Perth, meet T.J. O’Donovan. T.J. is a Perth local, bringing his folk flavor everywhere he goes. Covering both classic tracks and crafting his own original songs, T.J. has a little something for everyone. Sampling guitar, vocals, harmonica, tambourine, mandolin, organ and even a stomp box in his debut EP, there’s not much this local legend can’t play!
We caught up with T.J. to hear how he got his start in the music industry and where he plans to take his music next!
How did you get you get started as a musician?
I’ve been been playing guitar since my teens, but in 2012 I started singing at a few open mic nights in Perth!
How would you describe your music?
Earthy folk with an Irish influence and hints of country.
Who is your musical idol? Is there anyone who inspires you or influences your sound?
Townes Van Zandt. While he was a complicated and tortured soul, he was a lyrical genius and a major inspiration to my music. Justin Townes Earle is another singer/songwriter whom I admire deeply.
If you could invite three musicians to dinner who would they be and what would you serve?
Rory Gallagher, Tom Waits and Townes Van Zandt. Dinner would be an entree of chicken broth, followed by lamb shanks and washed down with some premium single malt whisky. Then, of course, a jam session until dawn.
What is the one venue/festival/event you would love to perform at and why?
Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival in Tennessee. Set on a 700 acre farm, it’s an awesome celebration of music!
What are your career highlights so far?
My career highlights so far have been releasing my debut EP in 2016, playing at Tamworth Music Festival in 2017, and playing many shows in and around Perth and South West WA.
What are your career goals as a musician?
Keep writing and recording a full length album! And collaborating with other musos along the way….who’s keen?
What advice would you give to other aspiring musicians?
Keep writing and playing. Be true to yourself and your style, and don’t try to be like anyone else, as we are all unique.
If you could be an accomplished musician on any instrument without a single lesson, what instrument would it be?
Drums. With a truckload of cowbell!
What is your favourite thing about working in the WA music industry?
It’s a wonderful state to perform in, it’s an industry that is supported well, and us sand-gropers sure embrace live gigs!