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Marc Cohn stirs listeners with soulful voice

“Put on my blue suede shoes and boarded a plane. Touched down in the land of the Delta blues, in the middle of the pouring rain.”

These are the opening lines of Marc Cohn’s 1991 smash, “Walking in Memphis,” a tune that helped notch the singer/songwriter a Grammy the following year as Best New Artist, as well as assure the Cleveland native’s voice would live on for decades via radio, YouTube and countless Spotify accounts.

For some artists, this notable one-hit recognition would have been enough. But for Cohn — who will play at 8 p.m. March 19 in Seneca Niagara Casino Bear’s Den (310 Fourth St., Niagara Falls) — this single is merely part of a story lined with tragedy, triumph and endurance of one of the most soulful voices to come out of the 1990s.

Nearly 14 years after release of his most popular song, the former studio musician was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking in Denver. He miraculously survived and returned with 2007’s “Join the Parade,” led by its narrative tribute to former Band leader Levon Helm on “Listening to Levon.”

The album reawakened many to a voice nearly lost, one that first stirred with details of a walk to the gates of Graceland. This weekend, he’ll reintroduce his work within the intimate confines of Niagara Falls’ Bear’s Den.

Tickets start at $55 (box office, Ticketmaster).

 

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