Best known for his 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis," singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Marc Cohn seasons his signature adult contemporary pop with hints of folk and country. The Grammy-winning artist draws from a comprehensive catalog of original songs and thoughtfully selected covers for his live shows, a seasoned repertoire three-plus decades in the making.
Marc Cohn's background
Marc Cohn is originally from Cleveland, Ohio, where he learned piano and guitar as a teenager and launched his musical career playing in a cover band. As a budding songwriter, Cohn was strongly influenced by Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne. His early endeavors included time spent performing on the L.A. coffee shop circuit while at UCLA. After a move to New York City, he played in the 14-piece band Supreme Court, wrote songs and worked as a backup singer for other artists. He also played piano on Tracy Chapman's second album.
Circa-1990, Cohn dedicated his efforts to solo work, releasing his self-titled debut album in 1991. Marc Cohn's standout track is "Walking in Memphis," an autobiographical account of Cohn's transformative time in "the land of the Delta blues." The single peaked at No. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, ultimately spending 23 weeks on the chart, and reached No. 7 on the Mainstream Rock chart. It later also became a hit for Cher and Lonestar. Propelled by the success of the single, the platinum-selling album earned Cohn a Grammy Award for Best New Artist.
Cohn's second album, 1993's The Rainy Season, features guest vocals by Bonnie Raitt, David Crosby and Graham Nash. It was met with critical acclaim and reached No. 63 on the Billboard 200. Cohn followed the release with extensive touring but didn't put out another album until 1998. Burning the Daze offered more of Cohn's signature polished sound and included contributions by Roseanne Cash and Patti Griffin. A live compilation and a best-of album followed before Cohn released Join the Parade in 2007.
Cohn offered another well-received album in 2010, Listening Booth: 1970, a selection of covers of rock, soul, folk and pop songs released in 1970. Among them are The Grateful Dead's "New Speedway Boogie" with guest vocals by Jim Lauderdale, Cat Stevens' "Wild World," Smokey Robinson's "Tears of a Clown" and Paul Simon's "Only Living Boy in New York." The album peaked at No. 28 on the Billboard 200, making it Cohn's highest charting record to date.