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From singalong to solo

May 07, 2006|By JULIE E. GREENE

Tim Moffitt grew up singing, starting with accompaniment tracks in church.

So it seems appropriate that a performance at State Line United Methodist Church's fellowship hall led to his first CD, "The Best of Country Gospel."

At the church's coffeehouse in summer 2005, Moffitt was in the audience when Smithsburg recording artist Eric Cooper encouraged him to sing. The two sang "Long Black Train."

Afterward, the musician told Moffitt to pursue music.

"He said ... 'God gave you a gift. You need to be out there blessing other people with it,'" recalled Moffitt, 30, of the Hagerstown area.

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"He's got an awesome voice," Cooper said. "He's got a good, country-sounding voice."

Moffitt started singing at a local campground and coffeehouses and people began asking him if he had a CD.

His family helped him underwrite the cost of making a CD in Nashville at TMC Recording Studio, once owned by Conway Twitty.

Moffitt, who sings baritone and tenor, sang along with accompaniment tracks in the studio, a mix of contemporary Christian songs and country hits.

Moffitt sang the Christian tunes in a country-gospel style to give people a taste of his next project, a contemporary Christian album.

His first album, "The Best of Country Gospel," features "Love Without End, Amen" which has been performed by George Strait, and "Long Black Train," the song Moffitt sang at the coffeehouse. The new CD's song list is "... based on songs that have blessed me," he said. "All the songs on there have touched me or blessed me."

Moffitt plans to hold onto his day job as a maintenance technician with the City of Frederick, Md.'s wastewater treatment facility while he pursues a musical career.

He's hoping to show the record company he can secure his own tour dates, do his own road work and sell a significant number of CDs on his own so he'll get picked up for a record deal.

He knows that could take years.

"I have to get my name out there. I'm in it for the long haul," Moffitt said.

In addition to brushing up on his piano playing for his next album, Moffitt is writing some original contemporary Christian songs.

Moffitt lives west of Hagers-town with his wife, Shannon, and sons, Austin, 5, and Jacob, 2.

Moffitt will be performing at Harpers Ferry (W.Va.) KOA Campground at 7 p.m. Saturday, May 27, and at Smithsburg Pride Days on Saturday, July 15, after the parade ends.

His CD, "The Best of Country Gospel," can be purchased for $15, including shipping, by writing to Tim Moffitt, 11931 Gardenia Court, Hagerstown, MD 21740, e-mailing t.moffitt@myactv.netor calling 301-223-1165.

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