Music To Write To

January 19, 2013 at 12:42 am (Reviews) (, , , , , , , , )

writing-and-musicEvery writer has their zone, and sometimes the zone changes.  Due to the nature of my sucky laptop, I’m prone to laying prostrate across the floor so I can pile things on the charger to make it stay plugged.  Currently, said pile consists of my husband’s bible, my journal, whatever book I happen to be reading, and a Noah’s Ark statue of my daughter’s.

It’s not a comfortable way to write, but I’ve made it work… with music.

Nothing reminds you of college like being too poor to buy yourself new tech gadgets, laying on the floor writing half the day, and eating sandwiches off chipped plates while laying and writing.  So, when writing this way, what other music would I listen to than the artists of my so-called youth?

I bought this album as a wide-eyed freshman in college.

I bought this album as a wide-eyed freshman in college.

David Ramirez, Tito Ortega, and Christine Hand were all musicians that filled my college years.  (Select any of those links to check out their music on  All former students of the university I attended, they often performed in the coffee shop downstairs from my dorm room.  That coffee shop was where I journaled, talked, did homework, came up with story ideas, avoided homework, made friends, hung out with friends, and inhaled a whole lot of sugar and caffeine.  And it’s where I fell in love with these artists and their wonderful contribution to the musical world.  I’ll take them with me everywhere forever.

That’s a long term commitment as far as music loving goes.  As a moody listener, there are a lot of musicians I’ve outgrown over the years.  Some songs just aren’t the same when you’re not twelve, or eighteen, or a newly wed, or whatever it was you were when you were in love with something that just can’t move you anymore.

Girl on a String

Click here to download from iTunes.

Christine Hand will grow with you though.  At least, she grows with me.  We’re roughly the same age, went to the same university for awhile, have liked the same guy, and though we’re in no way the same, I feel like whatever music she has out that’s ‘new’ in the moment, always falls in line with my own existence.  Her latest album has a beautiful maturity that I hope I’ve reached.  It definitely puts me in the mood to strive to write with that same beautiful maturity.

In addition to Christine’s own songs, there is a Bob Dylan cover on Girl on a String.  Who doesn’t like Bob Dylan? And who doesn’t like hearing his songs performed well?  This album can feel comfortable sitting on your shelf with the likes of Norah Jones and Joni Mitchell, and like John Mayer at the Crossroads concert playing with the likes of B.B. King and Eric Clapton, you’ll be impressed with how well she fits right in and holds her own with the greats.

dallas does eaglesChristine Hand plays along side her husband, my friend, Adam Jones, and her father.  The dynamic is pretty neat, but I’m a sucker for family bands, as you’ll see if you ever check out my cd collection from the ’90s where I thought Rebecca St. James was the coolest for bringing her brother on tour with her and I was distraught to discover that the White Stripes weren’t married anymore.  I’m also a long time fan of The Jackson 5 and a completely head over heels for the fact that Nine Inch Nails moved on to become How To Destroy Angels, only to include Trent Reznor’s wife.

Check out Christine’s website here:

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Live Shows at Half Price Books Humble

March 6, 2012 at 10:59 pm (Events) (, , , , , , )

So, if you follow my blog at all, you know I’ve been coordinating events for Half Price Books in Humble, which by the way is a complete blast! In February, Christine Hand came to town and serenaded the store for two hours (Friday, the 24th between 7 and 9 pm).

Adam Jones and Christine Hand Jones at Half Price Books Humble for a Live, Free, Unplugged Show

For those of you unable to make it, or who don’t know who Christine Hand is, you should know that the very next day, she discovered her Bob Dylan cover was being played on the radio in Dallas.  I happily brag about this to let you know that we book great musicians, and when you hear about Half Price Books having live artists in the store – you should definitely take time to stop by so you don’t miss a rare and great opportunity to meet the artists of the future!

If you did miss that last performance, no worries! I’ll do my best to make it happen again.  And as a sign of good faith, my lovely customers, I’ve booked Tito Ortega for March!

Tito Ortega is another Dallas local making a special trip down to Houston to play at the Humble store.  He, too, writes his own music in a fun, low-key and soothing style.  A testament to his great songwriting is the fact that Eric Tipton, a recent contestant on The Voice, did a cover of his song Something Beautiful on his cd Straight From the Couch (that album is a personal favorite of mine, check it out here:

Check out Tito’s site at, and follow him on twitter @titoortegamusic.

We’ll see you at the show on March 24th (Saturday) 7-9 pm! Come ready to enjoy an intimate show and purchase digidownloads or cds.

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Christine Hand Music Update

February 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm (Events) ()

Just found out that our cover of Dylan’s “Don’t think twice, it’s all right” will be featured on the KNTU radio show, “Infrequent Exposure,” tonight (saturday). Check it out  between 7-9 on 88.1, KNTU. You can also listen live at the above link. More to come about our fun Half Price Books gig soon!

Congratulations! Can’t wait to re-blog her Half Price Books Gig post! Follow

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Books, Music, and mostly Nostalgia

February 15, 2012 at 1:29 am (Events) (, , , , , )

My favorite things in the world are books, coffee, and music, in no particular order.  So it goes without saying that in college I spent many a hour journaling or reading in coffee shops around the DFW area.  Many times, my collegiate friends were on stage or tucked in a corner with a guitar serenading me.  They were happy times in a time when my life was mostly hectic and stressful: full time student, part time employee to multiple employers, to date or not to date, and finding out where I fit in the world all rolled up into a girl who for many a semester suffered from insomnia.

So now, as an event coordinator for my favorite bookstore, it’s a pleasure to host musicians I have always enjoyed listening to at a time when I can hang out, read a book, have a coffee, and not be simultaneously thinking about what assignment is due next, how I did on that last test, and how am I going to make rent and feed myself without flunking for skipping class.  It will be nice to enjoy a few hours of peace without worrying about whether I made the right choice when I chose not to date so and so, and if it was a bad idea to kiss whats-his-name, all while trying to decide if getting married one day is even something that matters to me.  School is enough; worrying about the career you want or don’t want after the fact is just exhausting.  Now, I am married, I’m done with school, I work about 20 hours a month or so from home, and I write.

That’s why, I’m pleased to share with the world, the first musician booked at Half Price Books Humble, is Christine Hand.  Although Christine has been in the same pocket of friends and social circles as me since I was eighteen, the truth behind why I booked her his pure pleasure and nostalgia.  Christine was the one who serenaded me the most often.  When I think back on all those evenings at coffee shops, I hear two voices: Christine Hand and David Ramirez.

David Ramirez is booked elsewhere at larger venues right now, check out his site here:  But Christine has taken time out of her busy schedule and life to appease my nostalgia, and play at the Half Price Books in Humble on February 24th, 7-9 pm.  Come revel in my past life, I’d love for you to join me.

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