By Linda Spielman
It's undeniable; people develop preconceived
notions of a person's physical presence just by the sound of their voice.
And often, those preconceived visuals our minds conjure up are wrong once
we've met the person. If I played you Marc Broussard's new CD "Carencro",
you would probably envision a seasoned Delta Blues veteran musician plucked
right out the Louisiana Bayou. However, Marc Broussard is a 22 year-old,
blonde haired, soft-spoken gentleman with an intoxicating southern accent.
Don't let his age or boyish looks deceive you. Marc Broussard is one of
soul music's youngest voices with an old soul.
has always been a part of Broussard's life. With Louisiana's Music Hall
of Fame guitarist Ted Broussard as you dad and a whole family of musical
artists there really wasn't a question in the younger Broussard's mind
as to what career path he'd embark on. From an early age Marc was involved
in choir, chorus and performing as a solo artist. The combination of an
entire family lineage of stellar musicians and pure passion for creating
his own music has catapulted Marc Broussard into the forefront of the music
industry with both fans and industry heavyweights.
For almost the last year and a half Marc
Broussard has been to Pittsburgh at least eight times playing Club Cafe,
The Hard Rock Street Jam, opening for The Clarks and Gavin DeGraw at Mr.
Small's Theater. I recently had the chance to not only spend a weekend
with Marc, his dad and many other incredible bands on The Rock Boat, but
also to catch up with him on a cold November night before his opening stint
for Los Lonely Boys. The voice I had fallen in love with from listening
to "Carencro" and seeing live on The Rock Boat, was equally entrancing
as he sat curled up in the back lounge of his tour bus pre-show.
The only way to describe Marc and his
music is honest, heartfelt and sensual. He speaks straight from his heart
and soul through his songs. One can truly see not only does he create music
because he loves the whole process, but he also feels the music with all
that he is as an artist. Listening to "Carencro" (which is named for his
hometown in Louisiana) you not only hear the music, but feel it as well.
Just as Gumbo is made up of many flavor
influences, so are Marc Broussard's influences ranging from Brian McKnight,
Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Danny Hathaway and his own father Ted Broussard
make up who he is as an artist. The fusion of all these musical flavors
on "Carencro" is a melting pot of true Rhythm and Blues.
Knowing what he wants and how he wants
his music conveyed is one of Broussard's strongest personality characteristics.
He was willing to fight tooth and nail against his label to insure Marshall
Altman (who also produced Broussard indie release "Momentary Setback")
would be on board for "Carencro". Initially giving in to eight months of
meeting with possible producers, including famed Wallflowers producer Jay
Joyce that would have brought forth a good CD, Broussard eventually won
the power struggle to give him (Broussard) and Altman a shot. "I knew Marshall
and I would make the record the label wanted. And I knew we would also
make a great record that I wanted, a good pop record that still has a lot
of vibe, emotion and soul to it. I fought long and hard to get Marshall
on this project. We tracked one song for the label to review, and that
was it. That convinced them Marshall was the right man for "Carencro".
From that point forward, I didn't have a lot to worry about," Broussard
Don't be too quick to jump the gun when
it comes to the validity to Broussard's lyrical skills despite his age.
He may be young in years, but he writes songs as an old soul. They are
reflective, sometimes brutally honest and somewhat poetic. They are true
soul music in its purest sense.
16 tracks brought to "Carencro" were narrowed to a final 12. Having co-written
all the songs, Broussard was more than open to the writing process with
Radney Foster; Martin Sexton; Jay Joyce and David Ryan Harris. As Broussard
sees it, these are his peers and writers he admires. He is there to learn
from them and grow as a musician and writer. With that mentality, Broussard
honestly admits that he probably can count less that three unsuccessful
writing sessions with fellow writers for both his CDs. As he elaborates,
"You go into this whole process just being really honest with yourself
and with the people in the room you are writing with. If you keep that
foremost in your mind, you leave your ideas open to create the best storylines
possible to complete the whole picture and vision of the CD." Broussard
doesn't have one tried and true method to writing. He does acknowledge
that as long as you find a great groove and melody the lyrics sometimes
just fall into place naturally. "If you get a great melody and groove,
it really doesn't matter people will respond to it. You don't necessarily
have to be all cerebral and witty all the time to create a great song and
get your point across to the listener," Broussard notes. A perfect example
for Broussard is Stevie Wonder. Wonder has the ability to say so much,
with so much emotion in his songs without necessarily using a lot of words.
This is a talent that Broussard himself tries to capture within his own
"Carencro" as a whole is a beautifully
written, musical and well produced CD. Every song is a little story which
pieces the puzzle together for a complete storyline from track one all
the way through to hidden track 23. "Home" written by father and son Broussard,
Joyce and Foster has a nasty, infectious groove that is one of the best
driving songs around. "Beauty of Who You Are" is probably the track that
every woman would love to have their man write for them with lyrics as
"Baby I'm so into you. Every whisper from your soul to my heart." It's
completely an uninhibited view of the appreciation of relationships,
beautifully penned by Broussard. Broussard's personal favorite track on
the CD is "Let Me Leave". "It's the most conducive to my life more than
any other of the tracks on the CD. It says a lot about who I am, and what
I go through a lot of the time," Broussard admits. The honest autobiographical
song lets us see into the mind and heart of Broussard the man, musician
and artist both good and bad. The honest approach to "Let Me Leave" is
yet another testimony to Broussard's musical passion.
Marc Broussard's music, sincerity and
constant drive to be more of an artist is what makes him universally appealing.
Maybe that is why with 200 plus shows in less than two years with such
artists as Los Lonely Boys he continues to win over fans. For those who
came to see Marc Broussard with Los Lonely Boys at The Rock Club it wasn't
their first show, but yet another great performance. For those who came
to see Los Lonely Boys, many came away Marc Broussard fans, leaving the
show having purchased "Carencro" on site.
With 2005 just around the corner, Marc
Broussard's schedule shows no signs of letting up. He is tentatively set
to hit the road in early 2005 with David Ryan Harris and Citizen Cope.
He also is confirmed yet again as one of the headlining artists on The
Rock Boat 2005.
How does Marc Broussard want to leave
his mark and continued musical legacy in the world of music? Broussard
places absolutely no limit on his ambition for the future."I want to be
the kind of artist I'd like to evolve into is Prince," he says. "My ambition
is to do the whole as well as I can and people dig it. I want to be the
photos by Linda Spielman - Copyright 2004 All Rights Reserved