Marc Cohn, John Oates with The Good Road Band, Joshua Radin and The Blind Boys of Alabama! - 1/6Sunday, January 06 2019 6:00pm Doors / 7:30pm Start
- Bar Stool
Marc Cohn, John Oates with The Good Road Band, Joshua Radin and The Blind Boys of Alabama! - 1/6
at City Winery New York City
John Oates was destined to be a musician. Singing from the time he could talk and playing the guitar since the age of five, his calling in life was never in question. Born in New York City, his family moved to a small town outside of Philadelphia Pennsylvania in the early 50's.... a move that would change the course of his life. Like most kids at that time, the impact of the early days of rock left a lasting impression on John. At the age of four he witnessed his first live concert: Bill Haley and the Comets playing their classic rockabilly hits at a local amusement park.
When it came to influences John was open to more than just the top 40 hits...his friends' older brother turned him on to the nascent folk music scene that began to sweep the country in the early 60's. John's interest in traditional American music began and he immersed himself in discovering primitive Appalachian Scotch Irish ballads, bluegrass, delta blues and the ragtime guitar styles performed by many of the newly rediscovered bluesmen and folk singers who began to make appearances at the Newport and Philadelphia folk festivals. At the same time he had the unique opportunity to attend shows at the famous Uptown Theater hearing many of the R&B legends like Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, The Temptations, Curtis Mayfield as well as Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Absorbing it all, he developed a kind of musical split personality.
One night John might be wearing a sharkskin suit playing everything from Doo Wop to the big R&B hits of the day with his band and the next night he would be playing solo with his acoustic guitar in a local coffee house performing blues and folk...to this day the very same roots and influences still can be heard in John's original playing and singing style.
In the late 60's John moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University to be closer to the city's music scene. In 1966, he wrote and recorded his first single "I Need Your Love" recorded at the legendary Virtue Sound Studio on North Broad Street and released on the Crimson label owned by a local music store called the Record Museum. The song was arranged by Bobby Martin who at the time was producing and arranging for Gamble and Huff. The single received airplay on Philly's R&B radio stations and John began to divide his time between being a student and a professional musician.
Around the same time he met an influential guitar player/ teacher named Jerry Ricks who had spent time on the road with Mississippi John Hurt and Son House. Jerry took John under his wing and introduced him to many of the newly rediscover folk performers, such as; Doc Watson, Reverend Gary Davis, Dave Van Ronk and Mississippi John for whom Philadelphia's folk venues, like the Second Fret and Main Point, were frequent stops in their concert schedules. John had the unique opportunity to play alongside some of these seminal musicians learning first hand, their finger picking and flat picking styles.
He is also the creator and executive producer for the “7908 the Aspen Songwriters Festival” that brings together the finest songwriters from around the world to perform at the Historic Wheeler Opera House in Aspen Colorado. The festival’s mission is to celebrate the art and craft of songwriting combined with a strong educational component dedicated to mentoring and developing the next generation of songwriters.
After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad “Walking in Memphis,” Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation’s most compelling singer-songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. Rooted in the rich ground of American rhythm and blues, soul and gospel and possessed of a deft storyteller’s pen, he weaves vivid, detailed, often drawn-from-life tales that evoke some of our most universal human feelings: love, hope, faith, joy, heartbreak.
Cohn followed up his platinum-selling debut with two more releases in the 1990s, at which point Time magazine called him "one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade" and Bonnie Raitt declared, "Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he's an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for."
Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin all made guest appearances on Cohn’s early records for Atlantic as his reputation as an artist and performer continued to grow. In 1998, Cohn took a decade-long sabbatical from recording, ending in 2007 with Join the Parade. Inspired by the horrific events following Hurricane Katrina and his own near fatal shooting just weeks before, Parade is his most moving and critically acclaimed record to date.
About his album Listening Booth: 1970, a collection of reimagined classics from that seminal year in music, Rolling Stone said, “Cohn has one of rock’s most soulful croons – a rich, immediately recognizable tenor that makes these songs his own.” In late 2014, Cohn released “The Coldest Corner in the World,” the title song to the documentary Tree Man and his first original song released in more than seven years.
On March 25, 2016, in celebration of the 25th anniversary of his platinum-selling debut album, released Careful What You Dream: Lost Songs and Rarities along with the bonus album Evolution of a Record, featuring never-before-heard songs and demos dating back to years before his debut album and the Grammy award that followed.
Marc’s momentum continued into a busy and fruitful 2017, which he spent in part on the road with the legendary Michael McDonald, garnering critical acclaim across the U.S. His writing talent was also drafted for work with a roster of American music greats including soul survivor William Bell, who won his first Grammy at age 78 with Marc’s help; Marc co-wrote a solid half of Bell’s celebrated album This is Where I Live, including the passionate opening cut “The Three Of Me.” The album revived the sound of Stax soul’s golden age, when Bell had first cut his teeth as an artist, and which had influenced Marc Cohn so powerfully - in its way, completing a circle and letting Marc give back to one of the originators of the sound that shaped him. Marc revisited another corner of American music’s rich heritage with the Blind Boys of Alabama on the Grammy-nominated song “Let My Mother Live,” and also worked with David Crosby on the album Lighthouse. As powerfully influenced by the singer-songwriter tradition as he is by the legacy of soul and gospel, working with the ‘60s icon was a project that got right to Marc’s creative core.
Moving forward, he continues to do what he does best: infuse American music with both a fresh perspective and a reverence for its deep roots.