Marc Cohn to feature special guests

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MORRISTOWN — Singer-songwriter Marc Cohn, best known for his megahit "Walking in Memphis," performs at Mayo Performing Arts Center on Friday, March 16 at 8 p.m.

Joining him onstage will be the revered gospel group, The Blind Boys of Alabama. Tickets are $29-69.

After winning a Grammy for his soulful ballad "Walking in Memphis," Marc Cohn solidified his place as one of this generation's most compelling singer/songwriters, combining the precision of a brilliant tunesmith with the passion of a great soul man. He's a natural storyteller, balancing the exuberant with the poignant, and able to distill universal truth out of his often romantic, drawn-from-life tales.

Cohn followed up his platinum-selling debut with two more releases in the 1990s, at which point TIME magazine called him "one of the honest, emotional voices we need in this decade" and Bonnie Raitt declared, "Marc is one of the most soulful, talented artists I know. I love his songs, he's an incredible singer, and I marvel at his ability to mesmerize every audience he plays for."

Raitt, James Taylor, David Crosby, Graham Nash and Patty Griffin all made guest appearances on Cohn's early records for Atlanta, as his reputation as an artist and performer continued to grow. In 1998, Cohn took a decade-long sabbatical from recording, ending in 2007 with Join the Parade. Inspired by the horrific events following Hurricane Katrina and his own near fatal shooting just weeks before, Parade is his most moving and critically acclaimed record to date.

About his album Listening Booth: 1970, a collection of reimagined classics from that seminal year in music, Rolling Stone said, "Cohn has one of rock's most soulful croons -a rich immediately recognizable tenor that makes these songs his own." In late 2014, Cohn released, "The Coldest Corner in the World," the title song to the documentary Tree Man and his first original song released in more than seven years.

The Blind Boys of Alabama have the rare distinction of being recognized around the world as both living legends and modern-day innovators. They are not just gospel singers borrowing from old traditions; the group helped to define those traditions in 20th century and almost single-handedly created a new gospel sound for the 21st. Since the original members first sang together as kids at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in the late 1930s (including Jimmy Carter, who leads the group today), the band has persevered through seven decades to become one of the most recognized and decorated roots music groups in the world.

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