Concert Review: Brothers Osborne with Charlie Worsham
Live in Winnipeg, Manitoba at the Burton Cummings Theater, Oct 25, 2018
As the almighty Supersuckers sang in the past, "Rock and Roll record ain't selling this year." And it's true. Rock seems to be "deader than dead" as Marilyn Manson puts it.
Or is it?
Turns out one of the best rock bands around may be a country band by the name of Brothers Osborne. As the name suggests, the main dudes who form the band are a couple of brothers by the name of TJ and John Osborne. And they are making a BIG name for themselves in the country music biz, partly because both of the brothers are well over six feet tall. And, they might be about the only country band to come from Maryland, of all places. Face it, Deale, Maryland, is not exactly a hot bed of country music. It's a hot bed for, well, commercial fishing. But somehow, these brothers came along and changed all that.
Brothers have a long history of making great music. They seem to have a connection that only brothers can have. Some of the greatest vocal duos have been brothers. Think of the Everly Brothers and the amazing harmonies they produced. Or the Statler Brothers. Or the Osborne Brothers (different than the Brothers Osborne). Or Oasis and the incredible... er, maybe let's not go there. Those brothers don't work so well together. But, the Brothers Osborne most definitely do.
They each have their own individual passion that they bring to the group and are able to meld together so perfectly. Brother TJ is the vocalist with the slicked back hair and crisp, clean look. He has a deep, rich, pure country voice that has to rank up there with the very best, like Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. Some may say that is blasphemy to even think that, but, hey, it's true. What can I say.
On the other hand, you have the other brother, John. He's a shaggy, long haired hippy looking dude who knows how to shred it on the guitar. He doesn't do much in the way of lead singing, but his voice compliments his brother's quite nicely, indeed. But he doesn't need to do much singing because he lets the guitar do all the talking... and wailing... and writhing... and crunching. Clearly the man has listened to more than his fair share of hard rock, southern rock and blues. The solos that come from this dudes fingers are to die for, especially if you are a rock fan looking for actual rock music. These guys make rock that really rocks...with a distinctly country flair.
From the moment they got on the stage the energy was off the charts. I've been to a lot of shows at "The Burt," but I don't remember one where the crowd was this into it, this loud, this appreciative. Every song they pumped out, from the absolute scorching party tune "Shoot me Straight," to the more laid back hit with the absolutely monster solos, "Stay a Little Longer," to the chilled, summery blues of "Rum," to the uber-fun and well written "Ain't My Fault," the crowd appeared to be well versed in the lyrics of each and every one of the songs. And when John's guitar wailed away, the devil's horns were flying in the air. It was hard to tell if this was a metal show or a country show. And the bridal party who was standing next to me sure as heck were into it. After that night, the wedding is going to seem dull and boring.
This was one loud, rockin' country show, let me tell ya! Worth every single penny spent. It was sold out, high energy, and memorable as all get out. If these guys make their way back up north, I will be there in a second. And by that time, they may be selling out the MTS Center instead of just the Burton Cummings Theater.
Before ending this review, I should point out the extreme talent of Charlie Worsham, a long time friend of the brothers who has his own music career going as well. He was the opener, and did a swell job indeed. The man has a powerful, beautiful voice and can play guitar like any of the greats... like Vince Gill or Steve Wariner or Ricky Skaggs. Well, almost anyway. The crowd was into the guy. They enjoyed him. He was a good warm up act. Unfortunately, for all the talent the guy has, none of his songs are memorable or really grab your attention. His voice and guitar work was excellent. The songs themselves? Meh. Not so captivating.
Meanwhile, the Brothers Osborne showed that not only should they have been the headliners, they should be filling stadiums.
If you haven't heard this one, take a listen and go ahead and try to tell me this ain't one killer rock song.