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Joan Osborne


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Bluesy, rocky mainstream and alternative pop

Status:

Most recent release, Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 1 (covers, 2017); most recent release of own material, Love And Hate (2014)

See also:

Joan Osborne's site

Wikipedia's entry on Joan Osborne

Joan Osborne's Facebook page

Comparisons:

The Bonnie Raitt comparison for Joan Osborne is spot-on—sometimes it's frightening. (meth@smoe.org)

Joan sounds a little like Melissa Etheridge or Bonnie Raitt to me. (ishara@blarg.net)

A blues-y Melissa Etheridge. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Covers/own material:

Own and co-written, occasional covers

General comments:

I've never heard her CD, just seen her live. She's got a heckuva voice, which is very bluesy, deep, sultry, etc. Her music is heavily rock, but very blues and folk influenced. If you're into guitar-based blues/rock, you'll probably like Joan. (nyxnight@aol.com)

I heartily recommend this album to all ectophiles. It's not quite true ecto-fodder; it's a bit grittier than I usually associate with "true" ecto-fodder (just my opinion, though). Joan Osborne's stuff shows lots of blues and soul influences. Her voice ranges from raw to sweet. I'm definitely taken with her. (Kate_Tabasko@transarc.com)

She has a deep, husky, slightly Southern-accented voice. Her voice is versatile and does blues, rock (Relish) and also works on soul (Early Recordings). She can belt it out, and she can do quiet ballads. I've been waiting for her to come out with a new album for a long time now. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I've been CRAVING NEW MATERIAL for AGES. I love Relish, I still listen and holler along. ;D. (John.Drummond)

I too miss Joan Osborne...Relish was an awesome record. (maier@joynet.com.au)

as for what happened to Joan Osborne, i think she is an example of being a bit of a one hit wonder. despite having strong writing skills, a talented voice and a core audience, her "One of Us" song was such a hit, and her subsquential releases off of that album not nearly as commercially succesful, that i am sure her label is not really all that interested in her any more, nor is commercial radio. when a band has a hit, and then doesn't score again after that, most band don't get that "second" chance. (iflin@speakeasy.net)

Comments about live performance:

I have seen Joan Osborne and I would say she's definitely worth suffering through crowds to hear. Of course, I saw her before "one of us" was released as a single. If that's really the problem, worst case, you'll only have to hear "one of us" once. Her other songs are much better..."Ladder" and "Spider Web", to name a couple. She's got a great bluesy voice and the only thing I hate is when she goes off into that whiny blues vampy singing (like the end of "right hand man"). (hartbarb@Mattel.com)

She's got a strong and versatile voice that kept me thinking that this was what Brenda Lee might sound like if she were starting out now. Her style was upbeat and energetic with enough bluesiness to make me really really *LIKE* it (drums, 2 guitars, bass, some harmonica, some tambourine, for those who need to know). She only accompanied herself twice, once acoustic, once not. She showed soft and tender on a couple numbers including a cover of "Man in the Long Black Coat", but mostly she was belting it out. (jwaite@ucsd.edu)

Joan hit the stage at 8:45 PM looking like a very pretty Janis Joplin (plaid pants, a white t-shirt with a red car on it, tan suede jacket, and rose tinted sun glasses). She sang three songs off her new release Righteous Love and the crowd went crazy. Joan stated, several times, how overwhelmed she was by her welcome. I don't think that many people even knew she had a new album out, but they loved her performance from start to finish, singing along to any part of any song they knew. "St. Theresa" was AMAZING, her voice growled and soared with unbelievable force. During "Right Hand Man", Joan had the audience singing and dancing up a storm. Also, transitions from song to song were quite fluid, with a perfect mix of old and new.
     Too often an artist can produce a solid record as far as songwriting, musicality and vocals are concerned but lack the ability to bring that music to life on stage during a performance—but not Joan. She was at ease and on fire at the same time during the entire set. While I didn't quite care for a good portion of the music (her new stuff), I thoroughly enjoyed every second of the concert. Her voice was incredibly vibrant; she utilized the microphone, her band, the room, the people—EVERYTHING—to give an outstanding performance. I would recommend a front row seat to any show she's giving. (9/00, annedeming@hotmail.com)

