Joan Osborne's latest effort, "Bring It On Home," should confirm once and for all that the singer is one of the most eminently soulful of her generation. A collection of soul, R&B, New Orleans funk and gospel-tinged blues-rock numbers, the album offers Osborne the perfect setting to weave her sultry and soul-drenched web. Covering the likes of Al Green, Allen Toussaint, Slim Harpo, Ashford & Simpson, and Ike Turner, Osborne and a crack team of musicians breathe new life into a seasoned idiom. As impossible as this may seem, considering the artists associated with these classics, Osborne makes many of them her own through her inspired delivery.
Of course, the recording studio is one thing, but it's surely on the concert stage that Osborne's gifts are most viscerally experienced. Catching her in a venue as intimate as the 400-seat Bear's Den at the Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls is a privilege. Exercise yours when Osborne and her acoustic duo arrive at that venue at 8 tonight. Tickets start at $45 (box office, Ticketmaster).
-- Jeff Miers