
in January, 2007, for its work on Tab Benoit's Brother
to the Blues album.
Tab's follow-up album, Power of the Pontchartrain,
recorded with LeRoux, was in the Top 5 on Billboard's Blues
chart for over 15 weeks and the single "Shelter Me"
went to #4 in the U.S. on the iTunes Top 10 Blues Songs. Recent
events include recording a double live album and DVD, Night
Train in Nashville, with Tab, Jimmy
Hall, Kim Wilson, Jim Lauderdale, Johnny
Sansone, and Waylon Thibodeaux. Members of LeRoux
toured in 2008 and 2009 with Tab throughout
the U.S., Canada, and the Caribbean. On October 10, 2009, LeRoux
had the distinct honor of being inducted into the Louisiana
Music Hall of Fame.
Leon Medica was inducted into The
Louisiana Music Hall of Fame on January 29, 2010.
"New Orleans Ladies" won the
Music Hall of Fame's Favorite Louisiana
Song 2010 (Year of the Song) competition!
Leon Medica and Ed White of White Oak Productions
put together an all-star band for a Texas Roadhouse Corporate
party on April 14, 2010 at The Statue of Liberty in New York.
The band included the members of LeRoux with The Doobie Brothers'
Tom Johnston, Blues Brothers' Steve Cropper, Wet
Willie's Jimmy Hall, Jimi Jamison, Toto's Dennis
Frederiksen, and Journey's Steve Augeri.
Tony Haselden was also inducted into The Louisiana
Music Hall Of Fame on May 16, 2010.
Leon Medica was also inducted into The Louisiana
Songwriter's Association Hall of Fame on May 16, 2010.
Always with an eye on the future, LeRoux
continues performing in 2011, and has begun a new recording
project – tentatively titled Full Circle or
Lightning In This Bottle – with Jimmy
Hall (Wet Willie); Bobby Kimball (Toto);
Sonny Landreth, Slide Guitar Master; Steve
Cropper (Blues Brothers, Booker T. & the MG's) and
Tab Benoit, legendary blues singer and guitar
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
a 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 Washington, 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 1977, 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
and one of its founders, 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, Tannen, and Attorney
John Frankenheimer helped Medica secure a recording contract
for the band with Capitol Records. Renamed "Louisiana's
LeRoux," they recorded two albums, both 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
In 1981, LeRoux moved to the RCA
label, 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 Medica-produced fourth album, Last
Soon afterward, however, lead singer
Jeff Pollard left the group to start a Christian ministry,
and was replaced by Dennis "Fergie" Frederiksen.
When percussionist Bobby Campo also exited, Berkley School
of Music Graduate Jim Odom came aboard for the group's
fifth album, So Fired Up, which 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 Prime, and Muddy Waters.
LeRoux's many television appearances included 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, and 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 also accompanied them on the Around
The World tour.
Bassist, producer, and songwriter
Leon Medica recently co-produced Anders Osborn and
Wayne Toups, and produced Brian McComas for Disney's
Nashville-based label. He has recorded with many acts and for
numerous soundtracks, 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 songwriters/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, and "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 disc, Medica,
Haselden, Odom, Roddy, Peters, and Knaps—along with new members
Nelson Blanchard and Mark Duthu—began to perform
selected live dates, reviving some funky musical spirits from
Today LeRoux continues to perform
and share the stage with some of the biggest names in Classic
Rock, playing primarily in the southeastern states where LeRoux
continues to have a strong fan base spanning two generations.
Some of the festivals where LeRoux has recently performed are
the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, the Worldwide
NYE 2005 telecast from the New Orleans French Quarter,
Birmingham's City Stages, Mobile Bayfest,
Shreveport's Red River Revel and Mud Bug Madness,
Natchitoches Jazz and R&B Festival, and Lafayette's
Mardi Gras & the Cajun Heartland at Cajun Field. Other
festivals include the International Rice Festival,
Contraband Days, Cotton Festival, Strawberry Festival,
the Shrimp & Petroleum Festival, and most major festivals
throughout the southeast.