The crowd definitely felt the energy she exuded.
     "Right Hand Man" was most energetic and crowd-pleasing, and here coming right after "Pensecola", a favorite of mine.
     I'd especially recommend you drop everything to see her if she plays a small club (dunno, perhaps 100–150 people, but I'm not good at estimation), general admission (standing and dancing) as she did here. (9/00, jchigdon@mindspring.com)

Recommended first album:

Relish

Recordings:


Blue Million Miles ep

Release info:

1993—Swimming Pool Blue (U.S.A.)—SPB93J0102

Availability:

Out of print, see Early Recordings. Was originally available only by mail order or at live shows

Ecto priority:

Recommended if you like Joan Osborne

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, cup, tambourine

Guest artists:

Jack Petruzzelli—guitar, organ
Kevin Trainor, Chris Butler—guitars
Dave Dreiwitz, Gary Frazier—bass
Shawn Pelton—drum diva
Sissy Siero—additional backing vocals

Produced by:

Chris Butler and Joan

Comments:

Joan put this out when she was just starting negotiations with major labels. It consists of three songs: two studio ("his eyes are a blue million miles" and "billi listens (to your heartbeat)" and one live ("What you gonna do"). I got this on the advice of ectophiles when it first came out. I immediately loved "his eyes are a blue million miles" but never much fell for the others as I'm not a huge blues/rock fan. Right from the start, though, it's clear that Joan is a powerful, talented singer. (Neile)

"blue million miles" is *stunning*—it blew my socks off. (woj@smoe.org)

"Blue Million Miles" is cutting edge—at least as good as relish. I'm surprised in never made it onto an album. And it is quite a departure from the soul show stuff which is also later included on Early Recordings. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)


Relish

Release info:

1995—PolyGram Records—31405260899-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, percussion, acoustic guitar

Guest artists:

Eric Bazilian—guitar, mandolin, chant, saxophone, harmonica, electric piano, background vocals, leslie guitar, electric guitar
Mark Egan—bass
Rob Hyman—organ, synthesizer, pianos, percussion, drums, mellotron, background vocals, electric piano
Andy Kravitz—drums, percussion
Rick DiFonzo—acoustic and solo guitars
Sammy Merendino—drums, rhythm collage
Chris Palmaro—electric piano, organ, virtual fiddle, mellotron, electric piano
William Wittman—electric guitar, guitar
Rick Chertoff—percussion
Larry Campbell—actual fiddle
Omar Hakim—drums
Gary Lucas—guitar
Wade Schuman—harmonica
Catherine Russell—background vocals

Produced by:

Rick Chertoff

Comments:

Just heard "St. Teresa" from Relish on the radio today, and was totally knocked out by the lyrics, chord progression, and bass playing! Joan's voice is a tad smoky, but she hit some high notes that stunned me. I really liked this; "Sweet and Dark like hash", indeed; I'm sold! (rlovejoy@comcast.net)

"st. teresa" starts off the album and i was acting weird when that tune began—it has a great tension. i was a bit disappointed that the track didn't turn into a total madhouse...and that kinda sums up my initial impressions—a lot of promise, but it didn't quite deliver. however, subsequent listens has softened that opinion and i find that i'm enjoying the album quite a bit now.
     yeah, "st. teresa" is fairly representative. none of the other songs have that way-cool-intro-feeling like "st. teresa," but they're in the same general vein.
     relish is actually her second album. i was really looking forward to relish, but the first few listens were kinda disappointing (despite loving the opening riff on the first tune). there are some pretty interesting musical bits that are promising, but nothing seems to smack me in the head like i was expecting it to. now, i like it a lot more, though it still seems like her earlier edges have been rubbed smooth—subsequent listens have been more enjoyable, but i still wish that there was more bite to this album. oh well. just one thumb up instead of two. that still means it's good. (woj@smoe.org)

