Grammy-nominated country duo Brothers Osborne have been paving their very successful path in country music since they signed their record deal in 2012 and even before. The duo have showcased their authentic and unique brand of country music through their three albums, Pawn Shop, Port Saint Joe, and Skeletons. Brothers Osborne have been in the country music scene for a few years, and they’re somewhat open artists, so fans may think they know everything there is to know about the award-winning duo. But here are 10 facts you may not know about the musical brothers from Deale, Maryland.
- They get their musical talent from their family.
Between TJ Osborne’s low country voice and John Osborne’s skillful guitar playing, Brothers Osborne are a duo with a wealth of talent. And as it turns out, that talent runs in the family. The Bros have often talked about how their dad, uncle and cousin would often gather to play music around the kitchen table, and the two brothers dreamed of being able to keep up with them someday. TJ shared with the BobbyCast that one of the original reasons they decided to play music and desired to be good at it was so they could play along with their family members.
2. They were in a band with their dad.
Once the brothers earned their kitchen table cred, they joined a band with their dad, John Osborne Sr., called Deuce & a Quarter. The father-son group would perform at local venues around Maryland, such as Skipper’s Pier Restaurant and Dock Bar and Happy Harbor, the latter of which was the filming location for the music video for their song, “Rum.” The boys and their father would practice in their backyard shed.
3. They played classical music in school.
Before Brothers Osborne were the country rockers fans know them as today, they played a more classical instrument: the violin. John Osborne shared that he was even in his school’s symphony orchestra, adding that his performance sounded “atrocious.” However, it wasn’t too long after they began playing violin that their teacher moved them to upright bass, mostly due to their height. John excelled at upright bass and was even invited to play with the Baltimore Symphony while still in high school. John also attended Belmont University in Nashville, TN on a bass scholarship before changing majors.
4. They didn’t originally intend on being in a duo.
Even though John and TJ Osborne grew up playing music together, they didn’t immediately think they’d be in a duo with one another. John moved to Nashville in 2000 to attend Belmont University and pursue his music career, and TJ followed a few years later, but even when they were in the same town, they didn’t collaborate as a duo. In fact, their mom was the one who came up the idea of a sibling band called “The Siblings” which would also include their sister, Natalie. While that group didn’t come to fruition, John and TJ eventually joined forces.
5. John was in a different band before Brothers Osborne was formed.
Before John and TJ became a duo, John was part of a Nashville-based band called KingBilly, which also featured fellow country singer Charlie Worsham. The group found regional success and even had their own show on GAC (Great American Country). However, the band decided to break up in 2012 to pursue their own solo careers.
6. Their sister works in the music business as well.
Although the group their mother had in mind with John, TJ and their sister Natalie did not come to fruition, their sister also found her way into the music industry. She lives in Nashville and works as the Creative Director at Downtown Music Publishing. John once shared some fond words about his sister in Risen Magazine.
“Natalie, our younger sister is a publisher in Nashville at Downtown Music and she is absolutely killing it at the moment,” he said. “She’s an amazing singer herself and has such a great ear for songs and melodies and all of her writers and co-workers absolutely love her to death. She has a very bright future ahead of her.”
7. They’re not afraid to cover hard topics and preach acceptance.
Brothers Osborne have always done more than just make music — they’re also not afraid to tackle hard subjects and send messages through their music. In 2018, they dedicated their performance at the Grammy Awards to the victims of the Route 91 Harvest Festival shooting that took place in 2017. John Osborne said he hoped the performance would help people “heal” from the tragedy. The duo also promotes diversity, doing as such in their music video for “Stay A Little Longer,” which features interracial and same-sex couples. Of course, the acceptance that the duo promotes was given back to them when TJ Osborne came out as gay in February 2021.
8. John has been open about his mental health struggles.
Unbeknownst to some, John Osborne, the lighthearted Brothers Osborne guitarist, has dealt with his share of mental health struggles. He shared with the BobbyCast that he often experienced anxiety as a child and playing guitar was his way of relieving those feelings. However, when playing guitar became his job, it added an extra level of stress and the singer had what he called a “meltdown” in 2019. The singer rehabbed at a therapy retreat, but says the episode was “really ugly.”
9. They have two other siblings.
John, TJ and their sister Natalie are all living the country music dream in Nashville, TN, but the Osbornes also have two other siblings in their family who are both older. However, those two siblings did not inherit the musical talents of their younger brothers and sister. “Our older brother and sister unfortunately didn’t acquire musical skills but, what they lack in musicality, they make up for in hardcore support and love for us, and we couldn’t have done without that,” said John.
10. Their parents were one hundred percent supportive of their career choice.
When John and TJ decided they wanted to pursue music as a career, their parents didn’t blink an eye. In fact, John Osborne says their parents would have been supportive no matter what career they chose, and they attribute that to the fact that their parents are also “dreamers.”
“Our parents were big time dreamers and they both wrote and played songs and they came to Nashville a few times, so they were nothing but encouraging,” said John. “I mean I could have said I wanted to be a rodeo clown and they would have been like ‘Absoulutely, go for it!’ They were very supportive of what we wanted to do and who we wanted to be and they never made us question that, and I’m willing to say wholeheartedly that we couldn’t have done it without the support of our mom and dad.”