Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Marc Cohn has a list of his songs he’ll play in concert tonight at the Rio Grande Zoo. It includes Cohn’s signature tunes “Walking in Memphis” and “Silver Thunderbird.”
But that list isn’t a closed book.
“There’s a whole lot of room for last-minute changes when I play,” Cohn said in a phone interview.
“I am happy to take requests and almost every night at whatever the event is, I ask, ‘Is there something I haven’t played yet that you want to hear?’ That makes the show much more interesting and alive. … When you go play 30 concerts in a summer, I want each one … to mean something for all of us.”
Cohn’s Albuquerque concert is part of the Zoo Music Concert Series.
He will mostly sing from the piano. With him on stage will be keyboardist/guitarist Glen Patscha.
Cohn lives in New York City, and from a performance standpoint it’s a welcoming community.
“It’s a great market for me. It’s my home. I’m happy to play here because I’m closer to my children, too,” he said.
He recently did a residency at City Winery, a winery-club. His friend, singer Jackson Browne, joined him for one night there.
Cohn can be heard on one track of “Looking Into You,” a recent Jackson Browne tribute album on which Bruce Springsteen and Lyle Lovett also contributed tracks.
Cohn’s most recent album, “Listening Booth: 1970″ is his remembrance of pop music from that year. On it he reinterprets songs by John Lennon, Van Morrison, Smokey Robinson and others.
Cohn recently wrote a song for a documentary film titled “Tree Man.” It’s about the men who come down from Quebec with Christmas trees, setting up their tree sale businesses on corners of Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
One story in the film is about a woman who’s a Holocaust survivor. She lets one tree seller stay in her apartment rent-free instead of in his van.
“That’s just a portion of the emotional aspect of the movie, I think,” Cohn said.
“I told the film director that my song isn’t really a holiday song. It’s a personal song with a lot of wintry overtones.”