Brothers Osborne Guitarist John Osborne Steps Forward by Stepping Away
The new single from Brothers Osborne will serve as an introduction to TJ Osborne's singing for those who missed him on "Rum" and "Let's Go There," but John's guitar playing is what truly marks "Stay a Little Longer." At the end one finds a blistering solo that checks in at nearly three minutes long on the album version.
"It's all John," TJ tells Taste of Country when asked if producer Jay Joyce should be given some credit for the swells of emotion that close the song (the radio edit features a still stirring one-minute-long jam).
“The one thing you can credit Jay to that solo is actually leaving it how it is," TJ adds. "John, being a killer guitar player and kind of a perfectionist at times, wanted to go in and actually fix some of the moments and make it more perfect. Jay was like ‘No, we’re keeping this.’"
"It’s one take. One guitar solo. All the weird bends … that’s where Jay’s brilliance comes in is knowing when to stop, when to leave the song alone.”
John Osborne is part of crop of great country guitarists making their way into the mainstream. He's a bit of a gear-head as well, as you'll see in this video:
"Stay a Little Longer" was written and cut several years ago, but Brothers Osborne went back in the studio to re-record it.
“Us releasing the version we had done then would be putting out a taste of what we were like three years ago and not now,” TJ explains. They've grown, matured, gotten better at their respective instruments and reacted to what's popular. But they haven't assimilated. In fact, Brothers Osborne are amongst the few who actively separate from the crowd.
“We kind of early on had a lot of singing, anthemic 'Oh!' in our music," the shorter-haired half of the sibling duo explains. "No one was doing that at the time in country. Right about the time we started to get some traction a lot of other artists started to do it as well.”
“We were kind of able to cut it off at the pass and we kind of cut it out of our music because we didn’t want to be perceived as copycats. It would have looked that way.”
In comedy when you you're thought to steal another comedian's joke — even if you can prove you wrote it prior to the comic who made it famous — you're shunned from the industry. In music that's not the case, but Brothers Osborne want it to be. The ACM nominated duo are vocal proponents of originality and individuality.
We were kind of able to cut it off at the pass and we kind of cut it out of our music because we didn’t want to be perceived as copycats. It would have looked that way.
In a recent Rolling Stone interview, they use Florida Georgia Line as an example. The duo of Tyler Hubbard and Brian Kelley are one that fans love or hate. TJ and John don't really give their personal opinions, but offer respect because the "Cruise" duo is doing something that's original, and honest to them.
“What we don’t have much respect for," TJ says, "isn’t them [Florida Georgia Line]. It’s the people that see them being successful and then copy that.”
That the Deale, Mary. raised musicians will talk about this says something of their character and who they are. A typical newcomer is taught to let the songs speak. Name another signed artist with one Top 30 hit ("Rum") that's so vocal about the state of country music. The risk is a different kind of shunning.
John and TJ like to zig when others zag, however, and they draw comparisons to their current tour boss Eric Church because of it. This summer they'll be on the road with Darius Rucker, a musician who seemingly couldn't be further away from Church. TJ doesn't see it that way.
“Darius and Eric are not comparable musically, they’re a lot different. But the thing is, why Darius has been successful in what he does is that it’s honest to him. He’s not making it up.”
“Some people try to do the same type of formula but they’re chasing something that isn’t really natural, or really at the core of what they see as themselves.”
You'll find the old version of "Stay a Little Longer" on the EP Brothers Osborne released last fall. Look for the new version on an upcoming album.
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