We were over at some friends for dinner. Music is always a topic of conversation and Lenore asked if I had heard of Joan Osborne? I told her that I had not, go figure!
I am always open to listening to various singing artists, so on came the music.
All of us know what we like and don’t like when it comes to music. I am no different and was a little wary at first. To my surprise I heard this funky soul, good rock music, Motown sound which just blew me away. The songs were from the album Breakfast In Bed. The variety of songs showed her range and the type of music she liked. What really had me jumping was the last song What Becomes Of The Brokenhearted. The music universe must have been in alignment at that time because her rendition of the Jimmy Ruffin 1966 song is just spectacular.The backup band that Joan used was The Funk Brothers. The same backup band that was with Jimmy Ruffin. Karma or what!
Needless to say I am now a fan of Joan Osborne music and cannot wait to see her live in concert. I live on the west coast and it looks like my chance will come this spring or summer.
By the way I am also an Etta James fan and received an email she was coming to town. I went on line immediately to buy some tickets. They were sold out!! I went on Craigs List and checked with the venue and no luck. It makes you wonder about Ticketmaster? I guess I will have to search for another ticket scalper.
Now where were we? Oh yes, Joan emerged in the early 90’s singing in a blues bar in New York City and took some of her inspiration from singers such as Etta James and Ray Charles. You can not go wrong with those vocalists leading the way. Although she had to be pushed, I mean encouraged to sing, Osborne used her own record label, Womanly Hips, to release her first live album Soul Show in 1991 followed by Blue Million Miles in 1993.
Joan has worked with a variety of musicians and she has been classed as a rock singer She tends to slip back into a soul, rhythm and blues genre from time to time. Not that there is any thing wrong with that. I believe it can bring a special flavor to her rock music. Although she had some limited success I think she came to the realization that to break through it was time to sign with a major record label, Mercury Records. This lead to the March 1995 release of Relish and one of the songs was “One Of Us”.
Relish had a good run for about a year and “One Of Us” took on a life of its own getting good reviews from the New York Times , Rolling Stone and others. Joan was invited on national tours, appeared on David Letterman and in 1996 “One Of Us” was a top 10 hit in Great Britain.
Joan Osborne has worked tirelessly to carve her own niche and style in the music world. Touring in 1997 with Sarah McLachlan and Lilith Fair and releasing a selection of albums with varying success. In 2002 she was featured in a documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown, followed by a tour with the Dixie Chicks and of course the Funk Brothers were with her. Breakfast In Bed made it in 2007 which lead to Little Wild One in 2008.
Joan continues to write, sing and tour just recently returning from Australia.
I look forward to following her career, listening to her music and seeing Joan Osborne live and in person.
Put on your headphones and get ready for a very special performance. Enjoy!