I love it when I make random musical discoveries. It often happens when I’m watching TV, although lately I’ve been watching more YouTube than network TV or Netflix. Sometimes it happens when I’m out and about. For instance, I came home from our recent cruise with new music, having heard it piped in on the ship. I’ve found the best places for finding great music are in Irish pubs or Scottish whisky bars!
I honestly don’t know how I ended up with Marc Broussard’s music in my library. Last night, while I was sitting at the table talking to Bill and drinking beer, one of his songs randomly played on my HomePod. I was immediately attracted to it, so I tried to look up who was singing. I ended up having to use Shazam, because the song that was playing was listed as Track some and such, which means it was probably on a CD or something, and not one that came from a major distributor. I usually try to add the information when I import CDs that don’t automatically have the music info listed. I guess I neglected to do that during my recent music migration.
I liked Marc’s soulful chops enough to automatically download his album without knowing anything about it other than the song that was playing on my HomePod was on it. His voice is like a hybrid of Stevie Wonder, Cas Haley, and Paul Carrack. It’s very soulful and kind of funky, and pretty damned awesome! The music he does is like a blend of funk, old school R&B, pop, and Southern accents. It’s obvious he was influenced a lot by Marvin Gaye, Al Green, Otis Redding, and Stevie Wonder, at least on S.O.S. Save Our Soul, the album I’m listening to now.
One thing I don’t like about S.O.S. Save Our Soul (2007), is the way the songs are faded out at the end. Marc is still singing soulfully as the volume is gradually turned down. I don’t know who decided that was a good thing to do, but it’s the one thing about the album that I don’t like at all. This man has some chops, and his songs deserve better transitioning than that. Maybe they did it so they could fit more music on the CD. But just on the strength of this album, I’ve downloaded a couple more! And no, I didn’t even listen to any samples!
So I did a Google search this morning to find out more about this man. I discovered he was born in Carencro, Louisiana on January 14, 1982. He’s also on tour, and due to visit Germany very soon. Tickets for his shows are also very reasonably priced.
As I sit here listening to Marc Broussard’s voice, I’m having a random memory about how I used to acquire music. When I was very young, I would save up my money until I had about $10, then walk by myself down Business Route 17 in Gloucester, Virginia and visit the music section of Murphy’s Mart. The very first record I bought was Crimes of Passion by Pat Benatar (1980). It was on vinyl. I bought vinyl albums until I got a Walkman, then I bought cassettes… then CDs. I remember how music used to eat up a lot of my disposable income, and I’d have to hem and haw over what I wanted in my collection. I couldn’t afford much. I remember my CD collection was once my most prized possession.
Nowadays, it’s not uncommon for me to buy a bunch of albums from a single artist in one sitting, just because I like one song! I’ll buy a lot of stuff without even listening to it first, often while drinking. Many times, I end up loving what I get. Only once in a blue moon do I wind up with something I don’t enjoy.
I have really eclectic tastes when it comes to music. I just like what I like, and I like a LOT of stuff. But… I have found that I don’t like a lot of really popular stuff anymore. For instance, you’ll never catch me at a Taylor Swift concert. It’s not that I don’t think she’s talented. She is. It takes a lot of talent to do what she does, which is create a sound that appeals to the masses. I have heard a few songs by her that I genuinely enjoy. But I don’t find her music very inspiring or interesting. The funny thing is, she actually played at my alma mater, Longwood University, back around 2007 or so. People who were at Longwood at that time have posted photos they took with Taylor, who was reportedly very friendly and approachable. Who knew that 15 plus years later, she’d get people so excited that they’d be willing to spend $1000 on a ticket and dance so hard the vibrations show up on the Richter scale?
Taylor Swift was reportedly named after James Taylor, who IS one of my favorite singers, EVER. I saw him perform in November and had second row seats, which was very exciting for me. But I think I paid about $200 for TWO tickets. I got them through a fan sale and didn’t even select the seats. They were assigned to me. I couldn’t have been more pleased. What was especially exciting was that James was signing stuff and interacting with the crowd, who were enchanted by his performance. The show was so good, I came home and downloaded a bunch of albums by James’s backup singers! I already own multiple copies of James Taylor’s official catalog, as well as a bunch of rare and bootleg stuff he’s done since the late 60s.
I think I have just one Taylor Swift song in my vast music collection, although maybe I should explore her music more. People do love her. I don’t think I’d want to go to one of her shows, though, even if someone gave me free tickets. I think it would be too crowded and chaotic, and there would be way too many people freaking out… and taking selfies.
Isn’t it interesting how, when you’re a kid, you tend to like whatever’s popular. As you get older, you stop liking that stuff. Both of my parents were musicians. My dad was a singer. My mom was a professional church organist. They both loved music (Mom still does… she’s still living). My dad didn’t like pop music at all beyond the early 70s. He said rock music made him “nervous”. My mom had a higher tolerance for popular music. But they both liked to listen to “easy listening” stuff. My dad even preferred Muzak, which makes me nervous! And yet, I have some stuff in my library now that could be considered Muzak.
I like Phil Coulter’s music, but a couple of his albums that I downloaded without listening first are legit Muzak albums. Those are among the few “duds” in my collection. And yet, he also did this…
Phil Coulter’s Highland Cathedral album is awesome, as is Legends, which he did with flautist James Galway. It’s not like Muzak at all.
My dad, by the way, became a Phil Coulter fan when he heard me play his Highland Cathedral album. I don’t know if he ever heard Coulter’s most Muzak like offerings, though. He probably would have loved those albums. I can’t stand to listen to them.
I do think it’s funny that the record companies were so afraid that downloads were going to destroy the music industry. I find that I buy so much more music now than I used to. And since they are not physical copies, the record companies probably have more power than they ever did when they were selling actual tangible products. Now, there’s a lot of pressure to subscribe to streaming services, so they can spoon feed you music curated by their “experts”. I want no part of that. I am already the expert of what I like. I like to find music on my own, and curate my own playlists. And I love it when I discover people like Marc Broussard, who obviously has a following, but isn’t super famous like Taylor Swift is.
Anyway… I just wanted to share something positive on this Monday. I’m glad to “meet” Marc Broussard. He may not be as world famous as some artists are, but that man can SING! And I’m proud to support his career by “drunken downloading” some of his albums. I’ll probably wind up with his whole catalog.
Here’s one more Marc Broussard song before I go, since I digressed a bit…