"I think Marc Cohn is easily in the top half-dozen talents in the world."
Singer/songwriter/pianist Marc Cohn burst onto the scene in 1991 on the heels of one of the most personal, resonant songs to make the Top 40 in the past 20 years, "Walking In Memphis". The song's remarkable power to move listeners while eluding precise explanation is a hallmark of the highest songwriting art and, just as remarkably, it was a monster hit that abides on radio playlists to this day. The Best New Artist Grammy for 1991 followed in its wake.
In his teens, Cohn fell under the spell of Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, which led to an inward-looking songwriting style with an evocative short-story quality. He taught himself piano while attending Oberlin College, knocked around in cover bands and, after moving to New York City, even fronted a 14-piece swing band that played Caroline Kennedy's wedding.
Retreating to woodshed his own music, he encountered a 70-year-old gospel and blues singer named Muriel in an Arkansas roadhouse, jammed with her, and his imagination fired up. The inspiration yielded a striking collection of songs including "Walking In Memphis." He recorded the demos that led to his Atlantic recording contract and the rest, as they say, is history. Though somewhat reclusive personally, Cohn is a spellbinding performer on stage. We'll give Bonnie Raitt the last word on the subject: "I love his songs, he's an incredible singer and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for."