Album Review: Brothers Osborne - “Port Saint Joe”

Reigning ACM Duo of the Year’s sophomore album showcases their depth of artistry and growth since the release of debut “Pawn Shop” three years ago.

It’d be easy to expect Brothers Osborne (John and TJ Osborne) to keep releasing songs which continue what they started on their critically and commercially acclaimed debut Pawn Shop but instead, they’ve taken that album and built upon it with Port Saint Joe.
Recorded at producer Jay Joyce’s home on the coast of Florida, the album showcases the next step in their evolution by blending country, rock and blues into the intoxicating stew that is Port Saint Joe. First single “Shoot Me Straight” rocks much like their last single “It Ain’t My Fault” did and served as the perfect bridge single from album to album. The other nine songs — all co-written by John and/or TJ expand from the extended boogie that is “Shoot Me Straight” and we instead get honest musings on life, love and everything in between, whether it’s the evocative “I Don’t Remember Me (Before You)” or the blues-soaked “Weed, Whiskey And Willie.” There’s the mandolin-laced “Tequilla Again,” a song which talks about the voodoo-like power the Mexican spirit has on us every time we go too far with the tasty (yet potent) drink (and also serves as an allegory for a bad romantic relationship).

“A Couple Wrongs Makin’ It Right” is a funky song where it feels like a melding of the band Cake and The Band as if filtered through a twangy jangle. “A Little Bit Of Trouble” is just downright straight out of a Stax Record while the lovely romantic “Pushing Up Daisies” and gentle, acoustic closer “While You Still Can” offer the kind of wisdom and honesty that grounds Brothers Osborne in country music.

There’s not another band doing what Brothers Osborne does in country music (or really any other genre) and their deft blend of their influences and sharp songwriting make Port Saint Joe a wonderfully layered album worthy of repeated trips to the record player to listen to over and over again.