Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn knows his audience


PITTSFIELD >> Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn readily admits that a vast portion of the pop audience out there knows only his monster 1991 hit "Walking in Memphis."

Although the Cleveland-born Cohn has six albums out and a number of other singles he's written and performed have hit the charts, Cohn is a man who understands his audience.

"I have a lovely following," he said. "They're all well aware of my catalog and they come to hear more than just one tune."

Cohn will be appearing at the Colonial Theatre on Thursday. In addition to his signature hit, he is also known for his soulful vocals. Cohn comes by it genetically.

"My dad had a really deep voice," he said in a recent phone interview. "So did my maternal grandfather. There were a couple singers in the family."

Cohn admits that he understood he had a good voice fairly early. He began singing and performing in junior high school back in Cleveland. His eldest brother, Steve Cohn, now deceased, taught him how to play guitar.

"He didn't get my voice," said Cohn with a chuckle. "But he was a great musician."

Cohn began studying the phrasing and styles of crooners Bing Crosby and Mario Lanza as a youngster. He eventually relocated to New York City to begin his musical career.

His debut album, "Marc Cohn", featuring "Walking in Memphis," was released in 1991. It was certified platinum five years later.

This Pittsfield date, said Cohn, is part of a tour celebrating the 25th anniversary of the release of that album. The double-CD recording will feature unreleased tracks and outtakes from that early period, including a few outtakes of "Walking in Memphis."

"It was a big chapter in my life," said Cohn of that first record. "I remember when I went back though some of those old tapes, I began thinking, 'Why didn't I release that? It's pretty good!'"

Contact Derek Gentile at 413-496-6251.


What: Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn

Who: Berkshire Theatre Group

When: Thursday at 8 p.m.

Where: The Colonial Theatre, 111 South St., Pittsfield

Tickets: $40

How: (413) 997-4444;; in person at Colonial box office — 111 South St., Pittsfield


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