Bringing blues and soul: Louisiana singer, songwriter Marc Broussard to play State Theatre June 21

Courtesy photo Marc Broussard, whose music straddles R&B, blues, rock and folk will perform at the State Theatre, State College, on June 21.

Ask Louisiana singer/song writer Marc Broussard about his biggest performance thrill and he doesn’t hesitate.

“I performed at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony at the Waldorf Astoria in 2006,” he said via phone from Cologne, Germany, during a pause in his international tour. “It was the year Metallica and (Blondie) were inducted. I met Ozzie Osbourne and did a two-step with Debbie Harry.”

Broussard performed with Solomon Burke as part of a tribute medley to Wilson Pickett.

“I walked off into the stage wings and the lights came up. I was looking into the audience and all of rock royalty was there: Metallica, Bonnie Raitt, and Kid Rock to name a few.”

On June 21, Broussard and his band walk onto the stage at The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College. He is looking forward to coming to central Pennsylvania.

“It’s definitely a party and we’ll perform a dynamic set,” he said.

A professional musician for 18 years, Broussard has also performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Late Night with Conan O’Brien,” “Jimmy Kimmel!,” and others.

“Quite a few of our staff members are fans of his as they have heard him on Sirius XM,” said Kerry Cavanough, assistant director of marketing and operations at The State Theatre. “This is his first time in State College and we’re very excited to have him. His music straddles different genres: R&B, blues, rock, folk and he covers different artists like Sam Cook and Stevie Nicks.”

Broussard has more than 150 tour dates in the United States and Europe this year and is a popular draw at the main stage at the Jazz Fest in New Orleans and other blues, soul and jazz music festivals, according to his web site. Broussard has also toured with major music makers as Zac Brown, Bonnie Raitt, Dave Matthews Band, Willie Nelson and Maroon 5, among others.

His father is a Louisiana Hall of Fame guitarist who played with the “Boogie Kings” and nurtured his musical gifts from an early age. His latest album “Easy to Love,” released in 2017, and its single “Don’t Be Afraid to Call Me,” received extended play on “Rolling Stone Country” and “Sirius XM: The Highway.”

“I have reasonably and humbly deduced that audiences find my music to be authentic, full of compassion and I try to communicate love through my music. It resonates with people,” he said explaining his appeal.

He puts actions to his words as he has released two charitable albums, including “SOS,” a charitable soul covers album to raise funds for City of Refuge in Atlanta in 2016 to help battle poverty around the country.

A third album — a charitable album of lullabies will accompany an as-of-yet untitled children’s book he wrote — will benefit Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, and is anticipated to be released later this year.

It is illustrated by Rebekah Philips and fulfills a much-desired wish to work with this family friend.

“The book is from the perspective of me and my daughter — she chose a sea otter as her spiritual animal so we are portrayed as sea otters. The message is that we need to like people for who they are; whether they are happy or sad.”

The book’s message of inclusiveness and compassion for others pairs well with children’s lullabies, such as “Return to Pooh Corner,” “Danny Boy” and “Moon River,” he said. Broussard’s philanthropic efforts are motivated by a desire to raise awareness of ill children and “keep the lights on” at children’s hospitals.

“It’s been a journey — mostly through interactions with fans, that raised my awareness of children with Marfan’s, ASL, and cerebral palsy. Looking back to high school, there were kids with special needs in my class, but I didn’t know why they were different. I would have made a greater effort to be friends with them as they were locked inside their own bodies.”

Staff writer Patt Keith can be reached at (814) 949-7030.

If you go

What: Marc Broussard, nationally-acclaimed, Louisiana blues and soul singer

When: 8 p.m. June 21

Where: The State Theatre, 130 West College Ave., State College, Pa.

Tickets: Front Orchestra, $35; Orchestra and balconys $25; plus ticketing fee; (814) 272-0606; visit: http://thestatetheatre.org/

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