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As they say, “home is where the heart is” and with the release of her seventh studio album, Bring It On Home, Joan Osborne certainly gets in touch with her roots. Her blues roots that is. Bring It On Home pays homage to some of Osborne’s favorites and inspirations with covers from the greats of R&B, blues, and soul.
With all the heart of the originals and a twist of Osborne’s contemporary sass, the singer takes classics like “I Want To Be Loved” from Muddy Waters and gives them a seductive feminine edge. Osborne croons amidst tambourine beats and spunky backing vocals, her voice prowling over the track giving it new life with all the original passion.
The album also offers tracks guaranteed to get those toes tapping. Osborne channels another singer with soul and pizzazz with her cover of Olive Brown’s 1940s recording of “Roll Like a Big Wheel”, a track that wasn’t originally released until the 1970s. With plenty of raucous piano, jazz-inspired guitar licks and powerful percussion, this track jams into the modern age as a hard rock version of this often forgotten blues cut. Towards the end of the album, Osborne takes on another song worthy of your dancing shoes with “Shake Your Hips” from Slim Harpo, and more famously from The Rolling Stones. With some modern guitar twang and a building vocal intro from Osborne, this track bursts into a full on percussion, keys and harmonica infused dance party. “Barbecue” Bob Pomeroy’s harmonica licks on this album are commendable throughout if not particularly on “Shake Your Hips”. This track will leave you with no choice but to join in and simply… shake your hips.
Toward the close of the album, Osborne practically sings her own praises with her rendition of Clarence Carter’s “I’m Qualified”. Bringing the 1968 song some rocking guitar and some spunky keys, Osborne channels the harmonies of The Supremes with the song’s backing vocals certainly certifying the song’s chorus; she is definitely qualified for these soulful covers. With a voice worthy of the original Memphis soul and all the modern edge of a female firecracker, Osborne takes these classics and rocks them right into the modern pop charts on Bring It On Home.