I really enjoyed most of these songs (notice the generous lengths, too!). The only one that leaves me fairly cold is "Let's Just Get Naked"—it's just silly, and I don't think compares lyrically with the rest. It might be a matter of mood, but something about it grates on me. (Kate_Tabasko@transarc.com)

When I first got Relish, and listened to it straight through, I didn't much care for it. But after listening to it a few times, randomized with 5 other discs on my CD changer, I really grew to like it. A couple of the songs she sounds exactly like Bonnie Raitt—but maybe with a little bit more of an edge. The album is pretty varied, but her southern rock influences definitely seem to show. I'd recommend it. Plus, after seeing her perform live on VH-1 I was really won over by her personality. It's amazing that she never really set out to be a singer—she was actually in film school in New York and was dared by her friends to get up and sing at an open mike night. She's got a great voice. If you like guitar-based female rock, á la Bonnie Raitt or Maria McKee, I'd recommend it. If you're looking for something folky, ethereal, or Happy Rhodes—like, you may be disappointed. (jjhanson@att.net)

i am absolutely enamored with relish, and would adore to hear more of her stuff. (ab580@leo.nmc.edu)

Joan Osborne's video of "One of Us" was fairly plain. I think that one or two of her songs on relish were great, the rest very solid, middle of the road pop/rock. Musically, nice to listen to but lyrically not as appealing as many of my other favorites. (rholmes@cs.stanford.edu)

Hey all you Alanis fans, this is what "hard-edged female rock" should sound like. And it's blues tinged, as well! I first heard "Spider Web", and fell enamoured with her style and her voice. Then I tracked thorough the first 4 songs, and it only got better, although I still really like (out of the 5 songs I heard) "Spider Web" best. Great stuff. The album is impressive. This (to use an extremely worn cliché) rocks. Although the whole work is great, two tracks stick out: "St. Teresa" and "Spider Web". I enjoy the image "Spider Web" gives. The only song that doesn't hit me strong is the Dylan remake, "Man in the Long Black Coat". It just doesn't do anything for me, although it's "listenable". (Matt.Bittner)

A bit more rock 'n roll than this folkie is used to, but I like it. (ishara@blarg.net)

I love it. (onealien@mo.himolde.no)

Joan's voice is strong and powerful, her music rock, blues, folk, defying categorization. The thing keeping her back here? Lyrics! Her lyrics are pretty good, but sometimes they really grate on me. "Cept for the Pope maybe, in Rome"?? Ugh. :) Favorite Tracks: "St. Teresa", "One Of Us" (tie). (nyxnight@aol.com)

Relish resonates the same neurons that wiggle when I listen to Miss Bonnie Raitt in her blues mode. If you like Relish you will like Bonnie Raitt. The rest of the cd is *much* better than "One of Us" led me to expect. My player can memorize tracks to be skipped—I won't have to listen to "One of Us" for a couple of years. (zzkwhite@ktwu.wuacc.edu)

I really like Joan Osborne as well. I'm not quite sure about the reference to God in 'One Of Us'. I too note a hint of sarcasm when she sings 'God is great' (even her facial expressions in the video kind of point to that), and it is very reminiscent of 'Dear God'. Not quite as forward as Alanis' 'Forgiven' though. (lombaeg@donald.interpac.be)

With all the talk about "One of Us" as a not-so-good song, I think it's interesting to note that it is the only song on the album (besides the two covers) that she had no part in writing. That said, while it is a fun pop song that I do enjoy, I agree that it is one of her weaker songs, and one that I sometimes skip. The best songs here are "St. Teresa," "Spider Web," and "Ladder." The album is a bit uneven, but overall really strong. A variety of styles within a certain blues-rock aesthetic. Fabulous debut. (JoAnn Whetsell)

I did not buy the CD because I just could not stomach "One of Us", which I thought was utterly unremarkable. Someone gave me the CD as a gift, and from the first strains of "St. Teresa" I was sucked in. "Spiderweb" is my favourite track (being an old die-hard Little Feat fan), but on the whole, I dig everything except "One of Us" which does absolutely nothing to showcase her voice in my opinion. (JavaHo@aol.com)

