The Stone Table String Band is me and a few of my like-minded musician
friends, who seek out meaningful songs both new and old and present them with a fresh,
folk-rock twist. Most of the time, the “band” is a recording configuration of my
multi-tracked vocals and instrumentals, assisted by Bruce Adams or Kelly Smith on
bass, and occasionally joined by my wife Debbie adding vocals. But from 1999 through
2002, the Stone Table String Band was a real, touring band, with the addition of
Mike Mooney, Dave Fortschneider, and our daughter Kirstin. We recorded a new CD,
called "The Love and the Mercy".
The album has a deliberately retro folkie sound that is purposely timeless,
as the sound samples below demonstrate. The sound is an informal blend of 60’s folk-rock,
70’s "Jesus People" influences and contemporary acoustic styles, with roots country
and bluegrass elements thrown in when the mood strikes. "It sounds like a bunch of
friends singing together in a living room somewhere."
Most people today do not know what "Folk" is, but they like it when they
hear it. The main features of Folk are an informal yet heartfelt delivery, a tendency
to take the song and not the singer seriously, and a willingness to go deliberately
retro (but never PBS-documentary serious) whenever the song calls for it. The sound
available to a group of musicians if the electricity went off is pretty close to
the sound I strive for, yet digital recording equipment, editing and signal processing
are welcome. The most important thing is the song itself, and the message that moved
us to share it with you. We (and our songs) will grow on you. And if you grab a guitar
and say, "Hey, I could do THAT!" then we'd consider our mission accomplished. Keep
singing! Timothy Smith
The beautiful Stone Table Logo created for this album by Randy Berk,
inspired by the Narnia story
The Love and the Mercy (2000)
The Stone Table String Band's CD
(And Tanignak Productions’ First Release):
This great album features twelve songs, including six original songs written
by the participants. The cover songs include a bluegrass hymn, two versions of songs
first sung by the Wilson McKinley (the pioneering Jesus People rock band, and a main
feature of this web site), and songs by several of the great recent Contemporary
Christian songwriters. Instrumentation ranges from electric bass and acoustic and
electric lead guitars to banjo, mandolin and even a homemade string bass made out
of a five-gallon oil can (on two numbers).
Throughout, the lead singing is complemented by layered harmonies and
homemade percussion (such as pocket change in an old sock). We are truly pleased
with the result, which was all recorded in an ordinary (and still functioning) bedroom
from June 1999 to January 2000 using digital multi-track recording technology. This
blend of state of the art and deliberately retro is what makes the Stone Table String
Band so refreshing and unique.
The track titles of The Love and the Mercy (With Sound Samples) are:
Timothy Smith, band producer, engineer, arranger, lead and harmony vocals, percussion
effects, acoustic guitars, banjo, mandolin and mop-handle bass, composer of the title
track, and lead singer on six of the songs.
Mike Mooney, acoustic lead and rhythm guitars, composer and lead singer of two songs
(“I’m Glad” and “To See Jesus”).
Kelly Smith* sings lead vocal on two songs, composer of the new tune on “Grace Will
Lead Me Home,” and electric bass on a few of the tracks.
Bruce Adams,* electric bass on most of the tracks.
Dave Fortschneider, chief encourager, composer of “Warmth of His Love,” and high
harmony on most of the tracks.
Kirstin Smith (Tim’s daughter) sang lead on “That’s What Faith Must Be” and contributed
beautiful harmonies on the title track and “Sparrow.”
Mitch Brandon contributed electric guitar on “He Is a Friend of Mine,” and harmonica
on “The Warmth of His Love.”
Dale Longtin did the beautiful flute work on Everything Is In Your Hands.
Randy Berk did the fabulous original artwork and logo for us.
* For those of you keeping up with such things, Kelly Smith is my brother, and was
the bassist as we led singing at Camp Woody from 1972-1977, before becoming a guitarist
and worship leader in his own right. He served as worship leader for a church in
Anchorage for years. Bruce Adams served with us in Camp Woody in the 1970’s, and
plays bass on all the tracks of the classic “Birthday Music” and “Old Tracks” CD’s
available on the CD Music Page. Mike and Dave are Emmaus buddies, and Mike served
at Camp Woody in 1998 as lay pastor, counselor, and worship leader.