Music News

Marc Broussard Bares His Soul

It would be inaccurate to call Marc Broussard a soul man. One listen to his new album of soul covers, however, might make you think otherwise. A Southern Louisiana native, Broussard was raised on gospel, blues, jazz, swamp boogie, Cajun and plenty of soul. His homegrown songs are a voodoo soup spiced with those influences, but issues with his label prevented him from releasing an already-completed album of originals. Instead, he made S.O.S.: Save Our Soul, which, surprisingly, has generated more attention than his solo work. Broussard spoke with us recently about Soul and about getting a thumbs-up from a Funk Brother.

Westword: Your first two albums blended Cajun, funk, blues and other influences. Why deviate into an all-soul album, especially of songs by others?

Marc Broussard: It was a product of necessity more than a product of originality, obviously. I needed to get a record out to my fans as soon as possible. Unfortunately, some label dealings didn't allow me to release the original record I had already recorded. I was forced to come up with another solution, and we came up with a soul album.

Many of the songs are faithful to the original version. Was this the intention?

The intention was for us to re-create the vibe of those original songs. Because they were such spectacular tunes, I didn't want to cheapen it by trying to do something that wasn't as cool as the original. It was a choice we made from the beginning, to do exactly what [the original artists] set out to do in the '60s and '70s — that was, just to record the music off the floor.

There will always be critics of a white guy doing classic soul. Have you heard grumbling from those who prefer that the songs be left alone?

There are always going to be critics out there, but the people that really matter are the people I care about. You know Bob Babbitt, one of the original Funk Brothers, reached out to us in huge support of this new record. He thought we made an outstanding effort to re-create these soul classics. When Bob Babbitt calls and gives me the thumbs-up, that's what counts.

Does it bother you that this album is getting more attention than albums of your original work?

I think the attention is because it's a weird concept. Here's this singer-songwriter who suddenly came out with an all-soul record. It's a bit of a strange thing, and I think that's why people are gravitating to it. But I have no qualms about this record getting more attention, because I'm making more money on this record than on any of the others.

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Glenn BurnSilver
Contact: Glenn BurnSilver