About: Joel

Joel Tinnel

Photo © Laura S. Tinnel, used by permission.

I played in a large number of local garage bands in my native Knoxville, TN while attending college at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Then I graduated and moved. Everyone’s got to live somewhere: I live in Manassas, VA. If you were married in Northern Virginia, Southern Maryland, or DC between 1995 and 2010, you might have hired The TomCats to play your reception; in that case, you might have heard me play. Otherwise, you likely have no idea who I am.

I started piano at age 9 and guitar at age 13. My dad was a fine musician who played guitar, bass, and mandolin -- he introduced me to a lot of the greats in big band, western swing, country, and rock. That influenced me a lot. Beyond that, the usual suspects (Beatles, Stones, Who), Charlie Christian, Django Reinhart, Joe Pass... everyone who ever picked up a guitar and made cool sounds, I listened. I've had lessons, I'm still taking lessons - but even after understanding the Hungarian Minor scale, I still don't sound like Ritchie Blackmore.

Until Pop Co-Op, I had never written a full song by myself -- I'd written some music and then worked with Steve on songs, but never written an end to end song including lyrics. Steve really pushed me to do this. He said "get mad". So I did, and If Everything Was Easy was the result.

My day gig is attending to the needs of our digital overlords...er, writing software. When I'm not working or making music, I like building custom guitars (like the one in my bio pic!) This was how I got around the "you can't bring one more guitar into this house until you sell one" from my other half. Now I bring them in in pieces... ;)