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.
“Hey! This is Billy Currington. Hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is T.J., and I’m John, and we’re Brothers Osborne. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! I’m Carrie Underwood, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day. Send me some chocolate.”
“Hey y’all! This is Caylee Hammack, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“What’s up y’all? This is Darius Rucker, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, it’s Dierks Bentley, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Eric Church, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey, this is Gary Allan, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“This is George Strait, wishing you a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! It’s Jon Pardi, and I hope you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! It’s Jordan Davis, hoping you have a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! This is Josh Turner, and I want to wish you and your sweetheart a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Kacey Musgraves, and I hope you have a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Happy Valentine’s Day, everyone. This is Keith Urban. Make the day special for your ‘Once in a Lifetime’ love.”
“Hey! What’s happening, everybody? This is Kip Moore. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey! We’re Little Big Town. Happy Valentine’s Day!”
“Hey y’all, it’s Luke Bryan. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hey everybody. I’m Parker McCollum, wishing all the lovers out there a Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi! This is Sam Hunt, wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day.”
“Hi, this is Shania Twain. Happy Valentine’s Day.”
The Hot Country Knights will make their “worldwide television debut” on ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel Live on Monday (February 3rd).
We have dominated the internet. We own the radio waves. And now, it’s time to stake our claim to your TV! Will be making our worldwide television debut TONIGHT on @JimmyKimmelLive! pic.twitter.com/XFpAe3lNxG
— Hot Country Knights (@countryknights) February 3, 2020
Canada’s huge music festival, Boots & Hearts, has announced the line-up for their 2020 fest. Eric Church, Jon Pardi, Brothers Osborne, Caylee Hammack and Jon Langston are all set to perform during the four-day event, taking place August 6th – 9th in Oro-Medonte, Ontario.
Kacey Musgraves will be among the performers for this year’s Primavera Sound music festival. The 2020 event, taking place June 3rd through June 7th in Barcelona, Spain, will also feature performances by Maggie Rogers, Lana Del Rey, Bad Bunny, Beck, Tyler, the Creator and many more.
Eric Church, Carrie Underwood, Chris Stapleton and Kacey Musgraves are among the artists to be featured in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s new exhibit, “American Currents: State of the Music.” The exhibit, which opens March 6th and runs through February 7th, 2021, also features Jason Aldean, Maren Morris, Morgan Wallen, Lil Nas X, Luke Combs, Kelsea Ballerini, Billy Ray Cyrus, Tanya Tucker, Blanco Brown and John Prine, among others.
Caylee Hammack and Parker McCollum have been announced as part of MusicRow’s Next Big Thing for 2020.
This year’s Grammy Awards show is looming on the horizon and all of the artists are hoping to take home the bronze gramophone.
Eric Church has two nominations at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, including Best Country Album for Desperate Man and Best Country Song for his recent No. 1 smash, “Some Of It.”
Brothers Osborne are up for Best Country Duo/Group Performance for “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You),” while Little Big Town has a nod in the same category for “The Daughters.”
Vince Gill is nominated for Best American Roots Song for “I Don’t Wanna Ride the Rails No More,” and Chris Stapleton has a nomination for Best Song Written for Visual Media for “The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy” for Toy Story 4.
Keith Urban and Shania Twain are among the presenters at this year’s show.
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles January 26th at 8pm ET on CBS.
Best Country Duo/Group Performance
“Brand New Man,” Brooks & Dunn With Luke Combs
“I Don’t Remember Me (Before You),” Brothers Osborne
“Speechless,” Dan + Shay
“The Daughters,” Little Big Town
“Common,” Maren Morris Featuring Brandi Carlile
Best Country Song
“Bring My Flowers Now,” Brandi Carlile, Phil Hanseroth, Tim Hanseroth & Tanya Tucker, songwriters (Tanya Tucker)
“Girl Goin’ Nowhere,” Jeremy Bussey & Ashley McBryde, songwriters (Ashley McBryde)
“It All Comes Out in the Wash,” Miranda Lambert, Hillary Lindsey, Lori McKenna & Liz Rose, songwriters (Miranda Lambert)
“Some of It,” Eric Church, Clint Daniels, Jeff Hyde & Bobby Pinson, songwriters (Eric Church)
“Speechless,” Shay Mooney, Jordan Reynolds, Dan Smyers & Laura Veltz, songwriters (Dan + Shay)
Best Country Album
Desperate Man, Eric Church
Stronger Than the Truth, Reba McEntire
Interstate Gospel, Pistol Annies
Center Point Road, Thomas Rhett
While I’m Livin’, Tanya Tucker
Best American Roots Song
“Black Myself,” Amythyst Kiah, songwriter (Our Native Daughters)
“Call My Name,” Sarah Jarosz, Aoife O’Donovan & Sara Watkins, songwriters (I’m With Her)
“Crossing to Jerusalem,” Rosanne Cash & John Leventhal, songwriters (Rosanne Cash)
“Faraway Look,” Dan Auerbach, Yola Carter & Pat McLaughlin, songwriters (Yola)
