Adam Harris Published

Listen: Joan Osborne's Version of 'Brokedown Palace' is Our Song of the Week

Joan Osborne singing on Mountain Stage in 2015.
Josh Saul

This week’s broadcast continues our Listeners’ Choice series with a 2015 episode we recorded at The Clay Center in Charleston, W.Va. during FestivALL Charleston. We’ll hear performances by Chris Stapleton, Joan Osborne, Joe Ely, and a collaboration between The Fairfield Four and The McCrary Sisters called “Rock My Soul.”

Revered vocalist and song stylist Joan Osborne first appeared on Mountain Stage in 1995 and has continued to return, always with a different batch of songs wrapped in her singular vocal style.

Our Song of the Week, “Brokedown Palace,” is a Robert Hunter & Jerry Garcia collaboration from the Grateful Dead cannon, performed here by Osborne with keyboardist Keith Cotton accompanying.

When writing about the song for, David Dodd theorizes “The song can be a song to someone departed from life, or just from the relationship with the singer. Or maybe the singer is departing, and possibly departing this life, or possibly departing a relationship. Some have suggested it is a song about reincarnation, and the journey through existences”

This 2015 set from Osborne also includes a remarkable, stripped-down version of her mega-hit “One of Us.” Take a peek at the playlist and find a station where you can listen here starting Friday May 29.


Credit Brian Blauser/ Mountain Stage
The McCrary Sisters’ and The Fairfield Four’s collaboration is called “Rock My Soul.” Hear some of the songs recorded live on this week’s encore broadcast starting May 29.

This show was taped at The Clay Center during FestivALL Charleston, our hometown’s multi-faceted arts festival that takes place each June. This year their summer event is taking place online, with special FestivALL VirtuaLL events scheduled from June 14-28. Click here to view the entire schedule, and set a reminder for our special virtual presentation, “There’s a Stream…” scheduled for June 28, at 7p.m.

Make sure you’re following Mountain Stage on Facebook, and sign up for our e-mail newsletter to get live performances in your inbox every so often.