Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Justin Trawick

presspassThose familiar with the Washington, D.C. music scene by now are familiar with the name Justin Trawick. The well-known songwriter has taken the stage at many a local venue, becoming a fixture on the IOTA Club and Café calendar and a bringing recurring songwriter circle to DC9.

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Justin Trawick (Photo: Shervin Lainez)

Those familiar with the Washington, D.C. music scene by now are familiar with the name Justin Trawick. The well-known songwriter has taken the stage at many a local venue, becoming a fixture on the IOTA Club and Café calendar and a bringing recurring songwriter circle to DC9.

For Trawick, the process was not an easy one, but by concentrating on a series of short-term goals, he kept moving forward, kept spreading his sound and now stands on the verge of what could be a big leap forward.

On Aug. 21 Trawick will release a new EP, After All Is Said And Done, with a pair of performances (5 p.m. and 8 p.m.) at IOTA. Sharing the studio with producer Jim Ebert (Meredith Brooks, Butch Walker), the album marks the first time Trawick has partnered with a well-known name in the studio, and the results have produced some of Trawick’s best-sounding songs yet.

Evolving from a more scatty sound similar to G-Love and Special Sauce and found on his debut album How to Build a Life With a Lemonade Stand, Trawick’s new tunes fall more into the folk and Americana categories. Of the new songs, “Love Song” and the album’s title track share some similarities with the work of Jack Johnson and even the more carefree compositions of Brett Dennen. Meanwhile, “Story of a Boy” takes more of a southern rock bend.

“I think these are the best recorded songs I ever done and most professional songs I’ve ever done,” Trawick says of the seven song collection.

Fans who have seen Trawick sing recently may recognize most of the tunes, as he’s been trotting them out at live shows to see what works.

“I’m not like a Green Day, who won’t play between tours then debut a whole new record of songs that literally no one’s heard before,” Trawick says. “As an indie guy, I’m like a stand-up comedian in that I’m constantly trying out new material.”

Also like any good indie artist, Trawick is sharing those new songs on MySpace and keeps in touch with fans through social media like Twitter and Facebook, but the biggest benefits to his career have come through personal connections he’s made while performing.

“Jim Ebert, the producer I worked with, came to me. He heard of me through other people,” Trawick says. “I had another meeting recently with, well, someone important and influential, at his request last night.

“Those meetings come about just due to growing popularity. A year or two ago I met a fan who worked for CBS Interactive, who handles Last FM. They had me in their midtown studio in New York City. We recorded three or four songs and they’ll feature that on the website later this month.”

The appearance on Last FM will put Trawick’s tunes in front of a potential audience of some 8 million listeners, by far his best exposure to date. It also gave him a chance for a fun photo op in the Last FM studio, formerly the site of the Howard Stern Show.

“They still have his red couch there,” Trawick says. “I’m sure you would not want to go over it with a black light, but it was pretty cool.”

With opportunities starting to mount and a new album to promote, Trawick is positioning himself for some long-term success, though he’s keeping his focus on the short-term just as he always has. While he’s in talks to open for a big-venue dual headliner tour, he’s also looking to balance those low-paying, high-exposure gigs with more profitable appearances closer to home. But if there’s an opportunity for Trawick to make a new connection or build a relationship with someone who can advance his career, he’s happy to take a little less cash in hope of profiting down the line.

The short-term/long-term balance has paid dividends for him so far. And based on the strength of the new album, there’s no reason to believe such an approach won’t continue to do so.

• For more on Justin Trawick, visit www.justintrawick.com.

 

 

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Arts & Entertainment

Press Pass: Justin Trawick

presspassThose familiar with the Washington, D.C. music scene by now are familiar with the name Justin Trawick. The well-known songwriter has taken the stage at many a local venue, becoming a fixture on the IOTA Club and Café calendar and a bringing recurring songwriter circle to DC9.

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