In late 1995, a Kentucky native, Joan Osborne released her soon-to-be ubiquitous debut single.
“One of Us” – written by Eric Bazilian of ’80s pop duo The Hooters – peaked at #4 in the US and was comparable or even better in several other countries around the world.
In the film, the lyrics emanated from the mouths of characters portrayed by Mike Myers (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) in 1999 and Tom Cruise (Vanilla Sky) in 2001. From 2003 to 2005 it served as the theme for the TV show Joan of Arcadia.
Although Osborne never repeated the song’s commercial success, he has continued to release well-received albums regularly for the past 20+ years.
Recent ones include 2012’s GRAMMY-nominated R&B and blues covers album Bring It On Home and 2017’s Songs of Bob Dylan.
Both consisted entirely of material originally composed and recorded by other artists, but Osborne wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on 2014’s “Love and Hate” and 2020’s “Trouble and Strife,” with the latter – like the Dylan Collection – Released on her self-formed Womanly Hips Records.
Freedom from the trappings of the pop star has given Osborne an opportunity to showcase her breadth.
She has guested on albums by Blues Traveler, Cheap Trick, Cracker, Indigo Girls, Phil Lesh and Friends, Ricky Skaggs and The Holmes Brothers. She has also appeared on albums paying tribute to Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Kris Kristofferson, Dolly Parton, Jackson Browne, The Police and Mavis Staples. She has also toured with Motown house band The Funk Brothers and appeared with them in the documentary Standing in the Shadows of Motown.
Some would call Osborne a one-hit wonder and leave it at that. However, there are many others who have kept them in studios and on stages in the full three decades that have passed since their pre-One of Us days.
Being in those roles is, I suppose, what Osborne was there for from the start.
Osborne’s current tour includes a headlining spot that wraps up two full days of events and performances at the Newburyport Arts & Cultural Spring Festival – right on the waterfront and free.
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https://www.boston.com/things-to-do/concerts/join-joan-osborne-for-a-free-show-on-newburyports-waterfront/ Join Joan Osborne for a free show on the Newburyport waterfront