James Hand (musician)
|Born||July 7, 1952|
Waco, Texas, U.S.
|Died||June 8, 2020 (aged 67)|
Waco, Texas, U.S.
James Edward Hand was born on July 7, 1952 in Waco, Texas. He was raised in the community of Tokio in McLennan County, Texas, and took to guitar playing and singing when approximately twelve years old. He worked in various jobs, including horse training and driving a truck. About his work with animals, Hand said, “People act like it’s some big deal, like this whole horse whispering thing. But I’ll tell you something – you can whisper to ’em, you can get down on your knees and act like ’em, but the horse knows you ain't a horse."
As a teenager, Hand joined a small band and began performing in honky-tonks and roadhouses across the state of Texas. At some point he started to write and perform his own songs. After years of continuous traveling and live performances, he released his first album in 1999, when he was 47 years old.
In 2014, Hand played a fictional version of himself in the independent film Thank You a Lot. The Austin Film Society's website noted that Hand and co-protagonist Blake DeLong, playing his son, had a chemistry that was "hilariously realistic".
About the life he sings about, Hand once remarked: "I don't know if I've been more blessed or cursed. But I've been diversified."
Reviewers have generally emphasized the "authenticity" of Hand's songs. His music reportedly can match the "rigor" of historical performers of country music, "with the slightest touch of outlaw bluster," while his voice can be "uncertain in moments." On the release of his first album, one reviewer wrote that Hand "sings the songs as if he has lived every minute of them," while The Washington Post's reviewer called him "the real deal," a view shared also by Willie Nelson.
- Shadows Where the Magic Was (1997)
- Evil Things, on Cold Spring Records (1999)
- Live From The Saxon Pub Austin TX, on Knight Klub Records (2003)
- The Truth Will Set You Free, on Rounder Records (2006)
- Shadow on the Ground, on Rounder Records (2009)
- Mighty Lonesome Man, on Hillgrass Bluebilly Records (2012)
- Stormclouds in Heaven, on Slim Hand Music (2014)
- Powers, Calvin (December 3, 2012). "James Hand". Americana Music Show. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Deming, Mark (2018). "James Hand". AllMusic. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Blackstock, Peter (June 10, 2020). "Texas country great James Hand dies at 67". Austin 360. Retrieved June 11, 2020.
- "James Hand". The Austin Beer Garden Brewing Co. September 14, 2006. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- "Country Legend James Hand is One of Texas's Best Kept Secrets". Texas Hill Country magazine. January 15, 2016. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Thanki, Juli (September 8, 2009). "Review of James Hand's Honky-Tonk Shadow on the Ground". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Cerda, Debbie (March 25, 2014). "SXSW 2014: Connecting With Local and Indie Music Through Film". Slackerwood. Austin Film Society. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Blackstock, Peter (June 10, 2020). "Texas country great James Hand dies at 67". Austin American-Statesman. Retrieved January 31, 2021.
- Bell, Ben (February 19, 2012). "James Hand". Saving Country Music. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Caramanica, Ron (October 15, 2009). "Honoring Inspirations From Life and Beyond It". The New York Times. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Munro, Stuart (April 28, 2006). "James Hand : The Truth Will Set You Free". Boston Globe. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- McClain, Buzz (March 19, 2006). "The Truth Will Set You Free : Review". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- Bell, Ben (March 19, 2006). "James Hand". Houston Press. Retrieved September 10, 2018.
- "Central Texas musician James "Slim" Hand passes away Monday morning". KXXV. June 8, 2020. Retrieved June 8, 2020.