In 2004, Marc Broussard, then a precocious 22-year-old singer/songwriter, released his major-label debut; he called it Carencro, after the Louisiana town where he was born and raised, and its thematic centerpiece was a hickory-smoked slab of Bayou soul called “Home.” That album and the three that followed revealed Broussard as an old-school Southern soul singer blessed with a rarefied gift and innate stylistic and emotional authenticity, causing the L.A. Times to rave, “The guy can really sing, with power, nuance and class. Anybody got a phone book? I’d listen to him hum a few pages.” Those records also evidenced Broussard’s maturation into a songwriter of uncommon eloquence, fashioning the indigenous idioms of his native region into compelling personal testimony.
Now, a decade after his critical breakthrough, Broussard has come full circle with A LIFE WORTH LIVING his sixth studio album, a celebration of what home means to him, starting with his wife and kids, the street he’s lived on his entire life, surrounded by loved ones, and all the minutiae of everyday life that he has come to treasure.
“Home definitely has a lot to do with this album,” he confirms. “But family has a lot to do with it as well, and those two go hand in hand. The infrastructure of family is really important, especially when you have four kids. Luckily I’ve got family that I’ve been able to lean on throughout all these years. Then,on top of it all, this place is just special. There’s a different way of living, a different way of communicating and a different way of celebrating life here that is infectious. And once you realize it, you never want to leave.”
Broussard signals his intentions with the cover portrait, which pictures him with his wife and kids sitting on the steps of a neighbor’s house, instruments in hand, persuasively conveying the notion that the family that plays together stays together. That touching photograph, which recalls Norman Rockwell’s heartwarming images of home and hearth, leads the listener into a song cycle that brings those traditional American values to vivid life, a linked series of ballads and deep-gut soul-rockers with revealing titles like “Edge of Heaven,” “Another Day,” “Weight of the World,” “Perfect to Me” and “Shine.” These songs, some intimate and others churning with intensity, like the kickass blues-rockers “Dyin’ Man” and “Man Ain’t Supposed to Cry,” chart the full range of concerns and emotions of a husband, father and provider as he experiences the joys and sorrows of existence.
“Whether it’s because I’m older and a little more perceptive, or whether it was just the right time, I find myself with a set of songs that really means the world to me,” Broussard says with pride. “The lion’s share of the material on this record is extremely personal. There are decades of stories behind a single line in any of these songs. In that way alone, it’s vastly different than anything I’ve done before. There was much more attention to detail; I feel like I’ve become a more focused writer.”
From the charged metaphor of the opening track and lead single “Hurricane Heart” to the closing existential lament “I’ll never Know,” Broussard … Read More