Written by Samuel Barker
Jan 27, 2005 at 08:00 PM
ImageThere is something about musicians that draw people in. Maybe it the ability to be a part of their art and be moved by it, or perhaps it’s the entertainment quality of dancing away while someone is making music, not just playing a recording. Either way, when an artist comes through that creates something we’ve never seen or heard, it blows us away and makes us pay attention. Unfortunately, none of this would be found at this concert.Being immersed in the music scene, I’ve seen upstart bands in bars just playing for fun all the way up to the kings of the game. Marc Broussard still carries himself like he’s an upstart in a bar. Dressed like he was down to the bottom of his closet, Broussard took the stage for some of his Dave Matthews meets Steve Winwood soul-based pop music.

You could hear this music in any sports bar or club in the US on any given night performed by a number of bands. Broussard just decided to take it on the road. And he has been somewhat successful, filling up the Red Room at the Meridian (think downstairs at Fitzgerald’s, just not as dingy). However, the audience behaved like they were still in a bar, which fit the music I’d guess. They talked nonstop, pushed each other around as they made trips to and from the bar and seemed to not care too much about what they had paid to see on the stage.

Regardless, the music seemed uninspired and sounded rehashed. Perhaps what made it worse for Broussard was that his opener took a similar idea and made it something to behold. That’s a rule in music all should follow, never get an opener who does their thing better than you. Citizen CopeOpening the show was Citizen Cope. Citizen Cope is the band name used by songwriter Clarence Greenwood as a vehicle for his songs. On this night, he had a backing band and made his Urban/Folk fusion work. While not sounding like Wilco, but borrowing from the same formula, Cope brought the basic folk songs of Greenwood’s and layered soulful instrumentation on top to make a truly dynamic sound come from the songs.

It’s this ability to take simple, well written songs and turn them into intricate jams that made Cope start the night off right. Stepping from the humble stage of the Mucky Duck on his last tour through to the club-like atmosphere at the Meridian definitely gave Greenwood and company the chance to shine…and shine they did.

The only downside of the set was the barroom crowd that followed Broussard to the gig never broke their conversation once during the set, so underneath everything was the grumble of masses too blind to pay attention to the real gem of the evening. The people up front got it, hopefully someone in the back did as well.