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“Midnight Rider’s Prayer” is Brothers Osborne’s answer to a Willie Nelson classic

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The deluxe version of Brothers Osborne’s Skeletons arrives on Friday, bumping up the original track list to 15 with three new songs.

Fans have already heard one of those, “Younger Me,” and the other two are called “Headstone” and “Midnight Rider’s Prayer.” The latter is a tip-of-the-hat to Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again,” which it even samples.

The idea came after band mate John Osborne was looking for a chorus with the same feel and style as “On the Road Again,” and his brother TJ Osborne suggested simply using it.

“TJ just goes, ‘Well, why don’t we use that chorus?’ I’m like, ‘Because it’s already been written,’” John remembers. “He’s like, no, no, no…they do that a lot in pop songs and stuff.’ This has never really been done in country before.”

They sent the demo to the legend himself, and got a response that was even better than they could have dreamed.

“He liked it enough that he played it for Kris Kristofferson,” John continues.

But while the song pays homage — literally — to “On the Road Again,” “Midnight Rider’s Prayer” isn’t quite as carefree as the original. “At the time when we wrote that song, John and I were still in the phase of riding around in 12-passenger vans and getting beat up by the road,” TJ remembers.

“There’s a spot in the song John and I both really love,” he continues. “‘When your night is ending, ours is just beginning, on the road again.’ And that’s how it is.”

Look for Brothers Osborne on an upcoming episode of ABC’s Nightline. The show airs weeknights at 12:35AM ET.

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