Marc Cohn returns to Vail Valley |

Marc Cohn returns to Vail Valley

Kris Sabel
Vail CO, Colorado
AE Kris Sabel 12-28-06 KH

EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado ” Editor’s note: Director’s Corner is a weekly column where Kris Sabel, who is in charge of cultural programming for the Vail Valley Foundation, gives his expert take on shows not to be missed.

Singer/songwriter Marc Cohn burst onto the music scene in 1991 with one of the most popular songs of the last 20 years ” “Walking in Memphis.” The anthem has become a timeless classic, with the remarkable power to move audiences and resonate with young and old alike.

Often named among the most beautiful and introspective lyricists of his generation, Cohn’s tasteful and intelligent songwriting have won him dedicated fans, including many fellow musicians.

To quote David Crosby, “I think Marc Cohn is easily in the top half-dozen talents in the world. He writes and sings at an amazing level. He has consistently written some of the best songs in American music. I rank him with Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Randy Newman, Paul Simon and Shawn Colvin. I believe his music will last and be loved hundreds of years from now.”

After releasing three well-received albums in the ’90s, Cohn struggled to come up with new material, but continued to tour and build fans through his amazing concerts. A personal crisis and a national tragedy were the unlikely events that helped Cohn overcome a severe case of writer’s block and pave the way for “Join the Parade,” Cohn’s new album that hit stores and the airwaves in October of this year.

First was the fateful evening of Aug. 7, 2005, when Cohn was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking after a gig in Denver. He miraculously had only minor physical injuries and walked out of the hospital the next day. While struggling at home in New York a few weeks later with post-traumatic stress disorder, he watched helplessly while Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans. Being a witness to life’s fragility in these two ways somehow flipped Cohn’s songwriting switch back on, and has resulted in one of his most soulful, spiritual and deeply personal recordings.

On Saturday Dec. 15 we will have the opportunity to see Marc and hear songs from this new album 10 years in the making when he plays onstage at the Vilar Performing Arts Center. Cohn performed at the Vilar Center in August of 2005, just days before the fateful shooting in Denver. It was a remarkable concert: intimate, thoughtful and intelligent.

Cohn is not only a brilliant songwriter but an accomplished musician on acoustic guitar, piano and percussion. The warm baritone of his voice is soulful and sincere and will draw you in and mesmerize you.

The current tour started last month and here is what Cohn had to say about it on his website: “I can’t remember a time when I’ve ever felt more connected to both the audience and the other musicians on stage… I can’t overstate how much I’m loving getting on stage every night with this band. The crowd senses our enjoyment I think and responds in kind. Our drummer Joe Bonadio calls it circular energy; I call it folk-rock rapture… or a damned good job.”

Audiences who saw him perform at the Vilar back in 2005 continue to talk with me about how much they enjoyed that evening. We’re fortunate to be able to bring him back to share and celebrate his music.

This weekend we begin our celebration of the Holiday Season with three performances of the holiday classic “The Nutcracker.” Performed by the Vail Youth Ballet every other year this show is always a sell-out. It has been my privilege to work with this talented group of students and their teachers over the years.

There are only a few seats left for each of the performances so call the box office now. We continue our holiday celebration later this month with “A Viennese Christmas,” “A Christmas Carol” and “The Lettermen Christmas.” I hope to see you at the Vilar this holiday season so we can share in all the joyful performances together.

Support Local Journalism