Sweet Wife and I met in New Orleans. After we married 17 months later, we took our honeymoon to San Francisco for a week and then swung back through New Orleans on our way home. We met Al Broussard on our return trip through the Big Easy.
It wasn’t night time and we weren’t drunk when it happened. We were just strolling along through the French Quarter and wandered through the wide-open front doors of one establishment when we first heard the warbly sounds of Broussard. He wasn’t up high and out front on stage. He was belting out the words of his songs while banging on a piano that was parked against one of the side walls of the bar.
But his distinctive sounds and bubbly personality pulled us in, especially Sweet Wife. We spent a while talking to him, Sweet Wife had her picture taken with him at his piano and then we bought one of his cassette’s as a souvenir. (That’s one clue as to how long ago this was.) For a while, Sweet Wife played that cassette pretty regularly and, in fact, we still have it around here somewhere. A year or two ago, I found one of his albums on iTunes and downloaded it for Sweet Wife on our anniversary.
Broussard was an old man when we crossed his path in 1994, so I’m sure he’s passed on now. But his music still lives with Sweet Wife and me and whenever we hear one of his songs, we smile. We are thankful for him.