Coming to The Hood Bar & Pizza, Palm Desert, Saturday, October 3rd @ 9pm
By Lisa Morgan
If The Adobe Collective was a novel, I’d be anxiously waiting for the sequel. I cannot wait to see what comes next from this tribe of fresh Americana tunesmiths. Their background, like their music, is an amassment of intelligent, thought provoking story lines with unpredictably powerful dynamics, rooted in authenticity and loaded with potential.
At first glance, you see a young couple, soft spoken and humble, yet confidently at ease in their own skin. Faith walks through a room and steps onto the stage like she’s been there a thousand times before, with perhaps only her knee length locks and natural beauty drawing attention – that is until she opens her mouth to sing. Like honey, her voice brings a sweet warmth and a fullness to the room along side her husband’s pure, story weaving tenor as the two voices become one in harmony. Tim, her husband and the front man of The Adobe Collective, is quiet, focused, not in the least bit ostentatious, yet commanding all the same. Off stage, he is mild mannered and quiet, always watching and observing. Just another young couple in the high desert music scene. But in these parts surrounding the startling beauty of Joshua Tree, only the legitimately talented and veritable of heart tend to find community and longevity. Though it has only been 4 years, Tim and Faith and their Adobe Collective have found a home among the music community’s best, and the inspiration is contagious.
Tim wrote his first song in sixth grade. Tim and Faith had their first kiss in high school, when she was 14 and he was 16. Eleven years of marriage, two enlistments in the Navy and two small children later (daughter, Vera 3 and son, Will, 10 weeks), Tim and Faith Chinnock stand on the precipice of music becoming their central theme, and that, in my opinion, is an excellent prospect.
CVW: Tell me a little about your music background.
Faith: “My dad is a blues harmonica player – actually most of my dad’s side of the family were musicians and singers. Harmony was a big thing in my family, so I grew up singing harmonies with my dad and different people. I remember when I was 8 my mom asked me, ‘Can you sing the part that the woman in church is singing?’ I could. It was easy for me. I have always loved figuring out different parts that could go well with the melody. Melody is nice, but I don’t feel like a solo singer. I want to enhance what Tim’s doing, kind of like a shadow or a second part of his voice – the subconscious part of the music. I try to make it sound like it’s still him, and try to set the mood he’s trying to create. That’s how I’ve always liked to sing. But Tim and I didn’t really start singing together until about 5 years ago, when Tim picked up the guitar again.”
Tim: “My family is more classically trained and I grew up with a little bit of that. I wrote my first song when I was in 6th grade and stopped writing. I’d been playing drums more than guitar with other people. But we were stationed in San Diego, living in a building where it was actually written into our lease that I couldn’t play my drums. It’s a compulsion to play, so I picked the guitar back up. I’m not super into learning other people’s songs, so song writing just made sense. I felt like I was at a point in my life where I had something to say, so I made a conscious decision to not question what was coming out. When I was younger, I’d be so critical of myself that it would go nowhere. This time I decided to just go with it. I’m going to see what comes out and trust it.”
“The songwriting really deepened when we got to Twentynine Palms. We moved into an original adobe house that was made in the 1930s. That’s where our name came from. The house we rented and now own, is called The Lida Donnell Adobe (It’s in the 29 Palms Adobe Book www.adobes29.com). Just living between the earthen floors and walls is inspiring. We recorded eight original songs and two covers on our first record, The Adobe Collective, at Red Barn Records in Morongo Valley.”
CVW: You recently released a fantastic three song EP, Wonder Lust, recorded with the renowned Chris Unck at High Lonesome Studio in Joshua Tree. How did that relationship evolve?
Tim: “I’d heard about Chris a lot when he first moved to Pioneer Town. Our drummer, Caleb Winn, highly recommended him and told us we really needed to check him and his studio out. If you go to events around here enough, you start to see people regularly, and suddenly they’re your friends. I’d heard his album, Chris Unck & The Black Roses, and went to his album release. Our music is right up his alley, and his recording style is right up our alley. Almost all of what we recorded was done live. We had very few overdubs; maybe just a bit of vocals and a guitar part here and there. When someone is really good, you don’t even notice they’re really good because it all feels so natural. Not that we took it for granted how great Chris is at all – I saw how many cables were going in and out of all of Chris’ gear. We were able to go in there and get the EP recorded in a week.”
“Our title song of the EP, Wonder Lust, has had really great response, and it’s only been out a month. The song is inspired by the openness of Wonder Valley. We are in a location where we are feeling the energies of two places; Joshua Tree and Wonder Valley, where music is developing into a kind of movement. The thing you look at everyday is the thing that shapes your mind, which then shapes your being. The song is the expression of that cycle.”
CVW: What’s next for The Adobe Collective?
“We have more songs in the wheel house that are marinating, waiting to be recorded, and the great response has really encouraged us to go back into the studio. Our plan in the next few months is to leave the military – it’s been a great experience, but we are looking forward to enjoying the level of freedom that’s limited in the service. Every struggling musician has to have a day job, I just happen to be a doctor, so I’m hoping to be able to work half a month at Loma Linda, and the other half doing art and music.”
CVW: ART and music?
Tim: “I’ve delved into contemporary and visual art, and I’m putting together a portfolio to apply for a Masters of Fine Arts. I haven’t actually shown my art; I’ve been doing doctor stuff all along.”
The only official members of The Adobe Collective are Tim and Faith. This is by design. They want the music to be fluid – more like a collective than a band. That being said, they do have core players that perform with them live. Those players include well respected artists such as Thom Merrick on bass, Caleb Winn on drums, Stewart Heyduk on bass, Lucio Menegon on guitar, the brass dream team of Clint Stoker (sax) and Scott Kisinger (trombone). More recently, Chris Unck has even joined them for a few gigs.
The Adobe Collective is as much an experience as it is a fresh fusion of roots Americana folk, rock and roll. “Collective” is a key word as their collection of players turn their well penned tunes into a rocking symphony of ear pleasing jams that have the ebb and flow of a volatile desert storm, bringing their “folk” music to a whole other level.
The Adobe Collective will be performing at the Hood Bar and Pizza in Palm Desert Saturday, October 3rd at 9pm along with Chris Unck and Gabriella Evaro’s band Lucky Bones, Mikey Reyes and Bryanna Evaro’s Desert Rhythm Project, and High Lonesome recording artist Rick Shelley.