Thursday, August 19, 2004
With the impending release of his fourth album this fall, singer-songwriter Marc Cohn makes an appearance at Strings in the Mountains tonight.
Cohn won a Grammy in 1991 for best new artist after the release of his debut album that included hits "Walking in Memphis" and "True Companion." His next two albums featured backing vocals from the likes of Rosanne Cash, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Bonnie Raitt.
From the sound of their raving, Cohn made a good impression in the recording studio.
"Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he's an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for," Raitt said of her fellow singer-songwriter.
"I think Marc Cohn is easily in the top half-dozen talents in the world. He writes and sings at an amazing level," David Crosby said. "He has consistently written some of the bests songs in American music. I rank him with Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Paul Simon and Shawn Colvin. I believe his music will last and be loved hundreds of years from now."
Cohn is a pianist and acoustic guitarist whose fans rave about his smooth, soulful singing. He has kept a low profile during the years since his Grammy Award, but that has not deterred a lingering fan base for the performer who reportedly was "discovered" by Carly Simon. Cohn is known for lyrics that are thoughtful and introspective and his concert reviews repeatedly celebrate the performance of his most famous song, "Walking in Memphis," more than a decade after its release.
There are entire Web sites devoted to interpreting Cohn's lyrics, but "Walking in Memphis" continues to promote the most online discussion.
According to a conglomeration of facts on songfacts.com Cohn wrote "Walking in Memphis" to illustrate a journey to being baptized in the world of blues after listening to a sermon by Al Green in Memphis. The song is a testament to Beale Street in Memphis, a piano bar in New Orleans and blues legend W.C. Handy, and throughout the lyrics he alludes to places and personalities at the roots of blues music. Cohn then traces the rise of Elvis Presley to fame and fortune, including the legend that Bruce Springsteen once successfully scaled the wall at Graceland trying to deliver one of his songs.
Audiences can look forward to Cohn's past hits and a preview of his new work when he performs at 8 tonight at Strings in the Mountains. If the show sells out and weather permits, reduced-price tickets will be available at 6 p.m. for seating outside the tent.