For Brothers Osborne, ‘Weed, Whiskey and Willie’ Is Personal [Listen]
Feel free to chuckle. A 4/20 proclamation that a song called "Weed, Whiskey and Willie" is "personal" is an amusing coincidence, but the signature song on Brothers Osborne's new Port Saint Joe album isn't quite what you're thinking.
Well, maybe it is a little bit, but John Osborne says the bleeding country music ballad is autobiographical. "There have been times in our lives where you’re heartbroken and you're down and out, and it’s your vices that pull you through it," he says. "Maybe it's not so great to live on your vices, but we all do it to a degree. It just so happens that our vice is weed and whiskey sometimes, and also country music. You put on a record and just have a drink and relax. It just brings you back to earth."
"I've got bottles of vinyl / Stacked to the ceiling / I get stoned for survival / It helps with the healing / When it all goes to hell / The only thing I believe in is weed, whiskey and Willie," he sings.
John and TJ Osborne cut their teeth playing very country licks, and this song represents that. "Weed, Whiskey and Willie" is arguably the most stone-cold country song of the last five years, and if it were to be released as a radio single, it'd surely be celebrated as a return to "real country music." That debate might be for someone else, however. While Brothers Osborne are happy to speak their mind, they're not the ones to have this fight. Port Saint Joe is a dynamic country album that borrows from all sorts of influences.
“I like really singing different styles of music in the way that John views playing different styles of country,” TJ says when asked when the last time he felt a heartbreak as devastating as the one he sings about during this song. Sure, he avoided the question, but if he's not willing to open up about past romancesm that's fine. The song is plenty interesting without the backstory.
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