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Friday night, Brothers Osborne will hit the Lincoln on the Streets stage on Centennial Mall and M street, headlining a show that will draw thousands -- evidence that T.J. and John Osborne have moved up a rung on the country music ladder.

On the scene since 2013, the Maryland-born-and-raised brothers have steadily risen through the country world, earning Grammy nominations, country music awards while building an audience via radio play and live performances, often supporting bigger, more established artists.

But there’s another reason T.J. Osborne, the singing brother says the duo brings in the crowds to their shows.

“There’s a lot of fans that are ready for some real music, regardless of genre,” he said. “Our music is country. But we focus on playing real music, however it comes out. There’s some authenticity there that comes out and people want to hear that.”

The Osbornes’ “real music” is a rock-injected version of traditional country -- a fresh, but rooted sound that’s presented with honesty and an artifice-free purity.

“The fans, everybody, people, have a real good instinct for bullshit,” T.J. Osborne said. “If they don’t see it immediately, they’ll see it at some point in time. John and I can’t do anything but be who we are. And that’s what we put out. Another thing about the awards, it give a lot of validation not only to us, but to the fans who had been there before.”

Now, T.J. says, the challenge is to not only bring in the loyal fans, but win over those who come to see the band, led by guitarist John, for the first time. That, he said, is his job.

“Every time you go on stage, you want to be on the same wavelength,” Osborne said. “Sometimes you go out and the crowd isn’t with you. I’ll spend time with them, adjusting or trying to get them to adjust to get us on the same wavelength. When everyone’s on the same wavelength, that’s when you get the magical moments, the uplift, the transcendence.”

T.J. and John have been playing together since they were teenagers, first in a cover band called Deuce and a Quarter, then as the Brothers Osborne. Unlike many sibling combos -- from The Everly Brothers and The Kinks onward, the Osbornes haven’t had major battles. In fact, the reverse is largely true.

“John and I have always gotten along really well, for the most part we get along extremely well," T.J. said. “We’re very different in many ways, which I believe helps out our music. The fact that we’ve had the success we’ve had together makes it even more special. My brother gets to experience everything special that I do. It’s awesome.

“There can be some tough moments, that’s what makes the good moments happen. When we’re arguing, when we don’t see things exactly the same way, when we can find a way to compromise, to make it feel good for both of us, then it’s right.”

The Brothers Osborne got their first CMA nomination, for vocal duo of the year in 2015. They lost out to Florida Georgia Line that year. They’re now two-time Academy of Country Music and CMA vocal duo award winners.

And this year’s nomination of “It Ain’t My Fault” was the third Grammy nod in the best country/duo group performance. They’ve yet to win a Grammy. However, T.J. said the nominations themselves are rewarding and, taken with the CMA and ACM recognition, has accelerated their collective career.

“The recognition by your peers is the validation,” he said. “The biggest change, though, is those shows are broadcast to millions of people. It was big in this sense, we’d already had some good fans, but we’ve seen a lot of fans that came after the awards. You win one of the awards and it’s ‘I want to hear why they won’ and they check out the music and the shows.”

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The Brothers Osborne are different from the norm in mainstream country music, in another way. They’ve been politically and socially outspoken, performing for a Democratic candidate for governor in Tennessee and taking on issues like gay marriage in, among other places, their videos.

“We speak out sometimes,” Osborne said. “It’s tough because ultimately a lot of people listen to music to forget about the weight of the world. But, if you don’t say something, you feel a little bit like a sellout. It’s ruffled some feathers, no doubt. But it’s really not a Democrat or Republican thing. It’s always one of those instances when John and I see something that you feel like it can’t happen, it shouldn’t happen, that people don’t have a voice and you say something. That’s how we were raised when we little. When we see someone who’s without a voice and gets (the short end of the stick) all the time, we speak up.

“What most people don’t realize is that we’re well aware of what we’re doing, that we may make some personal sacrifice in doing it. There are fans that say “I don’t like what you’re saying and I’m done with you.’ Well, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. I like my opinion.”

You won’t hear a lot of opinions from the Osbornes from the stage Friday. What you will hear is their rockin’ brand of country that, with the newest songs, will feel like they’re lifted directly from the album that they recorded in a Florida house that became a makeshift studio.

“That’s why we named the album ‘Port Saint Joe,’” Osborne said. “It was recorded in a beach house that had never been used for recording ever. We all sat around the room playing. It’s really live. I think you can hear it. We left all the mistakes in there, the little bobbles, everything. We’ve had all these people tell us that we’re better live. We’ve been trying to capture that. With this I think we came as close as we can to making a studio album live.”

and CMA vocal duo award winners.

And this year’s nomination of “It Ain’t My Fault” was the third Grammy nod in the best country/duo group performance. They’ve yet to win a Grammy, though. However, T.J. said the nominations themselves are rewarding and, combined with the CMA and ACM recognition, has accelerated their career.

“The recognition by your peers is the validation,” he said. “The biggest change, though, is those shows are broadcast to millions of people. It was big in this sense, we’d already had some good fans, but we’ve seen a lot of fans that came after the awards. You win one of the awards and it’s ‘I want to hear why they won’ and they check out the music and the shows.”

The Brothers Osborne are different from the norm in mainstream country music, in another way. They’ve been politically and socially outspoken, performing for a Democratic candidate for governor in Tennessee and taking on issues like gay marriage in, among other places, their videos.

“We speak out sometimes,” Osbourne said. “It’s tough because ultimately a lot of people listen to music to forget about the weight of the world. But, if you don’t say something, you feel a little bit like a sellout. It’s ruffled some feathers, no doubt. But it’s really not a Democrat or Republican thing. It’s always one of those instances when John and I see something that you feel like it can’t happen, it shouldn’t happen, that people don’t have a voice and you say something. That’s how we were raised when we little. When we see someone who’s without a voice and gets xxx all the time, we speak up.

“What most people don’t realize is that we’re well aware of what we’re doing, that we may make some personal sacrifice in doing it. There are fans that say “i don’t like what you’re saying and I’m done with you.’ Well, that’s fine. That’s your opinion. I like my opinion.”

You won’t hear a lot of opinions from the Osbournes from the stage Friday. What you will hear is their rockin’ brand of country that, with the newest songs, will feel like they’re lifted directly from the album that they recorded in a Florida house that became a makeshift studio.

“That’s why we named the album ‘Port Saint Joe,’” Osborne said.. “It was recorded in a beach house that had never been used for recording ever. We all sat around the room playing. It’s really live. I think you can hear it. We left all the mistakes in there, the little bobbles, everything. We’ve had all these people tell us that we’re better live. We’ve been trying to capture that. With this I think we came as close as we can to making a studio album live.”

Reach the writer at 402-473-7244 or kwolgamott@journalstar.com.

On Twitter @LJSWolgamott.

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