“What if God was one of us” are likely the first words that spring to most minds whenever the name Joan Osborne comes up. “One of Us” is her signature hit, after all, from her 1995 major label debut album, “Relish.” But it wasn’t even the best song on the album. Set-opener “St. Teresa” and “Spider Web” were two of the best songs of the Lilith Fair tour era. She was among the main stage performers on that tour its first two years, 1997 and 1998.
That record was her commercial apex to date, but her eclectic career has continued, with critical accolades included. Osborne returns to Rocky Mount’s Harvester Performance Center on Monday.
The Kentucky native — who moved to New York City for film school before turning into a recording artist who has sold millions — has released nine albums of blues, rock, soul and folk, with the latest, “Songs of Bob Dylan,” dropping in 2017. That disc includes such covers as a psychedelic blues version of “Highway 61 Revisited” and a slow-burn take on “Masters of War.”
Along her path, she has collaborated with Motown’s Funk Brothers on the documentary “Standing in the Shadows of Motown;” post-Jerry Garcia band The Dead; the Grateful Dead bassist’s band, Phil Lesh & Friends; and Trigger Hippy, with Black Crowes drummer Steve Gorman and the late guitarist, Neal Casal.