Award winning, multi-platinum and 7-time Grammy nominated American singer, songwriter JOAN OSBORNE is about to release her ninth studio album “Songs Of Bob Dylan” on September 1st.
Songs Of Bob Dylan details Osborne’s own takes on a number of Dylan’s most loved tracks, spanning his early ’60s and ’70s standards such as “Masters of War” and blues classic, “Highway 61 Revisited” through to much later material, such as 1997’s “High Water (For Charley Patton)”.
Confederates in the project included guitarist Jack Petruzzelli (Patti Smith ) and keyboardist Keith Cotton (Idina Menzel, Chris Cornell), while Osborne herself re-worked Dylan’s well-beloved tracks into fresh-cut artefacts – freed of simulation or blind reduplication.
The new songbook starts with “Tangled Up In Blue” (1975) with a breathy, warm voice and delicate electric piano. The lyric, “We always did feel the same / We just saw it from a different point of view…” certainly has different connotations when sung by a woman. This interpretation is full of warm kindness and the kind of cordiality that belies a liberality the lives beneath the surface of the lyric. But the atmosphere of ever-rotating time is nevertheless wonderfully described.
“Highway 61 Revisited” is expansive and opulent with running ridges of guitar sound. And, although the verse, for the most part, is spoken and chanted rather than intoned… it does not matter! It gives the piece a dusty feel.
“Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn)” incorporates daubs of shiny organ. That familiar tune catches the light like never before. This glistens like a missionary revelation rather than a little jingle for a mischievous pusher that it originally was meant to be. But why not?
“Dark Eyes” [1985 ] is a better platform for Osborne lulling cocoa butter tones. This is a darkly mysterious song about peace, love and two living soul birds who weave together a memory.
The pensive Woodstock era song “You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere” [1967 ] made famous by Old Crow Medicine Show, amongst others, has that sorrowing violin that seems so melancholy especially when one considers it’s set against a song of reunion. Is it because the tearful joy of reuniting can only be a momentary thing? The voice here is full of bourbon and vanilla.
This is a sumptuous and consummate collection of carefully chosen songs — the perfect laudation of the healing qualities found in the songwriting one of the finest jongleurs the world has ever seen…