Most of us know them as the talent behind the song we hear weekly on Life on the Rock, but the partnership of Joe and Jean-Ann Hand goes way beyond this incredibly catchy theme song. With eight CDs between them and a busy production studio business in Nashville, the Hands have found a way to combine their faith and their talent with incredible results. Both in their own body of work and in the consultation Joe provides to other artists, the music they create is both inspiring and captivating.
Along with their CDs, including Joe’s latest The Psalms, Jean-Ann is the creator of “Here with Me Now”, a musical tool aimed at teaching the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I took time with Joe and Jean-Ann to catch up on their recent activities and am happy to share their perspective on their teamwork, their music, and the Catholic music industry.
Joe says about himself: I’m the 2nd of 4 Children, My dad is from Northern Ireland and my Mom is Italian. She was born in the states though. I grew up in South Florida. My family was always in church. When I was young, all of us played music in church. My mom led children’s choirs, and my brother played guitar, I played bass and keys, and my sister and brother sang. We were like the Von Trapp family of Catholic Music. I loved music, and was the only Hand to continue on with it. I went to the Berklee College of Music in Boston, and now I record music of all kinds at my studio in Nashville. Lots of Catholic fare recently.
Jean-Ann says about herself: I was born outside of Cleveland (Parma, to be exact) in what I later learned was one of the most Catholic areas of the country. I wasn’t even aware there was anything besides Catholic until we moved to S FLA when I was about 10. I was blessed with an amazing family, somewhat musical, very creative and free-spirited and of tremendous faith. After spending some of my wild youth dating guys who were as far away as possible from where I truly belonged, meeting Joe jolted me back to awareness of who God created me to be. His upbringing was so similar to mine. We ended up being compatible on so many levels. It’s been awesome.
We could not record their presentations when they came to our Convention because of copyright issues – but they were good.