Gene Watson Peer’s Quote from James Hand: June 2008

Gene Watson’s Peers within the country music industry believe in the sheer talent of this unassuming man from east Texas, so much so that Gene is regarded by many of them as ‘the singer’s singer’ – and rightly so!

All of Gene Watson’s Peers, who were contacted by The Gene Watson Fan Site, during 2008, were most gracious with their time and words.

It is here, within this special part of The Gene Watson Fan Site, that you have an opportunity to read a quote from James Hand, which he submitted to this site on Tuesday 3 June 2008.

Sean Brady would like to take this opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to James Hand who has made a special contribution to a unique part of this online ‘celebration of a Lone Star Hero’.

James Hand

James Hand
This quote was submitted on Tuesday 3 June 2008.

‘I think Gene Watson is one of the best country singers in the whole world.

His song, ‘I’d Love To Live with You Again‘, cost me several hundred dollars’ worth of quarters back in 1976 or so.

Thank you for it all; God be with you.

Your pal,
James Hand’

Thank you, James Hand, for your support of Gene Watson.

About James Hand…

James Hand

James Hand was born James Edward Hand Jr. in Waco, Texas on Monday 7 July 1952 and developed a passion for country music when he was very young – in fact, James Hand joined a band playing local roadhouses when he was twelve years old.

James Hand very much enjoyed music, but he knew that music alone could not keep body and soul together, so he trained to become a horse trainer.

James Hand grew up on the rodeo circuit with his parents, and started learning guitar and singing as a teenager, but he never pursued music as a career.  Instead, James Hand was a rodeo man and truck driver.

Over the years, however, James Hand continued to write songs and perform them at various honky tonks within the Lone Star State of Texas; he also managed to attain a following of loyal fans, including Willie Nelson, Ray Price (Tuesday 12 January 1926 – Monday 16 December 2013) and Asleep at The Wheel’s Ray Benson.

In 1998, James Hand recorded his debut album, ‘Shadows Where The Magic Was’ (Crystal Clear Sound Records, 1998), for Crystal Clear Sound Records, a small independent record label; the album, which was produced by veteran producer Tommy Alverson, was financed by James Hand and earned solid reviews.

James Hand’s debut album, ‘Shadows Where The Magic Was’ (Crystal Clear Sound Records, 1998), included the following tracks:

‘Over There, That’s Frank’
‘Baby, Baby, Don’t Tell Me That’
‘I Heard Mama Callin’
‘Heart of Mine’
‘I Can’t Afford To Go’
‘The Banks of The Brazos’
‘If You Can’t Tell The Difference’
‘Little Bitty Slip’
‘Shadows Where The Magic Was’
‘Lord Above, Can You Hear Me’
‘Not Worth The Trouble Anymore’
‘Merry Christmas, Darlin’
‘Everybody Got It But Me’
‘My Hearts’ Been Cheatin’ On Me’

On Tuesday 22 February 2000, James Hand saw the release of his second album, ‘Evil Things’ (Cold Spring Records, 2000), which fared even better, and included the following tracks:

‘In The Corner, At The Table, By The Jukebox’ (written by James Hand)
‘Baby, Baby, Baby (Don’t Tell Me That)’
‘I Hope She Loves You (Enough To Tell A Lie)’ (written by James Hand)
‘Just Not Worth The Trouble’
‘Why Didn’t You Hold Me?’ (written by James Hand)
‘A Night Like Any Other’ (written by James Hand)
‘Evil Things’ (written by James Hand)
‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ (written by James Hand)
‘Last River To Cross’ (written by James Hand)
‘Cuttin’ Down (On My Runnin’ Around)’ (written by James Hand)
‘Over There, That’s Frank’
‘Do You Belong?’ (written by James Hand)

In 2004, James Hand recorded a ‘live’ set, ‘Live From The Saxon Pub, Austin, TX’.

In 2005, word of James Hand’s amazing talents spread, with the result being that the high profile roots music label, Rounder Records, signed him to a recording contract.

On Tuesday 28 February 2006, James Hand saw the release of his first album for Rounder Records, ‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ (Rounder Records, 2006), which was produced by legendary producers, Ray Benson and Lloyd Maines, and included the following tracks:

‘Banks of The Brazos’ (written by James Hand)
‘Baby, Baby, Don’t Tell Me That’ (written by James Hand)
‘Here Lies A Good Old Boy’ (written by James Hand)
‘I’ve Got A Lot of Hiding Left To Do’ (written by James Hand)
‘If I Live Long Enough To Heal’ (written by James Hand)
‘In The Corner, At The Table, By The Jukebox’ (written by James Hand)
‘Leave The Lonely Alone’ (written by James Hand)
‘Little Bitty Slip’ (written by James Hand)
‘Just An Old Man With An Old Song’ (written by James Hand)
‘Shadows Where The Magic Was’ (written by James Hand)
‘The Truth Will Set You Free’ (written by James Hand)
‘When You Stopped Loving Me, So Did I’ (written by James Hand)

