Though he's been making original Country music for over forty years, until recently James Hand had unjustly remained one of American music's secret treasures -- a local legend in Texas, modestly plying his craft in countless smoky dives and dancehalls to a slowly widening circle of admirers. What he does, he does straight from his heart, taking the hard-won lessons that life and love have taught him and pouring them into his songwriting and performing. He sings like nobody but himself, his phrasing drawing out the pain and humor of his lyrics with an unpredictable yet soulful series of tiny inflections. His songs are equally mysterious and unclassifiable. While they are noticeably rich with the influences of his heroes -- classic country architects like Hank, Lefty, and Ernest – Mr. Hand's songs are uniquely his, imbued with equal parts gallows humor and the ability to stare unflinchingly into life's darkest corners.
Born in Waco, TX, rodeos and country music surrounded Mr. Hand from an early age, and quickly became part of his daily life. The classic strains of Lefty Frizzell and Hank Williams made their mark on him, but a more substantial influence on his performing and songwriting has been life itself. “I’ve been writing songs since I was kid – since I was ten or eleven. Just the other day I found some songs in a little bitty envelope that my grandmother had tucked away into china cabinet. And with the life I’ve lived, there’s no shortage of songs. They’ll run out of typewriter ribbon before I run out of songs.”