I used to have a job that allowed random CDs to accumulate over my desk. This job also allowed me (in the days when I had a less demanding job, a commute and didn’t have social media) to check out a lot of these random CDs and discover a ton of new music.

One such artist was Louisiana native Marc Broussard. His debut album, Carencro (named after the town in which he was born and still resides) was released in the summer of 2004 and immediately got put in regular rotation on my Discman.

“Home” was the first track (and was eventually released as a single–I don’t think it was the first one released.) A swampy slice of soul/gospel/folk, it’s one of those tracks that’ll give you the Holy Ghost fever even if you’re a non-believer. It’s interesting to hear Marc become more vocally possessed/unglued as the song progresses, leading up to a searing conclusion.

Carencro spotlighted something that I appreciate in artists but record companies generally hate-a completely unclassifiable nature. It seemed like his record company at the time couldn’t decide whether to make him John Mayer, D’Angelo, or something completely different. His albums since have similarly bounced all over the place, from soul covers to duets with LeAnn Rimes. His stylistic inconsistency is admirable, but also occasionally results in wild swings in the quality of his music. His talent guarantees that anything he puts out will be worth a listen, but I’m not so sure his music always holds up to multiple listens. Know what I mean?

Marc is also a legendarily fantastic live performer, which is something I still need to see for myself. I’ve missed him 3 or 4 times in Boston over the past six years, either by virtue of not being able to afford tickets or having conflicts. Hopefully, I’ll correct that in the near future.

Marc’s got a new album, A Life Worth Living, coming out on July 29th. He’s also changed his look a little bit and gone a bit hillbilly. The beard is mighty impressive. Hopefully the music will be as well.

Back to “Home” for a second, though…this dude blows 85% of today’s crop of “soul” singers out of the fucking water. A decade later, the song still gives me chills.

For a little modern-day Marc, check this out.

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