On Tuesday 8 September 2009, James Hand saw the release of ‘Shadow On The Ground’ (Rounder Records, 2009), which included the following tracks:

‘Don’t Want Me Too’ (written by James Hand)
‘Mona Lisa’ (written by Jay Livingston)
‘Just A Heart’ (written by James Hand)
‘The Parakeet’ (written by James Hand)
‘Floor To Crawl’ (written by James Hand)
‘What Little I Got Left’ (written by James Hand)
‘The Pain of Loving You’ (written by James Hand)
‘Ain’t A Goin’ (written by James Hand)
‘Midnight Run’ (written by James Hand)
‘Leavin’ For Good’ (written by James Hand)
‘Don’t Depend On Me’ (written by James Hand)
‘Men Like Me Can Fly’ (written by James Hand)

At the time of the release of James Hand’s ‘Shadow On The Ground’ (Rounder Records, 2009), James Hand never ventured far from his home in the tiny town of Tokio, Texas (near the town of West) where he lived on his family’s property – horse barns and rodeo grounds in the back, with old relics of the rodeo life undisturbed in the house, items which James Hand was too sentimental to leave behind.

In 2012, James Hand saw the release of ‘Mighty Lonesome Man’ (Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, 2012), which included the following tracks:

‘Mighty Lonesome Man’ (written by James Hand)
‘Years I Been Loving You’ (written by James Hand)
‘Lesson In Depression’ (written by James Hand)
‘Please Me When You Can’ (written by James Hand)
‘The Drought’ (written by James Hand)
‘Old Man Henry’ (written by James Hand)
‘Now Not Later’ (written by James Hand)
‘My Witness’ (written by James Hand)
‘Wish You Would Kiss Me’ (written by James Hand)
‘You Almost Fell’ (written by James Hand)
‘Favourite Fool’ (written by James Hand)
‘You Were With Me Then’ (written by James Hand)
‘Get Rhythm’, which was written by Johnny Cash (Friday 26 February 1932 – Friday 12 September 2003)
‘You’re An Angel’ (written by James Hand)

James Hand: 'Storm Clouds In Heaven' (James Hand Independent Release, 2014)

In 2014, James Hand finally recorded the Gospel album he always wanted to record, ‘Storm Clouds In Heaven’ (South Central Music, 2014), which was recorded in Austin, Texas and was produced by his long-time manager, Deb Perry.

James Hand’s ‘Storm Clouds In Heaven’ (South Central Music, 2014) included the following tracks:

‘Why, Oh Why’ (written by James Hand)
‘Tomorrow When’ (written by James Hand)
‘Do You Belong’ (written by James Hand)
‘My Savior As My Guide’ (written by James Hand)
‘Baby’s Promise’ (written by James Hand)
‘Lord Above’ (written by James Hand)
‘I Wear The Scars’ (written by James Hand) (Bobby’s Song)
‘Thank You Lord’ (written by James Hand)
‘No One Ever Dies’ (written by James Hand)
‘Storm Clouds In Heaven’ (written by James Hand)
‘There Is A Time’ (written by James Hand)
‘Devil Ain’t No Quitter’ (written by James Hand)
‘If I Live Long Enough To Heal’ (written by James Hand)

‘Men Like Me Can Fly’ (written by James Hand)

Personnel involved in the recording of James Hand’s ‘Storm Clouds In Heaven’ (South Central Music, 2014) included the following:

James Hand (lead vocals)
Cindy Cashdollar (steel guitar, Dobro)
Floyd Domino and Earl Poole Ball (piano)
Jason Roberts and Beth Chrisman (twin fiddles)
Kevin Smith (stand-up bass)
Speedy Sparks (electric bass)
John McGlothlin and Lisa Pankratz (drums)
Brennen Leigh (mandolin)
Jerry Mack Cook (lead guitar)

It was also in 2014 when James Hand starred in an independent film about himself, which was called ‘Thank You A Lot’.

Although he no longer had the backing of a major record label or a big booking agent, James Hand continued to perform throughout central Texas and beyond.

James Hand was a regular on the Austin honky tonk circuit in Texas, won an Ameripolitan Award, and opened the Ameripolitan Awards as a performer all seven years since its inception.

James Hand also won the admiration of newer country music artists, often due to the authenticity he embodied.  British country music singer, Ags Connolly, paid tribute to James Hand in 2014 with the song ‘I Saw James Hand’.  Charley Crockett featured James Hand in a video for the song ‘How I Got To Memphis’, a song which Charley Crockett was inspired to record after seeing James Hand perform it.

On the morning of Monday 8 July 2020, James Hand passed away in a Waco, Texas hospital; his former wife and mother of his two sons, Kayla Allen, was by his side, and holding his hand, as he passed on – James Hand was 68 years old.

James Hand

• Visit James Hand’s official site at