Joan Osborne Biography

Review The Artist (5)

Joan Osborne-photo
b. 8 July 1962, Anchorage, Kentucky, USA. The 90s rock singer Joan Osborne began her singing career one evening at the Abilene blues bar in New York, USA. Prompted by several drinks, she took the stage at 3 am as a dare and sang Billie Holiday 's 'God Bless The Child'. The resident pianist at the club encouraged her to attend the bar's regular open-microphone nights. Although a reluctant performer at first, she soon learned to enjoy these opportunities, building a solid reputation in the New York area. The live album Soul Show was released on her own Womanly Hips Records in 1991 and an EP, Blue Million Miles, followed in 1993.

Later that year she became the first signing to Blue Gorilla, a new label set up by Rick Chertoff, senior vice-president of PolyGram Records. However, before the deal was completed, Chertoff invited Osborne to take part in writing workshops in Katonah, New York, alongside a variety of musicians. It was here that the band who appeared on her major label debut formed. Relish featured Rob Hyman (keyboards), Eric Bazilian (guitar, ex- Hooters ), Charlie Quintana (drums; also of Cracker ) and Rainy Orteca (bass). Bazilian wrote the infectious US Top 5 single 'One Of Us'.

This simple song, which combined Neil Young -style guitar with a plaintive vocal, featured a thought-provoking lyric built around the refrain of 'what if God was one of us, just a slob like one of us, just a stranger on a bus, trying to make his way home'. Osborne's own songwriting was helped by a workshop given by Doc Pomus, explaining the rootsy nature of much of her work which owes more to blues and R&B than to 90s rock music. The album also included two songs, 'Help Me' and 'Crazy Baby', originally included on Soul Show.

Following the success of 'One Of Us', Relish received strong reviews from Rolling Stone, the New York Times and the New Yorker, the latter describing Osborne as 'one of the most distinct voices in rock'. Two television appearances on the Late Show With David Letterman, and national tours, during which she invited pro-life organizations to put their case to her audience, increased her profile throughout 1995. In 1996, 'One Of Us' found its way to the UK and was a Top 10 hit.

It is hoped that media attention and radio saturation does not lessen the quality of her work. Both Sheryl Crow and Alanis Morissette received too much adulation too soon, and quickly became part of the establishment. Osborne does not deserve the same fate. While recording the follow-up to Relish, Osborne toured with Lilith Fair and, in 1999, contributed 'Baby Love' to the For Love Of The Game soundtrack.

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Sweet blast from my past ;-p | Reviewer: Paulina Ramirez | 2/19/13

Hello, from Raleigh, NC. Lately I've been feeling lost and uneasy but tonight I tryed to find comfort in reading emails from my family that is far from me and I kept changing my music choices until I very accidently stumbled upon Joan O. The miniute her song started playing I was transported to that.... year,month,season,apartment,job,friends,lover,clubs, and experiences. It was the best time of my life so far and i miss it. I cryed tears of joy and wished we where all there again. I would be happy just hanging out with Joan for a day. That would make me feel so happy for the rest of the year. Where is she? I would love to take a road trip and go hear her sing live!

Lumina | Reviewer: Patty Van Arsdale | 10/31/12

For reasons untold at the moment, I went searching for my Joan Osborne CDs safely stored after a recent move. Always having been enamored with Joan's voice and the fact she hailed from KY I listened more intently and discovered so many lovely nuances in her voice! I am especially smitten with "Lumina" which I am proclaiming as my newest favorite lullaby!

Midnight train to Georgia flys by previous whislte stop versions | Reviewer: Jonas Karuzas 604-850-4110 | 10/28/12

It's hard to believe that the emotion that Joan Osborne puts into Midnight Train to Georgia on her new album, hasn't been captured by so many other capable artists especially after so long. But thanks to Joan's new release, we finally have that song done correctly. Don't give me your artsy "swarroo" She nails it. From now on it will be Joan's version that is repeated. Sorry Pips, it needed more B than R and it took all that time till finally someone on Joan's team recognized it. Now it will find it's true place, connecting the universe with it's portait of love. Oh Joan, you are so hot!

What becomes of the broken hearted | Reviewer: Dick Engel | 6/30/12

This song is OWNED by Joan. She did it on a Funk brothers tribute and it is sensational. It is my opinion one of Rock and Rolls/Blues finest renditions of pure voice. Her enunciation tempo pitch and control of the song is shivering. She rates right there with Mario Lanzas "Loviest Night of the Year"

Heat Wave & What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted | Reviewer: Neal Van Haverbeke | 5/17/10

I saw Joan for the first time on a TCM special featuring the Funk Brothers of Motown. This was a fantastic historical musical special and was the first time I saw and heard Joan. It was love at first sound. She blended beautifully with the Motown Funk Brothers. I recorded the documentry on my DVR and watch both of her performances regularly.

Neal Van Haverbeke

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-------- 11/24/2014
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