By Jennifer Robertson
Local punk-rock band Loudmouth Lisa opened for The Toadies Sept. 11 at Midnight Rodeo with a pure, amplified, unapologetic rock performance that brought the crowd to its feet.
The Toadies, currently on their “Dia De Los Toadies” tour, handpicked Loudmouth to kick off their Amarillo show.
Loudmouth Lisa’s lineup consists of front man Jere Tooley, a singer-songwriter and guitarist; Ruthie Miller on bass; Lance Allen on guitar, and John Lerma on drums. This self-proclaimed “punk-rock for 40-somethings” band has been quickly gaining a local following.
The Toadies’ bass player, Doni Blair, had been following them as well. Blair had seen Loudmouth perform at Golden Light Café on Sixth Street, where Blair told Tooley they were his favorite Amarillo band.
Blair later called Tooley to find out whether they had any original songs recorded and what those originals sounded like.
“I told him, ‘Yes, we will have an album dropped by October, and we kinda sound like you guys, a Texas rock ’n’ roll band,” Tooley said.
Loudmouth had only unmastered recordings at that time. The members had to rush to the studio to get a demo to Blair that night. Blair called the next day and told Tooley they landed the gig.
“We are just a rowdy, fun rock ’n’ roll band,” Tooley said. “If we play a cover, it is probably the rowdiest song on that album.”
Queens of the Stone Age, Motor head, Mastodon, Super suckers, Drive-By Truckers, Fu Manchu and Honkey are just a few of Tooley’s musical inspirations and covers played by Loudmouth. The band members say their original songs are mostly about politics, religion, relationships, sex and whiskey.
“I love the music that we do because it gives me a chance to get up there and be somebody different, let it out and not give a s— who thinks what or how I look. I make no apologies; it’s a drive within us all,” said Miller, the bass player and only female member of Loudmouth.
Lerma, the drummer, also is in local band Lonesome Goat. He has opened for The Toadies once before at a Polk Street block party when he was with The Humans in the ’90s.
“I get to hit harder and play harder with these guys (Loudmouth Lisa),” he said. “I get to do a lot of fills and show off a little bit.”
Loudmouth started as a three-piece band with Tooley, Miller and Lerma. Allen claims to have “muscled his way in” later, which Tooley said “really widened their sound.”
“I liked the covers and originals they were playing and I thought , man, that’s right up my alley,” Allen said. Allen, the guitarist and backup vocalist, also has been a member of The Nortons,The Kind buds, Kick in’ Wookies and the Tennessee Tuckness band.
Tooley said that when choosing a name for the band, “I just overheard a conversation one day at a local dive bar – these two cowboys, talking about “Loudmouth Lisa,’” he said. “The story is, she is six feet tall, she gets drunk, loud and obnoxious. She’s just a fun, tough broad that rides a Harley and hangs out at the cowboy bar. I like having a feminine element for a really tough band.”
On Reverb Nation, an online home to musicians and industry professionals, Loudmouth is ranked No. 3. The band members describe themselves as “A Texas band for 40-something’s hammering out hard rock and punk for the masses,” according to the band’s biography.
Loudmouth Lisa is scheduled to rock Amarillo again Oct. 5 with Ick and Oct. 20 with The Heroine at Leftwoods. Check them out at www.LoudmouthLisa.us , Reverb Nation, Twitter or Facebook, where the band keeps its “elemental stream of consciousness.”