by Marisa Torrieri Bloom
The life of a touring musician isn’t one for the faint of heart — it’s awesome, but frequently tough on mind and body, whether you’re gone for 10 days or 10 months. You’re always on the road, often far, far away from your home base and removed from your loved ones for long stretches. When parenthood happens, it’s even harder. Little ones are counting on you to be there for them — so when you’re home, you need to make every moment count.
For Louisiana bluesman Marc Broussard, the struggle of balancing kids and a full-time career as a touring musician isn’t always easy — but it is always worth it.
“Having kids gave me priorities outside of myself for the first time in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful,” he tells Rockmommy.
And speaking of kids, my own two little men (ages 6 & 7) love Marc’s latest studio album — A Lullaby Collection SOS III, which features a wealth of fun, reimagined classics (like “Danny Boy”) and lush, soulful scores (like “Bedtime,” our favorite).Broussard is also making his debut as an author with I Love You For You, a children’s book about inclusion, affirmation and appreciation for the special traits that make each one of us unique.
The best part of all: A portion of proceeds from the album and the book will be donated to Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
We recently caught up with him to talk about making the record, supporting important causes and carving out time for creativity.
Rockmommy: The lullaby record is so sweet and dreamy. How did it come about? Was there a moment when you envisioned creating this?
Marc Broussard: Rebekah Phillips and I have been friends for years and we’d spoken about doing a book together many times. In fact, it was on the plane home after our last visit with Rebekah and her husband that I got inspired and wrote the book on the flight!
Rockmommy: Lots of artists make records for younger audiences. How did you come up with the right “vibe” for an album for kids? (high energy vs. lullaby).
Marc Broussard: I had been looking for an opportunity to support this particular children’s hospital, Our Lady of the Lakes, and even though I knew I wanted to make an album for kids, I didn’t want it to be just for kids. I wanted to make a record that kids would like listening too that could also make the parents smile.
Rockmommy: You’re on tour now. How has your music evolved and shape shifted as your life has changed, since becoming — and growing as — a parent?
Marc Broussard: Everything about me is different than before I had kids, so much so that my wife has made comments about reflecting on my past behavior and snapped herself out of it with the thought, ‘Marc would never do that to me!’ Having kids gave me priorities outside of myself for the first time in my life and I couldn’t be more grateful.
Rockmommy: You are involved in a number of philanthropic ventures. Can you talk about how you decided which organizations should benefit from sales of this record — A Lullaby Collection SOS III ?
Mark Broussard: As I mentioned before, I had been looking for an opportunity to support this newly opened children’s hospital from the moment I knew of its existence. It’s a fairly simple process, really. Identify an organization doing incredible work and support them. I don’t see that changing much in the future.
Rockmommy: It’s really tough for rock moms (and dads) — especially those who need other income — to balance being a musician and a parent. What is your best advice for them?
Mark Broussard: Money is nice but it can’t buy time. A singer friend of mine many years ago gave me some advice about getting some home-time. “Go home when you can, even just for a day. Go into debt if you have to.” I took that advice and made sure I got home as often as possible.
— Marisa Torrieri Bloom is the editor and founder of Rockmommy.