Years before they climbed the country charts with songs like “Stay a Little Longer” and “Rum,” the Brothers Osborne grew up in Deale, Maryland, a small fishing town on the Atlantic seaboard. It was a cozy place, filled with blue-collar workers who made their living on the water. During the weekends, many of those workers would head over to the Osborne household, where a series of loose, all-night jam sessions filled the Maryland air with the sounds of Bob Seger, Hank Williams, Tom Petty and George Jones.
The Osborne siblings strummed their first chords during those jam sessions. From the very start, TJ Osborne was the brother with the voice. He sang in a thick, low baritone, crooning like Johnny Cash long before he was even old enough to drive. Older brother John, on the other hand, was the family’s guitar shredder, his fingers capable of down-home bluegrass licks, arena-worthy rock riffs, country twang, and everything in between. Combined, the two Osbornes could play everything from traditional country music to rock & roll, creating a broad, full-bodied sound that would eventually fill the 11 songs on their major-label debut, Pawn Shop.
Like its title suggests, Pawn Shop offers a little bit of everything. There’s bluesy slide guitar, country duets, southern rock solos, harmonies, and plenty of groove. The hooks are big, the guitars are loud, and the songs — every last one of them co-written by the Osbornes, who reached out to award-winning songwriters like Shane McAnally and Ross Copperman for help — introduce a duo whose music bridges the gap between the mainstream and the alternative world. Some songs were written at home in Nashville, while others came together on the road, where the guys spent several years headlining their own club shows, touring the country with Darius Rucker, and playing some of the biggest arenas in America with fellow rule-breaker Eric Church.
“Most duos are built on singing,” says TJ. “But John is an incredible guitar player, and this band is built on me singing and John playing guitar. It gives us two parallels that work nicely together.”
“It’s like an old-school rock approach,” adds John, who cites classic bands like Aerosmith and the Allman Brothers as influences on the duo’s dynamic. “Groups like that always had the lead singer as well as the sideman guitar player. That’s what we’re going for, too. We’re carving our own path in country music.”
That unique path has already led the band toward the upper half of the country charts. “Rum” got them there first, mixing the feel-good sunshine of a beach tune with a far more realistic storyline. There’s no actual beach in “Rum,” after all. Instead, Brothers Osborne turn the song into a tribute to the simple pleasures that their Maryland hometown offers: friends, good weather, and the occasional drink. They even filmed the song’s music video in Deale, filling the clip with footage of friends, relatives, and locals.
“Most people we grew up with don’t go to these beautiful beaches,” says TJ. “They can’t afford to do it. They don’t have the time for it. What we’re most familiar with is people going to the local bars and hanging out with each other.” John adds, “We tried to have the biggest time possible with what little we had. ‘Rum’ explains that.” The brothers agree, “We had to say it from our own perspective.”
A similar theme runs throughout “Dirt Rich” and “Pawn Shop,” two songs that stress the importance of appreciating what you’ve got. Pawn Shop dishes up plenty of love songs, too, from “Loving Me Back” — an old-school country duet featuring vocals from Lee Ann Womack — to “Stay a Little Longer,” the band’s biggest hit to date. While a three-minute guitar solo brings “Stay a Little Longer” to an epic, anthemic close, Brothers Osborne also devote time to more laid-back songs, from the nostalgic California country of “21 Summer” to the 420-friendly “Greener Pastures.”
Brothers Osborne, who co-produced the album with Jay Joyce (the award-winning producer behind Little Big Town’s Painkiller, Eric Church’s The OutsidersStoryteller), recorded most of Pawn Shop during breaks in their busy touring schedule, using members of their own touring band rather than session musicians from the Nashville community. The result is an album that’s stamped with the unmistakable mark of a band. It doesn’t sound like two singers, flanked by anonymous players. Instead, it sounds like a group of road warriors who’ve spent years sharing bus seats and hotel rooms, creating the sort of chemistry that can’t be faked. Pawn Shop is both raw and real, and Brothers Osborne — who, years after those household jam sessions in Deale, now have a handful of nationwide tours under their belts, songs on the charts, and a career on the rise — are no longer a family secret.
2020 will go down in history as one of the worst and most difficult years in our history. Every single person has dealt with loss, fear, uncertainty, working from home (or losing a job), rebuilding from tornadoes, fires, hurricanes, recovering from COVID-19 and much more.
For the music industry, live entertainment came to a screeching halt with production folks, crew and musicians losing their respective gigs since artists weren’t able to tour. The industry rallied and many artists pivoted and really helped us navigate through a bad year by releasing a ton of new music and performing virtual shows.
