John and TJ Osborne are blue collar brothers, raised on Hank Williams and the down-home beaches of Deale, Maryland. Before they became an award-winning super-duo, the brothers took inspiration from their father’s record collection. TJ remembers his roots fondly, especially in light of how they prepared him to entertain and eventually pursue, the idea of music as a legitimate career.
“There was a lot of music, surprisingly. A lot of people that played guitars or mandolins or sang. There’s a pretty strong music culture there.”
In a home packed with friends and family, TJ and John held regular jam-sessions that rocked and rolled all night long. Drawing inspiration from Bob Seger and George Jones, the Osborne brothers began to utilize the strengths of their most profound influences, vocally and instrumentally, as a jumping off point to their own identity. By the time they were teenagers, the brothers had formed a band and established the dynamic that would become their foundation for future success. TJ’s voice was deceivingly rich, given his adolescent age, and mirrored all the mystery and maturity of Johnny Cash. His brother John, just two years his senior, was no less impressive; he could play the guitar with as much soul as a venerated country legend or with as much gusto as a fiercely adored rock god. Their premature prowess already distinguishing them from the crowd, the brothers took to Nashville, in hopes of turning their dreams into reality.
After honing in on what makes them unique, their spit-shined, gritty sound earned them a record deal with EMI Nashville. The following year, Brothers Osborne released their debut single “Let’s Go There.” The track boasts the very things that have made the duo so remarkable from the start: an unshakable need to transcend humble beginnings, TJ’s booming vocals, and John’s masterful instrumental instincts. Incorporating both acoustic and electric sounds, “Let’s Go There” enables the pair to stay grounded in their Deale roots while also stepping into their role as professionals.
Another single and one self-titled EP later, Brothers Osborne released one of their most widely recognizable songs to date. “Stay a Little Longer” was unveiled in 2015 as a tease to their upcoming debut album Pawn Shop. It had no problem holding its own until the album’s release, peaking at Number 2 on Billboard’s US Country Airplay and Number 4 on Billboard’s US Hot Country Songs. It was clear the band’s sound was becoming more refined and eclectic, drawing from not only country classics, but from artists like Aerosmith and The Allman Brothers as well.
“It’s like an old school approach. 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.”
Brothers Osborne announced their latest album Port Saint Joe in 2018. The record was a leap in the right direction for the duo, featuring tracks that embody everything from pensive ballads to anthems of love and loss. The album’s finale, “While You Still Can,” is an acoustic ode to seize each moment and live life according to one’s values. John Osborne looks back on the song as one he is immensely proud of.
“That’s a song about doing all the things in your life that you can do while you have the opportunity, and making sure that you take time with your family. . . So with “While You Can,” we wanted to just remind the world to take advantage of the time that you have on earth while you have it. We’re proud of the lyrics on that song.”
Brothers Osborne have established their sound as one that is irresistibly innovative yet profoundly grounded. The pair’s musical craftsmanship has earned them various impressive accolades including three CMA wins, four ACM wins, and three Grammy nominations.