Country duo comes to Santa Barbara Bowl
The honesty of country music always struck a chord with Brothers Osborne.
“We listened to country music and classic rock,” John Osborne told the News-Press about growing up with his brother, TJ Osborne, in a musical family in the blue collar town of Deale, Md.
“It resonated with us, songs about life — three chords and the truth. It seemed genuine,” Mr. Osborne said.
“There’s something very authentic about what we do,” he said about Brothers Osborne. “We will always be ourselves.”
The brothers, who both play guitar, will bring their brand of country music for a concert at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Santa Barbara Bowl.
Mr. Osborne promises “a very loud country show.
“Certainly there are a lot of elements of rock music, a little bit of fiddle, a little bit of steel guitar. It definitely has a big country element,” said Mr. Osborne, who recalled performing previously in Santa Barbara but not at the bowl.
He said today’s country music is similar to 1970s rock. “Rock music has been in a crisis last decade. It doesn’t know what it is; it’s disappearing. A lot of rock musicians have found refuge in country music.”
In fact, a rock-inspired song is among Mr. Osborne’s favorites from the “Skeletons” album. It’s “All The Good Ones,” which he described as a “throwback to 1970s American rock.”
The duo has won the hearts of fans and attracted the attention of the Country Music Association. Brothers Osborne recently received three CMA nominations — Vocal Duo of The Year, Album of the Year for the duo’s latest release, “Skeletons,” and Music Video of the year for “Younger Me.”
“The category you expect is the duo category, although we never want to take that for granted,” Mr. Osborne said. “The other two nominations came as a surprise, especially Album of the Year, a very big category for artists.”
The two brothers developed their love for country music and classic rock while growing up in a musical family. They were the sons of a father who played guitar and sang and a mother who also did vocals. Both parents wrote songs.
“They inspired us,” Mr. Osborne said. “We didn’t know a life without music. Honestly at this point, we don’t know how to do anything else.”
Mr. Osborne also noted he and TJ are not the typical vocal duo.
“I do sing some harmonies with my brother, but my voice in the band is through my guitar playing,” Mr. Osborne said. “TJ’s voice is his big baritone.
“We approach our songs from more of a musician accompanying a singer,” he said.
Mr. Osborne said he and his brother like to co-write songs about real life.
“It’s being as honest with yourself as you can be,” he said. “Every time I walk into a room with a notion of a song that I’m going to write, I usually come out with another one.”
Mr. Osborne also explained why he and his brother call their current concerts the We’re Not For Everyone Tour.
First, it’s inspired by the country duo’s latest single, “I’m Not For Everyone,” which Mr. Osborne noted fans love.
“It’s a bit of a mantra,” he said. “There comes a time in your life when you realize you can’t be everyone’s friend, that you can’t please everybody. It’s an important aspect of growing up, becoming yourself. We decided to name the tour after it.”
Secondly, “the artists traveling with us are very one-of-a-kind artists, who march to the beat of their own drum, regardless of what anyone around them says. It’s only fitting that we title this the We’re Not For Everyone Tour.”
After a decade of touring, the Brothers Osborne took a long break from performing because of the pandemic.
“We needed the break,” Mr. Osborne said. “Frankly we needed to sit back and relax and do nothing. We needed the space and freedom to enjoy ourselves as people, not musicians, although it was financially difficult. Physically and emotionally, it’s what we truly needed.
“Now we’re ready to get back at it.”