For this post, we’re revisiting some of your favorite artists’ hangover cures, which a few of us could’ve used nearly every day this year while dealing with a global pandemic. We’ve also been able to check in with a few artists about what they hope 2021 brings. One thing is for certain–we are all looking forward to shedding the horribleness of 2020, hopefully getting a fresh start in the new year AND getting through this together.
Brandon Lay (2021) OC: …I can’t wait. :18
“The one thing that I’m looking forward to most for 2021 is definitely the road. It has been too long, and I am so ready to get with the band. I’m ready for loud music, and I’m ready for fans and seeing familiar faces out there in the crowd. And I just, I can’t wait.”
Brothers Osborne (New Year) OC: (TJ) …next month. :44
JOHN: “I think it’s kind of funny how we spend literally the last moment and the very first moment of every year being extremely intoxicated, extremely, because you don’t want to wait until like 12:30 to get your buzz on. You’ve got to do it before midnight, and then once midnight happens, you’re like, ‘Omigod! Now it’s time to celebrate even more.’ Debauchery is the literally bookending your entire year.” TJ: “I love how everyone starts the year off with diets and then we end the year with like excessive amounts of food. And then you get to the end of the year, you’re like, ‘Oh, I’m going to start a diet on the 1st, so I’m going to eat everything that’s in front of me.’ I love it.” JOHN: “And come February 1st, ‘what diet?’” [laughs] TJ: “What diet? I’ll start it next month.” [laughs]
Dierks Bentley (New Year’s) OC: …in stride. 1:11
“New Year’s is rough. New Year’s hurts no matter what’s going o n. I’ve played a lot of New Year’s shows, you know, but I’ve honestly found that it’s not my favorite night to throw down. Look, for a living, that’s what I do. Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, I host a big party; not only on stage, but I’ve got friends backstage. It starts before the concert sometimes, [and] it goes long after the concert, so a lot of times on New Year’s, I’m looking for a really mellow hang – a good party, good friends, pretty chill. Some of my best New Year’s – it doesn’t make for great radio – but some of my best New Year’s have been just like actually hearing fireworks go off while I’m in bed, [laughs] and know I’m gonna wake up the next morning for the first day of the New Year feeling great, feeling recharged and I’m ready to go ad go into the New Year feeling good as opposed to going into it with a giant Jagerbomb hangover, which I’ve done many, many times. So, the goal this year is to go into it feeling pretty good and the kids help with that, because you really just don’t want to be hungover with children. It’s not a good feeling. You would probably admit to any crime to get them, just feel better, and get them leave you alone. So, [I’m] gonna try to hit New Year’s this year in stride.”
Eric Church (looking ahead to 2021) OC: …looking forward to. 1:11
“I think, for me, the thing I’m looking forward to most next year is getting around the corner from this virus and getting some kind of normalcy. I’m confident that next year is when we’ll finally put this in the rearview at some point in time. We’re all looking for a vaccine early in the year and the more we can take the cases down between January and May, I think the higher likelihood that we’ll be on a stage somewhere in the fall, late summer/fall, and then certainly into the fourth quarter. So, I’m looking forward to that. I know there may be some early stuff where we can’t be at capacity. I get that, but I’m looking forward to being back at capacity and being, seeing people grouped up and arms around each other’s shoulders and just, I miss that. I miss playing. I miss the camaraderie. I miss going town-to-town and doing that. It’s just what I was born to do, and I miss seeing the fans. Next year, we’re all hopeful, I’m hopeful and quite confident, actually, that next year will be the year that we get to start doing that and then hopefully more and more as we go. That’s what I’m looking forward to.”
Jon Pardi (looking forward to 2021) OC: …that was awesome. :28 “For next year – 2021 – I’m looking forward to some kind of medication/vaccine to help people, to make people immune to this virus that is ruining EVERYTHING! So, I look forward to that and hopefully we’ll get that going and then we’ll be back to concerts and full capacity sports games and bars and honky tonks and…it looks like 2019. Remember 2019? That was awesome.”
Jon Pardi (hangover cure) OC: …deal with it. :20
“My hangover cure is Bloody Marys, but be careful – because once you have a couple, don’t go to beer, because if you go to beer, you’re gonna start drinking again and you’ll end up a morning drunk. OR if you want to go the non-alcoholic route, there’s nothing you can do for hangovers. [laughs] You just go deal with it.”
Kacey Musgraves (hangover cure) OC: …water. Yup! :32
“Coconut water is a major help with hangovers and also, a lot of times we go and eat Vietnamese pho. It’s a soup, and it’s got this awesome broth. You can get different things in it or whatever, but for some reason, it’s just like…it’s almost like a chicken noodle soup kind of an idea, you know, but it’s good. That’s good for hangovers too. That, sleep, Tylenol, coconut water and just water, in general. And when you’re drinking, have your alcohol, drink a little bit of water, drink some more alcohol, drink some water. Yup!”
