Brothers Osborne made their way to Nashville from Deale, Md. – population: 5,000 give or take a few. A small town, but not exactly a hotbed of country music.
It really doesn’t matter, though. Brothers John and T.J. loved to listen to their dad’s old classic rock and country records as kids and learned to play. Eventually, father and sons all played together at local bars and in Chesapeake Bay waterfront venues.
Their dad insisted they learn enough songs that they could play for four hours without stopping, the brothers told Rolling Stone. It served them well.
They had a band, were writing their own songs and landed in Nashville. A publishing deal with Warner Chappell followed and, as they began playing their songs in local bars, were signed by EMI Nashville.
Brothers Osborne charted three singles, including a Top 10 hit in “Stay A Little Longer,” before releasing debut long-player Pawn Shop in January. The songs run the gamut from wistful nostalgia in “21 Summer” to the blistering “Stay A Little Longer,” but they are all shot through with an authenticity that is part of the band’s undeniable charm.
“John is one of the best guitar players in Nashville. T.J. is an amazing vocalist,” WME’s Jay Williams told Pollstar. “It’s kind of the perfect storm.”
Williams said he was introduced to their music by the woman who’d signed them to their publishing deal. “She came to see me and said, ‘You’ve got to see these guys. They’re a little bit left field. They extend songs and are a little jammy, but they aren’t like anything else in Nashville.’ That was before they started doing much work on the record,” Williams said. He was sold.
Williams got Brothers Osborne on tours with Robert Earl Keen, Darius Rucker and Miranda Lambert early on. But he says about two-thirds of the band’s 180-plus shows this year will be as headliners. – Deborah Speer