Self proclaimed ‘Bayou Soul’ singer Marc Broussard, the proud son of Carencro, La., has released five studio albums and three EPs. There are, however, many bootleg recordings of his live shows on the Internet.
When the opportunity presented itself for Broussard to have an actual live record, he couldn’t pass it up – especially when that live show was being filmed for a DVD release.
“Full Sail University down in Orlando hired us for an event,” Broussard said. “They offered to film it and partnered with us on releasing it. I just couldn’t pass it up.”
Out on tour now promoting the album and the DVD, Broussard will be making a stop on Oct. 31, at the Birchmere in Alexandria.
Broussard’s soulful sound and heartfelt lyrics have attracted legions of fans across the country. His first hit, “The Wanderer,” off his first album, “Momentary Setback,” was quickly followed by fan favorites “Home” and “Where You Are,” off the “Carencro” album.
Even after hundreds of live performances, Broussard said it was a little nerve wracking when he performed at Full Sail University.
“Yeah, I wasn’t actually sure what was going to happen,” Broussard said. “I was convinced that we would release the footage at some point, but I didn’t realize that we would release the audio first and then the footage. This thing really has had a life of its own, if you will. I’ve really been enjoying watching it all come together.”
In the past, Broussard has worked with label Vanguard to release his “SOS: Save Our Souls” album. In 2012, he signed a new deal with the label and is set to release a new album early next year. Broussard said that album will sound a bit different from his usual work.
“That album is finished,” Broussard said. “It’s probably the biggest departure of any of the albums that I’ve put out in the past. There was no pressure on me in the studio to feel like I needed to accomplish something specific. I was able to have the freedom in this project to record a record that I wanted to record. That’s exactly what happened, man. We’re really just excited as all get-out about putting this record out. It’s supposed to come, I think, in January. After this live record and live DVD and a new record coming, it’s been kind of a banner year for me as far as releasing music.”
Broussard has quite the musical lineage. His father, Ted, was a guitarist for The Boogie Kings and is a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Broussard said growing up he didn’t really have a choice when it came to listening to music.
“My father’s influence was pretty heavy in those younger years,” Broussard said. “Before I had access to my own choice of music, I was kind of limited to what he was listening to and that was always going to be something pretty heavy by way of jazz or … what have you. I think that translated into continuing to have an influence on me as a writer. Typically, I tried to shoot for things that are a little more complicated musically while keeping the melodies and vocals as fairly simple as possible.”
For his part, Broussard is always on the go. He performs all over the country and overseas as well. In 2007, he performed for troops in the Middle East as part of the Entertain our Troops tour. For the devoted husband and loving father of four, being away from home for so long is difficult.
“My home is like my Fortress of Solitude, man,” Broussard said. “When I need to recharge, I gotta come and spend some time here. It’s only gotten more and more difficult to leave as I’ve gotten older. My youngest daughter is 2 now and is already starting to tell me, ‘Don’t go to work, Daddy. Don’t go to work.’ It’s difficult, man, but I’ve become kind of desensitized, if you will, to the emotions that are going to run high when I’m about to leave town. I just try to push the emotions out of it and realize there are things that are going to be necessary for me to do that aren’t always going to bring joy to my family or myself. It is what it is, but it’s a hell of a lot better than digging ditches, so go ahead and hop on that plane one more time and get it done.”
After the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Broussard was determined to help his fellow Louisianans. He founded the Momentary Setback Fund, which helps victims of Katrina as well as Hurricane Rita, which hit the Gulf Coast less than a month after Katrina. He also released an album, “Bootleg to Benefit the Victims of Hurricane Katrina,” in 2005, with all proceeds going to Katrina relief. Still, Broussard feels he should do more.
“I often beat myself up for not doing enough,” Broussard said. “I’ve been given this opportunity to do what I do for a living, which affords me an ample amount of extra time – I can find myself at home for stretches of weeks. If I don’t use that time wisely and contribute to help my community, then I’m not doing my duty as a citizen. I think it’s extremely important to get involved in my community as well as the community at large.”
At the end of the day, Broussard said he hopes when people listen to his music they relax, smile and know they can come back for more.
“I want my music to be the music that they go to whenever they’re feeling good, whenever they’re feeling bad or whenever they feel like just listening to some music,” Broussard said. “I want to be a kind of musical security blanket that you can always kind of rely on.”