Joan Osborne was outstanding Wednesday night with her unique take on the Songs Of Bob Dylan. The sold-out Dakota was the where she performed her latest release of Dylan covers, along with a bunch that aren’t on the record. After her chart topper ” One Of Us” in the mid-nineties, Joan chose to collaborate with a plethora of artist like the Grateful Dead, Cheap Trick, the Dixie Chicks and her own band Trigger Hippy. All of these collaborations lead to her interpretations of Bob’s tunes and a desire to record them.
Joan opened the show with an offbeat, funky “High Water”. Osborne’s presence was very pleasant and honest, often giving in-site into a particular song. While the songs were written by Bob Dylan, they were owned by Osbourne. She had the audience singing along to the chorus of “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35”, her version slow and sultry, as she kept the rhythm with a snare drum. Joan switched from tambourine to drum to acoustic guitar. But it was her amazing, instantly recognizable raspy voice that carried the show. Joan and the band created fresh arrangements of Dylan tunes like “Highway 61 Revisited” and “Spanish Harlem Incident”. The highlight of the show was an exceptionally funky “Tangled Up In Blue”.
Helping with the heavy work were guitarist Jack Petruzzelli and Keith Cotton on keyboards. These guys have been touring with Osbourne for years and it shows. Cotton was able to create moody atmospheres at just the right moment to bring out the best in the venerated tunes. And Petruzelli got to rock out on a couple of songs, yet was able to mellow out when a quiet acoustic piece was needed. Joan commented that the crowd was very “Minnesotan”, respectful and reserved. One guy in the balcony shouted “Not all of us!!!” He also shouted “Do one of your own’ when she came back for her encore, which she obliged with “Spider Web” and “One Of Us”
Osbourne gave new life to old songs with her commanding voice and still proves to be a confidant force to be reckoned with. You can catch her again tonight at the Dakota.
Setlist: High Water – Spanish Harlem Incident – Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright – Rainy Day Women #12 & 35 – Tryin’ To Get To Heaven – Masters Of War – Buckets Of Rain – Highway 61 Revisited – Whole Wide World – Take It – Tangled Up In Blue – You Gotta Serve Somebody
Encore: Spider Web – One Of Us