Marc Broussard Brings The Swampy Bayou Sound To Classic Soul Covers

Marc Broussard is a big voiced southern soul singer from Louisiana. He made his major label debut on Island Records in 2004 with the album Carencro, named after his home town. The single Where You Are received regular play on VH1, while the second single, Home, was but more of a sleeper hit, but Broussard calls it the song that gave him a career.

Broussard’s father Tom was a well-respected guitarist in the swamp pop band The Boogie Kings and he is a member of the Louisiana Hall of Fame. Legend has it that five-year-old Marc sat in with The Boogie Kings to sing Johnny B Goode. In this video, a resonant acoustic cover of Solomon Burke’s Cry to Me, it is Tom who sits in with his son.

Broussard’s full band version of Cry to Me was released as a single in 2016. It also features on his album S.O.S. 2: Save Our Soul: Soul on a Mission. This album is the sequel to a previous, 2006, album of soul covers. The acoustic version can be found on Home: The Dockside Sessions. This album is a between records collection for Broussard fans, compiled from the audio of videos filmed at Dockside Studios over his career. The YouTube video of the acoustic Cry to Me has over 39 million views.

The highpoint of Broussard’s gritty, passionate take of the Solomon Burke classic is around the three-minute mark, when he slips in some raw falsetto singing before saying, “Go, Pops, take a ride.” The older Brossard proceeds to show off his guitar chops. Broussard Snr also features on another song and video from the same album, a cover of Aretha Franklin’s Do Right Woman. This is a brave choice but, roaring and crooning, with his father’s beautiful harmonising on the chorus, Broussard nails it.

Broussard’s swampy soul and powerful singing on has a cross-generational appeal. As he sees it, his younger fans respond to the honesty of his music while his older fans “love it because it’s real and it’s what they remember”. This applies to both his original compositions and his many covers of classic soul songs.

Brossard’s emphasis on being real and honest is backed up by his philanthropic work. Half of the proceeds from SOS 2 went to City Of Refuge, a charitable US organisation focused on homelessness and poverty. Broussard has also raised funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. He is also known to support United Way, an umbrella organisation that raises funds for NGOs, and he has worked with Habitat for Humanity, which builds homes using volunteer labour.

Broussard’s latest, release, Fire, which he composed with Eric Peter Krasno, appeared on Youtube on 29 June 2022. The song is recognisably by Broussard and it is saturated with his trademark Bayou swamp feel, but it is also one of the funkiest recordings that he has released. At times, the groove is augmented by the wind section and is as full as a Phil Spector production. At other times Broussard belts out on top of a stripped down, rhythm only backing. The video, which cuts between what looks like Sean-Connery-era James Bond title credits, full-on psychedelic interludes, and footage that evokes the classic era of soul, is also vibrant and compelling.

If you want to see more from this fantastic singer from Louisiana, you can subscribe to his YouTube channel or you can follow him on Facebook page and Instagram. You can also visit his official website for more information.

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