Well, let me be the dissenting opinion here. While I enjoyed much of the CD, I think by far the best track was "One of Us". The standard way I've really seen religion tackled in song is in the Tori/Alanis way—the whole repressed catholic thing—so this brought a new perspective for me. I thought it was brilliant lyrically, and Joan's voice was tempered just right for it. I didn't much like "St. Teresa", though I relished the snappy rock of "Right Hand Man" and "Spider Web". But I thought "One of Us" was a great song. (miazgama@pilot.msu.edu)

I couldn't stand "One of Us". Then, strangely enough, I saw the video for "St. Theresa" (the second version, with Joan playing a motel housekeeper). I was in a state of disbelief that this was the same singer! That still wasn't enough to make me buy the album as I've been burned by the "There's only one song I like on the CD and I don't like the rest of them" blues on more than one occasion. So, it wasn't until I saw the video for "Right Hand Man" that I finally decided to give it a try. The blues-rock atmosphere of the song appeals to the musician in me. The lyrical content and video appealed to my hormonally unbalanced personality (I have several different personalities working inside my brain like timeshare owners).
     Much to my surprise and delight, the entire CD reeks of southern blues influences and contains nothing else similar to the mind numbing monotony of "One of Us". If the record companies are pushing her in that direction, then I'm going to organize a protest in front of the record label offices. I'm going to bring my high tension rubber strips, and we will slingshot ourselves to our deaths until they relent and allow Joan to put out an album based on her musical whims rather than commercial viability. (Hiptones@worldnet.att.net)

"Crazy Baby": ooh, I love that one too. It's my favorite song off of Relish. One reason is, much as I love Joan's rough voice, "Crazy Baby" features some lovely vocals, the smoothest I've heard from her. (jchigdon@mindspring.com)


Early Recordings

Release info:

1996—Mercury Records—314 534 235-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals

Guest artists:

Mike Leslie—bass, dobra, backing vocals
Jim Mussen—drums
Jack Petruzzelli—guitar, backing vocals
Gary Schreiner—keyboards
Amanda Homi—backing vocals

Produced by:

Tom Fritze and Joan Osborne

Comments:

i think "blue million miles" is just a fantastically nifty song. (woj@smoe.org)

Early Recordings it has two songs of Blue Million Miles ep plus a lot of live tracks. Very fun, very bluesy. I think I like this better than Relish. I'm surprised at the quality of the live tracks—they sound great. (jjhanson@att.net)

There is some small overlap with relish. I would say "Blue Million Miles" is definitely worth owning whereas the live show is no big whoop—nothing close to Relish. It is mostly soul numbers in pretty regular arrangements. "Blue Million Miles", however, is cutting edge—at least as good as relish. (mjmjminla@yahoo.com)

I love the live raw sound of the Early Recordings disk so much more than relish. (elionwyr@onix.com)

The album says it was "recorded live to digital two-track" on May 22, 1991, and most of it was originally released as Live At Delta 88. Very different from Relish, but also great, and more stylistically consistent. Perhaps it is even a better showcase for Joan's powerhouse vocals. Her voice combines playfulness and oozes sensuality. The energy of this album makes Relish seem restrained. And I don't otherwise think of Relish as restrained. My favorite tracks are "What You Gonna Do" and her cover of "His Eyes Are a Blue Million Miles." If this is what she can do live, I will surely buy a ticket the next time she performs anywhere near me! (JoAnn Whetsell)


Righteous Love

Release info:

2000—Interscope

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

For fans only

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, backing vocals, vox organ

Guest artists:

Joseph Arthur—acoustic guitar
Carla Azar—drums
Steve Berlin—saxophone
Aaron Comess—bass, drums
Davey Faragher—bass, backing vocals
Mitchell Froom—keyboards
David Immergluck—baritone guitar, pedal steel
Erik Lawrence—baritone sax
Val McCallum—guitar, backing vocals
Erik Della Penna—guitar
Pete Thomas—drums, percussion

Produced by:

Joan Osborne

Comments:

