Armitage Centre [Empire Theatre]
Masterful storyteller Darren Coggan shares the journey behind the legend in his new show The Poems, Prayers & Promises of John Denver
January – June 2022 Tour Dates
Considered one of Australia’s most masterful storytellers, Darren Coggan takes audiences on a journey through the poems, prayers and promises of the life of John Denver in his new show. Announcing a run of tour dates for 2022, kicking off at Tamworth Country Music Festival and carrying through until June, audiences will share in an evening of singing, laughter and reflection.
Music fans will not be disappointed as Darren performs all the universal anthems, from Take Me Home Country Roads, Rocky Mountain High, Annie’s Song, and Perhaps Love, to Thank God I’m A Country Boy, Calypso and Leaving On A Jet Plane, to name a few. A revered country artist and multi-award winner in his own right, Darren delivers each performance with an authenticity and level of respect for songs that shaped generations.
“The show celebrates the close relationship and fondness that John Denver had for Australia, which I think helped inspire much of his work,” says Darren. “I hope that I can deliver the same sense of joy and yearning that John Denver had for performing and indeed living life to the fullest. I hope that the audiences emerge from the theatres feeling uplifted and inspired by the songs, taking with them a sense of moral concern to strive for a better world for our children.”
For Darren, there has always been something about John Denver’s songs, and songwriting, that has always inspired him. Even from an early age, the music resonated with him. “I have been a fan of John Denver’s for as long as I can remember,” he says. “The very first songs I learned to play on the guitar at age six were John Denver songs. The first big concert my parents took me to at age 13 was John Denver in Canberra, and after that night, the whole world started to spin in a different way for me. It was just John on stage, with his guitars and a voice full of sunshine. He completely filled the room with love and seemed to have a personal connection with every single person in the audience. I thought, that’s what I want to do. He was the reason I wanted to become a country singer-songwriter. I found great refuge in his albums and there was a spirit in his music that resonates with me to this day.”
It isn’t just Darren who finds solace in John Denver’s music. As one of the world’s most prolific songwriters, he made an indelible imprint on the 1970s music scene, and beyond. Music historians attribute his influence to the 70s akin to what Frank Sinatra was to the 1940s, Elvis was to the 1950s, and The Beatles were to the 1960s. He effortlessly traversed folk, pop and country music and brought people together.
“John’s timeless songs and his messages of love, peace, tolerance and understanding are just as important in our world today as when they were first written, perhaps more so,” says Darren. “In some kind of almost spiritual way, his music unites us, it brings together and reminds us to love one another, and in the world that we live in today, being reminded to love each other is not such a bad thing.”
As for his songs, and the stories behind them, Darren feels there is something in the songs that seems to resonate with each person on a different level, regardless of their beliefs. “I think John was a masterful songwriter,” he says. “He had the ability to not only entertain his audience, but reach out to them and sing about them. I think it’s the simplicity in which he delivers his lyrics, they are almost conversational and touch on universal themes of home, love, hope and things that are the essence of what we are all searching for. John’s passion for love and life was so infectious, you can’t help but get swept up in his enthusiasm. John spoke for the environment before it was popular to do so, and his songs have become voices for our planet, they offer us a vision of living in harmony with nature and with each other.”
Tickets to Darren Coggan’s The Poems, Prayers & Promises of John Denver are on sale now.
For more information, please visit www.darrencoggan.com