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Shadow On the Ground

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Album Review

Shadow on the Ground is straightforward honky tonk music, sung with such plaintive comfortable ease by James Hand that it's hard to believe he hadn't made a more prominent living as a recording artist prior to this release, issued when he was in his mid-fifties. While all but one of the songs (a cover of "Mona Lisa") is an original composition, Hand's style itself isn't too original. It's classic honky tonk with no bows to Nashville trends of the previous 30 years, and for that matter no particular influence from more alternative developments in country music during that time. Within those strictures, he's versatile, capable of fast-moving rollers ("The Parakeet"), heart-tugging weepers ("Just a Heart"), numbers with a slight Tex-Mex or country swing feel, and straightforward stompers.

Customer Reviews

Good Stuff

If you like traditional country music that has lots of strings and pedal steel guitar with a steady beat, buy this album. If you like the stuff that is coming out of Nashville, Tennessee these days, then this stuff is probably not for you. This guy's voice coupled with the simplicity of the music is awesome.


Hands-down the best singer in country music right now. While he'll never be a household name, James Hand can stand toe-to-toe with many of honky tonk's legends he set out to emulate, as both a songwriter and a crooner. He is the authentic, 100% real deal and his music is medicine to the current sad state of Nashville.

James hand, Shadow on the Ground

James Hand has one of the most haunting, beautiful and purest voices that I've ever heard. I can't stop listening to him sing. You keep ion singing James Hand. Love You!!!


Born: 1952 in Waco, TX

Genre: Country

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

A local legend in West Texas, James Hand spent the better part of four decades writing and playing pure honky tonk country before he earned any significant attention outside the Lone Star State, when Rounder Records released his first nationally distributed album, 2006's The Truth Will Set You Free. James Hand was born in 1952 in Waco, TX, and developed a passion for country music early in life, joining a band that was playing local roadhouses at the age of 12. While Hand loved music, 15 dollars...
Full Bio
Shadow On the Ground, James Hand
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Customer Ratings