164 – Tracy Broussard: Drumming For Blake Shelton, Road Dawg Online, Family/Work Balance
Born in South Louisiana, Tracy was influenced by a musical “jambalaya” of Cajun, Zydeco, Blues, Jazz, R&B, Funk and Country. His whole family played music and at an early age, Tracy was sneaking into his brothers’ rehearsals and gigs. At the age of ten, he was sitting in with local bands.
Tracy was a member of the marching, symphonic and concert bands at Acadiana High School in Scott, Louisiana, and was also a District Honor Band member. In his sophomore year at the University of Southwestern Louisiana, he joined a local band, City Limits. He earned his Liberal Arts degree in Public Relations and began touring regionally. The band was a national finalist in the True Value/Jimmy Dean Country Showdown in 1994. The finals took place at the historic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville and that’s when Tracy realized Nashville was the place to be. After a European tour with Grammy-nominated band Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys and a brief tour with the late Amie Comeaux, he took the next step in his career and moved to Nashville in August 1996. He was a member of the R&B Funk Dance band, The Groove Addiction, which was the house band for the Nashville Predators’ inaugural season in 1998-99.
Since then, Tracy has toured with Mila Mason, Shane Minor (opening for Shania Twain), Craig Morgan, Rebecca Lynn Howard and Doug Stone. His first Tonight Show appearance was with Cyndi Thomson in October 2001, and within four months, appeared again with Grammy-nominated artist, Jamie O’Neal. Tracy toured the rest of 2002 with Jamie O’Neal. That year also included a USO tour of Europe and the Mediterranean. Another highlight was a CMT appearance with Jamie O’Neal and Michael McDonald, performing a song from the Mel Gibson movie, “We Were Soldiers”.
Since 2003, Tracy has been touring with reigning CMA and ACM Male Vocalist of the year, Blake Shelton. Tracy’s television appearances with Blake include the CMA Awards, ACM Awards, “Blake Shelton Live: It’s All About Tonight” DVD and GAC Special, Dancing with The Stars, CMT’s Invitation Only Special, DirecTV’s The 101 Concert Special, CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Fox and Friends, The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The Grand Ole Opry Live.
One of Tracy’s side-projects is Trypta-Phunk, a funk/fusion group that blends odd-time signatures with funky grooves. When not backing up Shelton, he is performing and recording with the group.
Tracy manages RoadDawg Online, a website all about touring drummers. RoadDawg Online is your all-access pass with interviews, roundtable discussions, product reviews, set-ups and columns from the pros.
In 2009, Tracy placed fifth in Modern Drummers’ Readers Poll in the Country category.
In his episode, Tracy talks about:
His website “Road Dawg Online”
How his role and responsibilities as drummer for Blake Shelton evolved or changed over time
Revelations in striking the family/work balance
Learning to keep a cool head on the road
Making yourself indispensable
How Tracy builds tracks for Blake’s show
Reading the artist
Being consistent from night to night
Not allowing one mistake to ruin your whole gig
Tracy’s original projet “Trypta-Funk”
Experiences performing on TV compared to a normal live shows
Tracy endorses: Aquarian drumheads, Pearl drums, Zildjian Cymbals, Promark sticks, Sennheiser, Woodshed Stage Art, Fender In-ears, Groove Juice, Qwikstix, Comply Foam Earphone Tips, Big Fat Snare Drum
This episode is sponsored by Session Ace