Country/Americana

James Hand, Papa Top's West Coast Turnaround

When: Fri., Feb. 19, 9 p.m. 2010

Honky-tonk traditionalist James Hand comes to Memphis this week for the International Folk Alliance Conference, but he’ll play his own satellite show as a headliner at Nocturnal on Friday. A Texas native, Hand plays an old-fashioned, timeless brand of country rooted in artists such as Hank Williams and Lefty Frizzell. He’s built a reputation on the Texas club scene over decades of live performances that made him something of a connoisseur’s secret, earning fans such as Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel’s Ray Benson. That secret got out a few years ago, when venerable roots label Rounder released Hand’s first nationally distributed album, 2006’s The Truth Will Set You Free. Live, Hand will draw on classic covers, such as Williams’ “Cold, Cold Heart,” and his own sharp songwriting, which revels in genre color. (Examples: “A Floor To Crawl,” “When You Stopped Loving Me, So Did I.”) Hand performs at Nocturnal (1588 Madison) on Friday, February 19th, with locals Papa Top’s West Coast Turnaround opening. Showtime is 9 p.m. Admission is $8. — Chris Herrington

Chris Herrington

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