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Marc Broussard: Soul Singer from the Bayou

Marc Broussard has a voice that defies his appearance. The 22-year-old performer from Cajun country wields a throaty, powerhouse baritone with a power and depth that recalls Otis Redding or Marvin Gaye. Broussard describes himself this way: "A white boy singing soul music."

Louisiana native Broussard named his debut CD after his hometown: Carencro. He draws inspiration from his Acadian roots and musical family, particularly his father. Growing up, Broussard's house was filled with the sounds of Chick Corea, George Benson and Wes Montgomery, all from his father's album collection.

Father and son co-wrote the opening song of Carencro -- "Home" -- while driving together from Birmingham, Ala. to Layfayette, La. Broussard tells NPR's Jennifer Ludden that he sees "Home" as a direct line to his Cajun heritage, a "dirty and gritty" story. "And that's pretty much what south Louisiana is," he says, "it's just the dirt and the grit and a vibe that you can't find anywhere else."

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Jennifer Ludden helps edit energy and environment stories for NPR's National Desk, working with NPR staffers and a team of public radio reporters across the country. They track the shift to clean energy, state and federal policy moves, and how people and communities are coping with the mounting impacts of climate change.