By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
His thirties might be a threat that's still five years off, but Marc Broussard's voice sounds twice its age when in blue-eyed-soul character.
Broussard's third LP, S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, hit stores last month. It's a leap of faith in image (goodbye, peach fuzz; hello, Brokeback Mountain) and in sound (Seventies soul juice on tap instead of bayou swamp water). But it's one of mind as well, for the singer/songwriter is now "thankfully free" of Island Records' major-label chains and off to add a little youth to the Vanguard Records corps.
The son of Boogie Kings guitarist and Louisiana Hall of Famer Ted Broussard, Marc grew up on a diet of northern soul crooners such as Donny Hathaway and Stevie Wonder before moving on to Prince and Brian McKnight. No absent father was Ted, who often dragged his preschool-age son onstage to sing "Johnny B. Goode," and, much later, contributed session work to Marc's first solo album, the rather aptly titled Momentary Setback.
In his far-better-received second LP, Carencro, Broussard tabled the bayou-sloshing "Home," which Kelly Clarkson often covered during her Addicted summer tour. At that time, Broussard was all about becoming the next Prince, but with S.O.S. he has settled into a breezy, feel-good trip. "I want to take what was beautiful and right about old-school soul and make it alive again," he says. "Soul music grew out of the church, out of gospel, but somewhere along the way it lost its heart. I want to give that heart -- the good vibes, the happiness, the love -- back to the music and back to the people, whether it's a new generation who've never heard what genuine soul sounds like or listeners who grew up on it."