Marc Cohn: Inspiration from an Arkansas Roadhouse

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Marc Cohn

Marc Cohn. hide caption

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Set List

  • "Listening to Levon"
  • "The Calling"
  • "Let Me Be Your Witness"

Marc Cohn's 1991 single "Walking in Memphis" made him an instant star: A sentimental Top 40 favorite and an enduring radio staple, the song was his ticket from singer-songwriter obscurity to Grammy-winning fame.

Drawing on the introspective work of Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, Cohn developed his gift for storytelling while teaching himself to play piano and paying his dues in cover bands. After a stressful stint in New York, Cohn sought inspiration down south, encountering a 70-year-old gospel and blues belter in an Arkansas roadhouse and using her as a muse. Jamming with her revived his imagination and yielded the collection of work that formed the basis of his debut — including "Walking in Memphis" — as well as much of his subsequent work. Cohn's new album is Join the Parade.

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