It’s official. Grammy-nominated singer Joan Osborne will perform a special Bob Dylan tribute concert on the eve of his 78th birthday at Sacred Heart Music Center, just blocks from where the legendary songwriter was born in Duluth. If you’re still in town, Joan, we’ll be cutting Bob’s birthday cake out in the front yard on Friday at 3:00 p.m.
Joan Osborne Sings the Songs of Bob Dylan will be staged at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 23, at Sacred Heart Music Center, 201 W. Fourth Street. The event is like icing on the cake for this year’s Duluth Dylan Fest, a weeklong birthday celebration honoring Duluth native son Bob Dylan with music, art, poetry and more.
Tickets will go on sale at 10 a.m., Thursday, April 4 at Eventbrite.com, the Electric Fetus Duluth and Globe News Superior. Tickets are $25 in advance and $30 at the door. Duluth-based folk trio Coyote will open the show.
Local Dylan circles have been abuzz about the multi-platinum-selling Joan Osborne since the released of her album of Dylan covers in 2017. She’s been performing around the world and it only makes sense that she would bring it all back here to Dylan’s first home on the eve of his 78th birthday. This will be her first performance at Sacred Heart Music Center, a volunteer-run organization based in a former 19th Century cathedral.
I am certain she’ll be impressed with the acoustics at Sacred Heart as the Duluth Dylan Fest has held numerous events here over the years.
According to the press announcement, Osborne and her accompanist(s) will perform acoustic-based versions of a wide range of Dylan songs from early classics to late period gems.
“His versions are legendary and I’m not trying to improve on them,” Osborne says. “I’m just trying to sing beautiful songs and let people hear them. It’s about trying to give a different shade of meaning to something that’s already great. I happen to think Dylan is a great singer, but I will never, in a million years, sound like him, which almost made it easier.”
Apparently, Ms. Osborne has Kentucky roots like myself. In the late 1700s the Bluegrass State was seeded with early settlers who were given 100 and 200 acre plots of land for service in the Revolutionary War. At the time it was a territory of the State of Virginia in our nation’s early years. The long hunter Daniel Boone is credited for helping make a way through the Wilderness Gap in the years previous to the Revolution.
Joan Osborne left Kentucky to make a name singing her own songs in New York City, as Dylan had done in his own youth. Her big success came with her 1995 album Relish, featuring the song most of us know her by, “One of Us.”
IN MAY Joan O will become “one of us” here at Duluth Dylan Fest, honoring a Northland icon who went on to the receive a Nobel Prize “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”
The show is part of the weeklong Duluth Dylan Fest which annually celebrates Bob Dylan’s May, 24, 1941, birthday in Duluth, Minnesota. Osborne will kick-off three days of music at Sacred Heart Music Center honoring Dylan. Events include a songwriters contest on May 24 and the Duluth-based Bob Dylan Revue Band on May 25. Full Dylan Fest schedule HERE.
Osborne’s success has enabled her to tour with surviving members of the Grateful Dead, perform a song with Dylan, and get featured in the motion picture “Standing in the Shadows of Motown.” She has recorded nine full length albums.
Originally published at pioneerproductions.blogspot.com on April 2, 2019.