Joan Osborne has performed and recorded with Bob Dylan, but she doesn’t claim to really “know” him. “I think he’s a very mercurial person,” she said in 2017, shortly after releasing an album of Dylan covers. “So, I think I’m probably just as in the dark as anyone else when taking on his songs, but I don’t think you necessarily have to know a songwriter in order to find a way to interpret their work.”
She’ll know Dylan a little better — or, at least, she’ll know more about where he came from — when she sings his songs in Duluth next Thursday, May 23. The show is scheduled for the eve of Dylan’s 78th birthday, at the intimate Sacred Heart Music Center. (Before heading up north, Osborne is playing two nights at the Dakota in Minneapolis.) Osborne’s performance is among many events taking place in the Zenith City next week during the Duluth Dylan Fest.
The Grammy nominee has another connection to Dylan’s early years, having come up on the same New York coffeehouse scene, albeit a generation later. “When you’re playing in the nightclub scene in Greenwich Village,” she said in a statement, “his trail is everywhere, and not just because he played in the same places, but because people still perform his music every night.”