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A master storyteller celebrates life

Marc Cohn
The Fox Theatre
Tucson, AZ
November 12, 2016
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Review and photos by Frances Sealy

Mr. Cohn has had an interesting history in the music business since he started recording. He had his first hit record and biggest selling album with his first release. He shared many of his experiences during the show. One personal event of note was he shot in the head after a show during an attempted carjacking.

Cohn's touring this year has centered on his new album release, Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities. The album is a compilation of songs recorded before "Walking in Memphis," his signature song in 1991. Fans have been relishing the new album's fresh new gems. However, the best part of this show was Cohn's candor about how all of his music evolved and his interactions with the "Cohnheads" in the audience.

Three exceptional musicians accompanied Cohn during the show with amazing guitar, keyboards and percussion. Marc's voice, keyboards and dry wit were on full display throughout the show. An example was his introduction to "Dig Down Deep" - an ode to his first wife. The next song was "The Rainy Season" and he said that was also about his first wife later in their relationship. "True Companion" was written about his brother's marriage. He has not written a song about getting shot yet. That may still come.

All of Cohn's songs are created with personal attachment. One of the most interesting stories involved is with "Walking in Memphis" and Cohn's chance meeting with Muriel Davis Wilkins long before he had a record contract. Believing in the transformational power of music, Marc decided to travel to the south for inspiration. He visited areas that had spawned great singers like Al Green, Elvis Presley, Otis Redding, and Isaac Hayes. He took a side trip to the Hollywood Cafe in Mississippi. There, he felt an immediate connection with Ms. Wilkins, the singer at the cafe. They talked during her breaks and by the end of the evening she invited him to sing with her. He returned to the cafe after writing some songs and she was particularly fond of "Walking in Memphis."

This was a well-rounded set of great music dating back to Cohn's first songs. "Chilly Wind" was the only song presented from the new album. "29 Ways" was the only cover song.
Set List:
1. Walk Through the World
2. Ghost Train
3. Silver Thunderbird
4. Dig Down Deep
5. The Rainy Season
6. Chilly Wind
7. 29 Ways (Willie Dixon cover)
8. Perfect Love
9. Listening to Levon
10. Walking in Memphis
11. True Companion

12. One Safe Place

Related articles:

Marc Cohn - Concert review - Chicago, IL - December 2010
Marc Cohn - Concert review - Chicago, IL - December 2005
Marc Cohn - Concert review - Chicago, IL - December 2004

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