In a compelling new interview with writer Lou Fancher of the East Bay Times, singer/songwriter Joan Osborne explains what inspires her about Bob Dylan’s music and how it expands her perspective and influences her music.
“When you’re doing any covering of other people’s material, your job is to bring out something that hasn’t been discovered yet. When you have an artist of the depth and richness of Bob Dylan, you tend to go to emotional terrains that you haven’t gone to in your own work,” she said.
Because she “cut her teeth” as a singer in part by performing from early on Dylan’s folk-based, American idiom-filled work, Osborne didn’t actually discover new technical aspects to her voice while working on the project. But with years of singing, the 55-year-old says a deep richness and new textures she calls “seasoning” have appeared.
An exceptional songwriter herself, Osborne’s take on Dylan’s songs become a rich collaboration.
Because her voice and Dylan’s are worlds apart, Osborne never pursued imitation while adapting the songs. “The point was to take the song, divorce it from Dylan’s interpretation, view it as chord progressions, the melody, the lyrics, and do it again from scratch. In that way, it really was about finding the material I loved and connecting that with my voice in a way that the song and my voice blossom.”
——> Read the rest of Lou Fancher’s interview with Joan Osborne here
Then buy tickets to hear Joan’s take on Dylan’s songs in the intimate setting of Livermore’s Bankhead Theater.
Joan Osborne sings Songs of Bob Dylan
Opening Act: Will Champlin
Friday, October 27 at 8 p.m.