Marc Broussard  On March 3rd, Broussard's fourth installment of “S.O.S.” Series will be released.  in Lafayette, Louisiana  on Feb 4, 2023, (Broussard /Broussard ) Courtesy of Marc Broussard  © Z News Inc.
Marc Broussard  On March 3rd, Broussard's fourth installment of “S.O.S.” Series will be released.  in Lafayette, Louisiana  on Feb 4, 2023, (Broussard /Broussard ) Courtesy of Marc Broussard  © Z News Inc.

Marc Broussard  On March 3rd, Broussard's fourth installment of “S.O.S.” Series will be released.  in Lafayette, Louisiana  on Feb 4, 2023, (Broussard /Broussard ) Courtesy of Marc Broussard  © Z News Inc.

By Percy Lovell Crawford

LAFAYETTE, La. — Marc Broussard has displayed a variety of range during his “S.O.S.” series where he tackles some of soul music’s biggest giants hits, which entails the revenue from the album sales goes towards a particular cause for each album. “S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul,” Broussard reached out to some blues legends, Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith for guidance to enter the blues genre for “S.O.S. 4.” The assists and features from the two greats were well played as admittedly, Blues is not particularly in Broussard’s wheelhouse, the album is highly anticipated and showcases Broussard’s diversity as a vocalist. No stones were left unturned when covering Blues greats like, Little Milton, Johnnie Taylor, Bobby Womack, and a host of others. The cause, Louisiana leads the nation in mass incarceration, this album will gear funds towards helping those post release. 


Zenger News gets the scoop on Marc Broussard’s new album, the “S.O.S.” Series, and the Blues. 

Zenger: You have accumulated an impressive tracklist for “S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul.” Was it a difficult decision to choose “That’s What Love Will Make You Do,” as the lead single? 


Broussard: Little Milton’s such a powerful voice, I don’t think it was difficult for all of us to point to that one as what we wanted to put our first foot forward. You’re not lying when you say, we really could’ve gone in a bunch of different directions. 


Zenger: When musical greats link up like you have with Joe Bonamassa and the list of features on this album, you expect magic, but that doesn’t always mean you get it. You have to be very pleased with the finished product. 


Broussard: I couldn’t be more pleased. It was sort of surreal to be in that space. As you can imagine, the blues has always been in my wheelhouse, but it’s not really my area of expertise. I didn’t gravitate towards B.B. King as much as I did Donny Hathaway. I didn’t gravitate towards Bobby “Blue” Bland as much as I did Stevie Wonder. But I always had a lot of respect for those singers. That’s initially why I reached out to Joe [Bonamassa] to get some guidance of selecting the songs. It very quickly evolved into something much more robust. But to be in that space with guys that have such a deep understanding of that genre and to feel like I was swimming in that space, I mean really. Some of those songs, vocally are really low in my range, thus not quite as challenging as the Stevie Wonder stuff or the Al Green stuff that I’ve tried to tackle in the past. I would finish up on a John Lee Hooker vocal that I would put on cruise control. It’s so low in my range and not calling for much from me, it’s just to sit in that pocket and sing those lines, I’d finish a take like that on cruise control and I’d come out of the booth and the fellas would be like, “Bro, that was incredible.” So, it was a very surreal experience for sure. 


Zenger: Given everything you just said, was this a challenging album for you to complete? 


Broussard: I think it would have been challenging had I not had the cast of characters behind me that I did. It would have been a much bigger challenge because I would have been carrying a lot more of the load, whereas working with Joe [Bonamassa] and Josh [Smith], those guys have such a tremendous grasps and breath of knowledge when it comes to the blues… I asked Joe and Josh to put together some playlists on Spotify, and they both did. They sent me about 40 songs. I really think they picked the songs in such a way that they knew where I would end up. They were instrumental in guiding my hand and picking that quick list. I wouldn’t be surprised if they conspired to get the actual playlist that we ended up with. 


Zenger: With Blues having such a extensive history and so many tracks to choose from, how did you come up with this final playlist? And did you have particular songs in your mind that you knew you wanted on this album before the process started?