I thought I would give any and all Joan Osborne fans a quick warning about her new album Righteous Love. I got an advance copy through a friend because he knows Relish has always been a staple in my CD changer. Interscope picked Osborne up after Polygram dropped her when they said Righteous wasn't up to par...and they were right. This collection of songs sounds as if it was recorded in someone's basement 10 mintues after Joan woke up following a late night out with the girls. Her voice lacks the fire and grit of Relish which is even more prominent in her second release Early Recordings. The last song is worth a listen because it has soul, but I have to say I am extremely disappointed with the (I can't believe I'm saying this) under-produced yard sale quality of such a creative personality. I'll still squeeze up to the front row when she comes to play live, but I'm really glad I didn't have to cough up the money to pay for Righteous Love. I plan on giving the CD another turn or two and then I'll wait for her to redeem the songs during a live performance.
     I posted my brief and very disappointed review of Righteous Love at the beginning of September which, unfortunately, has not changed at all. There is one amazing track on the CD, "To Make You Feel My Love". It is simple, sweet and reminiscent of "Crazy Baby" from Relish. (annedeming@hotmail.com)

It's a pretty good album, lots of energy and all. I'm very much enjoying it. But it's disappointing a bit in that the subject matter seems to be the usual radio fare, i.e. love songs. Relish had some good character-driven type songs on it, a few philosophical songs, and songs related to love that weren't just "oops, I've fallen in love again" type songs, such as tend to inhabit the recent release. In other words, it had more variety, both in subject and in style. Righteous Love is a bit more homogenous than that. This is one of those kinds of albums that wouldn't be disappointing if it didn't have the previous album with which it would be compared.
     "To Make You Feel My Love" is easily a favorite for a couple reasons: it's the only really slow song on an uptempo album, and so it's stands out as different; it's a slow song, and the slower songs tend to become my favorites most of the time; and it makes me think about how I feel about my girlfriend.... (jchigdon@mindspring.com)


How Sweet It Is

Release info:

2002—Womanly Hips/Compendia—15095-9365-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, background vocals, keyboard (11)

Guest artists:

John Leventhal—guitars, bass, keyboards, percussion, drums, electric guitars, electric bass
Rick Depofi—horns, percussion, keyboards, baritone sax, tenor sax, drums, bongos
Danny Louis—trumpet, clavinet
Shawn Pelton—drums, percussion
Ahmir Thompson—drums, percussion (4)
Meshell Ndegeocello—bass (4)
Isaac Hayes—Isaac Hayes
Andrew Carillo—acoustic guitar (7)
George Lax—organ (7)
Brian Mitchell—organ (8, 9)
Conrad Korsch—acoustic bass (8), bass (9)
Leroy Clouden—drums (10)
Rob Arthus—bass line in verse (11)
Tawatha Agee—background vocals (2, 5)
Vaneese Thomas—background vocals (2, 5, 10)
Paulette McWilliams—background vocals (2, 5, 10)
Audrey Martells—background vocals (3, 4, 11)
Sophia Ramos—background vocals (4, 11)
Curtis King—background vocals (5)
Fonzi Thornton—background vocals (5)

Produced by:

John Leventhal and Rick Depofi, Joan Osborne

Comments:

A vastly underappreciated album. Okay, if you don't like soul or you didn't care for Joan's Early Recordings, this album is not for you. But if you're willing to give it a try, you might be as pleasantly surprised as I was. Most covers of classic songs like Aretha Franklin's "Think" or Otis Redding's "These Arms of Mine" make me cringe as I end up negatively comparing them to the originals. But Joan's takes are fresh reinterpretations rather than mere re-recordings; she makes the songs into new creatures. The first time I listened to it I was so impressed I immediately played it over, and it was just as good the second time. And the twentieth. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Christmas Means Love

Release info:

2005—HyLo Entertainment—HP214-80062

Availability:

Exclusively at Barnes & Noble

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals

Guest artists:

John Levanthal—piano on "Silent Night"
Gary Schreiner—piano, Wurlitzer, Hammond B3, chromatic harmonica, tubular bell, string arrangement
Tracy Wormworth—bass
Billy Ward—drums
Catherine Russell—background vocals
Geoff Perlman—slide guitar on "Cherry Tree Carol"

Produced by:

Tor Hyams

Comments:

Recorded in just 3 days, Joan's Christmas album is a laidback and refreshing treat. Bluesy and soulful, the songs are well arranged and never over-the-top as so many Christmas songs can be. There's a good selection of traditional and lesser-known contemporary songs, including a new original by Joan. All are wonderful. But my favorites are the gospel-flavored but understated "Away in a Manger" and "Silent Night". (JoAnn Whetsell)

Pretty Little Stranger

Release info:

2006—Vanguard Records—79810-2

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Eddie Bayers—drums on all tracks
Michael Rhodes—bass on all tracks
Steve Gibson—electric guitar on all tracks, acoustic guitar on 1 track
Bryan Sutton—acoustic guitar on 9 tracks, banjo on 1 track, bouzouki on 1 track
John Hobbs—B3 on 5 tracks, Wurlitzer on 2 tracks
Steve Buckingham—acoustic guitar on 1 track, electric guitar on 4 tracks, tambourine on 2 tracks
Carmella Ramsey—harmony vocal on 1 track
Paul Franklin—steel guitar on 4 tracks
Alison Krauss—harmony vocal on 1 track
Tania Hancheroff—harmony vocal on 1 track
Dan Dugmore—lap steel on 1 track, steel guitar on 2 tracks
Tim Lauer—accordion on 1 track, pump organ on 1 track
Vince Gill—harmony vocal on 1 track
Gordon Moat—piano on 1 track
Dan Tyminski—harmony vocals on 1 track
Wes Hightower—harmony vocals on 1 track
Charles McCoy—vibes on 1 track
Reese Wynans—B3 on 1 track, Wurlitzer on 1 track
Sonny Landreth—slide guitar on 1 track
Rodney Crowell—harmony vocals on 1 track

Produced by:

Steve Buckingham

Comments:

Best album she's made in years. Joan trades in her soul sound for country, and it's a surprisingly smooth and successful transition. Probably because it's really a folk/country/rock hybrid with touches of blues. How much any person likes it though will most likely depend on their tolerance for country. There are various shades here, from country-inflected pop/rock to full country, though primarily (thankfully) the former. Joan's voice is in fine form, and the songs are well-spaced. It's a softer sound than she's put out in the past, and while I miss her belting-it-out style, I like this album too. It's a wonder she can do such variety so well. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Breakfast in Bed

Release info:

2007—Time Life Records—M19433

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals

Guest artists:

Ivan Neville—Fender Rhodes, Hammond B3, piano, clavinet, background vocals
Jack Petruzzelli—guitars
Tracy Wormworth—bass
Eddie Bayers—drums
Greg Osby—saxophones; horn arrangements (1, 4, 8)
Meilana McLean Gillard—tenor sax
Lauren Sevian—baritone sax
Peck Allmond—trumpet, trombone
Steve Huffsteter—trumpet
Jock Ellis—trombone
Cameron Stone—cello
Melissa Reiner—violin
Quida Pickle—violin
Brandon Ross—guitar (12)
Gary Schreiner—harmonica (6); horn arrangements (2, 5, 10, 13, 14)
Chante Frierson—background vocals (13)
Tor Hyams—Hammond B3 (3, 12); additional programming (12)
Tim Davies—string arrangements

Produced by:

Tor Hyams

Comments:

This is a great collection of 70s covers and 70s-sounding originals. These songs are sensual. Joan takes a slower, seductive approach to them, crooning them rather than belting them out like the covers on Early Recordings and How Sweet It Is. (For the record, I like both styles.) "Midnight Train to Georgia" is surprisingly good. Joan doesn't try to sing it like Gladys Knight; she slows it down and has the good sense not to try to duplicate the Pips' famous 'whoo-hoo's. The album is a bit long (1 hr 6 min) and a few of the songs could have been omitted, but it's a great listen overall and the last two tracks (taken from the Standing in the Shadows of Motown soundtrack) are outstanding. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Little Wild One