Kassi Ashton (looking to 2021) OC: …this year. :25
“Next year, I’m looking forward to — all fingers and toes and hair crossed — I’m looking forward to, hopefully, touring. That’s what we all want. That’s why we signed up for this gig in the first place is I just want to be on stage with my friends making music, making art and taking people away from the troubles of this year.”
Kip Moore (avoiding hangovers on NYE) OC: …yourself. :03
“Pace yourself on New Year’s – that’s the remedy. Pace yourself.”
Luke Bryan (New Years-best) OC: …great night. :17
“My best New Year’s Eve is definitely when my wife and I started back dating. We started back dating right before Christmas, and we went on a trip down to Florida and met some friends. And her birthday is New Year’s Eve. We celebrated it that night. It was just a great night.”
Parker McCollum (looking forward to in 2021) OC: …to each other. :08
“What I’m most looking forward to in 2021? Hopefully, getting back on stage and people being allowed to stand next to each other.”
Travis Denning (looking forward to 2021) OC: …to normal. :10
“The one thing I’m looking forward to in 2021 is getting back on the road; playing concerts, getting back in the swing of things and just getting back to normal.”
Travis Denning (favorite New Year’s Eve party) OC: …it was good. :41
“I think my favorite New Year’s Eve party ever was when my sister got married, and my sister’s party got done at 10:30, 10:45 and she got married right behind a little club that I played a lot in Macon, Georgia called the Crazy Bull and love the owner. We’re boys, you know? So, we just literally walked right over and burned the house down. That was one of my favorite New Year’s Eve memories, ‘cause I got to see my sister and brother-in-law get married and that was such a great, great time, and then me and my older cousin and best friend, we ended up at Waffle House that night, so it was good.”
“Hey Everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey Everybody! I’m Adam Hambrick. Happy New Year.”
““What’s up everybody? This is Brandon Lay, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey! This is TJ, and I’m John, and we are Brothers Osborne. Happy New Year.”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”
“Hey! This is Chrissy Metz, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey y’all! What’s up? This is Darius Rucker, wishing you a Happy New Year!
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley. Happy New Year!”
“Hey! It’s Eric Church, hoping you have a Happy New Year.”
“Hey everybody! I’m Gary Allan. Happy New Year!”
“Hey y’all! I’m Jon Langston, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”
“Hi! I’m Jon Pardi, wishing you a Happy New Year!”
“Hey! I’m Jordan Davis, wishing you a Happy New Year!”
“Hey! I’m Josh Turner. Happy New Year!”
“Hey! It’s Kacey Musgraves, hoping you have a safe and Happy New Year!”
“Hey! It’s Kassi Ashton. I’d love to wish everyone a safe and Happy New Year.”
“Hey everyone! This is Keith Urban. Have a safe and happy New Year.”
“It’s Kip Moore, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey! It’s Kylie Morgan, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”
“This is Lauren Alaina, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy New Year!”
“Hey! This is Luke Bryan, hoping you have a Happy New Year.”
“Hi! We’re Maddie & Tae, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey! This is Mickey Guyton, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey everybody! I’m Parker McCollum, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
“Hey, it’s Priscilla Block, wishing you a very Happy New Year.”
“Hey everybody! I’m Sam Hunt. Happy New Year!”
“Hi! This is Shania Twain. Happy New Year!”
“Hey y’all, this is Travis Denning, wishing you a Happy New Year.”
We all received an early Christmas present around Halloween when Brothers Osborne released their album, Skeletons. When it comes to the holidays, the duo love the sights and sounds of Christmas.
“I love the overall feel and look at that time of year, because it’s starting to get really cold then and everything’s coming to a halt. It stays dark, so you have a lot of Christmas lights. I just love Christmas lights – they put you in such an amazing mood,” says John Osborne. “Just the sounds, like all the Christmas music and even shopping, which is quite possibly one of the most hectic things to do during the holidays. Even if we have all our shopping done, we’ll still go to the mall just because it’s so alive and vibrant and the colors and the music and the lights. I just love it. It’s a bit sensory overload, but I kinda dig that.”
Brothers Osborne are currently climbing the country charts with “All Night.”
Brothers Osborne (feel of Christmas) OC: …dig that. :36
“I love the overall feel and look at that time of year, because it’s starting to get really cold then and everything’s coming to a halt. It stays dark so you have a lot of Christmas lights. I just love Christmas lights – they put you in such an amazing mood. Just the sounds, like all the Christmas music and even shopping, which is quite possibly one of the most hectic things to do during the holidays. Even if we have all our shopping done, we’ll still go to the mall just because it’s so alive and vibrant and the colors and the music and the lights. I just love it. It’s a bit sensory overload, but I kinda dig that.”