As pop music phenomenons go, it's a convergence of almost cosmic proportion. Like a platinum-fueled assembly line, the music industry is all-of-a-sudden churning out funky pop-soul sensations like John Mayer, Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson, among others.
But even among this rarefied company, Louisiana wunderkind Marc Broussard stands out. His major label debut album, Carencro (Island Def Jam), introduces a diverse singer/songwriter with a confident, r&b-inflected voice. Commencing with the swampy delta blues track "Home," Broussard's gently segues into the unassuming balladry of "The Beauty of Who You Are," and "Hope for Me Yet." His premiere single, "Where You Are," is a heaven-sent hybrid of modern soul and Jackson 5-style vintage pop.
But though he has shared stages with luminaries like Willie Nelson, the Dave Matthews Band and Tori Amos, success isn't going to Broussard's head. Despite favorable fan comparisons to everyone from Joe Cocker to Stevie Wonder, Broussard describes himself simply as "a white boy singing soul music."
For Broussard, soulfulness is a matter of pedigree. The son of Boogie Kings guitarist and Louisiana Hall of Famer Ted Broussard, Marc was instilled with an appreciation for blues and the Cajun traditions of the South.
In 2002, Broussard's independently produced debut recording, Momentary Setback , appeared to encouraging reviews. A tune from the album, "Just Like That," was featured on the 2003 Lost Highway Records compilation, Lost and Found, Vol. 1 , alongside tracks by Ryan Adams, the Jayhawks and other noted Americana acts. That same year, Broussard also appeared on the Bruce Springsteen tribute disc Light of Day with the track "Back in Your Arms."
Now, with the formidable support of Island Def Jam behind him, Broussard is on the verge of an international breakthrough. But the singer hasn't forgotten his roots: Carencro is named for his suburban Lafayette hometown. Consider it a "shout-out" to the place where this talented pop impressionist nurtured his musical soul.