Release info:

2008—Plum Records/Womanly Hips—80022-D

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals, guitar, backing vocals

Guest artists:

Eric Bazilian—mandola, mandolin, guitars, slide guitar, bass, hurdy gurdy, string synth, piano, Wurlitzer, drum programming, harmonica, backing vocals
Rob Hyman—keys, cordovox, bass pedals, piano, organ, bass, backing vocals
Steve Holley—drums
Mark Egan—bass
Chris Golbreski—drums (3)
William Wittman—bass (3)
Jack Petruzzelli—omnichord, guitar (8)
Ann Marie Calhoun—violin (9)
Rob Arthur—keys (10)

Produced by:

Rick Chertoff, Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian

Comments:

Good to have Joan getting back into original music more in the vein of her debut Relish (but softer). (JoAnn Whetsell)

Bring It On Home

Release info:

2012—Saguaro Road Records—26683-D

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—lead and background vocals

Guest artists:

Aaron Comess—drums and percussion
Richard Hammond—bass
Keith Cotton—keyboards
Andrew Carillo—guitar
Jack Petruzzelli—guitar, percussion, vibes
"Barbecue" Bob Pomeroy—harmonica
Kris Jensen—tenor sax
Reggie Pittman—trumpet
Chris Karlic—baritone sax
Vaneese Thomas, Audrey Martell, the Holmes Brothers—background vocals
Jimmy Vivino—Wurlitzer piano (1); horn arrangements
Allen Toussaint—piano (6)

Produced by:

Joan Osborne and Jack Petruzzelli

Comments:

I'm not a blues fan but I love this album. Joan seems really comfortable in this space where blues, soul and R&B meet, and I think the style really suits her. She's in great voice, the band is excellent, and everyone sounds like they're having a good time. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Songs of Bob Dylan Vol. 1

Release info:

2017—Womanly Hips—WHC001

Availability:

Wide

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Joan Osborne—vocals; background vocals (1, 7, 12)

Guest artists:

Jack Petruzzelli—baritone guitar, percussion (2); acoustic guitar (3, 4, 7-12); slide guitar, (4, 9); electric guitar (5, 6, 9); handclaps (5); tambourine (5, 6); sleigh bells (6) harmonium, omnichord (8); mandolin (12); moog, micro-synth (13); background vocals (2, 5, 12)
Keith Cotton—piano (2, 3, 5, 6, 9-13); Wurlitzer electric piano (1, 4, 7, 9); Hammond M-1 organ (2); handclaps (5); Hammond B-3 organ (5, 7, 9); organ (8); Prophet 6 (9); background vocals (2, 5, 7, 12)
Richard Hammond—bass (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12)
Aaron Comess—drums (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 12)
Andrew Carillo—slide guitar (2); electric guitar (4, 5, 7); Jerry Jones electric sitar (9); high strung acoustic guitar (12)
Yair Evnine—cello (10)
Audrey Martells—background vocals (5, 12)
Carl Spataro—handclaps (5)
Antoine Silverman—fiddle (12); violin (13)
David Mann—tenor sax (7)
Kent Olsen—drums (1)
Jay Mortaen—bass (1)
Michael Hartmann—acoustic guitar (1)
Jim Boggia—electric guitar (1)

Produced by:

Jack Petruzzelli, Joan Osborne, and Keith Cotton

Comments:

Joan Osborne has done a lot of styles in her career—pop, country, and blues among them. It would have been nice if she had used some of these styles to explore Dylan. Instead, she opts mostly for middle-of-the road, soft pop renditions. They're unlikely to impress Dylan fans, but she wears them comfortably, and it's a nice introduction to Dylan's work for other people. (I was familiar with the more often covered songs, but most of the songs were new to me.) I particularly like "High Water (For Charley Patton)," probably the most energetic cut, but "Ring Them Bells" is also quite lovely. The whole album is solid. (JoAnn Whetsell)

Further info:

Joan Osborne was featured prominently in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002).