“I Don’t Wanna Ride the Rails No More,” Vince Gill, songwriter (Vince Gill)
Best Song Written for Visual Media
“The Ballad of the Lonesome Cowboy,” From: Toy Story 4 (Chris Stapleton)
“Girl in the Movies,” From: Dumplin’
“I’ll Never Love Again” (Film Version), From: A Star Is Born
“Sprit,” From: The Lion King
“Suspirium,” From: Suspiria
Brothers Osborne (I Don’t Remember Me (Before You) 1:05
“There was a bit of the song that was a little on the nose. I don’t – it started the first tag (sings) which was an idea Shane had. He showed up that day and goes ‘I don’t remember my life before I had my babies.’ He said, ‘I literally can’t think of who I was. I don’t remember who I was before [my] husband Michael.’ And we thought man, that is a really interesting thing. An incredible idea. I’m sure it’s been done to some extent, but I can’t really recall that subject being said that way. And so, we were all about it. We loved the idea and the concept, but when Jay [Joyce] heard it, he goes, ‘Man, I think it would be really cool to save the ‘before you’ till the end of the song and I instantly was like, ‘Man, I think that’s a killer idea.’ John and I were all about it. And so, it ends now (sings) it kind of goes in a turn around. You don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. ‘I don’t remember me,’ you keep hearing this, and then at the end is the reveal ‘I don’t remember me before you,’ which I think is great. It also made it problematic [for] the title of the song.”
Eric Church (Some of It coming of age) OC: …figure it out. :56
“That’s a song, a coming-of-age song, it’s an adult song. It’s adult music. If you listen to the thematics in that and what it’s about, it’s about being older and having some wisdom about you. I think that’s something that I appreciate in my fan base now that early on probably wasn’t there. We were young and drunk and fighting and stupid. But I think now to see them grow – to see the fan base grow – it’s just one of those songs that came along at the right time. And again, it was such a blessing that happened. It wasn’t going to be on the album. It was just one of those freak things that I put it on the album, the last song on the album. The album was done, and all of a sudden it becomes the pillar, one of the pillars on the album. I think again, you go back to it’s one of the great things about music, is you just never know what’s going to happen until it’s all said and done. You can try to plan all you want to, but you’ll probably not going to figure it out.”
Eric Church (creative process in the studio) OC: …the creativity. :57
“It was an interesting creative process. This record was made in the studio, from writing to completion, then any record we have ever made. It was really there, ‘cause I wrote songs there, we change things there. I played parts there, I never played, never thought of. I think maybe it was the first album in our career that there was more creative energy in the studio than any other, because it was written, made, conceived, it was all there. I mean, on ‘The Snake,’ for example, that background part was myself, Jeff Hyde and Joanna, and we tried to sound the old blues kind of sound. We were doing that creatively in the studio, and it made a really interesting thing. A lot of people will say, ‘Who sang that? who is that?’ Well it was us! We were feeling the creativity.”
Vince Gill (I Don’t Wanna Ride the Rails No More) OC: …down the road. (laughs) 1:15
“I don’t think that I intended it to be so verbatim about trains. I think it’s about – it could very well be the bus for me. I don’t want to ride the bus no more. I’ve been riding this bus for 40 something years. But it’s just a song of reflection. My brother struggled in his life and probably a good chance he hopped a few trains in his life. And it just has such a – such a great history of Grapes of Wrath and just old school people hopping freight trains and struggling and riding them out. Maybe Dust Bowl folks riding them out, copping a ride on a train somewhere. I just think that that whole image of riding a train has just this great beauty to it. So, it’s really just a song of reflection, of a life that at times is lonely but ‘I don’t want to ride the rails no more. I want to find a woman’s love worth dying for.’ That’s yearning. It’s hopeful. Even, once again, you can get an element of some sense of hope in something then you just don’t depress the crap out of somebody and send them on down the road. (laughs)”
LBT (Grammys 2020) OC: …speaking about. 1:28
“We put it out as a moment to kind of kick off the record Nightfall, and we just love the song so much and we’ve had so many opportunities to share it on television and lots of radio opportunities. For it to just get nominated for Country Song of the Year by a Duo or Group, that’s an incredible category to be in because that’s any collaboration that’s been done on any country record plus by any duo or group. It encompasses so many incredible performances, that it really, it’s an absolute honor for that song to have gone all the way to the Grammys. Just so cool. It speaks to the message too. It speaks to how important that message is. We’re still talking about it all the time – equal play, equal play. We’re talking about it in just the way women are treated, and we need the champions out there for the daughters and that’s the heart of the song. Luckily, we’re in a band with two guys that believe in that, but there’s a lot of people out there that need that reminder that it’s not an equal playing field. It still isn’t. It’s time for us to change it so that the next generation doesn’t know what we’re speaking about.”