Tanignak Productions Presents:

“If Not For Love/Old Tracks” - A Double-Album CD by The Stone Table String Band (Info and Sound Samples Below!)

          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. From 1980 to 1994, the “band” was a recording configuration of my multi-tracked vocals and instrumentals, assisted by Bruce Adams on bass, and occasionally joined by my wife Debbie adding vocals. We produced three hour-long cassettes of music during those years, and gave them out as Christmas gifts.  Now the best of those tracks (and some unreleased songs) have been digitally re-mastered as this double album and its companion CD of Christmas songs called “Birthday Music”.

The cover of “If Not For Love/Old Tracks” shows two old family photos of Tim’s Mom as a toddler, with her brother, in 1918, and a logging train in Washington State around 1905. Colorized by Tim.

Sound samples from both albums

SAMPLE FOLK SONGS:

Columbus Stockade SAMPLE

Pack Up Your Sorrows SAMPLE

Kisses Sweeter Than Wine SAMPLE

Take Matty and Go SAMPLE

Hanna Lee SAMPLE

SAMPLE GOSPEL SONGS:

On a Hill SAMPLE

Lily of the Valley SAMPLE

Fall of Satan’s Kingdom SAMPLE

A New Name in Glory SAMPLE

SAMPLE LOVE SONGS:

No One to Talk My Troubles To SAMPLE

Wedding Song SAMPLE

Tomorrow  Lies In the Cradle SAMPLE

This is the Day SAMPLE

The track list panel from the double-album CD also lists the instruments and recording data. Complete liner notes are included with the CD (and are reproduced below)

To Order This Album (First Class Postage Paid Worldwide) Click on the “Music Page”  Graphic Below:

The Original “Liner Notes” Page is Reproduced Below:

The Story Behind the Songs

By Timothy Smith, Tanignak Productions, 11/2011

Old Tracks (a bonus album):

About the Album:

Back in 1980, I started working with Bruce Adams, who had served with

me at Camp Woody in Alaska in the 1970’s, to produce music cassettes

to give as Christmas gifts.  Our first efforts are found in Birthday Music, a

CD of Christmas music also available at tanignak.com.  We recorded a lot

of folk and gospel tracks in the tradition of groups like the Kingston Trio

and the Wedgwood. Unfortunately, we recorded cassette to cassette, using

a small mixer to overdub ourselves, which resulted in some pretty deficient

recordings. But now, thanks to visual digital editing capabilities, new software

and a broadcast-quality cassette deck, they sound better than ever before.

 

Because they show the deficiencies of the original recording format, the 14 remastered/restored songs are included on this CD as bonus tracks!

 

The Songs of “Old Tracks”  

Columbus Stockade is lyrically a combination of versions by the Kingston Trio

and the Chad Mitchell Trio, but  instrumentally it was an experiment in

flat-picking my Gibson 12-string guitar. I used the instrumental break as

the fade-out on this mix.

Pack Up Your Sorrows is based on arrangements by Marj Snyder and Peter,

Paul and Mary. I used a yard-sale classical converted into a slide guitar, and

also played mandolin and guitar.

Coal Tattoo - easily the most degraded track in the collection, I used the

layer that had the best banjo part.  The lead vocal is very thin from cassette-to

-cassette dubbing as we added layers. By Billy Ed Wheeler.

Kisses Sweeter than Wine is also a famous Weavers song.  Debbie does

a rare solo turn in a couple of spots.

Take Matty and Go was re-engineered in the mid-1980s to add the mad

steel drum sound of lots of kitchen pots and pans.  The high, clear notes are

from Corelleware dishes. This track was digitally restored using three different

takes. The line about “Jordache” was added during the ’80’s jeans craze.

Run the Ridges is another degraded, restored track, but we did such a dramatic

job on it that here it is.  Learned from the Kingston Trio. My rhythm guitar in

these sessions was a very thin sounding $50 6 string from Sears Surplus.

Hanna Lee - another great Kingston Trio song, featuring the slide guitar,

and falsetto vocals in the chorus.

On a Hill was learned from Kentucky Faith, which eventually became

Brush Arbor. This was my first attempt at singing three harmony parts.

Come to the Rock medley - the first tune is by Kentucky Faith, and the

middle song is You’ll Get Yours, and I’ll Get Mine, by Johnny Cash. The

cheap Sears guitar had a pickup, which provides the country licks.  

Joel the Prophet is by my college friend, Larry Wagner (who can write

excellently in any style).  The arrangement is reminiscent of songs by Lamb.

David and Goliath is also by Larry.  I gave this song a “Heartbreak Hotel”

sound, but according to a friend who previewed it, I can only manage to

sound like Ricky Nelson, not Elvis! Notice that Larry actually rhymes the

names of the old Philistine (“Philly”) cities from the Bible story!