Broussard: Yeah! Johnnie Taylor’s, “I’d Rather Drink Muddy Water.” It’s a song that I first heard on a jukebox at a spot called, “Big Al’s Hideaway,” when I snuck in there when I was 17 years old. I’ll never forget the moment of hearing Johnnie Taylor. I probably had heard Johnnie sing some stuff prior to that, but for whatever reason that night at, “Big Al’s Hideaway,” it caught my head. I think I played that song 10 times on that jukebox. Big Al kicked me out. 


Zenger: Because Lucy [Sabini] is so awesome, I was able to listen to the album and the entire album is an amazing piece of work. “Love, The Time Is Now,” is probably my favorite much like, “Harry Hippie,” on the first installment of “S.O.S.” Save Our Soul,” was my favorite. There is something about you covering Bobby Womack that comes out great. Why do you think that is?

Marc Broussard and Joe Bonamassa. “S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul.”  Album art. in Studio  on Feb 4, 2023, ( Marc Broussard taps into the Blues for his upcoming “S.O.S.” release.  Marc Broussard/Marc Broussard

Broussard: It’s interesting, there are a few singers out there that I relate to. For example, Teddy Pendergrass has a very unique style. It’s a daunting challenge for a singer to try and replicate. So much of what Teddy did was so much off the cuff and so conversational. It went over the bar. It wasn’t necessarily in the pocket, but it was always in the pocket. Similarly with Bobby, Bobby’s got such a conversational style, and the tone of his voice lends itself well to me trying to attempt his songs. 


But truth be told, “Love, The Time Is Now,” sort of falls into this weird territory for me. Years ago I determined that there were certain songs that I would probably never tackle for obvious reasons. A song like, “A Change Is Gonna Come.” I have seen white men sing that song before and I have always been a little cringed out by it. Similar to Donny Hathaway’s, “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” For obvious reasons it’s a song I feel unqualified to tackle. When we came to this one to address similar topics in regards to civil rights. It was a little bit of a battle for me in terms of wrapping my head around how to deliver that message with some genuine sincerity behind it. Ultimately, I did change one lyric, Bobby sings, “Let my people go.” I sing, “Let the people go.” I tried my best to convey that message. It was a greenlight from my counterpart who is now a part of Joe Bonamassa’s band, Calvin Turner. Calvin and I started off on this road together 20 years ago. We’ve been like family for the last 20 years. He gave me the greenlight. It’s a song that’s obscure enough. It’s not quite in that cannon of civil rights, hang your hat on songs. I felt it was important to bring that song back into the popular ethos. 


Zenger: You have mastered putting your own twist to these cover songs, while not straying too far away from the original. That seems like a difficult task, but you nail it every time. 


Broussard: That was the real goal behind the initial, “S.O.S.” project. I had a fanbase that was probably average age, 25 or 30 years old, many whom had probably not heard a lot of that material. So, the initial mission was to introduce the songs that had influenced my life to my fans that may not know that music. We tried to catch lightning in a bottle for a second time. There’s a fair amount of hubris that goes into a decision like that. We gave it the ole college try, and I think it’s always important for us to pay homage where it’s due and take liberties where it was warranted. 

Marc Broussard  On March 3rd, Broussard’s fourth installment of “S.O.S.” Series will be released.  in Lafayette, Louisiana  on Feb 4, 2023, Broussard /Broussard

Zenger: The “S.O.S.” series is always revolved around a purpose. What’s the charitable purpose behind, “S.O.S. 4?” 


Broussard: We’re trying to raise some money for folks who are facing some of the most difficult circumstances in this country, which is issues related to incarceration. I live in a state that incarcerates more people than any other state in the country. I’ve personally been a victim of a crime that sent a man to prison for 8 years. I’ve got friends that spent time sitting down in the federal penitentiary system. I’m keenly aware of some of the issues these folks face. You probably couldn’t find nobody that believes in Capitol J Justice more than I do, but I also think that once these debts are paid they’re paid. In don’t think there are enough services available to those folks that are faced with these issues. I want to bring awareness and attention to those issues. 

Edited by Joseph Hammond

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The post Marc Broussard Enlists The Help Of Blues Greats For ‘S.O.S. 4: Blues For Your Soul’ Album  appeared first on Zenger News.