UL Lafayette grad helps drum up support for the Ragin' Cajuns

Photo provided by UL-Lafayette
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 - 1:30pm

University of Louisiana at Lafayette alum Tracy Broussard helps raise the roof at concerts by his boss, country music superstar Blake Shelton. The 1994 grad, who is Shelton's touring drummer, will also help raise money to support the Ragin' Cajun Athletics Foundation.

He's signed and donated a pair of drumsticks, which will be paired with a drum head signed by Shelton. Those items will be auctioned at the Ragin' Cajun Athletics Celebration, which will be held at the Cajundome Convention Center on August 24 at 7:00 p.m.

Broussard, an Acadiana native, moved to Nashville in 1996 after earning a bachelor’s degree in public relations. He used the knowledge he had gained in his college courses to promote himself and to network for gigs.

“When you are working in Nashville, you are competing with the best musicians. Period. So, yes, you have to have the talent and skill to compete at that level. But you also have to be able to set yourself apart,” he told UL Lafayette.
Broussard played in area clubs and worked as a restaurant host for three years before he got a break. In 1999, he began playing with Shane Minor. Soon after, the band became the opening act for Shania Twain as she toured. Other jobs followed.

In 2003, Shelton’s bandleader, Rob Byus, asked Broussard to join the group. “Rob had seen me play several times with Jamie O’Neal and Cyndi Thompson and felt that if the opportunity came up, they wanted me in the band. ... Rob offered me the gig and I started that week — no audition, no rehearsal!”

Shelton was impressed by Broussard’s talent and repertoire.

“I remember watching Tracy play with Jamie O'Neal and loved his energy and the way he ‘drove the band.’ ... It also doesn’t hurt that he knows a ton of old country songs!” Shelton said in an email to the University.
In addition to touring, Broussard teaches drum clinics, which he calls “druminars.” He held the first druminar in Lafayette in November 2012.

Shelton, who has won the Country Music Association’s Male Vocalist of Year Award three years running, was named Entertainer of the Year in 2012. Shelton's "Ten Times Crazier" tour is under way. The band will perform in the United States through December, then begin touring in Canada in early 2014. 

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