Joan Osborne never quite registered on my radar. She was a wonderful singer who sang a hit I liked (the bluesy video for “One of Us” was great) and she was one of the modern day highlights of The Funk Brothers’ Standing in the Shadows of Motown, but nothing really made her break through for me. In fact, I’ve been meaning to post this CD since I started this blog, but somehow nothing compelled me to complete the thought.
One day a few years ago I was out having a business breakfast and in the background there was a song playing that had a familiar feeling, but I knew I didn’t know it at all. I never pay attention to the words but I wanted to know about the track and the lyric “how sweet it is” kept repeating. I knew it wasn’t the Marvin Gaye song, but jeez it had the same words. I went back to the office and Googled like crazy until I realized it was a new CD by Joan with all of my favorite era covers. Her versions of song by Stevie Wonder, The Spinners, Otis, even Timmy Thomas. This was my kind of album. iTunes away. (Produced, by the way, by the versatile John Leventhal, Roseanne Cash’s husband, a fellow downtown Manhattanite, as it turns out.)
“How Sweet It Is” isn’t to everyone’s taste, the Amazon reviews tell me, but I don’t really care. For me it’s great, and Joan’s a wonderful singer. Check it out.