Brothers Osborne Joined by Lee Ann Womack During Electric Ryman Set
Brothers Osborne do things cool. On Saturday night (Feb. 16), TJ and John Osborne casually took the Ryman Auditorium stage like they've been there before (they have — twice this week, in fact) and ease through a tight, 90-minute-long set like they've done it hundreds of times before (they have).
Blues and country stir with rock and just a little bluegrass when the long and languid bros step to the microphone. A well-traveled rhythm section builds a pocket for each multi-dimensional mix — it's a wild potion of sound and color that doesn't quite mix as much as swirl mellifluously. They flow, like a psychedelic painting that occasionally pours over the edge of the canvas.
Four songs from Port Saint Joe opened a 17-song set reliant on originals from their two studio albums. TJ and John excel at managing energy. The needle approached red during "Drank Like Hank" and "Shoot Me Straight," but the crowd had time to settle in as TJ poured his heart into "Weed, Whiskey and Willie" and "I Don't Remember Me."
Younger brother is the singer, but it's the bearded John Osborne who's responsible for the hype. His slide guitar on "Down Home," psychedelia during "Shoot Me Straight," and prog rock during a 12-minute-long, set-closing "It Ain't My Fault" (plus at least a half a dozen more solos) stir the sold out crowd into a frenzy. Like a basketball player who's just hit a game-winning three point shot, the guitarist shouts and celebrates after his best work, pumping a guitar into the air with a primal scream. From the shadows, TJ smiles quietly, at times seeming to enjoy his brother's talent as much as this crowd.
An honest cover of Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road" and their 2016 single "21 Summer" were two highlights before what can only be described as the best two closing songs in country music: "Stay a Little Longer" and "It Ain't My Fault." Brothers Osborne take full advantage, bringing the crowd back down in between with a curious intro into the latter, a song that was yet another appreciated excuse to let the full band shine.
Lee Ann Womack joined the duo during the encore, singing "Loving Me Back," a song she recorded with Brothers Osborne on their debut Pawn Shop album. The four-song closing series wasn't so much an encore as a nightcap. Opening act Wild Feathers returned to the stage to sing "With a Little Help from My Friends" a la Joe Cocker. With many family and friends in the crowd, it was appropriate.
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