Seven-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne hasn’t let up since “(What If God Was) One of Us” set her career afire with her 1995 debut album Relish. She’s been touring extensively and shared the stage with the likes of Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, Emmylou Harris, Patti Smith — and Luciano Pavarotti. Tonight she performs live at the Levoy Theater in Millville, NJ. Tickets are STILL AVAILABLE HERE
Her soulful and impassioned delivery has found a new intensity with 2012‘s Bring It On Home, a collection of blues, R&B and soul songs and her seventh studio album. Nominated for Best Blues Album at the 2013 Grammy Awards, It’s a brilliantly constructed album that shows Osborne at her musical best and a triumphant return to her roots. “I really learned how to sing playing three or four one-hour sets in the blues clubs in NYC. These songs are familiar and comfortable, and they’re part of where I started.”
Recorded mostly live at Henry Hirsch’s Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, Bring It On Home is gritty blues and sultry soul that reminds me of some of the great albums released from Chess Records and Sun Studios during their heyday. “It was a conscious choice. I wanted to capture the richness of these songs, and the time was right to make this record,” Osborne said in a recent phone interview. “Hirsch has an incredible collection of vintage gears and microphones. They really added something special to the way these tracks sound.”
Guest stars on the album include “Barbecue” Bob Pomeroy on harmonica, Allen Toussaint on piano (playing on his own song “Shoorah! Shoorah!”), Conan O’Brien band director Jimmy Vivino (horn arrangements, electric piano), vocalists the Holmes Brothers and Rufus Thomas’s daughter Vaneese.
She’s not slowing down either.
Her side project Trigger Happy (a collaboration with Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman, noted session guitarist Tom Bukovac, singer/songwriter Jackie Green and bassist Nick Grovrik) is raucous and foot-stompin’ rock at its best.“We all got together in Nashville, locked ourselves in the studio and wrote. With the Crowes going on tour, there won’t be any Tripping Happy shows, but we’re still recording new material.”
2013 has Osborne busier than ever. She’s finishing up a new album of original material and on the road touring, including several intimate gigs with long-time bandmate Keith Cotton, and finding those moments to write. “Whether it’s lyrics or writing just for me, it’s still about showing up and doing the work.”