Her recordings appear on several compilation albums. Songs only available on compilations include:

  • a live version of "Ladder" on Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music (1998)
  • "At Last" on The Other Sister soundtrack (1999)
  • "Spooky" on KBCO Studio C: Volume 11 (1999)
  • "Baby Love" on the For Love of the Game soundtrack (1999)
  • "Do I Ever Cross Your Mind" on Just Because I'm a Woman: The Songs of Dolly Parton (2003)
  • "Stand Back" on the Raising Helen soundtrack (2004)
  • a live version of "One of Us" on Radio Woodstock: 25th Anniversary (2005)
  • "Every Breath You Take" on Spirits in the Material World: A Reggae Tribute to The Police (2008)
  • "I Don't Want to Be with Nobody but You" on Les Paul & Friends: A Tribute to a Legend (2008)
  • "Hey Bulldog" on The 30th Annual John Lennon Tribute: Live from the Beacon Theatre NYC (2013)
  • "Late for the Sky" on Looking Into You: A Tribute to Jackson Browne (2016)
  • "You're Driving Me (To the Arms of a Stranger) on Mavis Staples: I'll Take You There—An All-Star Concert Celebration (2017)
Joan has also recorded several collaborations with other artists. These include:

  • "Beautiful Side of Madness" with Terrell on his album Beautiful Side of Madness (1996)
  • "Saint Teresa" with Luciano Pavarotti and "Gesu Bambino" with Luciano Pavarotti and the East London Gospel Choir on Pavarotti & Friends for War Child (1996)
  • "Bring Me Some Water" live with Melissa Etheridge on VH1 Crossroads (1996)
  • "Passin' Thru" with Randy Scruggs on Scruggs' album Crown of Jewels (1998)
  • "Raglan Road" with The The Chieftains on Tears of Stone (1999)
  • "My Back Pages" with Jackson Browne on the Steal This Movie soundtrack (2000)
  • "On the Old Kentucky Shore" with Ricky Skaggs on Big Mon: The Songs of Bill Monroe (2000)
  • "(Love Is Like A) Heat Wave" and "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" with The Funk Brothers on Standing in the Shadows of Motown (2002)
  • "Nobody's Fault but Mine" with The Holmes Brothers on Shout, Sister, Shout! A Tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe (2003)
  • "Just to Be Alone with You" with Manolito Simonet, Horatio "El Negro" Sanchez, and Jose Maria Vitier on Bridge to Havana (2004)
  • the album Live at the Warfield—San Francisco, CA with Phil Lesh and Friends (2006)
  • "Those Memories of You" with The Holmes Brothers on their album State of Grace (2007)
  • "Saint Teresa" with Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain on their album Transatlantic Sessions—Series 3: Volume One (2007)
  • "Holy Waters" and "Please Don't Tell Me How the Story Ends" with Jerry Douglas & Aly Bain on their album Transatlantic Sessions—Series 3: Volume Two (2008)
  • "Spoonful" with Vivian Campbell on Campbell's album Two Sides of If (2008)
  • "What Becomes of the Broken Hearted" with Ian Moss and Jimmy Barnes on Moss' album Soul on West 53rd (2009)
  • "Everybody's Gonna Be Happy" with Dan Zanes on Zanes' album Little Nut Tree (2011)
  • "Don't Do It" with David Bromberg and the All Star Band on Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save the Barn (2013)
  • "When I Paint My Masterpiece" with Garth Hudson, John Prine, and the Levon Helm Band on Love for Levon: A Benefit to Save the Barn (2013)
  • "Mary Was the Queen of Galilee" with Elizabeth Mitchell and Gail Ann Dorsey on Mitchell's album The Sounding Joy: Christmas Songs in and out of the Ruth Seeger Songbook (2013)
  • the single "You Don't Know What Love Is" with Andrew Cohn (2014)
  • the album Born in the USA with The Waybacks (2016)
  • "Listen" with The Infamous Stringdusters on their album Ladies & Gentlemen (2016)


Thanks to JoAnn Whetsell for work on this entry.

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