Walking in Memphis Grammy Award winner touring behind his new CD: Listening Booth: 1970 Â– reimagining songs of that year.
“Cohn has one of rock’s most soulful croons- a rich, immediately recognizable tenor” – Rolling Stone
Portsmouth, New HampshireÂ…The Music Hall, the landmark Victorian theatre in downtown Portsmouth, New Hampshire, will be welcoming Marc Cohn to its stage Thursday January 6, 2011 7:30pm, as the latest installment in its Intimately Yours concert series.
Best known for his song, “Walking in Memphis,” the Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter has been obsessed with pop music for as long as he can remember: “I was hooked from day one. My older brother had a band that rehearsed in our basement, so I heard Bacharach, The Beatles, Ray Charles, and Motown coming up through the floorboards from the time I was six years old. By the time I was 11 though, the Beatles were breaking up and singer-songwriters were breaking through, and a lot of that music really resonated for me.” And now, he honors those early memories with his new CD Listening Booth: 1970, an inventive reimagining of crucial rock standards from that year, including “Wild World,” “The Letter” and “No Matter What.”
According to Patricia Lynch, “We are thrilled to be bringing this singer songwriter to The Music Hall stage during his national tour supporting his new CD. Marc Cohn is a great example of the kind of talent we scour the globe for Â– I’ve been listening to his new CD and I can’t wait for this early January show!”
“Marc Cohn, the piano-playing balladeer best known for the adult-contemporary standard “Walking in Memphis,” has just released “Listening Booth: 1970.” On it this gravel-road-voiced singer remakes and rearranges songs familiar to anyone who was glued to AM or FM radio that year: “Wild World,” “The Tears of a Clown,” “New Speedway Boogie,” “Into the Mystic,” “The Letter” and “Maybe I’m Amazed” among them. Mr. Cohn’s “Listening Booth” tells the story of the year lucidly. What came to be known as easy-listening rock arrived during this time with hits like Bread’s “Make It With You,” here redone as a pillow-soft R&B duet with India.Arie. Mr. Cohn also revives Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Tears of a Clown,” which capped Motown’s first major singles era. The juxtaposition of John Lennon’s “Look at Me” (from his “Plastic Ono Band” solo album) followed by Mr. McCartney’s “Maybe I’m Amazed” (from his own, first post-Beatle record, “McCartney”) subtly evokes the Beatles’ nasty breakup, which reached its apex when Mr. McCartney filed a lawsuit against Lennon, George Harrison and Ringo Starr at year’s end. In another sign that 1970 may finally be receiving a degree of respect, Mr. Cohn and his producer, John Leventhal, treat each song with careful, respectful solemnity. They strip down Cat Stevens’s “Wild World” and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Only Living Boy in New York” to parched, small-combo basics as if each was a modern standard on par with timeless cabaret songs. As Mr. Cohn’s album somewhat acknowledges, the rock landscape effectively flip-flopped by the end of 1970. Bands were suddenly out of vogue. The advent of the solo singer-songwriter – James Taylor, Elton. John, Carol King, Cat Stevens and many more – reflected a cultural shift from solidarity to solipsism. Forty years later a generation gap continues to divide fans. And a new generation of balladeers, the likes of M. Ward and Bon Iver, offers an alternative to rock the same way Mr. Taylor and his peers did. Despite its plethora of bad news, the grooves of 1970, rock’s forgotten year, play on.” – New York Times
Series Sponsor: 92.5 The River
Show Sponsors: DC Home Systems; Hometown Oil; Sheds USA; Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC; Clear Eye Photo
To purchase tickets: Marc Cohn will perform at The Music Hall Thursday January 6, 2011 at 7:30pm. Tickets are $44, $34. Tickets can be purchased at The Music Hall box office at 28 Chestnut Street, Portsmouth, NH, by phone at 603-436-2400, or online at www.themusichall.org.
Convenient parking. Diverse Dining. Charming Accommodations. Historic Portsmouth.