The New York Times calls Joan Osborne, "a fiercely intelligent, no-nonsense singer-songwriter who is allergic to traditional pop sentimentality." Inspired by Etta James, Ray Charles and Billie Holiday, Osborne developed her chops through the early 90's in NYC clubs. In 1995 she signed to Mercury and released Relish, which went multi-platinum and included a massive MTV and radio smash hit that stayed at the number one spot on the U.S. singles chart for two weeks. She received numerous Grammy nominations over the next couple years.
Osborne used her fame in the ensuing years to help political and social justice causes that she believed in, and worked alongside the elite of the music industry. She explored alt-country, R&B and classic blues on successive albums.
Her latest release is a fan-funded album of Bob Dylan covers, thus bringing Osborne back full circle to one of the artists she covered at the outset of her amazing career. In the words of critic Mark Deming, "She has a real knack for bringing his words to life. While Osborne doesn't seem to be bent on radically reinventing the material, she certainly puts her own spin on these songs." In Osborne's own words to Rolling Stone, "I don't think it's hyperbole to talk about Dylan as an artist who's on the same level as Pablo Picasso or William Shakespeare . . . He's really an epic poet of America, and any singer can find such an incredible wealth and richness in his material, not just me." In Osborne's hands, Dylan's lyrics are clarified and the essential emotions rise to the surface.
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