With so many country artists being forced to scrap their 2020 plans entirely, at least one duo are heading in the opposite direction. Brothers Osborne are cranking up the volume for the bluesy party anthem, “All Night.”
Part of brothers TJ and John Osborne’s upcoming third album, the jet-black anthem features one of the greasiest grooves in today’s country and a straightforward call for reckless nocturnal abandon – and its good-timing swagger is a welcome dose of normalcy as the COVID-19 crisis continues.
“I mean, it’s fun to do something with that much swagger any time,” says front man TJ of the track, explaining that despite the circumstances, the duo hasn’t lost the strut in their step. Much like the brothers themselves, “All Night” stands apart from crowd as more artists infuse their sound with big beats and synthetic hooks. But this track is like a hard-driving blast from the past, anchored by a rumbling baritone guitar riff courtesy of brother John.
“One of my favorite things in country music is baritone guitar, and for whatever reason, with us being such a guitar heavy band, we’ve never had a song that has had one in it,” TJ goes on.
The guys say they’ve always shied away from the beefy, low-slung guitar sound for fear of feeling dated — but when placed in brother John Osborne’s hands, the instrument took on new life. He’s one of the genre’s most celebrated artist/guitarists out there at the moment, and the track manages to showcase both TJ’s singing and John’s string-bending skill in less than three minutes.
“We got into a writing session with our buddy Andrew DeRoberts, and he played this little drum loop he wanted to write over,” John explains of the track’s instantly recognizable hook. “He had this little baritone guitar sitting there, so I picked it up and it was literally the first thing that came out. … A lot of times those things are the right ones, I guess because it’s instinctual and you’re not thinking about it. But it was literally the first thing that popped out of my body — I wouldn’t even say my mind.”
No matter where it came from, the track now feels like an obvious successor to the band’s hard-charging “It Ain’t My Fault,” which they note is now their most popular live song despite not being a huge chart hit. Once “All Night” was written, the brothers realized it filled a gap in their upcoming album – even though TJ promises the still-unannounced project has more “tempo” on it than previous efforts.
“We knew there was something in there that people were hungry for,” he says, “and honestly, we were hungry to play.”
Unfortunately, the brothers won’t be playing for live audiences anytime soon – unless you count live-streaming shows. As of this feature’s writing, they have a handful of one-off dates on their tour calendar starting in July and select festival appearances booked (like September’s Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam). But for now, “everything is tentative.”
“There has definitely been some talk about ‘Are we playing at all this year?’” TJ admits. “So I’m not gonna be surprised either way. We are dying to play, though. Like, as much as people want to go out and party and see live music, that’s how we feel about wanting to play.”
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And as much as live-streaming serves it’s purpose, it’s just not the same thing for this famously electrifying band.
“It’s cool, but what’s really is fun about playing music is the interaction,” John says. “The feeling you get from the crowd response, and there is none of that. … As far as we know, we could be doing a song and people could be going ‘BOOOOOOO,’ and we literally have no idea. So we just play 30 or 40 minutes of music and hope they dug it.”
It’s better than nothing, though, so for now the rising duo are content to connect with fans online and make the most of this extremely rare break from travel. Normally consumed by their obsession with making music, both have been exploring new hobbies and reconnecting with loved ones, with TJ even organizing drive-in movie nights for friends and family at his house. He figures it’s just a different kind of “All Night” party from what they’re used to.
“The stuff we’ve done in the last two months would usually take us years to accomplish as far as hanging out with friends and family,” he says. “So in some ways it has been very fulfilling. But it goes without saying that everyone is ready to get back to it.”