Brothers Osborne

Port Saint Joe

(Snakefarm Records)

Nashville-based Brothers Osborne have returned with a brand new album following their incredibly successful debut album ‘Pawn Shop’. Having enlisted the services of producer Jay Joyce (Eric Church and Little Big Town) once again, Brothers Osborne are continuing to make the music that they want to make and on their own terms (something that a lot of musicians and artists can’t say when you have other people pulling the strings).

The album title of ‘Port Saint Joe’ refers to a Florida beach house in the town of Port Saint Joe – a beach house stacked with cool equipment that the outfit was shacked up in for two weeks to make the record. Anyway, the real question is what does ‘Saint Port Joe’ sound like? Let’s press play and find out…

Opening track ‘Slow Your Roll’ has a lush acoustic guitar intro that builds with electric guitar as TJ (vocalist and guitarist) sings the lyrics clearly with his textured voice. “Let’s take it down a notch” he growls before the song goes into a laidback electric guitar solo that will make this a live favourite. The light percussion helps add to the song as well. Although I don’t think they are talking about eating fig rolls slowly if you get what I mean…

‘Shoot Me Straight’ is one of the album’s singles which they premiered in November 2017 when they toured the UK as The Cadillac Three’s special guests. The punchy drums and light groove bass keep the song rolling as John Osborne (Guitarist) lets loose with his fluid guitar tone before a Herbie Hancock-esque keyboard finishes the piece. I completely understand why this is popular on radio in the UK and US but I do feel it is a tad long at 6.24 runtime.

“I Don’t Remember Me (Before You) has either a mandolin or ukulele that is just stunning. “I’ve seen pictures and I’ve heard stories about the boy I used to be” TJ admits to the listener. Weirdly, I’m reminded of a track called ‘What If’ by Kate Winslet which was the theme for an animated film version of ‘A Christmas Carol’. The lyrics are honest and it does sound autobiographical. A highlight on this record for me.

‘Weed, Whiskey and Willie’ has the band explain that even if everything goes wrong they can survive on the above three components and that someone who leaves can take everything else from them. It sounds like quite a sad number and is probably the most reflective song on this album. Not an original idea as many artists have gone down this line of subject matter. Kid Creole asked us not to take his coconuts and Joe Bonamassa said that he gave up everything for a woman except the blues.

‘Tequila Again’ would be a perfect duet with Country guitar slinger Brad Paisley imho. Pleasant enough but not the strongest cut here.

‘A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Alright’ is a catchy singalong with female backing vocalists that doesn’t mess about with its 2.54 length.

‘Pushing Up Like Daises (Love Alive)’ is an emotional tune that will connect with a lot of people. This is another of the tender moments on ‘Port Saint Joe’ amongst the alcohol and pot influenced tracks like ‘Drank Like Hank’ that prove that Brothers Osborne are talented songwriters that are capable of creating powerful songs about the Human Condition and not just music to drink to.

‘A Little Bit Trouble’ is about meeting someone who is ‘a little bit trouble’ and people tell TJ to stay away from her but he doesn’t want to listen. The soulful music backing makes the song three-dimensional.

Closer ‘While You Still Can’ has this lovely light drum brushing as TJ sings “Everything you thought would last forever doesn’t last forever like you planned”. Quite honestly, this is probably one of their strongest songs across both of their albums.

In conclusion, for every song about liquor you then get music soaked in immense pain and sadness that I can only assume came from someone connected to the Brothers Osborne camp passing. On listening to ‘Port Saint Joe’ in its entirety I feel that this wasn’t so much the album they wanted to make but the album they needed to make.

Glenn Sargeant



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(Thanks to all of the team at Wilful Publicity and Cayleigh Shepherd at Spinefarm Records for help with this review)

Brothers Osborne's second album 'Port Saint Joe' is out now on Snakefarm Records. 

For more information visit their official website: http://bit.ly/2jZ2stl

Brothers Osborne