The Brothers Osborne open 2019 Park City Institute concert series
Park City Institute presents The Brothers Osborne and Austin Jencks
7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 7
The Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, 1750 Kearns Blvd.
$49 to $150
T.J. Osborne knows of nothing that can replace the experience of watching a live concert.
“Recorded music can be streamed given away, bought or stolen, but that’s nothing compared to seeing musicians on stage,” said Osborne, who, alongside his brother John, forms one half of the country duo The Brothers Osborne. “There are also a million things that can go wrong; when we play live, we’re basically flying by the seat of our pants.”
The Brothers Osborne and Austin Jencks will take the stage in Park City at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 7, at the Eccles Center for the Performing Arts, and T.J. Osborne promises the audience will find a unique experience.
“Who knows, I may forget some lyrics, or the drummer’s kick drum pedal could break and we would have to replace the drum,” he said with a laugh. “Heck, we played one show when the lights went out, but all the audio equipment still worked, so we played in the dark.”
But those kinds of shows become legendary, Osborne said.
“It was weird playing in the dark, but we’ve had fans tell us they were at the show and thought it was so cool that we continued to play,” he said. “They will hold on to that memory forever.”
They also help The Brothers Osborne sharpen their wits.
“The thing you learn by playing hundreds of shows is the ability to navigate through all kinds of crazy stuff,” he said.
Still, to Osborne, the best experience of playing live is connecting with the audience.
“We spend the entire show trying to make that happen,” Osborne said. “It’s like you’re all holding on to the same rope.”
The Brothers Osborne, known for their Top 10 hit “Stay a Little Longer,” played in family bands growing up in Maryland.
They both wanted to make it in the music business, so they moved to Nashville.
“John moved here before I did and made a name as a great guitar player,” Osborne said. “When I arrived, I didn’t want to just be known as John Osborne’s brother, so I went out to write songs and sing on my own..”
While Osborne would sing, his brother would sometimes join him on guitar.
“People would tell us we had a great energy between us, and that wasn’t something we really paid attention to,” Osborne said. “Eventually, we realized there was something to say about it, and decided we should listen to what the people were saying.”
The two officially joined forces in 2011, and in 2012 they signed a record deal with EMI Nashville.
One EP and two full-length albums later, the brothers have found their songwriting stride, but don’t want to become complacent.
“We write songs in different ways, and if anyone tells you there is one way to do that, they are full of it,” Osborne said. “We both will get ideas. Sometimes it starts with music. Sometimes it starts with a simple lyrical concept.”
The process comes down to trial and error, he said.
“We, and many other songwriters who have had huge success, will tell you they have more songs that didn’t do anything than ones that have,” Osborne said. “It’s just about carving at the stone until we get it right.”
The brothers also listen to fans, friends and critics.
“You always hear that you have your whole life to write and record first album and only a few months to write your second,” Osborne said. “While there is a point to that, I think you learn a lot about who you are and who your fan base is and your music is going after you release that first record. And the more you record, the more opinions come your way.”
When the Brothers Osborne went into the studio to record their most recent release, “Port St. Joe,” they wanted to make an album that would make its mark on the music scene.
“Sometimes, you can get a hit that would be played a lot in 10 months, but we wanted a record that will still be played in 20 years,” he said. “Today, people consume music so quickly. I think that’s cool, but we’re trying to stay ahead of that as much as we can.”
A key element of doing that is the bond the brothers share.
“There’s not a sibling rivalry there, because, for one thing, we have different duties,” Osborne said. “I sing. He plays guitar, and the result of that is we each get our own moment in a way.”
Sure, the two have their arguments, but Osborne knows the headbutting is the result of wanting to write and peform the best songs he and his brother can.
“But it’s been far more about us supporting each other than anything else,” Osborne said. “We want to see each other succeed.”
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Park City High School sophomore Emily Bronstein founded the Seraphine Project that helps at-risk teens in Zimbabwe and Zambia.