For most of the summer, Darius Rucker’s Southern Style Tour — a country caravan whose lineup also includes Brothers Osborne, A Thousand Horses and Brett Eldredge — has been making its way across America. All told, that’s nearly 30 musicians traveling the country together.
With all of that musical manpower in the same place, collaborations are expected. It’s already become a tour tradition for Rucker to invite the openers back to the stage for a singalong version of “Hold My Hand,” with each frontman taking his own verse. Still, some of the best performances take place behind the scenes. Case in point: this supergroup version of Bob Wills’ “San Antonio Rose,” recorded in the Osbornes’ dressing room during a Houston stopover on June 20th.
“It was a last minute thing,” admits guitarist John Osborne, who helped round up a 10-person band, including his brother T.J., for the occasion. “We had a buddy with a camera, and we just said, ‘Let’s just get a bunch of musicians together and play some classic western swing.’ That’s a kind of music we don’t get to play a lot.”
Featuring members of A Thousand Horses, Brothers Osborne and Darius Rucker’s touring lineup, the “San Antonio Rose” clip shines a light on some of the tour’s lesser-known characters, including dobro player Sasha Ostrovsky (who takes the song’s first solo) and Horses’ harmony singers Kristen Rogers and Whitney Coleman. Performed beneath an antler chandelier that travels with the Osborne siblings from dressing room to dressing room, it also shows off the connection that develops between tour mates.
“This tour feels like a collection of friends we’ve gathered throughout the years,” John explains. “T.J. and I have known A Thousand Horses ever since the very beginning of that band. Six or seven years, I think. They’ve been at it for a long time, just sticking it out and waiting their turn, and they deserve every bit of their success. I played guitar on Brett’s ‘Beat of the Music,’ too, and love all the guys in his band. It’s super fun to get to hang with all my buddies, and when you have all these musicians in the same environment, why not take advantage of that?”
“San Antonio Rose” was filmed during the only half-hour block of free time that existed between all three bands during a particularly busy Saturday. The musicians worked on their parts separately, then reconvened closer to showtime to knock out the performance in 30 minutes. T.J. sang lead vocals, while Brian Purwin and Garry Murray helped honor the twin-fiddle sound so common to Texas swing music.
John says more tag-teamed performances may be in store.
“Everyone wants to do it again,” he explains. “Maybe a bluegrass song or something. Who knows? We have a lot of tour left.”