Since the release of their debut full-length 2016 album Pawn Shop, Brothers Osborne have carved out a space in country music as artists who are just as comfortable cranking out honky tonk heartbreakers as party anthems. They've earned a reputation as a duo more interested in creating something built to last than chasing down a radio hit. On their latest album Port Saint Joe (out April 20), the brothers further prove themselves as blue collar country rockers rooted in the history of the genre while pushing it in new directions. This time around, Maryland-born brothers John and TJ Osborne temporarily relocated to the Florida town of Port Saint Joe to hunker down in album producer Jay Joyce's beach house. The result is an incredible collection of guitar-heavy and lyrically rich tracks that truly feel like modern classics.
The album kicks off with the breezy "Slow Your Roll," an ode to leaving worries behind with the ever-helpful advice to "calm your country ass down."
"Shoot Me Straight," the first single from the album, is a rocker that recalls the duo's badass bar band background. Like the duo's 2016 hit "Stay a Little Longer," the album cut features an extended jam session, with John Osborne paying tribute to one of the siblings' guitar god heroes, Prince.
The tender "I Don't Remember Me (Before You)," a track about how finding your soulmate changes you, is an album standout with a sentiment that country radio should embrace.
The brothers' co-wrote all 10 tracks on the album, joining with heavy-hitting Nashville mainstays like Kendell Marvel to pen the stunning "Pushing Up Daisies (Love Alive)," which should go down as one of the best country love songs of the last 20 years.
What's remarkable about Port Saint Joe is how effortlessly the duo slips in and out of country's various sub-genres. It's a testament to their background playing four-hour bar gigs with their dad.
On "A Couple Wrongs Makin' It Alright" the brothers lay down a country-funk groove that would make Tony Joe White and Jerry Reed proud. They get rootsy on the bluegrass-tinged country waltz "Tequila Again," which sounds like a lost cut from Willie Nelson's Phases and Stages era.
T.J. Osborne's baritone growl lends itself to the brothers' outlaw fare, like the southern rock barn burner "Drank Like Hank" and the slow-burning "Weed, Whiskey and Willie," which in many ways feels like the heart of the album.
"I've got bottles and vinyls stacked to the ceiling/ I get stoned for survival/ it helps with the healing," T.J. Osborne sings. "When it all goes to hell, the only thing I believe in is weed, whiskey and Willie"
This is more than just namedropping country legends for credibility. There's no question that Brothers Osborne live and breathe country music.
The record's best moment may be album closer "While You Still Can." Written with singer-songwriter and Nashville hit-maker Travis Meadows, the song is a message to a weary world.
Like their peer Kacey Musgraves, Brothers Osborne have built a career on being unwavering in their commitment to making the kind of music they want to make. It's proof that hard work and being loyal to yourself pays off. With Port Saint Joe, Brothers Osborne have created a record that will stand the test of time.