A Unique Vibe
Ted Quinn and Joshua Tree's new musical order.
by Bruce Fessier
The Desert Sun - Oct.1, 2004
...You may discern the unique Joshua Tree vibe. It's a
feeling that music isn't just on the stage, it's in
the air. And if you believe it will coalesce, you may
find that out of this chaos will come a new musical
...(Quinn's) "Help wanted" has that ethereal Joshua
Tree sound, but also includes a powerful narrative
based on a true story, titled "29 Palms," about a
woman who watches her husband ship out to war.
"There's definitely a desert sound to what they do at
Rancho de la Luna," said (Daniel Lanois) the producer
of such artists as U2, Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, "a
"You can't be in that region without having the
climate affect you somehow. There's a kind of
tranquility folks have access to that's just not
available in cities."
Quinn strives to bring that tranquility to the music
at Rancho de la Luna through what an actor might call
the method technique.
...One of The Trees' key figures, "He could play for
two hours," Cosmic American Music Festival founder Jon
McKinney said. "He's a really good songwriter."
Rebirth of 'cool' can be heard on Joshua Tree singer's
by Steve Brown
Desert Post Weekly - Dec. 11, 2003
..Somehow a whisper of Lennon's soul has blown on the
dusty desert wind into the town of Joshua Tree, where
it has taken quiet,cool root in the soul of
singer/songwriter Ted Quinn.
...Quinn explores issues of the world and the heart
with depth and tenderness.
...Far beyond the singer/songwriter trap of
incessantly writing about himself. In Quinn's world,
there's room for everybody.
"Help Wanted" is full of gems...an excellent example
of Quinn's far-reaching talent, extending out with
subtlety, love and hope... Connects and provokes, is
deep and strong, yet vulnerable.
Cafe owners broadcast from Joshua Tree to the rest of
the world - via the Internet
by Steve Brown
Desert Post Weekly cover story - July 22, 2004
The Peacenik launches at the Beatnik
The first radio show to launch on Beatnik Radio is Ted
Quinn's Peacenik at the Beatnik.
Quinn, a local singer/songwriter.peace activist and
partner in the Rancho de la Luna recording studio,
began his first show with the late Fred Drake's song,
"All Around the World," an appropriate theme for a
broadcast that had listeners in Australia, Tehran and
The response to the initial broadcast, both live and
over the Internet, was excellent, Quinn noted.
"There was a great, really festive atmosphere, very
raucous and a lot of fun. I got instant messages from
people in Australia that were fans."
"My original motivation came when I was about 4
years old and my mother couldn't get me out of the
house to play," (Quinn) recalled. "I just wanted to
sit there with the record player and my sister's stack
"Some of the most heartwarming music I've ever heard
in a club...A remarkable variation on Dylan's Blonde
on Blonde era."
"Dylanesque, sometimes surreal rock from an outfit
with no attitude...Ted sings 'em with feeling and
quite a few tunes are pleasantly sweet and heartfelt."
"Quinn is a word-sorcerer -- part travelling minstrel,
part love child and part guerilla warrior..who
composes love songs of rebellion ... absolutely
definitive, blunt, biting and brutal social
statements. It seems a brilliant, although divinely
uncalculated, ploy to use the love song as a vehicle
for social condemnation...the expansion of the
personal and political to the spiritual..."
"Ted Quinn plays with fire and doesn't care if he gets
burned. Come rediscover solid song writing, poetic
verse, and a willingness to run for your life across
the shaky rope bridge burning down, like a lit
firecracker wick, behind you."
songwriter/performer Shawn Mafia
resides in Joshua Tree, California where he enjoys
walking with his dog in the desert, recording at home
and seeing friends at the local cafe.
2004. Songwriter. Founder of Nomadhouse studio.* As
Music Director of High Desert Living Arts Center,
produced Chuckwalla Music Festival,* bringing 50 local
bands and musicians together to benefit arts programs
in local schools. Partner in Rancho de la Luna
recording.* Producer/ programmer/dj for Peacenik at
the Beatnik internet radio.* Performances include:
Chuckwalla, Cosmic American Music Festival / Gram Fest
, Joshua Tree Music Festival & Wild West Coyote Fest
(Joshua Tree). Currently producing recordings by other
artists and completing a new cd, "Dog Years."
2003. "Help Wanted" cd released. Composed score for
Cracked Eggs theatrical production: "Queen of the
American Way," directed by Linda Sibio. Performances
include: Cosmic American Music Festival / Gram Fest ,
Heartland (Chicago), Hotel Utah (San Francisco), Wild
West Coyote Fest & Wilshire Ebell theatre "Foreplay"
for International Day of Theatre Against the War
production of "Lysistrata." Organized peace events,
including Poets Against the War open reading and
numerous vigils and music events.
2002. Launched "The World Tour That The World Travels
To" in Joshua Tree, California.
Composed score for Cracked Eggs theatrical
production: "Manic Wisteria," directed by Linda Sibio.
Co-produced Elia Arce art performance "First Woman on
2001 and prior .Co-produced Elia Arce spoken
word/music performance "Unchanging Evidence of
Identity." Limited edition 5 CD 'Paintbox' release
(1989-1999). Contributed song to "Desert Sessions
Vol. 5/6." Performances include: Cosmic American Music
Festival / Gram Fest . Organized, with Elia Arce, a
vigil to declare Joshua Tree a Hate-Free Zone.
1989 and prior. With Ministry of Fools, crashed
Abbie Hoffman's wake, opened for John Trudell.
Recorded euro/techno hit with band Telekin, called the
"pick to click in 1983" by the LA Weekly. First single
produced by Geza X.
1979 and prior. First gig attended by Tom Waits, who
taught young Ted how to shave. Did first poetry
reading at Bla Bla Cafe. Occasionally picked up
hitch-hiking in Laurel Canyon by Frank Zappa, Flo &
Eddie, Tina Turner and/or Rita Moreno. Played the role
of Orson Welles dead son in B-movie and was turned
into a bulldog by Tabitha.