A lot of CDs got dropped on my desk in 2004. Once I remember distinctly is Carencro, the major-label debut from singer/songwriter/guitarist Marc Broussard. I looked at the album cover, saw a not-unattractive dude that kinda resembled Josh Hartnett in Varsity Blues, and thought that he might be a John Mayer knockoff. While there were some Mayer-like songs on that very scattershot, unfocused album (his label had literally no idea what to do with him), its opening song, “Home”, threw me for a loop with its bluesy, soulful Louisiana stomp.
“Home” can accurately be described as sonic gumbo. Broussard’s vocals straddle the line between soul, gospel, and what the fuck is that? (check out his wordless howls and screams towards the track’s end). The music is rootsy, with hints of blues and country, a little bit of funk, and we go right back to gospel. “Home” sounds most like a hymn (part of it even interpolates the religious standard “Wade In The Water”), and recognizes the through line between gospel and just about every type of American music to come into existence over the last five centuries.
It’s truly an amazing track, and it should have made Broussard a star. It didn’t, but Marc (who now looks more like an indie folk musician than a college quarterback) continues to make records (with varying levels of quality). That voice is still sturdy and soulful, though, and I think he still has quite a bit of good music left in him. I don’t know if he’s ever topping “Home”, though.