***JOAN OSBORNE & CRACKER - IN CONCERT IS PENDING RESCHEDULE DUE TO COVID CONCERNS*** Joan Osborne has rightfully earned a reputation as one of the great voices of her generation -- both a commanding, passionate performer and a frank, emotionally evocative songwriter. A multi-platinum selling recording artist and seven-time Grammy nominee, the soulful vocalist is a highly sought-after collaborator and guest performer who has performed alongside many notable artists, including Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan, Luciano Pavarotti, Emmylou Harris, Taj Mahal, and Mavis Staples, to name a few.
Counting such legendary artists as Etta James and Ray Charles as influences, Osborne has released several acclaimed albums and continues to tour extensively in various configurations -- with her own band, as Joan Osborne's Soul Revue, and as an acoustic duo and trio. In 2003, Osborne joined forces with the surviving members of The Grateful Dead when they regrouped to tour as The Dead. In addition to her own solo shows and frequent guest appearances, Osborne currently also tours as a member of the rock/soul supergroup Trigger Hippy, founded by Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman and built from each musician's shared love of R&B and soul. The band's self-titled debut album arrived in 2014.
Cracker's tenth and most recent studio effort, the double-album, Berkeley To Bakersfield, finds this uniquely American band traversing two different sides of the California landscape -- the northern Bay area and further down-state in Bakersfield.
Despite being less than a five-hour drive from city to city, musically, these two regions couldn't be further apart from one another. In the late '70s and '80s a harder-edged style of rock music emerged from the Bay area, while Bakersfield is renowned for its own iconic twangy country music popularized, most famously, by Buck Owens and Merle Haggard in the '60s and '70s. Yet despite these differences, they are both elements that Cracker's two cofounders, David Lowery and Johnny Hickman, have embraced to some degree on nearly every one of their studio albums over the last two decades. On Berkeley To Bakersfield, however, instead of integrating these two genres together within one disc, they've neatly compartmentalized them onto their own respective regionally-titled LPs.