Sounds Like: Bruce Springsteen meets Zac Brown Band, with an affinity for pop hooks and a case of the moody blues.
For Fans Of: Black Crowes, Kacey Musgraves, Pistol Annies
Why You Should Pay Attention: The fact that these Maryland-born, Nashville-based brothers (John's got the beard, T.J.'s clean-shaven) play music under a name that's an inversion of classic Seventies bluegrass duo the Osborne Brothers could just be a coincidence, but it's also a nice metaphor for their sound, which flips the genre line entirely on its head. For their debut LP (out this fall) they mix unabashedly catchy choruses and soulful, washboard grooves built on Bruce, Bob Seger and Buck Owens with folky slow burners, capitalizing on a diverse instrumental repertoire – dirty Delta bass lines, keys dancing on hot coals and even a rhythm banged out on the arm of a cheap futon. Oh, and plenty of cowbell.
They Say: "When we write, we don't have to speak. We know exactly what we want and we're very honest. We used to fight when we were little kids, and we carried that to verbal attacks when we're co-writing," says John Osborne. Adds T.J. Osborne, "It can make for some arguing, but it moves the process along faster. We also have a tendency to get into our own mumbling slang. Other cowriters have said they need an interpreter because they can't understand a darn thing we're saying."
Hear for Yourself: The blue-collar summer anthem "Rum." By Marissa R. Moss