Show Review-Marc Cohn and Suzanne Vega-Together

Show Review-Marc Cohn and Suzanne Vega-Together

Lebanon Opera House

Lebanon, NH February 5, 2010

Marc Cohn and Suzanne Vega co-headlined a show Friday evening February 5, 2010 at the Lebanon Opera House in Lebanon NH. The two each performed for 75 minutes with a brief intermission between the sets.

Suzanne Vega opened. She highlighted many of the new songs on her soon to be released CD (on her own label Suzanne Vega Amanuensis Productions): “Caramel”, “Marlene on the Wall”, “(I’ll Never Be) Your Maggie May”-which she prefaced with a story about the Rod Stewart song Maggie May, saying what ever did happen to Maggie May? Her set included two of Vega's most popular songs (both from her second album Solitude Standing, 1987): "Luka" and "Tom's Diner. The latter was originally an a capella version on Vega's album, which was then remade in 1990 as a dance track produced by the British dance production team DNA. "Tom's Diner" takes place in Tom's Restaurant at 112th Street and Broadway in New York City. Exterior shots of the same restaurant appear in the television Seinfeld as the eatery where Jerry, George, Elaine, and Kramer hang out. The DNA remix of the track was so popular that it inspired many cover versions—the best of which were eventually collected by Vega on an album titled Tom's Album.

Following her set Vega appeared in the lobby signing early copies of her yet to be released CD for some lucky Opera House Fans.

Marc Cohn, of the “Walking in Memphis” Cohn followed Vega and also played a 75 minute set. Cohn the 1991 Grammy Award recipient for “Best New Artist” has continued to tour and perform for his fans.

According to his website: “A chance encounter in an Mississippi honky tonk with a 70-year-old black pianist and singer named Muriel Davis Wilkins inspired the song that launched Marc Cohn’s career.

“Walking in Memphis” became the breakout hit from Marc’s self-titled Atlantic debut album, released February 1991.” At Friday night’s performance Cohn explained to the audience that while reading an interview with James Taylor in Musician Magazine, Taylor’s cure for writer’s block was taken to heart by Cohn. Taylor said he would travel to some place new and write about what he felt and saw. Cohn booked a few trips—one being to Memphis.

A heckler in the audience asked Cohn if he walked to Memphis, Cohn, in good humor replied he flew to Memphis (if one listens to the opening of the song…” Put on my blue suede shoes And I boarded the plane…”)

Cohn also performed his tribute to the great Levon Helm (of The Band fame) with “Listening to Levon” saying it was about a teenage boy in the car with his girlfriend who was completely distracted when a Levon Helm song came on the radio. Cohn said the boy was either a musician or gay—“Though there’s nothing wrong with that, the being gay part…but the being the musician part, that's another issue.”

Cohn has a new CD coming out late April that is a compilation of his interpretations of songs that were released in the year 1970. He said he Wikipedia’d the year 1970 for songs and there “were some really great songs out that year” and he proceeded to ramble of some. Then treated the audience to a few of these “covers”; first was “The Letter” made famous by Joe Cocker; followed by Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Long as I Can See the Light”.

After a standing ovation, Shane Fontayne, Cohn’s guitarist, and Cohn returned to the stage with another song from 1970 that he said he made a “little jazzy, bluesy” Cat Steven’s “Wild World.” Fontayne had a nice solo during the song and at the conclusion Cohn said “Great song, right…run right out and get that thing”; although Cohn said the release date may be delayed because he’s lining up a “few guest” artists to lend their vocals his “Cover” CD.

More info on these artists can be found on their sites:

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