Catching Up With Boj
by Emerald Butler
I first met Bobby Osborne Jr. and Sr. in the spring of 2018 while I was interning at Compass Records in Nashville. I was working with the promotions department and we were preparing to film the music video for “She Took the Tennessee River” with Becky Buller, Special Consensus, and Bobby Osborne. The morning before the video shoot while we were making cue cards with a few pieces of cardstock and huge sharpies, the girls in the office kept mentioning the name “Boj”. It was always in some relation to Bobby Osborne, but at that time I didn’t know the exact relation. Turns out it was Bobby’s son, Bobby Osborne Jr. Boj and Bobby arrived on location at a barn right outside of Nashville right as we did. Mr. Osborne was sharply dressed in his white suit and hat ready for his close-up. Boj kindly helped me with the cue cards throughout the day and was there to help his dad whenever he needed anything. They were both gentlemen, and I’ll always be thankful for that day’s experience.
Bobby Osborne and Boj were also a part of my first experience at the Grand Ole Opry House although we hadn’t met at the time. You can’t go wrong with suits, boots, and Rocky Top at the Grand Ole Opry. Music and touring were always the norm for Boj growing up. “I never knew any different,” Boj said. “I knew that dad goes on the road; dad comes back. Dad goes on the road; dad comes back. They used to haul me down to the Opry when I was little. I didn’t know what was going on. I just knew we were going to see shows all the time.” It wasn’t until his High School years that Boj picked up a guitar. Boj shared that becoming a musician was never an expectation from his family but growing up around the music and hanging out and having fun was what motivated Boj to start.
Over the years, Boj has kept a busy schedule by performing with his dad and helping out wherever there was a need. “I guess I would say it was like a necessity. If someone would leave the band that was handling something Dad would say ‘ok you do it,’ and I would say ok I’ll try to figure it out.” At a time when Bobby Osborne found himself without a booking agent, Boj stepped up and took care of it. Boj joked that his management experiences extended to informing the band when the bus leaves and requesting that they be on board on time. Although he did mention a few other important tasks like taking care of logistics, transposing and transcribing chord charts, and producing by “throwing out ideas”. Boj threw out some of these types of ideas on his dad’s “Memories” and “Bluegrass & Old Heartaches” albums which were co-produced with Glen Duncan. “The last seven years have probably been my favorite,” Boj began. “Not to put down any bands that we’ve had before, but I’ve always been a big fan of the brothers. Getting to play with Wynn and Robby; I never got to play with them, but now I get to play with them and Dad in Dad’s band, playing THAT music. It’s just a nice thing.”
Boj also plays Bass for the Price Sisters. “Dad teaches in Hyden, Kentucky and I’ve been helping him drive over there for the past three or four years.” Lauren Price was taking lessons from Bobby Osborne at the time.
“I was just looking for fill-in stuff,” Boj said. “Dad was still working but his work had slowed down and I told Lauren if y’all ever need a bass player call me. They called me and said, ‘hey can you go to Chicago?’ and I said yeah let’s go! Then they said ‘ok, do you want to be in the band?’ And I told them yeah; Dad comes first, but yeah if you guys can tolerate that then yeah, I’d love to play with you guys!”
This past year has been a bit slower for Boj, however. I think we all can relate to that. “As far as me going out playing, I haven’t because all of Dad’s stuff got canceled this year and the Opry did its thing. The Price Sisters have played some shows but I’m here with mom and dad. Mom’s 75 and Dad just turned 89. It’s not worth going and making a couple of hundred dollars and maybe bringing something home to them. There has been no music made.” Boj has passed the time streaming on Twitch and helping his dad with a recording or two with OMS Records. Right now he’s focusing on keeping himself and his parents well, but he shared that he’s looking forward to when things start opening up again.