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Brothers Osborne add to life's certainities

MGM Music Hall at Fenway, Boston, April 18, 2024

Reviewed by Jeffrey B. Remz

Considering that it was the day after Tax Day in Massachusetts, add a great show by Brothers Osborne to taxes and death to life's certainties.

Both TJ and John Osborne indicated during the 90-minute show before about 4,000 fans that they loved Boston (TJ was glad to catch a Red Sox matinee game earlier in the day), and they sure seemed jazzed up for the show. They came out together at the rear of the stage on a riser for "Might As Well Be" and slashed their way through "Nobody's Nobody," "Shoot Me Straight" and "Drank Like Hank."

There's a lot to like about these brothers as both excel at what they do. TJ has always been a sonorous, full-voiced singer whether on the more rocking tunes or the mid-tempo cover of Tom Petty's "I Won't Back Down," which sounds like TJ was born to sing it. Ditto for taking on Dierks Bentley's "Burning Man" near the end (they sang on the original recording).

A cover of Bob Marley & The Wailers' "Three Little Birds" worked okay, but not so much more than that. Better still, Brothers Osborne would have been better to play more than just "Break Mine" from the four-song EP of the same name and out a month ago.

As for John, he is a sure-handed guitarist, who doles out the licks in spades. He may be a little bit showy from time to time with his stage mannerisms, but he certainly could back it up.

And then there was the closing song of the regular set, "It Ain't My Fault," perhaps their signature song. They built into it slowly, but then let it rip for more than a dozen minutes. The song was highlighted by extensive solos by the keyboardist Johnathan Smith giving it a bit more of a funky/soulful feel (that's also an element of TJ's vocals) along with John on guitar (you could add the extensive white lighting that helped set the mood too). It's a great song with a lot of drive to it.

Maybe these guys put their heart into it because it was Boston. Doubtful though. Brothers Osborne always seem to create fine music. That's for certain.

Jackson Dean set the table, and he's a confident performer with a lot of Southern Rock in his country. In reality, there wasn't a whole lot of country in his set.

No matter though because there was a lot of musical muscle displayed. That would include Dean's vocal abilities where his full-bodied voice ruled, fortunate given the abilities of TJ Osborne. He's got a swagger to his delivery, but one shows he's no paper tiger. While most of the nine songs were on the rocking side, he eased up a lot with "Big Blue Sky," a tribute to his late dog.

Dean also needs to make sure he keeps Brandon Aksteter in his band on guitar. His previously field was marketing and communications. He sure does a lot of communicating with his guitar. He laced into song after song with mighty runs with Dean often sidling up to him.

The band was one tight outfit, no surprise given that they've been together for eight years. It shows.

©Country Standard Time • Jeffrey B. Remz, editor & publisher •
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