Singer Marc Cohn keeps his goals simple

CorrespondentNovember 8, 2012 

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Musician Marc Cohn.

JASON KEMPIN — Getty Images

  • More information Who: Marc Cohn When: 8 p.m. Tuesday Where: Carolina Theatre, 309 W. Morgan St., Durham Cost: $41.60, $52.85 Details: 919-560-3040

When fans go to Marc Cohn’s website, they’re are greeted with photos of Cohn with such musical luminaries as Roger Waters, John Mayer and Mavis Staples.

But Cohn doesn’t have to look too far to touch star power. Cohn’s wife is ABC News anchor and “Good Morning America” fill-in host Elizabeth Vargas.

“It’s true,” Cohn says. “She’s great. She’s famous in her own right.’

Cohn is not on camera in front of millions every morning like his wife or featured in gossip rags like Mayer, but the folkie singer-songwriter enjoys a degree of fame.

“Some people know who I am, but being famous isn’t a goal,” Cohn says while calling from his Manhattan apartment.

“My goal is pretty simple – and that’s to make a new record next year.”

Cohn, who initially hit the charts in 1991 with his catchy single “Walking in Memphis,” will start writing next month after he finishes his current tour, which stops Tuesday at the Carolina Theatre.

“I’ll get to the new stuff,” Cohn says.

“Right now I’m enjoying touring. I’m just grateful to have an audience to go out and play for.”

The Grammy winner, who won the award after being named Best New Artist in 1992, is grateful that he can play at all.

After a show in Denver seven years ago, Cohn was shot in the head during an attempted carjacking. Cohn was struck by a bullet in the temple, but he is fully recovered.

“I’m still thankful things turned out all right,” he says. “It’s interesting, since I wasn’t touring much from 1998 to 2005. It wasn’t a great career move. My children were very young then and they became a priority. But then I go back out on the road – and what happens to me?”

The harrowing experience inspired Cohn’s last album of original material, 2007’s “Join The Parade.”

The disc is filled with poignant, bittersweet songs, such as “Dance Back From The Grave,” “If I Were an Angel” and “Live Out The String.”

“That whole album is about mortality and fate,” Cohn says.

“You have some false alarms in life, but that was really scary. But you do what you can to recover, and it inspired an album.”

Cohn is looking forward to more inspiration, but “I can do without ever experiencing anything like what happened to me back then,” he says.

“I’m fine with being impacted by relatively normal things in my life. Life’s been good lately. I’m thrilled to still be here singing to an audience.”

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