Sheila and the TSP
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Sheila and the TSP

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Pop Singer/Songwriter


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"" artistic project that aims for something unique...""

"Hughes and company have mounted an artful project that aims for something unique... Key to the band's sonic weave is Hughe's soulfulness, which lends a consistently moody mien to the proceedings." - Music Connection


"If These Stones Could Speak" (2011)



Sheila Kirsten Hughes and the TSP Orchestra (or “Sheila and the TSP,” for short) is the metamorphosis of Sheila Kirsten Hughes and the Sheila Kirsten Hughes Band. It could be said that the group is the culmination of four Travelers Synchronistically Passing on the highway of life, though the true meaning behind the TSP acronym remains a guarded secret by the band.

The synchronistic crossing of paths began in 1994 when Chris and Sheila, the founding members of the band, literally collided while extreme skating on the streets of Downtown St. Petersburg, Florida. This chance meeting of souls led to the merging of two dreams forged during childhood: Sheila’s, to be a performing recording artist; Chris’s, to have a control room that did something useful (a desire fueled by a visit to a full-sized nuclear power plant training facility at age 11 where Chris’s stepfather worked. Chris instantly became enamored with the knobs, switches, meters, and blinking lights and wanted one of his own). The need for such a control room was fulfilled when Chris built a recording studio to produce Sheila’s first album.

Sheila and Chris eventually married and would go on to form the Sheila Kirsten Hughes Band.

As the duo prepared for their 2006 Perspectives CD Release show, they expressed a desire to the universe to work with other musicians. In particular, they’d always wanted to work with a drummer, but found them hard to come by. At the time, Sheila and Chris had been regularly attending the monthly Just Plain Folks showcases in the Tampa Bay area, through which they came to know and befriend many local musicians. During one particular showcase, a band named “Horsefeathers” took to the stage, which was a pairing of several different musicians with multi-instrumental abilities. On drums was Alex Wolfe Parnes, a musician Chris and Sheila had come to know primarily as a singer/songwriter, so they were surprised to see him behind the drums. As it turned out, Alex is an excellent drummer, amongst his many other musical talents.

Later that week, Sheila shot Alex an email asking him if he’d be interested in playing drums for their Perspectives CD Release Show at the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center. To Sheila’s pleasant surprise, Alex answered, “I would be honored…do you have a drum kit?”

By the time the first practice for the show rolled around, Chris and Sheila managed to borrow a drum kit from a friend. When Alex showed up to play, Chris and Sheila’s jaws dropped to the floor as he pounded out the drum riffs exactly as they sounded on the CD. How was he able to do this without having his own kit to practice on? As Alex explains it, he’d been practicing in his head.

Sheila and Chris jelled with Alex so well that after the release show, they officially adopted him into the band. Alex was everything Sheila and Chris had hoped the universe would send their way — ego-free, multi-talented, and a really cool person.

In 2007, the Sheila Kirsten Hughes Band’s song “Let It Rain Down” off of Perspectives received an “Honorable Mention” in the Singer/Songwriter Awards, a London-based international songwriting competition. They were also a Semifinalist in the 2007 Independent Music World Series, a Disc Makers competition. Plus, they were one of just 25 artists selected for the 2008-2010 Florida State Touring Roster by the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs.

Despite these successes, after returning from a particularly taxing trip to the 2007 Performing Arts Exchange Conference where Chris and Sheila produced an independent showcase for their own band and 3 other bands, the pair was in need of some down time. They were exhausted after investing most of their time, money, and energy on music over the course of many years. They’d put an enormous effort into making it a career, and as a result, it just wasn’t fun anymore. On top of that, a few months later, they unexpectedly lost their beloved golden retriever of 8-1/2 years to a very aggressive form of cancer. That experience was the nail in the coffin of their musical aspirations.

As the months passed, Chris and Sheila’s instruments sat in their cases in a closet collecting dust. They didn’t know if they’d ever pick them back up. During this time, not far away, a USF college student by the name of James Geiger was discovering the band’s music. Inspired by what he heard, James messaged the band through their myspace page to express how much their music had touched him. He inquired as to whether or not the band had ever thought about making a music video. When Sheila responded wanting to know why he asked, James explained that he made movies and would love to have the opportunity to make a music video for one of the songs on Perspectives.

In May, 2008, the band teamed up with James Geiger and Wesley Greene and their production company JWG Productions to create their very first MTV-style music video for “Different People,” a song that shines the li