MUSIC NEWS: For all of you who fell in love with Nikka Costa's debut album 'Everybody Got Their Something' in 2001, she's on her way back. In fact, she's touring with Lenny Kravitz, so when he swings through Chicago later this year, it's a show you won't want to miss. Her new album is called 'can'tneverdidnothin'' and goes on sale May 24th.
Anyone who calls themselves 'a white boy singing soul music' instantly belongs in my music collection. Combine that with an unbelievably mature voice for a man in his early 20's, and you've got Marc Broussard. You might have seen him recently performing on television. During an episode of Conan O'Brien, his performance was so energetic he nearly leapt out of the television.
Call it Southern Fried Rock, call it Pop Bluegrass, or better yet, don't label it because any way you slice Marc Broussard's latest album 'Carencro', it's good music. His voice has elements of John Popper ( lead singer of Blues Traveller ) , Darius Rucker ( from Hootie and The Blowfish ) and the Rock strains of Lenny Kravitz.
'Carencro', named for his hometown, kicks off with a speaker blowing tune aptly named 'Home'. It grows from a subtle Blues tune into a thundering Rock anthem. Marc takes his voice from it's lowest baritone register all the way up into a screaming wail. He isn't kidding about singing soul music.
The album continues with songs that demonstrate how youth has absolutely nothing to do with vocal ability. It's honest music from an honest guy who is honestly one of the most talented male singers to come along in a while. I wrote extensively about Van Hunt last year, but Marc Broussard is definitely turning into the voice of 2005.
But it doesn't stop there. He's co-written every song on the album, and fought a long battle with his current label Island Def Jam Music to retain Marshall Altman, the producer from his previous indie album 'Momentary Setback'. He's an artist who knows what he wants and exactly how he wants to do it. And the sun is only just beginning to rise on his career.
Some highlights from the album include the track 'The Beauty of Who You Are', a smooth soulful ballad that echos elements of Brian McKnight, one of Marc's influences. A very Ray Charles sounding track ( another influence ) is 'Lonely Night In Georgia', a soothing down-tempo ballad. 'Saturday' is a lively 70's Soul throwback, that bounces around with flutes and a bass line that will make you tap your feet. The happy bright pop track 'Come Around' is upbeat and fun, full of Blues vocals.
Always a sucker for vocal harmony, the track in my spotlight for this album is 'The Wanderer'. There's a twangy guitar and some beautifully Southern vocals that are Bluegrass with a twist. By the end of the song, i''s pure a cappella harmony, woven together with a wailing Marc. Definitely Soul music.
With you in 4/4,