Monday, February 19, 2018

Dylan Cover #313 Joan Osborn "Masters of War"

In this ongoing Monday Series we will be exploring various artists versions of Bob Dylan song's. Today's tune is a cover by Joan Osborn performing "Masters of War" 
This month RtBE will focus on Joan Osborn who released a cover album of Dylan songs last year. We will showcase some from that album but also a few live renditions that Joan performed as she has been singing Dylan tunes for years in various projects. 

Thoughts on Original:
From the first time we tackled a cover of this tune:
Ranking as one of his most accusatory and cutting tracks Dylan condemns the whole "war machine" on this classic and vital song (the "hope that you die" line is so facking cold, it is brutal). Often misrepresented as an attack on war itself (Dylan always said he wasn't a pacifist) this track calls out the government for using war-as-business (the Cold War in particular) and business-as-war models when lives are put on the line for meaningless reasons. As alive and burning now as it was in 1962 when he wrote it.

Thoughts on Cover Artist:
Joan Osborne has always been a cool artist on the fringe. When we first moved to NYC she was riding as high as she ever would be (on public popularity at least) with Relish. Her hit "One of Us" was massive and she was everywhere at the time. Then RtBE got to see her perform often with version of The Dead and Phil and Friends over the early/mid 2000's. A singer with soul, twang and power, she can do it all and seems happy to still be performing.
Thoughts on Cover:
A song we had to do on this Presidents Day here in the States. Joan also digs into her vocals here, something she didn't seem to do on the studio tracks we have presented so far this month. Osborn is a live performer first, as she embodies the emotional pain for this number.

For more insight into Joan Osborn's choice to cover Dylan was explained in-depth during this interview:

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