Marc Broussard, a singer-songwriter from Carencro in Lafayette Parish, sings with Cajun soul.
Broussard released his sixth studio album, “A Life Worth Living,” in July. Stylistically, it’s a varied batch of deeply written, keenly expressed songs, including the rousing “Hurricane Heart,” soulful “Man Ain’t Supposed To Cry” and blues-rocking “Dyin’ Man.”
Reached during the 10-hour drive between Wilmington, North Carolina, and Atlanta, Broussard said “A Life Worth Living” was a labor of love.
“I tried my damnedest to tap into some things that I hadn’t tapped into before,” he said. “I think I broke some new ground, as a man and an artist.”
Broussard performs Sunday at 6:30 p.m. at the Gretna Heritage Festival.
He sees the album as the beginning of a new phase in his career.
“I’m thinking of the next decade, making up for some of the mistakes that I made as a young man in my 20s,” he said. “I’ve got a sense of clarity about my life that I’ve never really had before.”
Family, home and music are the cornerstones of Broussard’s world. He’s lived on the same street in Carencro all his life; his parents and older brother are neighbors.
A family portrait of the singer, his wife, Sonya, and their four children adorns the cover of “A Life Worth Living.”
The Broussards posed for the photo on the back porch of their musician friend Louis Michot’s house on the Cajun prairie. Inspiration for the image came from a photo of Broussard’s grandmother with her parents and siblings.
Broussard’s late grandmother, Mamie Ruth Deville, inspired the album’s title song. Written after her death, it seemed to write itself, he said.
“It was a really trying experience, too, because you have to surrender to it,” he said. “You have to turn your brain off to receive the next line as it comes. But that line, once it does come, beats you down, because it’s so emotionally gut-wrenching.”
Broussard said he could have written the lyrics for “A Life Worth Living” in 10 minutes, but ultimately it took longer. He needed time between the lines.
“You write a line and then you cry really hard,” he explained. “And then you say, ‘OK. Now I’m calmed down.’ And then you receive the next line, write that down and cry your eyes out again. It happened like that for the entire writing process.”
Grief also played a role in “Give ’Em Hell.” It was inspired by a text message informing Broussard that a dear friend had passed away.
“It sat me up in bed,” he said. “So I grabbed my guitar and went through that same process — line comes in, emotional crash, recovery.”
Broussard always writes from life. “A Life Worth Living” is his musical diary of summer 2012 through summer 2013.
“To have it mean something to both the listener and the artist, there’s no other way to do it,” he said.