Photo by Jeff Fasano

By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | November 19, 2021

Marc Cohn could be considered a survivor.

His mother died when he was 2, followed by his father 10 years later. He survived an attempted carjacking on August 7, 2005, when he was shot in the head.

The deaths have played an important role in his music. His father was special, but the unknown was hard.

“I spent my life trying to figure out what that all meant and what price I’ve paid since then,” Cohn says. “Part of the way I’m working through that is writing songs. Songwriting is a very helpful therapeutic thing.”

Performing on stage is cathartic as well. On Sunday, December 5, he will be joined by Shawn Colvin and Sara Watkins for “Together in Concert” at the Musical Instrument Museum in North Phoenix.

“Together in Concert” is a new show, during which the singer-songwriters will perform, well, together.

“It’s not a solo show,” he says. “Everybody gets a turn. We haven’t chosen the songs we’re going to sing or anything. I love Sara Watkins’ music and Shawn has been a friend for a long time. I love touring with her, too. We’ve done so many tours together, but this is our first time as a trio.”

Cohn adores the MIM, he says. That said, he is just happy to be playing anywhere. Like everyone else, Cohn says the pandemic left him confused some days and fine others.

“The best thing I did for myself, in general, was to start songwriting over Zoom with a couple different collaborators,” he says. “One of them was Loreena McKennitt, who’s a wonderful artist.

“We Zoomed for several sessions. One of the songs I include in my own set. Over the course of those months, I did online charity events to help people raising money for various important causes.”

He says he feels “blessed” that nobody he loves fell very ill. Three of his four children had mild cases of coronavirus. Touring these days is very complicated because of the differences in rules and protocols between venues and states.

“It’s a very strange time now,” he says. “I wince a little when they claim on TV it’s basically over. It’s not. It’s not over.”

Cohn is not sure when he will release the songs he wrote with McKennitt. First, he has to get his “stage legs back.”

“That’s the most important thing, emotionally and financially,” he says. “I’m not quite at the place yet where I’m thinking about releasing material. I have to write five or six more songs before I do that.

“The music is the same old sensitive songwriter-songwriter stuff. The one song I really like is ‘Same Man, Different Mistakes.’ It’s largely about my dad, who I’ve written several songs about over the years. I’m going back to the same theme from a different perspective.”

Shawn Colvin, Marc Cohn & Sara Watkins: Together in Concert

When: 5 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, December 5

Where: Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E. Mayo Boulevard, Phoenix

Cost: $64.50 to $89.50

Info: 480-478-6000, mim.org