Welcome to Orlando Weekly
's "Band of the Week." Every week, we highlight one of our favorite local bands. This week, we're pleased to bring you TJ Washburn
TJ Washburn is playing Will's Pub on Oct. 23 with Jordan Foley and Western Slang.
Just the facts:
When did you start performing?
I’ve been playing music and performing my songs in some capacity and with various people since I was a child, but this current stretch of solo work has been an endeavor of the last three years or so.
Who do you perform with?
I’ve been playing with a bass player named Taylor Harrell for the last six months or so.
Currently available releases:
I put out a record last October called Seasons
, which is made up of songs I wrote over the course of the most intense year of my life up to that point. It’s available online wherever music is streamed or sold.
Right now, the best places to follow my work are Facebook and Instagram. You can find me on both by searching the handle @thetjwashburn.
Describe your sound in five words:
I asked my wife and she just responded with “A guy telling the truth.”
What has been your most memorable show so far?
Oh, man, there have been several memorable ones. The best so far was probably back in August, when I played at The Venue for Kristin Porteous’s Inspire Orlando. It was an awesome lineup and the audience was one of the most attentive and engaged I’ve ever experienced. It was incredible.
Which local band is your favorite one to play a show with?
If I had to pick just a couple, I would say my friends Matt Schaffter (of the band Shadowed Truths) and Mitch Herman (of The Electric Chimps). I’ve known those guys for a couple of years, and it’s super rewarding any time we get to collaborate or play a show together.
What description gets used for your music that you would most
like to correct people on? Why?
This is actually a really tough question to answer. I don’t think I would correct someone’s description of my music. I certainly have had it described to me in ways I don’t perceive it, but I think that’s kind of cool when someone hears something or gets something from it that I didn’t intend or anticipate. I like that the music has a life beyond what I can control about it.
What’s your favorite thing about being an Orlando musician? What's your least favorite? Why?
My favorite thing is the joy with which everyone approaches their work here. The vast majority of my peers are very clearly in this for the love of the game, and I think that’s awesome. For my least favorite aspect of it, I’d say it’s the way cover music dominates the cultural landscape here. I think our experiences would be much richer and more rewarding if we as artists concentrated more on generating and developing our original material and if our audiences were more invested in listening to it and supporting it. Obviously that’s a significant aspect of our music scene already, but I would like to see it become the focus of the work we’re doing.
Any big news to share?
I do have big news! I am steadily working on my next record, which I hope will be ready for release in the first part of next year. Check out my social media for updates!