While many of their fellow Nashvillians were flocking to the Super Tuesday polls (March 1), friends, family and business associates of the Brothers Osborne congregated at the South bar on Music Row to toast the rising duo’s first major hit, “Stay a Little Longer.”
Co-written by the Osbornes and Shane McAnally, the song recently peaked at No. 2 on Billboard’s country airplay chart.
T.J. Osborne is the band’s tall, charismatic lead singer. Bearded brother John plays lead guitar.
Mike Sistad, spokesman for ASCAP, the performance rights organization with which all three writers are affiliated, described the Brothers Osborne as “a twang-and-crunch duo.”
The brothers are currently nominated for the Academy of Country Music’s vocal duo and new vocal duo of the year awards. McAnally is up for ACM songwriter of the year, an award he won in 2014.
A parade of industry well-wishers, including representatives of ASCAP and the Brothers Osborne’s publisher and record companies, handed out a variety of plaques to the songwriters, as well as bottles of Maker’s Mark whiskey.
Universal Music Group Nashville chief Mike Dungan, who heads the label the Osbornes record for, asserted that the duo music “moves the needle [of achievement] and affects the culture.”
He then quipped, “You guys are still ridiculously unrecouped, but we’re getting there.” He was referring to the still unrecovered investment the label has made in making and promoting their music.
T.J. later snapped back, “We wanted to hand out some gifts ourselves but didn’t realize it took so long to get a royalty check.”
“T.J.,” said McAnally, “your voice, I think, is going down in history as one of the greats.” He also praised the distinctive “family harmony” the brothers deliver.
“This has taken so long to get off the ground,” T.J. said of the brothers’ slow career launch. “But it would never have happened without Kelly King.”
King, who spoke glowingly of the Osbornes at the start of the event, runs the publishing company they write for and was crucial in getting them their record deal.
Stepping up to the mic, an emotional John Osborne said, “I want to keep this short — because I’m an ugly crier.” He then spoke of how much and how many people it takes to get a song from conception to the top of the charts.
“Nashville is full of the greatest people on earth,” said the Maryland native. “That’s why they keep moving here.”