By Michael Swanger firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue-eyed soul singer Broussard
does everything straight from the heart
Broussard performs Thursday, Aug.
4 at 8 p.m. at People's Court. Scars
on 45 and Sarah and Christian Dugas
open the show. Tickets are $15 at
With so much hype veiling thin story
lines in the marketing of popular musicians
today it is refreshing to talk to one
whose "news angle" is as heartfelt
and straightforward as his music. Such
is the case with 29-year-old Marc Broussard,
the blue-eyed soul singer from Louisiana
with a distinguished voice and a grounded
outlook that belies his age when he so
eloquently states that the only goal for
his new self-titled album is to deliver
"That's all I've ever wanted to do,
man. You go to the studio with well written
songs and hope people respond," said
Broussard last week on the telephone before
a concert in Philadelphia.
Listeners who appreciate well crafted,
honest music delivered with emotion have
responded to Broussard's records since
he made a big splash with his debut 2002
solo album, "Momentary Setback,"
which spawned the hit tune "The Wanderer."
His mix of old-school R&B, blues,
funk, rock, pop and gospel — which can
be summed up as "bayou soul"
— is a reflection of his birthplace, a
state known for its musical and cultural
"Growing up here I got to see some
amazing singers... blue-eyed soul singers
specifically, that were singing black
music. It taught me a lot about performing.
I owe a lot to those guys back in the
day," said Broussard, who founded
the "Momentary Setback Fund"
to benefit victims of Hurricane Katrina
and Hurricane Rita and has donated money
earned from his 2005 album, "Bootleg
to Benefit the Victims of Hurricane Katrina,"
to help rebuild a portion of Louisiana.
His father, Ted, a respected jazz guitarist
and member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame,
used to take him to nightclubs to perform
starting at the tender age of five, Broussard
"They passed state laws for little
guys like me to be able to go inside the
club. I'm not saying it's the best environment
for a child, but I never felt unsafe or
neglected by my father. I'd sit right
beside the stage before it was my time
to go on. I learned a lot by watching
the musicians and the hours they were
putting into their gig," he said.
"At home, my father led by example
in terms of the level of musicianship
that was on display for me as a child.
He still practices almost every day and
has put in the hours to not only become
proficient at his instrument, but someone
who truly understands what he's doing.
He's at a level very few people reach."
Broussard said that he also learned important
lessons from his father about not succumbing
to the temptations and subsequent pitfalls
of abusing alcohol and drugs.
"He really understood how dangerous
they could be for a musician, so he tried
to focus on that stuff for me when I was
coming up. He would show me examples of
guys who were extremely talented but were
going to die very poor people or they
missed opportunities because of their
inability to stay away from drugs and
alcohol," said the singer-guitarist.
"I definitely paid attention to that
advice, and I've never had any problems
as a result."
From his father, to his wife and their
four young children, family has played
an important role in Broussard's music
and life. He also credits his oldest child
for inspiring "Eye On the Prize,"
a song on his new album.
"Fatherhood shapes who I am as a
man and, in turn, what I write about.
It's inseparable from me as an artist
because I try to be open and honest with
my fans when I write songs," he said.
That kind of honest approach, Broussard
adds, also prevents him from becoming
sedentary in his approach to making music.
"The new album is a reminder that
we're always going to be bringing something
new to the table when it comes to making
records and that there will be some songs
on them that will relate to situations
in life," he said. CV