There were plenty of people who wanted Brothers Osborne to grab the duo of the year trophy at this year’s CMA Awards. Competition was stiff with explosive superstars Florida Georgia Line in that category. So, there were also plenty of people who were surprised when the duo name that was called belonged to brothers John and T.J. Osborne. And it’s highly likely that no one was as surprised as the brothers themselves.
While we truly do think all of the nominees are deserving or they wouldn’t have been nominees in the first place, we’ve grown especially fond of Brothers Osborne and their debut album, “Pawn Shop,” since we’ve met them and heard it. And here’s why:
1. They are two of the nicest, most regular guys in country music. No seriously. It isn’t unusual to see John or T.J. at any of your run-of-the-mill places that anybody goes to in Nashville, whether it’s picking up an order of the city’s famous hot chicken for dinner or sipping a drink at a Music City watering hole while enjoying some of the great local talent. They love their fans and if they’ve met you a couple of times, they address you by name. We haven’t seen that happen since Garth!
2. John is a badass guitar player, and let’s talk about that beard. Sure, there are plenty of great beards in country music right nwt, but to have that badass beard AND to have some of the most in-demand picking fingers in Nashville is unprecedented. Ask any of the other known pickers in town — Keith Urban, Brad Paisley or Vince Gill — they’ve got an admiring eye on John Osborne.
3. You don’t expect that voice out of T.J. So young and handsome, we just weren’t expecting that warm, low, rumbling and unique goodness out of that slender bod. And, he may argue with us, but it seems to be absolutely effortless. We sure love that we can identify a Bros O’s song as soon as it starts on the radio just by T.J.’s voice, though!
4. Learning all the words to “Rum” was as fun as the song itself. This song should have been a much more ginormous hit than it actually was, but we’re OK with it, because we do know all the words. And we sing it loudly… with rum in our glasses. But the best part of the song? The bridge! “Lucky folks go to the ocean. Lakes for the landlocked ones. We got a tarp in a truck bed, a kiddie pool, a slip and sled, let that garden hose run!” Clink!
5. They’re as authentic as their songs. They may look like hipsters with their skinny jeans, T.J.’s undercut and John’s beard, but dig into that music. It’s jangly, gritty and thumping goodness with plenty of acoustic guitar, Hammond B3 and lap steel guitar. (Hey fellas, how about some fiddle?) And the lyrics are among the best there are in Nashville — the songwriting capital of the world. The brothers co-wrote every track on their debut album, “Pawn Shop,” and they created a collection of 11 groovy, infectious, visual and insanely listenable tracks. It hasn’t left our playlists since it got into our hands.
6. They’re hilarious. Backstage at the CMA Awards, after they received their duo of the year award, T.J. told reporters, “I drank way too much because I didn’t think we would even come close.” He also said that he wanted to thank his brother — “He’s the best human I’ve ever met in my life. I get to share the road with him, play music with him…” before John chimed in, “And smell my farts.”
And on that note. Congratulations you guys!