When Sands was fourteen, her father purchased, for $150 from a hard-up student at UC Berkeley, a OOO-18 Martin, and this is the battered wonderful guitar she still uses. She also plays a bit of mandolin and has recently begun to study the fiddle.
Sands grew up on Joan Baez and Judy Collins and was further inspired by Joni Mitchell; the 3 Js, as she refers to them, were big influences on the way to her becoming a singer/songwriter. She also loves the old "story songs": "Long Black Veil" (here she performs with her brother-in-law Louis B Jones and Tabla player Joe Fajen), "South Caost the Wild Coast" (with Maggie McKaig and Luke Wilson), "Pretty Polly" and other murder ballads.
Randy McKean, another cherished musical friend, is a genius on sax and clarinet and other reeds and a member of a half a dozen different musical groups. Here Sands and Randy play a verson of Robbie Burns's Red Red Rose, and here's a tune of Sands's, with Randy on bass clarinet, called Dancin Through the Heavens. In addition to those mentioned above, Sands occasionally plays with other fine musicians, including Greg Spatz, who in addition to being a marvelous novelist is dazzling on fiddle, guitar, mandolin, and his wife, Caridwen Irvine Spatz, who sings like an angel and fiddles like one too.
Sometimes Sands gets to sing with Mark Childress, when he renders a few favorite Elvis tunes and can inveigle Chronicle Books editor and drummer Nion McEvoy to thunder away on a rendition of Long Black Veil, and can wrangle notable female writers and editors into backing up, hilariously, her song You Made Me Believe in Love Again, some of the acts in the "Follies" that marsk the end of the annual Community of Writers at Squaw Valley.
All songs written and performed by Sands Hall.
You can email Sands at :
sands "at sign" sandshall "dot" com
The email address has been deconstructed in order to foil spam.