January 22, 2008

Cohn walks past ‘Memphis,’ Bareilles’ Voice bigger

Thursday, Jan. 24If you’ve seen the Rhapsody commercial where a skinny white guy prances out of the shower past a comely young woman playing her piano, you’ve heard Sara Bareilles, and her leadoff single, “Love Song,” off her Epic Records debut, Little Voice.Bareilles, a former waitress from Eureka, Calif., who signed with Epic in 2005, opens for James Blunt beginning next month, and counts Fiona Apple, Ben Folds and Elton John among her main influences.Hear her for free at 7 p.m. at ear X-tacy (1534 Bardstown Road, 452-1799, www.earx-tacy.com), where she’ll also sign copies of Voice.Saturday, Jan. 26Goth night at the Brick House (1101 S. Second St., 589-9028, www.brickhouse.cc) features bands with both the fast and the melodic attributes of post-hardcore and punk: Baltimore natives Ruiner and Oregonians Broadway Calls pay a visit to the Old Louisville show/art house/community space. Broadway, recently signees to Adeline Records, will join this summer’s Warped Tour. The show starts at 6 p.m.Monday, Jan. 28Marc Cohn combines personal, introspective lyrics with a gift for melody and song structure that evokes such pop luminaries as Joni Mitchell and Robbie Robertson.Cohn is a Grammy-winning singer-songwriter, best known for his song “Walking in Memphis” from his eponymous 1991 self-titled album. That same year, the American Music Awards nominated him for Favorite New Artist in Adult Contemporary Style.In his teens, Cohn fell under the spell of Van Morrison, Joni Mitchell and Jackson Browne, which led to an inward-looking songwriting style with an evocative short-story quality. He grew up with four brothers who also played music all the time. “My oldest brother was a guitar player that always had a band he was in and practiced in the basement,” he says. “Having that band playing live really gave me insight to the world of music making.”Cohn taught himself piano while attending Oberlin College in Ohio, knocked around in cover bands and, after moving to New York City, even fronted a 14-piece swing band that played Caroline Kennedy’s wedding.The story of Cohn’s Grammy-winning hit began when he met a 70-year-old gospel and blues singer named Muriel in an Arkansas roadhouse. The two jammed together, and Cohn’s imagination fired up, yielding a striking collection of songs.Roseanne Cash once said that Cohn, now 46, “writes songs so plaintive, they seem like the sort of ballads you would listen to while contemplating signing divorce papers. Marc has a lot of blue-eyed soul.”Though somewhat reclusive personally, Cohn is a spellbinding performer with a harrowing story to tell. On Aug. 7, 2005, Cohn was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking in Denver, after a concert with Suzanne Vega. He was hospitalized and released the next day, and canceled the remainder of the tour.In November, Cohn embarked on his first national full-band tour in more than 10 years, in support of his Decca Records release Join the Parade.His touring band includes Shane Fontayne (guitars, vocals), Joe Bonadio (drums/percussion), Josh Dodes (keyboards, vocals), Jon Ossman (bass, vocals) and Amy Correia (guitar, vocals). Singer-songwriter Correia opens the show.Tickets for the concert, part of First Capital Bank’s Live at the Clifton Center series (2117 Payne St., 896-8480), are $28-$32. Doors open at 7 p.m. Contact the writer at leo@leoweekly.com