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The ‘Rum’ Diaries: Exclusive Photos of Brothers Osborne on Tour With Eric Church

T.J. Osborne talks bad lighting, good whiskey and touring with his guitarist brother John

Brothers Osborne

Brothers Osborne, siblings John (left) and T.J. Osborne, perform during Eric Church's Outsiders Tour.

Reid Long/Jason Stoltzfus

Currently on the road with Little Big Town, Brothers Osborne spent a chunk of the fall opening 11 shows for Eric Church on his Outsiders World Tour. "Church's audience is so intense," says singer T.J. Osborne, who with guitarist brother John make up the duo, best known for their debut single "Rum." 

Following the conclusion of their leg of the tour, the Maryland siblings shared a glimpse into life on country's wildest road trip. From backstage vibe rooms to onstage country-rock theatrics, this collection of photos captures Brothers Osborne on the cusp of fame. T.J. Osborne stopped by the Rolling Stone Country office to offer some commentary on the pictures, all of them from arena shows in Minneapolis and Des Moines, and a House of Blues after-show in Cleveland. 

(Photographs by Reid Long and Jason Stoltzfus.)

Brothers Osborne

Conquering Heroes

"Sometimes you get onstage and the audience isn't at full speed, so you have to really push it and try hard to get them into it. Then there are other moments where the crowd is so into it, you just get lost and have a really great time. That was the feeling in this picture," says Osborne.

Brothers Osborne

Double Duty

"For half of the shows we did with Church, we also played an after-show that night. It was intense for us, because we were in that van, drove through the night, stopped, got a little sleep, and then set up and played our show. Then we'd pack up, load up all our stuff and go to the next venue. Sometimes we were so tired, we were like, 'Oh god, why did we agree to do this?'" remembers Osborne. "But once we started playing, it was fun as hell. This was the last one, in Cleveland at the House of Blues, and it was peculiar because we're a band that's breaking and we don't know who is going to show up. They have curtains drawn and when they opened, there were all these people. They surprised me."

Brothers Osborne

Guitar Trance

"John really gets lost in his playing. He plays his best when he doesn't think about it and plays from the heart. That's what you see here," says Osborne.

Brothers Osborne

Awkward Moment

"It's great to get out there and talk to people after a show and see what they do and don't like," says Osborne. "This girl had a shirt with our BROS logo. The B and the R would be over a girl's breast, and they usually want you to sign the B and the R. We went to do that here, and she goes, 'Oh, no, I'm conservative! Can you please sign the O and the S?' She wasn't judgey, but it almost made her blush. I thought it was funny."

Brothers Osborne

Parting Shot

"This is the very last hurrah of the tour," says Osborne. "We did soundcheck and when we came back to our dressing room, [members of Church's tour] had put up eight more tapestries, along with candles and a bottle of Maker's with a ribbon on it. That shot was an end-of-the-night celebratory 'hell yeah, we survived the Eric Church tour!'"

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