Tuesday, June 17, 2014


Last Thursday night (June 12, 2014), I went to see Marc Cohn at the Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix.

Marc Cohn

While I own all of Marc's albums (big suprise there, huh?), I, like you, am mostly familiar with his signature song, "Walking In Memphis."

Add to that the fact that I'd not listened to any of his music in quite some time (meant to try that week but never seemed to get around to finding the CD's and they're not up on my cloud drive yet), I was not sure what to expect.

I was seated in row K, but in the MIM, no seat is a bad seat (there are only 300). 

A gentleman came in and sat in the row in front of me, a few seats to my left. I felt bad because I was staring a little-he had sideburns in that distinctive style Nils Lofgren wears. 

In fact, he looked a lot like Nils Lofgren. I got a look that I took to mean "what're you lookin' at?" from him as he at down with his lady companion.

Marc came out accompanied by keyboardist Glen Patscha; Marc alternated between guitar and piano, while Glen played organ and piano.

After a few songs, they called Nils Lofgren to the stage.

See? They are distinctive sideburns!

As it turns out that there was a good reason the gentleman in front of me looked a lot like Nils Lofgren. He was Nils Lofgren! And me without my brand-spanking new Japanese pressing of Night After Night!

It dawned on me that he knew I'd recognized him and was waiting for me to say something, but alas, I am DiscConnected, Lord Of The Idiots.

Nils' guitar work really augmented the keys, and the show reached the ninety-minute mark (the norm for shows at the MIM) all too quickly.

Marc's voice was in excellent form, his between song patter was funny (not Todd Snider funny, but his self-deprecating humor kept things light) and the playing from all three musicians was excellent.

Marc has not been what you call prolific, with a mere five albums over the course of almost a quarter century, but his output certainly is an example of quality over quantity.

Here is the official video for his signature tune...

...and here is Walk Through The World, from his second album... 

All this listening to songs about walking is kind of making me tired, so I'll give you Listening To Levon next, a song he wrote about Levon Helm (may he rest in peace).

 Finally, I'd like to share a live clip from the Musical Instrument Museum. 

This clip is actually from Marc's 2013 MIM show, but gives you a sense of the intimacy of the hall and the performance.

As much as there is to poke fun of in and about Arizona, the MIM really is a treasure. If you are ever in town, I highly recommend you check it out! 

And if you can, see a show-the venue really is something else! Who knows? Maybe Marc will be in town...


  1. There's a name I hadn't heard in years. Had no idea Marc Cohn did anything after "Memphis". How cool that Lofgren was there. Guess that adds some credibility to Cohn's prestige.

    Tossing It Out

    1. Sometimes a grammy win on your first album is a curse (anyone besides me have any Christopher Cross albums that are not self-titled?).

      His last album, Listening Booth, although it is a covers album, features some noteable guest stars (India Arie, Aimee Mann, Jim Lauderdale, Kristina Train).

  2. I just knew one song--"Walking in Memphis." And he's married to Elizabeth Vargas.

    1. I guess I am showing my age-I have no idea who Elizabeth Vargas is.

      "Memphis" is a great song-if you like that, you'd most likely enjoy a whole album. There is a quality in his voice that I really like.

    2. Elizabeth Vargas is a correspondent on 20/20...so it's actually that I'm so old that I know that! She had to go to rehab lately, so they've both been in the news because there were some personal allegations about his activities while she was away...

    3. Well, I'm pretty well on my way to antiquehood and did not know that, and I remember 20/20 with Hugh Downs, but don't know that I've ever watched it in any incarnation.

      Wow-cheating while your spouse is in rehab....talk about great moments in bad timing (not that I ever condone cheating).