You’ve gotta love it when major label country artists get off their guard and actually say what they want to say. Even many of the artists responsible for the worst atrocities against country music know that many of the songs are garbage. They also happen to know who butters their bread and when to lock lips and say the right things. But singer TJ Osborne (the clean-shaven one) just let a nasty barb slide in an interview that’s worth repeating.
Brothers Osborne have their proponents and detractors like everyone in country, but hailing from the Eric Church tree and actually instilling some musicianship in the music, they can be considered one of the good guys of the mainstream.
Recently the duo released an acoustic video for their album cut “Down Home” off the record Pawn Shop. Shot on a curbside in Austin, TX busking style, the duo is using the video to tout their homespun authenticity and musical alacrity. When speaking to Rolling Stone about the video, TJ Osborne said,
“When you play acoustic, you can’t hide behind anything. It’s really the thing that separates the men from the boys. We grew up loving and revering country music. That’s why we wanted to do the Western swing bits. We’re not calling ourselves country music just so we can find a genre to put our shitty pop music in.”
Bammo. Not only is much of mainstream country music actually pop, it’s also not even good pop, contrary to what Aaron Lewis said recently on the subject. Why do so many still listen and why is it so popular you ask? Because these consumers have no idea they have a more healthy alternative. That is why criticism is so important—to open the eyes of the teeming masses to better options.
Who is TJ Osborne referring to specifically with his comments? Eh, take your pick. It’s pretty much the lot of them. I’m just glad he had the rocks to say it.