Bayou Soul Singer-Songwriter Shares His Heart at Old Rock House
Words and video by Bradley Darby
It had been almost three years since Marc Broussard had last played here at The Duck Room, a venue he had played for his previous three trips to St. Louis. Broussard had taken a break from touring to spend time with his family and record a new self titled album, released earlier this year. The news only got better when it was announced just a week before that Broussard would be stopping by St. Louis’ favorite new and used record shop, Vintage Vinyl, to perform and meet fans before the show at Old Rock House.
Broussard played a short three song set including “Lucky” from the newest album as well as an acoustic version of the fan favorite “Home” in front of a few dozen fans. He then took time to sign autographs and take pictures with fans, and at one point even took a woman’s phone and talked to a friend that was unable to make the show. See the full performance below. It was then over to the Old Rock House for the main event of the evening.
There were two opening acts for the evening.The first was a Canadian brother and sister duo known as Sarah & Christian Dugas, who I unfortunately did not get to see. The second opening act has been garnering a lot of attention as of late as one of their songs was apparently featured on an episode of Grays Anatomy. Scars on 45 are an indie rock group that hails from the UK. The group consists of four blokes as well as a girl named Aimee that shares vocal duties with guitar player Danny. Scars are completed by bassist Stu, drummer Chris, and Nova on the piano. The Brits did a great job with their 45ish minute set, and converted quite a few folks into new fans on this night. All they had available was an EP called Give Me Something, and they tackled all four of those songs in addition to a few more. A full length album should be out in January. You can get more information about Scars on 45 at their website, or you can catch them in STL opening for Matt Nathanson at The Pageant on October 18.
Straight out of Carencro, Louisiana and bayou born and raised, Marc Broussard was up next. If you haven’t heard of Broussard, you should do yourself a favor and indulge in his blend of the best elements of soul, classic R&B, and Bayou infused blues rock. He self released his first album, Momentary Setback, in 2002. That was followed up in 2004 by his major label debut Carencro, named after his hometown. In 2007, it was S.O.S. (Save Our Soul), a cover album featuring his takes on songs from Sam Cooke to the Pointer Sisters to Al Green. After releasing a 5 song EP, Broussard released Keep Coming Back in 2008 and most recently he released a self titled album in June of 2011. The first time I heard the man sing, opening for Matt Nathanson at a small defunct club called Hi-Pointe in 2003, I was shocked to see this voice coming out of a 21 year old white boy. Now at the rip old age of 29, its quite obvious he has learned a lot in the last ten years of his career.
He kicked the night off with a few upbeat songs, “Come Around” and “Hard Knocks.” It was then time to romance the ladies with the ballad “Lonely Night in Georgia”, one of my favorite songs of his. Broussard then played his anthem of self-discovery, and one of his oldest tunes “The Wanderer” before calling up opening act Sarah & Christian Dugas to help out on backing vocals for two new songs, “Lucky” and “Yes Man.”
Marc then introduced us to each member of the band as the played a brief solo before exiting the stage, leaving Broussard alone with his acoustic guitar and a room full of people. First up in the acoustic set was “Come In From The Cold”, the only song on S.O.S. that is NOT a cover. Broussard then played “Let Me Leave” before asking the crowd what they wanted to hear, and no shocker at what was being yelled at the stage…..the fan favorite hidden acoustic song about his son from Carencro called “Gavins Song.”
After continuing the solo acoustic portion of the show with “Hope For Me Yet”, he asked us “do you want the band to come back up?” and as the band started coming in from the outdoor patio and collected the Jager shots poured by a gentlemen who’s sole responsibility seemed to be mixing Jagermeister with A&W Root Beer, the crowd shouted back NO!!! At this time Broussard sent the band back off the stage and he then played “Saturday” followed by another great ballad of his, “Beauty of Who You Are.” It was at this time that Marc told us that it gets boring playing yourself, and asked the band to come back out to finish up the set. The boys then tore through a few more songs including a cover of Al Greens “Love and Happiness” and finally his biggest hit to date, “Home”, which he had played at Vintage Vinyl acoustic, but now we got to enjoy a rocking rendition with the full band. For the encore, Broussard came back out and slowed it down to sooth the souls with another song from S.O.S., “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”, originally performed by Donny Hathaway, a song that really showcases his vocal chops.
After making his was through a ten year, four album catalog, most of which seemed to come from his 2004 major label debut Carencro, Broussard left the stage. He hung around on the patio to meet some fans, as its no secret Marc has always been a man of the people. It was yet another great performance from one of the hardest working men in the singer songwriter game. Broussard is not only a great songwriter and vocalist, but a fantastic performer. Get more information about Marc here, or just go see him when he plays a club near you, because you need some bayou soul in your life.