To those who don’t know any better, Marc Cohn is solely defined by the smash “Walking In Memphis,” though anyone willing to dig beyond the surface is likely to gather he’s quite an accomplished songwriter responsible for several other equally engaging narratives. In fact, every single selection from his platinum-plus 1991 debut was a winner back then and even 25 years later as the troubadour played the project from front to back during an exclusive tour through several City Winery locations.
Although it wasn’t as huge of a hit as “Memphis,” the grand finale “The Things We’ve Handed Down” (about contemplating the birth of his first child) was definitely deserving of a similar platform, and perhaps more than anything else presented, traced Cohn’s effortless ability to tap into the rawest and purest of human emotions.
When it came to the Chicago sell out, the platinum-plus performer and six backers made time stand still revisiting emotive, piano-driven pop/rockers such as “Ghost Train,” “Silver Thunderbird” and “Walk On Water.” Unsurprisingly, the now classic “Walking In Memphis” (performed not once but twice) marked the set’s apex in its gospel-infused encore, while the touching “True Companion” also resonated nearly as much considering it’s amongst the most beautiful and articulate (yet underrated) love songs written between the early ‘90s and today.
Though Cohn hasn’t reissued or remastered the recording to mark the anniversary, he did speak of two new titles closely connected to the milestone. Up first is “Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs And Rarities,” which is a collection of previously unreleased tracks recorded as a pre-cursor to getting signed, along with “Evolution Of A Record,” featuring the demos of several tunes that eventually landed on the self-titled album.
Beyond performing several of those originals, Cohn also covered Willie Dixon’s “29 Ways” as a New Orleans-flavored bluesy stomper and later addressed additional adult contemporary material from his Atlantic Records follow-up “The Rainy Season.” Although it wasn’t as huge of a hit as “Memphis,” the grand finale “The Things We’ve Handed Down” (about contemplating the birth of his first child) was definitely deserving of a similar platform, and perhaps more than anything else presented, traced Cohn’s effortless ability to tap into the rawest and purest of human emotions.
Upcoming concert highlights at City Winery include Chuck Ragan (Apr. 4-5); Griffin House (Apr. 7-8); Joe Ely, Paul Thorn and Ruthie Foster (Apr. 10); The Mountain Goats (Apr. 11-13); The Johnny Clegg Band (Apr. 14-15); Sean Watkins (Apr. 19); Shawn Mullins (Apr. 20); Pat McGee (Apr. 22); Asleep At The Wheel (Apr. 28) and Carrie Newcomer & David Wilcox (Apr. 29). For additional details, visit CityWinery.com/Chicago.