Elsie Osborne is a soulful, blues / jazz vocalist and songwriter based in Calgary. A working musician since she was a child, Osborne’s sound ranges from precise, improvised jazz to gutsy, no holds barred blues.
Osborne has had a storied career. Starting at 8 years old, she belted out CCR and Procol Harum tunes while touring Alberta in the Osborne Family Band. Career highlights includes performing at Edmonton’s Jazz City and the Calgary International Blues Festival, being a long time vocalist in the house band at Red’s in West Edmonton Mall, opening for Jonny Lang and recording with Sheila Jordan, Tommy Banks, Jack Semple and others.
Elsie performs around Alberta with several local musicians including Andrew Glover, Sandro Dominelli and Ralf Buschmeyer. She does studio session work and is currently recording her second album. Osborne will be performing at several upcoming festivals.
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Elsie Osborne pours heart and soul into recording new album
Veteran blues performer luring large crowds to Blues On Whyte
The next time Elsie Osborne plays a week-long stint at Blues On Whyte, she'll be hawking a new album during set breaks.
In the weeks leading up to this engagement, which has seen the veteran performer draw and keep healthy-sized crowds late into the night, Osborne has had one goal: to see her way to the completion of the recording of 10 songs.
"Mike Lent and I went to Toronto last week to mix the album and have it mastered, and it will be out in October," Osborne said with an assured air on Wednesday evening at the main pit stop for Edmonton blues fans.
Lent was along for the ride because he's the producer on the project. It's just one more addition to an impressive resume that includes stints as a bass player with k.d. lang and Jann Arden. He's been putting more focus on guiding artists from the other side of the studio glass over the past couple of years; one of his most recent successes in that role was working with Ben Sures on his Goodbye Pretty Girl album.
"Working with Mike was fantastic and we had a cast that I felt privileged to have worked with," said Osborne, before she rattled off the names of the players. It's a list that would impress any blues or jazz vocalist in the country.
Toronto's ace keyboardist Doug Riley - who has worked with everyone from Ray Charles to David Clayton Thomas-drummer Sandro Dominelli and saxophonist
P .J. Perrywere just a few names she mentioned.
During her stint at Blues On Whyte, Osborne has been mixing up the material, dropping in some obscure R and B numbers with classics. She even put her own stamp and a female's touch on Jimi Hendrix's Voodoo Child.
Songs by Tracy Chapman, Etta James and Big Mama Thornton all have a place in Osborne's set lists and Dominelli, guitarist Greg Smith and keyboard player Doug Organ should help her keep the dance floor packed as the weekend plays out. The cover at Blues On Whyte as always is $3. Osborne and company play a set during the Saturday afternoon jam and three more starting at 9:45 tonight.