Adobie Flatz

El Paso, Texas

Records with Sonobeat in 1973
No commercial releases on Sonobeat Records
Listen to more below

Adobie Flatz comes to the Sonobeat studios on North Lamar in Austin, Texas, in January 1973 and cuts three songs with Sonobeat co-founder and producer Bill Josey Sr.: Trust (by Phil Livingston, who may be a member of the group), Wrong Time, and an untitled blues tune. It seems likely the band is based in El Paso, and its members likely attend the University of Texas at El Paso. From November 1972 through February 1974, the UT El Paso school newspaper, The Prospector, frequently lists playdates for a band called "Adobe Flatz", without the "i" in the band name, so we think it equally likely that Bill Sr. has misspelled the group's name on the master tape box and that the band indeed is "Adobe" rather than "Adobie" Flatz. We have other confirmed instances in the Sonobeat archives of Bill misspelling band names (e.g., he misspells the Sweetarts as "Sweet-Tarts" and Shiva's Headband as "Sheva's Head Band" on master tape boxes). And, continuing this line of speculation, we think the band may be named for the small town of Adobe Flats, Arizona, about 85 miles west of Phoenix, a bit over 500 miles west of El Paso, and directly on the I-10 route from El Paso to Los Angeles. But our band name origin theory is a wild although somewhat educated guess.

Instrumentation on the session is drums, bass, rhythm guitar, and lead guitar, and lead vocals are enhanced with harmony parts. The recordings are mixed down from 4-track session tapes recorded on Sonobeat's Scully 240 half-inch machine to a monaural demo tape. In 2008, Sonobeat Historical Archives mixes a new stereo version of Trust using the 4-track session master, a snippit of which we present below along with Bill's original mono mix of Wrong Time. There's nothing more in the Sonobeat archives to help us identify the group's members, how it came to Bill's attention, and where it may have performed in the Austin area. We'd love to know more about Adobie (or, more likely, Adobe) Flatz.

Adobie Flatz personnel


Unreleased Sonobeat recordings

Wrong Time
Unidentified blues tune

Producer: Bill Josey Sr.
Engineer: Bill Josey Sr.
Session date(s): January 1973
Studio: Sonobeat Studios, 705 North Lamar, Austin, Texas
Recording equipment:
   Microphones: ElectroVoice 665, ElectroVoice Slimair 636, Sony ECM22 electret condenser
   Tape recorders: Scully 280 half-inch 4-track, Stemco half-inch 4-track tape deck, Ampex AG350 quarter-inch 2-track tape deck
   Tape stock: Ampex 681
   Mixer: custom 16-channel 4-bus console
   Outboard gear: Fairchild Lumiten 663ST optical compressor, Blonder-Tongue Audio Baton 9-band stereo graphic equalizer, custom steel plate stereo reverb
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The mix-down master of Adobie Flatz' three tunes recorded at Sonobeat's North Lamar studios in Austin; we feel pretty sure the band's name is misspelled on the tape box and that it's actually Adobe Flatz, with no "i"

We find this photo of a band identified as "Adobe Flatz" in the November 2, 1972, issue of the University of Texas El Paso school newspaper, The Prospector, and strongly believe this is the same "Adobie Flatz" that records with Sonobeat in 1973