MAPLEWOOD, NJ - American singer-songwriter, Joan Osborne will be the headline act at Maplewoodstock, in Memorial Park, on Sunday, July 14, at 8 p.m.
Best known for her song “One of Us,” Osborne has recorded and performed in various popular American musical genres including pop, soul, R&B, blues and country.
Her most current Grammy-nominated release and seventh album, “Bring It on Home” is a collection of vintage blues, R&B and soul songs by the multi-platinum artist.
The album title is truly appropriate for Osborne, as she got her start by singing the blues. Originally Osborne moved to New York City, from her hometown in Kentucky, to study filmmaking. But by accident, her fate changed.
“I happened to go out with a guy in my building … went to a blues bar,” she said. “The band finished for the night. My friend dared me to go up and sing. I sang a Billie Holiday song.”
From that night on, Osborne continued singing at open mics in blues bars. “I met musicians, put my own band together …started getting gigs. Fast forward, playing five nights a week in New York City,” she said.
Osborne built a following and branched out to other areas. She started her own record label, Womanly Hips, in order for fans at shows to buy her CDs. “That’s all it was,” she said, “to have my music out there.”
“One of Us” was Osborne’s biggest hit in the mid-1990s and her album “Relish” was nominated for seven different Grammys. At the time Osborne was in India studying religious music. When her manager told her the great news she said it “seems like a dream.”
In 2009 Osborne performed as a guest vocalist on Cheap Trick’s live album, “Sgt. Pepper Live,” which was a tribute to The Beatles.
“That was amazing,” Osborne said. “My older brother gifted me with ‘The White Album’ [by The Beatles] when I was thirteen. There was something very adult about it … mysterious and scary. The Beatles had such incredible range. They could do so much.”
Coincidentally Osborne’s latest CD “Bring It on Home” was co-produced by her dear friend, Jack Petruzzelli, who performs with Beatles tribute band, The Fab Faux.
Osborne considers “Bring It on Home” a labor of love. “That’s the music I learned how to sing to,” she said, “trying to emulate Etta James ... Otis Redding … there was such an expressiveness in their vocal style. I tried to reach for that myself. I felt like turning my attention to blues again. I felt I had more to bring to the music. First starting out, I wanted to have that depth. I feel like I’m approaching that now.”
When asked who her favorite musician to work with was, Osborne said it was really impossible to pick a favorite. She shared, “I had an amazing experience working with Luciano Pavarotti in Italy at a charity concert. He put us up in his estate and wined and dined us.”
When asked who her muse is, Osborne said, “It changes all the time. The people who inspire me are the people who really put the effort into raising themselves above where they started. It can mean somebody who has any kind of dream and really works toward it. Being an excellent parent … nobody gives you a parenting handbook when your kid is born. I admire people who do that … who sacrifice their time and energy.”
Osborne is a parent herself and takes her 8-year-old daughter on the road with her. “She travels with me quite a bit,” she said. “All around the U.S. and Canada. It’s a great thing. I’m fortunate. Most working moms don’t have that ability to bring their kids to work. If I can’t bring her along, I can turn down work. She’s eight and in school, I bring her less often. My mom is still in good health and she can come up from Kentucky. It’s a balancing act. I’m luckier than most.”
While Osborne believes her daughter has musical talent, she thinks her kid wants to find her own niche. “She loves to draw and paint,” she said.
For more information on Joan Osborne, visit: http://www.joanosborne.com/
Maplewoodstock will feature numerous band on Saturday and Sunday. For more information visit: http://maplewoodstock.com/