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Osborne and Ryan at Roanoke’s First Homebrew

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By David Hall

On Wednesday Junior Daniel Osborne played original country and folk music at the first “Homebrew” event in The Cavern.

Chatter filled the cavern as attendees awaited the second act of the new “Homebrew” event.  Beers stood firm, clutched in hand by many in attendance. After a brief introduction, Osborne, also known by his stage name, Daniel Ayers, took the stage accompanied by his partner and banjo player, Joseph Lombard. According to Osborne, his goals for the evening center around his audience.

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“I just want people to come away feeling like their time wasn’t wasted and [that] they would do it again” said Osborne in an interview a few days earlier.

Osborne, a history major at the college, is a self described folk and country musician, songwriter, and performer. He has been playing since high school, after being inspired by an Old Crow Medicine Show concert, he said.

“I call it my early-life-crisis. I went out and bought a banjo and a harmonica; [I] blew all my money. It was pretty bad, but I got a lot better.” said Osborne. His affinity for country music lies in its integrity, he says.

“It’s very real music because it comes from people’s lives”, Osborne said, “[Country music] comes from people’s experiences. And by experiences I mean real life poverty… And it’s not all sad. A lot of times it’s ironic music; it’s funny. [Country music] comes from people’s real life experiences. [Country music is] not doctored up and doesn’t have a lot of makeup on it”.

Back at The Cavern, Osborne not only uses his music to captivate his audiences, he employs humor and visuals. Often times he tells a joke in between songs or even in the middle of one. Osborne dressed in leather cowboy boots, blue jeans, and a colorful western-style embroidered cotton shirt. A suede stetson sat on top a messy crop of hair. On a table to the side lies an old briefcase filled with CD’s and string lights to illuminate his product.

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“It’s the gift that keeps on giving”, said Osborne, who gives a full laugh afterward to let his audience in on the joke.

Osborne says he writes music because he loves to tell stories. At a young-age, Osborne spent much of his time around people much older than him: grandparents and great-grandparents. Growing up around those older than him instilled a love of the stories they shared, he says.

“When you’re ten years old talkin’ to somebody who’s 80 or 90 years old, stories are the things you can talk about”, said Osborne, “You can’t really talk about…the latest news. It’s really stories that form the intergenerational bridge [over what] divides [us]”.

Telling stories like his elders did drives his love for songwriting, Osborne says.

“The most meaningful thing I’ve ever experienced is when other people get a lot out of something that I’ve created”, said Osborne, “When I’m able to create something other people can identify with or enjoy, it’s very fulfilling. That’s the height of what I do”.

Osborne said his future lies in music. He recently released an all-original EP entitled “Space Cowboy”, available online or in-person and says he intends to continue making music and performing.

“I’m a performer. I do call myself a musician, but over all I perform”, Osborne said, “I do my best when I’m around a good audience, telling the stories and singing the songs in a life [with] context”.

Referring to his performance Wednesday night, Osborne was satisfied with the content of his performance.

“A little bit of sex. A little bit of drugs. A little bit of Rock n’ Roll”, Osborne said, “I’d do it again in a heartbeat”.