Bring It On Home (2012)
Saguaro Road Records
When the track list for Joan Osborne's first album in four years appeared and the opening track was the blues/rock standard "I Don't Need No Doctor," I felt both excitement and trepidation. An Ashford & Simpson penned tune first done by Ray Charles and then taken to another whole level by Humble Pie and the legendary voice of Steve Marriott on their Rockin' the Fillmore LP in 1971, it's a classic worthy of playing at full volume. But similar recent attempts in going back to a blues and R&B sound in the last two years by Cyndi Lauper (Memphis) and Sheryl Crow (100 Miles from Memphis) fell flat. No need to worry. Osborne goes all the way back to her club singing roots and pulls off a triumph. Her voice smoothly stretches over these soul, R&B and blues cover tunes as her road band lays down a juke joint sound truly worthy of Memphis.