Joan Osborne Tickets for Sale

When she first hit the charts in 1995, Joan Osborne was lumped into Year of the Woman articles that sandwiched her between Alanis Morissette's feistiness, Sheryl Crow-style blues and Jewel's doe-eyed soul. To commercial rock slaves, though, she was a ubiquitous radio presence, repeating "what if God was one of us" enough times to make even the man upstairs reach for His earplugs. The exposure paid off in Grammy nominations but not record deals, as Osborne switched labels and declawed her sound to fit even better on the mainstream Adult Alternative couch.

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 that 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'.
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Apr 12 Thu 8:00 PM Joan Osborne Hangar Theatre
Ithaca, NY
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Apr 13 Fri 7:00 PM Martin Sexton & Joan Osborne Funk 'N' Waffles Music Hall - Rochester
Rochester, NY
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Apr 15 Sun 8:00 PM Joan Osborne Bethel Woods Center For The Arts
Bethel, NY
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Apr 19 Thu 8:00 PM Joan Osborne Daryl's House
Pawling, NY
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Producing a worthy follow-up to Relish proved to be a time-consuming challenge for Osborne. Mercury tried to buy some time by issuing a compilation release, Early Recordings (which collected the early releases Live at Delta '88 and Blue Million Miles). In the meantime, Osborne focused on supporting a few groups/causes she felt strongly about, such as Rock the Vote and Planned Parenthood (eventually being named an honorary member of Planned Parenthood's Board of Advocates), in addition to covering "I'm Just a Bill" as a duet with Isaac Hayes on the 1998 Schoolhouse Rocks the Vote benefit album. She also studied briefly with late Qawwali master Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan and performed alongside such notables as Stevie Wonder, Melissa Etheridge, Taj Mahal, Luciano Pavarotti, Spearhead, Bob Dylan, and the Chieftains. September 2000 finally saw the release of Osborne's next all-new studio album, titled Righteous Love, which failed to match its predecessor's commercial success and sunk from sight shortly after release. She bounced back in 2002 with How Sweet It Is, a collection of covers that leaned heavily on classic soul and R&B tunes from the 1960s and '70s. A career retrospective, One of Us, followed in 2005.

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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