Marc Broussard is putting his money where his mouth is, the same mouth that produces that deep, soulful voice the artist is known for. His recent project, A Lullaby Collection is his latest effort in fundraising for his SOS Foundation and proceeds will benefit Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge.
The Louisiana native will be returning to Houston for a two night stand at the Heights Theater featuring his good friend and guitar goddess Jackie Venson as the opening act on Saturday, February 22 and Sunday, February 23.
“I'm real happy with the project,” says Broussard of A Lullaby Collection. The album is a collection of 11 covers of sweet children’s lullabies accompanied by a children’s book titled, I Love You For You, written by Broussard and illustrated by Rebekah Phillips.
Broussard came to know the hospital when he was invited to perform at a fundraiser hosted by employees of the facility. “Once I found out what the hospital was actually doing and what it did for the area, I was really motivated.”
After a career which involved some big breaks, big record companies and large tours, Broussard decided to go independent following a particularly challenging time in his career. Once Broussard went out on his own, he realized the income he had missed out on when signed with larger labels and decided to put that money to a better use.
“There is some weird karma associated with the revenue generated by the sales of my records for most of my career and that’s specifically because the standards in my business are really in the tank. The way that the calculus plays out meant that I never saw a dime of record sales until I went independent.”
“All of a sudden I had this new revenue stream that I never saw nor needed. I saw the potential to actually redirect those funds, these funds that used to keep the lights on in office buildings and fancy upper west side apartments in Manhattan. My family didn’t need it cause we never saw it, it could go to something really powerful and hopefully we wouldn’t really need to do anything really different, “ he says adding, “It was kind of a no brainer for me.”
From there the SOS Foundation was born and Broussard decided to work on projects which benefited different organizations with each album release. This approach has also had some unexpected benefits for the artist.
“It serves a whole host of functions that I never anticipated. It gives me more time to write for an original record and to really be careful with the material that we go into record for original albums.” Broussard says he is currently wrapping up his next album of original material.
A Lullaby Collection is a perfect platform to show off Broussard's smooth, soulful voice. “It’s bedtime music but the parents wont get super tired listening to it and hopefully the kids have their own little player where they can say ‘Alexa, play Lullaby Collection’,” he laughs.
Listening to “Return To Pooh Corner” is like taking a whimsical walk with Stevie Wonder and Winnie the Pooh with Broussard's voice vibrating alongside perfectly accompanying keyboards and harmonica.
Broussard comes from a musical background and learned to sing in the church. His father is Ted Broussard, member of The Boogie Kings, a group known for their cajun-pop and blue eyed soul sound. It’s easy to hear that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree in the Broussard family.
“He and I play together about a dozen times a year, it's a ball. He shreds his ass off and he's a great singer, he's always been a really good singer,” says Broussard. Speaking with Broussard it’s easy to see he is a family man with a heart as big as his voice. It’s an easy assumption that his voice came from his father but Broussard recently realized that was not the case.
“I realized in the last year that the quality of my voice actually comes from my mother, she can't sing at all, but the tone of my voice, the actual physicality of what you're hearing definitely originates in my mom’s throat. My dad apparently never considered it and we were sitting around the pool and I said that and my dad was like ‘What!’. I said, ‘Daddy, I get my ears from you, I get my throat from my momma.'”
It's hard to hear the richness of his voice and not be transported to a deeper place, most likely an effect of his time in the church. "I was definitely influenced heavily by the church, whether it was in the soul music I was hearing or being in the church playing music. I still definitely consider myself deeply spiritual and I would call myself a Christian but I think that these days I'm much more comfortable putting my values on display in other ways, like the SOS Foundation."
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Broussard admits that through the highs and lows of his career, he’s never been good at pushing merchandise from the stage. The SOS Foundation gives him the motivation to tell people about the albums they can purchase and explain to them who their hard earned money will be serving.
He describes his last show at the Heights Theater, “The last time we played the Heights, oh my lord I felt like a Beatle! I'm not even joking, the audience was out of hand. It was honestly a stunning affair, we had an absolute ball.”
When asked what he would tell someone to expect from a Marc Broussard show he says, “First of all, bring your dancing shoes. Expect to be told to stand up at some point but I won't make you stand the whole show. You're gonna have a good time. If you've been to a Marc Broussard show, you already know that, that’s why you're going to be there and if you haven't, well you should have gotten in where you could have,” he chuckles.
Marc Broussard will perform with Jackie Venson Saturday, February 22 and Sunday February 23 at The Heights Theater, 339 W. 19th. Doors open at 7 p.m. $28.