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Join the Parade

53 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 9, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Join The Parade It has been nearly a decade since American singer/songwriter Marc Cohn last released a studio album. It has been fifteen years (1992) since he won the Grammyr Award for Best New Artist. Best known for his colossal hit Walking In Memphis, Cohn returns with a new, passionate and poignant recording JOIN THE PARADE, to be released on October 9th. JOIN THE PARADE is the product of a personal journey. A recording of 10 songs that share a common theme woven from both Cohn's empathic observations after Hurricane Katrina and from a 2005 incident during which the singer found himself the victim of a carjacking in Denver, which left him with a gunshot wound to the head.

About the Artist

In the years that preceded the release of his new Decca album Join the Parade, Marc Cohn passed through several life-changing events. These events are what enabled him to reconnect with his songwriting muse, and they are in large part, what make Join the Parade an artistic, insightful and soulful statement.

Despite his time away from the recording studio, the acclaimed singer/songwriter, winner of the 1991 Grammy Award for Best New Artist, has continued to perform live and his audiences have remained steadfast. He en¬dured the pain of divorce, but in 2002 he married news anchor Elizabeth Vargas. He struggled with writer's block and sought to break through it with a month-long tour in the summer of 2005. The gigs went great until the night of August 7, 2005. That's when Marc Cohn was shot in the head during a random attempted carjacking after a concert in Denver.

Even though the bullet was lodged near his left temple, Marc never lost consciousness and walked out of the hospital the next day. Three weeks later, while recovering at home in New York from post-traumatic stress disorder, Cohn watched the city of New Orleans destroyed by flooding in the aftermath of Hurri¬cane Katrina.

"I got home a couple of days after being shot," said Cohn. "And then Hurricane Katrina hit a few weeks later. I'm in the middle of my own crisis, and now I'm watching all these haunting images on television of thousands of people suffering through a far more horrific event. And then something I never could have predicted happened. It was like my song writing receiver got flipped into the on position. Everywhere I turned, in conversations I overheard, even in get well emails I was receiving, song ideas started coming. For several weeks, I'd be working on 2-3 songs simultaneously. And these songs weren't polite about their sudden presence either; they insisted on being written."

Out of all this, and all that came before, comes Join the Parade, a recording that is being called Marc's most accomplished and compelling album to date. Cohn has translated some of his most complex and private emotions into lyrical song-poetry and then set those words to music of remarkable depth, toughness, and complexity. In doing so, Marc has created a work that is certain to touch a universal chord of memory and feeling. The music leads us on: Indeed, its deep grooves, layered textures, and soulful singing make this journey a sensual pleasure. Marc and album co-producer Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams) have enlisted an exceptional supporting cast that includes members of Cohn's road band (guitarist Shane Fontayne, drummer Jay Bellerose), top session players (drummers Jim Keltner and Charley Drayton, guitarist Danny Kortchmar), and such bold-face "name" guests as Tom Petty keyboard ace Benmont Tench and vocalists Shelby Lynne, N'Dea Davenport, and the Holmes

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 9, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B000V9KE38
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,443 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

37 of 41 people found the following review helpful By R. Kyle VINE VOICE on October 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
I've loved Marc Cohn's music since his Grammy winning self-titled CD came out 16 years ago. I've awaited each release and grabbed any various artist and B-side collection that I can get my hands on. In my opinion, "Join the Parade" is the best of his work so far.

There's any number of reasons why "Parade's" the best. Marc's paid a lot of dues along the way--he's faced the pain of divorce and joy of finding a new love, he's been shot and had to deal with the shock and fear of that attack, Hurricane Katrina tore away at the heart of the birthplace of much American music. His music's always come straight from the heart, but you can definitely hear the aches and points of grace even more strongly in these songs.

Second--there's not just his regular sidemen, but a parade of stars on this CD. Charlie Sexton (Bob Dylan's producer) co-produced with him. Amy Helm, Shelby Lynne, and the Holmes Brothers sing back-up--and that's just a glancing of the liner notes. The sessions happened all the way across the US from LA to New York over a year's time.

So, what can you expect? Pretty much the bluesy soulful groove you've heard before, but if possible some deeper lyrics and amazing musicianship. Each one of the 10 songs is remarkable--and having listened twice already, I can tell you there's no bad songs and it's hard to pick a favorite.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Colin Spence on October 22, 2007
Format: Audio CD
There are only a handful of artists who have, over the years, consistently given me a lot of listening pleasure, and MC is easily one of these. Now, I am not one for over-exaggeration but, these days, he only seems to produce a new studio album to coincide with the next sighting of Halley's Comet. However, this may be no bad thing - I'll settle for quality over quantity any day. Suffice to say that I'm very glad I came across MC when I first heard 'Walking In Memphis' over 15 years ago (yes, it really is that long ago - now, a distant memory of a time when I was solvent, and he had more hair than me); but enough of my nostalgic musings - what about this album ?

After almost a 10 year 'lay-off' since 'Burning the Daze', MC is back with his inimitable brand of rootsy pop-rock (but not so much of the 'pop' on this album).

THE SONGS : All are either written or co-written by MC. Most are slow to mid-tempo - exceptions being 'Live Out the String' and 'My Sanctuary'. As you would expect, the lyrics are 'top notch', covering such diverse themes as : regrets about lost loves and past relationships, the human impact of the Katrina tragedy, and his love for his family. A few of the melodies are not as immediately accessible as some on previous albums, nevertheless they are still pretty good; but it could be said that a couple of songs ('Dance Back From the Grave' and 'If I Were An Angel') are 'lighter on melody and heavier on groove'; whereas others ('The Calling', 'Let Me Be Your Witness' and 'Giving Up the Ghost') have a more 'classic' MC feel to them.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shawn Cullen on October 12, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Writing this as I listen to the album for the first time....

1. Listening To Levon

I love this song. The production on the album is so much clearer. You can hear the piano and Shane's guitar clearer. Great choice for a single.

2. The Calling

The wonderfully haunting start gives way to a gushing version of this staple Cohn tune. It literally rises and falls - you will know what I mean when you hear it. It feels like an ocean when you listen to it. I loved the original version - I simply adore this one without question. An idea, Marc should now revisit ALL his previous songs and re-record them!!!

3. Dance Back From The Grave

Sounds almost analogue-esk at the start - great atmosphere. Starts to build up. Like the effect on Marc's voice - makes it "flat" - not out of tune, but "flat". Now for the chorus. Nice subtle first chorus leading to a build up on the second. With Amy singing background? Go Shane! Great guitars. Thumping heartbeat drumming. Then dies down for the last verse. Effects going on galore. Horns going on in the final chorus. It's all kicking off. Stunning song when I first heard it, made even better by this production. Didn't think the production from the first album could get any better.

I am eating my words.

Nice horns at the end - almost sad?

4. If I Were An Angel

Some of the guitar prununciation on this tune is wonderful. Again, on this recorded version you can hear the guitars and instrumentation much better. The bass line in the chorus is funky-Cohn, to create a phrase! Still can't get that chorus out of my head - the falsetto...Love the tune and the ending is splendid.

4. Let Me Be Your Witness

Classic Cohn.
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