Seven-time Grammy nominee Joan Osborne releases first LP of original material in six years2 October 2020
“Punchy and hard-hitting songs excellently finessed by the same band that helped make her Songs of Bob Dylan a cut above” – Daily Mirror
“Both old school and fresh. Osborne’s voice is rich, soulful and capable of both brooding darkness and brilliant clarity” **** – Financial Times
“Awash with blues, funk and 70s styling. Gorgeous” **** – Daily Express
“Ten captivating tunes and no filler, Trouble & Strife’ is easily Joan Osborne’s finest forty minutes. The music has a confidence that takes influence from lots of 60s and 70s classics, the vocals are amazing and the overall sound is that of a potential classic… a fantastic record” – Real Gone Rocks
Acclaimed singer/songwriter Joan Osborne has released her first album of original material in six years, out via her own label, Womanly Hip Records, founded in 1991. Entitled ‘Trouble And Strife’, the self-produced new collection finds the gifted vocalist offering a strong yet uplifting response to some of the socio-political issues plaguing the USA over the last several years. “The crazy, chaotic times we’re living in,” she says, and “a recognition of the important role music has to play in this moment.” Listen below to the new track ‘Boy Dontcha Know’, which explores gender nonconformity and the obstacles one faces when female, and read what Rolling Stone had to say about the track here.
Tackling serious subject matter in her writing while crafting music to “uplift”, Osborne assembled a live band (including several musicians who played on her acclaimed last album, ‘Songs of Bob Dylan’) and primarily recorded the album in her basement studio in Brooklyn. “For a lot of the record, we were going for a ’70s AM radio vibe,” says Osborne. As for the lyrics, the songs “are the most political I’ve ever written,” she conveys of her first album of originals since 2014’s confessional ‘Love and Hate’.
It’s been quite the journey since the woman AllMusic.com declared “the most gifted vocalist of her generation” moved from small-town Kentucky to attend NYU film school in the 1980s. Osborne’s astounding voice drew attention when she joined the fun at open mic nights in downtown clubs, which eventually led to 1995’s multi-platinum ‘Relish’ and its touchstone mega-smash ‘One of Us’, “that rare breed of album where critical consensus, popular approval and enduring appeal unite,” according to American Songwriter. Since then, she’s performed with Motown’s revered rhythm section the Funk Brothers and toured with the Dead (where she first met and sang with Dylan). She’s harmonized with Stevie Wonder at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, duetted with Luciano Pavarotti, and co-headlined a tour with the legendary Mavis Staples. She has amassed a loyal fan base as she’s continuously travelled the country. Through it all, she sees more clearly now than ever the essential role our troubadours play.
“I feel like music has this important job to do right now,” Osborne says. “Part of that job is to help imagine a better future – and to hang on to hope. I want to play for people and get them up on their feet and dancing. To let music do that thing it does – bring joy and energy because we really need that right now.” With Trouble and Strife, she intends to do just that.