Stagecoach - Tom Stipe’s song was a staple of Camp Woody (with my brother

Kelly on bass). Here Bruce and I add to the original earnest folk arrangement.

Lily of the Valley is an old hymn. (Old hymns never die; they just become

bluegrass numbers!) Inspired by the folk-y Wedgwood version.

Which Side are You On? Arlo Guthrie took the chorus of an old union organizing

song and wedded it to powerful gospel verses. With “pocket change.”

If Not For Love (a Gospel and Love Song Album):

 

 

This album had its origin in music sung for various friends’ weddings, and the

fact that we upgraded from cassette to Hi-Fi video. Instead of finishing the

various albums we had started, we went all-digital in 1999 and recorded

The Love and the Mercy (also available at tanignak.com).  This is the first

release for most of these songs, and they sound great after all these years.

 

The Songs of “If Not For Love”

Gospel Road is the first song on this CD to be recorded on videotape, which

we adopted after the introduction of Hi-Fi Beta and VHS in the mid-80‘s.

This it the title track from Johnny Cash’s 1973 film, and I do all the verses.

Fall of Satan’s Kingdom is from the Wedgwood’s version, but I added verses

from a Weavers song and a bridge from a Kingston Trio song.  

A New Name in Glory features Bruce on rhythm guitar and singing choruses

with me (doing a bluegrass-style vocal) The harmony parts were run through

a digital delay box. I added a “calliope” using my daughter’s Casio keyboard.

If Not For Love by C. Wren is one of Johnny Cash’s lesser-known songs,

but I have sung it since the early 1970‘s. This 1994 recording features

guitar, bass, and solo vocal, and is a fitting theme song for this set.

No One to Talk My Troubles To was a famous (mostly) solo effort by

Nick Reynolds of the Kingston Trio. I contend that this is the best “single”

song ever, capturing all the longings of someone who is still alone and

doesn’t like it. It was a song I sang a lot (as a single) in college!

You Got Me Runnin’ was a minor top-40 hit for Gene Cotton, spending

a couple of weeks below #35 in 1976 or 1977. Debbie sings the chorus lead,

and I added two harmony parts, in this simple arrangement from 1994. It’s a

really sweet love song.

Treasures - this Honeytree song (and the next two) were recorded for a

friend’s wedding in 1992.  Debbie does a splendid vocal turn here, and my

plectrum mandolin helps to balance out the overly-flanged classical guitar.  

“Flange” was all the rage in the early 1990’s. I engineered a new ending for

this song when the original suffered from noticeable video degradation.

You may notice a “brrt” sound every so often from video tracking problems.

Wedding Song - yes, I know, this Paul Stookey song was waaay overexposed

when it became known, but since I learned it the week it came out back in

1971, I felt free to include this version.  I used a portable pickup on my

12-string, ran it through a flanger, then recorded two parts, and the result was

so tinny that it nearly ruined the track.  However, the three part harmonies

are pretty good. This is the classic wedding ceremony song of my generation.

Tomorrow Lies in the Cradle (This was written, if you can believe it, by the

same songwriting team of Hellerman and Minkoff that wrote “Take Matty

and Go!“) It was added to this album basically by popular demand from the

two or three people that had heard our version. After hearing our daughter

Kirstin (now all grown up and married) end the song as a toddler, I dare you

not to need a Kleenex!

This is the Day - personally, this is the highlight of the collection. I sang this

for Bruce and Christine’s wedding, and then years later, he and I laid down

a really tight performance, aided greatly by Debbie’s ethereal vocals in the

background. This was by far the best I could do without true multi-tracking

and discreet channel recording.  It’s also a really great love song, which I

interpret as having an anniversary, rather than a wedding, focus.

 

Who Does What on These Tracks (Both Albums):

Bruce helped start this thing out by learning to play bass, which encouraged

me to continue the sound that my brother Kelly and I had years before in

Alaska.  He also helped with tambourine, and sang backup on a few songs.

Debbie assumed she couldn’t sing well enough to be recorded, but judge

for yourself: she has a sweet alto that is easy to listen to, and she was both

brave enough to try, and patient enough when Bruce and I made recording studios

out of our family rooms in Upland, then Ontario, and finally Fontana.

I played classical, 6-string steel, 12-string and slide guitars, plus mandolin

and banjo, and sang lead and did as many as three vocal parts, plus helping with

the famous “pocket change” and other percussion. Hope you enjoy it.

Quick Links to the rest of tanignak.com:

Link to the CD Music Page

Link to Online Articles Page

Link to Always Jesus People Article (a bit of my story)

Link to Camp Woody and Long Island (Alaska) Index

Link to How to Get to Kodiak Index Page

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